"Just as I suspected! Totally legit looking stuff! Where are the human noses? The misspellings? The choking hazards?"A Shoddy Knockoff Product is dolled up to look like a popular and/or quality product, but being dolled up is the only work that went into it. You'd be lucky if it even functioned at all. These could very well be used as a target of Convenience Store Gift Shopping, especially if they resemble a game that an ignorant relative thinks the recipient likes. The Evil Twin of the Well-Intentioned Replacement. While both tropes are about poorly made substitutes, that trope is with the genuine hope of making up for the thing being substituted. This trope is about just plain old ripping you off. Compare Bland-Name Product (to show a popular product in a show without stepping on trademarks), The Mockbuster (the equivalent with works of art or entertainment), and Unlicensed Game (an index of Shoddy Knockoff Video Games that have their own pages). Contrast Follow the Leader (there is a clear influence, but it's not trying to make you think it's the actual work it's following), Serial Numbers Filed Off (it's almost the same thing as another, but at the very least changes anything copyrighted by someone else).
— Strong Bad (complaining when a knockoff isn't shoddy enough), Homestar Runner
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Anime and Manga
- Kochikame: A chapter begins with a police officer showing his new Porsche to the main characters. They were skeptical about it costing only a million yen. It turns out be a Daihatsu with a Porsche exterior. They went to the dealer, who happens to sell faux high-value cars with economy car interiors using names such as, "Porschu", "Furrari", and "BNW".
- One episode of Sgt. Frog had Keroro hoping to get his hands on an old knock-off Gundam model kit called "Dangale". Dangale is actually based on a real-life line of Gundam knock-offs called Gangale, or Gungal. As with Dangale in the show, Gungal models are actually sought after collector's items because they're so rare.
- In one chapter of Alyosha, Alyosha seemingly wins a PS3 at a carnival game and gives it to her friend Ryunosuke. Upon closer examination, he discovers it's a "P53", a Chinese knockoff with 53 games built into the console.
- This is one of the running gags associated with both China and Hong Kong in Axis Powers Hetalia.
- In the Diamond and Pearl arc of Pokémon, Team Rocket takes advantage of the Pokétch craze by churning out counterfeit Pokétches, which turn out to have mind control properties over the town's Pokémon. Dawn gets a real Pokétch at the end of the episode.
- This wasn't even the first time they tried their hand at counterfeiting. A previous episode had them making fake gym badges out of bottle caps.
- In Full Metal Panic! Another, the Soviet Union produces a scaled-back export version of the Shadow Arm Slave, dubbed the "Monkey Model" (see Military below).
- Space Thunder Kids and its source material (some of which was also dubbed by Joseph Lai's production company, badly), rips off everything from assorted anime to TRON. Basically, Lai managed to take a bunch of knockoffs and make them even shoddier.
- Miracle Star is an infamous Chinese bootleg of The Amazing World of Gumball made to sell a brand of goat's milk (hence why the show's Watterson family equivalent is a family of goats). It goes beyond a typical mockbuster by copying not only the art style and several characters, but duplicating entire scenes with (slightly different) new characters traced over. It also has poor lip-syncing and such blatant copycat characters as a Bobert who looks more like Bender. While the original show's creator found this quite amusing, the show eventually made a rather searing parody of Miracle Star in a Gumball episode called "The Copycats".
- The Asylum, makers of Mockbusters like Transmorphers and I Am Omega. Oh, and Sharknado.
- Parodied in Coming to America, in which Mr. McDowell lives in perpetual terror of the McDonalds lawyers coming down on him for his fast-food restaurant McDowells, which aside from a few cosmetic changes is a blatant McDonalds rip-off.
- In Serendipity, the heroine and her wacky sidekick are vacationing in New York. The sidekick is thrilled to buy a "Prado" purse. The heroine is quick to remind her that at least her fake actually says "Prada" on it.
- The Godfrey Ho Ninja Movies, being edits of old, previously non-ninja films with a few scenes of what are sometimes the most ridiculous looking "ninjas" ever seen. And all to cash in on the craze for ninja movies at the time.
- In Kamikaze Girls Momoko's father used to sell "Versach" and "Univerkal Stadium" products, her daughter followed his steps to buy more lolita dresses and accessories.
- In the Kamikaze Girls novel, the protagonist's father sells knock-offs like this, and at one point she mocks him (in the narration, not to his face) for thinking that changing the brand name slightly will keep him from getting in trouble for it (which he does).
- In The Da Vinci Code, this is used to avoid blowing a cover. A rich guy pretends to be a blue collar driver, but forgets to take his Rolex off. When a cop points it out, he says it was a cheap Fauxlex piece of shit he got off the street.
- A Surfeit Of Guns, by historical whodunnit writer P.F. Chisholm, plays on the historical example of Ulfbehrt/Ulfbert (see Military, below). The King of Scotland has been scammed by a German armourer promising the best quality pistols and muskets for his army. These are sold on the basis of having been created by the best gunsmith in Germany, who has signed every weapon with his name. But the name on the guns is mis-spelt, which alerts the hero to the scam. At first inclined to let the Scots find out the hard way, the (English) Border Warden, Sir Robert Carey, is prodded into action when the defective weapons are smuggled to the English side, and start blowing up in the hands of English users...
Live Action TV
- All in the Family: In the 1973 episode "Hot Watch," Archie buys a designer Omega watch from a street salesman for $25, a great bargain for a watch that might be worth $300. Designer watch? Omega? A bargain? Nope – it's a cheap, poorly made watch that breaks within minutes, but Archie – and Mike, who is concerned that the watch might have been stolen – don't find out the truth until a jeweler points out that the watch is actually an Onega.
- In Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Detective Goren is trying (as usual) to force a confession out of a killer and needs to force him to admit that his father wanted little if anything to do with him. To do this, he exploits his fondness for finely, immaculately detailed scale model cars (for which the suspect had spent a considerable amount). The trope applies when Goren shows him the kit of a car his father did buy as a gift: a cheap dime-store model that was meant more for children and novice model-kit builders. Goren informs the suspect that the gift wasn't given out of the goodness of his father's heart, but to get him to shut up and go away.
- In the short-lived sitcom DAG, someone tried to get an Armani suit, but couldn't afford it. A friend promised him a suit just as good, but got an A!mani suit, and it was nothing like the suit he saw in the store.
- On Cheers, Norm's favorite low-price restaurant sold things which were nearly meat, like "Baff" and "Loobster."
- One episode of Harry Hill's TV Burp expands on a clip from The Apprentice in which Alan Sugar talks about his "Kelvin Kleins" by mentioning all the other hokey gear he buys (he's rich because he buys these cheap knockoffs), including Knikey trainers and Christine Deeyor perfume.
- The "Blockblister" sketch in The Amanda Show. A video store operated by Italian immigrants who sell poor quality videos being homemade spoofs of Hollywood films (Austin Powders, Wizard of Voz) with them acting in it.
Father: This movie better!Whole Family: Much better!
- In one episode of CSI: NY Stella berates a criminal selling knock-off Rolexes that had Rolex spelled with "two Ls and a Z".
- NCIS: Tony buys an iPod for $30. Kate spots that it's actually an L-pod and has nothing inside the casing.
