How to tell the new KO Reissues apart from authentic toys.

Discussion in 'Transformers Toy Discussion' started by JunkersHVN, Mar 15, 2007.

  1. JunkersHVN

    JunkersHVN Well-Known Member

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    I got a few of the new semi-unofficial/pseudo-official Chinese KO Transformers recently to try and figure out how to tell them apart from the real vintage toys and I figured I'd share my findings here.

    So far I have received some of the Frenzy and Lazerbeak sets and the Ratbat and Frenzy set. I've also read reports on the Swoop remake and should be getting the weapons from one sometime soon to look at. I don't have the Optimus Prime set.

    First a few of the basic things I've noticed firsthand and heard from other people that will help to point out the fakes:
    Screws - The screws they use in these toys are all different and slightly cheaper than the original toys. You can tell by looking at them that they are pretty much the same quality as those found on the really cheap KO combiner sets.

    Rubsigns - These are a dead giveaway. Outside of the fact that the surface seems to start peeling away on a lot of them, the artwork is usually off-center and doesn't look as crisp as the real rubsigns. They also use a different type of thermal surface that is more sensitive, so you barely touch them and the change color rather than having to hold a finger on them. They remind me of the repro rubsigns from Reprolabels with a better surface layer but worse artwork.

    Diecast parts - Most of the diecast parts seem to have very thin paint applications on them compared to the originals and the paint is cheaper, so it tends to rub off a lot easier.

    Now on to a few specifics I found on the cassettes:
    One dead giveaway is the tape window stickers. They printed these all on the metallic stock instead of a matte stock like the originals, which gives them an incorrect mirror finish.

    The colors on the Frenzy and Lazerbeak are pretty obviously wrong on some of the ones they released, but this was on purpose.

    Ratbat is a LOT looser that the original. His wings, feet, claws, and head are all very loose. Also it is the painted version that should have come with gold weapons but the package has silver chrome weapons. Also the painted part is painted onto the screws as well when some of the screws on the original did not have paint on them. Ratbat's ears are identical to the original painted version, though - the color is slightly off if used in a stickered version and the pin holes are a bit smaller (a micro drill and pin vise fixes this though).

    All the cassette weapons have various spots where the details were re-etched so that certain details end up smaller, thinner, or finer that the originals. This is hard to tell unless you compare them side-by side.

    From what I've read and seen on Swoop there are a few indicators.
    The rubsign is on the wrong wing, which is obvious even with the toy boxed.
    The holes in the wings for the launchers are mismatched. One of the holes will hold the launcher fine but the other one is too big.
    One of the pins that holds the beak and head parts together is too long, making it hard to transform the toy into robot mode without it catching on the metal chest piece.
    The stickers that were originally factory-applied are on the sticker sheet instead of the toy itself.

    The only one I know of for Optimus Prime is that the sticker that should be on the side of trailer is on the sticker sheet instead.

    UPDATE: Spencer of Ages3andUp has also created a new website, KOTransformers, dedicated to comparisons between the originals and remakes. Check it out by clicking on the link above, or by copying this address into your address bar: http://www.kotransformers.com/

     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 27, 2007
  2. Draven

    Draven Banned

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    Also, KO Swoop doesn't have a painted face.
    This thread is likely to turn out to be VERY useful to a lot of people.
     
  3. godsenddeath

    godsenddeath . TFW2005 Supporter

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    They made a running change somewhere along the way; mine came with an unpainted face attached but a painted face was included in a ziplock bag taped to the bubble.

    The face is attached via a peg, so it's easily swapped out with the painted one.

    The wing stickers were included too, although all the stickers had a very 'papery' quality about them, somehwere on the level of stickers from Mexican TFs. They'll take very little handling before they wear.


    As for the claims that it's made in the same factory as the original, i'm skeptical.
    Mine is stamped 'made in Japan'. There's no way it was made in Japan.
     
  4. Optimus Scourge

    Optimus Scourge Arcee's boy toy Veteran

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    The KO Optimus' box is darker and has an indent on the back where the flap meets the box. Some came with trailer side stickers applied, some didn't. Mine did.

