Just kidding– there is no bootleg toy of the week award here on Toy Wizards.
Yeah, that will definitely be a thing now.
A Facebook ad selling a very bootleg product on an obvious Chinese knock off site Wheelin’ and Dealin’ (linked for reference, not encouraging you to buy) came to my attention today while scrolling my way through memes. The product in question? An iPhone case designed to look like a bootleg Game Boy with an LCD screen that goes over your phone screen and plays an assortment of pre-loaded pirated games.
While this sucker isn’t brand new (I see reviews for it and posts dating back to the holiday season 2018, but this is the first time it’s showed up in my feed), it really trips me out that in this day and age, bootleg products selling stolen games is still a thing. And look– I’m not trying to be some sanctimonious Mary Sue. I downloaded hella ROMS back in the early 2000s. But there are two things to keep in mind with that. One, back then there was no such thing as a virtual console, licensed plug and play, or digital download. For all intents and purposes, those games, for a brief moment, might as well have been public domain.
But now, you can procure licensed copies of games very easily, on the cheap and…I don’t know…support the company and artists who made them?
Novel concept, I know.
Plus, come on– you don’t want to buy from weird sites like this. That’s really the important part; don’t give them your credit card number.
Let’s talk a little bit about the product at hand. It doesn’t have a name, and it has an MSRP of $24.99. You can choose the size based on your iPhone model. It seemingly has a small OG iPod sized screen that slips over your phone screen, because it seems to have preloaded games inside of the case. I’m sorry, I really don’t mean to speak in confused vagueries, but this is the reality that’s presented in front of us with this.
I have to know what ‘Macross‘ means.
Uh oh. I’m in trouble.
Snap out of it! Don’t give in!
I think often, the success of bootleg items like these depend on the population of casual fans who don’t understand how business and copyright work. I think they often don’t realize that Mario and Donkey Kong, Nintendo characters, don’t necessarily belong on the same gaming console as Pac Man and Galaga, Namco properties. I truly believe that people who buy bootleg systems and unlicensed plug and plays don’t mean to do anything wrong. One time in 2011, something weird happened at my old apartment complex where my neighbor and I had to call the police and make a report. When the cop came inside my apartment and saw all my collectibles and toys, he started bragging about all the Sega and Nintendo games he’d downloaded on his Android phone for free.
A police officer was bragging about stealing games to a civilian.
He just didn’t know! And really– maybe if a million people didn’t brag about downloading Game of Thrones via Torrent, HBO could afford to make more than eight seasons and the last season wouldn’t be cut off short.
Just a thought.
For example, when I bought my FC Twin back in 2007, I didn’t do it to snub Nintendo. I did it because I had a stack of NES game carts and no way to freakin’ play them. But when I stuffed my cart in there and the sound that game out of it sounded like butt, I realized that maybe something was a little wrong here.
Your experience may vary.
Worst case scenario here is that you pay for your Chinese item and it never comes. How many of us have had that experience at least once from something we bought off eBay or a no-name site like this? I have, not going to lie!
So do yourself a favor; take articles like these as a ‘Huh, that exists’ piece and continue to live your best and happiest live. We at Toy Wizards aren’t your keeper. We don’t tell you what to do. Ultimately, no one is going to stop you if you see this gaming product and it looks like the most amazing thing to you. But if that’s the case…
Let me know how that Macross game is, okay?