Thursday, February 20, 2014

From Gunpla to Plamo


After a recent discussion on facebook with some celebrities in the local gunpla scene, and reading a fellow blogger's post that hit home all too well it almost seemed like it was written in response to a comment I made in a facebook group  - I've come to realize that there is simply no way to justify a bootleg - just as there is no way to justify a downloaded movie or series episode, a copied .mp3, or a jailbroken phone loaded with cracked apps.



More after the jump...


Now if you have absolutely none of those things, or any copyright infringing object in your house, then you can go ahead and lecture me. You must be making quite a bit of money, inherited it, or are receiving a sizable allowance from daddy and have no poor-people problems. I'm happy for you, I really am. You can afford to buy Bandai kits and share your builds with your friends who also enjoy the same luxuries. You can all make fun of us less fortunate "gundam fans" who buy bootleg kits, and get your panties in a bunch looking at our growing collection of rip-offs as we gradually improve our building skills using kits made of shitty plastic.



I buy bootlegs out of convenience. Like many Filipinos, I struggle to make ends meet. But despite my limitations, I want what I want and no one can tell me what I'm supposed to want. I like building plastic robots. I get a kick out of taking a crappy kit and turning it into something that looks nice, at least to me. I live in the Philippines, and this is the reality we face here. Our shopping centers are plagued by knock off toys, clothes, bags and DVDs. The masses patronize them in an effort to stretch their meager salaries. I hate it, but it is what it is. Of course those in the upper class are mostly clueless of how it is we middle to lower class people live, and pass off their judgement nonchalantly. Should I take up another hobby then? like knitting? Maybe. But until I find something I enjoy as much as this, I'll keep building whatever the hell I want.

the controversial DM TG3

Funny thing is, I did end up buying a few bandai kits after I got hooked with the bootlegs. After 2 years into this hobby the money I spent on those few bandai kits still trump what I've spent on the bootlegs. That's how far apart these things are priced here. I can buy 3 or more bootleg kits for the price of 1 bandai kit.


I got this bandai FAZZ for 4k

That said, I think I'll be making a few changes around here. I just read a post from Kawaguchi himself apparently, stating his disapproval of bootleg kits, and how they should not even be called gunpla, which makes sense to me. I don't really care what they're called. They could slap "Turdbot McPenis" on the box of a kit and I'd still buy it if I liked the design and it was within my budget. So, henceforth I will no longer refer to bootleg kits as "gunpla". Instead I'll refer to them as plastic models or "plamos". Yes, plamos that highly resemble gundams but aren't.

can't wait to build this plamo!

I've been into a lot of different things in the past - tamiya car racing, miniature gaming, magic the gathering - and there have always been elitists who act all high and mighty because they had seven copies of Black Lotus and whatnot, laughing at the kids playing with proxies. Never gave a rats ass about them, never got discouraged, and I never will. I did my thing and had fun. In fact every time I felt like I was looked down upon it made me want to up my game even more. So yeah, that means I'll be taking my building a bit more seriously now - not to prove anything to anyone, but to see how much I can improve in this hobby before I move on to the next. I don't mind being noticed myself, but anyone with the audacity to think they have worshipers must be experiencing some sort of god complex.

Lastly, if you're going to judge the guys who buy knock offs, make sure you don't have anything copied in a similar fashion, so you don't end up looking like a hypocrite. I sold a bandai kit once to a guy who kept asking if it was authentic because he hated bootlegs. I couldn't help but notice the strange looking crocodile that was peeling off of his polo shirt.

Until the next WIP, keep building gunp...I mean, plamo! Cheers!

26 comments:

  1. Turbot McPenis. Amp. hahaha
    +99999 for you sir.

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  2. isn't buying one bandai gunpla every 3-4 months more of being on a budget instead of buying BLs every month and claim you are struggling to make ends meet? its all about priorities..

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    1. I would if I could, but I can't afford even that..I actually get to buy about one BL every 3-4 months.

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  4. Good Job! heads up for this! Cheers!

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  5. Well said brother.. Well said..

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  6. Then plamo it is! I'll call you guys my pla-mates! Lol. Was reading and commenting on the other blog where the blogger suggested knitting or cross stitching if you cant afford the real deal. Pfft.

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  7. <--- Laughing at you when you're playing MTG using proxies, still laughing at you now.

    P.S. Cant wait to see your masterpiece out of shitty plastic. ;)

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    1. Give Bootleggers budget to buy to originals. "luho na lang yan" pssshh! if they want bootleg let them. Will you die if they buy those things don't judge them. e dun nga sila masaya... plus plastic is plastic.. "A true artist can make creation no matter the medium is"

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    2. exactly my sentiments. "A true artist can make a wonderful piece of art no matter what the medum is".

      The world already ahs an abundance of elitist assholes. Let's not add to it

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  8. @anon well not everyone can turn shitty plastic into a masterpiece, can they? That's saying something considering a BL kit just won a contest from the OP's most recent post.

