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View Full Version : how can you tell vintage weapons from repro/new weapons? replica or original?(merged)



bigbarada
08-25-2001, 02:31 PM
I figured it'd be a good idea to have a thread where vintage collectors could share knowledge and experience to prevent other vintage collectors from getting ripped off.

I only have two bits of experience to relate for now:

Original weapons vs. repro weapons--I've only actually seen guns and spears and the like, I've never actually seen a repro lightsaber or cape. When comparing repro to original, the most obvious sign I've notice is the repro are sometimes larger and shinier; but if you're in a store and don't have a basis for comparison then ask to see the figure and weapon. If the weapon is made of really hard plastic, which would seem to snap easily, then it is probably a repro. These are the repro weapons you can buy from places like Brian's Toys in bulk and some unscrupulous collectors might try to pass off as the real thing. The vintage weapon are made of a softer material (though not nearly as soft as the new toys) and have some give to them when you bend them.

Check the manufacturer date on the figure/vehicle before purchase--I was at a comic book store a few years back and saw a vintage Chewie for $15, not thinking I bought it and when I got it home I noticed "LFL 1995 Kenner" on the bottom of his foot! It was the Classic TRU 4-pack version! Vintage figures usually have the manufacture date along the leg somewhere (except for small figures like Wickett who has his on his back). However the only vintage figures that have been rereleased recently in large numbers have been the 4-pack: Luke, Vader, Han Solo (small head) and Chewie. The differences are obvious when you compare these new ones to their vintage counterparts side-by-side, but when you see one alone in a store you really should check the manufacturer's date.

Well, that's all I can relate for now. If anyone out there has some advise for your fellow vintage collectors then please post it here.:cool:

evenflow
08-26-2001, 06:59 PM
Well, I have seen many repro sabers. For the most part they are usually blue Jedi Luke sabers. From what I have seen the are a different plastic. They are very flexible. The size is also different, usually thicker thatn the original.

GNT
08-27-2001, 02:23 AM
Originally posted by bigbarada
How to spot a fake

If someone is selling something cheap it could be a repro,if the seller says it is a repro then its a fake, If it looks too good to be true I.E "C10+ Clear bubble unpunched ********" it could be a fake :)

JEDIpartner
08-27-2001, 10:43 AM
Vintage weapons...

From my personal collection, I noticed (many years ago) that the original ANH figures had black guns made of a softer plastic. The ESB figure came with weapons that were an odd bluish/black colour. The only one that seemed to escape this bluish/black thing were the one with new weapons sculpts (bounty hunters, Hoth soldiers and those which were new additions to the line). The ones that were re-used (Stormie rifles, DL-44 blasters) came in the bluish/black. This was also repeated for the ROTJ figures. If you want to check if you have an original weapon, use that as a starting point.

Fixer
08-28-2001, 09:40 AM
Another tip:

Spotting a fake vinyl cape - the repro capes I've come accross are only smooth on one side - the other side was rough textured.
The vintage ones were smooth on both sides. Also, the repro vinyl is a bit thicker and not as flexible. Finally, they just seem too new. 20-year old vinyl capes are typically soft and well molded to the figures they've been on for a few decades.

Also, the Leia Bespin vinyl repro's printed design was blurry and not at all crisp like the original Kenner's.

evenflow
08-29-2001, 07:50 AM
With the capes, there is usally a color difference as well. Very slight sometimes but it is there. Forged Jawa's get this alot.

Clone_Commander
04-04-2002, 06:45 AM
On EBAY i bought a vintage Boba Fett with a blue blaster not a black one. Is it a replica weapon or is it possible that there are some different weapon colours produced in original?

JediJeff77
04-04-2002, 09:04 AM
They came in a dark blue color as well as black. If I remember correctly, my boba fett came with a blue one.
Hope this helps.
-J

jedi_uk73
04-04-2002, 10:41 AM
According to the Action Figure Archive (book) Boba Fett came with a blue blaster, so you probably have the proper one. beware of repro's though.

For reference :

Boba Fett, IG-88, Hammerhead & Walrusman had blue blaster

Luke (stormtrooper), stormtrooper, Imperial Commander & Death Star Commander had black blaster

This colour change was also seen in the A-wing/B-wing pilot blaster.

Hope this helps as well.

JEDIpartner
04-04-2002, 11:03 AM
Yep... blaster was also blue on mine. I never really liked the blue blasters. They looked like they were made out of that licorice flavoured DOTS candy!

Clone_Commander
04-04-2002, 11:27 AM
Thanks guys, :D

evenflow
04-04-2002, 11:42 AM
Vintage weapons came in all different colors. I have a bunch of original weapons, all the same guns, but different colors. I wouldn't worry about it.

