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Comprehensive G1 Counterfeit / "Knockoff" ID Guide

LAST UPDATED: 8/27/2015

Zhong Jin ID Guides:

    • Red Alert
      • Real US Red Alert says "Transforms from Fire Chief's Car".  Counterfeit says "Transforms from Race Car".
      • The grey grid lines in the background are thicker (like you see on most of the counterfeits).
      • "Transforms from [...]" and "Autobot Warrior" are the wrong fonts
    • Sideswipe
      • Counterfeit has an extra-wide grid square (double sized) to the right of Sideswipe's name
      • The grey grid lines in the background are thicker (like you see on most of the counterfeits).
      • "Transforms from [...]" and "Autobot Warrior" are the wrong fonts
    • Smokescreen
    • Sunstreaker
      • The counterfeit has "Ages. 5 & Up" instead of "Ages: 5 & Up" on front of box--it uses a period instead of a colon.  This is the same difference as on Mirage and Wheeljack's boxes.
      • Check out Dan's loose Sunstreaker ID guide.
    • Wheeljack
      • See e3nine's guide for box differences.
      • The toy is missing its the factory applied stickers, including the obvious "539" sticker on the door.
      • Early runs of this counterfeit have problems with the legs locking in place.  Later runs don't have this problem.
      • See coolyooyu's toy and accessories ID guide.
  • Cassettes:
  • Combiners
    • Abominus giftset
      • Comes in easilly identifiable English language giftset box, which never was released in the 1980's or any other time.
    • Computron giftset
    • Defensor giftset
      • Artwork is missing a detail from Defensor's crotch:
     
    • Decepticon Jets:
      • Cyclonus and Scourge
        • See these ID guides:
     
