This is a work in progress, feel free to email any ideas or additions you may wish to add to this FAQ.
A GUIDE TO FAKE ANIME GOODS

INTRODUCTION

Spotting pirated or unlicensed goods is not always easy, and even experienced collectors can be fooled on occasion - especially if buying online.  However, there are often some tell-tale signs that indicate when an item is not official, we will go into more depth in the following sections, but here are some general tips.

Before reading the below it is worth bearing in mind that only a handful of anime series are shown during the day in Japan.  Many are shown in the early hours of the morning or released straight to video, and not a huge amount of merchandise is made for them.

Quality - A lot of official anime merchandise is aimed at collectors, and quality is therefore paramount.  Although some items are not as well made or impressive as others it is very rare to find badly made anime merchandise, so give items a close look.  If the painting or printing is shoddy, parts don't connect well or the materials look cheap, steer clear.

Price - Japanese merchandise is generally expensive to buy in the UK.  This is due to a combination of high wholesale prices, limited stock and import duties.  Fake/unlicensed merchandise is often cheaper due to poor manufacturing and mass distribution.  If a price seems too good to be true, it often is.

Packaging - Official boxes are well printed and with the correct colours and Japanese spelling.  If the colours are pale and muted, the printing blurry or low quality or the logo is different to the one you have seen before then it is probably a fake.  Always look for the holographic or coloured stickers that denote official merchandise, these are always present on real items and often feature the anime studio logo. Also based on the agreement between toy companies and the JTA (Japan Toy Association), some Japanese toys that have been approved by the designated testing bodies of the ST standard are allowed to put an ST Mark on their products or packages. "ST Marks" on the toys show that the Association ensures that the toys were carefully manufactured in the safety aspect. If a product has this mark on it is a genuine product.

Oldness - Some series have revivals on anniversary years, and some never go out of fashion, but many series are of a particular time.  Once an anime or manga series finishes in Japan, the merchandise generally dries up.  If you find merchandise for an older series, particularly ones that were relatively short, you should take more care before buying unless you are willing to pay very high prices for those rare goods.

Newness - If a series has just come out in Japan there will not be a great deal of merchandise for it.  You may get the odd piece early on, but the Japanese merchandising machine usually kicks into gear once a series becomes more popular.  If a series is new and you see lots of merchandise for it - particularly if it is mostly posters, bags and clothing - then there is a very high probability that the merchandise is fake or unlicensed. Be aware that in most cases Japanese series are generally released well in advance of screenings in the west so some legitimate merchandisers may have certain figure goods in their store before a western release.

Colouring/Design - The Japanese know what the characters look like, and so do Japanese fans.  They will not buy something that doesn't look like the series, and neither should we.  Always look at the characters or the designs on the merchandise - do they look like they do in the anime or manga?  Are the colours the same?  Official manufacturers will not get things like this wrong, even if the colours are only slightly off then you could be looking at a fake.

PIRATED GOODS

The huge popularity and marketability of anime in Asia has led to an explosion of fake and pirated goods and merchandise, which has been aided by weak copyright controls in countries like China and Taiwan.  These days many Japanese merchandise manufacturers - like many companies the world over - use factories in China and other Asian countries to reduce their production costs, and in some ways this has helped the fake goods trade.

What are they?

Fake goods are copies or replicas of legitimate merchandise or products made cheaply and quickly to take advantage of the popularity of the series it's based on.  Most pirated goods are produced in China by people who work for or gain access to the factories of major Japanese toy manufacturers like Bandai, Yujin and Kotobukiya.  They steal their moulds, designs and ideas, and then use them to manufacture their own cheap copies.  These copies are also known as bootleg goods, and they are made without the approval of the official copyright holder.  Everything is bootlegged by these manufacturers from figures, plush toys, DVD's, CD's, key chains and even wall scrolls and posters.  Other common bootlegs include books, wallets and other character goods and stationary.

