/ Shopping

These are not the toys you’re looking for

‘In a warehouse far, far away, toys are being made in preparation for the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens…’ Sadly, some of these toys could be fake.

Hard to see, fake merchandise often is. However, the counterfeits were a darn sight easier to spot in the case of the Star Wars merchandise acquired by Wholesale Clearance UK Ltd. No self-respecting Star Wars fan would fall into the trap of snapping up a ‘Toby-one’ figure.

I don’t think Carrie Fisher could have uttered the words ‘Help me Toby-one, you’re my only hope’ with a straight face, do you? Then again, you have to wonder whether the actors didn’t have a hard time reciting George Lucas’ original script in the first place. As Harrison Ford infamously said at the time; ‘You can type this s***, George, but you sure can’t say it’.

Karl Baxter of Wholesale Clearance UK Ltd said of their purchase:

‘We acquired this stock in a bulk lot, and as a big Star Wars fan myself I had high hopes for these figures, especially considering how popular they are with children and collectors alike.

‘We obviously can’t sell these, but as they’re rather amusing we thought we’d still showcase them. It’s just a shame we’ve got so many boxes of them piled up at the back of the warehouse.’

Fake Star Wars toys

Of course, not every fake is going to be as easy to spot as an ‘R2-3PO’ toy. The original Star Wars was largely responsible for spawning a whole industry of film merchandising, and Disney will no doubt take the opportunity to flood the market with even more Star Wars stuff. I mean, Star Wars branding has already been forced onto fruit and veg packaging of all things, so I look forward to seeing what other ideas they come up with. I wonder if any of them will be anywhere near as creative as these rejected Star Wars merchandising ideas?

With this amount of merchandising you’d hope the counterfeits would be one in a million, but with Star Wars being such big business there will no doubt be a lot of criminals out there who have joined the dark side to produce cheap knock-offs.

And there’s also a serious side to this. Fake versions of electronic items can pose a real risk to owners. We’ve seen it already with the significant fire hazard posed by the counterfeit self-balancing scooters (often inaccurately titled ‘hoverboards’), and we could see it with fake Star Wars electronics too. The Jedi Master Lightsaber is expected to be this Christmas’ best seller, so you best remember to keep on your guard.

How to spot fakes

So whether you’re buying Star Wars toys for your children, or you’re a big kid buying figures that’ll never leave their box, watch out for the fakes. Remember our advice on how to spot scam website and read our guide on how to report fake goods too.

In short, try to buy from trusted retailers or websites. Check websites for information about the company’s head office and landline number. Sites that have spelling or grammar mistakes, including in the small print, can indicate that it’s not a professional operation. Never be dazzled by a bargain – if the price is too good to be true, it probably is. And if a Star Wars figure looks a little short to be a storm trooper, it’s probably not the real thing (or it’s Luke Skywalker).

David Andrew Goldstein says:
15 December 2015

But the irony is the real junk is weirder than the fake junk. See as evidence: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPsJQ-qGH2A

David says:
15 December 2015

The irony is the real stuff is just as ridiculous as the fake stuff. See what I mean: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPsJQ-qGH2A


“Sites that have spelling or grammar mistakes, including in the small print, can indicate that it’s not a professional operation. Never be dazzled by a bargain – if the price is good to be true, it probably is.”

I hate to point out that missing words are also a give-away.


That was left out for dramatic effect 😉

NB: Spotted this last night, thank you John


My favourite was a “Genuine Nikon Ion Battery” on ebay.
The accompanying picture had IOM printed on the battery.


Not good, this is. The future is clouded; there is a disturbance in the force. Care you must take. Go to WeToysAre and seek out writer of signs. The force is weak in them, and Syntax cannot gain control. You must use the force to deal with Layder of Hose-en, after which destroy Empire direct you will. Tell no one about this but Chew Baccy all the time. If good is weather, then Storm Troopers you will not need.

May the Clause be with you.


In related news, you should also avoid fake Nutribullets this Christmas:

Counterfeit Nutribullets and other fake electricals are putting consumers in danger, according to a safety charity.

Electrical Safety First carried out a test to see what would happen to a fake Nutribullet when a piece of ice or stone got stuck in the blades. In just over four seconds, the cheap rip-off overheated and exploded.



It’s worth keeping an eye on the Electrical Safety First website mentioned by Patrick: http://www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk

This site has a searchable list of recalled electrical products, including the self-balancing scooter listed above. This is listed in the Toys, Kitchen Appliances and Chargers and Adaptors categories, but a recall of a Halfords product is listed only in Chargers and Adaptors. It’s well worth browsing this website because it could save your life. I have just found that one of the products I own is affected by a recall. Ironically it is a socket tester that I use to check that mains sockets are safe.