    • Dinobots:
      • In General:
        • "The Counterfeits used the "TM" moldings, stamped Instructions, but issued them in "R" copyright boxes. That's the reason for the "Slag" box with NO yellow box indicating "Transformers" on the front lower left (they copied the "TM" graphics), and the amputated NO Hasbro copyrights on the bots themselves. The original TM bots, like these, ALL exhibited "Takara 1984" (and then some Japanese characters) ONLY on [the toys]. Again, NO mention of Hasbro anywhere [on the toys themselves]."  (Tip contributed by bendrixx--Thank you!)
      • Grimlock
      • Slag
        • On the original, it says "TRANSFORMERS" above Slag's name on the front of the box.  The counterfeit is missing this.  (There is a real Slag box variant that is missing the little "TRANSFORMERS" logo, but it has "TM" on the big logo, instead of the "(R)" that the counterfeit has, so you can still use this tip to tell the difference.)
        • In early batches of the counterfeit, all parts on Slag originally silver are gold, except for his mane.  This includes his jaw, the chrome parts on his ribs, and his gun.  Later versions are silver like a real Slag.  Reportedly there is also a variant of the counterfeit with a red jaw.
        • Some versions of the counterfeit include a silver chrome sword, other versions include a red sword like a real Slag would have.
        • Early versions of the counterfeit have a plastic film over the first holes.
        • Slag's dino face is completely translucent on the counterfeit, whereas the original is very slightly opaque.
        • See coolyooyu's toy and accessories ID guide.
      • Sludge
        • See e3nine's guide.
        • See coolyooyu's toy and accessories ID guide.
          (Corrections to coolyooyu's guide, courtesy of Transformerland: The image comparing the rubsign area on the dino neck: early production US Sludges did not have the raised rubsign square, instead placing it on the right chrome panel near the base of the neck. Date stamps: The Takara/Kanji only stamp is present on early production Sludge, the Hasbro line was added later in 1985.)
      • Snarl
        • On the counterfeit's box, the black bar above his name is not long enough--the real one lines up with the bottom yellow box.
        • In early batches of the counterfeit, the clear plastic is too dark.  Later versions correct this problem.
      • Swoop
        • See this ID guide:
  • CORRECTION: Legit Swoops can have the perforation
    • Also, for loose Swoops, here are some helpful differences:
      • Factory applied stickers are not applied.  They come on a sticker sheet instead.
      • Early runs of this counterfeit had many problems:
        • Toy itself is relatively low quality.  Soft plastic was used, the toy doesn't fit together well, and it's generally lose.
        • The red paint on the diecast chips very easily.
        • The head it comes assembled with is not painted.  Subsequent runs included an extra painted head in the package that can be swapped out with the unpainted head. 
        • Some of the initial run comes with Grimlock's sword instead of Swoop's sword.
      • Many of the problems mentioned above were resolved eventually in later runs of the counterfeit.
      • The launchers do not fit on one of the wings.
    • Gnaw
    • Headmaster Weirdwolf
    • Insecticons (Bombshell, Kickback, Shrapnel):
    • Minibots (Beachcomber, Brawn, Bumblebee, Cliffjumper, Cosmos, Hubcap, Outback, Powerglide, Seaspray, Warpath):
      • General ID Tips:
        • All Minibots, except Bumblebee: Holepunch is in center, but original's holepunch is shifted toward the right.  This is easiest way to tell that the Minibots are fakes.
        • All Minibots, except Brawn and Outback: Bubble is too far away from edge.  Original release's edge of bubble touched edge of card.
        • Most Minibots: Have abbreviated copyright info on the back of the card, like the Chinese release--i.e., "manufactured in (Country) under license from Takara" is missing on the back of the card.
        • Some loose ID tips from AC Toys that use the sprue cut locations.
      • Specific ID Tips:
        • Beachcomber
          • Has wrong sticker on his chest.
          • Has typo on back of card.
        • Bumblebee:
          • Since Bumblebee's holepunch isn't centered (an obvious giveaway for the other Minibots), look for the abbreviated copyright info on the back of the card.  That's a clear giveaway.  (See "General ID Tips" several lines above.)
          • Sometimes has Decepticon rubsign on his chest.  Rubsign is sometimes up-side-down.
        • Cosmos:
          • Arms assembled up-side-down.
        • Hubcap: See e3nine's guide.
        • Seapray: See Fighbird's ID guide
    • Optimus Prime
      • See e3nine's guide
      • The grey showing above the trailer's window is probably the most obvious tell.
      • The earliest run said "Made in France" on the trailer, while later runs said "Made in Japan" instead.  Real "Made in France" Optimus Primes are pretty hard to come by.
      • There is also a black version counterfeit and a gold-instead-of-silver version counterfeit, which imitate expensive limited edition Japanese reissue releases.  Of course, the originals did not come in U.S. boxes, so that is one obvious tell for the counterfeit.  Also, the gold-instead-of-silver counterfeit does not have the gold stickers of the original.
      • The red paint on the diecast chips very easily.
    • Reflector in mail-away box
      • Almost impossible to distinguish from the original MISB.
      • Does not come with factory stickers applied.  They are on a seperate sticker sheet.
      • The missiles of the original come attached on a 4-sided rectangular plastic tree.  On the counterfeit, the tree is missing its left side.
      • Tips contributed by iceman (Thank you!):
        • The factory tape is old. Regardless of storage, especially being on a white box, its impossible for the tape to stay perfectly clear over all these years.
        • KO Reflector box cardboard is slightly thinner than original.
        • Inside the box:
          • KO comes with an extra decal sheet for unapplied factory decals.
          • The polystyrene tray is made of less-dense foam/poly cells, in otherwords its a cheaper grade.
          • On official g1 poly/foam tray inserts, they all have many many circles stamped on them on the top side. These circles have 6 lines running through them. Counterfeits including reflector do not have this pattern. This is an instant give-away on foam trays, but is often hard to see in photos with alot of lighting and are better viewed up close.
          • Spyglass has a darker blue paintjob on his metal chest.
          • Viewfinder has a big giveaway. Viewfinders arms are of course grey/silver plastic. on an original, viewfinders forearms have perfect plastic mix and colouration consistancy. On a ko, the plastic isnt mixed as well and you can see a wash in the plastic.
    • Shockwave
    • Soundwave/Buzzsaw (box only)
    • Triple Changers
     

    CAT-TOYS ID Guides:

    Kidi Toys ID Guides:

    • Devastator
      • See these two ID guides:
      
    • Metroplex
    • Metrotitan
      • Comes in counterfeit Metroplex box with the sticker "Emulational Robot" on it, so use the Metroplex guide for the box.
      • The red plastic is much pinker on the counterfeit.
      • The counterfeit does not come with Metrobomb (the Micromaster) or the docking piece to connect Metrotitan to the other Micromaster bases.