Why shouldn't I buy them?

Fake toys are by and large poorer in quality and even in rare cases poisonous materials are used in paints or plastics.  Official products are higher in quality and are put through rigorous health and safety checks.

The painting and moulding on fakes is usually poor and the low quality materials used often begin to degrade or warp shortly after manufacture.  Simply put, faked Japanese toys and goods are not quality products; they often look noticeably bad and are likely to fall apart within weeks of buying them.

Pricing and poor quality aside, we would now like to talk about the bigger picture in the manufacture of fakes.  The factories that make these fakes often use slave or low paid labour.  Economically this is damaging the Japanese market and their businesses in the fact that even though their official products are made in China the fakes are bought more widely by the larger Chinese and Malaysian markets.  This in turn effects Japanese production of newer and wider ranges of figures by the official companies.  Bandai and Yujin have been to court numerous times in attempts to stop fake production companies, which is an indication of how strongly they feel about the issue and their dedication to combating it.  Often the factories producing fakes are run by criminals who use these sales to fund various vices in their own country.

Another big issue, which admittedly affects the conscience of buyers from Japan more than those from the UK and US, is that fakes are worth nothing, they have no value.  Official products in Japan are nearly all released in limited quantities and can double, triple and even quadruple in value within 6 months of their release.  Only a certain amount of figures are made from each mould, which is why there price goes up so fast, and is also the reason why the figure you like seems to be out of stock everywhere you look.  It also gives the bootleggers a window of opportunity, not only can they snatch the moulds when the official production ends but there is nearly always still a demand for the figure once the official run is sold out.

Why do people buy fake goods?

People unfortunately don't always know that they are buying fake goods, especially when buying online.  Those that do know are just out there to save a little bit of money by buying a lesser quality model.  When official goods can't be bought anymore due to being out of print people will buy the fake versions so they can complete their collection.

Where are these fake goods sold?

Many eBay accounts and shops from China, Malaysia, Thailand and Taiwan sell fake goods. It's not to say that all do but you really need to take extra care if you are dealing with anime sellers from these places.  Other sellers of fake goods include home grown UK retailers, including some who do not even know that they are selling fakes.  Others do know, and wish to make more money by buying in cheap copies and selling them at the same price as the official product they are based on.

Places that sell real goods might also stock unlicensed goods, many of the UK anime merchandise retailers who sell fakes also sell official items alongside them.  China Towns are also rife with fake goods as they import goods from their own country rather than direct from Japan.

We've described why you shouldn't buy fake goods, but spotting them isn't always as easy as you may think.  With online shops one of the main sources of imported goods nowadays, many items are sold without you knowing exactly what you will receive.  However, there are some ways to reduce the risk of getting caught out, which we will detail below.

Firstly, BEWARE OF EBAY

There is a massive problem with buying Japanese anime and manga toys from auction websites like eBay, particularly when the seller is from China, Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan, etc.

You should also be wary of buying DVD's and CD's from the above mentioned countries (see the relevant sections), but even more so when buying anime merchandise.  Descriptions and photographs uploaded by users can be deceiving, and by the time you have received a fake there's little you can do to get your money back.  We are not going to go in to too much detail about eBay and their policies but suffice to say they have not exactly been that successful in removing pirated and fake goods from their listings.  The amount of fake anime merchandise on there outweighs the legitimate items, although some genuine rare items do crop up from time to time.  However, unless you are extremely confident in the seller's legitimacy it may be best to avoid eBay altogether.

HOW TO LOOK FOR FAKES

Quality

So what are the main differences?  Fake toys are by and large poorer in quality and even in rare cases poisonous materials are used in paints or plastics.  There are different levels of fakes, the higher the price the better the quality of the fake.  Telltale signs of fakes are poor painting, bad moulding, warped or ill-fitting parts and incorrect details or painting colours.  Basically, the official companies know what the characters look like, and they won't get something like the colour of a character's clothing or the number of markings on Totoro's chest wrong.  Suffice to say, official products are higher in quality than fakes and are put through rigorous health and safety checks. 

