Welcome back to the crazy world of bootlegs. I’m no stranger to the stuff myself. I’ve covered it previously in an article strictly aimed at counterfeit Nintendo games. It was a while ago, but it’s just as funny and strange today as it was back in February. Now instead of doing a follow up to that list on more games, and believe me there is many more, I went in another direction: toys. I thought I was surprised with copycat games, but my goodness. There were so many knock off toys to choose from that it was hard to narrow things down. In the end I think I settled on thirty great gems.
For me the reason why I like writing and researching about this kind of stuff, as cliché and basic as this may sound, is that I find it interesting. Who is making all of these things? They may look janky, but some of these things take time and research. To spoil a few upcoming entries, I have consoles in here. Instead of copying PlayStation, or Nintendo, why not make a legit console? The simple answer is that hundreds of thousands of dollars throw at these projects pale in comparison to the real big wigs’ hundreds of millions. I guess in that sense it’s cheaper this way. Here’s another fun fact. For years proper consoles were banned in the East for various reasons I don’t have enough time to get into now. Essentially bootlegs are all some had to play. Okay, enough history. Let’s get to the laughs already
30 Can’t Pass: The PolyStation
“It’s just not a game anymore!” Wouldn’t that catchphrase on the box imply it has nothing to do with video games? For that matter it looks like the controllers are wireless and yet the console has ports for controllers that aren’t USB ready. What’s up with that? Also why does it have two names? Is it the Poly Machine, or the PolyStation? Other than the weird writing it doesn’t look half bad for a PS1 knock off. It’s just very obvious.
29 Can Pass: The Crossover Avengers
From far away this looks pretty legit. Even at a distance you can tell it’s cheap, thin plastic, but even so it looks like a decent Infinity Gauntlet for a child. It probably still is, but look at the cast above. Notice anything suspicious? What are Batman, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, and Superman doing with the Avengers? Is this a spoiler for the second part of Infinity War? Toys spoil movie plots all the time. While that probably isn’t the case, a guy can dream.
28 Can’t Pass: Big Fella
God I absolutely love this name. Can we just take a moment to appreciate the true art of this piece of plastic garbage? Calling Godzilla, Big Fella, is like something an old person would yell. “Hang on a minute Big Fella, you squashed my car!”
Oh, no, they say he’s got to go.
Then he, or she would rattle on about insurance information. Couldn’t they at least color it purple, or something less obvious to make it stand out less?
27 Can Pass: Dragon Balll Cool Legend
Okay so while “Cool Legend” isn’t the name of a spinoff Dragon Ball movie, or show, the character looks legit. No it’s not supposed to be Vegeta, at least, I don’t think so. It looks like the alternate version of him from the Dragon Ball Super arc wherein he and Goku face off against other dimensional characters in a tournament. The one thing that really gives it away, and is hard to see, is the extra “l” in Ball. You almost got me pirates!
26 Can’t Pass: New Style Ninja Tortoise
While you could say the name is a giveaway, don’t be so hasty. After all this series is known by other names outside of the West. For example, in Europe the series was known as Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles. That’s not a joke. I guess they don’t like the idea of ninjas in Europe? While that’s funny, this example is actually a rip-off. What does that “S” on Michelangelo’s belt stand for? Suck? That has to be it. What a bunch of lousy copycat tortoises.
25 Can Pass: The PlayStation Switch
This is another example of a typing issue that is clear as day once you see it, but it takes awhile. Everything about the artwork and the HORI brand is legit. The thing to look out for is on the bottom. “For PlayStation switch.”
Where are the Nintendo 4 protective screens?
Oh if only there was such a thing. Rumors have been flying around about a possible digital only handheld PS4. If that’s the case I’ll be there on day one. Then I can import this safety glass.
24 Can’t Pass: Regular Raccoon
This is the best bootleg troll of all time. First of all the title “Revengers: Endless Tussle” could be a combination of the Ravagers who were introduced in the second volume of Guardians of the Galaxy and of course Avengers: Infinity War. The best part is the toy: regular raccoon. Who could forget the daring exploits of such a courageous character? So many lols, so little time. That said, as a raccoon lover, I want this. No, I need this!
23 Can Pass: Mobile Suit Gudam
Okay so maybe the color scheme could give this Gundam knock off away, but pink isn’t that outlandish in this universe. There are so many anime series, games, and comics. One could figure this mech is from a series they have never witnessed before. There’s too much! What will give it away is the name. It’s not Gundam. The box says “Gudam.” That was another close call for my wallet. Darn those tricky Zeon scum. They’re always trying to scam me.
22 Can’t Pass: The Ring Of The Sorcery
If you somehow looked at this box from afar, saw the castle and red logo to the left, you’d probably think this is a real LEGO play set. Once you actually grab it there’s no denying it isn’t though.
The hobbits are going to Dragnesi!
