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 SPECIAL REPRO REPORT - DEBUNKING THE FLOAT TEST MYTH

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walkie
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PostSubject: SPECIAL REPRO REPORT - DEBUNKING THE FLOAT TEST MYTH    Thu Apr 16, 2015 6:21 am



SPECIAL REPRO REPORT
DEBUNKING THE FLOAT TEST MYTH

by Walkie/TIG

Introduction

These convincing REPROs have managed to sneak into the collections of many people, myself included. Numerous threads can be found on both the Rebelscum and TIG forums with collectors expressing their concerns over these rough-looking weapons which appear to date back to around 2012. Checking my own collection purchase history, I unknowingly acquired one of these with an A-Wing Pilot from eBay back in 2004 - therefore it appears that these REPROs have been in circulation earlier than first thought.

Unlike some of the mass-produced REPROs we are used to seeing, these aren't as widespread but have appeared for sale on online auction sites like eBay quite frequently. The most common REPROs in this set seem to be the Palace Blaster and Pilot Blaster, and up until earlier this year I had not managed to find another example of the Rebel Blaster.

These REPROs have, largely, remained undocumented for a long time and are being sold openly as genuine items. Sellers are flaunting the use of the 'float test' to pass them off as genuine. Below are two examples taken recently from eBay...

eBay auction listing August 2014 - Showing a REPRO Endor Blaster floating.


eBay auction listing March 2015 - Showing a REPRO Palace Blaster with flashing around the edges.

List of reproductions in this set

So far six reproduction weapons have been identified as sharing the same characteristics. It would be safe to assume that these all come from the same source. I was initially aware of five of these REPROs before discovering the Rebel Blaster in February 2015. Please bear in mind that this may not be a fully comprehensive list. TIG will document any additional items found with the same characteristics as soon as any come to light .

Note that when comparing your possible REPROs to the images below they will differ slightly due to the lack of quality control in the manufacturing process. Towards the end of the report you can see a comparison photo of three Endor Blasters, each slightly different to each other in appearance.

  • Endor Blaster (A-Wing Pilot & Imperial Gunner)
  • Jawa Blaster (No Kenner equivalent, but found with Glasslite Han Solo)
  • Princess Leia Blaster (No Kenner equivalent, but found with Hungarian Bootleg Princess Leia & Han Solo)
  • Palace Blaster (Lando General & Luke Poncho)
  • Rebel Blaster (Han Solo Trench Coat)
  • Imperial Blaster (Luke Stormtrooper Disguise, Kez-Iban & Thall Joben)


REPRO Endor Blaster


REPRO Jawa Blaster


REPRO Princess Leia Blaster


REPRO Palace Blaster


REPRO Rebel Blaster


REPRO Imperial Blaster

How to spot them

As you most likely gathered from the title of this report "DEBUNKING THE FLOAT TEST MYTH", these REPROs all PASS the float test. Although it has never been claimed that the float test is a de-facto standard for identifying REPROs it does work pretty well for many of the other reproductions on the market. We should therefore consider that the float test alone should only be used as 'part' of the REPRO identification process along with other methods of identification such as the Drop Test and UV light test.

WATER TEST RESULTS:

- All accessories FLOAT when placed in water.
- Remain UNSINKABLE even when tapped or submerged.


Water Test - All items float when placed in water


Water Test - All items remain floating after being submerged

Thankfully these reproductions have a lot of tell-tale signs to easily distinguish them from their original counterparts. That is of course if you know what to look for... so on behalf of the TIG team please allow me to demonstrate with an easy-to-follow list how these differ when compared to their original counterparts.

DIFFERENCES:

Compared to their original counterparts, these REPROs are...

- Only available in BLACK
- Have a SHINY finish
- Have excessive FLASHING (*)
- Are HARD to bend

(*) The amount of 'flashing' - which is the term used for excess plastic around the edges of the REPROs - can vary dramatically. This is due to flaws in the manufacturing process. For example, the two halves of the mould not sitting flush together and/or excessive amounts of plastic being fed into the mould and seeping out.

There is an additional concern with the Princess Leia Blaster. Although it was never moulded in black by Kenner it was released as part of a bootleg line in Hungary. Two figures in this product line can be found with a black Princess Leia Blaster: these are Princess Leia & Han Solo - both of which are bootlegs of the action figures from the first 12 Kenner line. The picture below shows the two Princess Leia Blasters side by side.

Comparison - Princess Leia Blaster REPRO top, BOOTLEG bottom.


Comparison - Princess Leia Blaster BOOTLEG left, REPRO right.

DIFFERENCES:

Compared against the REPROs the Hungarian bootleg blasters are....

- Very soft and FLEXIBLE
- Have a COURSE cross-hatch pattern on the handle

Other Dangers

It is possible that with a steady hand some of these floating REPROs could be cleaned up so that they appear like their genuine couterparts. This, however, would be near impossible with some of them due to the loss in detail around the external edges because of the amount of flashing. Take for example the Endor Blaster below, the detailed rings around the barrel have been completely lost - even the steadiest of hands working with a craft knife could not rectify details like this, thankfully!