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    Links to ACToys pages are broken

    Can't get to the KO insecticon pages. Not sure if others are also broken.

    There are many of these in

    There are many of these in counterfeit form that is now in circulation targeting collectors and enthusiast, but they have learned so much I guess when it comes to this idea. Fake print is not that firm compare to the genuine one that is in high res digital format layout and prints, just as those printed at http://www.digitekprinting.com/digital-color-copies.

    Is there a KO ver. of Takara Tomy Masterpiece Soundwave MP13?

    Hi there,

    I've just recently picked up the hobby of collecting transformers, particularly the Takara Tomy Masterpiece line.

    I've seen numerous discussions and buyer's warning about influx of KO ver. of some figures of the line (e.g. Exhaust, Bumblebee, Lambor) in the market right now, and it takes a trained-eye to tell them apart.

    I'm looking at getting a MP-13 Soundwave (2013-release, NOT G1) but I'm worried of getting a KO one. Should I be worried? Or is it non-existent?

    Please advise! Thank you:)

    NEW Soundwave knock off

    Seems to have box, poly, stickers and robot, missing Buzzsaw and instructions.

    http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Transformers-G1-Decepticon-Communicator-Sound...

    Kickback KO ID guide has some problems

    All the differences noted in the ACToys loose Kickback KO ID guide are differences that can be found in real versions of Kickback, depending upon whether or not the figure has only the Takara copyright or the Hasbro/Takara copyright. The KO looks like it was made from the Takara only copyright version, but the guide compares it to a Has/Tak copyright version, so of course there will be plenty of differences.

    Comparing the Takara-only version I have in hand with the ACToys pics, the differences that I can see are as follows:
    1) KO appears to have circles in the rubsign squares on one side of the wings, Takara version doesn't. (This could just be something going on with the ACToys pic)
    2) KO version rubsign is on the wrong wing - it should be on the one next to the robot's right arm.
    3) KO only has dashes next to the rubsign square on one side of the wings. Real one has dashes on both sides.
    4) KO has injection mold points on upper back of legs, real one does not.

    Is there a ko for jetfire

    Hi I would like to know whether is there a Ko for jetfire,if so how can I tell.

    Re: Is there a ko for jetfire

    There is no Jetfire knockoff.

    Ultra magnus Ko

    Is there a Ko for ultra magnus?

    Re: Ultra magnus Ko

    Nope. There is a recent reissue of the reissue that was sold in China, but that's legit. No knockoffs that I'm aware of.

    General

    Hello everyone!

    Am I reading this awsome page correctly if I assume that all the known KO are listed here and if a figure does not "figure" here there is no KO out there?

    /Sideswipe

    G1 Thrust KO

    Hi I just want to know whether is there a ko for a hasbro g1 thrust and does having a price tag sticker on the box prove that the figure is legit.Thanks

    Re: G1 Thrust KO

    There is no G1 Thrust KO, so you should be safe.

    Octane

    The jpg was great, thanks.
    Noted a discrepancy: my KO Octane came with the diagonal placement of the figure in bubble, not flush/flat against the back of the box as suggested. Could be a change, could be either/or.

    Re: Octane

    Thanks for the feedback. I'll update the guide with your new info soon!

    Bluestreak is there a ko i box

    I am responding again to my earlier comment my bluestreak is a pre rub version and it has red guns instead of silver is it still original

    Re: Bluestreak is there a ko i box

    There is no boxed knockoff that I am aware of.

