Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Wild West Riding Bandit - Bootleg

Continuing what seems to be "bootleg week", we bring you another fine example of how thin the genuine/bootleg barrier is turning.

 With actual SFX just like the original, even the boxes are almost the same.

 Included items. No more of that loose plastic ends and monochromatic pieces.

Like I had the chance to say before, if I can manage to find big sets with this quality, they will certainly come to your eyes for judgment.

 I´m sure some of you are thinking these guys are pushing the envelope and so am I. This is very good stuff.

 Scale shots with bootleg CM figure and Hasbro´s G.I.Joe.

 This is probably one of the best CM figures for a single shot in a Joe diorama. Very limited articulation, but a great -single- pose.

A final thought: It is true these "dark" companies producing these items are seriously threatening Chap Mei´s  business, but one thing I leave as a question. If these guys manage to produce these almost replica-like items for such a low price (this set cost $3), why is Chap Mei raising their prices? Anyone?

Status: Unavailable


  1. Ah, because bootleggers skip the tooling phase. They don't have to worry about coming up with a theme, designing it, sculpting it, making the molds, all those steps. Bootleggers just take a finished product, cast it, and reproduce - often with lower quality 'junk' plastic too. And paint that meets zero safety regulations.
    Think about it.. when a Hasbro Q & A session about, say, Star Wars asks about the possibility of a big ship, or so and so... the first thing Hasbro will look at is: Is there room in the tooling budget? As for raising the prices, there could be a number of reasons... increases oil prices, safety regulations, sales decline ( = smaller production numbers = higher cost per unit)... any of those.

  2. Astounding... I have the original horse. Aside from the crude casting seams, I can't even tell the difference from the pictures. This is probably also because Chap Mei, unfortunately, did cut a lot of corners with Wild West... less articulation, seriously less paint apps. For instance, the 'Slimy Sam' figure (bandit in blue, looks like the Lone Ranger) is a figure I suspect was originally intended to have arm and head articulation. Instead, he has zero. Even the accessories look like they're molded into his hand while this originally probably wasn't so. Also on some pictures these electronic horses have leg articulation, two points per leg. Not so in this version. A shame really, Wild West could have been much more. I prefer the Viking line.

  3. Luís "ToneGuns" Galileu TonelliMay 5, 2010 at 1:33 AM

    Looks like another cool figure to have. I wish I'd more acess to them.

  4. Well, tooling is in fact a trial/error phase with monstrous difficulties and so on and so forth. I´m fully aware of that, since we too helped develop some items for the plastic industry. But as perfectly valid your reason may be, fact is when you achieve an amount of sale numbers, your tools, designers, molds, equipment expenses and everything else is an "x" percentage to which you sum "y" profit. And even bootleggers have to expend a load of cash in molds, unless they snatch it. I´m seriously worried about European pricing, they are getting higher than G.I.Joe, for one. That´s crazy. Chap Mei blew away not only because of the vehicles and parallel universes they developed, fully usable with 3 3/4" figures, but because the prices were highly competitive. And I know they probably had to drop the profit % back then, but they could be a but more gentle nowadays.


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