Discussion in 'Transformers Toy Discussion' started by JunkersHVN, Mar 15, 2007.
I think the downscaled MP, just because has a little more detail from what i can remember
Chrisr291 - whoa! That could make sense why these KO manufacturers are so brazen! I just want HasTak to reissue the toys as I want better quality stuff.
Yep! If your Patent is over.... its free game!
IANAL, but I don't think there's ever been a dispute about the patent describing the toy itself. Rather it's the use of copyrighted and trademarked material stamped on the figures and used on the packaging that Hasbro can go after.
Quick Look: Knock Offs: General Certainties
The Optimus Prime Knock Off, Wheeljack, Mirage, Prowl:
there is a "." or period not a ":" or colon, after the "ages _ and up" on the lower left front corner of the box.
The "Does Not Play Cassettes" sentence to the right of the "ages_ and up" lingo along the bottom of the box is NOT present at all. IMPORTANT!!!: be SURE it's a "R" box. That means, look for a "R" above "The Transformers" on the top flap. NONE of the original pre Rubsign "TM" boxes ever had the phrase "Does Not Play Actual Cassettes" along the bottom, so on those ONLY (boxes with the "TM" stamped above The Transfomers on the top flap), it's 100% legit to have that missing. It looks to me like the counterfeiters used a Pre Rubsign Box for the template, but then, strangely, changed the TM to the later "R" designation for the top flap. They created some kinda hybrid pre-rub/rub box.
Look for "Bomander" by his name...authentic will say "Commander"
Rubsign's NOT visible on the wing through the window because the counterfeits stuck the symbol on the opposite/wrong wing in the box.
His head and metal are the wrong color (black)
Really, Really tough. Some have the colon instead of period in the "ages_ and up" phrase on the lower left front. The biggest tell is that on the back of the box the entire left side was shaved/trimmed. Look at the tech spec, if the box edge outside the rectangle is only a few centemeters away, you've got a KO.
Just look at his name in the lower left front corner, on the original, it says "TRANSFORMERS" above Slag's name on the front of the box. The counterfeit is missing this.
Late 90s Chinese Knock off Megatron:
Look for little *** or asterisks throughout the styrofoam. They looks like star/snowflakes. Also, Megs has a rubsign on the wrong side as they copied the 1987 movie mail away Megatron. The box also has a slightly rougher cardboard that is eerily shiney, like the knock off Chinese Cyclonus boxes.
Knock off Devastator Giftset:
No grey border around the left side of the left 3 Constructicons like on the original.
Knock Off Cassettes:
All of them have SHINY, metal rivets you can see on the edges at the top and/or bottom of each cassette. All versions have this that I've seen. The originals have dull, darker colored rivets you cannot see well in a photo.
All Minibits except Bumblebee:
Hole Punch in the DEAD CENTER or card, not slightly shifted to the right.
For Bumblebee: The copyright is amputated on the back of the card and omits info the other minibots have.
Reflector: Look at the missiles, if the missiles do not have a platic tree that goes ALL the way around them, and only goes 3/4's of the way, leaving the tips sticking out with no plastic tree runner in front of them, it's a fake. Otherwise, if the missiles are removed from sprue, and the counterfeit seller applied the normally factory decals that come on a separate sheet with the KO, it's really tough to tell with just pics.
Metroplex: KO only came in POSTER boxed Metroplex boxes. If yours is NOT a poster box Metro, you're good. If it IS, just check the grid on the front and back of the box, is it easy to see over the black? If it is, you're golden, if it's hard to see and blends more, it could be a fake.
Cyclonus and Scourge: BOTH the late 90s Chinese KO and the 2005 KO's have ugly bubble margins around the figure, meaning, instead of a squared bubble with lotsa room for glue underneath to hold the bubble down, the bubbles are crudely cut in the shape of the toy with little room to glue. This is ALSO true for the Chinese re releases in the late 80's and early 90's of Springer, Snarl, Grimlock, Swoop, Sludge, Slag, Inferno, Tracks and Blitzwing.
This is incorrect. While their patents may have expired, their copyright on the toys has not. The copyright will endure for at least 70 years.
There are no late 90's Chinese knockoffs. Chinese knockoffs started being made in 2005.
Any stock of G1 Transformers from China that was found in the late 90's was just dead stock from Hasbro's Chinese G1 from the early 90's.
Also, I know you're just trying to help, but a lot of your information is already covered earlier in this thread or in ID guides linked to directly from this thread.