- In an episode of Spin City, noted cheapskate Paul gives Claudia a "Rolex" as a gift:
Claudia: Honey, why is Rolex spelled with three Xs?Paul: It's the sports model.
- The SerfBoard in the The Sarah Jane Adventures story "The Man Who Never Was", a shoddy laptop computer whose maker attempted to sell it with the help of alien-slave-controlled hypnotic technology.
- "Mr. Monk Takes Manhattan": Randy Disher proudly shows off the new watch he bought from a guy who knew a guy. When Sharona dismisses it as junk, he insists that it can give him the time in multiple time zones. "It's 5:30 here, in Denver, it's 3:30, Los Angeles, 12:17; and in Paris, France... time has stopped."
- Several of Jinnai Tomonori's comedy sketches start with him buying one of these products, such as a "Santendo Desu" because the Nintendo DS was sold out at his local store, or an airplane ticket on "JOS" instead of JAL. JOS, by the way, stands for "Jiko Ooikedo Shinpaisuruna", which is Japanese for "we have lots of accidents but don't worry".
- Generally subverted in White Collar since Neal is a great forger and he goes to great lengths to make sure that his forgeries are not shoddy and can easily pass off as the real thing. In one episode he has to intentionally make a lesser quality forgery because he needs the FBI to think that the painting has always been a fake and the original was destroyed during World War 2. In another episode a gangster intends to sell knockoffs of rare high priced whiskey and Neal goes undercover as a shady brewer who uses artificial food flavoring to make cheap whiskey taste like the real thing.
- On the early Saturday Night Live sketch "Consumer Probe", Dan Aykroyd played a sleazy toy businessman named Irwin Mainway, who was shown trying to defend his company's dangerous products. One episode focused on his company's Halloween costumes, which jumped aboard the latest fads with horrendous products such as "The Invisible Pedestrian" (an all-black outfit and ski-mask. "NOT FOR BLIND KIDS"), and "Johnny Human Torch" (a bunch of oil-soaked rags stapled to a shirt and a lighter).
- In the "You Better Shop Around" episode of Married... with Children, Peg orders Al to go and buy an air conditioner to deal with a heat wave they are experiencing.
Peg: You can get one of the knock-off products, like our Fridgi-door refridgerator, R-C—Hey TV...Al: My beauti-fool wife.
- One episode of The Goldbergs has Adam take care of a Cabbage Patch Kid as part of a class assignment. Unfortunately, his mom accidentally causes it to be snatched by a dog while taking it to the park for a walk, forcing her to buy one on the black market as those dolls are so popular that they're hard to find in stores. The doll is revealed to be a hideously-faced "Lettuce Crop Child".
- In an episode of Sabrina the Teenage Witch, the eponymous protagonist tries to materialize some roller blades after her aunts won't buy her ones. When she does, they turn out to be knockoffs. She is then told that rules of magic forbid wizards and witches to use their powers to create original-branded products. This is seen later again, when she's babysitting a kid and invites her boyfriend, so she makes some snacks and soft drinks appear and her boyfriend is mistified by his "Popsi" can.
- In an episode of Yes, Dear, it's mentioned that the engagement ring Jimmy gave to Christine was a very obvious fake. For one thing, the "diamond" was full of black spots, which Jimmy claimed was because it was a rare and valuable "Leopard Diamond". This results in a Brick Joke when, in The Tag of the episode, Jimmy is watching a home shopping channel and they are actually selling a Leopard Diamond. He calls Christine into the room, but after the channel mentions the (very high) price, he quickly calls out again: "Never mind!"
- Seinfeld: In "The Chicken Roaster", Elaine buys George a (genuine) $8,000 sable hat on the company's account. After George promptly loses it, she has to quickly find a replacement to avoid getting in trouble with the company accountant, and resorts to getting one from Bob Sacamano for $50. It turns out to be made from nutria:
Elaine: That's, um, a kind of sable.Ipswich: No, it's a kind of rat.Elaine: That's a rat hat?Ipswich: And a poorly-made one, even by rat hat standards.
- On Better Call Saul, the signature con of Jimmy and his buddy Marco back in the day involved Marco pretending to be passed out drunk in an alley. When Jimmy came by with the mark, he'd convince them to steal Marco's wallet. Meanwhile, Jimmy would "discover" the nice Rolex watch Marco is wearing and take it for himself. The point is for the mark to offer up the wallet plus some of their own money in exchange for the supposedly much more valuable Rolex, which is really just a cheap knockoff.
- Dilbert mocks this with ripoff products like "Wibsters Dictionary".
- Roger in FoxTrot frequently gets nailed by this. During the digital pets craze, his daughter Paige wanted a Tamagotchi. He thought a Tamagrouchy was close enough. It wasn't.
Roger: The guy told me they were the same thing.Paige: Daddy, Tamagotchis are cute! They hatch out of eggs and sleep and play and eat and grow! This thing's just plain nasty.Roger: Paige, give it a chance! You've only had it one day!Tamagrouchy: Yeah, listen to baldy.
- One particular The Boondocks story arc involved Granddad getting Huey a "Phony Funstation" as a present. He then tries to justify it by saying it came with a free griddle.
- Done by Stern Pinball as a test run to their own Batman pinball game; two years after its release, Stern came out with a small number of "Standard Model" tables for sale exclusively through CostCo, knocking $700 off the price and stripping out several major playfield elements in the process.
- Stern did something similar with Iron Man a few months later, selling "Iron Man Classic" tables that removed several components and used a cheaper cabinet for $1,700 less than the original's price.
- Apparently Stern was pleased with the results, as in 2012 they unveiled "The Pin" line of consumer-oriented bargain tables, sharing a common cabinet and playfield design. Transformers: The Pin was released in 2012, while The Avengers: The Pin came out in 2013. Compared to the originals, "The Pin" games are limited to two players, have a lighter plastic backbox, removed the dot-matrix display, changed the playfield and rules, and omit the music and sound effects. Needless to say, many pinball players consider them Shoddy Knockoffs of the originals.
- Peter Kay makes a whole routine about growing up in a British/Irish family that had to count the pennies. A favourite stand-up sketch is called Why Do Mums Buy Crap Coke? and relates his childhood angst that when at the supermarket, his mother would always avoid brand-name Coca-Cola and even Pepsi, despite her son and daughter vocally protesting, and she would always buy own-label or inferior brands like the loathed Rola-Cola, on the grounds these were a fifth of the price and she wasn't made of money.
But they're CRAP, mum!
- In the Discworld Roleplaying Game adventure "Watch Academy VI: Hogswatchnight, the hot Hogswatch toy in Ankh-Morpork this year is a biothaumic monstrosity called a Burfy. The players are encouraged to think CMOT Dibbler is involved, when actually he's trying to make knockoff Burfies.
- Fake trading card games like Pokémon, YuGiOh, and Magic: The Gathering are entirely too common. The knockoffs often have odd errors in the info printed on them, or are missing special touches like holograms, foil, or shininess on cards that are supposed to have them.
