$6 Million in Fake Pokemon Found in Korea

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.

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WIN A FREE Large Size Pokemon Time BUIZEL Plush Toy

Pokevault.com is giving away a large size Pokemon Center Pokemon Time large size Buizel plush toy. One lucky winner will receive this plush toy ABSOLUTELY FREE!!!. The contest starts February 6, 2016 and ends on February 12, 2016 (Japan time).

 Its 100% free to enter and there is no purchase necessary. The winner will be chosen by random drawing and announced on February 12, 2016. By entering you receive one chance in the random drawing.

BUT WAIT!!!! Refer a friend to the contest and you get 5 extra chances to win. So tell everyone that you know, post it on Pokemon websites, blogs, info sites, facebook, twitter, etc. The more people that you tell about the contest, the better your chances are of winning. The large Buizel plush toy will be sent to the lucky winner. Shipping will be paid by Pokevault.com, so you do not need to pay anything if you win. Dont miss out!!! Contest ends soon.


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Fake Vs Real Japanese Takara Tomy Umbreon How To Tell The Difference

Last week I bought an Umbreon plush toy on what I thought was a reliable website. Unfortunately as it turned out I was very disappointed. When I purchased the Umbreon, the seller told me to be patient as it was coming from overseas. Overseas? I am in Japan. Why would a Japanese Umbreon plushie come from overseas when they are only sold in Japan. When I got the package, I knew before opening it up that it was a bootleg or fake. The package was sent from China. China and Hong Kong are the two countries that bootleg the most Pokemon toys. Upon opening it, to the untrained eye, it looks authentic. The Takara Tomy paper tag was attached and was authentic. BUT, then upon closer inspection, yep, I was right. I got my first ever bootleg. I was angry, disappointed and most of all embarrassed that I actually bought a fake. I have been selling Pokemon for 15+ years and have prided my sell on the fact that I have never bought a fake. But because there are so many fakes out there, it can happen to anyone quite easily. I had a bad feeling when I bought it and should have listened to my insticts. It was a good price and too good to be true.

So, I would like to help those of you who want to do a simple check to see if your Umbreon is authentic or a bootleg. It can be really hard to tell the difference, but here are a few tips so that you dont get ripped off.

The bootleg that I bought is one of the most common bootlegs. It is sold all over Ebay, at most anime conventions, and recently has even popped up on Amazon.

How to tell if you got one of these fake Umbreons:

The easiest way to tell at a glance is probably Umbreon’s fur. The authentic Takara Tomy Umbreon as well as most Takara tomy plush toys have somewhat rough fur. Its not the minky type fabric that the Pokemon Center Umbreon has. Notice in the picture that the real Umbreon has a more black or dark colored course type fabric while the bootleg Umbreon has a lighter dark gray, minky type fabric. But this ONLY applies to the Takara Tomy version. The Japanese Pokemon Center Umbreon plush toy (standing version) has the minky fabric. The minky fabric version was only made in the standing pose and has the Pokemon Center tags on it. So, if you have an Umbreon with minky fabric in a sitting pose with a Takara Tomy tag, you got a bootleg.










The next way to tell is the size. Although this can be rather difficult if you do not have an authentic one to compare it to. All plushies, even identical ones can vary in size slightly, but in general the authentic Takara Tomy Umbreon stands about 8.5″ (22cm) tall from the bottom to the tips of its ears. It also seems to stand up more straight that the fake one. Whereas the bootleg plushie tends to fall backwards with its front paws off the ground and measures about 8″ or 20cm if you can get it to sit flat or about 7.5″ (15.5cm) if its in the falling backwards position.








Another way to tell is the eyes. Both the authentic Takara Tomy Umbreon and the Pokemon Center Umbreon both have similar eyes. They are an orangish-red color. NOT dark red. The bootleg version has dark red eyes and often times the stitching is not very good. In addition, the bootleg version Umbreon’s eyes seem to be indented more than the authentic version.








The lower corner of the eye is sewn in a way that the eyes seem to be pushed in or indented. It almost looks like a dimple. The authentic version eyes are pretty flat against the face. Also, the black part of the eye on the authentic version is rounded at the top and fits the curvature of the eye. On the fake version, the top of the black part of the eye goes straight across and does not seem to fit the way the eye curves and looks strange.

Basically what I think this bootlegger did was use the same fabric that was used in the Pokemon Center version of Umbreon and try to copy the Takara Tomy sitting version. So this bootleg is kind of a mix of the two different Umbreons.

Notice when you put the Pokemon Center standing version next to the bootleg sitting version, they have the exact same minky fabric, although Takara Tomy never has a minky fabric. Its always a more course type fabric.

Well, I hope this helped those of you that want to find out if you bought an authentic plush. The same bootlegger has made all the Eeveelutions, so the same rules on how to tell apply to Eevee, Espeon, Flareon, Jolteon, Leafeon, Glaceon and Vaporeon as well. Luckily I didnt buy any of those, so I dont have one to show you a comparison, but you should be able to tell.

You can also check out our Youtube video to see the difference between the authentic and bootleg Umbreon plushies.

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