Here Are Five Tips To Avoid Falling For Fake Pokémon Cards On This Pokémon Day

Pokémon has been a trading card staple for 25 years after debuting in 1999. With over 190 collections of Pokémon cards circulating since its inception, the market is rife with both opportunity and peril. The allure of rare and valuable cards has unfortunately led to a significant increase in counterfeit products, tricking even the most seasoned collectors into purchasing forgeries.

With Pokémon Day coming up on Tuesday, Feb. 27, Indivisible Game, a reputable online gaming information source, has stepped in to offer essential advice to collectors on how to distinguish genuine Pokémon cards from fakes.

Here are five steps collectors should take before buying Pokémon cards:

1. Scrutinize Card Printing Quality

Authentic Pokémon cards are known for their exceptional printing quality, vibrant colors, and meticulous detail. Counterfeit cards, on the other hand, often suffer from blurry images, inconsistent colors, and noticeable pixelation. By closely examining the print resolution, clarity of text, and looking out for any grammatical errors, collectors can spot a fake. The attention to detail in genuine cards is a clear indicator of authenticity.

2. Feel the Card Texture and Material

The tactile experience of handling a Pokémon card can reveal a lot about its authenticity. Genuine cards possess a distinct, slightly grainy texture, whereas counterfeit ones might feel unnaturally smooth or glossy. A simple touch test, comparing the card’s surface to that of a known genuine card, can be very telling.

3. Examine Holographic Foil Elements

Many Pokémon cards feature intricate holographic foil patterns, a detail that forgers often struggle to replicate accurately. Authentic holographic elements display a consistent pattern and depth when viewed from different angles. Spotting irregularities in these patterns or in the size and shape of the energy symbol can be a key to identifying a counterfeit.

4. Check Card Size and Thickness

Genuine Pokémon cards adhere to strict size and thickness standards, varying across different collections. Counterfeits may deviate in size or feel flimsier than their authentic counterparts. Measuring the card’s dimensions and comparing its flexibility to that of a genuine card can provide insight into its legitimacy. Additionally, real Pokémon cards feature a thin layer of black between the cardboard, a distinctive mark of authenticity.

5. Know Your Pokémon Characters and Stats

With over 1,025 Pokémon characters, it’s easy for counterfeiters to deceive collectors by using images from similar franchises or creating stats that don’t exist. Familiarity with the characters and their stats, especially noting that legitimate cards do not have HP over 340 (with few exceptions), can prevent costly mistakes.

“It is truly incredible that after a quarter of a century, Pokémon cards remain as popular as they were when they first appeared,” says a spokesperson from Indivisible Games in a statement. “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.”

These tips come as a gaming shop in Wisconsin is seeing a rise of fake Pokémon cards. Megan Pflieger, co-owner of Talon Song Gaming in Minocqua, tells WJFW-TV that she’s been seeing a rash of these counterfeits coming into her store.

“So, they’ll come in, and they’ll be really excited about knowing how much is this card worth. ‘We just bought this from, you know, this person or that person.’ Or, ‘My son traded off a holographic Charizard, and this is what he got. Was this a good trade?'” says Pflieger. “And then we have to look at it and say, ‘Well, no, it’s fake.’ It’s just one of those things where people are getting swindled, and that’s a big deal, and it’s actually the most rampant with Pokémon.”

It’s believed these fake cards that have been circulating in the Northwoods area of Wisconsin have come from flea markets and garage sales.

“I don’t even know if I would mess with something at a flea market or a garage sale unless you have someone with you that knows those items, and I would say that for other things that aren’t even cards,” Pflieger tells WJFW-TV.

Even celebrities have gotten scammed. Popular social media influencer Logan Paul found out a Pikachu Illustrator Pokémon card he paid millions for was fake.

By being vigilant and informed, collectors can ensure their collections grow with genuine treasures, preserving the joy and integrity of the Pokémon card collecting experience.

Matt Higgins contributed to this report.

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