    I took a look at the ones that the seller is selling, and they are clearly legit. They're actually part of a dead stock find from a few years ago--I can tell, because I recognize some of the other stuff from the dead stock find that he is selling, like mail-away Gnaw and Sky Garry. Word of caution, though: some of the Prowls and Bluestreaks have really bad glue on the bubble and come off the card during shipping.

    Anyway, the guy who said it was a knockoff is just an idiot :) It's real.

    Bluestreak is there a ko in box

    Hi i had bought g1 bluestreak three months ago from e bay and i paid 500 dollars for mib bluestreak but it is mosc .The problem is i put a video of the unboxing in youtube but a guy told me he thinks is a ko . The box looks quite mint and the stickers and accessories are all kept in the packet sealed with tape that is yellowing and the figure is sealed on to the card . I personally belief it is real as the seller sells a lot of g1 and he stated he does not sell fake items. He has 99.3% positive feedback and there is no complaint regarding about the figure.The seller ebay id is ( babeconvoy) if possible could u research for me whether he is he sells real authentic g1 I just want to clear my doubts thanks a lot.

    GRADED COUNTERFEIT RAVAGE/RUMBLE

    COUNTERFEIT RAVAGE/RUMBLE AFA GRADED ON EBAY?
    Ebay ITEM # 141053106489. This item was graded in 2010. Two red flags: Rumble has black hips and his name extends WAY beyond the 7 in the Asst#.......all the way to the edge of "ASST" Any thoughts from anyone

    RE: GRADED COUNTERFEIT RAVAGE/RUMBLE

    Thanks for pointing this one out. I took a look and it's real. I can tell because it doesn't have most of the other differences, and you can see it has the Omnibots mail-away insert behind Ravage:
    http://tfsource.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/xmail15.jpg

    I've got a note in the ID guide that some black-hipped Rumbles are real. I'll add something that says "ignore the Rumble name positioning if it's the 5731/5733 assortment".

    I was wondering if the

    I was wondering if the counterfeit rules for mini bots also extends fully to the pre rub versions. There is a Pre rub Cliffjumper AFA 70 on eBay right now that has the bubble seemingly not touching the right side of the card fully. I'm sure it is real and I'm being very nit picky but some clarification on this would be appreciated.....especially if I was considering buying one NOT graded.

    COUNTERFEIT RAVAGE/RUMBLE AFA GRADED ON EBAY?

    Thanks for your response! Learned something new.

    Sunstreaker fake or not

    I have a g1 sunstreaker and it say below 'AGES: 6 and up' instead of 'AGES: 5 and up' so I need to know is it fake it not please reply because even had a sticker in the saying 9.90

    Re: Sunstreaker fake or not

    It's some sort of legit version. The counterfeit has "Ages. 5 and up" (no colon, different number).

    Smokescreen Counterfeit Guide

    Wanted to send this over for a possible add to the page:
    http://www.tfw2005.com/boards/transformers-toy-discussion/783773-transfo...

    Other guides have been infinitely helpful.

    Re: Smokescreen Counterfeit Guide

    Finally added this. Sorry for the delay!

    Re: Smokescreen Counterfeit Guide

    Thanks for the link! I'll add it to the site when I get a chance.

    .......

    _,I think this course is one of the around out there, it definatley worked for me,although you do have to put the work in,but as iv said we are all is different and we all have our ups and downs.Gladly i keep going up ,Good luck.man tom

    Dinobots on eBay

    HI this listing claims these are re-issues by Takara and made in Japan. Are these the actual re-issue boxes? I am only sceptical because the listing is in China.
    eBay listing no: 180827281472

    RE: Sludge on eBay

    Hi there,

    I was hoping someone would be able to verify this listing of Sludge on eBay, if it is indeed an original G1 figure. THe ebay listing is -200688316902
    I have tried using the information from this page but I am very bad at picking out the subtle differences, as this figure has the red sword and seems to have the correct colours.

    Thank you.

    Pepsi Decals for Pepsi Variant of G1 Optimus Prime

    Hi. Does anyone know how to tell the difference between the real pepsi decals that came with the pepsi variant and the reproduction pepsi decals?

    Hound sealed both sides TM

    I recently bought a hound , the box has the TM , i expected it to be a pre-rub . However it has a rub sign . is this common ?