    Original on left, both pics

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Backscatter

    Backscatter Autobot Brainmaster TFW2005 Supporter

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  6. JunkersHVN

    JunkersHVN Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the added input. Just as a note, I was concentrating more on the actual toy indicators rather than packaging to help people tell if a loose figure is legit or one of the remakes masquerading as a legit toy. Telltale signs of fake packaging are the wierd perforations on the cards or inserts, some off gradients as noted above, and thinner cardboard used for the packaging. Also, you can find spots on the cassette packages where a price sticker or blemish on the package used for the source artwork was Photoshopped out and I suspect this holds true for the others as well.

    Apparently some of the accessories and parts are identical to the originals, so it's likely that a few will start filtering into collections or as repair parts on original toys. I've heard that Swoop's clear beak part and plastic neck piece are identical to the original and that they work with original vintage Swoop toys as replacement parts. Can anyone confirm or deny this?
     
  7. godsenddeath

    godsenddeath . TFW2005 Supporter

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    Can't vouch for the fit, but 'reissue' Swoop's plastic parts have a rather rubbery feel about them, so an upclose inspection would be a dead giveaway.
     
  8. JunkersHVN

    JunkersHVN Well-Known Member

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    Are you referring to the red parts for the feet, back of the head, and lower jaw? Those parts were PVC on the original Swoop toys, the rest of the toy was ABS, though. It would be kind of strange if they cast the clear beak part in PVC.
     
  9. Draven

    Draven Banned

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    Further observations on the KO Swoop:
    1 - the box is not very well glued; the back on mine is already coming away.
    2 - The plastic in general is extremely soft; So far I've already had 3 screws shear their threads in the plastic (both shoulders & the right lower arm). I've epoxied them together.
    3 - The fit in general isn't particularly good. The moulding is nice, but it just doesn't fit together very well.
    4 - He is LOOSE. As in doesn't stand up straight in robot mode.
    5 - The paint app on his chest is not good at all; it doesn't cover well, and chips if you look at it.
    6 - Due to the softness of the plastic on both the missiles and the launcher triggers, the missiles will not stay in for too long. The problem with the hole in the wing for the right missile launcher, incidentally, can be solved by taking a thin strip of the surround from the sticker sheet and winding it round the post twice. It should fit quite snugly then.
    7 - I don't know if this was a problem just with mine, or with them in general; the pieces that the shoulders slide out on are in the wrong chest sides. Because of this, the fit on the diecast chest fronts isn't brilliant. I did open mine up and swap them over, and now the fit is much better. Ironically I discovered this because I had to get those pices out anyway, due to the screw threads stripping (mentioned in point 2 above). Be warned, though; the screws holding the chest to the wings do not like to go back in properly. You may have to apply a lot of pressure to get them screwed back in properly.
    8 - I don't know what the missile launchers are like on an original Swoop, but on my KO version, they both have the screw hole on the same side.

    It may be difficult to spot on something like eBay, but if you get it in your hands, you'd have to be blind and have no sense of feeling to think it was real.
    It should, however, be mentioned that KO Swoop still displayed fairly well despite the above. Just be ready to possibly have to do a little surgery to make him right.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2008
  10. Tenebrouser

    Tenebrouser Craft...or is it crap?

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    This is THE thread I've been waiting for. Thanks!!!
     
  11. Joe Moore

    Joe Moore Is Not Jim... Administrator

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  12. wheeljaxx

    wheeljaxx Banned

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    agreed with Draven. i placed 1 sticker on swops chest, peeled it uff cuz it was crucked, and the paint came right with it. you can almost see the dicast grey under the very thin coat of red. the hands on mine are very poorly cast, and teh screw does not hold it together very well, mine has a face, unpainted, and grimlocks sword. the box however is perfect. glued well and sturdy. the plastic IS very rubery, but unfortunatly, on ebay, it will be very difficult to tell.

    mine is for a kitbash anyway, and i have a junker swoop to use the better parts from.
    and YES, teh beaks are darn near PERFECT quality wise, and do fit with G1 parts for replacement purpose. you may need to clean a bit of flash off the pin hole however.
     