Price

Genuine goods are expensive to buy and import from Japan due to shipping and tax.  Here is a rough price guide pertaining to anime figures.

Gashapon figures are between £1 and £3 in Japan, so for a set of 5 figures in Japan you can pay between £5 and £15.  In the UK and US they range from £10 to £20 due to import customs costs, exporting tax costs and shipping.  From China you pay £5 no matter what they cost in Japan.  Boxed Candy Toys range from £2 to £4 per figure in Japan and for a set of 5 figures you expect to pay between £10 and £20.  In the UK and US they range from £20 to £30 due to the costs mentioned above.  From China you pay £5 to £10 no matter what the originals cost in Japan.  Sad to say it, but if you see a price that looks too good to be true, it probably is.

Unfortunately fake retailers are wising up to this and have started selling their goods at a much higher price to confuse buyers in to thinking that their goods are genuine.

Packaging

They don't just fake the goods themselves; they fake the box, the instructions and the tags.  Some are done really well because they are copied from the originals, some are poor and are written by non-Japanese with only a basic understanding of Hiragana and Katakana.  Only Japanese natives and people who can read the Japanese language can notice inconsistencies.

Fortunately there are others ways to tell the difference, official goods are known for their high quality packages, you can check the quality of the printing of the pictures on the box and are the photographs sharp and in focus.  Look for bad printing and blurry text and also colours that don't match to what the original characters usually wear in your favourite anime.  Most genuine merchandise colour the figures clothing exactly the same as in the anime itself in the box art.  Also the boxes that have been faked are more than likely to be a lot thinner then the originals.

Japan always produces its figures and packaging in China, so for fake companies getting all the information they need is quite simple.  What they can't do however is put on a seal or official authenticity sticker.

Always check that the name on the packaging matches the name of the character in the box, this can sometimes differ with fake products.

HOW TO SPOT COPYRIGHT

There is also a way of spotting genuine figures from fakes by the copyright information.  Most fakes don't have any markings on them whereas genuine figures always do have a copyright stamp from the manufacturer.  Check that the company name is spelled correctly and always look for the ©.  When looking at the small print always look at the spellings of company names.

Some companies have started to use licensing marks to help in the fight against fakes.  Usually this is a holographic or coloured square with the company or series details in it.  Toei Animation for example use a gold sticker with their Puss in Boots mascot on it, whilst Studio Ghibli use a round green and white sticker depicting the smallest of the Totoro from the film My Neighbour Totoro

PLASTIC TOYS

You should always look at the quality of the moulding - do the mould lines or joins stand out more than they should? Check the quality of the paint work.  Genuine goods are usually painted really well and highly detailed.  Always check for a copyright mark and if the figure has a tag or box check the quality, details and printing of the box.

Always check for the following:

*Poor Paint quality
*Poor sculpting

Colours that differ from the official figure; check official photographs on company websites, even Japanese language websites are easy to navigate.

For Gashapon, trading figures, prize goods, and other toys that have a cheap retail price, you may be getting a fake, please read the pricing section of this FAQ.

PLUSH

Look at the quality of the stitching and see if it of a high standard. Look for the manufacturer's label and check copyright details. Look at the face to see if it is symmetrical

Ghibli toys are usually made from the highest quality materials which usually mean they are really expensive, they always have the Ghibli mark on the tag and the look and feel of the plush is always of really high quality. Sun Arrow are the only licensed manufacturer of Ghibli Plush toys visiting their website can give you an idea of the range of toys they produce and to compare to what you see on sale.

GE Entertainment who produces licensed Japanese goods for he US market do a really good quality range of plush toys and even though they are reasonably priced are produced with a high quality.

