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Identifying Fake Cards

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ELTP
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Identifying Fake Cards

Post by ELTP on 25.11.16 20:41

During all the time I have spent doing Duel Masters, I have encountered many counterfeit cards. Here is what I know about identifying them, and I hope that you'll share yours as well. This is the same information I posted on Duel Masters Finland a few years back. It has lots of pictures since that's the best way to share information on the matter at hand.

For most, it comes without saying that the value of counterfeited cards is pretty much zero and we don't allow trading your fake cards as a real Duel Masters cards via our forum here.  More about Trading on Duel Masters Reborn, you can find in our Trading Rules and our Trading Guide.


The font used for Mana Crisis is quite good but the mana cost number screams fake from a great distance. Pangaea’s Song is a bit better but the material has a very wrong feeling to it.

Counterfeiting a card is not as simple as you would first think. The quality of an end-product is determined by many factors: the flexibility, the thickness and the coating used for the cardboard as well as the ink used for printing on it and how the card is cut. The printing mechanics vary and some printers are better than others. This is the reason why counterfeits are very often very easily identified. Also, pay attention to the smell of the card. Counterfeit cards usually smell very strong due to different chemicals and printing ink.


In this picture you can especially see typos, wrong fonts and the infamous wrong letter N in the race text. Craze Valkyrie is looking good when photographed like this since it's a printout attached on a real card with plastic coating. Counterfeits have different kind of wear when compared to official cards.

Usually, there are numerous different small and/or big errors on a card and the fonts used both in the texts and the numbers are usually wrong. Be especially wary of the letter n used in the race text. Luckily many races include this letter. Although many races seem to be written using the correct font, the letter n seems to be almost always wrong. If a SR or VR is non-foil, it definitely is a fake.


In these pictures, the cards have more typos, wrong letter n and even wrong rarity (Dimension Gate).

The easiest way to identify counterfeits is to look at the back of the card. Counterfeits usually have less deeper colors, which makes the back side of counterfeits look more bland. This is true of every counterfeit I have seen thus far. See the picture below.


On the left you can see a good conditioned card, in the middle a counterfeit and on the right a damaged card.

A small difference between cards does not always mean that there's a fake among them. As you can see from the picture below, the reflections of light from the surface of both Kachua are different. This is most likely due to a different manufacturing place or time.


2 Kachuas. The one Kachua having a fainter shine is more worn-out, but it's not the only reason why the shine is different.

In Asia, there are lots of counterfeits and be especially cautious of cards with Korean texts. Still, keep in mind that there is this official licensed and some kind of spin-off product called Duel Legend. DL Cards are not allowed in official duels since the back side is different. I personally don't recommend buying those cards since it's probably a lot easier to just get Duel Masters cards. In addition to this, in America they rebooted Duel Masters as Kaijudo, but the production of it was discontinued in 2014, only 2 years after its release. I don't own any Kaijudo cards since I had moved on to the OCG, although I still play the TCG format.


On the left and on the pile there are Korean counterfeits and on the right are ordinary white-bordered Duel Legend cards.


Official Kaijudo cards. Instead of getting you should rather transfer to OCG or just play TCG.

Officially, Duel Masters cards are only produced in Japanese, so cards beyond DM-12 in any other language are most certainly counterfeits. German, Italian, French and Spanish Duel Masters cards were produced only for sets DM-01 - DM-07 and cards from sets DM-03 and DM-05 were released for specific theme decks only.

Duel Masters cards are pretty much on the same quality level as the other Wizard product and the big brother of DM, Magic the Gathering, and it very very hard if not impossible to duplicate it unofficially. That's why by being cautious and knowing all things said here, you should easily be able identify counterfeits. Always ask for pictures. Videos too can be useful, since it's a good way of evaluating the condition remotely.

Regards,
ELTP - Admin


Last edited by ELTP on 02.02.17 16:37; edited 4 times in total (Reason for editing : Typos)
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Re: Identifying Fake Cards

Post by Yami_Michael on 03.02.17 13:09

http://duelmasters.wikia.com/wiki/User:Rex700/How_to_spot_fake_cards is a guide (not written by me, however) that might also have some tips regarding fake cards.

Also, if it helps, the below is a picture of a card back scanned by me years ago.



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Re: Identifying Fake Cards

Post by Haiken on 03.02.17 15:27

My favourite method of checking if a card is fake is to look for the black layer between the cardboard. It hasn't failed me so far.
But if you intend to use this method, then remember that some promos do not have that black line. (McDonalds and Burger King promos.)
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Re: Identifying Fake Cards

Post by Yami_Michael on 03.02.17 15:38

There's usually three big checks for Magic cards that are used for fakes known as the "light", "bend" and also "rip" test. (Of course, the rip test would be a waste on anything valuable.)

