As all of you know “fake” or “bootleg” Pokemon items have become a huge problem. Trying to capitalize on the worldwide popularity of Pokemon, unauthorized sellers in China make fake or bootleg Pokemon plushies and other goods. Today there was a huge bust in South Korea. Over $6 million in fake Pokemon plushies were confiscated. Most of these plushies were headed for game center claw machines across South Korea.
Most people think “Whats the harm if my Pokemon plushie is fake?”. But there are several things that you dont know. First, it affects the profits of the company that makes them (Nintendo, Pokemon Center, etc). When these companies lose money from sales of unauthorized Pokemon items, they inturn raise the prices to try to get back all of the lost revenue. Thus making Pokemon items more expensive for ALL OF US!!!!
Secondly its illegal to sell fake or bootleg plushies. Most of the sellers on Ebay, Amazon, etc that are selling fake plushies have no idea that they are fakes. The sellers they buy from advertise them as “directly from China”. While this is true that they come directly from China, they are unauthorized. It is 100% illegal to make, produce or sell products with the Pokemon likeness without the written consent of Pokemon, Nintendo, etc. Thus, if you are selling fake Pokemon items, whether you know it or not, you can be held responsible. Having studied business law at university and having 20 years in the Pokemon retailing business I know that this is 100% true, however rarely enforced. It is estimated that more than 50% of the Pokemon plushies on Ebay are fakes or bootlegs (I personally think its close to 70%).
Lastly, fake Pokemon are made in unauthorize factories that produce them without any strict safety guidelines. They can use child labor and can contain some dangerous chemicals, lead paints, etc. Im not saying that they are all dangerous, but the factories are not regulated for safety standards like other authorized Pokemon factories. Would you want your child playing with a toy from an unauthorized factory???
Hopefully this is just the beginning of the crackdown on illegal Pokemon items and other countries will follow suit. We are a long way away from getting rid of fake Pokemon items, but hopefully other countries will begin the long process of getting rid of the fakes once and for all.