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Thread: Scrappers Vs. Counterfiets (and how to tell)

  1. #1
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    Scrappers Vs. Counterfiets (and how to tell)

    Hey Fellow Traders and collectors.
    (IF YOU FIND THIS POST HELPFUL, PLEASE POST A REPLY.....THANK YOU)

    For many of you seasoned collectors, I am preaching to the choir, however, I do know that many "NEW" collectors come to this site to gain knowledge and I want to take a moment to share a little on the misconceptions of these two terms.

    Almost everyone uses the term SCRAPPER when something is not up to par, fake, not authorized, etc. Lets first define what a scrapper really is. When Disneyland issues a new pin and it is sent to China to be produced, lets say they order 50,000 of the given pin. During production, many things can happen. Dies can be off, colors can be off, amout of resin / glaze can be off and when a pin does not pass inspection to disneyland standards, the pin should be scrapped or thrown away.

    Sometimes in order to make 50,000 pins, they may need to make 60 or 70,000 to get 50,000 good ones that will pass inspection. The problem is that the excess pins that did not pass rarely get thrown away as scrap, rather they are sold to people who sell them on ebay and other means to unsuspecting collectors. Now technically, these pins are not counterfeit. They are official disney pins but they are seconds, not up to par or scrap / scrappers. And in many cases, the pin manufacturer will continue to make these pins until one of the color dyes runs out. A great example is the Dalmation vinylmation that has no spots. The black dye ran out but they continued until the next color ran out. Thats why we have an all white (dalmation) vinylmation. (No Spots)

    I have seen plenty of official disneyland pins on the shelves that the colors are very different yet they are official and real pins. From the 1st pin to the 50,000th pin, there will be differences and color variations are typically acceptable.

    The real problem in addition to these sub par scrap pins is the counterfeit pins. I think many people call these pins scrappers incorrectly. I did a post about counterfeit Vinylmations and there is a big difference between scrappers and counterfeits. Of course, collectors want neither one but we should recognise the differences in terminology. A counterfeit pin does not come from a Disney Manufacturer in China, rather another manufacturer in China who copies the design.

    A scrapper is exactly like the real pin, just not up to the disneyland standard. You hear a lot about borders, borders are on counterfeit pins, not scrappers. Again, I know most of you know this, but this is for the people who dont.

    The next sad truth is that some new collectors think they can but real pins from E-bay for $1.00 - $1.15. And they all say, "Tradeable at all Disneyland locations".
    The seller may even tell you that they personally traded every one of the pins thay have for sale with a cast member. (in most cases a bold outright lie) But this brings me to the next problem.

    People buy pins on ebay that are not scrappers, they are counterfeit, they then trade them with cast members, and then people who paid good money for their pins trade with these cast members assuming that a cast member must have real pins. Personally, I think cast members should be more aware. Shame on them? Should they have to check every pin they trade for? I personally think YES! For the protection of the trading community they should be more strict.

    I hear stories all the time that people think they got a scrapper or counterfeit from a cast lanyard and cant believe this has happened. I personally do not trade with cast members because of this. In my opinion, most of the time 50% of the pins on a lanyard are fake, scrappers or counterfeit. It is up to the collector to know what to look for. On the few occasions I do trade with a cast member if I see something good, I ask to see the pin and check it carefully. If I know it is not official, I tell the cast member and most of the time, they will not put it back on their lanyard.

    The sad point is, just because you got it from a cast member does not mean it's real. I have seen countless Limited Editions on cast lanyards that are counterfeit, not scrappers, counterfeit. The Cars series, stars, vinylmations, and especially hidden mickeys. I have even seen hidden mickey pins out and on lanyards before they have even been realeased. Its a sad truth and dilutes out hobby.

    When someone comes to my table at the park and pulls out a baggie full of pins in little baggies, I cringe. I try to explain to them nicely that do they really think they can buy 50 pins for $50.00 and get 15 LE's in the mix? Does this not sound "TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE" Then I will show them the "BOARDERS" that we all hear about. Or the fact that it says Pixar on the back and its not a Pixar characture. The sad part is, they will not complain or try to return them to the seller, rather they will just trade them with cast members, most of the time for other Counterfeit pins.

