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LEGO Fakes, Counterfeits and Altered Parts...

IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,270
Recently the radar dish on the 10179 Millennium Falcon Set was the discussion in Bricklink about fakes showing up on Ebay and elsewhere...

My Unofficial LEGO Sets/Parts Collectors Guide has a chapter on LEGO Fakes and Counterfeits, and I'm definitely adding the Millennium Falcon radar dish to my chapter in discussing real parts, and either fakes, or (in this case) modified parts...
http://www.bricklink.com/catalogPG.asp?P=50990pb03&colorID=86

At least this radar dish was a real part. A completely fake part was created a few years back (from China)... back when the Maersk Blue construction helmets were rare (before the 10219 Maersk Train had the bottom fall out of this Maersk blue helmet). California collector Ash Nickle gave me this image of a fake helmet in what appeared to be a Teal blue color (definitely not a good color match with Maersk blue). But with the cheap Maersk blue helmets now out... this isn't the counterfeit worry that it once was (but the buyer should still beware and check the color).
http://www.bricklink.com/catalogPG.asp?P=3833&colorID=72

More fakery to follow.... ;-)

Comments

  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,270
    One area that sees a lot of fakes is the old (1955-70) LEGO 1:87 cars/trucks. These are very highly prized by not just LEGO collectors, but also model train and car enthusiasts due to their high quality.

    When real 1:87 LEGO vehicles have promotional decals, their value often can go from $50 to $1000. However here are a few fakes from the get-go....

    1) a blue Bedford Truck base (#253 base)... but the flatbed part of the truck disappeared long ago, and was replaced by the trailer of another HO scale model (HERPA or WIKING?) trailer. FAKE!!!

    2) A Dutch collector had a 255 Bedford Firetruck model, but the ladder and mechanism for it were long gone. Add an unrecognizeable gray element from some other toy system, and VOILA... a FAKE FLATBED!!

    3) Take an old 250 Bedford Esso Tanker Truck, remove the remaining Esso decal... and stamp on a (rather poor fake) AIR FRANCE ink image. FAKE!!
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,270
    Even LEGO boxes are being manufactured. Right now this is a problem with old sets from the 50s and 60s.... but as the quality of photo paper and imagery gets better... modern boxes and inserts will be a problem as well.

    Here are several 1966-72 British spare parts pack boxes that are all fake. A real box has a more shiny surface, and thicker cardboard. But someone new to collecting some of these old sets would not know this very easily!

  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,270
    And then there are some items that look absolutely fake... but they're REAL!! This 1965 era USA spare parts pack looks like it had a rarer 231 Esso Service accessories pack label placed over a more common 1x1 brick parts pack label.... but this is a REAL DEAL!! This type of thing was done back in the 1960s!!!

    Another example is a 1964 era British "Slimbricks" 509 parts pack. British LEGO introduced these 509 packs with small plates in 1964... but used older spare parts packs for the 210 Small Store boxes... in this instance the old 210 set is worth about 10 times the value of the new 509 set. :-(

    My collectors guide chapter on Fakes, Forgeries, Counterfeits and the Real Deal... have many examples that are sometimes very difficult to differentiate between real and fake!

    Chrisbstmbobabricks
  • TigerMothTigerMoth Member Posts: 2,343
    Istokg said:

    Even LEGO boxes are being manufactured. Right now this is a problem with old sets from the 50s and 60s.... but as the quality of photo paper and imagery gets better... modern boxes and inserts will be a problem as well.

    Here are several 1966-72 British spare parts pack boxes that are all fake. A real box has a more shiny surface, and thicker cardboard. But someone new to collecting some of these old sets would not know this very easily!

    "Shiny" and "thicker cardboard" are a bit difficult to represent here but I have a 402 box that I know to be original (I bought it, new, from a shop, mumble years ago). Unfortunately it's the only spares box that has survived so I have nothing with which to compare it directly, but it's definitely thinner cardboard than used for either earlier or later full sets.

    Memory is a strange thing (and therefore may be completely wrong) but at the time I bought it I remember thinking that the box wasn't as "nice" as other spares packs on the same rack.
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,270
    edited June 2015
    Here's an example of a "mixed bag" of real and fake parts..... the 1:87 Bedford Delivery Trucks #1257 is real, and it's a rare version with a white cab (usually the cab is yellow, and the undercarriage is red, with the truck being blue).

    http://www.ebay.de/itm/Lego-SYSTEM-1257-WEISS-Bedford-Mobelwagen-ORIGINAL-BOX-alt-vintage-1-87-mursten/291486346870?_trksid=p2047675.c100011.m1850&_trkparms=aid=222007&algo=SIC.MBE&ao=1&asc=31960&meid=9afda0f9f48746f0af539e9d5b11efd2&pid=100011&rk=6&rkt=10&sd=191601207988

    I know this gentleman, and he has a huge and rare collection, but he drives my other collector friends insane with his homemade boxes.

    I keep close tabs with what he's doing so that I can document this all in the chapter or LEGO Fakes & Counterfeits in my Unofficial LEGO Sets/Parts Collectors Guide.  He now puts "FAKE" printed on the inside of the box.

    But the truck itself is a very rare original version, also known with a equally rare white cab and white undercarriage....




    And of course there is the common variety.... worth from about 20-100 Euros....



    As well as about 1/2 dozen even rarer ones worth thousands of Euros.... as found in my guide....     :)




  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,270
    P.S.  These #257/#1257 trucks almost always have a "curve to the body.... since all those from 1955-63 were made of Cellulose Acetate, which warps over the years.  Only the later 1963-64 versions are made of ABS plastic.   Those seem to be quite rare as well... since the earlier CA versions were in inventory for quite some time after the switch to ABS plastic in 1963.
  • BACbrixBACbrix AmericaMember Posts: 655
    Hoping someone could assist me. I recently stumbled upon the opportunity to purchase #10179 brand new. I was wondering if there are faked boxes out there. If I buy the set it is coming from the US but about 7 states away horizontally so I can't see in person. Is there a way to tell from photos whether it is real or fake? Thanks for the help.


  • DedgeckoDedgecko Seattle, WAMember Posts: 800
    Honestly?  Skype, live stream, or something and have him break the seals, verify contents, package and ship!
    MattDawson
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