- Rapidity knock-off Beyblades. Made by a Chinese bootleg toy manufacturer, Hongyi. The alloy used in metal parts leaks acidic fumes if heated even slightly, like being left in a car or even a sunny windowsill on a hot day. Beyond that, all parts metal or plastic are much harder and more brittle, leading to possible breakage and resulting in injury. They also seem to be the primary source of "brandless" metal face bolts and tips during the Metal Saga era, which also were sharp edged and ill-fitting, meaning they could damage legitimate parts as well.
- The bootleg market can be so strong that even legal pursuit failed to take it down; case in point is when TT Hong-Li made Gundam knockoffs. Bandai had issued a lawsuit against its parent company, but market demand is large enough to resurrect the company from the brink of death. The shoddy part comes from the fact that, while the models are 90% accurate, it has excessively bad quality control such as extremely brittle plastic and toxic dust.
- Even though they are compatible with LEGO, many kids are often disappointed to receive Mega Bloks instead of proper LEGO from a parent, relative, or friend unaware of the difference between the two and just going for the cheaper product. Unlike most examples, Mega Bloks doesn't really actively pretend to be LEGO — its branding and products are fairly well-differentiated from LEGO, it's fairly easy to tell the difference when you have one of the same sort of piece from each to observe, and it tends to produce relatively different sorts of sets with a greater emphasis on licensed cash-ins. According to the SCP Foundation, sentient self-assembling LEGO brick specimens aren't particularly pleased to see instances of Mega Bloks either...
...a small mound of Megablocks (a common copy of Lego) was placed near the community. When this happened, everything constructed of 387 stopped moving, turned slowly towards the Megablocks and [EXPUNGED].Addendum 387-6: Jesus fucking Christ. — Dr. Arch
- Or, Cock Bloc.
- Back during its run, BIONICLE tended to get hit very hard with knockoffs from all over the world; some of the most well-known discovered ones including "Invincibility Robots" and "Maskers". Interestingly, most BIONICLE knockoffs were visually near-indistinguishable from the real thing — many even used the exact same packaging and canisters, though with the BIONICLE and LEGO logos edited or removed. Amusingly, one discovered instance of a knockoff took the 2005 Rahaga sets and replaced their heads with what appeared to be Darth Vader helmets.
- In the last few decades, LEGO has become a very popular target for bootleggers. In flea markets, it's common to find entire LEGO sets duplicated brick-for-brick (with matching copied box art) with varying degrees of plastic quality, but sometimes bootleggers get more creative and put out knockoff minifigures of Marvel, DC, video game or Star Wars characters that do not have official minifigure representations. Recently, bootleggers have actually gone a step further and are producing knock-off kits based on fan creations posted online.
- Oddly enough, the August 2007 issue of Popular Science featured an article on the various shameless ripoffs from China. Main part of the article was one of the copied cars getting the attention of the actual manufacturer — and offered to fix it up to them (the copied car was extremely dangerous). It explains how some companies manage to get crap electronics out the doors, even when they're only on display (they literally have loads of engineers photograph the living shit out of electronics on display). Hell — there's even the "iClone" episode, where there was a surprisingly good touch phone (before everyone else started to Follow the Leader!)
- There are a lot of Barbie or Bratz imitations that try (and succeed) to convince older people that they are Barbies or Bratz dolls.
- Transformers knockoffs here and here.
- Twist n' Change Robots. You can find them at many toy stores and drugstores. They're actually based on old Takatoku molds, which were also the basis for Select's Convertors Defenders toy line, and some official Transformers such as Whirl and Roadbuster.
- There's even a Combining Mecha Thomas the Tank Engine knockoff. What are you, Thomas the Might Gaine?!
- Amazingly and bafflingly, there's a knockoff of this knockoff. The trains have generic smiley faces on them instead of the trademark Thomas face, but the molds are otherwise the same.
- Kmart's Just Kidz Robo Morphers toy line includes a Rodimus knockoff that becomes a Ferrari Enzo lookalike, a Movie Ratchet knockoff, and a Cybertron Evac knockoff.
- Big Lots has several, including G1 combiner bootlegs, "Robot Kings", and the "Battle Robots", one of which is an even flimsier clone of the aforementioned Rodimus Ferrari wannabe.
- Befitting the franchise's Merchandise-Driven nature, there are fans who actually collect bootlegs and knockoffs, and that's without getting into the fan-made "reproductions" of Classics and G1 toys, along with downsized Masterpiece figures.
- Some of the bootlegs are fairly impressive for bootlegging things that existed 20 years ago using modern molds. The Classics Sideswipe/Sunstreaker/Red Alert mold, for instance, is getting a lot of use producing, among other things, bootlegs of G2 Sideswipe, Japanese-exclusive Tigertrack, and Generation 2 Streetwise, whose only officially released toy was a Botcon-exclusive redeco of Universe Prowl.
- One Chinese company has managed to do something fans have dreamed off for the longest time in the most bizarre, brightly colored way.◊ These are miniature Dinobots, all clearly using tiny versions of the original alternate modes' molds, but with entirely new robot forms. They combine into... this garishly colored thing◊. No known Transformers product remotely resembling this thing exists, either; likely knockoff victims like Monstructor or the Scramble City-type Transformers simply don't match up to the details. The closest they come is apparently being a hybridized combination of Dinobot bodies and Predacon assembly patterns, which makes the combined form distantly similar to Predaking.
- Transformers X Titanic = Titanic Bot!
- A bit more of a grey area are the higher quality third party Transformers which are clearly based on Transformers characters, but are usually original molds. Many Transformers fans are fine paying high prices for them due to their quality, and also because the third party companies often produce characters who otherwise might not get toys at all. For example, until the Combiner Wars gave us reasonably priced combiners, many Transformers fans paid out the nose for combiners with names like Uranos (Superion), Calamity (Menasor) and Feral Rex (Predaking).
- And then there's Taikongzhans (a poorly transliterated version of "太空戰士", Chinese for "Space Warrior" and coincidentally the same name they gave to Final Fantasy), which are starting to show up in numbers in lesser toy stores in Asian third world countries. Whatever company they're from, they have the audacity to copy Hasbro's packaging and the toys bears enough resemblance to the real deal that the differences are unnoticable to the ignorant.
- Cracked.com published this article profiling cases of unintentionally funny knockoff toys.
- Star Wars toys are frequently knocked-off, and some have actually become more valuable then the actual toys. The vintage Turkish and Polish varieties are the most popular.
- British convenience store Poundland stocks "My Lovely Pony", "Tommy the Train", "Little Explorer" and "Spider Power" merchandise. Amusingly, another 'My Little Pony'' ripoff is available, sold as My Lovely HORSE.
- My Little Pony:
- The German toy giant Simba introduced their own My Little Pony Shoddy Knockoff Product when the real deal had fallen into unimportance due to neglect by Hasbro. They copied the G3 molds, modified the printing and named the result "My Sweet Pony". Hasbro noticed and sued, and Simba had to apply a few more changes and re-release their small toy horses (not ponies) under the "Filly" brand. Unfortunately, Filly has become so popular among little girls in Germany who have never heard of My Little Pony that the fourth MLP generation would have ended up in obscurity, weren't it for the bronies. The Filly brand is also popular among a particular group of former My Little Pony collectors due to the stylistic direction Hasbro has taken with MLP (read: the Filly ponies actually resemble ponies, which G4 My Little Pony ponies generally don't). Filly even has an Animated Adaptation called Filly Funtasia.