 Fake Plush
 Genuine Plush
 
 

WALL SCROLLS

  It is easy to tell the quality of wall scrolls when they are displayed in the shop. The print quality is always really poor quality, the colours are washy and the image is usually blurred or out of focus slightly. Always look at what you are buying, check for copyright and use your judgement. Real wall scrolls are made of the highest quality material, well printed and quite expensive. Legitimate wall scrolls should have the publishing and licensing company printed somewhere on the item.

FINAL FANTASY PRODUCTS

Although a few years ago Square licensed out to various manufacturers for their goods, namely Bandai, Banpresto and a promotional offer with Coca Cola, these days all Final Fantasy products are produced only through Square-Enix so to spot these goods you must always first check that they have the Square-Enix Products label.

Unfortunately key chains and figures by Banpresto and Bandai have been copied into badly moulded and painted mini figures and key chains. They are made of low quality and often poisonous plastics. Thankfully you only have to look at the quality of these items to tell whether they are fake or real. Anything more recent is even easier to spot, the quality of Square-Enix goods is exceptionally high and fakes are very easily distinguished. Check the facial features, the quality of paint work and the detailing on the moulds.

There are also a large amount of fake plush toys available. The fake plush dolls may appear very similar to the real things but always have some differences and are missing their labels. These fakes originate from China and can be distinguished by poor colour variations, poor quality materials and wrong shaping especially on the Chocobo plush. Authentic plush are very rare and of exceptionally high quality.

KEY CHAINS and NECKLACES

There is a recent trend in China to produce key chains from existing gashapon toy moulds, these key chains contain no copyright information on the figure, poor paintwork and often use poisonous materials in construction. Original gashapon figures usually come in pieces so they can fit in to the plastic balls in the machines they come from in Japan, these key chains are solid figures and are poor imitations. It is rare these days to have a figure key chain in Japan that comes with no packaging though these key chains are found very often in China Towns across the country. Due to these figures using the original mouldings from the gashapon figures they can be under the section of unlicensed goods but also are classed as fakes because of where they originate from.

Fake Key Chains
 
Original Bandai Gashapon
 
 

Packaged key chains (this includes necklace chains) can be harder to spot, though a good guide is to check whether they have a manufacturers name on the packaging or some sort of copyright information. If the package contains neither or no information at all apart from the anime name then it is definitely a fake. Remember that Square-Enix are the only ones licensed to produce Final Fantasy goods and many key chains and necklaces from these series can be found without any markings on the package and also with badly printed pictures on the background card.

Popular anime and manga series often have this same treatment though again as mentioned earlier GE Entertainment who produces licensed Japanese goods for the US market do a really good quality range of key chains and necklaces and even though they are reasonably priced are produced with a high quality.

UNLICENSED GOODS

The definition between a product that has been copied directly from the original source and unlicensed goods that are produced independently as new items must be addressed. There are companies in China such as B2B, FrontWinner, YouYu, Yitang, Yiwu and YouQ amongst many others offer up a variety of goods that might otherwise be not produced by the licensed companies. Certain items such as Final Fantasy goods are often produced without Square-Enix knowledge who is the only official licensed company of these goods. A good idea is to check out the sites of the manufacturers listed above to see pictures of the various unlicensed goods that are available on the market to avoid buying them.

These goods are still illegal as they have been offered no license to produce these goods and packaging can often be unmarked by branding of any sort other than bad translations of the Anime/Manga title and or what the item is in question. No manufacturer's markings appear on any of these goods making it hard to trace from their manufacturing source.

Goods include watches, wall scrolls, posters, card games, post cards, pillows, cushions, wallets, key chains, plush's, necklaces, mugs, clocks and money tins. These goods are often poor in quality with packaging made cheaply with badly drawn characters on them. The materials used to make these items are of poor quality and often break, fall apart or in the case of stitching come apart after only a few weeks.