Actually, most of the details info I posted is not covered earlier in this thread, or by the guides, and there is a lot of mis information floating around about the Chinese "legitimate market" toys. There is significant speculation about those toys to prove otherwise, including their amputated box and figure copyrights, It is not known if these were officially licensed from Hasbro for production in China or not. The argument goes around and around, depending on which source you seek. Some people chalk them up to their Mexican early 90's counterparts, but regardless, there are sellers trying to pass them off as 1984-86 originals which I strongly disagree with. Some examples as I mentioned include The G1 Cyclonus, Scourge, and Bumblebee. Fred's page offers some insight on this as well. To add to the confusion, some of these toys were RE-re issued in 2005 using the Chinese molds yet again from the early nineties.(something this thread addressed, but again, no reference to their earlier bootlegged manifestations a decade earlier). These are generally well known (aka, highendtfs coverage of the counterfeir Beachcombers graded as originals). Some of the info I posted was redundnat, but only to thread together in one place a quick reference in one post for most collectors.
Those you spoke of are chinese tfs, produced for the Asia/Chinese/Europe/SEA market when takara finally shifted manufacturing to China.
These are legit as far as the collectors from these regions are concerned.
Not an expert in the South American stuffs, so no comments/insights.
The present KOs like Cassettes, Op, Dinobots, Mini-bots, Mirage, Wheeljack etc are all reversed-engineered & have nothing to do with the chinese molds.
The misconception by western collectors is that these Chinese tfs were bootleg. Even the term chinese reissue is technically wrong, they are not reissues.
The early 2000s takara reissues are reissues, TFC are reissues, & the Encores are reissues. The Chinese tfs were produced at a later stage compared to earlier US/Jp.
There might be slight differences in quality of make(which has been grossly exaggerated over the years), but this is because they were manufactured in different places.
e.g a launch iphone and the very same model produced months/years later just before a switch in production plant or launch of new model for a different region/market.
There will be a slight difference in quality, which is due to a different manufacturing location or raw material used. Does that make it a reissue?
"Reverse Engineered". Think about that statement and then think about the modus of "cost effectiveness" here: let me explain.
If that were the case, it still does not explain the identical similarities in the 05 knock off's bubble cut, box paper, (edged flap..where you can see the paste lines), cropped box art, same paint quality, and inconsistency of bubble glue one sees onthe SAME, early, (well into the late 90's) Chinese issued toys.
The "reverse engineered" story is a total MYTH. In fact, the 2005 Chinese KO/bootlegs simply used the SAME upstart factories employed by China in the early 90's to produce their run. BOTh runs are imposters when sellers try to represent them as Takara Japan originals to collectors. And they're easy to miss if you don't know which ones to watch out for. They may be the same characters, in a copied format, but they're definitely NOT the same molds, box patterns and buble cuts I see on the Takara, Japan originals.
Look at the KO's from 05 to present compared to the TFS issued in the early to mid 90's in China (aside from Shockwave, produced by a secondary counterfeit agency I won't even go into here, but again whom is covered on highendtfs.com) and you will see what I'm saying. Wheeljack, Skylynx, The Dinobots, Metroplex, etc, were all 90's Chinese TFS. Again, they're re-casts from the same Chinese molds.
Reverse engineering is extremelly expensive, and YES, they have done it in recent years because of the ENORMOUS success of the initial 05-07 knock off run. I believe Reverse Engineering was introduced in 08, but again by the newer knock off distributors (one of Devastator Giftset reissues and again, Shockwave both employed this), but again, reverse engineering to 05 KO's, total malarky.
I've accidentaly owned the early to mid 90's issued Chinese Springer, Cyclonus, Megatron, Beachcomber and Bumblebee, and they're identical in play and packaging to the 2005 knock offs, with regards to the 05 KO's having differently formatted weapons (some un treed), and factory stickers on sheets.
You're RIGHT though, perhaps I should NOT use the word KO or bootleg or counterfeit for the early to mid ninetees Chinese TFS since it's debateable they were licensed offically by Hasbro, but with so much mis representation going on today, and their obvious poor quality re-replicated and constantly complained about with the 05 Counterfeits (which again are the same toys from the same doormant factories made active again), I feel the need to regard both genres as NON G1 Hasbro USA Transformers. And, again, I have seen NO concrete evidence to support the fact that the early to mid 90's Chinese TFS were officially licensed. I've seen a lot of users claim they were, I've seen many claim they were not. But no one, that I've ben able to find from Hasbro can confirm eithe rumour.
At minimum, I feel these toys are intentionally mis represented as Takara, JAPAN, Pawtucket PA originals.
It is not a myth but a FACT over here. The same factory routine is wrong, its already been discussed & verified on the chinese boards. No idea where it started from, could be a blind from the ko maker, or sales pitch from the beginning. I m not sure which figures are you referring to, could you clarify the ones that were being passed off as Takara's? I wasn't aware of any or heard about them. The ones I m aware of usually pass themselves as Hasbro's.
Atad confusing here, the kos I m referring to & what MG & others' guides are for, are the Zhongjin's. I m taking it that they are who you meant by the secondary counterfeit agency. I m sure that they didn't do Skylynx.