    Re: Hound sealed both sides TM

    It's not common, but it's possible it's "transitional"--made right before they were switching over from TM to R, and the rub signs were available but the boxes were still being worked on. Weirder things have happened :)

    1986 movie prime

    So it is an original Hasbro. I havent heard of this. Is it rare? Thanks for responding!

    Re: 1986 movie prime

    Hey, I didn't read the article fully. Looks like the same stamp was used on Hasbro and Takara reissues as well. Sorry if I've just muddied the waters. Here is how you tell the difference between the movie version trailer and the reissue trailer:

    " reissue trailer door has a 5 stamping on it, and 3 large mold-indents on it(per side, total of 6)....movie trailer door has a small, hidden 5 stamped in a corner, and 6 small indents."

    Here is the article in full:

    http://fredsworkshop.com/vprime.html#parts3

    mail away/ movie trailer

    According to Fred's workshop which has a pic of a Prime trailer with 5 stamping in the trailer slot, the reissue trailer has large indent circles and a 5 stamping, while the real trailer has small indent circles and a 5 stamped in a corner, all this being on the trailer door. I compared those descriptions to a trailer I have with the 5 in the trailer slot and a trailer with 4, and the trailer with the T4 in the slot has a trailer door that has a 5 stamped on the side not corner with the small indent circles. Its my opinion that the trailer with the T4 has the small indent circles with a 5 on the side of the trailer door while the T5 trailer (movie trailer) has the larger indent circles and a 5 in the top ride corner. Can anyone confirm?

    Optimus g1 5 stamp on trailer and cab

    I recently purchased a loose in box prime and saw it has a 5 stamp in the trailer slot. Ive seen T; T2; T4, but this has only a five. Any thoughts?

    Re: Optimus g1 5 stamp on trailer and cab

    According to Fred's old Optimus Prime variant page, it's a mail-away 1986 Movie Prime :)

    Series 1 Bumblebee

    Hi I recently purchased a series 1 bumblebee sealed on the card.. I did a lot of home work from this site and got alot of pictures from the seller. So question is...is there any comparisons of a series one bumblebee? On the bottom of him it reads something in japananese an then CTakara CO. LTD 1980-1984-Japan.Looks pretty legit. The card has the full copy rights nothing is shortened and the card's hole punch isnt punched. WOW I SAID!!! A Prerub and a non punched hole how rare is that!!
    Im not sure 100% if it was resealed as it possibly looks like it either came loose and was glued on the bottom and sides or it was opened and reglued or its just wear from its age and my eyes are playing tricks on me.
    My thought was if it was opened there sure isnt any bends in the card or bubble since its about half way up. and to fit the car back inside without puting a crease or really big bend...Well im not sure, I really want to send it to AFA but Im think it might get rejected.then what good is it..hahaha Good thing is I only paid $136.00 for it.

    Re: Series 1 Bumblebee

    I saw this on Ebay too. It's an original G1 in good condition, but I saw larger pictures of it from the seller, and it definitely looks like a reseal. Sometimes people reseal carded figures because the bubble is getting loose--i.e., the toy doesn't even have to come out of it and it's still a reseal. I wouldn't send it to AFA to grade (it would probably get rejected), but they could probably make you a decent sliding-bottom case for it if you want to display it.

    Series 1 Bumblebee

    Thx for your thoughts mightgaine.... So I decided to send it to AFA and ask them to grade it under the Qualified Scale if they think it was resealed. When I saw a bigger picture from the seller I saw a spot on the left side that looked like it could have been resealed, its torn underneath but after looking at it a million times and under a magnafi glass I think It might not be resealed but just faded from the years but not for sure. I usualy only buy MISB or MOSC transformers and dont want to bother with loose KO's. so when I get it back from AFA look for me.

    Made in France Trailer blue feet

    I recently purchased a loose G1 Prime. The trailer says made in france 1980, 1982. It has the T2 symbol and takara stamp. I also noticed the grey plastic the trailer is made of is somewhat glittery and has alot more shine than my original and a couple others I have. Im assuming this is a knockoff. I read somewhere that there were red-footed and blue-footed primes manufactured in France but that they are very rare. Any ideas?

