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View Full Version : Beware of vintage carded figure auctions



IG 8D8
10-11-2009, 09:45 AM
I was doing a search for 12 back carded figures on ebay and found quite a few in really nice condition for less than $100. They almost looked too good, with a shiny clean card back. It seems some will tell you the figures are on reproduction card backs and some sellers might not. While I was aware that people re-card figures I can imagine it would be very confusing for others who are looking for a bargain. Make sure you know what you are getting is the bottom line. If it is truly an original vintage carded figure look for the creases and price stickers, if it looks brand new be very wary. The price isn't the whole story, but if it's a legit item the price will reflect that ($1,000+ easily for carded 12 back). There are fakes out there no doubt and reproductions. Do as much research as possible. I would hope new collectors could see these differences.

Old Fossil
10-11-2009, 10:58 AM
Helps to check the seller's feedback, too, and their specific history items sold. Vintage-specific dealers are usually to be preferred over sellers of generic merchandise.

LusiferSam
10-11-2009, 12:28 PM
You've just touch the tip of the iceberg. There's repro cards, repro bubbles, repro accessories and in some case repro figures. That doesn't even touch the area of recarded figures. I think the seller reputation is a bigger factor simply how the card looks. While less the perfect cards are more common than perfect ones, they do exist. A seller who's known for selling fakes seems much less likely to have a real mint 12 Back than a seller with a reputation of selling only the real. Beside if you're good enough to create a fake card the fools people, you're good enough to create fake damage too.

Bel-Cam Jos
10-11-2009, 02:58 PM
An easy, but wimpy, method is like me, who doesn't collect carded figs. Mainly for that reason, but also the higher costs. Sorry to hear of your troubles, IG8D8.

IG 8D8
10-11-2009, 06:36 PM
Great points everyone. Reputation is important. I didn't really have any trouble, it was just interesting to look at the different levels of carded figures out there. Right away that question of trust arises in your mind when you see a figure going for hundreds of dollars.

However I must admit it would be cool to have some vintage figs on reproduction card backs. Even though it wouldn't be entirely authentic it would look cool in your collection. I heard that Master Replicas makes them, is there any other way to obtain reproduced card backs?


update: I just found some vintage figures re-carded on what look like original card backs. Pretty cheap, $15-20.

Old Fossil
10-11-2009, 07:09 PM
However I must admit it would be cool to have some vintage figs on reproduction card backs. Even though it wouldn't be entirely authentic it would look cool in your collection. I heard that Master Replicas makes them, is there any other way to obtain reproduced card backs?

You could always assemble a set of the neo-Vintage figures from the Original Trilogy Collection (2004) and the subsequent two years' worth of vintage-style cards. I have them all and they make for an impressive display, and are much more affordable than "true" Vintage MOC specimens.

LusiferSam
10-11-2009, 11:39 PM
I heard that Master Replicas makes them, is there any other way to obtain reproduced card backs?

I would hope not. Unless it is clearly marked a repro item, I'm personally against them and encourage others not to buy them. There are far too much unscrupulous people looking to made a quick buck. Tools that enable them should be discouraged.

IG 8D8
10-15-2009, 07:23 AM
true, I like the look of the OTC and the vintage style cardbacks.
I find it interesting that loose vintage figures are worth about as much as modern loose figures.

bigbarada
01-18-2010, 01:04 PM
I'm always wary of carded figures that look too perfect. Especially POTF figures with crystal clear bubbles. I have seen non-yellowed POTF bubbles, but they are usually somewhat cloudy or scuffed up.

However, I wouldn't have a problem buying high quality recarded figures as long as they are well made and not just some crappy scan of a vintage card with no attempt to even hide the halftone pattern. I would personally love to buy a recarded 12-back R2-D2, because that was the very first toy that I ever picked out for myself (I was 4 years old, going on 5, at the time); but I don't really want to pay more for the figure than my monthly rent check.

Although my "holy grail" carded Star Wars figure would be a POTF Barada with a TRU price sticker. Only the price needs to be crossed out and "2 for $1" written on it with a blue or black marker (I don't remember which exactly, but it was most likely blue).

