Search This Blog

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Play Arts Kai Bootlegs : Guide to Serial Numbers

Remember when the absence of serial numbers at the bottom of the box is a clear indication of a bootleg/knock-off/overrun figure for Play Arts Kai? Well, I DO, after all, i first brought it up here when i was an unfortunate victim of a local bootlegger HERE and also during another unfortunate close brush with the infamous "Zombie Snake" HERE. After those incidents i dedicated a portion of my time to guarding fellow collectors from bootlegs, establishing a database of tell-tale signs with the help of my PAK comrades. I got a happy ending though somehow since i was refunded by those 2 sellers and the vigilance never stopped from that point onwards...
AUTHENTIC SOLID SNAKE - Similar to Cyborg Ninja, Fakes either don't have those serials or they are a lot bigger.

Battle Dress Snake from Peacewalker. Fakes don't have those serials.
We are aware that for quite some time the bootleggers have upped their game; they now do their own engravings on their cheap bootleg boxes to dupe buyers relying on the serials to check figure authenticity. However, with a sharp eye and thorough familiarization with how the serials should look like you can avoid being a victim. With the help of a good friend, Uzi Enriquez and additional help from Mik Gawaran and Jerome Lim - my comrades from Play Arts Kai Philippines Trading Group - i came up with a guide on the serials of the more popular PAK lines and figures. We'll include samples of the fake serials also for reference, please feel free to refer to the list anytime. P.S. The Final Fantasy 13 figures are exempted from serials since their serials are located inside the box and it's printed in blue/black ink.

FAKE RESIDENT EVIL 6 - notice how the serials look like they've been manually etched on the box, the font used is bigger as well. Photo from Mik Gawaran.
COMPARISON SHOT OF DMC3 PAKs: Authentic on the LEFT - deeper and smaller font and FAKE on the RIGHT - larger and shallower fonts.
Here's another look on the DMC3 PAKs from Jerome Lim. AUTHENTIC on TOP, FAKE on the BOTTOM
COMPARISON SHOT OF PAK LARA CROFT BOXES. Lighting edited to make the serials more prominent. Authentic on TOP - notice the deep engraving. FAKE BELOW - large, shallow font.
The following pictures are from AUTHENTIC Play Arts Kai figures courtesy of Uzi Enriquez. We stuck with lines sine individual shots of each boxes would be too tedious. More or less all the serials before Metal Gear Rising look like these.

Assassin's Creed 2




The older Play Arts Kai lines employ the Serials you just saw above which are very easy to fake especially if you are not that familliar with how they should look. As for the NEW SERIALS below (currently used by Metal Gear Solid, Metal Gear Rising, DC Universe, HALO 4, etc.)...


They are a lot more difficult to fake so what do the bootleggers do? They sell the figures LOOSE and attempt to cover the lack of boxes with ridiculous stories about termites eating them and all that shitty stuff. So if a new, just released or yet to be released figure is being sold loose be wary of it since SQEX never sell loose figures not even exclusives. Rules of other toylines like Marvel and DC doesn't always apply to Play Arts Kai.

In closing let me remind you to always be careful before buying and don't hesitate to ask around if you have doubts on the figure you are about to purchase. Share what you learn also to other collectors especially newbies so that those bootleggers will have less and less customers or targets.







21 comments:

  1. its a bit hard to spot, since the BL are not always consistent. but its good na may guidelines for my future purchases

    cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  2. It is a good guideline when I do my purchases after my friend told me to look up on this site.

    It makes me think twice before I even get anything that comes with a cheap price.

    Cheers mate. Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  3. Nice guide !

    Today I receive my two Street Fighter PAK (Ken and Sakura), and the two serials are DGTC1308, and I note that the "T" letter in the serial of the two boxes are in a position a little more down than the anothers letters and numbers.
    Anyone more noted this in his figures ?
    I think that my figures is originals, because I buy from a traditional action figure importer here from Brazil, but who nows ...rsrs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's great buddy, if ever you need my help to check them out you can contact me here then i'll provide you with an email where you can send the pics. But then it sounds that the figs are ok.