    I have written this because I care and want people who dont know to have an understanding of what a scrapper Vs a counterfeit is and that they should educate themselves so they dont get taken advantage of. Once you know what to look for, its easy. If all of us cracked down and the cast members were required to check the pins, eventually, scrappers and counterfeits would almost go away. If the sellers of these pins dont have buyers, they will have to stop producing them.

    I have posted the picture from the Vinylmation article I posted. I wrote a lot about it in the Vinylmation post but I am posting it here so you can see what a COUNTERFEIT is, not a scrapper. The ones with a border are not scrappers, they are COUNTERFEITS. You can use this for all pins with the new Disneyland background. Like money, they did this to help stop counterfeiting. In a nutshell, Disneyland pins are cut from continuous sheets with the mickey ears pattern on it. Counterfeirs are made in a mold, hence the bleed / border. A picture tells a thousand words (not that I havent already) so take a look and be carefull.
    """For the newbies, the center pin is official, left and right are counterfeits" (Notice all the differences besides just the border)
    I am just tired of everyone using the term scrapper so loosely. Counterfiet more often than not is the correct term. Again, a scrapper is an official pin and is just not authorized for release from Disneyland due to the reasons mentioned above.

    I know I wrote a book but I really do care and want to help newbies and seasoned veterans alike. I want to make a difference and so many people here have helped me here, I just want to give something back.
    Happy collecting.
    Dan




    Vinylmation Comparison.jpg

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  2. #2
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    Im so glad you posted this here.

    MODS: Please make this a sticky.

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    Thanks for the great information Dan. I know that I was at disneyland earlier in the month and I would say on average 1 out of 3 trades I made with cast members ended in me finding my new pin was a counterfiet. It gets very discouraging after awhile especially if you find a pin that completes a set for you and then you turn it over and the borders are all wrong. I am going to take your advice and from now on ask to see the pin before I make a trade.

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    There is absolutely nothing wrong with asking a cast member to please see the pin. In many cases I will very politely let them know that the pin they have is not a genuine pin and they shold remove it from their lanyard.

    Do remember that they have to accept all trades and many cast members do this because they love to make people happy and they like trading, but they really dont know that much about scrappers and counterfiets. And imagine your 6 year old child goes to trade with them and they said no to your child because your pin is not real. Disneyland would not be the happiest place on earth anymore and scare your child. They cant say no but we can certainly point out when we see a pin that they probably should not be trading back into the pin community.

    I most cases they will thank you for pointing it out and remove it from their lanyard.

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    Whether one calls them scrappers or counterfeit they were never ment to hit the open market making them equally bad in my eyes. To give credibility to a scrapper by saying it is a real pin gives it too much credit. I do agree that there are over runs that are perfect pins that make it to the open market but those pins will never be questioned by anyone and I am not in reference to them. I am in reference to the pins you can noticeably see problems with such as your white dalmatian pin. This is not a legitimate pin and should not be confused with one. Scrapper or Counterfeit it is all junk. OH, and I would wager, does not ALL come from China, though I do know some do. I will admit that I have a book in my collection of scrapper/counterfeit pins. I figure in some cases it is the only way I will ever have the pin so why not. It is not hurting anyone as it is in my collection. I have a counterfeit wet paint pin... very obvious and I knew it was a bad pin when I traded for it but I like the pin and ultimately that is what is important to me. If I like it I keep it, regardless. I also have many fantasy pins that I simply adore and would not trade off for a "real" Disney pin if it were offered. People collect what they do for various reasons. I collect the pins that bring a smile to my face and I am glad to have every one of them.

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    Thanks for the awesome post, Dan!

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    great article it is very helpful

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    Great post Dan! Plus I totally agree with the various comments made here - our hobby is becoming over-run with counterfeit/scrapper pins BUT if you like the pin then no problem!!
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    That was a very informative post Dan. I totally agree that people need to know the difference between scrapper/bootleg/counterfeit/fantasy/etc pins. When you trade any of them to a CM for an authentic Disney pin you are hurting the hobby. I have many of these other pins in my collection and I would not trade them, but I knew what I was trading for when I got them because I was INFORMED. That's what we all need to be. Oh, that one nub or two junk on the back has nothing to do if your pin is real. I've bought stuff off the rack that has one and a week later has two. Just my two cents.
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    do agree that not matter how you look at it, they are not a great thing for our hobby. I think the real point I was also trying to make is that many pins people call scrappers are actually counterfiets. Also, many counterfiet pins are even of things that Disney NEVER made. Sometimes hey just come up with their own pins.