Summer of 1986, the one and only time that I saw a Barada figure in the stores was at a TRU in or around San Diego, CA. For some crazy reason, even though he only cost 50 cents, I did not buy him! :cross-eye I was 13 at the time, and that one moment of poor judgement has stuck with me through all these years.:o

Bel-Cam Jos
01-18-2010, 05:59 PM
Summer of 1986, the one and only time that I saw a Barada figure in the stores was at a TRU in or around San Diego, CA. For some crazy reason, even though he only cost 50 cents, I did not buy him! :cross-eye I was 13 at the time, and that one moment of poor judgement has stuck with me through all these years.:oI saw B in a Thrifty's for what seemed like forever, and he was an outrageous-for-the-time $4.99, with his weapon taken out. I passed. Then, when I went back and was willing to shell out five bucks for an incomplete toy... wait for it... it was gone. :( But I found one later for about $25 carded, with all parts, from a collectibles store in Reno (I did NOT have to shoot a man there, just to watch him sell it to me).

Old Fossil
01-18-2010, 08:13 PM
(I did NOT have to shoot a man there, just to watch him sell it to me).

You're goin' down, down, down in a burnin' ring of fire for that one.

pbarnard
02-02-2010, 03:19 PM
I was doing a search for 12 back carded figures on ebay and found quite a few in really nice condition for less than $100. They almost looked too good, with a shiny clean card back. It seems some will tell you the figures are on reproduction card backs and some sellers might not. While I was aware that people re-card figures I can imagine it would be very confusing for others who are looking for a bargain. Make sure you know what you are getting is the bottom line. If it is truly an original vintage carded figure look for the creases and price stickers, if it looks brand new be very wary. The price isn't the whole story, but if it's a legit item the price will reflect that ($1,000+ easily for carded 12 back). There are fakes out there no doubt and reproductions. Do as much research as possible. I would hope new collectors could see these differences.


You've just touch the tip of the iceberg. There's repro cards, repro bubbles, repro accessories and in some case repro figures. That doesn't even touch the area of recarded figures. I think the seller reputation is a bigger factor simply how the card looks. While less the perfect cards are more common than perfect ones, they do exist. A seller who's known for selling fakes seems much less likely to have a real mint 12 Back than a seller with a reputation of selling only the real. Beside if you're good enough to create a fake card the fools people, you're good enough to create fake damage too.

I will defend the handful of customizers who do cardbacks, restorations, etc because they are good trading partners/friends. But they will TELL YOU that an item is a reproduction up front, what to look for etc. I've seen the cardback folks at FFURG go ape and spam and flame and complain to ebay about people who've stolen their work. So far their track record when some one does misrepresent them is good at getting the auction taken down. If there's any doubt you may want to consider contacting some one who does do reproduction work because they can and will help diferentiate between a reproduction and genuine article.

sandpeoplenottusken
02-03-2010, 08:32 AM
Greetings folks, i'm new to the forum (my first post)....I got into collecting star wars as a child like some of the old timers i'm old enough to have seen the original in the movie theater (which i did about 4 times), had all the figures (opened and played with like a child should) up until EMSB. all in a dark vader collectors case. well......I digress! lol

I would have to agree it is scary for the possibility of getting burnt on a vintage carded. my grail figure is a carded 12 back.....yup you guessed it sandpeople.

bought it about 9-10 years ago from brians toys, it was called a C8.5 (i have no idea what it's worth today, my first time back looking at prices in quite a few years if you know i'd appreciate it)

I have also bought vintage in person at shows, and a couple times on ebay....all with success... i think if you know your product, and are not looking for a sale to be too good to be true, you would be ok??

bigbarada
02-04-2010, 07:43 PM
I will defend the handful of customizers who do cardbacks, restorations, etc because they are good trading partners/friends. But they will TELL YOU that an item is a reproduction up front, what to look for etc. I've seen the cardback folks at FFURG go ape and spam and flame and complain to ebay about people who've stolen their work. So far their track record when some one does misrepresent them is good at getting the auction taken down. If there's any doubt you may want to consider contacting some one who does do reproduction work because they can and will help diferentiate between a reproduction and genuine article.

If you were to recommend someone who does custom cardbacks, who would you pick?

TheDarthVader
02-04-2010, 09:53 PM
What program are those guys using who do the reproduction card backs? Photoshop?

El Chuxter
02-04-2010, 11:57 PM
I'd guess a combination of Photoshop and InDesign, possibly with some Illustrator worked in (the vector artwork is possible to some extent in InDesign, but Illustrator is easier to use and more powerful). That's what I would use if I felt the need to duplicate a cardback. Photoshop alone would be possible, but incredibly time-consuming.

pbarnard
02-05-2010, 02:55 PM
If you were to recommend someone who does custom cardbacks, who would you pick?

From FFURG.com: Savrip (owner of site)
Meccano-Man (bow before him and call him His Holiness)

Are the two I would trust the most because I've "known" the longest. There's some others, but since I don't do much scan trading, can't tell you.