      Delete
  4. Hi could you please take a look at this MGS figure for me. It has everything you described and seems right but I would prefer for it to be seen by a professional before I purchase it. You would definitely be doing myself a tremendous favor.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/321304825424?_trksid=p2055120.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

    Thank you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Manuel,
      If that is the actual item, based on the signs on the box, it's a legit Solid Snake.

      Delete
  5. I think we should tell them to give more authentic sign on the box or in the box like certificate or hologram maybe not just a serial number.. especially that kind of serial numbers are easy to fake..

    ReplyDelete
  6. Is It possible that two different PAK sagas have the same serial?
    I noticed that Snake Battle Dressed Kazuhira and Miller have this code DGCT1107.
    Also another of these photos that is not Metal Gear Solid has DGCT1107.
    Can I understand the code then if Miller is correct?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Is It possible that two different PAK sagas have the same serial?
    I noticed that Snake Battle Dressed Kazuhira and Miller have this code DGCT1107.
    Also another of these photos that is not Metal Gear Solid has DGCT1107.
    Can I understand the code then if Miller is correct?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi everyone! As an Alien enthusiast i stumbled upon the terrific Play Arts Kai "Aliens Colonial Marines Spitter" figure and decided to buy it right away from an HK ebay store...:/ Not being a collector i just found out, that there is a bootleg market for PAK products you have to worry about. As I did not find anything online, i am very interested, if anyone knows about confirmed bootlegs from the "Alien Colonial Marines, Lurker and Spitter" releases? Thanks in advance.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi ! I just received a Meryl PAK and I'm not sure if it is a bootleg or not. I bought it on ebay from a US comic shop (their price sticker still on the box), so I was not mistrustful...anyway the serial number is DGTC1209 and even if the size of the letters looks good, it is not engraved as deep as my legit PAK figs. Another thing is that the anniversary sticker is glossy instead of being matted. Is there any chance I can send you pictures so you can check it and help confirm if it is a bootleg or not ? Thanks a lot for your help...

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi ! I just received a Meryl PAK and I'm not sure if it is a bootleg or not. I bought it on ebay from a US comic shop (their price sticker still on the box), so I was not mistrustful...anyway the serial number is DGTC1209 and even if the size of the letters looks good, it is not engraved as deep as my legit PAK figs. Another thing is that the anniversary sticker is glossy instead of being matted. Is there any chance I can send you pictures so you can check it and help confirm if it is a bootleg or not ? Thanks a lot for your help...

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi ! I just received a Meryl PAK and I'm not sure if it is a bootleg or not. I bought it on ebay from a US comic shop (their price sticker still on the box) so I was not mistrustful, but there are disturbing things : the serial number is DGTC1209 and even if the letter size looks good, it is not engraved as deep as my other legit PAK figs. Plus, the anniversary sticker is glossy...Is there any chance I can send you pictures so you can check it and help me confirm it is a bootleg or not ? Thanks a lot for your help...Kaou

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Feel free to join us here https://facebook.com/groups/PAKCOLLECTORS

      Delete
    2. Hey, thank you very much for this guidance! One question, do you know which serial number does the MGS Quiet figure have? Thank you!

      Delete
  12. I am not sure but you need the check how the serials look not exactly what the digits are

    ReplyDelete
  13. I am not sure but you need the check how the serials look not exactly what the digits are

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hey, I have a question regarding the authenticity of two figures I bought. I picked them up at a used book/game/music store and they were 30 and 50 dollars each. I bought the Spider-Man figure for 30 and the Sneaking Suit Venom Snake figure for 50. Could I email you some pictures of the figures and their boxes to help me verify whether or not they're authentic? It's too late for a refund now, but I just gotta know. If they're not, oh well, they'll still look nice decorating my room.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I receive my PAK figure yesterday and the serial number is SZBJ201505. It is the Batman Arkham Knight Limited Color Version. I wanted to make sure if I really bought an authentic one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Please join us here and share the pic so we can discuss. Https://facebook.com/groups/PAKCollectors

      Delete
    2. Please join us here and share the pic so we can discuss. Https://facebook.com/groups/PAKCollectors

      Delete