Man Arrested For Allegedly Selling A Customised Anime Figure In Japan 

A 39-year-old man has been arrested in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan for allegedly customising and selling an unauthorised customised anime figure.

Screenshot: Sankei

According to The Sankei Shimbun and Mainichi (via ANN), the man allegedly took the head from a Love Live figure of character Nico Yazawa and put it on the body of a Darjeeling figure from Girls und Panzer Darjeeling (see photo), violating the characters’ copyrights. Why? In Japan, holders of said copyrights licence official figures and those who sell customised versions thereby violate that.

The unauthorised figure was reportedly sold at an online auction for 3,000 yen ($38) last fall and discovered during a “cyber patrol.”

Authorities recovered around 1,000 figures from the man’s house and are investigating questionable deposits totaling around $US77,000 ($107,877).

The suspect has confessed to the charges, admitting to selling the figure to help make ends meet.


    Damn, this might actually explain why hand made figures is such a huge hobby there, gotta make your own if you wanna sell em.

      I think the problem is that he was selling a figure that depicted a copyrighted character: not that he built a figure out of parts of existing figures. So starting from scratch likely wouldn't help.

        Sounds like he'd have to go a lot further in customisation to avoid infringement. A head swap seems like a pretty fair cop.

        There's fan made garage kits/resin kits being sold of copyrighted characters all the time. It's the same as the doujinshi market.

        The problem was definitely hacking apart retail products and reselling them.

    Its weirder when you think about this...

    Gundam's are copyrighted, which means if you do NOT put a Gundam together the exact way its intended out of the box... your potentially in breach of that same copyright law. Paint it the wrong colour, technically illegal!

    Gunpla could be illegal! Gunpla could go underground, blackmarket, only spoken of in the alley ways of Akihabara!

      It's probably more that he sold it, than that he built it.

      That's even weirder when you consider that Bandai actively encourages customization of gunpla, including painting different colors, kitbashing stuff together and so on. They've had three whole seasons of an anime about people literally doing this.

    Doesn't that carry the death penalty in Japan?

      No, he must commit Sepuku.... With no one standing second.

    Super Idol Nico-Ni's fans in the police don't mess around, if you mess with her merch.

    Being arrested for that is ridiculous. 3 cheers for draconian copyright laws!

    This is kinda ridiculous. Law or no law.

    Struggled to make ends meet yet had 1000's of figures and 70k in bank deposits? Sure....

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