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.
Pokevault.com is giving away a Shiny Mega Gengar and a normal Mega Gengar in their first every Youtube video contest. Its 100% free to enter and no purchase necessary. Anyone, regardless of age or where you live can enter. One lucky winner will win BOTH of the Gengar Plushies. The contest is simple to enter. Just email your name and the 3 Pokevault products that you like the best to Pokevault (See contest rules for details). The lucky winner will be chosen on Halloween (October 31, 2014). Dont miss out on your chance to win.
As most of you know by now, the Pokemon Centers in Japan have a new campaign that is dedicated solely to the adorable squid Pokemon, Inkay. On January, 18, 2014, the Pokemon Centers in Japan released a bunch of new merchandise solely featuring Inkay. Lets take a look at some of the items that were available.
First, a personal favorite of mine, the large lifesize Inkay plush toy. This plush toy is awesome. It measures about 15″ or 38cm tall. It has very soft fur and very nice, detailed stitching. This was probably the most popular item from this campaign. It seems almost everyone had one in their basket at the Pokemon Center.
The next item I would like to introduce is the Inkay ceramic plate. This is a set of 2 gorgeous ceramic plates. It is very similar to the Christmas plates that come out every year, but you get two plates in this set, one big and one small. The glaze on the plate shines. They are great to use, or display on your shelf. Along with the ceramic plate, there was also a ceramic cup and bowl.
There was also several keychains, charms and straps including a rubber keychain, a plush keychain where the chain can be reversed so that Inkay is upside down, and a set of two charms. One of the charms features Inkay right-side up and the other is upside-down.
For every day use, there was an iPhone 5 soft cover that can be used on either your iPhone 5 or iPhone 5s. It protects your iPhone from bumping around and getting damaged. I have one, they work great!!! There is a plush Inkay pass case which can be used when you ride the train or bus. Just put your magnetic train or bus card in the clear slot on the bak of the pass case and when you get on the train or bus, just wave Inkay over the sensor. Very cool. And of course, there is a plush coin purse for all the female Inkay fans.
For those of you who are students, you might like some of the school supplies that came out. There was a file folder to store your school papers in, a ball pen, mechanical pencil, and a spiral notebook.
For more pictures and descriptions of the Inkay Campaign items, be sure to visit Pokevault.com.
This set is absolutely fantastic, for players and collectors! All “base” sets have a reputation for being groundbreaking in the competitive scene and just sought after in general. Black and White was no exception! New “extended art” ultra rare cards were introduced and they are absolutely beautiful. Being the ultra rares in the set its only natural that they are expensive, right? Wrong! Each extended art card (Reshiram and Zekrom) also received regular foil versions in the set as well. This is great for collectors and players; it gives collectors gorgeous ultra rares while keeping the price down on these cards for players. Almost all of the foils in this set are playable; at the very least. Emboar, Zoroark, Reshiram, and Zekrom are the ones that really shine however. Emboar has the “rain dance” power but with fire energy and to any Pokémon! Zoroark can copy any attack on the defending Pokémon for a Double Colorless Energy or search out any one card for a Dark Energy. Reshiram and Zekrom both do 120 damage for just three energy or twenty damage plus ten more damage for each damage counter on Reshiram/Zekrom! The only drawbacks to their attacks are that Reshiram discards two fire energy and Zekrom does forty damage to itself. Maybe you figured it out yourself but Emboar and Reshiram go together amazingly while Zoroark can fit into any deck. Zekrom is better suited in a deck with Pachirisu from Call of Legends and Shaymin from Unleashed. Many of the other cards in this set have a lot of potential, I highly advise you to check out a list of the set!
Now what does this set have to offer collectors? Well first off, a brand new foil pattern! Instead of sparkles the foil is horizontal lines which are definitely an improvement in my opinion. Of course the Pokémon are all new so these are the first cards released of these Pokémon. Actually, that’s not entirely true! There is a secret Pikachu in this set. It is extremely rare; about one in three to four boxes! Even the “flavor text” for the card acknowledges its rarity. As previously mentioned, there are two ultra rares in this set; Reshiram and Zekrom. There is also an error card in this set and it isn’t just any card; it’s the Zekrom ultra rare. The card was printed on two different backgrounds, one black and one gray with the gray one being the error. All collectors simply have to get their hands on both versions of this card. Like sets before every card except the ultras and the secret comes in reverse foil version. Gotta catch ‘em all!
Overall, the Black and White TCG set is a great investment for anyone who likes Pokémon. Of course if you’re reading this you like Pokémon so go out and buy a few packs of this set. Some packs even come up with codes for the upcoming online Pokémon card game making the set an even better deal. Packs with codes can only be found at hobby stores however, meaning if you want the codes go out and support your local game store. That’s it for the Black and White set, peace!
Lately, I’ve been hearing people talk about the Unova starter pokémon. I’m sure most of you pokémon fans like me will probably disagree with some of the things I say about these three. For example, I think Snivy is over-designed.
Let’s start with Snivy. Like I said before, I think the way that he is designed is a little much. I mean think back to Chikorita and Bulbasaur. They were nothing but green pokémon with very little but cool details like Bulbasaur’s seed and Chikorita’s leaf. With Snivy, it’s got a leaf tail, weird yellow collar things, a yellow swirls-like detail around both eyes, etc. Don’t get mad yet though. I still agree that Snivy is cool. Especially the way he’s so calm and cool. That’s what I love about his personality. Another thing I like is how even though he’s based off of a snake, he has feet, and they made it work. It had to be hard to make a snake design and have feet, but they made it work.
Conclusion: An over-designed, but cool snake.
Number two, Tepig. Prepare to hate me when I say that Tepig is my least favorite of the three. To start, I just don’t like how he’s a pig. I’m not saying he’s ugly but, I’m just not very fond of pig-like Pokémon, like Spoink. Although, Grumpig is still on my top 20 favorite pokemon list. Another detail I don’t like is how he looks like he’s wearing a black diaper. It make’s him look wierd and like a baby. There are some cool things that I like though. His ears. I have absolutely no explanation why. They just seem cool. I also think his tail is epic. Think about it, a curly tail with a shiny red bulb at the end, epic right?! Just like Snivy, I like Tepig’s personality. He’s fun-loving, and I have also noticed how his battle animation in the games has his tail wagging sometimes. So if you like this starter, then you can hate my comment about him.
Conclusion: A cool eared, epic tailed, diaper wearing pig.
That just leaves one more, and that’s Oshawott. To be honest, I picked this little guy as my starter in Pokémon Black. Most people say that Oshawott is ugly, but I think he’s cute. Yes, I am a guy who thinks Pokémon can be cute. Sea otters are awesome so I was excited to have a Pokémon based off of one. My favorite part of all, the shell on his stomach. I think it’s called a scalchop if I remember from the anime. I think it’s cool how he can take it off and deflect attacks with it. Another thing, this dude is also partly based off a ninja somehow (mostly in his second evolution). Oshawott kind of reminds me of a snowman, but it works with how cute he is. Personality wise, he’s a confident, brave, and curios one. That’s awesome in my point of view.
Conclusion: A cute, brave, ninja sea otter.I hope you fans post comment of how you see these starters.
P.S. Oshawott has helped me beat Pokémon Black in a little less than a week!
P.S.S. I will probably do evaluations on the evolution too!