BOOTLEG NATION: Dragon Momoko Takedown Case UPDATE!

Dragon Momoko court trial news video.

The Gunpla community was rocked by the official news from Bandai last November (2017) about their successful takedown of a major bootlegger brand called, Dragon Momoko. Some were happy, some were sad and some were mad for some reason. Yesterday (1st July 2018), a further update about the trial of the owner of Dragon Momoko was circulating Gunpla communities on Facebook and a poor quality video of the Chinese news was uploaded to youtube (as seen above). According to the news, the CEO of Dragon Momoko was sentenced to three and a half years in prison (3 years and 6 months) and a fine of 1,900,000 CNY (approx 285,029 USD).

In the wake of this new turn of events, many people are asking, “What happened to the artist who worked on the models?” There was info that the artist was also caught and imprisoned along with other DM staff, but there are speculations going around Gunpla forums that the artist is now working for Daban. And I also happen to come across a rather interesting info from a shady hobby site that surviving original DM staff had relocated their base of operation to another South East Asian country. Although most of this is just unverified speculations and hearsay, we cannot know for sure. It is too early to say if DM will make a come back. But one thing is certain, with this new outcome DM may be gone for good.

Some people would cry foul and that Bandai is a big bully taking down smaller companies like Dragon Momoko and that they are monopolizing the hobby. Another claim is that DM’s designs are much better than Bandai’s, DM kits are cheaper, yadda, yadda. Time and again many have dismissed this argument as a load of crap. Bandai isn’t monopolizing the hobby it’s just that they own the Gundam brand, if it’s just a giant robot kit anybody can produce that as long as it doesn’t look eerily similar to a copyrighted work. And here’s the thing, Gundam is an intellectual property, its likeness and design are copyrighted by Sunrise and Bandai. Kotobukiya has their own giant robot kits they call Frame Arms, and Tomy has these giant robot kits they call Zoids, but why don’t we see Bandai suing their asses off if they are monopolizing the hobby? It’s because their stuff doesn’t look like Gundam. Anyway, Aaron from Mecha alliance could have never said it clearer.

There’s no saving them and there’s no reason to either.
Stealing is stealing. There’s no way around it by “changing bits and parts here and there”. That’s not how IP works. The importance is the “idea”. Once you copied that, it’s over for you.
People are taking multiple sides in this matter. Some are angry at Bandai, some are mourning for DM, some are asking why not Daban,etc first?, some are saying they deserve it. However, there is only 1 truth: DM has done something illegal, so now they are paying for it. Regarding other KO brands, it’s not that Bandai leave them be, it’s just not their turn yet.
I hope people will move on and learn something from this event. Bandai is a monopoly of “Gunpla”, not the model kit industry, if companies pump out mechas that is their own designs, there would be no problem. Copying something and changing it up doesn’t pass as an original idea. And lastly, you’ll pay for your crime in the light of justice.
That is all from us. If you’re a builder, choose your own way of supporting Gunpla. We do not dictate people’s way of life. We just hope everyone is doing the right thing.

Read the full article HERE.


Sources: Youtube (MeeIru); MechaAlliance; TagHobby

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