Five Expert Tips on How to Spot Fake Pokémon Cards

March 12, 2024
Pokémon Cards

The Pokémon card market has grown considerably since the franchise first came to the fore in 1999, with over 190 collections of cards now in circulation.  

Naturally, this has led to a lot of fake cards being manufactured and sold to collectors, sometimes for thousands of dollars, fooling even the most experienced into believing they are buying genuine cards.  

Ahead of Pokémon Day on 27th February, the online gaming information site Indivisible Game has outlined what collectors can do to identify forgeries and avoid spending on counterfeits.    

Compare Card Printing Quality 

Authentic Pokémon cards are printed with high-quality materials and precision. Examine the printing quality, colour vibrancy, and detail as counterfeit cards may have blurry images, inconsistent colours, or pixelation.  

Pay attention to the overall print resolution and clarity of text and symbols, while also checking for grammatical errors within the text, which is an easy way to spot a fake card.  

Check the Card Texture and Material 

Pokémon cards typically have a specific texture and feel, while counterfeit cards may have a smoother or glossier finish.  

Run your fingers over the card’s surface and compare it to known authentic cards. Genuine Pokémon cards often have a slightly grainy texture, while fakes may feel slick or too smooth, so you should be able to tell the difference just by touching the surface.  

Inspect the Holographic Foil Elements 

Many Pokémon cards in various collections feature holographic foil patterns. Counterfeiters often struggle to replicate these holographic effects accuratelyso, look for irregular patterns, such as missing details, inconsistent shine, or a lack of depth.  

The authentic holographic foil should display a distinct and consistent pattern when tilted under a light. A quick test is to compare the energy symbol with other cards; a common trait in fakes is that this is slightly larger or distorted.   

Verify Card Size and Thickness 

Authentic Pokémon cards adhere to specific size and thickness standards, which differ for each collection. Counterfeit cards sometimes deviate from these dimensions, so be sure to use a ruler to measure the card’s length, width, and thickness compared to a known authentic card from the same set. As well as this, bend the card a little, as fakes often feel flimsy compared to high-quality real ones.  

An easy way to spot a certain fake is to examine the edge of the card closely. Real Pokémon cards have a very thin sheet of black between the cardboard; it’s only visible up close, but you’ll be able to see the darkness between the two thin halves of the card. Without this, it’s not a genuine Pokémon card. 

Be Familiar with All Characters and Stats 

For those buyers who aren’t familiar with all 1,025 Pokémon characters, it’s easy to be duped by fake cards that have character images from other franchises that have been heavily influenced by Pokémon, such as Digimon. The sheer volume of characters can make it tricky to be certain from memory alone, so do your research and verify the picture is of an official Pokémon.  

Specific stats can also reveal a card’s authenticity; for example, if the HP is over 340 (aside from a few unique rare cards), it is likely to be fake. Verifying the attacks on the card will also confirm if they are real, as counterfeit cards have previously listed some that don’t exist.  

Commenting on the expert advice, a spokesperson from Indivisible Game said: It is truly incredible that after a quarter of a century, Pokémon cards remain as popular as they were when they first appeared.  

“Pokémon Day always sparks even more interest in the franchise and, naturally, will see new and old fans starting a card collection. Fortunately, these tips can help budding collectors avoid being tricked into buying fake cards.”

Leave a Reply

13th African Games 2024
Previous Story

13th African Games Themed ‘Experience the African Dream’ Opens

Ecobank Back2School loans
Next Story

Ecobank Gets $250m Bridge-to-Bond Loan from Afreximbank

Latest from Sports