Knock offs are a problem in today's society. You have illegal pirated software and DVDs available from many Asian countries and not to mention what you can download on your computer, and now you can add Phantom knock offs to the list.
I am a huge phan and recently after my marriage I now have some money to spend and so like most Phantom phans I head over to eBay and other forums to try and add to my collection and swap with other phans.
However recently I have become aware of some great looking Phantom merchandise that made my Phantom sense tingle with warning signs. I was not wrong either after some research.
These items are nice, do not get me wrong they are so good that many, including me, have been tricked. Please note I am not saying that you should not buy or seek to get these items, I am just warning that you may be getting something you did not expect.
Some items that are doing the rounds
Brazil pins – These are really nice and I have a copy of them myself and I would recommend them to anyone.
Iron on Member patches – Yes these are fake and I have two.
Member keyrings – These look nice and if they were cheaper I would buy one (pictured).
Trading card Magnets – They are not advertised as a Trading card Magnet BUT all they are is a trading card in a plastic container with a magnet stuck on the back, nice on my white board but fake.
Homemade badges – I almost paid a mini fortune for a set. All they are is bits of comic placed in a badge making machine.
How To Spot A Fake
It’s hard, I have been a collector for a number of years and have Johnson's Price Guide but I still have been caught. I would recommend getting the latest price guide as it includes a CD which has images of ‘most’ of Phantom memorabilia. Also posting an image to a forum/ email (Chronicle Chamber Forum/Phantom Phorum) to an expert may also help. Another idea is to actually ask the seller or to read the description. I once asked the seller and then got him to remove me as a bidder after I found it was a fake.
Is there a difference between a fake and something licensed? To the collector who has everything, I would say no. To someone who has been duped and paid for something believing it was official, I would say yes. I think it all depends on the buyer. If you're aware it's a fake and are willing, you may have something very rare indeed.