If a franchise is popular enough, it is bound to have a lot of knock-off merchandise. These bootleg toys and collectibles are often mocked online for their poor quality, manufacturing faults, and unusual features.
A Reddit user in Italy shared a pair of photographs showing some rather shady Pokemon toys. While the one photo is a typical example of unlicensed merchandise, the other shows a bizarre crossover between Pokemon and The Avengers.
The strange bootleg in question includes an off-brand Ash Ketchum and four oversized Pikachu in avengers outfit. These include electric mice dressed as Captain America, Iron Man, Spider-Man, and The Hulk, but it seems unlikely that Marvel and the Pokemon Company agreed to sell this particular piece of Pokemon merchandise. Click here to view the whole Reddit thread.
These are all examples of discarded Pokemon merchandise, with more jump out as one looks at the picture. The Ash toy is on a smaller scale than the Pikachu, which makes him appear like an afterthought. He is also a very sloppy action figure, with a bad paint job and weirdly blank facial expression. The Hulk Pikachu's ears are also strangely shaped, with one commenter comparing them to tequila worms.
The packaging is equally unusual: two different Ash versions, neither of which resembles the toy, and a seemingly random Pokemon collection. The various graphics are all of a different design, including at least three different 2D art styles.
The second image, which is similar to the unlicensed Avenger crossover, appears to be a rather different Pokemon bootleg. Other oddities include a pink Psyduck, a green Mew, and a second oddly shaped Pikachu.
Granted, nitpicking the details of unlicensed toys might seem like missing the forest for the trees. However, given that Pokemon bootlegs appear to be everywhere, it is worthwhile to know what to watch out for when searching for discounted merchandise.