- As mentioned, My Little Pony breeds these like crazy. Some knockoffs have a fan-following due to how unusual they look. The Fan Nickname of one is "Princess Rinse 'N' Spit" due to her large, horse-like teeth. Another, known as Concerned Pony thanks to its facial expression, has a blog.
- There are "Super Hero/Sense of Right Alliance/Crew/League/Etc." toy lines which consist of Marvel, DC, Naruto, Shrek, and Cars characters teaming up to fight crime or something.
- This version of the Shugo Chara! Humpty Lock might seem like the authentic version at first, but then it does not talk like the characters and plays "Jingle Bells".
- Variant: Brazilian toy company Glasslite made Jaspion toys by putting his helmet on RoboCop dolls and painting the body like Jaspion's armor. Just look at both◊, and then at the toy◊ (even the distributor of the show admitted, adding that they preferred to licence it to Glasslite instead of importing the Japanese toys).
- Beyblade has a couple of prominent bootleggers, the biggest of which is Hongyi. Their fakes are sold under the name Rapidity and advertised as "compatible" with Beyblade parts. However, quality control is nonexistant, and the metal wheels are lead-based pewter. They deform and break much more quickly than the real thing, and release toxic gas if heated. The plastic parts, though, are a fair bit closer in quality to the real thing, but still fall short.
- There exists a Ouija Board knockoff called "Wee-Ji".
- There exist two blogs in the Pokémon fandom devoted to these.
- Very early Airfix figure sets dating from the 1950's are still in circulation, even though the figures are wooden, crude and blobby and the original moulds have passed through several owners and have not been improved by sixty or seventy years of continual use. They are now marketed by a firm based in Spain called Barcelona Universale Modeles and can very correctly be described as BUM models.
- A large percentage of Shovelware is made of these.
- Many unlicensed / bootleg NES games, especially by Thin Chen Enterprise (often sold under the Sachen brand name), are shoddy imitations of licensed ones, e.g. Silent Assault (Contra), Rocman X (Mega Man X), Challenge of the Dragon (Double Dragon), Jurassic Boy (Sonic the Hedgehog), Mission Cobra (Twin Cobra), Street Heroes (Street Fighter II), Q-Boy (Kirby), Raid 2020 (NARC), and Pipes (Pipe Dream). There are also several "pirate original" games based on movie franchises, such as Deathbots (Terminator), Harry's Legend (Harry Potter), and Titenic (Titanic).
- Dr. Wario (Wario's knockoff of Dr. Mario) from WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Micro Game$! is a parody of bootleg games where the main character (and possibly others) is replaced with another character from a totally unrelated and usually more popular game, with the game's title screen also edited appropriately.
- Guitar Superstar is a plug-n-play knockoff of Guitar Hero.
- Ditto for Guitar Fever.
- There are ads on this very wiki promoting an online game entitled Space Trek.
- Then there's "World of LordCraft" (from the same organization that's behind Evony), which has banner ads that urge you to "join the battlt now" (yes, spelled "battlt").
- The multicart Caltron 6-in-1, in addition to the original game Magic Carpet 1001, features knockoffs of Space Harrier(Cosmos Cop), Balloon Fight(Adam & Eve), Sokoban(Porter), Make Trax(Bookyman), and Buster Brothers(Balloon Monster).
- The POPstation (actually spelled that way) a Real Life knockoff of the Playstation Portable: acts as an extremely good example of this trope—as well as the former Trope Namer—and that's about the only good thing it does. Check out this video review. There are other products in the POPStation Watch series which are devices shaped like other consoles but have the same internals.
- Other Playstation Portable knock-offs include the GameStation, the Funstation, the PlayCentral, the RumbleStation (includes games from everybody's favorite NES producer, Color Dreams) and many oldies compilations put in a Nintendo 64 controller (Powerplayer Super Joy; they got shot down by Nintendo pretty quick). The Dingoo A330 is a notable aversion; it's nearly identical to the PSP but has far better build quality than other copycats and runs the Android platform, making it a good choice for emulation.
- Within weeks of the release of the Wii console, the Vii. Said to be made by Ken Sing Ton (Bland-Name Product knockoff of Kensington). Now we have the Vii 2. With its Porwer button and its new strangely-shaped controller, but with the same low quality games, it oughta be a blast! In a similar vein we have Tilt Games, the Zone-40/Zone-60 and the Wiii!◊
- DDR. No, not Dance Dance Revolution... just DDR. Made by "DDR Game", apparently.
- The PCP Station. A PlayStation Portable lookalike with Xbox buttons that's named after a drug. It comes with "Street Overlord" and "Super Mary". Also, "Chanticleer Hegemony".
- The Power Player Super Joy is a Famiclone shaped like an N64 controller. The second controller is a Sega Genesis controller.
- There's also a Famiclone Vii.
- Behold, Final Combat (Not to be confused with Sachen's Battle City knockoff of the same name), a Chinese knockoff of Team Fortress 2 that couldn't be more blatant if it tried. To be fair, the Striker does seem like a legitimately new class (albeit lifting Battlefield assets), but the Rocket, Firebat, Fatman, and Sniper are obvious ripoffs of TF2's Soldier, Pyro, Heavy, and... er, Sniper. Even the map most of the gameplay videos take place in is a blatant ripoff of Harvest (which is doubly insulting when you remember that Harvest was a fan-made map. Ouch.). Worse yet, closer observation will show that it's actually a ripoff of multiple games, as the other maps besides the Harvest lookalike are taken from Battlefield Heroes and parts of Counter-Strike's de_dust. Just how many stolen assets are actually in this thing?! (Answer: Enough for Valve, usually a fairly laid-back group, to start vigorously pursuing legal action.)
- In World of Tanks, there's a Chinese T-54 knockoff, labeled Type 59. It's 1 tier lower and generally worse than the original, except the armor slopes, which make it quite tough.
- Mole Kart is a Chinese ripoff of Mario Kart Wii. It's quite literally a texture hack of Mario Kart Wii being sold on the app store, complete with the exact same tracks (with minor texture edits to remove Mario references), the exact same items and likely everything else being the same as well.
- Rock Revolution, a painfully obvious rip-off of Rock Band. It ended up in discount bins in an instant. Ironically, it was published by Konami, who made the games that inspired Guitar Hero and Rock Band to begin with.
- An in-media example occurs in Fallout 3 during the Point Lookout Punga trip; along the bog trail, there are fake Bobbleheads called "Schmault-tec Bubbleheads" whose descriptions mock the player's S.P.E.C.I.A.L. abilities.
- Syrian Games don't even bother to change the names, but makes various "special editions" of the same game (often Grand Theft Auto) to entice people to buy the same game. Which is reportedly a broken mod lacking all story events and missions. The covers themselves are hilarious.
- Somewhere in China is a company making a jubeat knockoff called "Magic Box", videos of which can be found all over YouTube. By all accounts, the hardware appears to be very close to actual jubeat in both appearance and functionality, except Magic Box replaces the top marquee with a duplicate screen a la DJ Max Technika and adds some lights to the sides. The software, however, is painfully obviously inferior.
