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Bootleg Figures

First off, let me try to avoid any potential confusion or deluge of mail to my mailbox: I do NOT....I repeat...I do *NOT* have any of these figures for sale. These items are part of my personal collection. I got these from a very helpful fellow from California. Apparently he got them from a Chinese gift shop.

To be absolutely clear, these are NOT officially licensed products and are NOT made by Toy Biz.

On to the review.

Let me first say that I was (am) skeptical of all so-called bootleg figures. I think its always a good thing to be a little skeptical, but as can be seen on many of the Star Wars web pages, these bootleg type figures certainly do exist. For example, I saw some eponymously titled "Action Figures" at a drug store the other day that were old He-man figures with the heads swapped around (like a He-man body with a lion figure head).

I ordered these figures because I am an X-men completist and have been working on these web page related to the X-men action figures. I figured that bootleg figures could make an interesting addition to this page.

When I got the figures, I was astonished. Yes, they are definitely bootleg figures, but they are not simply cheap imitations using new molds (a la the numerous Power Rangers knock-offs). No, these figures definitely use the original figures as molds in some way (although I am wholly ignorant of the technical details). The significant difference here is that the bootleg figures are six inches tall (instead of the original five inches tall).

The similarity is uncanny (pun intended).

Some general comments:

First, the cards. The cardbacks are cheap cardboard. There is no manufacturer's name on the card at all (as would be expected if one wanted to evade any criminal action). There is nothing on the back of the card at all. The front of the card vaguely mimics the original orange cards of the X-figures (before resorting to the generic cards of today). The cards are thinner and taller than the original cards. The logo says "X-TEAM" in the silver block letters with blue borders, slanting up to the right (just like the traditional X-Men logo). The card also says: "Super Heroes", "Poseable Action Figure" and "Moveable Joints." There is a warning sticker for choking hazard (the word "small" is misspelled on all cards as "samll.").

The figures themselves are versions of the following original X-Men figures: Cyclops I (X-Factor Uniform with white stripes), Iceman Ia (clear plastic), Storm II (silver repaint) and Wolverine III (no mask X-uniform). Click the pictures below for more information and a larger picture of each figure.

To sum up, these are incredible fakes. They are NOT the original figures simply repackaged by some other company. These are newly molded figures that use the original figures as the guide for their molds (though I am ignorant of how this process might have occurred).

These figures are certainly not for the casual collector. In addition, they will probably have no future value to anyone but people like me who are nuts for the entire line. I can't see that they would have much scalping value now either. But they are extremely interesting pieces to those of us who have followed this line from its inception.

If anyone knows of other bootleg figures in this series or other series of bootleg X-men figures, please e-mail me ([email protected]).

Back to the X-Men Index

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