Many people collect Pokémon cards. Unfortunately, there are many scammers who create fake cards to try and sell them to serious collectors. However, contrary to what many people think, the fake cards are not nearly as real. This article looks at several ways to tell a real Pokémon card from a fake one.
Method 1 of 4: Is the Image on the Card Correct?
Step 1. Get to know the many species of Pokémon
Sometimes, the image on the card isn't a Pokémon at all, such as a Digimon (or similar impersonator) or an animal. Watch out for cards that look suspicious, or look like stickers on a card.
Step 2. Look at the attack type and HP on the card
If the HP on the card exceeds 250, or the attack never occurs, the card is definitely fake. In addition, the card may also be fake if it says HP 80 instead of 80 HP. HP 80 is only written on old cards.
However, some original cards have variable and attribute names reversed due to a misprint. Don't throw this card away without further inspection because if it turns out to be genuine, it's of great value
Step 3. Look for misspellings, a flashy frame around the Pokémon image, or a cup-like container that holds energy
Step 4. Compare the energy symbols with other cards
Many fake cards have slightly larger, blemished, or overlapping energy symbols.
Step 5. Look at the text
On fake cards, the text is usually slightly smaller than the real card and usually has a different font.
Step 6. Check for weakness, durability, and cost blurring
The maximum attack increase/decrease value due to weakness/durability is +/-40. The cost of running away is not more than 4.
Step 7. Check your card box
Fake card boxes are usually uncopyrighted and read something like "pre-release trading cards". This card is made of cheap cardboard without the standard pocket.
Step 8. Look at the spelling on the card
Fake cards are often misspelled. Usually, misspellings of Pokémon names, absence of accents (e.g. " ` " in the letter 'e'), etc. Misspellings can also occur in attack names, and the absence of an energy mark under attack for attack descriptions.
Step 9. If the card is a first edition, look at the first edition stamp circle at the bottom left of the card image
Sometimes (especially in basic card sets), people stamp the cards with their first edition stamp. To see the authenticity, first, the fake stamp has flaws and spots. Second, the fake stamp will easily come off if rubbed / scratched.
Method 2 of 4: Color
Step 1. Look for faded, smudged, overly dark, or inaccurate colors (but be aware of Shiny Pokémon that do come in a different color as they are rare)
The chances of a misprint are so minimal that this card is almost certainly a fake.
Step 2. Look at the back of the card
On fake cards, the blue swirl design is usually a bit purplish. In addition, sometimes the Poké Ball image is reversed (on the original card, the red part is on top).
Method 3 of 4: Size and Weight
Step 1. Physical check of the card
Fake cards usually feel thin and appear see-through when exposed to light. On the other hand, some fake cards are too hard and shiny. If the size is wrong, the card is also likely a fake. The card's wear pattern also shows its authenticity. Fake cards usually wear out quickly in corners and the pattern is unusual. Also, fake cards don't have a copyright or illustrator date at the base of the card.
Step 2. Take another card
Are the suspect cards the same size? Too pointy? Or right meeting? Is there more yellow on one side of the card than on the other?
Step 3. Bend your card slightly
If the card bends easily, it means the card is fake. The original card is not flimsy.
Method 4 of 4: Testing
Step 1. Try tearing your card a bit if you believe it's a fake
Then, take a Pokémon card that you don't use anymore, and tear it up a bit. Then, compare the results of these two cards. If the card rips faster, it's definitely a fake.
Step 2. A quick way to test the authenticity of a Pokémon card is to look at the edges
The original Pokémon cards have thin black sheets between the cardboard sheets. This sheet is very thin but easy to see between the two layers of cardboard Pokémon cards. This sheet does not have a fake card.
- Don't immediately assume your card is fake. Check first.
- Observe how your card looks. You will find one or more of the following differences:
- Energy symbol: this symbol in the right corner often looks bigger and out of proportion on fake cards.
- Card fonts: fake cards often have different sizes of text, or even completely different ones.
- Card color: the color of fake cards is often different from the real thing.
- Card frame: The color of the fake card frame is often different from the real card. Sometimes, “Lv X”, “Legend”, “Prime”, or “EX” cards have yellow frames. Lv X, Legend, Prime Ex cards always have a shiny silver frame.
- Genuine Pokémon (and sometimes other decks and souvenirs) boost packs (and sometimes other gifts) are often sold as packaged sets with a promotional card or 2 card pack of POP (Pokémon Organized Play) promotional cards. While both are genuine, promotional and POP cards tend to be old and invalid to be used for official tournaments.
- Do not buy cards from unauthorized distributor shops. Don't use the Pokémon maker site.
- Real cards always have an online code.
- It's a good idea to buy a pack of cards instead of cards per sheet out of the pack.
- A small aluminum foil-wrapped booster pack box with a random Pokémon image from the television is most likely a fake. These boxes are usually sold in stalls or unofficial distributors. Also, before bartering with someone else, ask him where he bought it and at what price.
- If you get a Pokémon Ultimate card or two Pokémon at once, it has thick yellow markings on the edges, more opaque than regular cards, the back color is different (the original card is dark blue). Ex-Pokemon cards are not shiny, and physically feel like plastic, it's possible your card is fake.
- Sometimes cards in languages other than English and Japanese are fake. If the Pokémon's name is something other than the one on the Pokédex (e.g. “Webarak” instead of “Spinarak”), it's likely a fake card.
- If the level number looks right after the Pokémon's name (except from the old set), for example Pikachu LV.20, it's most likely fake. Of course, this applies to the entire contents of the pack.
- If you get a strong and rare card in a relatively inexpensive pack, there's a good chance it's a fake. Try contacting “Pokémon USA” to be sure.
- Don't forget, this applies not only when buying a card, but also when bartering. If you find a fake card or pack, return it and ask for your money back. If you can't, just throw it away.
- Buying a booster pack is not necessarily safe from fake cards. There are people who make fake booster packs.
- Not all criteria apply to fake cards. There are forgers who are so proficient that their work is similar to the original. Buy a booster pack from an official distributor.
- Energy cards are the hardest to check for authenticity. Pay close attention to the ball symbol of the element. Compare with a card that is definitely genuine. If it is different, no matter how small, it is definitely fake.
- On most Pokémon cards, the attacks don't really exist even if the cards are real. Therefore, be careful.