Butler vs Butler: Sebastian Michaelis Comparison

        Yes, dammit, I bought a bootleg Sebastian.  And then a real one.  Look, my logic matters not--it's the fact that I'm finally going to photograph them side by side to give everyone a good resource to be able to tell real from fake that matters, okay?  Let's get this show on the road.

        While I will continue to mark them as such, the bootleg Sebastian is always on the left side, and the real figure always on the right.  Even right here you can see the extreme difference between the two on the face, hair, vest and buttons alone--but it's a lot harder to tell over the internet or while they're in boxes.  I hope this helps.  Any reputable seller will take as many pictures as it takes to assure you they don't have a fake.

        Argh, lighting, my enemy.  I'd like to note here that the bootleg actually appears a little bit taller--it's just the tilt of my camera giving Sebastian the height advantage.  ...Or perhaps a demon did it.

        I do indeed have the only camera in the world that blurs while on a tripod.  Ah well, it's enough.  You can already see that the bootleg has that "famous bootleg sheen", a shiny-ness that's just not quite right.  The real Sebastian's hair and shoes are shiny, yes, but they are clearly meant to be that way--and the feel of the plastic is very different.

        Again, the bootleg kind of screams out with that bad-quality plastic sheen.  I'm also noticing all of the little similarities and differences in the molds with this picture.  The ankle folds in the pants are the same, but at the knee they differ.  It's just interesting, that's all.  The hair is very clearly different as well.

        Now you can really notice the differences in the poses and vests.  The paint job on the real Sebastian is obviously a lot more smooth, his shoes and hair are glossy, and he looks all sexy and mysterious (and about to choke a bitch).  The bootleg... looks distracted.  And like he's about to fall over from too much hip thrust.

        The color and writing on the underside of the figure bases are a huge tell as to whether it's real or fake--and you can see this through the package.  In the real thing, the whole background is red because the underside of the base is red.  On a bootleg, it's a background of red interrupted by a black base.

        Totally classic for Square-Enix bootlegs: all white text.  The real thing has that splattering of slightly recessed metallic silver text.

        The color on a real box is far richer.  While the feel of the boxes are similar, a bootleg is remarkably easy to tell.  Look over on the right-hand side of the left box.  Enormous, jagged seam.

        And of course, no stickers or tape or seals at all on the bootleg.  The classic Square-Enix round seals/stickers are on the real thing.

        Yeah, this being included is kind of a tell for the real figure, too.  I just love easy instructions.
        Conclusion: side by side, the real Sebastian Michaelis is really damn obvious.  Still, I'm absolutely fascinated with the details put into a $10-$15 bootleg.  It's really incredible... but it's not Sebastian.