These goods are wholesale cheap ranging from 2-12 HKD for sets of 2-12 items and then sold on by the retailer at £5 to £10 for each individual item in those sets making a mark up profit of almost 300% to 600% in many cases. Wholesale companies in China are often the front for factories working in the background and as soon as one closes a new one opens under a similar name selling exactly the same products. Pictures of these goods are available at request by email but we will be including some in this FAQ.

The fact that these companies thrive in the industry for so long is their ability trade again once closed down and the lack of package markings make investigations in to the source almost difficult for authorities. You will see many of these goods in China Towns around the country and more recently at trade fairs and market stalls. These goods are held to no testing or standards and hold no markings to advertise this fact as most of these goods are produced below the standards set and often use dangerous materials.

PIRATED VIDEO

Pirated video has been a problem ever since home video gained mass availability, and the digital age has made it even more widespread.  Whereas once video piracy was limited to people with the right contacts and equipment, nowadays anyone can download a film or anime illegally and copy it to a DVD using little more than a home computer and an internet connection.

We cover illegal downloading in our Online Piracy section, so in this section we'll focus on the distribution of copied DVDs.

What is it?

DVD piracy, as far as anime is concerned, generally involves someone illegally downloading or recording an anime series or film, copying it to DVD and selling it to the general public.  UK DVD pirates generally ignore anime as it is too small a market in the UK to get much return from, however, in the Far East it's a different story.  Poor regulation and lax copyright laws have led to many organised groups popping up in countries like China, Hong Kong and Taiwan who mass produce pirated anime DVDs and distribute them through online stores and less scrupulous retailers.  Pirated anime DVDs frequently feature English and Chinese subtitle tracks, either created by the pirates themselves or taken from 'fansubbed' anime (see Online Piracy), and often have fewer discs than an official release.

What's the problem?

DVD pirates steal someone else's work and sell it for their own.  Their production costs are very low as they have not paid for a distribution license and because of this they can undercut the price of an official release and still make massive profits.  None of the money they make goes back to the people who made the original anime, and the quality of the DVDs the pirates distribute is often far worse than the official release.  Common issues include extremely bad translations, poor visual and audio quality and poorly spelled subtitles.  Often the quality of the video itself is reduced in order to put more episodes on a disc and reduce the production costs even further.  Not only is it bad for the official anime distributors and creators, who lose revenue that would fund future projects, but it is also bad for anime fans who pay less but get a poor product.  There is also evidence that DVD piracy is used to finance other crime.

What should I look out for?

It is very common these days to search for your favourite anime on auction websites like eBay and find cheap 3 disc versions of a 26 episode series.  This alone should ring alarm bells as so many episodes cannot fit on 3 discs without a massive reduction in quality.

Many pirated DVDs are sold as All Regions or Region 0 and they often include Chinese and English subtitles as well as the Japanese audio track, especially those produced in Hong Kong.  If you see any of these above signs then more than likely the product is pirated.  Another thing to look out for is if it comes in a wooden DVD box instead of plastic.  It's a sad fact that many pirated anime DVDs come from the Far East, particularly China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, and extra care should be taken when dealing with eBay sellers or companies based in these countries. 

The price is also an indicator.  If it is a lot cheaper than you would expect then it's probably a fake, although some pirates are getting wise to this and have raised their prices.  Generally speaking although it is possible to pick up the official release of a 26 episode series for around £13, you will usually only find prices like this in sales.  If you find prices like this on auction or online marketplace websites we advise steering clear, especially if any of the other signs mentioned above.

It is not common to find pirated anime DVDs for sale in physical UK shops, although they occasionally pop up in Chinatowns and some independent DVD shops.  If you do come across a DVD that isn't from one of the usual UK companies (ADV Films, Beez, ILC Prime, Kiseki, Manga Entertainment, MVM, Optimum, Revelation Films) there are some simple checks you can make to decide if it is official.  As well as the signs mentioned above, if there is English writing on the packaging check for typing, spelling and grammatical errors.  Also check the packaging, check for poor quality DVDs, so their name on the packaging should be a good reason to steer clear.

