Watch out for Counterfeit and Bootleg Carded Figures

I recently purchased a set of Star Wars figures from a collector. Many of the figures were in the original carded packaging. If you are not familiar with what “carded packaging” means, it is those figures that are in a bubble casing glued to a thick card stock backing. 

If you go back to the 1970s and 1980s the collectible mindset was not as prominent as it is today and as a result, there are very few carded figures still around. Maintaining figures in their original carded packaging really started to become more common in the 1990s and even more so in the 2000s. Today, it’s very popular in the collectibles industry. 

If you are interested in collecting carded figures be sure to pay attention to the details and watch for counterfeit or bootleg carded figures. Counterfeiters or bootleggers do a convincing job of making the toy look authentic, but a detailed eye can spot a fake pretty quickly. 

If you suspect a figure to be counterfeit or bootlegged, do your due diligence in checking the figure and conducting as much online research as you can before you purchase. Start by looking for inconsistencies with the card. Comparing suspect cards to cards that you are certain are factory produced allows you to spot the lack of detail and sharpness to the letters on the card. You may also feel a difference in the card thickness with the fake being flimsy. Also, printing on the back of the card may look grainy and not professionally done. 

You can also spot a fake by examining the figure inside the bubble packaging. Sometimes you will notice a non-professional look to the figure. They will look hand painted, lacking in texture and detail or just generally not professionally produced. 

There are some collectors that have interest in counterfeit or bootleg figures, but that market is small. While those collectors may be interested in these types of figures, some may hesitate to purchase because the production of these figures is against the law, and they may not want to be associated with it. Therefore, purchase with caution as you may have trouble reselling such a figure.

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