Bootleg injection moulded toys

I saw this on the internet, and got a chuckle, but it got me thinking: how do these bootleg products get to be made?

The tooling for an injection mould is expensive, and bootlegging products is opportunistic, so maybe someone might invest tens of thousands of dollars to have a bootleg mould made, but would these sorts of products be made “off the clock” - a factory makes the legitimate products 9 to 5, but at night cranks out as many as they can to sell off the back of a truck?

Or are these old moulds that fell off the back of a truck, that someone is using to make a few extra dollars? Most of the ‘dollar shop’ toys I’ve seen are poor quality, is this why?

Or has someone bought a job-lot of boxes of unfinished toys and paints and packages them, so something gets lost in the final product. I’m curious if anyone knows why.

My god, there are so many:

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Thanks for that, very informative podcast.
I had a search for ‘recasting’ on the RPF forum, this topic on possible bootleg/ replica/ recasted ‘Back to The Future’ Nike Mags goes for 231 pages!

Great post.

Some of those toys are obviously based on a generic mold. Change the logo and you have a new character.

With some of the nicer ones, I would imagine it could be using old molds. Think of all the toys made every year. There are probably tens of thousands of molds that are retired every year. Maybe the recycler does scrap it, maybe he sells it to the guy down the street.

The silicone mold sounds like a good theory too.

Aw man. I read way to much of that thread. Looks like I know what my next project is now.