Gundam Raids China Recasters, Is Forge World Next?

piracy recaster recast site forge world

Chinese recasters that specialized in Gundam models were shut down, and jailed by a police raid. Will we ever see anything like this from Games Workshop?

SG Cafe announced that one of the largest Chinese Gundam recaster companies was shut down in a police raid where nine suspects were arrested. There are still hundreds, if not thousands, of recasters going strong. But could this be the beginning of the end for them?

After going after and shutting down notorious Bootleg Gundam manufacturer, Dragon Momoko, Chinese police have now set their eyes of China’s largest bootleg maker, Daban. Police raided multiple factories and warehouses belonging to the bootleggers, and arrested a total of nine suspects during those raids. These raids happened across Guangdong and Fujian provinces.

Chinese authorities actually fined the recasters 1.9M Yuan (about 2.5M USD), and jailed them for three years as well:

Last year, Chinese police raided the factory and offices of notorious bootleg Gundam manufacturer, Gundam Momoko. Bandai China then formally sued the company and its CEO for copyright infringement. And now, a Chinese court has finally found the company of copyright infringement.

The Chinese court then sentenced the company’s CEO to three-and-a-half years in prison. They also fined him 1.9 million Chinese Yuans for his crimes.

Recasters & Forge World

forge world Forge World's Customer Service: A Cruel Joke?

People being criminally tried has the potential to scare off some of the other recasters to the point where they close their doors. Other companies like Forge World/Games Workshop may be encouraged by this news to start calling for more Police raids.  It’s no secret that GW gives out cease and desist orders like candy.

Are police raids and Chines persecution something that is even within the abilities of Games Workshop? Gundam parent company, Bandai, is a much larger company than GW/Forge World.

Check out the two companies’ earnings from last year alone:

bandai gundam


gw finance 4

From the looks of it, Bandai is almost 20x larger revenue-wise. With Bandai being a 5 billion pound sterling company, it’s no wonder they sent Police to shut illegal recasters down. Remember, Bandai is a Japanese company (with a branch in China itself) and the recasters were based in China.

It’s not out of the realm of possibility for GW to work with the Chinese government to stop some of the bigger recasters. Even if they are A LOT smaller, but their involvement on the legal side of things tehre is unclear.

We do know that many items Games Workshop retails are made in China but distributed by Games Workshop in the UK, as the recent change to packaging indicates;

GW china

Pre-2018 Packaging

GW china

2018 Packaging

Forge World may be under fire for raising their prices 20% overnight, but as a business, they have a right to defend their product. Worse yet, small businesses and independent artists in the miniatures community are feeling the sting of recasting as well.

Recasting Isn’t Just For Forge World Anymore

Manufacturer SCALE 75 minis, recently started advocating an anti-piracy message for the hobby world.

Recasting Isn't Just For Forge World Anymore

New Privacy awareness image 

Lately all brands have seen how our creations are being reproduced illegally and without any scruples in a massive way.

There are many families, people and brands that struggle hard every day to bring you new and spectacular figures and products.

OUR EXISTENCE IS IN DANGER! It is not a matter of victimization or educating anyone, but it is about making all our followers understand that the illicit practices of the recasters are causing us to be little by little in danger of extinction if we continue to feed them.

Check out their full message over on their Facebook page.

These artists work hard. From the beginning thought of a new model in their head to putting it on paper, and into real life. They are the backbone of the operation and have done this for years to create wonderful minis as well as a great line of paints.

Artists aren’t Making Enough to Survive

From Artist Raul Latorre:


 Yes, this is a business for me, my only job since 25 years, the way I have to pay my bills and keep doing what I love…

Let explain with the simple aim of making you understand it the true depth of your act. The figure in the picture (Nash) Sold 32 uni. during the month, more than 5 times the quantity that me (the creator, designer and fighter) sold the same month.

Recasters are selling multitudes of more models than the actual creator. Of course, cheaper things are always more attractive, but it comes back to the principle of “supporting your local business”.

Bottom line, recasting is growing into a real problem in the hobby industry, not just the Warhammer hobby but all of the miniature space.

What are your thoughts on recasts? Could we see Forge World drop the hammer on Chinese counterfeiters as well? Let us know what you think in the comments of our Facebook Hobby Group. 

About the Author: Rob Baer

Virginia Restless, Miniature Painter & Cat Dad. I blame LEGOs. There was something about those little-colored blocks that started it all... Twitter @catdaddymbg
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