How to Avoid Fake Sonic Merchandise Page 37
Fakery and junk abounds when bootleggers think they can get away with knocking off Sonic the Hedgehog!
Fight back by educating yourself on what NEVER to buy with these pages of photos and tips!

Remember, you vote with your money...any buying of fake junk only supports and encourages them to make more. Wouldn't you rather have awesome official items? Wouldn't you rather enjoy cool good quality stuff you know you can depend on? If you want the real deal, bootlegs are never the way to go.
Remember what a 'bootleg' item is:
It is an unofficial or unlicensed product being sold to the fans- by NON FANS. These can be home-made or made in a factory. They are not approved by the company who holds the license and are NOT made to any standard. The quality is usually low, leading to items which may break or wear out. Fake items may also be unsafe. Remember, bootleg makers are only after your money. They don't care at all about Sonic the hedgehog and are only out for a quick buck. Don't waste your money! Buy official SEGA Sonic things only, look for copyrights, and demand the real deal.
Iron On Transfers Submission & Coloring Books: CLOSED (every single art on the internet can be one of these, know that it exists & if it's a transfer of any type it IS A FAKE. Bootleg Avoidance HUB Page
Dot Fake Tees Avoid AI Detectors Normally, Tshirts are not added to the Bootleg Avoidance pages because they are too easy to fake/literally any image can be stamped onto a shirt by a faker, so there are infinite fake tees to be made and so the page just generally warns against them.

Here comes a new scheme scam! Notice these 2 tees have a really conveniently placed dot or swirl? The left has it on the logo of Sonic Mania, while the right has it over the face of the stolen fan art

Sonic, and maintains that odd 'flame thing' that is around the dot/swirl. Why are they doing this?

Interestingly enough, it is to fool AI image detectors that Amazon is using to try and sniff out fakes. Of course, they're trained to look for corporate logos and fashion logos like "Gucci Bags" and such, so you can bet these swirly dots are all over that stuff too. That these tee-fakers believe the AI is taught on/loaded with Sonic's face images to look for is an interesting one, and they're using the dots to try and 'beat it'.
The listing text, of course, re-assures the poor sap looking to buy (this trash) that the dot/swirl is NOT on the final product...and what's great? Even if the dot IS there, the person has no recourse! Another way to scam a buyer out of money! "Well YOU bought the tee that clearly had a white whirl there, you LOVE white whirls! No returns allowed! MY listing never said anything to the contrary...." (As they edit the text on their Amazon listing and abscond with money)

There are too many products on Amazon for people to police every day, so having an AI comb over things for obvious ripoffs is a good idea. Of course, the officials vs the fakers is an ongoing battle, and this is their next step along the line.

Beras Slyp Fake Rice Package More bootleg nonsense!
In this case, it's another food company just running about rampantly stealing images to try to sell their product that has nothing to do with anything. From the ogorki pickle-creature to this rip off rice, they're not shy about copyright infringing for no good reason. The rice seems to be "Beras Slyp Super", and they steal an image of Sonic, delete the color inside his ear, and then just paste him on there with "Super Sonic" in a random font.
So, it's not like the rice is fake, or they're trying to convince you that it is something it isn't, it's just an issue with lazy goons who didn't have a mascot and jammed something famous on there in hopes of selling more of it. A wierd practice, and it probably doesn't work too well.
Bing AI Generate Image Plush Fake The fakery...of the future! Dooo!
Now here's a real...(extra?) fake thing: it's an AI generated image of a Sonic plush--so it's something that looks real, but actually doesn't exist at all. So, it's technically not a bootleg because you can't buy it and it isn't trying to fool people to steal money...unless the image is made to misrepresent some actual item (this one wasn't)

So this thing camps out on the line of "fan art or fakery" because an AI can't really be a fan of Sonic, but it can be made to try and show whatever the prompt says. Here, it's just a clever computer trick most likely generated by a real fan for fun to see what it could do. As with any tool, there's potential for mis-use by ne'erdowells but that is no surprise/you just have to know what to look out for in the rest of the listing--as you would with anything.
However, it IS interesting to see so let's look closer...

In fall 2023 when this appears, it's important to note what AI programs do & don't understand (as it changes with every iteration) The field is absolutely fascinating and just as complex as it is interesting. Microsoft Bing's AI did this. To get it to show you something like this you could say similar to "A cute classic Sonic the hedgehog plush doll on a wooden shelf in a sunny room photograph". The quoted phrase there would be called the prompt, and the output is this image based on what the program knows and understands. Now, keeping in mind it has no human understanding of things, only its own, so it does not function in a way that people's minds (currently) know--hence it will do mistakes.
The one that gets found/made fun of the most is that it has no comprehension of fingers & will put humans with any number of them. Here, it does 3 fingers which is wrong, but since "most plush doll 3 finger paw thing is hand" it does that. But then for sophistication, look at the lighting: it is perfect, it does comprehend how lighting goes in a sunny room on a simple thing.
Next look that it has the seams correct, and that they are photorealistic. The one between the brows and also on the top of the head is there on almost 100% of dolls. The ears are clearly made of 2 fabrics 'sewn' together, and it did catch that the eyes are embroidered on, as is the side-smile. The proportions are 'cutie' which was probably part of the prompt. Note that it did miss the shoe buckle. The body/arms/gloves are a little bit perfect (ex no seam on gloves, nothing 'flops' at all) but that would super easily be overlooked on a glance. It's really good.
The ability to wirte a descriptive sentence into something and have it let out a photorealistic picture of any possible or impossible thing you want to see. That's a much more powerful concept than there has been in quite a while. Where will this lead? The creativity of the world will have to keep using it to see. It is wonderful that anyone can use this to see what they want when they want to.

What else does it not understand? Words/letters/text/numbers, for some reason pictures of those things escape the comprehension of AI's at this time. That's why when asked to show them, it results in illegible dream-like smear/letters or gibberish things. Why is that dream like? Because most people don't/can't read well in dreams since the part of the brain that's sleeping is the part that works on reading! It's usually too chilled out so you're not going to read/or text doesn't appear in dreams very well. It doesn't do persistance of form very well either, especially if asked for something to move, parts will smear into others in a dream-like way as well. Things don't turn well and moving parts don't stay separated. Of course, whoever is programming these will get all of the above fixed (somehow) and that will be even more interesting. Do you think if one of these AIs comes to life one day, that it would become a Sonic fan? Hopefully so.

Fake Innovative De Art Set A mixed bag of fakery!
This bunch isn't all bootleg's a new thing going on at Amazon (and ebay) where fakers buy real items that come in 'variety pack' kits like things from Innovative Designs, then dismantle the kits and repackage them into fake bundles like this.
So, the pencil case 'team Sonic' there is likely a real item, and the stickers may be too, but the crayons are likely bogus, and you know that "Captain Rex Dinosaur" is NOT a Sonic character, and real brands NEVER MIX BRANDS in kits, so it's a dead give-away with some random guy (like spiderman or mario) is in with Sonic, as it is here. It's a classic blunder but one they love to make when being fake.

NEVER buy fake art kits! Especially with paint/markers etc. because you don't want unregulated chemicals in the house near kids. A fake tee it dumb but lead paint is actual danger: don't risk it