    @topic I'm fine with bootlegs but I don't think they should be patronized more than the original ones. That said, I'm glad they're around so that more people can enjoy the hobby in general and not be restricted with a specific brand or price margin.

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  9. The material bootlegs have are both a challenge and pain to work on.
    It's like power leveling I tell you. I use bootlegs for practice, relentlessly trimming away to improve my skills or test out a concept so that I will make less to no mistakes when working on original kits. It works.

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    1. exactly! power leveling...best analogy ever. I've got a Bandai MG FAZZ about 5% snapped and i'm not touching it again until I've mastered scribing and masking.

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    2. Hindi sila ng tatapon ng pera. They do it for fun. hindi naman contest to ng original vs BL. so dont judge the BLeggers. They dont judge you. Respect naman po others please. hindi po kayo ng bibigay ng budget sa kanila. magalet ka if pera mu ginagasta nila

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  10. and BL's are probably the best thing you can get if you just want a particular shape/piece/part. I like to kitbash. haha. More power to you, sir

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  11. If you buy from the malls, you're setting yourself up for pain.

    Malls charge a LOT for the kits. The 1/144 HGCE Strike Rouge retails at PHP 1,400 (or thereabouts) at the malls. I got my original 1/144 HGCE Strike Rouge for PHP 630 from a hobby shop at Greenhills.

    Knowing where to buy makes a difference. Being ignorant of this isn't an excuse to buy bootlegs.

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    1. Thanks for the input. Actually I do know where to get Bandai kits for much cheaper than they retail at the malls. I just find master grades easier to mod and paint, and I like the size. Plus a bootleg MG costs about as much as a Bandai HG from Greenhills or an online seller. That said, I wouldn't mind switching to Bandai HG once I've improved my painting skills. Definitely looking into that in the future :)

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    2. I don't think you do, saying MG FAZZ is 4k is exaggerated. Bandai kits can be bought from good shops in the Philippines for their yen price, if you are buying them with membership from specific shops it will be less 10% and another 10% for pre ordering them. BL kit prices are half the prices of kits sold in Greenhills for HG and 1/3 or 1/4 for MG. Its just plain piracy, if you can live with supporting piracy its fine. Its a matter of preference, while its definitely wrong, there's nothing that can be done to it unless Bandai finds a way to end BL production.

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  12. My first 5 MGs where bandai. But on bootlegs is where i discoverd my design, patience, and crafting skills. Because we filipinos are talented on every art. We can make it fit onto that f***ing hole if we wanted it to fit.

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  13. If you are buying bootlegs because it is cheaper, that should be the only reason period..don't justify your actions by saying "oh I's struggling to make ends meet" and all that stupid thing that you said..If you are struggling to make ends meet as you claim, then you shouldn't be buying kits of any kind weather it's originals or knock off...stop with your other stupid reasons.

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    1. Your use of the word "stupid" in a grammatical disaster of a paragraph is quite amusing, and I'd gladly obey your command to stop with my other "stupid" reasons as soon as you start paying for my living expenses.

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    2. And why should we pay for your living expenses? It's not that we asked you to be a fan or something. Go ahead and save, and stop crying like a little baby.

      Waaahh! Waaahh! I don't have any money! I'll buy a BOOTLEG! Don't JUDGE ME!!!

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    3. I'm not even sure if you're the same guy that started this discussion as you posted anonymously, but if you are, it appears the message of this blog post cleared the top of your head by a couple hundred meters - but thank you for stopping by and attempting to read a year-old post, I hope it did not induce an aneurysm.

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  14. Well, one thing's for sure. I think part of the reason Bandai created the RG (Real Grade) line is to throw a gauntlet to these bootleggers. Perfect Grade detail in a HG scale. I have just finished a Real Grade 00 Raiser and the tiny parts and how they all fit together perfectly is mind-boggling! I don't think even DM has the technology to do this, as I have never seen a bootlegged RG before. Maybe in 7-10 years, hehe.

    Just my opinion here, but considering that many bootleg collectors buy MG or PG size plamo, they sure have a lot of space storing them (i.e. , big houses?). Kinda hypocritical to say that people buy bootlegs because of budget but have lots of living space. I have only built HG scale (and one RG) in my 20 years of Gunpla building since I only have less than 1 square meter of storage space...

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    1. Hypocritical..not really. There are a lot of variables to consider besides storage space. Your're assuming the majority of people who buy bootlegs actually OWN their homes. I'm inclined to think a lot are still living with their parents, which is not uncommon here in the Philippines even for guys aged 20-30. There's also the rate at which we buy bootlegs. As a member of several bootleg-buying groups I get to see a lot of people sharing their hauls and I noticed that on average, members buy 1 MG per month. You see the bootleg "boom" isn't actually the same old collectors buying more kits because there's a cheaper alternative - it's actually a growth in new collectors joining the hobby because the bootleg prices are more accessible. Imagine 10000 guys who always wanted to collect master grades, but 2-3k php per kit is just too much for them. Along comes bootlegs going for 700php a pop, and suddenly they can afford 1 MG/month.

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