Faked AFA Transformers
TFW has a story about how someone in China (Ebay user girltf) created and sold a fake AFA G1 Sludge. The main article is a bit fear-mongering-ish, but the thread that originated it is very, very interesting:
My understanding is that this is a KO Sludge put inside of a legit box, tape unsealed. The item is fairly convincing, but as tfwers observed, the acrylic box's edges are rough and the glue has a lot more air bubbles than normal.
I like this advice from one user: "As others have stated, do your research, get plenty of pictures, contact AFA, and ask advice from some veteran members here. Most scammers are pretty well known in the community."
Here are my thoughts, which I also posted in the thread:
(CLICK "READ MORE" BELOW TO READ THE REST OF THIS NEWS POST)
1) We should probably put more focus on researching "heritage", like others have said in this thread. If you have doubts, ask the seller where he got it from, and ask the seller's seller where he got it, etc., until you work your way back to AFA.
2) Probably more likely to see an AFA 75/80 fake than an AFA 85/90. Mint boxes are much harder to come by than crappy condition boxes like the one used for this fake. (And make sure that if you're getting an 85, the box condition is in line with an 85 and not a 75/80. Obviously, if this fake was labeled an 85, people would have probably caught it a lot sooner due to the massive flap crease.)
3) Probably more likely to see fakes that use knockoffs as their inserts. Of course, it's still possible that someone could seal a real figure onto a fake bubble/card, but that wasn't the case here, at least.
4) Watch out for styrofoam-boxed items that have the tape unsealed. IIRC, there was a suspicious combiner giftset on Ebay a while ago that had the tape unsealed on one side and was still supposed to be in someone's collection. It's harder to fake tape sealed items than open taped items, and while tape does sometimes come unsealed on styrofoam-boxed AFAed items, it's rare enough that this should raise a red flag.
Feel free to disagree or add your own thoughts. I just figured these initial ideas might help people.