For those that may not have seen it on RS:
C Fawcett wrote:
I, as well as some other affected and concerned parties, need to bring a very important issue up to this community in regards to a widespread proliferation of fake prototypes that has surfaced recently. This appears to have been going on for at least five years, but it has only been in the past few months that people have started comparing notes in order to bring the truth to the surface. A collector by the name of Scott McWilliams, who lives near Orlando, Florida, has been selling fake hardcopy prototypes and possibly wax sculptings to collectors. These include both painted and unpainted hardcopies in materials visually similar to carbalon, dynacast and other less common vintage materials, but all purported to be authentic from legitimate Kenner sources. If you are a member of other forums or clubs, or a web master, we would ask that you please disseminate this information to as many people as possible so the community can be aware to be careful when buying hardcopy prototypes.
Some of the physical evidence which has been gathered thus far is outlined below:
1. Some “Hardcopies” with parting lines which match those on production figures and which sometimes mimic production flaws.
2. Some “Hardcopies” which are not sized correctly or have limbs which are not sized proportionately to the torsos.
3. Some “Hardcopies” have muddy or fuzzy details that are otherwise crisp and precise on known authentic vintage Kenner Hardcopies.
4. Some “Hardcopies” have specific details that are cast incorrectly that do not match the same details on known authentic vintage Kenner Hardcopies.
5. Some “Hardcopies” appear to have been made using poor casting practices which yield numerous surface flaws quite unlike known authentic vintage Kenner Hardcopies.
6. Some “Hardcopies” show evidence of filled foot peg holes.
7. Some “Hardcopies” show evidence of sanded off copyright dates and lettering.
8. Some “Hardcopies” have poor placement and alignment of pins between the torso and limbs which is inconsistent with known authentic vintage Kenner Hardcopies.
9. Some “Hardcopies” appear to have been cast with materials that are unlike known authentic vintage Kenner Hardcopies. This is most apparent on internal material features visible inside peg holes or when looking at broken parts.
10. Some “Hardcopies” are cast in material colors that don't quite match dynacast or carbalon of known authentic vintage Kenner Hardcopies.
11. Some painted “Hardcopies” with poor quality paint jobs that do not match the detail and fineness of known authentic vintage Kenner Hardcopies.
12. Some painted “Hardcopies” with a different type of paint which is too glossy when compared to known authentic vintage Kenner Hardcopies.
13. Some painted “Hardcopies” with numerous air bubbles and globs of material which is inconsistent with the Kenner practice of painting only very good castings.
14. The majority of these painted “Hardcopies” show very little to no signs of age or scratching which is almost always apparent on known authentic vintage Kenner Hardcopies from 25-33 years ago.
While the above is a generic description of flaws seen across many fake “Hardcopies”, examples discovered so far range in quality from being quite different from known original examples and easy to spot to being of very high quality and difficult to spot.
Some buyers have agreed to come on to this thread with their figures and post specific examples. Beyond the physical evidence, statements made indicate a pattern of lies about sources and provenance. In several cases, pieces were claimed to lead back to specific former Kenner employees, however, when contacted for independent verification, those employees claimed either to never have had the pieces, or we were able to trace the provenance elsewhere. In other cases, items were sold claiming to be pieces shown on the Star Wars Collectors Archive when in fact the ownership of the Archive piece could be traced elsewhere. In nearly every single case known thus far, secrecy about each transaction and the transfer of ownership was insisted upon. There were explicit requirements not to show items to specific authorities or collectors - people who actually have experience with items of this type and who may have been able to spot potential fraud occurring.
This post has two purposes.
First, to warn everyone in the community to be very careful when buying items like hardcopies. Not every single hardcopy sold by Scott is a fake. He did have some legitimate prototype pieces.
Second, we're trying to help collectors who may have received fake pieces. If you have a piece you think may be questionable, please contact me at email@example.com
I'm sure there will be lots of questions and I, as well as others, will attempt to answer them. I realize that some of these terms may be unknown to all collectors. Therefore, it would be prudent to get a quick lesson by reading the Lexicon at The Star Wars Collectors Archive.