There ARE differences in detailings between the kos & the chinese tfs, comparisons have been made. Some detailing are missing, the ones that aren't, are not the same(like dimension wise etc)
It isn't as expensive as what it used to be & has gotten a lot easier.
The cost involves is higher when one legitimately goes about making an original item, paying designers, engineers to test etc
The maker doing the 05-07(if you are referring to the cassettes, OP, Minibots, Dinobots, Mirage etc) kos are the same folks doing the Devastator & Shockwave.
That's the point of the kos, the packaging is the easiest to do.
Can't remember which board, but somebody even managed to located and monitored the maker's purchases which tallied with subsequent releases (made long before pre order leaks by sellers).
They don't have to design & engineer the figures ground up. Get used figure >laser scan it> Mold(the expensive part)
Packaging although used by most to judge, isn't really flavored by me(It is the easiest to counterfeit). Packaging is the cheapest part of production & are generally outsourced. The printing/packaging industry is pretty consistent, as long as they are provided the required files.
Regarding the chinese tfs.
You are using the basis that figures manufactured earlier or location are the defunct originals(Its not wrong, but I wouldn't say it is totally right either)
The dormant factories story just doesn't hold up if you understand the manufacturing industry.
There are machineries/workers/materials involved. Lull time for whatever reasons = loss of $. Starting/switching production lines aren't that simple.
The misconception by western collectors about chinese tfs, which seem to have started from the older & erroneous discussions & speculations from Fred's Variants site. The quality issues has always been overly exaggerated over the years, especially the plastic make. Remember this they are manufactured in different places with. There have been cases where the makes were notably bad, but they were attributed to poor storage conditions.
The quality issues for the kos are simple, cost cutting measures, lack of proper qc(they ARE kos afterall), rush to push the figures out onto the markets. Although its been noted that quality do improve, ie the problems with the ko swoop has been corrected.
I doubt anyone who knows what's went on is still working within Hasbro now.
I ll agree with you that they are not the same tf you used in your assumptions, because they ARE different. They were made in different factories & produced years later. I m no material engineer, but quality issues to me are partially due to the raw materials used(causing slight color variances or density of plastic) & bad storage conditions.
Misrepresentations(deliberate or not) were largely due to the lack of information from asian tf collectors when these started appearing.
Well I definitely agree with you on the "lack of info" comment. Most collectors, including myself were completely in the dark in the mid to late nineties on these toys until sellers and long time hobbyists Karl and Phil Hartmann, Frank of Final Frontier and Dave Mamer as well as Himawari started stumbling on the "oddballs"...aka Chinese produced toys with amputated copyrights and slightly wierd boxes.
Personally, and without a certain identifier, other than claims or word of mouth, I'd be very wary on any info gathered from the Chinese boards..they're notorious for generating false information. It's not necessarily intentional mis direction, but more guys that don't have any connection whatsoever with the "facts" they claim to know firsthand. In other words, a lot of un needed sensationalism.
And even with some of the newer modeling programs, "Reverse engineering on the production level" is insanely expensive. I know this because I work next to industrial and personal app engineers daily . I've run this question by them myself. But I AM presenting the situation in terms of the WHOLE picture...like not only PC rendering, but production of the molds themselves, plastics, metals, color matching, etc.
If they already had 1 or 2 of those componenets, YES, I can see it as a cost effective upstart. And like you said, I'm thinking N American marketplace...maybe in Asia, those sorts of steps are simple and disposeable means of production. But again, no matter where you are in the world, i would have to argue sheer "time" in producing these examples and side with the opinion "pre existing" conditions. A la...re-use of the early to mid 90s prod factories or at minimum, transpo and use of the molds and strike plates to a new facility. It's the only thing that adequately explains the similarities between the 2, and as mentioned earlier, the Chinese issues from the 90s WERE significantly different from their Takara Japan, earlier counterparts, and almost IDENTICAL to the 05 KO's.
I m just sharing what I do know. & what I m sharing are FACTS from this side of the pond, just as what you would hold as the definitive words for US/Japan stuffs from your end.
The bias & self opinionated povs of western collectors are precisely why most asians collectors don't bother.
Existing documentations on NA/Japan seems pretty complete to me. Not the Asian/Chinese, MG's guides are probably the closest english documentations at the moment, but even then there are still missing/debatable information.
I m not sure where you are heading with technical talks, but the kos are still kos reversed engineered, & have nothing to do with the chinese tfs unless it was based off one. I don't have every single one, but you can try getting assistance from those who have these kos & do a very minute comparison between it & a chinese/NA g1. You ll literally see the differences for yourself. The motivation for the kos is simply monetary that's all & the guy responsible being a fan himself.
I recently bought a loose G1 Snarl. It's looking great, the chrome is shining and the toy is clean as new. But curiously, most joints are completely loose. My first conclusion was that this is a knock-off. How do I tell these apart?