Most use Photoshop.

bigbarada
02-05-2010, 09:35 PM
From FFURG.com: Savrip (owner of site)
Meccano-Man (bow before him and call him His Holiness)

Are the two I would trust the most because I've "known" the longest. There's some others, but since I don't do much scan trading, can't tell you.

Most use Photoshop.

Thanks! :thumbsup: I joined that FFURG and have been having some fun playing around with their templates.

I'm trying to imagine what a vintage Kithaba card would have looked like and my biggest problem (aside from finding a print-quality image) is deciding on the color field that would go behind the figure.

My first instinct would be to make it blue, because every ROTJ figure with a significant amount of red in his design (Royal Guard, B-Wing Pilot, Nien Nunb, Admiral Ackbar) was given a blue background on the card. However it just doesn't really "pop" as much as I would like, so I took some color cues from Kithaba's outfit. I've got it narrowed down to three:

EDIT: Looking at them side by side, I think I can eliminate the red one. That's too similar to Barada's orange background. I might try a different shade of blue, maybe something more subdued. Right now, I think the mustard yellow one is my favorite.

bigbarada
02-15-2010, 09:28 PM
Made some more custom cards, these are just two possibilities of what an ROTJ Barada card might have looked like. The first one is the most likely, but I just liked the way the second one turned out.

I'm thinking about repainting one of my Barada figures in movie accurate colors and trying my hand at custom carding him on an ROTJ card. I'll probably do a Droids version as well, but I'm working on the artwork for that card idea now.

2-1B
02-15-2010, 09:41 PM
Excellent work! Personally, my favorite is the mustard yellow one...but I really like the orange close-up shot, too.

LordGanja
02-16-2010, 12:19 AM
If anyone is worried about getting ripped off on a carded vintage figure, ask the seller for some better pictures if not already provided, post them here and I'm sure we could help you determine if they're recarded or repro's.

There's a couple sure ways to tell if its a fake, but most sellers list their items on ebay as recarded or reproductions in the description. It would only be some doosh that re-sells them as originals you have to worry about.

:mad:

LordGanja
02-16-2010, 12:24 AM
and on a side note... repro's probably aren't what will satisfy your hunger for reliving the old days of vintage. What you all really want is a vintage carded figure that's been waiting inside its bubble for 30+ years for you to buy it and display it with your collection. While more expensive, they're worth it and they will retain their value unlike repro garbage. I thought this was a vintage forum, not a repro forum, maybe that's why I stayed away from here for 10 years.

LusiferSam
02-16-2010, 01:16 PM
I thought this was a vintage forum, not a repro forum, maybe that's why I stayed away from here for 10 years.

Oh, good one. There's a whole section here for repros, I mean 'customs.' My tolerance for repros ebbs and flows between quite unacceptance to total believe capital punishment. Right now the maiming of ones hands sounds pretty good to me.

Items that are clearly and unequivocally marked as a custom I have little problem with. One day I'll like to try and make my own Blockade Runner, based on the Kenner photos and 3 3/4 scale Bespin sets, based on the Micro Collection sets as customs. The problem stems from the stuff that is not. That's great pbarnard's friends try and stop their stuff for being misrepresent, but it should never have gotten that far to begin with. That my two cents.

pbarnard
02-16-2010, 02:56 PM
and on a side note... repro's probably aren't what will satisfy your hunger for reliving the old days of vintage. What you all really want is a vintage carded figure that's been waiting inside its bubble for 30+ years for you to buy it and display it with your collection. While more expensive, they're worth it and they will retain their value unlike repro garbage. I thought this was a vintage forum, not a repro forum, maybe that's why I stayed away from here for 10 years.

Hmm, the old I know better than you what your hobby should be argument. :tired:


Oh, good one. There's a whole section here for repros, I mean 'customs.' My tolerance for repros ebbs and flows between quite unacceptance to total believe capital punishment. Right now the maiming of ones hands sounds pretty good to me.

Items that are clearly and unequivocally marked as a custom I have little problem with. One day I'll like to try and make my own Blockade Runner, based on the Kenner photos and 3 3/4 scale Bespin sets, based on the Micro Collection sets as customs. The problem stems from the stuff that is not. That's great pbarnard's friends try and stop their stuff for being misrepresent, but it should never have gotten that far to begin with. That my two cents.

