Are you a collector of Vintage Star Wars Action figures?
Do you have any Palitoy Star Wars Figures?
If so then you may be then victim of one of the biggest scams in toy collecting history!
Make sure you read this important information in order to check that your figures are genuine, original vintage Palitoy Star Wars figures.
In December 2013 a seemingly innocent forum discussion on
carded Vinyl Caped Jawa figures quickly turned into something much more
sinister when a UK toy dealer, Jason, inadvertently reveals that another
dealer, Toni, bought a huge stock (approx. 25,000) General Mills 45 back &
Palitoy Star Wars backing cards, as well as sealed cases of MOC Boba Fetts, and
Hoth Stormtroopers from the Palitoy factory in the UK when it closed down, and
that he had been using these to make up MOC, Mint On Card, vintage figures.
This is confirm by a couple of other dealers and a few collectors who had heard similar rumours or knew about this happening.
Toni at this stage comes on to the forums and gives an account of what happened, saying that he hadn’t really had much to do with Mr A, and only bought a few bits off him, no card backs, and puts it down to a fabrication by Jason. It calms things down a little and the heat turns back onto Jason for a while.
However it is soon discovered that Mr A and Toni were actually partners.
Toni denies this by explaining that he only helped Mr A in setting an internet company as Mr A wasn't aware of how to do this.
It is at this a few of the hardcore, respected and savvy collectors start scrutinizing their figures.
Soon a pattern of common anomalies begins to become apparent and also previous anomalies of odd figures being sealed on the wrong cards, or with the wrong bubbles begins to make sense if figures were being randomly sealed on mint backing cards.
One of the forum members then mentions a second eBay account that Toni has been using to buy loose, mint figures.
Close examination of this “buy” account showed that it closely matched his “sales” account and it is also revealed that the secondary account’s name (the buy account) had had its name changed 30 times prior to this.
Soon after this revelation, the account details were made private and hidden.
By this time several forum members have posted images of the
figures they had purchase from Toni and compared to genuine cards.
Jason also meets up with several of the affected collectors at FF4 and shows them the sealing process that Toni had used, with spray glue and a common household iron!
With this news things become more heated on the forums and collectors begin furiously checking their collections, many finding examples of this “resealed” figures.
Toni has since remained quiet on the subject, except for a
short email he wrote to ine of the forum members to voice is dismay and regrets
of the situation without any real rebuke or denial of the allegations.
It therefore seems fairly certain that most, if not all of the 45-back GM MOS figures sold by him were in fact these re-assembled figures using the loose components and second-hand loose figures.
To further add confusion to the situation many of these figures had been previously graded by both AFA and UKG.
He has since been barred from submitting any more figures for grading with either of these service, even using a third party.
A full listing of the affected figures and cards is listed below.
One of the easiest ways to check your figures authenticity is to check for the cross hatch/waffle pattern in the glue under the rim of the bubble.
This is impossible for fakers to replicate. Light scratch marks across the front of the card can be a sign of it being a recent seal.
However, the absence of a waffle pattern though does not mean it’s a fake as only the earliest figure were sealed in this way and later figures used a method of heat sealing that was generally was very smooth but this would show evidence of pressure having been applied on the back of the card.
But the presence of the waffle pattern means that your figure is 100% genuine as this pattern CANNOT be replicated by fakers.
There have also been a number of Boba Fett 45 back card fakes, which are easy to spot due to the action figure being too large for the bubble and the figure is crammed in at an angle.
Another tell-tale sign is the “V” shape marking that is left when using an iron to heat seal the bubble to the card.
Below are images of the waffle pattern, a single stem, the card code and the heat seal pressure mark, all of which you would find on an original, genuine figure.
However, the lack of a pressure mark or the waffle pattern DOES NOT mean it is a fake.
Other ways of tell are the stem sizes, clarity and position, also the absence of any price stickers or markings.
Also the Toni figures were packed “loose” in the bubbles whereas the originals were secured with a tie, also the accessories weren’t secured.
For more resources and tips on checking your fakes:
The Fake Britain episode: https://vid.me/d8mO
Mr Palitoy”s card back guide: http://www.freewebs.com/mrpalitoy/
This is the list of the known affected cards:-
General Mills ESB
General Mills ROTJ
*Both palitoy & clipper or german & clipper offered on toytoni.com, so a 50/50 split assumed rather than assuming all are german
+Clipper not listed, but offered on toytoni.com, no German figure offered
^Palitoy variation not known to exist, assumed to be German which does exist