Comparison - Endor Blasters, ORIGINAL on the right, the other three are REPROs



CONCLUSION - If your blaster is black and floats... and looks rough around the edges.... think REPRO!

Acknowledgements

Thanks to Fred/Thargoil for the awesome logo and photo enhancements.
Paul/Artoo_Detour for proof reading and editing my draft report.

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Last edited by walkie on Thu Apr 16, 2015 7:47 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: SPECIAL REPRO REPORT - DEBUNKING THE FLOAT TEST MYTH    Thu Apr 16, 2015 6:48 am

Great report, Stef, very informative and thorough :clap:

It's good we can finally nail down these floating repros at last Twisted Evil

I'll look forward to adding this report and info to the Gunnery.


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PostSubject: Re: SPECIAL REPRO REPORT - DEBUNKING THE FLOAT TEST MYTH    Thu Apr 16, 2015 8:43 am

Thanks for all the hard work put into exposing these new repo's. Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: SPECIAL REPRO REPORT - DEBUNKING THE FLOAT TEST MYTH    Thu Apr 16, 2015 2:04 pm

Excellent research and report. :clap:

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PostSubject: Re: SPECIAL REPRO REPORT - DEBUNKING THE FLOAT TEST MYTH    Fri Apr 17, 2015 11:17 am

Great report, Stef! cheers
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PostSubject: Re: SPECIAL REPRO REPORT - DEBUNKING THE FLOAT TEST MYTH    Fri Apr 17, 2015 11:19 am

Thanks for the comments guys and think of it as part of a trilogy Wink

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PostSubject: Re: SPECIAL REPRO REPORT - DEBUNKING THE FLOAT TEST MYTH    Sat Apr 18, 2015 9:18 am

Amazing work as always Stef Smile
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PostSubject: Re: SPECIAL REPRO REPORT - DEBUNKING THE FLOAT TEST MYTH    Sun Apr 19, 2015 5:20 am



Fantastis piece of work, Stef! cheers

Thanks for sharing. Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: SPECIAL REPRO REPORT - DEBUNKING THE FLOAT TEST MYTH    Wed Apr 22, 2015 11:16 pm

It is GREAT how this helps everyone. Bootleg collectors, Vintage collectors and even Prototype collectors. Thanks for posting this and helping the community : )
-Steve
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PostSubject: Re: SPECIAL REPRO REPORT - DEBUNKING THE FLOAT TEST MYTH    Thu Apr 23, 2015 10:02 pm

Awesome work, thanks for posting this!
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PostSubject: Re: SPECIAL REPRO REPORT - DEBUNKING THE FLOAT TEST MYTH    Fri Apr 24, 2015 2:50 am

Clearly written with excellent photo comparisons. Superbly done Stef!
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PostSubject: Re: SPECIAL REPRO REPORT - DEBUNKING THE FLOAT TEST MYTH    Thu May 14, 2015 4:54 pm

Long-time lurker, emerging from the murky depths, and bringing forth my first post.  Err, question. . .

This is an interesting report as I have seen some questionable weapons recently that have had excessive flashing.

I have a question regarding "We should therefore consider that the float test alone should only be used as 'part' of the REPRO identification process along with other methods of identification such as the Drop Test and UV light test."  What is the UV light test that is mentioned? I did some searching and could not locate anything. Is this for weapons, or is this referring to the figure paint touch-up UV light test? Interested what UV light test there could be for weapons.

Even if the UV test is for weapons, I would like to know more about UV testing for paint touch-ups. I have some figures I suspect have been touched up and would like to confirm if such is the case.  Is it as simple as using a UV light under darkness? I was considering buying the following UV light. Is this light OK?

Thanks.
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PostSubject: Re: SPECIAL REPRO REPORT - DEBUNKING THE FLOAT TEST MYTH    Mon May 18, 2015 6:18 am

Welcome to the forum comicalUser welcome

Page 2 of this thread http://www.imperialgunneryforum.com/t2419p15-repo-original-light-sabers-float-sink has some good advice on backlights for both weapons and figures, and also a link to RS where the subject is discussed.

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PostSubject: Re: SPECIAL REPRO REPORT - DEBUNKING THE FLOAT TEST MYTH    Thu May 21, 2015 1:57 pm


Thanks for the welcome and for the link! The link lead me to some interesting reads.

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PostSubject: Re: SPECIAL REPRO REPORT - DEBUNKING THE FLOAT TEST MYTH    Mon Sep 14, 2015 10:41 pm

Wow great post and research steph.
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PostSubject: Re: SPECIAL REPRO REPORT - DEBUNKING THE FLOAT TEST MYTH    Thu Nov 24, 2016 4:48 am

There seems to be more of these shiny black floating fakes on the market. Excess flashing being cleaned up and slightly different mould detail:
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