We document every collectible and sometimes there is a discussion if we should.  Here is a classification and our current stance on what we document and what we do not document (as well as if items are allowed to be offered for sale on our Marketplace).



Until the 1970s, it was quite customary to copy other brands' products, with some companies doing nothing else. This entailed buying a toy, taking it apart, and using the parts as a negative for a new mold. Here is a typical example of that, in this case, a Matchbox copy. This plastic Morris Minor by Hong Kong's Blue Box is a copy of a Matchbox model:

In fact, there is a copy of the copy. The Commer Van by Blue Bow is a copy of the Commer Van by Blue Box which in turn is a copy of the same model from Matchbox! The new model could even be on a different scale, for example, Playart collectors know how the brand famously copied a Yamada kit to make its Mazda Rotary Coupe and copied the wrong bit of text off the kit box, marking the Playart model as the "Yamada Super Discmatic Rotary Coupe" where "Yamada Super Discmatic" was actually the model kit range.

Passing off as another Brand

Copies have now been mostly replaced by the Pass-off. Here, for example, Hot Wheel (note, not Hot Wheels!) -

These products are generally not available in Western markets (one of our members spotted Hot Wheel in Georgia, the former Soviet republic and not the home of Coca-Cola collectibles). And another Argentina-based member shared Popipo vinyl figures with us -

They are clearly based on branded products (not sure why this one is called Freddsde versus say Freddy Fazbear) but fool nobody and are picked up by parents that either want to save money or when the original item is just not available.


These come in different forms such as Reproduced, Repaints, Restickered, Recarded, and a combination of the other three forms - the Made-up item.


NOTE: We do not add these types of fakes to the Database, they can be added as a Collectible to a Member's Collection but not sold on our Marketplace

Items that are not authorized by the Brand and are produced to be sold as the item they are plagiarizing.  We do document these as Fake Photos.

Repaints / Repairs  

NOTE: We do not add these to the Database, they can be added as a Collectible to a Member's Collection and sold in the Marketplace if clearly marked as Repaint or Repair

For antique items also sometimes referred to Smoothed or Repatinated.

Here is a Dinky Toys Fire Engine 25H offered for sale as a rare (and much more valuable) pre-war version of this model -

It is actually a post-war version and has the following issues -

  • It has been repainted
  • The ladder is unpainted, making it a 1950s ladder (1)
  • Post-war axles have longer and sharper crimps (2)
  • The wheels are ridged and thus post-war wheels
  • The tires are possibly more modern tires aged in tea


Or just "Tooled".  When an item is changed to that is appears to be another, generally more valuable item.

Here for example the left coin has been made from the one on the right (or one very similar to it).


NOTE: We do not add these to the Database, they can be added as a Collectible to a Member's Collection but not sold in the Marketplace

Probably some of the easiest fakes are sticker variants.

Corgi Toys sold a number of its normal production Minis to a Danish company called Jensen. The only distinguishing feature is a paper decal with the logo of the company. These stickers are easily recreated making it very hard to know if you get the original promo model.

With Funko, it is even easier as you can buy almost all of their stickers on eBay and Etsy (but not on hobbyDB!). Here is a current eBay listing (it is even Sponsored!).

It is obviously very easy to change a shared exclusive (value $29) into an SDCC 2015 Exclusive (value of $55). And that is the only reason why people buy these stickers - shame on these other sites to support this kind of fraud.


NOTE: We do not add these to the Database, they can be added as a Collectible to a Member's Collection but not sold in the Marketplace

This Hot Wheels Redlines VW Bug from 1968 is actually a genuine model and so is the card. But the combination is not, it is a Recard (it should not have the paper insert and the button is already folded). 

Made Up

Marked as Counterfeit in Production Status

There was surviving correspondence between Omnisport, a general store in El Salvador, Central America and Dinky Toys in the 1950s, but an order to make the model was never taken up. This car came to auction in 2009 after it was bought by a dealer from a customer who said he worked in South America and got it there. 

It could be that this was a prototype shipped to the store in El Salvador for approval or it was made much later to benefit from the sensation it caused. It sold for more than $10,000 to a private buyer - so we still don't know (but our money is on the latter).


Sometimes marked in Production Status

Forms reused

Often old forms are bought by other companies. A good example is Brinquedos Rei in Brazil that re-made Majorette and Schuco models. Another example is Michael Mordaunt-Smith who bought some of the forms of Timpo Toys and now makes parts and sells them. Brinquedos Rei made models in different colors and put its name on the baseplate and Michael is changing the colors so that his parts can be spotted as remanufactured items (these parts were originally produced in silver).

Forms remade

Sometimes the trademark holder (could be the same legal entity or a new buyer) wants to reissue models but the forms are lost or used too much and in these cases, new molds can get created. The best example of these is probably Atlas' Dinky Toy Collection.

Either one is fine as long as the products are marked accordingly. The problem is if unscrupulous folks repackage, age, or otherwise manipulate these items or just prey on new collectors that just don't know.


Perfectly fine is an instance where a dealer, manufacturer, or distributor finds a stockpile of old merchandise or parts and sells them. For example, the Salacious Crumb that came in the 1983 Kenner's Jabba the Hutt Playset

Not Licensed

Marked according to Collectible Type

To use a brand or other IP the producer needs to agree on a licensing agreement and pay fees.  Often items get produced without that.  We have production status for some of these.  So for example for pins, we got these  -

Counterfeit are imitating a pin issued (the first pin was issued when HRC still had a different logo), Renegade Pins are for Cafes that did not pay licensing fees to HRC and Fantasy pins are made up (here infringing both HRC and Disney).