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How to differentiate between genuine, custom, and machine printed minifigures?

PlayftlPlayftl Member Posts: 178
edited April 2012 in Collecting
Is there any way I can differentiate between the three on ebay besides looking at the seller's description of the item?


  • CCCCCC Member Posts: 20,526
    Customs will usually be slightly shiny (due to the acrylic sealer), and slightly raised around the edge of the decal, which may or may not be in line with the detail. That is if the seller uses a picture of the custom part and not a picture of the real lego part. If they are selling customs as genuine, then chances are they are not going to use the picture of the custom in the description, but do a switch.

    It is easier to tell in the hand, although obviously too late.
  • PlayftlPlayftl Member Posts: 178
    I'm tempted to buy the mr.freeze, penguin, and batman minifigures from this seller, but I'm slightly worried due to the amount of each minifigure this seller has..
  • BrickDancerBrickDancer Member Posts: 3,639
    Make sure they are not magnets, happened to me twice last month on ebay. One was a Batman Black/Gray and the other was a SW Royal Guard.
  • PlayftlPlayftl Member Posts: 178
    Description says brand new genuine lego parts, not custom, keychains, or magnets. I'm just worried because I just recently started collecting minifigures...
  • The_Brick_BuilderThe_Brick_Builder Member Posts: 658
    ^ It should be fine if the seller states that. You can always open a case on the seller if he/she is wrong.
  • BrickDancerBrickDancer Member Posts: 3,639
    Keychains, Magnets, Decals, Custom paint are easy to identify. Custom machine print is the hard one to spot. Look for horizontal level of print to be even on torsos and at proper center for faces. Such as proper fit of the cowl for Batman leaving his mouth line just a touch under the nose and not too low, near the chin. You'll notice sellers having 6 Killer Croc or Scarecrow heads for sale, which should be near impossible to obtain as brand new parts in such high volume. The seller destinations tend to be Eastern Europe (Russia, Poland, etc) and Italy.
  • PlayftlPlayftl Member Posts: 178
    ^ It should be fine if the seller states that. You can always open a case on the seller if he/she is wrong.
    hmm okie, is it normal for a seller to have more than 10 of each of those minifigures by the way?
  • AFFOL_Shellz_BellzAFFOL_Shellz_Bellz Member Posts: 1,263
    Ask the seller the specific question. I was recently looking at an auction for 4 Juniors Jack Stone minifigs and there was a blonde Jack Stone figure but Lego never included one in any set. Only when I asked the seller to look closely at the figure did they tell me the hair appeared to be painted. If the seller answers your question and it proves out to be false then you definitely have a case against them. If they don't answer your question there is a good chance you might be wise to pass on the auction.
  • andheandhe Member Posts: 3,916
    Check their feedback and rating. If they've sold thousands of items with minimal complaint, then it's unlikely they are dishonest. I don't know how sellers end up with bagloads of certain figures, but if they're a business seller, them it's kind of what they do. If however they have a low feedback, are a new seller, or are selling a suspicious amount or for a too good to be true price - then avoid.
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