Animation International
Animation Japan International
Anime Cartoon
Anime Studio
Digital International
DVD Ani
fx
MAC (Manga Anime Cartoon)
Manga International (not to be confused with Manga Entertainment)
Video Animation

Finally, there's a question of knowing what you are buying.  If you see a DVD for sale on an auction website or online marketplace just do a quick search of other established retailers to see if it's legit.  Check anime review websites or do a Google search to see if it's mentioned elsewhere.  It's better to be safe than sorry.


FANSUBS

Fake and unlicensed merchandise based on anime and manga is widely considered to be unlawful and immoral by fans, but the same perception is not applied to fansubs and scanlation.

What are they?

Fansub - A Japanese anime with dialogue that has been translated and subtitled into another language by fans (hence the name).  This is then copied and distributed for free via DVD or online.

Scanlation - A Japanese manga which has been scanned into a computer and the text translated into another language by fans.  This is then distributed online for free.

A Brief History of Fansubs

Fansubs as we know them started life in America back in the days when very little anime was available in the West.  Enthusiasts would record a show from public access television or from abroad, and then use video editing equipment to subtitle it.  The resulting fan-subtitled videos were copied to new videotapes and shown at conventions or distributed amongst fans.  There was an unwritten rule that people should only charge for the cost of the tape, and as the video quality degraded with each copy the fansubs had a limited lifespan.  It wasn't long before other countries started to do the same thing, and although they were illegal, anime distributors tolerated them and turned a blind eye.  After all, tapes didn't last too long and had small distributions that posed little threat to official releases.  If fact they could be used as free market research to indicate the titles that fans wanted, so to start with they were beneficial to distributors and fans alike.  However, digital technology soon threw a spanner in the works.
 

The advent of DVD and digital video not only meant that the fansubs could be copied infinitely without losing quality, but also took control away from the original fansubbers.  Once an episode was subbed and released it could be distributed by anyone, unscrupulous individuals could even copy them to DVDs and sell them.  It was with the advent of broadband that fansubs really took off, large video files could suddenly be transferred and shared quickly and easily through peer-to-peer programs and video editing software meant that you no longer had to have specialist equipment to produce them.  The official distributors couldn't match the fansubbers for speed either - an episode could be subtitled and released within hours of hitting the airwaves in Japan, whereas a DVD release would take months or even years.  Fansubbing probably reached its peak in the in the mid to late 2000's, declining slightly after several high-profile legal battles between the music industry, file sharing websites and server hosts.  Countless fansub groups continue to operate but have far shorter windows of opportunity nowadays and face increased competition from official distributors moving into the online arena.

Legality

Fansubs and scanlations are illegal, and always have been.  Japan, the UK and the USA have all signed up to the Berne Convention, an international copyright agreement which means that a copyrighted work from one country is copyrighted in the others as well.  There is no grey area, those who create fansubs and scanlations are copying, editing and distributing copyrighted material without a license to do so, and are therefore breaking the law.

So why do people get away with it?

Enforcement of copyright is the responsibility of the copyright holder, which in these cases is the Japanese distributor unless a Western company has obtained a license from them.  Japanese companies have generally left overseas prosecutions to overseas distributors, but fansubbers generally stop producing and distributing a title once it has been officially licensed in their home country.  This means that they avoid legal action but the damage is already done - the fansubbed episodes are no longer under their control and are freely distributed by individuals, who are harder to identify and prosecute than an organised group.  However, times are changing, and with overseas markets increasingly important to the anime industry Japanese companies are taking more action to enforce their copyrights abroad.  In most cases they issue 'cease and desist' notices to fansub groups, who usually comply, and Western companies have begun to license series a lot earlier, which acts as a further deterrent.

We Only Download Because Companies Charge too Much!