- Said knockoff also goes by the name of e-Magic and Magic Touch in some markets. Notably tho, they filled the niche in markets where Konami won't export the official Jubeat machines.
- A Pump It Up knockoff has recently been spotted going under the name King of Dancer. It is most probably also made by the same company who brought us e-Magic and Magic Box.
- After Burst is a triple knockoff; it's a low-quality puzzle-action game that very loosely rips off Air Fortress and Thexder, but there's no way the robots on the cover art◊ aren't just recolored, Super-Deformed Mobile Suits!
- Proving once again that China can make knockoffs of practically anything, there is a smartphone game called Pao Mei (Gun Girl) that basically rips off Kantai Collection.
- Kiddie rides, especially Japanese and European makes, are often shamelessly copied constantly by shoddy Chinese manufacturers. There have been records of recreations of R. G. Mitchells, Bafco and Amutec rides from the east where European rides are concerned, and recreations of rides by Hope, Sega and Banpresto where Japanese rides are concerned. And to show that they have no shame, there are records of Chinese manufacturers copying rides by other Chinese manufacturers- there exist a ripoff of a Chinese ride that is in turn a poor ripoff of R. G. Mitchell's Bertie's Fun Bug ride.
- An in-universe example occurs in the Final Fantasy series, where recurring character Gilgamesh is continually fooled by the "legendary" sword Excalipoor, which has the special property of always doing 1 damage.
- In XII, he carries swords from 7 through 12, Cloud's Buster Sword, Squall's Revolver, Zidane's left hand blade Orichalcon, Tidus' Brotherhood, Odin's Zantetsuken, and two versions of XII's strongest Great sword. Most of them though, gives away the fact that they are all instead knock offs, and novelty swords. Brotherhood has two prongs, rather than 1, is shaped differently, and is much more translucent. the Revolver Gunblade has the wrong engraving on it (that of a chocobo, rather than Griever) and no key chain. Orichalcon is shapped rather differently, and the Buster sword, aside from having 4 materia slots, rather than 2, flat out has the Kanji for "Fake" right on the blade it self!
- In XIV, he finds a Gunhalberd which looks like Bradamente, the weapon used by the Big Bad of 1.0's Legacy story line, Nael Van Darnus. It was used to launch Wave Motion Gun attacks on the party in battle. In true Gilgamesh fashion, it turns out that this weapon is rather Pradamante, which is a replica (as in, completely ordinary, and possessing no special features outside of the fact that it is a Gunhalberd). Gilgamesh is of course not pleased to discover this fact.
- An in-universe example in Warframe. The Corpus Mega Corp. manufactures inferior copies of long-lost Orokin "Prime" weaponry, such as their copy of the Braton Prime dealing almost half as much damage as the original, while being poor at inflicting Standard Status Effects. They also look significantly crappier, lacking the trademark Oroking Bling-Bling-BANG! and being all boxified
- An in-universe example in Dragon Age II and Dragon Age: Inquisition occurs with Varric Tethras and his famous serial Hard in Hightown and its knockoffs Hard in Hightown 2 and Hard in Hightown 3: The Re-Punchening, much to his anger. His desire to find out who dared to write the knockoff for Hard in Hightown 3 is a War Table mission.
- A virtual version of this is fake event Pokémon, ever since someone figured out how to create their own mons and inject them into the game. Sometimes, these can be spotted by things like incorrect or missing ribbon, perfect 6ivs, or mistakes in the met location, game, date, etc. Events obtained from a Power Saves or Cyber Saves device are identifiable by always being generated with the same date on the fake wondercard. Others, though, are very good, and can only be spotted by dumping the file and checking the SID (Secret ID) to see if it's correct, incorrect or missing (although some events in earlier generations never had SI Ds to begin with).
- As for the games, bootleggers have managed to sell fake game cartridges in the earlier generations, either counterfeits of the licensed games or knockoff rom hacks loaded onto cartridges.
- Counterfeited versions of the Pokémon games are almost indistinguishable in terms of gameplay, but are known for having buggy saving and, in the case of G3, Pal Park incompatibility. The game cartridges themselves can sometimes be very difficult to distinguish from the genuine product, making it a frustrating task to find a G3 game to migrate Pokémon into the newer games.
- ROM hacks loaded onto cartridges are another issue. Whilst some hack cartridges are poorly-made hacks of other games to include Pokémon characters, there are also high-quality hacks made by fans that are meant to be distributed online for free which have been loaded onto cartridges by bootleggers. It's gotten to the point where fan hacks have started inserting disclaimers to explain that the game should be released for free, and that if you paid for a cartridge you are being ripped off.
- The newer DS and 3DS games are more difficult to counterfeit, but bootlegs are still being circulated. Genuine versions of Heart Gold, Soul Silver and the Black and White games have an infrared port atop the game cards used for certain features (such as the Pokéwalker) which are not present on fake versions. Some G5 events had an infrared scanner at the entry used to detect illegitimate copies of the games.
- As for the games, bootleggers have managed to sell fake game cartridges in the earlier generations, either counterfeits of the licensed games or knockoff rom hacks loaded onto cartridges.
- There are several inexpensive portable consoles for sale at reputable retailers, like the VG Pocket and the Dreamgear MyArcade. Most of these are relatively decent quality in terms of materials and construction, but are loaded with dozens or even hundreds of forgettable, unlicensed copycat versions of classic arcade and 8-bit games. The MyArcade mini-cabinet actually has a decent handful of legit early-era NES games like Urban Champion and Balloon Fight, only with heavily modified graphics to disguise what they are (two exceptions are Tag Team Wrestling and Pinball, which have most of the trademarks removed, but are otherwise untouched).
- The original Crysis has an In-Universe example. Nomad encounters a group of North Korean soldiers wearing Power Armor based on the US's multi-billion dollar nanosuits. Nomad explicitly says they look like cheap knockoffs, and in gameplay they are; while Nomad's suit can flip between bullet-resistance, super strength, super speed, and cloaking, the KPA suits can only boost their resistance or strength. However, in multiplayer the US and KPA suits are a case of Cosmetically Different Sides.
- Beware the Polystation! This one's a Famiclone that looks like a Playstation until you open it up and see a cartridge slot.
- "Sepia Go!" is a Chinese mobile port of Splatoon. It looks exactly like a low-poly version of Splatoon, reuses music from the game, and has official art from it. Early versions even stole character models from the game.
- Pokémon Go practically begged for this to occur, especially after Niantic/Nintendo made a (since withdrawn) announcement that the game would not be launched in China and were very secretive regarding their launch schedule. As the total result of their actions, ripoffs have flooded the Chinese iOS store, as well as the various unofficial android appstores in the country.
- The infamous 7 Grand Dad, which is The Flintstones: The Rescue Of Dino & Hoppy, but Mario's head is pasted on Fred's body. The only other difference is the title screen. The game wouldn't be very noteworthy if not for both Joel and Gi Ivasunner, the former reacting to it during a Chinese bootleg stream, and the latter basing his entire channel around doing Bait-and-Switch videos, usually with the "Fleenstones" theme from the title screen. Watch Joel's reaction here.
