Thousands Of Fake Pokémon Plush Toys Caught In South Korea

[GIF via YTN News]
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In South Korea, authorities have seized a massive haul of fake plush toys. Reports put the total at 530,000 phoney plushies. Think they caught them all?

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According to Yonhap News, the unofficial plushies were smuggled into South Korea between April 25 and June 2. They were then illegally circulated in arcades as crane game prizes.

[GIF via YTN News]
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Once authorities caught on that unlicensed Chinese-made plush toys of Pokémon and other characters like Totoro were circulating in South Korea, they also removed the fake ones from arcades as seen in this KBS TV broadcast.

Illustration for article titled Thousands Of Fake iPokémon/i Plush Toys Caught In South Korea

Most of them appear to be Pokémon plushies. The total stockpile is reportedly worth over six million dollars.


Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.

Originally from Texas, Ashcraft has called Osaka home since 2001. He has authored six books, including most recently, The Japanese Sake Bible.

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DISCUSSION

I’m sure they’re trying to stop fake imports, but at the ground level, I’m wondering about the rate of success.

I’m living in Korea, I love Pokemon, and I’m addicted to these claw games [and not THAT terrible at them!]

I’d estimate like 20-50% of the prizes could be fake, and there’s definitely a strong incentive for Claw-Machine owners to use fake prizes. Most Koreans aren’t as intimately familiar with Pokemon like many Americans are, as they’re mostly exposed to pokemon through the *very* few who have played the portable games, or through the extremely extensive marketing when paired with other products [For instance, see the TonyMoly and Pokemon Collaboration which is totes adorbs. http://www.allure.com/story/tonymoly-pokemon-go ].


Most locals recognize a token few pokemon, Pikachu, Bulbasaur, etc., and see the rest as simply more generic cute-looking stuffed animals to win for themselves or a girlfriend. That said, the official pokemon look so much cuter than the fakes, though the fakes are pretty solid.
[Top: A Couple Pikachus that I think are legitimate. Bottom: A fake Mega-Charizard X in front of a bunch of fake Alola-Sandshrews]

 [Apologies for shamelessly sharing my social media]