Ive never really tested if the light test works on DM cards as well (nor would I have fake cards around me currently to test it on).

The bend test is always silly as generally you can tell the fake cards easily by how thicker the real card usually is in comparison.


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Re: Identifying Fake Cards

Post by Haiken on 03.02.17 15:49

I just tried the "light" test on some of my fakes. It is useful, but it doesn't always work. Some cards do not become see-through, depending on the card's thickness and the material used.
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Re: Identifying Fake Cards

Post by Yami_Michael on 03.02.17 16:01

Ah, thats well a shame. I guess just comparing them to "official" pics or scans is really the only method.

And of course the obvious "if its a Very/Super Rare", it is 100% supposed to be foil.


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Re: Identifying Fake Cards

Post by Mr-ex777 on 03.02.17 16:19

Haiken wrote:I just tried the "light" test on some of my fakes. It is useful, but it doesn't always work. Some cards do not become see-through, depending on the card's thickness and the material used.

Many DM cards are slightly see through. They have some light coming from them regardless if they are foil or not. The only exceptions are Victory Draghearts since they are made of special material and thus no light goes out from them. As an additional note Bend test works even on foil cards.
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Re: Identifying Fake Cards

Post by ELTP on 03.02.17 17:44

Lots of interesting tips, I didn't even know light could go through DM cards. The go-to method I'm using for identifying fakes is checking the backside and comparing it to a real card. In this you need the real card first.

Have you seen fakes that have perfectly nailed how the backside looks with the saturation and all?


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Re: Identifying Fake Cards

Post by Mr-ex777 on 03.02.17 18:44

ELTP wrote:Lots of interesting tips, I didn't even know light could go through DM cards. The go-to method I'm using for identifying fakes is checking the backside and comparing it to a real card. In this you need the real card first.

Have you seen fakes that have perfectly nailed how the backside looks with the saturation and all?

The Backside always varies in saturation slightly. And i mean slightly. However if it goes too far away from the default color like too deep or too shalw it could be fake. Also the price tag does not lie. If a winner promo Ragnarok the Clock is selling for 200 yen or even 600 yen you know something is wrong.
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Re: Identifying Fake Cards

Post by Haiken on 03.02.17 19:13

None of my fakes' backside would be able to fool a trained eye.

But I have heard good (or bad?) things about Romanian fakes. At least those from above DM-12. I haven't seen their backside, but I imagine they would be among the better fakes.

Here are a few being sold on olx.ro.
https://www.olx.ro/oferta/vand-carti-duel-masters-ID7NZq3.html#dfd12fe0cd


Last edited by Haiken on 03.02.17 19:13; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Typo)
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Re: Identifying Fake Cards

Post by Mr-ex777 on 03.02.17 19:16

Haiken wrote:None of my fakes' backside would be able to fool a trained eye.

But I have heard good (or bad?) things about Romanian fakes. At least those from above DM-12. I haven't seen their backside, but I imagine they would be among the better fakes.

Here are a few being sold on olx.ro.
https://www.olx.ro/oferta/vand-carti-duel-masters-ID7NZq3.html#dfd12fe0cd

The text is in a slightly different font and there's an English Shaman Totem. There are no english Shaman Totems.
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Re: Identifying Fake Cards

Post by ELTP on 03.02.17 19:18

I haven't really seen any variation in the saturation but I guess that's possible. The price point is always a good hint but I haven't really met any fake Japanese cards. At least thus far I have got those only from India. It was weird.

The asking price is always a good hint but sometimes the people are just ignorant. Always ask for pictures, even they help a lot already.

I have also heard of good Romanian fakes but I have my doubts. Interesting listing you linked there, haven't really ever seen those kind of fakes before. It's odd to see Shaman Totem printed in English Razz


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Re: Identifying Fake Cards

Post by Haiken on 03.02.17 19:21

Mr-ex777 wrote:
Haiken wrote:None of my fakes' backside would be able to fool a trained eye.

But I have heard good (or bad?) things about Romanian fakes. At least those from above DM-12. I haven't seen their backside, but I imagine they would be among the better fakes.

Here are a few being sold on olx.ro.
https://www.olx.ro/oferta/vand-carti-duel-masters-ID7NZq3.html#dfd12fe0cd

The text is in a slightly different font and there's an English Shaman Totem. There are no english Shaman Totems.