  13. Draven

    Draven Banned

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    I got the unpainted face, but I did get the right sword. The screw in the right hand striped the first time I put the sword in there, though.
    The quality of the stickers, BTW is not at all good; they're well cut, and fit pretty well, but they lose their ink really quickly. I'll be ordering Reprolabels for him.
     
  14. JunkersHVN

    JunkersHVN Well-Known Member

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    I got the weapons for swoop today and compared them to the originals. Here's how to tell them apart:
    The sword - on the original sword, the edges and tip of the blade are rounded off whereas the KO sword has a flat edge and sharp lines, some of the other details are a bit less rounded as well.

    The Missiles - these would be identical if not for the one issue mentioned previously about the ends that go in the launchers. The inner post is almost twice as thick as the original missiles, giving the launchers less to hook on to. Mind you, the reissue missiles work with the original launchers without any problems, but I don't have the reissue launchers to test them with. Even the original US releases of most of the Transformers toys had certain springs removed or weakened (compared to the US reissues which had them removed altogether), so if the reissue had the extra springs that may make it harder for the launchers to hold the missile. As far as the US launchers, every single original Swoop launcher I've found has the screw on the same side, it's a pair of identical parts, so there was no point in wasting the money for extra tooling just to move a screw. This is common with most of the original Transformer toys.

    Another thing I noticed is that, while some of the toys like Lazerbeak have the country stamp of "Made in Japan" or just "Japan" on them, others are missing this part altogether. I've yet to find a country stamp on the Frenzy/Rumble figures. I lost the broken wings to the Ratbat I got before I could check to see if there was a country stamped on him, though.
     
  15. Fatbot

    Fatbot Active Member

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    Cool thread. I had been eyeing a KO Swoop for a couple of weeks, but was too suspicous of it to take the jump. Thanks to you guys, i think i'll pass.
     
  16. ShadowPrimus1979

    ShadowPrimus1979 Hero For HIRE

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    KOS

    The Knock offs are usually Cheep plastic, Hollow, Look Real shitty, ect.
     
  17. JunkersHVN

    JunkersHVN Well-Known Member

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    In general, yes, but I started this thread because there are a series of new KO Transformers that are using the original molds (supposedly) and are produced in the same quality plastic as the original toys with packaging that is near identical to the original US packages. They even have fake Hasbro and Takara copyright stamps. I wanted to document the differences so people could hopefully avoid being duped into thinking one of these fakes was legit.
     
  18. Tenebrouser

    Tenebrouser Craft...or is it crap?

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    I know Beachcomber, Beastbox/Squawktalk cassettes and Backstreet have good quality knockoffs out there.

    Be aware of Chinese lettering on the front and back of the package. Also see that part of the copyright stamps under the tech specs have obviously been blacked out. But, you can still read the faded out white text underneath.
     
  19. Might Gaine

    Might Gaine The Devil Express

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    Not all TFs with the Chinese name in the front top corner have the blacked out CR information. It seems likely that those that do not have the CR blacked out on the box are part of the original 1990's Chinese release. Those that do have that part blacked out are part of a later run made without Hasbro's permission.

    If you go on taobao (Chinese Ebay) there are tons upon tons of G1 toys that have the Chinese name sticker. People only know the ones you listed (and Ironhide and Cyclonus) because those are the ones that people found cases of and sold on Ebay in last 10 years. But there are many, many others. For example:

    http://auction1.taobao.com/auction/25-50007088-203509/item_detail-0db2-cb1d70b94cef7d98907017f12d6bbced.jhtml

    Since there were so many of them, that supports the idea that those without the CR information blacked out were made with Hasbro's permission.
     
  20. godsenddeath

    godsenddeath . TFW2005 Supporter

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    Not always. The plastic quality on KO Ratbat is pretty good.
     

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