‘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).