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How to Check for Fake Pokémon?!

Even if you’re a gym leader when it comes to buying cards, it’s easy to miss the little things that can turn an amazing buy into a team-rocket failure. Here are some things to check before buying your next chase card.

What game are we playing again?

Is it a Ditto Card?

If it’s valuable, you can bet there are counterfeits. These mimikyus are hard to weed out, but there are some tell tale signs you can look out for to give you a more "Pokérap" and less "Poké-crap".

Remember to check:

    1. For the accent of the Pokémon ‘e’ - some of these finer details are missed on the counterfeit cards and this is a surefire way to spot a fake.
    2. The elements of the card are spelled correctly and are in the right places - quality control issues don't extend to the copyright team at Pokémon HQ (well mostly... there are a few of these too), but a quick spell check can also reveal a fake card sneak attack.
    3. That the art and text matches the visuals of a real card - do a quick online search, check it on the official TCG card database or if you have the sets check-list from an ETB make sure it matches the card you're looking at.

Quick fire round:

    • Are the images and text crisp?
    • Do the words match verbatim?
    • Has the text been printed in a heavier font?
    • The size of the card against the standard sets

      Bidoof (the ultimate HM powerhouse), use FLASH!

      An easy test you can do with your phone is to shine your torch through the card. Fakes are often printed with less quality materials which means the light shines through it a lot more than real ones. A real card will need the torch light quite close before it can be seen through the card. This is due to the extra layer real cards have between the front and back images.

      Of course, doing this online isn't possible, but to verify the seller and their card you can ask for more photos of the card. This also ensures that the seller actually has the card while give you a greater opportunity to check for errors (trust us... we've been stung too).

      This is why, at Bandicoot Collectibles, we include high resolution images of the back and front of our cards. You know what you're going to get from a Bandicoot purchase!

      But, of course, there are misprints out there too. These can be verified with another quick online search to see if this misprint has been documented (we'll call these out if we've got an official misprint card in stock.)

      Don't be like Raging Eevee. Make sure your cards are real!

      Foiled, again!

      As for first edition cards, keep a lookout for:

      • Foil text/border: first edition, jungle, and fossil were never printed with foil text or borders
        • Note: Legendary cards were printed with foil text and borders, but these were amongst the reprints in the early 2000s. For these legendary prints, the Pokémon image was not foil.
      • Year: does the year at the bottom match when the card should have been printed?
      • Does the holo-foil look raised? It should be flush with the rest of the card, not stuck on top.

      Measure twice, HM01 once…

      Seriously, you can cut or rip your cards to check if they're fake. Now, though this may be one of the more foolproof ways to confirm you've got a good quality fake on your hands... there'd be nothing worse than ripping a shadowless Charizard, being elated it's real, and then realising what you've done! This is usually not recommended unless you're opening a suspected fake booster, and even then just rip the energy to confirm (but also a first edition base set energy can be a costly rip!)

      What you're looking for is the thin "black" layer in the middle of the card. If it's there, you've got a legitimate card. If it isn't, then you've removed 1 more fake card from the world (hurray!)

      You may be able to see this line without ripping the card too by looking very closely at the thin edge of your card, but generally it's too hard to make out with the naked eye on a good quality card.

      Is-my-POKEMON-Card-real-or-FAKE-Real on the left, fake on the right.

      Now all this can take a little bit of research and patience, but after some time you'll know a fake when you see one. For a deeper dive into fake-card tells, check out this blog from Dicebreaker and watch this video from Insider.

      At Bandicoot, we're always checking our cards (without ripping them!) to confirm their quality. And with us, you can be assured the card you see is the card you get!

      If you're itching for a new card or 2... or 8 to add to your collection, check out our stock here!

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