Yes, I know there aren't any English Shaman Totems. The TCG stopped at DM-12. I was just showing an example of a fake that should have a good background.
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Re: Identifying Fake Cards

Post by Zach Hartigan on 03.02.17 21:44

I have discuss about this with some romanian players. Two persons say that in romania they have few "professional" counterfeit makers. With very good printers and computer programs to make incredible sharp pictures of artworks. However they havent show any pictures but i bet that link which Haiken post is where are those "good" fakes.

Avoid to buy cards from romania and other eastern european countries. We had very sad situation here in Finland when one of our member buy good looking booster boxes. If i remember right they were from Austria via eBay. Boxes were printed very, very good and boosters feel original. Boxes were DM-01, DM-02 and DM-03. During unboxin we realized what happened... Cards were very bad and DM-02 booster includes fakes from first set and also second set. Storm Shell is holo etc...


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Re: Identifying Fake Cards

Post by Mr-ex777 on 03.02.17 22:30

Zach Hartigan wrote:I have discuss about this with some romanian players. Two persons say that in romania they have few "professional" counterfeit makers. With very good printers and computer programs to make incredible sharp pictures of artworks. However they havent show any pictures but i bet that link which Haiken post is where are those "good" fakes.

Avoid to buy cards from romania and other eastern european countries. We had very sad situation here in Finland when one of our member buy good looking booster boxes. If i remember right they were from Austria via eBay. Boxes were printed very, very good and boosters feel original. Boxes were DM-01, DM-02 and DM-03. During unboxin we realized what happened... Cards were very bad and DM-02 booster includes fakes from first set and also second set. Storm Shell is holo etc...

I trust nobody from ebay but poly_100. He has lots of authuentic japanese booster boxes and has interesting old cards as well, even those from spectacle nova. The boxes are in market price unlike the grossly inflated prices in amazon.jp too. If you don't play ocg it's a lot more difficult on ebay and you might as well as find amazon or other retailers.


Last edited by Mr-ex777 on 04.02.17 13:00; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Identifying Fake Cards

Post by Haiken on 03.02.17 22:51

I think I saw the listings you are talking about Zach. Was it any of the following? If so, then I hope the buyer got his money back. They went for a lot. Link. Link.

For those that intend to buy booster boxes, remember to look at the shrinkwrap. In the below link you can see that the shrinkwrap has the Wizards logo on it. The fakes do not have those marks.Link.
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Re: Identifying Fake Cards

Post by Zach Hartigan on 03.02.17 23:11

Haiken wrote:I think I saw the listings you are talking about Zach. Was it any of the following? If so, then I hope the buyer got his money back. They went for a lot. Link. Link.

For those that intend to buy booster boxes, remember to look at the shrinkwrap. In the below link you can see that the shrinkwrap has the Wizards logo on it. The fakes do not have those marks.Link.

Yup, those are these listings. I can tell that buyer got his moneys back as i know. We realized that missing shrinkwrap mark right after first unbox because i have bought DM-04 box earlier. Be careful everyone!


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Re: Identifying Fake Cards

Post by ELTP on 04.02.17 12:43

What is problematic regarding the fakes is that the counterfeited booster packs themselves seem to be alright, or am I wrong?

I just bought unboxed booster packs and now I'm a bit worried if they are fakes and I don't really want to open them since I'm saving them as prices for our future tournaments in Finland. The fake boosters I have seen so far have had for some weird reason a year 2005 printed on them: maybe to make them seem older than they really are.


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Re: Identifying Fake Cards

Post by Mr-ex777 on 04.02.17 12:51

ELTP wrote:What is problematic regarding the fakes is that the counterfeited booster packs themselves seem to be alright, or am I wrong?

I just bought unboxed booster packs and now I'm a bit worried if they are fakes and I don't really want to open them since I'm saving them as prices for our future tournaments in Finland. The fake boosters I have seen so far have had for some weird reason a year 2005 printed on them: maybe to make them seem older than they really are.

Yes, fake booster packs usually resemble normal packs. But if you buy a box and there is no wizards logo and/or the wrapping does not feel smooth and delicate it's fake. Simple option: Do not buy boosters on internet. Plus Boosters can be searched for rares which is a minus.

But i exclusively do OCG and only buy stuff from irl card shops or amazon.jp via proxy bidder so it's not much of a problem for me.
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Re: Identifying Fake Cards

Post by ELTP on 04.02.17 13:09

That's true, there's always a chance that separated packs have been inspected. Still, usually you don't really have options and in older sets Foils aren't everything.

Maybe I have to open one of each just to be sure. Otherwise, I won't be able to get my money back easily using Paypal. I love how well a consumer is protected when using it.

When still bought OCG boosters, I either imported sealed boxes from Yahoo JP sellers or bought single packs from a trusted contact.


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