Bel-Cam Jos
04-04-2002, 12:32 PM
According to Steve Sansweet, in either his Insider column or one of his books, Kenner released figures later with different weapons, as well as blue or black versions. That's how I can recall getting Hammerhead with a Han gun, while others think they bought theirs with a Stormtrooper gun. Lando came with both a Bespin gun or Stormtrooper one, etc. I think my Fetts had black guns, since I got them in the mail when you could first get them. Alas, no missle firing backpack... :(

skyward72
04-16-2002, 08:05 PM
Is there anyway to tell if the weapon is a repro?

TopJedi
04-17-2002, 03:41 PM
Yes, it's very easy to tell if a weapon is a repro or original.Just pick up the weapon in question and hold it about 5 inches or so above a counter or etc. and drop it.You'll know the difference almost immiediatly.A repro weapon when dropped sounds like a plastic model car part....like it's molded out of hard plastic. An original vintage weapon will make a deeper sound when dropped .If you have some original weapons and some repros try this out....you'll find that no matter how good a repro weapon looks, a repro will never fool an experienced vintage collector

LusiferSam
04-27-2002, 06:14 PM
I hadn't heard of the drop test before, but if it works great. Also color, texture, and size help. Most repos are wrong on at lest one of these.
As for weapons, EBS carded figures generally had dark blue and ROTJ and SW carded generally had black. This in general not absolutely, in my experience. My Boba Fett had a black gun (was on a ROTJ card).

sith pedagog
04-30-2002, 03:30 PM
The drop test is the best! You can tell right away. That is what I use. I sold some figures to a guy on Ebay and he is tellign me that the entire lot has repro figures because one of the weapons is blue. "repro blue" he calls it. I have seen the repro weapons that are blue, they don't look anything like the original blue weapons. Anyway I offered him a refund anyway.

mark2d2
05-05-2002, 06:37 AM
JEDIpartnr --- The Licorice Dots you referred to are called Crows. I actually buy these all the time at my local RiteAid.

2-1B
05-12-2002, 01:14 PM
Stone the Crows!
A friend of mine loves those things, I've never cared for black licorice, black jelly beans, etc. :D

Thanks for the tips on the "drop test". I don't have any repro weapons, but I have been considering a purchase to fill out the look of my vintage collection. This will come in handy if I ever mix them up and get confused.

Sidiously Darth
05-12-2002, 05:41 PM
Speaking of repros, does anyone know of an online source for these things? I'm looking for Bespin Guard blasters. I know about ebay, but I'm not interested in buying weapons I don't need. Any help would be appreciated.:)

atomicmaniac
05-15-2002, 06:00 PM
Brianstoys.com used to have weapons for sale individualy, I have not checked in a while.

LusiferSam
05-17-2002, 12:10 AM
I don't want to flame any of the sponsors, but in general I found if they sell loss weapons for vintage figures, there pricey. Last time I looked into it the going price of a Han Solo type blaster was $5.00. But on the other hand if you feel it's a good deal by all means buy them.

atomicmaniac
05-17-2002, 05:36 PM
Heah, I agree that $5 for a REPRO blaster is pricey. but when Walrusman or Greedo or whoever is standing on the shelf just begging for gun I tend to have lapses of reason. It breaks my heart to see an incomplete vintage figure.

ConvergeDW
05-29-2002, 03:02 PM
I would just go on ebay and but a lot of vintage weapons, it isn't too much, and you'll have extras. Especially if you are looking for more common guns, like the bespin one.

jjreason
06-25-2002, 04:51 AM
You could sell any extras later to recoup your cash. They're always in demand.

Clone_Commander
09-12-2002, 01:56 PM
Please post your tricks how you can see if a weapon is original or repro. Is it the colour, the sound when you drop the weapon, the smell ? Post your way to find it out to help me and all other vintage fans.

Bel-Cam Jos
09-12-2002, 06:37 PM
Clone_Commander, you have 5 total posts, with 2 starting threads about repro weapons and another replying to such a thread! You really like those repro guns, eh? ;) Just kidding. (Not about the post counts; it's true, as of 9/12/02)

Clone_Commander
09-13-2002, 11:22 AM
So let's use this thread then to talk about a good method to decide if a weapon is original or repro. There are so well made repros that it is really hard to differentiate these from the originals.

Alisard
09-27-2002, 10:57 AM
I know. I have some of the Lando guns and I cannot for the life of me tell the difference between real and repro! I know I didn't buy that many real ones, but I would swear that at least four of the ones I have are real. Three I can tell right away.
I think the only real way of telling the difference is to get some real vintage weapons so you can compare. I am going to get one real Lando gun to see what others I have and go from there.
I just ordered some guns from an online store. I ordered all originals and paid that price for them, but when they showed up, four of them were repros! I could tell right away. I am returning them, obviously.
Bascially I go by the sound they make when they hit the floor or the table, but that can be misleading sometimes. Like these Lando guns; I'm pretty sure most of them are repro, but they make the same sound as some of my other real guns. It's confusing...