    Re: Made in France Trailer blue feet

    Yeah, "Made in France" OP is pretty hard to come by unless you're in Europe. That's the version they got over there. I'd vote knockoff.

    I heard about this before

    I heard about this before and this is my first time got the time to read about, it was interesting and useful if you have more detail on this topic kindly share here.debt settlement companyMostly for myself, but also for the benefit of others, here are some of the modules that have gotten.

    Anyone have KO Red Alert Comparisons?

    Hey, just wondering is anyone has KO Red Alert info/pics..like copyright diffs, mold diffs, etc?

    KO Reflector Worries

    I'm concerned with the number of Transformers Reflector toys I keep seeing popping up on Ebay. My primary concern is that the KO's may be used and sold as the original. As an experiment, I recently purchased my first (and definitely last) KO Transformer, a KO Reflector and compared it to pics of the original I found all over the net. All kinds of speculative comparisons CLAIM the KO has different looking stickers, different pins for the arms in Spyglass, different copyright info....but when examining the KO I bought, it's IDENTICAL to the original, once one applied the included pre applied factory stickers are stuck on. The styro in the KO is even identical. These guys did an absolutely fantastic job on the KO. My primary question is this, does ANYONE have any info that proves the KO from the original? I KNOW the missile tree is different in appearance, but from what I can see, it appears one could simply remove the missiles from the tree, apply the stickers and sell the toy MIB as original for hundreds of $$.

    RE KO Reflector worries

    Hi there, I shall answer your question the best I can.

    There are several differences:

    * There are actually 2 types of Reflector mailaway boxes. 1 has made in Japan down the bottom right corner, and this is the version that is most common and was counterfeited. The 2nd has this same text but "fabrique au japon" in french additionally underneath the 'made in japan' text.. in otherwords, a canadian version. However, as there was limited numbers of boxes produced, less then the amount of reflector figures for mail away, it is a fact these boxes were sent out throughout north america, until the boxes and remaining poly/foam trays from reflectors microx days were used up, then reflector was sent in bags like other mailaways.

    * The factory tape is old. Regardless of storage, especially being on a white box, its impossible for the tape to stay perfectly clear over all these years..

    * KO Reflector box cardboard is slightly thinner than original.

    INSIDE THE BOX

    * Missile tree is the one we all know, the ko is missing one of the sides, the original has four corners.

    * KO comes with an extra decal sheet for unapplied factory decals.

    * the polystyrene tray is made of less-dense foam/poly cells, in otherwords its a cheaper grade.

    * On official g1 poly/foam tray inserts, they all have many many circles stamped on them on the top side. these circles have 6 lines running through them. ko g1s including reflector do not have this pattern. this is an instant give-away on foam trays, but is often hard to see in photos with alot of lighting and are better viewed up close.

    * Spyglass has a darker blue paintjob on his metal chest.

    * Viewfinder has a big giveaway. Viewfinders arms are of course grey/silver plastic. on an original, viewfinders forearms have perfect plastic mix and colouration consistancy. On a ko, the plastic isnt mixed as well and you can see a wash in the plastic.

    those are my tell tale signs.

    Yeah, fake Reflector is very

    Yeah, fake Reflector is very hard to tell apart from the real thing. If anyone has anything to add to the guide for how to tell the difference, it would of course be appreciated.

    Difference in real and KO Reflector

    When you press the button on top of the authentic Spectro's head, the button should click. I've read that the KO Spectro's button doesn't click when pressed.

    Gnaw

    So, a counterfeit Gnaw would have the golden sticker or a legitimate one would? There's a Gnaw MISB on Ebay right now with a big gold looking seal or something in the lower right corner of the box. I assume this is the "golden sticker" in question. Would that make it a KO?

    You can't tell by the

    You can't tell by the sticker whether it's a knockoff or not. Both legit and KO versions can have it. Though, it's much harder to find on legit versions, since it only came with the Japanese mail order version.