The Pokemon Company is notoriously protective of its IP, and it seems like the U.S. Custom and Borders Patrol just helped the franchise keep its good name with some fans. Earlier this week, the authorities released a statement about one of its hauls found the northern part the country, and it turns out the U.S. authorities took in over 80,000 counterfeit Pokemon toys. As you can imagine, The Pokemon Company is glad this horde of unlicensed toys did not make it to the U.S. market, and fans should be pleased too... and you'll understand why after you see how this toys look!
The news comes from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania where the figures were seized. Officers collected 86,400 figures total from the shipment which were sent from Hong Kong. The items came in 15 boxes with each simply labeled as plastic furnishing articles. But when the shipments were inspected, officers found tens of thousands of Pokemon toys.
According to reports, the items would be worth an estimated $603,936 USD if they were legit. But given the figures' distorted shapes and colors, it is easy to tell them apart from licensed toys. Still, there are those who would purchase them unknowingly, and therein lies the issue.
The U.S. Customs and Border Patrol seized the items for more than just their copyright infringement; Official says the figures are so small that they pose a choking hazard for kids. There was also concern over the toys' paint as counterfeit figures can be covered in toxic lead varnish, but no testing was done on these Pokemon figures.
For Pokemon fans, this seizure is a reminder that counterfeit goods are still a problem, and any collector should be wary of purchases they cannot verify themselves. These toys in question might not have sold for much if they made it through customs, but there are high-end counterfeits which can certainly ruin someone's day if they were purchased unknowingly.
Have you ever accidentally stumbled upon counterfeit toys? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics and anime!