- In-universe example from Dark Souls II: The Bluemoon Greatsword is a knockoff trying to pass itself as the Moonlight Greatsword forged from the tail of Seath the Scaleless, which the Chosen Undead cut off many ages ago in Dark Souls I. It is the family heirloom of Benhart of Jugo, and he couldn't be prouder of being the current owner, as his family thinks it's the real thing. Magerold of Lanafir mentions meeting him once, and says he could tell the sword was fake right away, but couldn't bring himself to tell Benhart because it would break the poor man's heart. It's worth noting though, that the Bluemoon Greatsword is still a big sword that hurts a lot when you hit something with it, and with no stat scaling it is a perfect candidate for Raw infusion. It just lacks the magical properties of the real thing.
- The Wireless Air 60, said to be the worst console of all time, is a completely unworkable Kinect knockoff, and recycles many games from the aforementioned Vii and Zone/Wireless 60.
- The Wireless 60 itself contains many knockoffs of classic games, including Go-Kart (Rally X), Deep Storm (Space Harrier), Dream Bubble (Tetris), Totally Jet (Wave Race), Bump Jump (Arkanoid, not to be confused with Bump 'n' Jump), Pop Ball (Buster Brothers), Lightning Plan (UN Squadron), Jewel Fever 2 (Bust-a-Move), Auto X (Super Mario Kart), Motor Rally 2 (Super Hang On), Ice Climber (Ice Climber), Treasure Hunt (Lode Runner), Bomb Hero (Bomber Man), Ballroom Bonanza (Bejeweled), Milk Mania (Boulder Dash), etc.
- A Chinese Overwatch ripoff mobile game (Detailed by YouTube user "ohnickel" here) has some very blatant design theft. Even if some characters don't look like their Overwatch counterparts, their moveset gives them away. Some characters take inspiration from Final Fantasy VII, League of Legends and for some mysterious reason, Mad Max. One of the more blatant (and hilarious) ones is the knockoff!Torbjorn: instead of being based on World of Warcraft's dwarves, he's based on their gnomes! But even still has the exact same tattoo on his shoulder. It's pretty easy to tell at a glance what each character is stolen from.
- Homestar Runner mocked this in the Strong Bad Email "licensed", in which Strong Bad has officially unlicensed Strong Bad merchandise, and objects to Bubs selling legit-looking "unlicensed unlicensed" merchandise.
- The Stupid Adventures of Taco-Man has an episode which revolves around Taco-Man taking out a poorly drawn counterpart of his known as Toco-Man.
- Oddly, there's a web series called London Mobile Buddies that could be considered one for Happy Tree Friends. It's pretty much the same thing (down to episodes being shot scene-for-scene), but with cell phones. In London. Aside from also copying characters from other works, the most different thing about it would probably be Wikky, the show's version of Flippy; but the only reason why he's different is that he rips off Flippy's schtick but not his entire character, therefore making him a major case of Fridge Logic.
- In Homestuck, although it's mentioned that John is a Ghostbusters fan, his iconic Green Slime Ghost T-shirt is actually a Japanese character◊ totally unrelated to Slimer.
- In Commander Kitty, Mittens makes use of a cheap iKnow knockoff to make himself look like one of Zenith's Tagged minions.
- A rather unusual version of this trope happens in Manly Guys Doing Manly Things: Canadian Guy is a bootleg or 'unsanctioned regional variant' clone of Commander Badass. It helps that they're Artificial Humans.
- Stuart Ashen specializes in reviewing cheap knock-off products; usually game consoles and toys. The most famous being the POP Stations: A series of cheap and unplayable LCD handheld games made to look like existing video game consoles. A number of the links on this page lead directly to his reviews of how shoddy these knockoffs really are. He has also branched out to fake cellphones and the occasional fake toy.
- Mike Mozart of Jeepers Media occasionally reviews knock-off toys and merchandise in his videos. In this video in particular, he reviews a bunch of iPod knockoffs and his friendly demeanor slowly dissolves to be replaced with disappointment and confusion that such things are allowed to exist.
- leokimvideo often reviews several cheap knock-off (or as he calls them, "Dark Side") toys based on various children's franchises such as Thomas the Tank Engine, Angry Birds and Despicable Me. To ensure no child ever plays with them, not only does he show why these toys are inferior and dangerous, but he often ends up destroying them as well. His favorite method seems to be fitting small bombs in them, but he has also been known to smash them up with a hammer, set them on fire, put them in a blender, or even put them in a wood crusher.
- Phelous started his own series of videos called "Bootleg Zones" with The Phayllus not to long ago where he reviews bootleg action figures. Downplayed by the second episode, where it is clear that the show extends to reviewing bootleg products that are of decent quality almost matching (or in some aspects succeeding) the originals. Part of the rating system used for the reviews is how well they fare as a substitute for the originals.
- Chadtronic has made several videos about knock-off toys and objects. These have featured everything from bootleg Pokémon toys (many of which are very Off-Model and do nothing but light up), bootleg Furby toys, fake/bootleg Pokémon cards (which, Chad notes, seemed to experience a resurgence in the wake of Pokémon Go, as this is what many of the ones in that particular video were themed after), and even a small unofficial bumper car toy with Mario in it.
- Sonic Gear, a fan site dedicated to Sonic the Hedgehog merchandise, has a section dedicated to Sonic bootlegs, including games, plush, clothing, and home decor. Some are creepy, while some are bland.
- Space Hamster has done several videos on bootleg video games, including Super Mario Bros. games for the Sega Genesis. Humorously, one of the three happens to be a reskin of a game that was itself a bootleg of a Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers game. He also tackles Sonic the Hedgehog, The Legend of Zelda, Donkey Kong, Star Wars, and Harry Potter bootlegs in later videos.
- The Simpsons
Homer: Look at these low, low prices on famous brand-name electronics!Bart: Don't be a sap, Dad. These are just crappy knock-offs.Homer: Hey, I know a genuine Panaphonics when I see it. And look, there's Magnetbox, and Sorny!
- Homer goes to a discount electronics store:
- Springfield Elementary at one time served "Malk" instead of milk. ("Now with Vitamin R!")
- Superintendent Chalmers takes his "coffee-flavored Beverine" "grey with Creamium".
- Family Guy references the Lego/Mega Bloks example:
Peter: You got Legos? Aw, sweet! Lois only buys me Mega Bloks.
Lois: They're the same thing, Peter.
Peter: You know what, Lois? They are not the same thing. And the sooner you get that through your thick skull, the sooner we can get this marriage back on track.
- Lampshaded in Futurama, when Fry is duped by a back alley organ trader who tries to convince him that Z-Ray eyes are even better than X-Ray eyes.
- Martini in Olive the Other Reindeer sells knockoff Rolexxx watches. Olive was suspicious about it at first, but ended up buying one of these anyways, with predictable results. The Big Ben is also a Rolexxx.
Olive: I didn't know Rolex had three X's.
- One episode of The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat featured a Corrupt Corporate Executive who sold cheap knockoffs of Felix's magic bag. At first, the only noticeable difference was that the copies were black where the original is yellow and vice-versa. However, they used cheap materials to replace expensive ones because the boss said the customers would never know and to replace materials the spies failed to identify while analyzing the original bag because nobody would care. Despite knowing the knockoffs would be dangerous, they mass-produced the black bags.