The LEGO name has been replaced with Asian characters and the title “The Ring of the Sorcery” is even more obvious. That said everything else about the kit seems legit. They probably just made new boxes.
21 Can Pass: Dragon Block Z
I had to do a lot of research to make sure this was a counterfeit toy, because nothing about the box screams piracy. There are legit LEGO copycats you can buy in stores easily so I just figured Block World was a company I just never heard of. I guess when you think about it though, as a Western cbox, it’s weird Goku is referred to as his Japanese name. That and he never uses his Power Pole after he grows up.
20 Can’t Pass: Splat Tim, He Does It
If this was a legitimate game I would explode. It’d easily make the top ten box art fiascos of all time. First of all “Splat Tim”, who I assume is on the cover, is stretched poorly. So that’s just a bad photo job. What I love most about this Splatoon rip-off are the two quotes on each box. Toward the bottom right it reads “He does it” and "It’s him!” It’s like he’s some legendary character. I wonder if the game inside is actually just a burned copy of Splatoon.
19 Can Pass: Trains in Disguise
I haven’t followed Thomas the Tank Engine since I was a wee lad of about five. So who’s to say there isn’t a toy series wherein he and his other train buddies transform into giant robots?
Get ready for a whooping, choo, choo!
I wouldn’t believe this would air on TV, but the Transformers license gets thrown around all the time for special cross band promotional toys all the time. I wonder what kind of sounds he makes? Probably the kind that would make your ears bleed.
18 Can’t Pass: Detective Monica
There is so much to go through with this Pokémon bootleg. First of all it’s called “Pocket Monica” and as you can see in the bottom right corner, Pikachu is supposedly Monica. So that’s a whole thing. Then there’s the misspelling of “jump” in the title. Plus all of the bubble text is garbage. Just what exactly is Jump-Jump Chess supposed to be anyway? I assume it must be based on Mouse Trap, or maybe it’s a popular original pastime from wherever this comes from.
17 Can Pass: The Amazing Copyright Infringement
Like Gundam, there’s so much Spider-Man lore that it’s nearly impossible to know every version of the web crawler. While a skateboard should be a clue that this isn’t legit, it’s also not that far fetched. I mean there was a Spider-Ham. No, that wasn’t just a joke from The Simpsons Movie. It’s real! He first appeared in 1983 if you can believe that. Nothing really gives it away on here besides the cheap quality of the figures. I bet kids would buy into it anyway.
16 Can’t Pass: Spooky Chasers
These toys are an obvious knock off of The Real Ghostbusters cartoon from the 80s. Everyone on the box looks pretty close to the original art except Egon. In the show he does indeed have red-framed glasses, but they aren’t sunglasses. He looks way cooler here.
Who ya gonna call?
Anyway “Spooky Chasers” is just a weird retranslation of the concept. I have one last critique. That brown thing, is that a Goomba? Looks like Nintendo has to crack some skulls too.
15 Can Pass: Jobin vs Roker
I couldn’t exactly find the right Batman LEGO kit this is based on, but like The Lord of the Rings example, I think it’s pretty legit. Everything on the box looks unique to that LEGO style. The only real hitch is the logos on the box. I mean “Heroes Assemble” sounds like a spoof of the Marvel slogan, “Avengers Assemble!” That has to be the reference. Even though the box is obviously a decoy, I still think a lot of fans may pick this up based on the art alone, while ignoring the obvious bootleg writing.
14 Can’t Pass: Bear of Interest
This is the infamous Bear of Interest toy, or as I like to call it, Winnie the Pooh from heck. That’s what this is after all, a copycat of that honey crazed, cuddly bear. There’s nothing cuddly about this thing though what with its yellow demon eyes, robot gear sounds when it moves, and the fact that it blasts tunes from Aqua. Who remembers that band? The best/worst part about this whole thing is toward the bottom of the left side. This is a “high class weapon” so be alert!
13 Can Pass: Mega Man 8 Demake
Does a video game count as a toy? For the purposes of this post it will. I just had to sneak some more bootleg games in here, as I couldn’t get enough in from my last feature.
We must find Dr. Wawhee, M-Mega Man.
Anyway there is a legitimate demake of Rockman 8, or Mega Man 8 if you live anywhere else in the world, out there. It’s exactly what you think it is: a Game Boy Color version of the PS1 classic. If you didn’t know it wasn’t official, it’d probably fool you.
12 Can’t Pass: Bulba Fett, I choose You!
There’s always so much to unpack with these Pokémon counterfeits. First of all I love the audacity of “Poke Wars.” Secondly I always laugh when I see a good pun and the combination of Bulbasaur plus Boba Fett is beyond beautiful. Not to mention the “Bounty Hunting Ball” accessory that comes with it. I’m trying to figure out what this thing is made out of. The skin is so stretchy and yet flakey. As lame as this thing is, I want it.
