Exponential Technology Trend and Counterfeiting

My apologies if this is a repost, but I’m interested to see if any serious collectors have purchased examples like the “custom card” counterfeit linked above for authentication purposes.
My fear is that as technology advances with extremely accurate scanning facilitation, countefeit efforts could have an increased accuracy potential. Any thoughts regarding this are greatly appreciated.

damn, selling a fake for $100…what a business

PSA has graded fake Yugioh cards as well as fake 1st edition stamped Pokemon cards that we know of so fakes are indeed a real concern. They have also graded resealed base 1st edition packs. Fakes/forgeries plague every hobby to some extent and as technology advances it can only get worse. You can find information about those all on the forum here.

In hand I’ve seen several iterations of various fakes and as far as I know have never been fooled. But yeah… again… read above. Though I never do expect a doomsday scenario 1:1 replica (or anywhere close really) that causes someone to flood the market with identical, impossible to distinguish fake base 1st cards that crash the market.


Thank you, you addressed my exact “doomsday” concerns. I probably need to take a break from watching Black Mirror on Netflix…

The closer you get to the “real” thing, the harder it is to improve on the fake.
Cut & corners and thickness of the paper layers. The feel of the cardstock and the design of the blue/black graphite core holding the two sheets of paper together. The whiteness and texture of the base cardstock before applying the ink and the gloss added after the ink. The exact CMYK mixture to produce the same colours. The ink rosette pattern of each offset layer. The text positioning, sharpness of the image, stamp positioning. The holofoil and correct holo pattern. The amount of R&D money needed to produce replicates that are indistinguishable is unreal.
Until someone starts replicating $1million baseball cards, I wouldn’t worry about it.


exactly if they have the technology to do a 100% replica they wouldn’t start with pokemon cards. They would probably go after the sports market first.

Fakes ruin the integrity of any card hobby. Anytime there is money to be made you will always see people trying to take advantage.

The actual fake in question is of terrible quality if you see pictures from people who have them on Facebook. It is basically a holographic sticker put on the front of a real card. The holo pattern is blank as in there are no stars, with a simple 2x jewlers loop you could say without a second thought whether it was real or not

PSA grading fakes is a problem, but at the moment it is extremely easy for a collector to tell if they have something real or fake. They have a long long way to go.

Beyond that there are tests for the age of paper and lots of things that can keep the top of the top authentic. The danger is cards that exist in the thousands and thousands of copies range that can sneak through some cracks.

The biggest danger for counterfeits are uneducated buyers, and the best answer is people who are educated and experienced with said items

I say this as someone who owned a fake 1st edition stamp Charizard on a shadowless Charizard. While learning from members of this community I realized it, and years later I have a much larger wealth of knowledge on counterfeits in TCG

When in doubt, ask for help!

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The percentage of fake cards that have been accidentally graded are not even .1%.

Baseball cards have existed for 100 years and it isn’t a worry. It’s very easy to be an alarmist but fakes are easily identifiable. That is why we can instantly identify the handful of examples that slipped through the cracks.

I would add that fakes in Pokémon unfortunately have a larger interest compared to other collectibles. This is probably due to the lower age range that doesn’t exist in other hobbies. In sports collecting custom, luxury, galaxy cards isn’t a thing.


ink experts can identify the age of ink on a card. i’m sure thaatif it ever became a major concern, grading companies could employ an ink expert/ink expert technology for cards that get submitted that have a high enough value to justify it (ie base 1st ed holos)

The reason I mention this has a lot to do with the industry I’m involved in, which is vintage guitars. We are already seeing fakes that are very clever; pieces that can sometimes be indistinguishable from the real thing via classic authentication methods like black lighting and oxidation of components/hardware. I can only imagine what a knowledgeable silkscreen artist could do if the anty was high enough given the top tier value of the original 1st base set.

There are 100k+ to million dollar sports cards, surely that is incentive enough no?

To the sportscard argument; it takes advanced knowledge of any hobby in marriage with current software/technological understanding to clone a piece. My gut tells me that the people who are responsible for adaptive ‘cutting edge forgeries’ fall into the 20-40 age group. Younger people in this particular age bracket are more likely to identify with Pokémon and have a better understanding for adaptive software and scanning utilities than the younger/older demographic. Why would I clone sports cards that I don’t understand when I could clone an anime card that I grew up with?

I guarantee your knowledge of Pokemon cards and how they were made is not as advanced as you think right now =)

And a simple answer is literally hundreds of times the value.

Even easy target counterfeiting in modern MTG products, which are probably the most counterfeited cards that exist with new generations multiple times a year, it is extremely easy to spot a fake within a few seconds of inspection

My personal knowledge of the Pokémon tcg is of no bearing to this discussion. My question pertains to the future, not the present. Currently, we have AI technology that can learn rts game mechanics on its own, private 3D scanning/printing tech that can sculpt near identical replicas of an object, gps location software that can geo-lock you to a 99% accurate location via satellite. Cloning cardboard in the next 20 years? A joke

So you seem to know, why are you asking us?

I’ll buy your cards off you now, I heard they were going to be worthless soon :blush:

This one is rich… lol

Experts will always be able to spot the fakes, but some people will always get scammed.

It’s just like malicious emails or telephone scammers. They don’t have to have to be perfectly believable, only good enough to fool some people.


Your comment makes me think of this comic xkcd.com/1425/
We are able to enjoy machine learning, 3d printing and gps technologies because these are generally applicable tools that have the weight of basically every industry on Earth advancing the cause. Creating a indistinguishable replica of a Pokemon card is an astronomically hard problem that has almost no stakeholders and very little return. There’s no reason to believe such a tool would become available to people in the next 20 years.

But okay, lets assume now that by accident a cool new technology was invented that advances humanity in a significant way and has the unfortunate side effect of being able to produce fake pokemon cards really accurately. Well, 1 year later I invent a super cool app (using super advanced, super futuristic technology) you can use to differentiate real and fake cards. If you can just assume technology will enable the production of accurate fake cards then I can just assume technology will also be there to resist that practice.

One thing to keep in mind about trading cards vs vintage guitars or hotwheel cars or vintage toys is that the pieces are modular and relatively simple. Pokemon cards and trading cards generally are a complex series of layers where each layer is a complex mix of chemicals and proprietary construction.


I’ve seen this thread before. www.elitefourum.com/t/will-card-restoration-ever-be-a-thing/17968/1


The AI piece is interesting. I have to temper my own emotional reaction of not wanting that to happen to allow myself see it as a possibility (in more things than Pokémon)

As others have said, the cost and effort needed now and for the near future seems high, but I would also guess that AI won’t progress in cyclical semi linears shelves like humans, or be something we can relate to and therefore anticipate at all. Trying to call it now would be doing so in terms of how WE understand intelligent progress and capability.

So really, I don’t think anyone should be confident either way right now.

As a side note… on top of the age range associated with Pokémon, my guess is that the low individual card price of Pokémon relative to other hobbies actually may be an incentive for reproduction right now, and could contribute to why we see so many counterfeits. If someone replicates and attempts to sell a million dollar baseball card, a lot of eyes with a lot of money will see that and have an interest in tracing it. For that reason I actually hope Pokémon does continue to trend higher-profile as our generation ages.