Anime and manga prices in the UK are much cheaper than they've ever been.  At one time you would have to pay £15 for a VHS tape containing two dubbed episodes of an anime, now you can buy a 26 episode series with multiple audio tracks on DVD for £30.  Very few anime DVDs contain less than four episodes nowadays, most feature a host of extra features and with Blu-Ray just around the corner DVDs are only going to get cheaper.  Less than 10 years ago a typical manga volume would cost £13, now the average price is £7.  Companies are increasingly moving into online distribution, with anime and manga now available online - legally - for free viewing, often within a day of the Japanese release.  Manga is also freely available from UK libraries in much higher volumes than ever before, and anime can be rented from LoveFilm or Blockbuster for just a few pounds, making this argument pretty redundant.

It doesn't hurt anyone!

Yes it does.  Overseas distributors pay Japanese companies for the license to release anime and manga series in their home country.  The money they pay goes to the anime and manga producers in Japan, helping them fund future projects.  The simple truth is that many fans download far more anime than they buy, and that lost revenue has hit both Western and Japanese anime companies, reducing their ability to ride out the current recession.  The direct effect has been that anime production in Japan has reduced and the number of UK licenses has dropped.  There have also been indirect effects, for example the cost of licensing the anime series Naruto was massively inflated after the Japanese distributors saw how popular the fansubbed release was.  Industry insiders have indicated that the official release of the series was delayed for several years as no-one could afford to license it, and when they did get it sales were lower than they could have been as many fans already owned it illegally.

The Future

Distributors are catching up with the technology and using online video streaming as an alternative to television syndication.  As the number of free anime and manga titles available legally online increases fansubs and scanlations will become increasingly redundant, and their mass appeal will decline.  Distributors will eventually take a tougher stance on those that persist and particularly on file sharers - the times are changing.

How to spot fansubs

Fansubs are mainly be available from fansub groups' website or through peer-to-peer file sharing programs and websites.  Official distributors will not use these for their releases.  The majority of legal downloads are not free, so most things that you can download and keep will be fansubs, unless you are getting them through download-to-own websites like iTunes or a distributor's own website.  Fansub groups generally add their own credits to a video too.

How to spot scanlations

Most official online manga releases only allow you to read a manga on a website, not download it.  You generally have to pay for official manga downloads, through websites like iTunes.  Like fansubs, scanlations usually include a credits page for the scanlation group and are most frequently available through the group's own website or tracker websites.  Official releases will be through major download-to-own websites or through the publisher's own official website.

GENUINE MANUFACTURERS

here is a list of some manufacturers that produce legitimate Anime and Manga toys in Japan, the list isn't complete but it's good to reference to review against some of the toys, usually the manufacturer will have a symbol or marking denoting that this is their brand. Spelling differences are a good way to distinguish real items from fakes, also poor quality branding marks or stickers and holograms. Note that Great Eastern (GE) Entertainment, Inc. is an American brand officially licensed to produce goods for the American market.

AGATSUMA

Alter

AZONE INTERNATIONAL

Bandai Co. Ltd.

Cominica

COSPA

EN SKY

EPOCH Co. Ltd.

Great Eastern (GE) Entertainment Inc.

GOOD SMILE COMPANY

Icon

KOKUYO

Konami

Kotobukiya Co. Ltd.

Max Factory

MegaHouse Corporation.

MEDIKOM Toys

NAMCO BANDAI

Nintendo

SEGATOYS Co. Ltd.

Sekiguchi

SUN ARROW

Square Enix

TakaraTomy

Tamiya

TOMY Co. Ltd.

Wave

Yujin Co. Ltd.

This is a work in progress anyone wishing to amend or alter this work or even add to it is more than welcome to email us at mail@tokyo15.co.uk and we will look in to editing.

A huge thank you goes out toTom and Rich from www.animetion.co.uk and Tokyo Otaku for their support, additions and a lot of hard work and effort and continued support on the development of this FAQ. Tom and Rich are also fully responsible for the Video and Fansub sections of this FAQ.