Thursday, March 29, 2012

Toy Network Fakery vs. Sonic Plushes

This is one of those 'topical type' blog posts that doesn't cover the site at all, but rather an issue instead.

And this issue this time is....Toy Network
Toy Network, as you know, are the makers of some pretty terrible, mutant, stupid & off model Sonic plush dolls that have annoyed fans for quite some time. To what degree? Well...let's just say the Calendar of Crud is pretty much their fault.

The issue was brought up when a reporter, SenatorSonic, to SonicGear dug up the following:

"I browsed through at least 12 articles about the Toy Network Sonic plush toys, even on well known sites like The Sonic Stadium. And each website said the same thing: Every single Sonic plush made by Toy Network past 2005 is a bootleg. By the information I gathered, Toy Network lost the Sonic license to KellyToy due to customer complaints about the horrible nature of the dolls. Not surprising. Yet for some reason, Toy Network acted like they still had the license, and continued making the plush toys. They even had the nerve to put on "official" tags! So not only are they horrible, they're horrible FAKES!!"

However, there's another possibility...
Which is that some other company dismantled their dolls (to get the patterns) and is moonlighting AS Toy Network, even putting in counterfeit tags.
(But TN's dolls were never well respected! Why would you want to pretend you were them?
Answer: They were prolific & got fans used to shabby things...these 2 answers are what fakers love to hear)

This is also based on stuff that's already happened, that you can go & see now:
The fake plush co that uses actual -hologram- "Sonic Team" stickers on their tags to convince people they're the real deal. A hologram is expensive & difficult, so fakes would usually not dare. Fakes aren't afraid to masquerade as ANYone, and will sometimes make the tags to prove it.

Fake Fang Fiasco-
Remember this huge ripoff ring on Ebay a while back? Some bootleggers got a hold of a pattern (or 3) that resembled the Sonic the Fighters super rare Fang Knack the Weasel plush and started clearing them out for 60 bucks a piece. The REAL one goes for much more, so they were aiming to fool as well as cash in with the "oh well, its not real but........." crowd.

You could watch these fake Fangs evolve too, they got closer and closer to being on-model, and then started getting "tush tags" that were exact clones of the real one from all those years ago. So instead of pretending to be Toy Network/giving them 'the credit', they were pretending to be Sega instead.

It's also likely that it's someone else pretending to be TN because...

You can go visit TN right now on the web. If they're that shady, someone would of shut them down. No one would want to risk a business over 1 measly lost license for something. However, there's also nothing they can do about someone "Saying they are TN" and spamming out bad dolls.

However, if the answer is "It's profitable & do-able" there's likely a bootlegger out there doing it. Past evidence shows that it's worked for them with a variety of Sonic stuff, including fake companies pretending to be real it seems pretty likely. But with the buried nature of fakes, it's not too likely to ever find out really what's going on with it.

Plus, anyone can admit that the "after 2005" range ToyNetwork plushes (odder additions to the calendar & etc) really do fit the M.O. of a fake. Just really lame quality, goofy & bizarre & unfitting things that nobody in Sega would approve of. It would go a long way in explaining how all that stuff got to market anyway. It also explains how people's 2005 tags dolls are all-right-ish for the most part.

The real solution is "Just don't buy bad looking dolls EVER"
If things don't sell, no one will bother to make them, fake OR real.

Article help by SenatorSonic & Link

So what does this mean for the CofC?
It'll probably stay the way it is, because probably some are real but others are not, and no way to tell them apart. Plus, busting it up onto the bootlegs pages would be difficult. And also people seem to enjoy making fun of it, so there's that too.