Bandai’s “Figuarts ZERO” line of detailed statues, featuring iconic poses, are among the most popular pieces of merchandise of their kind. Much like the popular S.H. Figuarts line of articulated figures, many of these releases are “web exclusives”, which means once they’re sold out there won’t be any more made in that particular style. With this rarity the figures have a tendency to increase in value over time and enjoy a lucrative third party seller’s market.
Due to this counterfeiters are motivated to do their best to make a quick buck, preying on the unsuspecting and even cornering a demographic of collectors who simply don’t wish to pay the mark up on third party reselling sites.
The guide and tips below are now comprehensive, as counterfeiters are always improving and changing their methodology. However, this guide will hopefully help you train your eye to be more discriminating when looking to purchase merchandise within this line.
Differences in Packaging:
With the packaging in this line, there may be minor differences. You may or may not see a “Funimation” logo, which is okay. The Funimation logo is typical of the versions that are licensed to be sold in North America. You also may or may not see the “Choking Hazard” sticker, this isn’t something to be concerned about.
However, there are two major aspects of the packaging that MUST be present in order for the figure to be confirmed as an authentic piece.
1.) Number one is the “Toei Sticker”, which is noted in the photo below with the “A”. This sticker can be silver or gold, either one is fine. The Toei sticker is something we see across many pieces of Dragon Ball (and other Toei licensed) merchandise.
Many people have mentioned that counterfeit Toei stickers have started appearing, however if you peel back the corner of the Toei sticker you should be able to look underneath the sticker and see a watermarked pattern on the backside of the sticker. The counterfeit Toei stickers do not have this watermark.
Keep in mind the Toei sticker is not always located in the same spot across every figure. Some times the location may vary.
2.) Number two is the sticker in the window of the packaging. This is noted in the photo below with the letter “B”.
Differences in the Figure:
For the most part, it’s some what difficult to see a difference between a counterfeit Figuarts ZERO statue and a legitimate one. The best methodology is to have a legitimate piece with you for comparison purposes.
Many times the tell tale signs are:
- Poorly applied paint.
- Paint is glossy in places the legitimate figure is matte.
- Paint is matte in place the legitimate figure is glossy.
- Paint is chipped or chips easily.
- Sculpt is poorly designed.
To give you a visual idea, below is a some what well done counterfeit Figuarts ZERO Super Saiyan Trunks and below that is a gallery of an authentic piece.