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

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Old 03-15-2007, 11:02 PM   #1
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How to tell the new KO Reissues apart from authentic toys.

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/

Quote:
A new website has been created to help in showing some of the differences between the Unofficial reissues and original vintage Transformers. The site should provide an unbiased view on the differences between these figures and can become a very informative tool for prospective buyers when they are searching eBay and other places to get these toys. The site is www.kotransformers.com and is currently featuring comparisons done by e3nine from the TFW2005 board. Efforts will be made to ensure this site is as up to date with new information when it is possible. Hopefully reviews of the toys and figures will be added as well in the near future.

Last edited by Sol Fury; 09-27-2007 at 02:37 AM..
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Old 03-15-2007, 11:29 PM   #2
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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.
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Old 03-16-2007, 04:56 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Draven
Also, KO Swoop doesn't have a painted face.

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.
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Old 03-16-2007, 05:22 AM   #4
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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




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Old 03-16-2007, 06:51 AM   #5
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A good source for TF Knock Off pictures:

http://www.toyarchive.com/Transforme...KnockOffs.html

- Backscatter
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Old 03-16-2007, 12:54 PM   #6
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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?
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Old 03-16-2007, 01:20 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by JunkersHVN
s. 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?

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.
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Old 03-16-2007, 11:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by godsenddeath
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.
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.
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Old 03-19-2007, 11:03 AM   #9
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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 by Draven; 01-17-2008 at 08:43 AM..
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Old 03-19-2007, 11:12 AM   #10
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This is THE thread I've been waiting for. Thanks!!!
Feedback Thread: http://www.tfw2005.com/boards/junkio...nebrouser.html
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