11 Can Pass: Muscle Dude
Not much to say about this, as I was never a He-Man fan. It was past my time. Anyway that’s what this toy is. To me, in the wilds of retail, I would figure this was a He-Man toy from a Spanish country. It would totally fool me had I not researched it. Nothing about it is really funny either. It’s just a straight knock off and there’s nothing wholesome about that. I mean, who even cares about He-Man any more?
10 Can’t Pass: Super Martin Bros.
Who could forget the classic sounds of Nintendo’s very own musical duo, Dino and Martin? They were so popular in the 90s you couldn’t walk two steps without seeing a reference to them. Okay, my bit over.
Play me another, Dino.
Seriously though, the pirates behind this are geniuses. The names are wrong, Yoshi has creepy red eyes, and it’s a musical racing toy. While creepy I can’t help but marvel at the gal. What about this says Nintendo? Mario looks pretty good though.
9 Can Pass: Magical Evil Ranger
Like He-Man, I have no idea if this is counterfeit, or not. I know now because of research, but I stopped watching Power Rangers before High School. I don’t even remember what season that was. I think they were in space. Anyway, that doesn’t really matter. What does is that this is indeed based off of a robot from the show during the Mystic Force era wherein the Power Rangers were wizards, Harry. I can’t read the characters, but I bet it says something silly.
8 Can’t Pass: Beauty Soldier Shirley Moore
I know this is just a rip-off of Sailor Moon. Its full name is Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon so that’s where the “beauty” part comes in. As for Shirley Moore, well, I have no idea. Googling that name brings up a bunch of results, but none of them jump out as a famous reference. I guess the writing team just grabbed two random names from a hat and put them together thinking no one would notice. Well I noticed, bub!
7 Can Pass: Sonic The Hedgenog
I know what you’re thinking. Tristan, how can anyone be tricked by these poor models? Well first of all based on what I’ve seen of the series, these poorly rendered toys look legit to me. There are way too many critters in the Sonic games. The thing you should focus on more is the name.
Sonic and his long lost friends strike back.
This is Sonic the Hedgenog. Given his less than stellar review record, I would play this bootleg if it were a game. How could it be any worse than the 2006 Sonic game?
6 Can’t Pass: Politic Pat
It’s really hard to choose which Pokémon knock off is my favorite, but the idea of this series being called “Politic Pat” is too hilarious for words. Which one is Pat? Is that Ash? Is he going around and spreading the good word of democracy to these heathen monsters? That’s what I’d like to believe. I’ll write that fan fiction someday. Aside from the name everything else is right on the money if not somewhat cheap looking. Why is the Master Ball red and not purple for example?
5 Can Pass: To Funny Toy And Beyond
Funny Toy? Nah, I’m not laughing. Like the He-Man example there’s really nothing to make fun of. The Buzz Lightyear model is poorly crafted sure and the name is weird, but not enough to bust a gut. What I will say is that I love the anime Woody and Buzz. For that reason someone may think Funny Toy is perhaps the Japanese name for the film? It’s a stretch, but let’s go with it. On a side note, how cool would a Toy Story anime be?
4 Can’t Pass: Overlord Leaves His Wife
Wow, just wow with this name. Based on the pictures I think this may be a portable Game Boy and PlayStation hybrid that plays Dynasty Warriors. I think that’s what it is. I’m confused why there’s a controller though since the system has buttons.
This looks cool...NOT!
Is that for co-op, or does this predate the Nintendo Switch and you can hook this thing up to your TV? Whoever made this should go after Nintendo if that is indeed the case.
3 Can Pass: Michael Bay’s InterChangeRobots
You are correct in deducing that InterChangeRobot is not a Transformers toy. However, Convoy is indeed the name of one. It’s actually the Japanese name for Optimus Prime, which one could probably guess since his picture is to the upper right. It may not look like the right colors, but since it is the Japanese name one might think InterChangeRobot is also a Japanese name. Some collector may jump at the chance to snag this only to be disappointed later.
2 Can’t Pass: The Sonic Station
Let’s add in one more console for good measure. There’s so much writing on this thing it’s hard to decipher what it really is. Stylistically it looks similar to the PolyStation, but check out the middle of the console. Is that a cartridge sticking out of it? I imagine it has to be whatever “Sonic” game is being advertised on the box. Notice how he is almost black and Knuckles is brown. Tails looks fine though. I also like how KidzPro is in the Disney font.
1 Can Pass: The Incredible Kirk Van Houten
I know this looks incredibly fake, but hear me out. The Simpsons is no stranger to parodying popular media especially during their seasonal Treehouse of Horror episodes. Bart was Naruto once, no joke.
So knowing that it’s plausible this could be a toy from an episode wherein Milhouse’s dad turns into a Hulk-like creature and destroys Homer. Do you follow me? That said the image on the box is horrific. Luann is in love, Lisa is terrified, and Bart looks “out of it.” What a weird combo.