    Look carefully also at the print on the back of a pin. A great example is I have a Mickey Mouse low edition pin that in the back says PIXAR.
    When did Mickey become a PIXAR character. They just cut and past. This pin is a counterfeit wher as a scrapper is a "B" pin.

    Sure, not may people want them but I just would like to see people use the cirrect terminolgy when discussing pins.
    A Fantasy Pin is neither a scrapper or a counterfeit. There are differences.

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    Totally 100% true. A scrapper is technically an official Disney pin, made by the company Disney hired, but is an overrun and is supposed to be "scrapped" hence the name scrapper. Like at a restaurant when they drop a burger on the ground, they are supposed to throw it out, same concept, different item, it's still a burger even if they dropped it, well it's still a Disney pin even if it's an overrun because it's from the official factory, but it fell on the floor so it should have been thrown out. A counterfeit or bootleg is when the metal is gold instead of silver or the Minnie's dress is blue instead of red and it's made by someone personally. Hope this helps.
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  12. #12
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    Glad to see this posted here thanks Dan.

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    Quote Originally Posted by iamdisneydan View Post
    do agree that not matter how you look at it, they are not a great thing for our hobby.
    I sometimes wonder if Disney sees it the same way. We all know this problem has been around for years and Disney seems to be looking the other way. My conspiracy theory is this, the people at Disney understand that most people that purchase 50 pins from eBay for their kids to trade aren't going to buy 50 full price pins at the park to trade so they aren't really out a sale. We just returned from WDW and every night we walked around DTD the pin store was very active, people every where. People were buying pin bags, lanyards, LE pins for Halloween, pins the kids had to have that weren't found trading, mystery pin sets becuase they were fun to open...all the things that go with pin trading. The cheap pins set the hook for the hobby but things like the Trade City sets, the framed sets, the bags, and other items can usually only be bought through Disney. Maybe Disney sees these inexpensive eBay pins as a starter to what can be an expensive hobby ao they just choose to ignore it?

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    I love this post Dan - very glad to see it! It should be "Scrappers 101" or at least required reading or something! We could call you ProfessorDan! [/wink]

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    I would not be surprised if Disney somewhat endorsed the trading of counterfeit/scrapper pins. In the long run it creates more collectors and more business for Disney. Think about all those new traders that decided to start collecting pins because they got some really inexpensive pins on the Bay. Now it is 6 months later and they can not pass a pin store without looking at what is for sale. You KNOW that this person is going to buy from Disney now. Disney is making a ton of money by NOT cracking down that hard on the fake pins. Why would they want to change that.... kind of sad, but the all mighty dollar is the bottom line of any business.

  16. #16
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    Dan,

    I don't remember who posted on DizPins about some fake vinylmation pins that were seen at Trade City that Disney never made. Perhaps a picture of one of those as an example of counterfeit vs. scrapper would help with the definition.

    On the subject of definitions, this sub-forum would be a good place to have a glossary of terms for the new folks to reference when they encounter terms like dangles and free-d, etc.
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    Hey Disney scouter. I may have been the one who wrote that post and I also recently just did another based on this request. Now I just have to remember what I called it...lol
    I will find the link and I of course tried to add some information with it. let me see where it went. The mods may have moved it to a better location.

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    One of my hopes for this new board is that people will be forthcoming with pictures of the counterfeits vs the real pins. Sometimes, when I trade for pins at WDW, I end up wondering if there are multiple versions of fakes. I will have 2 copies of the same pin, with obvious differences (usually color, border/no border). I might assume that one is real and one is fake, but sometimes both pins have obvious issues with shininess or depressions on the front. It would be nice to be able to determine what might be lax Disney quality control (I bought a pack of PT52 pins, and can see that it exists) and what is counterfeit, by identifying all the ways the two pins differ (if a pin has a depression/no shine but no other signs of the counterfeit, it might be a quality control issue) .