Clone_Commander
09-28-2002, 03:06 AM
Yes, sound is not always the best way to tell the difference. I have a repro stormtrooper blaster and a real one and they make the same sound when they drop.

Jedi Master Silas
01-09-2003, 12:13 AM
I have a question. How can you tell a repo weapon, cape eyt from the real thing??? How easy is it to be fooled??

JediDBM
01-09-2003, 03:55 PM
I am no pro at detecting repos from originals, but it almost always seems like a difference in feel and (believe it or not) the weight. The repos seem to feel lighter. Maybe thats just me...

Jedi Master Silas
01-09-2003, 05:29 PM
I'm pretty sure all our vintage CL figs have authentic weapons but I've never seen or felt a repo weapon and was curious. Thanks very much :)

dbri
07-22-2003, 01:16 PM
seems like a lot of ebay 'vintage weapons' for sale could be reproductions or new stuff. how can you tell the diff? thanks.

Trip J
07-22-2003, 02:59 PM
Usually, it's been my experience that well-done repros are difficult to spot just by looking, but can almost always be identified by the so-called drop test.

Vintage weapons were made from a softer plastic than their repro'ed counterparts of today, and make a richer sound when dropped onto a hard surface. It is very obvious, actually.

icatch9
07-22-2003, 03:27 PM
Yes, I agree this is the best method. Unfortunetly you can't exactly do the drop test on an ebay auction :). Best way to tell is ask. Chances are a seller will respond right away if you call his stuff fake. There is always a matter of trust on ebay, but if you get them and think they are fake, then you can always try to call the seller on it and get your money back.

Good visual tests are very helpful If it looks to shinny, it's probally a fake. If it's a stange color that you don't recognize (like gray or dark gray) it's probally a fake. If the sabers are true red or yellow it's probally a fake (remeber the sabers for Luke and Vader where a kind of pale color). If a seller has tons of one kind of weapon it's probally a fake.

Hope this helps. Good luck on your search for vintage weapons.

LusiferSam
07-23-2003, 08:36 PM
There's other thread floating around with more tips and tricks. But the drop test is over all the best. I've heard some rumors about some repos out of Japan that use the same type of plastic as the original, some you can't tell the different. Again its a rumor I've heard.
Another one I have is texture. Real lightsabers (non telescope) have a texture. Repos a very smooth, but a light touch or lick it (don't ask) will reveal the real.

yngadult
08-13-2003, 05:46 PM
Too bad Hasbro won't go back to these weapons especially the imperial blaster. They seem more accurate in scale than POTF2 versions and sturdier than the new rubbery ones.

JON9000
02-13-2005, 01:07 PM
Now that I am on my quest to get a set of loose vintage figures, I find this repro problem is a real pain in the bum. While I can dig the idea that some folks want to complete an old figure without paying a lot for a weapon, I really hate being in the position of trying to recognize fake from legit, so much so that I wish they had never decided to make repros! :frus:

BTW- about 5 threads lurking in around could be merged into this one. I found this when I searched for "repro" :cool:

LusiferSam
02-13-2005, 07:05 PM
I'm not finding my thread (I sure it not this one), but this site about repros (http://www.loresdelsith.net/rincon/armeria/index2.htm) is one of the best. I learned more in a few minutes there about real and repro accessories than hours spent here and other sites. It not complete and they know it, but its still a very good resource.

Joshkj
02-13-2005, 07:18 PM
I have one vintage fig and its luke and its MOC, and its paying for my college lol

Fluke Skywalker
02-13-2005, 08:38 PM
Nice find LusiferSam. That site looks like a great resource for vintage collectors. When I started to reassemble my vintage collection a few years ago I had no idea how much of the repro stuff was out there.

JON9000
02-13-2005, 09:13 PM
I've seen that site. It's pretty good. What ticks me off is the number of dealers out there who sell grey repros and say nothing about it. I guess the best thing to do is buy from sellers who are obviously ditching their childhood collection. Those folks are pretty easy to spot. Also, some dealers will say the weapon is a repro, so if you look at their other auctions I think it is safe to say they are legit.

El Chuxter
08-25-2007, 12:45 AM
If there are scars right beneath them, they are probably fake. Not that it matters.

Bel-Cam Jos
08-25-2007, 10:21 AM
The reason why I will probably never buy a vinyl Jawa is due to the fact that the price I'd be willing to pay would either mean 1) it's a fake, or 2) the seller is clueless. There are more fake sellers out there than clueless ones, I think.

LusiferSam
08-25-2007, 11:24 AM
I'm not sure on this fake/repro thread was dug up versus any of the others, but oh well.


