On my second day in Osaka, I raised the issue that there were shops in Japan that was (un)wittingly selling KOs as the real stuff.
The example I cited in my post was obviously the Headmaster heads, which were sold at prices which would make you conclude that they must be genuine. I walked to another shop and saw a Zhong Jin KO Metroplex selling for 8000yen.
On that very day I posted my blog entry, I received an email from a fellow Trans-fan.
While I don't usually publish the contents of emails that when people directly correspond with me, I think this email is very noteworthy because it does show how prevalent KOs are in Japan and the danger of a collector being unwittingly caught unaware.
This is email from a Canadian Trans-fan, thanks for sharing!
Just read about your adventure in Osaka and seeing KOs.
I used to collect TFs way back when, and got back into collecting this past summer on a trip to Japan. Ended up buying swoop at a shop in Nakano mall. Several months later I was doing research on KOs, and turns out I had purchased one!
Since i'm from Canada I had no recourse, nor could I even communicate with the shop workers when I was there. Worst of all, I had no idea that KOs were even being made until I had come across this!
So yes, it is kinda shocking but not unheard of.
Keep up the good work on the blog; it sucks trying to collect Japanese TFs when you're in North America, very difficult and only through ebay, and you know how that can go...
The most insidious kind of KOs are the Zhong Jin KOs, which to the untrained eye could very well look like the real USA boxed thing. In fact, its very difficult to tell its a Zhong Jin KO from photos, so buying on auctions could be a risk too.
High End TFs is a good resource to brush up knowledge in this department.
Like I said, knowledge is power, and caveat emptor!