    I was usually disappointed in the lack of traffic on the Pin Comparison forum on Dizpins. For as many counterfeits exist, actual pictures of real vs counterfeit are limited. It seems to be something "everyone" knows about regarding certain pins, but is not documented. Sometimes Pinpics has descriptions but larger/smaller are hard to verify when you only have one. And even color descriptions are hard to verify when you only have one. I have my theories as to why, like postulated about why Disney does nothing, I wonder if some traders really don't want documentation because then they can't pass off their counterfeits as real.

    When I am at WDW(twice a year, not enough to be useful), I do try and take notes regarding the pins I get that I think are scrappers (is the color wrong, borders, etc) so I can update the Pinpics listing. But I will try to do better taking pictures when I have multiple versions. Unfortunately, I usually have the counterfeit and not the real, so I could point out a border but not the other differences that might exist. It seems like a Pin Trading Night might be a good opportunity for people to get together and document real vs fakes.

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    I think that part of the issue is that really no one knows for sure which pins are real and which are fake. I also think another reason is that most people just trade for fun and would rather spend the spare time they have enjoying their pins rather than looking at them through a microscope to spot a depresion or an off color. In reality unless the information is coming directly from Disney all we are really getting is an opinion not a fact.

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    Dan,
    As usual GREAT information. I went to Disney World in the beginning of this month. Since I had not been there for over 10 years I really just got into the pin trading. I bought the packs of pins and then traded with cast members. When i got home and found these websites I found that some of my pins were either scrappers or counterfeits and I had ONLY traded with cast members. It really made me feel awful as I had purchased legit pins and got in return less than perfect pins. I spent over $600 that trip on purchasing pins to trade. But as the weeks have gone on I have removed all the questionable pins but I did keep a few that I just happen to like. I would never knowingly trade someone for a bad pin. And if I think its questionable I tell them up front. Many times they don't care they are like me they just like the pin. I am hoping to go back to Disney in May I will probably do the same thing and buy my pins to trade from WDW so I know that I am not adding to the counterfeit problem. I wish everyone would do the same and maybe we could put these people out of business.

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    Thanks Dan for the great information. Most of the pins I have from the last few years were bought directly from WDW or DS.com. I do have many LE pins I bought from Evilbay or traded for in the parks 5+ years ago and paid a lot of money for them. I don't know if there were as many counterfeits out back then, but it does raise a concern.

    I bought these pins because I really liked them, but if someday I would like to sell them to thin out my collection, I hope they are authentic. I would not want to be a contributor to the counterfeit market.
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    Using correct terminology is great but the definition of a counterfeit Disney pin is someone that uses copyright Disney without authorization from Disney to do so. In actuality, all scrappers are indeed counterfeit but not all counterfeit are scrappers. By what is being said here, if you have a counterfeit that was also a scrapper it is a better pin than a counterfeit that is not a scrapper. This I disagree with. There is no A, B or C there is just legit and not legit... legal and illegal... real and counterfeit there isn't a gray here. It sounds to me like there are some here that think that a scrapper is a good pin, it isn't. They did not hit the market with Disney's blessing to use their copy write plain and simple it is an illegal pin. This rationalization is like saying that someone dealing pure drugs is more guilty than someone dealing drugs that have been stepped on. They are both equally guilty and both types of illegal pins are just that illegal.
    Last edited by Rocke01; 11-02-2010 at 06:59 AM.

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    Lightbulb

    For the benefit of us simple people (i.e. me!!!) - could somebody please explain what is meant by
    • Scrapper
    • Counterfeit
    • Fake
    • Bootleg
    All these terms have been used in the above posts, but I tend to agree with Rocke01 that the pin is either good or bad - no inbetweens!

    A comparison forum is an excellent idea - maybe one that should be considered here BUT you will probably never get away from the individual opinions as per Pinpics - this is going to take a lot of effort by everyone to generate a "WikiPinia" but maybe we should start somewhere! Suggestions welcome!
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    Whenever I ended up with an identifiable counterfeit pin off a CM lanyard or in a trade, I either threw it away or gave it to two little girls who aren't pin traders and just want pretty pins to wear. One less fake in circulation.

    Thank you for the careful definitions, Dan!

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    DPF Charter Member earthbound's Avatar
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    Thank You!! We now have the grounds for our WikiPinia - Anyone else wish to contribute
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