- An episode of The Powerpuff Girls was about bootleg versions of the girls.
- An episode of Arthur featured a product called Woogles, which you could squeeze, stretch, bounce, and customize. Woogles had a cheap knockoff called Poogles, which looked like a potato and couldn't do anything.
- Garfield and Friends had "The Genuine Article", where there is a knockoff Garfield named Gabriel. Even the names of the characters are similar! For example, Odie is now Ollie.
Garfield: Call our lawyer.
- The newspaper comic would (much later) introduce a one-shot character by the name of "Grafield".
- In South Park, a game at a Crappy Carnival offers Terrance and Phillip dolls as prizes, which Kyle desperately tries to win. After making A Simple Plan to raise $5000 to spend on the game, he finally gets his hands on some, only for them to turn out to be crude fakes which fall apart easily.
- In Zootopia, the movies being sold by a vendor are labeled "pre-theatrical release", "completely authentic", and "non-infringing entertainment". Not to mention they're all references to Disney movies in the first place.
- A group on Flickr titled Fake Products: Mutant Knockoffs is entirely dedicated to collecting photographic evidence of these sorts of imitations. Some of them are quite hilarious. Even more at The Chinese Copy Pool.
- A list of humorous My Little Pony, The Avengers, and Justice League of America knockoffs. Changes include Mr. Incredible and Shrek as being part of a Justice League knockoff; ponies with gigantic heads; and Batman being refered to as "Morgan Freeman."
- Showing that humans never change, the legendary line of Viking swords known as "Ulfberht" swords (from the +VLFBERH+T inlay on the swords) had plenty of shoddy, lower-quality imitators, down to people getting the inscription wrong or misspelled.
- During the 70s-80s and even to an extent today, the Fender Stratocaster was a victim of frequent awful duplicates and clones until Fender took matters into their own hands and began to produce Squier guitars, budget-priced Japanese-made Fender products.
- Since third-world countries are a major trading partner of China, the quality of the knock off products has become something of a business model. There are several levels of quality, ranging from abysmal to almost as good as the real thing. There was a direct connection between the quality of the items and the affluence of the importer. In theory, this allows everyone to get a taste of the product, albeit in varying qualities. Compare that with original Western products that are good quality but often times over the price range of the average buyer in third world locales such as Sub-Saharan Africa.
- In Brazil and in China (see Engadget's Keepin' It Real Fake section), cheap knockoffs of smartphones are very common. They're also more common than you'd think in the US, especially in lower-income urban areas. Most of the times, they copy the iPhone, Nokia smartphones, or Android-based phones.
- In China, there have even been companies set up that do nothing but copy name-brand phones. Underground "shanzhai" firms are known to be extremely proficient at copying the externals of Nokia phones and those of other manufacturers, although the internals and interface are often based on off-the-shelf parts. A well-publicised example of this is Goophone, who made headlines after suing Apple for allegedly "copying" their iPhone 5 clone, on the grounds that they released their version first.
- Knockoff "Vintage" phonographs made in India/China are common on eBay/antique stores. Sometimes, they're correctly labeled and sold as replicas, but some sellers tend to attempt to pass them off as authentic Victor phonographs from the early 20th century. While they look real to the average person, experienced collectors can easily identify them as fakes by the shape of the box, materials used, and parts on the player.
- Mike Mozart of Jeepers Media once reviewed a bunch of knockoff iPods. The reality of these things annoyed him a great deal. He strongly recommends the official iPods in this case.
- The city of Kunming, China contains an almost perfect copy of an Apple Store. A few tiny tip-offs include displaying the name of the store (real stores just show the Apple logo) and the employees' name tags just simply saying "Staff" rather than their name. Amazingly enough, even the employees were fooled.
- There's also 11 Furniture Store, a fake Ikea that copies almost everything about it, but the cafeteria serves traditional Chinese food instead of Swedish food. This is also located in Kunming.
- With the return of the ceiling fan to popularity in the late 1970's-early 1980's, most quality models (such as this Hunter Original) were made in the USA, had long-lasting motors and parts, were relatively quiet, and could cost well over $250-300 new (roughly $1,000 on today's market). Enter the $29.95 offering from "Family Handyman" magazine, complete with the advertisement literally "daring you to tell us the difference"... well, listen for yourself... and enjoy the yellow plastic while you're at it.
- Subverted with Classic Fan, Commander Electric, and a few other companies that made replicas of the Original, some of which used the same sort of oil bath motor as the real thing.
- A Chinese company named Lifan used to make and sell "Hongda" motorcycles which were shoddy copies of Honda's models, until Honda sued and put a stop to it.
- Many Japanese guitar companies started like this, Tokai still doing this as well, as Edwards (by ESP), but now only in Japan. For a long time no manufacturer was interested as their models was a letdown in quality (eg. bolt on neck instead of set neck, laminated wood instead of solid mahogany, hardware was made from pot metal), but at some time, they managed to make better guitars than eg. Gibson (inverted this trope), but still exact replicas. This resulted in lawsuits instantly and then, original models or No Export for You. The most famous was Ibanez, which itself ripped of a destroyed Spanish manufacturer's name.
- This often happens when the toyline of a television series takes off, see also Transformers Generation One and My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. There's a thriving market for making toy derivatives of both series; Transformers fans are all too familiar with knockoffs while the newer My Little Pony series has only recently been hit by it. Neither usually carries the actual Transformers or My Little Pony logos, but try to resemble them in some fashion (for instance, they'll use names like Transform Man or My Funny). The companies responsible for the knockoffs sometimes actually copy the molds used by the original manufacturer, but not their solid plastics or detail quality. These copycat products can be found in operations ranging from tiny convenience shop importers to ones as large as Big Lots. Knockoff My Little Ponies in particular have been around for nearly as long as the official ones.
- Also Beanie Babies. When the craze was at its height, there was a ton of both counterfeits of the official toys and cheap imitations trying to capitalize on the craze.
- Wired once reviewed the "HiPhone", a knockoff of the iPhone made in China. The reviewer said "It's called the HiPhone, I think, because you'd have to be high to actually buy it."
- Believe it or not, there is a difference between a Real Genuine Nardi Steering Wheel, and an actual Nardi steering wheel.
"Why would anyone buy one of these? Oh wait, 'cause they're cheap!"
- In Belarus around 2010, one of the most popular television shows was The Theorists, where every single episode was a loosely translated episode of The Big Bang Theory, complete with expys of every — single — main character from the show. Chuck Lorre called out the series in a vanity card at the end of a Big Bang episode. Fortunately, before Warner Bros. had to sue, The Theorists ended when its stars walked off the job.
- According to interviews with actors from The Theorists, they had no idea The Big Bang Theory existed or that their show was a direct clone of the hit American show.
- In February 2014, a Burger King in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania came under scrutiny for selling food that was obviously not Burger King's — fries in Dixie cups, generic burgers in tinfoil, soft drinks in generic polystyrene cups, and generic brown paper bags. And they had apparently been doing this since November 2013. It turns out that it they had lost the rights to the Burger King franchise and were ostensibly "in transition" to becoming an independent restaurant, but not before ripping off literally hundreds of customers who thought they would be getting Whoppers and Tendercrisps. Four days later, the Burger King signs were taken down and the place was said to be closed. However, only a few days later, it was announced that a new franchise had bought the building and was planning to turn it back into a real Burger King.
