Distributor and tie-in products specialist Gaming Merchandise UK has expressed concerns over the increasing amount of counterfeit merchandise on the market.
Talking to MCV, GM UK founder and director Luiz Ferreira said it's a growing problem that weakens licensed sellers, which could cast a shadow on the whole market.
It's an issue that needs addressing. The proliferation of counterfeit merch benefits no-one except those selling it,” Ferreira said. IP holders' brands are damaged, they lose royalties, and legitimate traders are in a position where they can't compete, particularly at the lower end of the market. There has even been a recent case where someone had their eyesight damaged by a faulty piece of counterfeit merch.”
Ferreira is referring to an incident just before Christmas, as reported by the Daily Mail – a British 13-year-old boy suffered a serious eye injury after a plastic blade from a fake Assassin's Creed toy shot out.
The GM UK founder added that more needs to be done to address the issue.
We do lots of work at consumer events and we have opened constructive dialogues with organisers,” Ferreira said.
However, a significant proportion of the goods sold at these events are clearly unlicensed and are of markedly poor quality. It is also a huge problem online on marketplaces which are notoriously difficult to police. More needs to be done, and it's going to need a proactive, concerted effort from all stakeholders to stand any chance of addressing the issue in any meaningful way.”