I tried Google and this entire thread but couldn't find anything useful.
And what I'm saying is that I've owned BOTH versions, and the 90s Chinese molds and make are identical to the knock offs. (take a look at the KO Snarl and Chinese European released Snarl from the late 90's. They're identical...aside from the outter packaging, even the bubble cuts look alike.
Additionally, as I've repeatedly said in this thread, the Chinese TFS were made using different strike plates in many instances pertaining to copyrights and plastics from the USA originals...that's apparent when you compare them side by side, which would make "reverse engineering" from the original Takara/Japan molds impossible.
You can't reverse engineer a Chinese molded Transformer from a Takara Japan original...the contradiction upon contradiction makes my head spin.
Wherever you're getting the info you have, it's either wrong, or only partially explained. My eyeballs looking at these toys side by side tell me that.
At the most extreme edges of insanity I will buy the argument that the initial 05 KO's MAY have been reverse engineered from the Chinese 90's molds...probably using the same strike plates from the China factories from the 90's as a reference point since they were both produced in the same country ...but I am more apt to go with the practical opinion argued for years that the strike plates were simply RE used from the 90s TFS molds for the 05 KO's with amputed or altered toy copyrights.
If you have info that proves your argument, other than a forum comment on a Chinese board, or second hand info from a guy claiming to be an ex employee in China, it would help greatly to see that.
All I have is the collective rescources of the individuals mentioned above. And all we have thus far is the overall experience of 20 years of dealing in and seeing and selling these toys.
And I'll be the first to admit I'm no authoratative expert (no one is without written proof), but the entire point of my initial posting was to clear up the heresay and conjecture that keeps floating around the web on some of the more common KO's AND bring to light other imposters sold under the guise they are Takara/JAPAN originals.
The "Soundwave" "Does Not Play Tapes" topic is enough to make me want to scream at anyone that thinks a "TM" stamped box lacking this phrase is a KO!
We've digressed quite a bit once again on conjecture alone from the entire point of my initial posting, which just contains the hard "sight seen" facts I've come to know as a collector and felt a need to share with this board. And YES, some of it overlaps with highendtfs.com. So points well taken on all sides.
Good points, Melkava. And if you think there's anything wrong or missing on my site, let me know. I've slowly been adding missing info, so it's getting more complete.
Tossing known names does not do anything. Especially since they were speculating probable theories themselves. I believe non of them have ever claim those as facts. The problem is other folks taking their words as literal facts and running with it. Some folks on my side, takes dealer's info with a pinch of salt, cos they have a monetary gain from distinctly differentiating the lines.
^ What makes the information found here more legit compared to others like Actoys?
I think you ll have better luck if you posted some pictures, there should be guys here who have knowingly bought the dinobots kos & can do a comparison for you.
Packaging is the not a sound way for comparison especially for Zhonjins' since they make running changes up to a certain point. These similarities IS what they aimed for.
Asia is not just China/Japan but also includes Taiwan/Thailand/Philipines/Singapore/Indonesia. At least 6 different languages, the information is out there, just not in English. And folks generally keep within their own community. In fact, it seems like the deception of passing kos as legit G1 is more prevalent among westerners to other collectors than asians to westerners. Not saying there isn't any, but less. For example in China, kos are distinctive labeled as such.
I don't have the "hard facts" that most western collectors seem to need. Ironically they can't prove what I say is wrong either, so its back to square 1. Back then collecting habits & styles in Asia were completely different. Folks simply don't have the space to display entire collections, any galleries were usually more casual.
I did a half arsed write up in the past that I wanted to share on Fred's variants, but wasn't able to join & submit it before he stopped the site. My only nitpick, just like you had to constantly correct folks on the chinese tfs over the years. The term chinese "reissues" doesn't seat right with me, tfs were officially introduced & aired in China, & the lines were also done again primarily because Hasbro/Takara had finally consolidated their production there.
End of the day, I think everyone here is just trying their best to help one another out with what they know. Haha like what TeletranOne said this thread is getting hard to read
Any hint how to tell a real/fake Alternator Rodimus?
There was some site (lost the link) showing that the real ones have a stamp at the lower left bottom.
99% of the ones in ebay today DO NOT seem to have this ...
Here ya go
famitoy: Fake Toy Review - Alternators Hot Rodimus
Does anyone know how to tell a real Scamper from an immitation one?
I recently purchased Scamper on ebay, and when it arrived it was sealed in a plastic baggie (much like I've seen Legends KOs), inside looking like it was brand new, all accessories for Scamper with it. I'd swear it looks like someone just assembled it from the plastics plant. Moreover the seller immediately listed another identical listing on ebay the moment I bought this one. So is he pushing immitation Scampers?
Separate names with a comma.