Spotting a fake vinyl cape - the repro capes I've come accross are only smooth on one side - the other side was rough textured.
The vintage ones were smooth on both sides.

This is not correct. Original vintage capes are textured one side and smooth on the other. Run your fingernail lightly across a side, one should give a zipper like sound and one nothing.

As for as weapons and the like go, The Jawa's Armory (http://www.loresdelsith.net/rincon/armeria/index2.htm) is the best site I've found for helping id repros. Man, this is a really old thread. One has yet to mention the drop test as a first step.

JON9000
08-26-2007, 01:58 PM
That's because there are about 5 other threads that are about 5 times better. Perhaps we could have them merged.

sjd9299
08-26-2007, 02:52 PM
Original vintage capes are textured one side and smooth on the other. Run your fingernail lightly across a side, one should give a zipper like sound and one nothing.

This is ture. You can see a cross-hatching pattern on one side of real vintage vinyl capes.

As for weapons, to spot a fake you must be very familiar with what an orginal looks like. You must know all the details because it is in the details that the fake can be spoted. Also color can be a good indicator. Especially if it is the absolute wrong color. Like a grey Leia blaster, or a blue jawa gun. Also, some fakes are painted. Like the wicket spears, if you take a fingernail and scratch at them, the brown pait comes right off.

Then there is the brittleness of the fakes. You can feel the difference when you hold it. If you try to flex it a bit it will not bend easily and it will most likely break. I did this in a toy shop once. The guy asked if I thought the Lando Skiff pike was a fake. It was funny colored and was low on detail. So I told him I thought it was fake and showed him the bend test against a pike I felt to be orginal. THe orginal bent a bit the fake broke in half. "See, a fake!" At first the guy was real mad that I broke it, but it confirmed that it was a fake and he would never have knowing sold a fake anyway, so he was glad I disposed of it.

LusiferSam
08-27-2007, 12:22 PM
As for weapons, to spot a fake you must be very familiar with what an orginal looks like. You must know all the details because it is in the details that the fake can be spoted.

The devil is in the details. And the details can be a devil. I've run across some very, very high quality repros that look, feel and sound just like the real thing. sjd9299 if you haven't checked out the Jawa's Armory site you should. I've learned more about repros there than anywhere else.

sjd9299
08-27-2007, 03:11 PM
The devil is in the details. And the details can be a devil. I've run across some very, very high quality repros that look, feel and sound just like the real thing. sjd9299 if you haven't checked out the Jawa's Armory site you should. I've learned more about repros there than anywhere else.

Thanks for the reference. I did not learn anything new here and I was disapointed to not find many of the well known weapon variations such as the Rancor Keeper's staff, or Bib Fortuna's staff. They don't even list Romba and Wicket as having different weapons. It is a good picture reference though and shows some good repros.

LusiferSam
08-27-2007, 07:56 PM
Yeah, that's a problem. Javier Lois, the guy who runs the site, does know this and is working on improving the site. I've personally contributed two sets images that are on the site. I tried to send in Wicket's spear (I think it's Romba's spear they have up), but it clearly wasn't used. And Javier has asked me about Bib Fortuna's staff. If you have info or can supple images connect them. The worst they will do is turn you down.

sjd9299
08-27-2007, 09:54 PM
I will take picture of what I have and send them in. When I get time... I wish I could do it right now. I always want to be helpful.

LusiferSam
08-28-2007, 11:07 AM
I will take picture of what I have and send them in. When I get time... I wish I could do it right now. I always want to be helpful.

All the images they have on their site are scans, not photos. I would check with Javier first and see what is needed. He may have images of items he's not used yet.

Collector_Kid
09-02-2007, 06:55 PM
Alright, I'm completely new here. I can pretty much tell repros from original thanks to Jawa's Armory. But I have a question.

What are the letters on the lightsaber's hilt mean? I have a Ben with a DD on the hilt.

If anyone can help me out, that'd be great!

LusiferSam
09-03-2007, 01:02 AM
Alright, I'm completely new here. I can pretty much tell repros from original thanks to Jawa's Armory. But I have a question.

What are the letters on the lightsaber's hilt mean? I have a Ben with a DD on the hilt.

If anyone can help me out, that'd be great!

Welcome aboard. Last I heard the letter's on the lightsabers are mold id's. So basically they nothing as far as I know, but can be useful in spotting repros.

JON9000
11-09-2010, 02:45 PM
www.imperialgunnery.com for those of you have not yet visited, it is pretty good.

Jayspawn
11-10-2010, 11:21 AM
Good site! Thanks for the link!

Bel-Cam Jos
06-20-2011, 06:28 PM
In cleaning out my garage this weekend, I noticed a small yellow piece of plastic on the floor. It was a Bespin Luke lightsaber :eek: (the hilt was cracked), but I didn't realize I had another one loose like that. Odd...