Alphadrome at Danefield.com
Modern photocopying technology is advancing at a great rate and the quality of laser copies is such that it's getting
increasingly difficult to identify copy boxes. Repros usually start life in an honest manner: an owner willing to dismantle an
original runs off a number of copies. I've done it on many occasions. The problem arises when the nature of the box is
'forgotten' as the robot changes hands; that's when the copy becomes the fake. It's easy to be deceived, either deliberately or
by accident. A genuine box doubles the value of a robot: a copy is worth just a few dollars. I once was offered a batch of
robots by a dealer. When I looked closely it was obvious that the boxes were all copies. With genuine innocence he said "Of
course they are. They're just there to protect the toys. You can't expect the originals to have survived."
How to spot the copy:
The final layer of colour applied by copying machines is black: this is quite easy to detect if you hold the box at an angle and
look for the tell-tale shiny layer of black ink. On a genuine box there is no such distinction between the colours.
Imperfections in an original box are faithfully reproduced, but there will be no corresponding flaws in the copy. Tears, creases
and holes are copied, but the box won't bear the appropriate scars. The holes left by the original staples together with the
usual rust staining, will usually show so a new staple may be the wrong size or colour. (A serious forger will, of course, take
care of this!) It's also very difficult to put a new staple in at the correct angle: you need a specialized staple gun to do it
Photocopies have to be glued to a suitable backing card, and it's difficult to reproduce the look of the original. Shiny white
card is always suspicious, as is any material that feels unduly heavy or stiff. If there is any sign of the paper lifting from the
backing then it's almost certainly a copy. Try to slip a thumbnail under the suspect layer. The folding lines of the box ought to
look professional, not irregular or messy.
Finally, the ink on a photocopy is easily damaged. The outer seams often acquire fine white lines where the ink has rubbed
Oddly enough the quality of the printing on the box is not a reliable sign. Many robot boxes are badly printed, and the copies
can look better than the originals. With improving printing techniques and the ability to use computer scanning and
enhancement, it is going to get harder to detect the fakes.