Posted by Shane on November 3, 2005 at 08:53 AM CST
The thrill of the hunt; it?s one of the most exciting aspects of the hobby. What can be better than walking into a store and finding a shelf full of brand new toys! But lo?, what?s this? Amongst the plethora of new figures there?s something there you?ve never seen, or even heard of before. It?s a Han Solo in Hoth Gear on a Bail Organa card! What could this be? A rare variant perhaps? Maybe a miscard?

No. There?s only one thing that this is - a scam where the original figure has been swapped out and replaced with a common figure from days gone by.

Unscrupulous collectors have been buying hot items, switching out desirable figures and returning the tampered with product back to the unsuspecting stores for years. Unfortunately, the packaging style Hasbro has employed for the Revenge of the Sith line has made it all the easier for this to happen. Collectors need to be especially diligent in order to ensure they don?t fall victim to this scam. We here at Rebelscum have put together a guide chalk full of helpful reminders that will ensure you don?t get burned.

The first and most effective tool in not falling victim to this scam is KNOWLEDGE. There are plenty of resources available so do your homework. Find out exactly what the exclusives are and where they?re exclusive to. We have extensive checklists for all of Hasbro?s offerings in our Photo Archives Section and this includes the ROTS line. If it?s not on these lists, chances are it?s just not right.

Warning Signs ? Things that should just scream NO!
  • Older figures on ROTS cards ? while Hasbro is notorious for reissuing basic figures over and over, the ROTS line consists mostly of all-new figures.

  • OT Characters on ROTS cards ? this should be especially obvious. There?s no reason whatsoever for Zutton to be available on a ROTS card.

  • Stormtroopers on ROTS cards ? I don?t recall seeing any Stormtroopers in ROTS do you? No? Then they certainly shouldn?t be on ROTS cards!

  • Non-Star Wars figures in any Star Wars packaging. There?s just no way this can be possible.

  • Figures not fitting properly in the bubbles ? the inner bubble trays are formed to snugly fit their respective figure. If the figure does not fit properly in this tray, it doesn?t belong in that package.

  • Poor tape jobs on the back of the cards - this includes looking carefully for two types or layers of tape and signs the original tape has been removed (stress marks on the tape, tape pulling up on corners, tape tears on the package, etc.)

What to do if you find one of these items.
  • Alert the store manager ? by informing store management, they can discuss the problem with the customer service department and perhaps enact a policy to keep this from happening.

  • Look for others ? if there?s one figure like this, there?s a very good chance there are more. Do your best to find them all so no one else gets burned. Proceed to follow step one.

  • Return the item ? if you have already purchased the figure, return it and explain the situation to the customer service representative or the store manager.
Remember, the onus is ultimately on you, the collector, to make sure that you make smart collecting choices. Do not let your greed get the better of you and know that if it looks too good to be true, or in this case, just plain wrong, it most certainly is.
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