- Foodstuffs, even ordinary ones, can be faked. In China, there are fake foods. You can guess that some of these foods are Nausea Fuel and I Ate WHAT?! material.
- One New British University has the chutzpah to style itself UCLAn, possibly in the vanishing hope Preston, Lancashirenote , will be confused, by those who failed geography, with the nicer bits of California. The very small inobtrusive "n" after the "UCLA" was the result of Our Lawyers Advised This Trope. It is possible that its savvier graduates might play this for all its worth on their CV's, hoping employers won't look at the small fine detail.
- Another New British University, formerly the tech college serving Flintshire, wasn't so lucky. It tried to brand itself "Yale College" as one of its original colleges had been founded by a local man, Mr Yale, who later emigrated to New England and founded a university there. Yale College (USA) protested loudly. The university in Wrexham is now Prifysgol Owain Glyndwr.
- Sites like Ebay have become the online version of selling knockoffs on the street. Since buyers depend on the photo of the item being accurate, sellers in China and Hong Kong mass produce fakes and sell them on the sites with the official pics used to trick unwary buyers. This, unfortunately, raises the price of the legitimate items as the companies try to make up for lost profit.
- Diploma mills often give themselves names that are almost-but-not-quite the same as prestigious schools. For bonus points, it's not terribly uncommon for them to have a mailing address in a town (or even just on a street) with the name of a different prestigious school, so you wind up with a "school" in a small town southeast of Wichita, KS named something like "Harvard Institute University of Oxford".
- Replica cars are cars designed to look like more expensive models. While some are really close to the real deal, some are not...◊
- There is a saying among chinese folks about knock-off "brands": They're only using a fake name because they're not a good enough copy to use the actual name.
- In the late 60s/early 70s, a recording outfit put out compilations of covers from an ensemble calling themselves the Sound Effects. Each cut was performed to sound like its original artist without actually doing so. The more discriminating buying public weren't fooled and this enterprise folded quickly.
- This trope is how 70s leisure suits got their bad reputation, even before Deader Than Disco came into play. After the success of Saturday Night Fever cheap imitations and shoddy knockoffs flooded the market, crowding out the legitimate brands. Then the Disco Backlash came into play, destroying any chance at a comeback.
- The Soviet Union coined the term "Monkey Model" to describe a piece of military equipment that was significantly inferior to the original that it was based on but was much cheaper to build. The purpose of these simplified Monkey Models were to replace front-line stocks if a war went on for several weeks and for export to countries that wanted to buy Russian Military Equipment but were either too poor or of questionable intentions to be allowed use of the real stuff.
- China has a reputation for doing exactly this with their military hardware, sometimes obtained legitimately—the Soviet Union donated a lot of plans and tooling in the 1950s and 60s- but frequently through reverse-engineering or industrial espionage.
- Their Type 99 main battle tank is a derivative of the Russian T-72, which was incidentally the tank the People's Liberation Army thought they were most likely to be facing in the event of general war. (Communism was not one big happy family at the time, to say the least.)
- Their latest attack helicopter, the Z-10 initially had parts from the Manguska and Euro-copter Tiger helicopters, and still bears a slight resemblance to the latter.
- The Chinese bought the old aircraft carrier Varyag from the Russians and completer her for service as the Liaoning The aircraft used? A carbon copy of the Su-33.
- This was going on during the interwar period, as many metal fabricators were set to work making weapons for various factions, including these showcased by Forgotten Weapons, which were based on known brands of self-loading pistols but clearly weren't, with quality ranging from plain crap to surprisingly good, but copied in form and not function, due the manufacturer simply being told to make copies of a gun and not knowing much about them; leading to some that will reliably fire, but had all manner of secondary functions that were simply left as solid details with no moving parts, dead loose, or simply with no alignment at all, particularly the rear sights which are often graduated in a series of numbers which makes no sense at all, due to them not being able to read European languages either, and just stamping on improper makers' marks, nonsense graduations and strings of total gibberish all over the item.
- The old Soviet Union wasn't above this sort of thing either, especially early on. A lot of its early tank designs were copied exactly from models that were either legitimately bought (albeit without licensing) or smuggled piece by piece into the country; the BT-2 tanks (predecessors to the famous T-34) were improved versions of the M1928 Christie Tank. Their early jet fighters were powered by close copies of Rolls Royce engines.note Then there is the interesting case of the Tu-4, which was reverse-engineered from a handful of American Boeing B-29 bombers that were confiscated after making emergency landings in Russia during World War II.note However, neither the engines, used to power the deadly MiG-15 fighter, nor the Tu-4 Bull, which was a major worry to the United States in the 1950s, could legitimately be described as "shoddy".
- North Korea takes the cake in this area, since the Korean People's Army's equipment is generally a shoddy knock-off of shoddy knock-offs from China. The nec plus ultra of their copying has to be their Harbin H-5s. The Harbin H-5 is a Chinese knock-off of the Soviet Ilyushin Il-28, which had its first flight in 1950. The originals were powered by the RD-45, an unlicensed knock-off of the Rolls-Royce Nene, a British engine from 1944 (and which was quickly passed over in favor of the better Rolls-Royce Avon). This means North Korea flies airframes that are Chinese knock-offs of a six decade old Soviet design, powered by North Korean knock-offs of Chinese knock-offs of Russian knock-offs of a British design that is over 70 years old. Glory to Kim Il-sung and Juche-Songun thought, eh?
- If that doesn't make your head spin, then this probably will: North Korea's missile program is based on designs reverse-engineered from Egyptian, Syrian, and Chinese missiles, which came from the Soviet Union, which in turn were based on Nazi rockets. The designs of these missiles has since been exported to Iran and Pakistan, who then made their own knock-off missiles.
- Iran produces knock-offs of Russian and Chinese military equipment, in addition to Western armaments that were present in the country prior to the Iranian Revolution. While they have no problems producing upgraded versions of most Cold War-era tanks and aircraft, they have considerable difficulties with replicating more sophisticated weapon systems: the American F-14 Tomcatnote is one of the most advanced fighter aircraft in their inventory, yet it has proven almost impossible for them to reverse-engineer for the past forty years. This is particularly problematic, considering that the only source of spare parts for the aircraft comes from a country that is now their enemy.
- The Israeli Aircraft Industries Nesher fighter was a knockoff of the French Dassault Mirage V, produced from stolen plans after France embargoed the sale of Mirage V aircraft to Israel. The IAI Kfir was a development of the Nesher with the addition of canards and a more powerful American General Electric J79 engine replacing the Nesher's SNECMA Atar.
- Military knockoffs are, in fact, Older Than Print. In medieval Europe, there was a famous weaponsmith named Ulfberht (or a family of weaponsmiths of this name, the historians aren't sure). Ulfberht's swords were famous for their quality and special steel used in making them (possibly imported Damascus steel); they bore the inscription saying the name of the smith. Disreputable smiths produced fake "Ulfberht" swords, with the brand often misspelled: an "Ulfbert" wasn't a sword to be proud of.
Someone buy up TVIdioms.org, quick!