So in cases of plagurism, fraud or digital piracy/copyright violation, it's the content creator's fault, not the person who actually stole the work and passed it off as their own/legitimate? We should kick out the kid that wrote the initial paper that the other stole, it should be Metallica that pays for all the illegal Napster downloads, etc. That's rich and logical. :rolleyes:

I just hope your hands are good and bloody after beating all the people who've bought vintage repros weapons for their figures instead of overpaying for real ones. If you go to CV, remember, there's a whole dealer showroom for you to get busy and prove your disdain. :thumbsup:

Ok, my sarcasm ends. I'm picking up the concrete block and bashing people next. I haven't had (mouse/rat) brain fly in my face since i stopped using a microtome.

bigbarada
02-16-2010, 05:27 PM
Excellent work! Personally, my favorite is the mustard yellow one...but I really like the orange close-up shot, too.

Thanks! I just wish I could find a better quality photo of Kithaba, that's just a blown up screenshot. I'm pretty happy with the Barada close up card.

I have no interest in making too many of these custom cards and I would never consider trying to pass any of them off as real (which is why I've chosen to make cards that were never available from Kenner). I just think it's a cool "what if" exercise. I'm really having fun coming up with ideas for what Barada's card art would have looked like if he was released in the Droids line.

However, if people object to me posting images of custom vintage cards in the vintage section, then I can use the Miscellaneous Star Wars section from now on.

LordGanja
02-16-2010, 06:31 PM
Hmm, the old I know better than you what your hobby should be argument. :tired:

Ok, my sarcasm ends. I'm picking up the concrete block and bashing people next. I haven't had (mouse/rat) brain fly in my face since i stopped using a microtome.

hey, it's supposed to be a vintage forum, in fact this is a thread about being weary of fakes and repros. Then it turns into "what's the best way to get a repro" and "where do I go to get a repro". If your hobby is collecting repro garbage, why are you in a vintage forum? Most vintage ROTJ carded figures you can get for under $100 and most loose figures with vintage weapons can be had for under $10. Collect what you will, just do it in a custom forum or at your house.

And overpaying for vintage weapons? are you serious, most vintage blasters, capes, and accessories can be had for under $10 if you know where to look. Repro's are meant to deceive and that's why they're BS.

Sorry, I've been ripped off by people passing one thing over as another and it makes me think why, and its just a crime if you ask me. I got a blue snaggletooth that somebody had painted the feet to look mint and I almost wanted to track that dude down. $180 for a re-painted snag.

bigbarada
02-16-2010, 09:30 PM
Then it turns into "what's the best way to get a repro" and "where do I go to get a repro". If your hobby is collecting repro garbage, why are you in a vintage forum?

I can only assume you are referring to my question, but I didn't ask where to find someone who made repro cards, I asked where to find someone who made custom cardbacks. You can check the attachments from my previous posts to see why. I have a degree in Graphic Design, so I have a great appreciation for the design aesthetic of the vintage line. It's not because I was looking for fakes, I was because I wanted to create some "what if" ideas for my own enjoyment.

2-1B
02-16-2010, 09:55 PM
Ganj, what happened to the "homegirl" comment ? :p

LordGanja
02-16-2010, 11:51 PM
Ganj, what happened to the "homegirl" comment ? :p

I guess I thought better of it. Dude just rubbed me the wrong way, but when I re-read what he was saying, I just realized he was sticking up for what he collects/sells, even though I completely disagree. I'm all about vintage items, full descriptions on seller's ads, no deception, and not screwing people over. Repro's and AFA grading are cancers of vintage collecting, but we have to save that argument for another day or check out ramblings on other sites.

LordGanja
02-16-2010, 11:55 PM
I can only assume you are referring to my question, but I didn't ask where to find someone who made repro cards, I asked where to find someone who made custom cardbacks. You can check the attachments from my previous posts to see why. I have a degree in Graphic Design, so I have a great appreciation for the design aesthetic of the vintage line. It's not because I was looking for fakes, I was because I wanted to create some "what if" ideas for my own enjoyment.

no prob bigbarada, you're a fellow Rebelscum member, you know where I'm coming from. I just don't think discussion of repro items has any place among vintage collecting. I don't have any problem with custom cards, as long as they're not sold as originals. You would be surprised what people will spend hella money on that anyone in their right mind knows is a fan-made item or fake.

Ji'dai
02-17-2010, 05:21 PM
So is there a place you can buy the old 'coffin' style bubbles used in the vintage line?

Making your own vintage cardbacks looks like fun but I'd have to buy the plastic bubble if I wanted to put a figure on it.

pbarnard
02-17-2010, 06:10 PM
So is there a place you can buy the old 'coffin' style bubbles used in the vintage line?

Making your own vintage cardbacks looks like fun but I'd have to buy the plastic bubble if I wanted to put a figure on it.

guys make their own and sell/trade to others. So yeah, still a customizing thread. :p