“Minty White” Fake Insertsadmin
As you can see from the list directly above, there are at least 20 highly collectible titles that have fake inserts. Inserts are printed on card stock and measure 14″ x 36″. There has been much talk about this topic within the past few years between the top dealers and collectors of movie posters. Every major dealer and name in this hobby has expressed their opinion on this and ALL agree that it is a MAJOR problem. The only ones who believe these inserts are real are the ones who are selling them every week on eBay. They say they are from “a warehouse find”, or a “different printing”, or some other excuse that sounds plausible. This is total B.S. They have an endless supply. There are also a select few fake lobby card sets and half sheets. Half Sheets measure 22″ x 28″ and are also on card stock.
So how do you spot them? Well first of all, as far as anybody has researched, the above titles are the only ones known with confirmed bootlegs. The bootlegs have the NSS info. and GAU markings like the originals. If they are “Minty White” and look brand new like they were printed yesterday, they probably were! If they are glossy on both sides, they are fake. If you see it for sale on eBay for a low “buy it now” price, and this same dealer has been selling them continuously for years, it is most likely a fake. You can disregard their almost perfect feedback record, it is completely irrelevant. They sell a ton of “real” original posters, but they also sell these fakes continuously. They do not care that they are ruining the hobby. None of the buyers knows they have been burned until it is too late and they have already left positive feedback. These dealers prey on newbies that are unaware that fake posters even exist!
THE TRUTH BEHIND THESE FAKES: In the 1980’s (prior to eBay) a few ROCHESTER, NEW YORK and OKLAHOMA poster dealers got together and hired a printer to run off thousands of these bogus posters. The printer did not know what he was doing was illegal. Not that it matters anyway because no one would press charges against him. These criminal dealers are counterfeiters, they got away with it, and continue to get away with it!
If you are the unfortunate owner of one or more of these and you ever try to sell them, you will be lucky if you get more than $5.00 for them. No reputable dealer or knowledgeable buyer will go near them.
How do experts know they are fakes? There are several things to look for: The paper is “wrong”, they usually look brand new, sometimes they are glossy on both sides, and the cropping, markings, and artwork is sometimes slightly different from known originals when compared side by side. The printing quality is pretty good, but not as good as originals when examined very closely.
There were thousands of movies released during the same era (1970’s – early 1980’s). Other than the above highly collectible titles NOT ONE OF THESE COMMON ORDINARY “NOT VERY COLLECTIBLE” TITLES HAS EVER APPEARED ON THE SAME KIND OF PAPER AS THESE OBVIOUSLY FAKE INSERTS. The fact is they are usually pretty easy to spot, but only if you are familiar with what a real insert looks and feels like.
These same unscrupulous dealers that have an endless supply of these fake inserts also regularly sell fake one sheets including Star Wars Teaser B’s, “Hairy Belt” Star Wars Style A’s, fake Star Wars Style C’s, Bootleg “Miramax stamped” Pulp Fiction, Spiderman “recalled version”, as well as many others.
UPDATE: There are also fake “re strike” inserts for many titles. Blade Runner, Jaws, Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and Scarface are a few of the popular ones. They usually look brand new and are printed on a “minty white” card stock paper. These bootlegs have fooled practically every poster dealer/expert out there, including some of the major auction houses! The quality is superior to most fakes. This is because they come from the same NSS printing facility as the originals. Sometime in the mid to late 1980’s (well after the films were released) there was an unauthorized print run for many titles done after hours by some shady employees. They collaborated with some criminal poster dealers/distributors, and now they are everywhere!
If you look carefully at most of the bootleg titles you can see where the artwork is slightly cropped on the outer edges.
Why is the artwork cropped? Why wouldn’t the counterfeiters try to reproduce them EXACTLY from the original printing plates? These questions have puzzled movie poster collectors for years. No one really knows why, but we can hypothesize. Maybe the original plates were missing or damaged, and maybe they had to create new plates. Since they came from the same place as the originals (an NSS printing facility), the counterfeiters had all the materials needed to closely recreate them as best they could.
These unauthorized re strikes measure a full 14″x36″, just like the originals.
We call these “unauthorized re strikes”. Some call them fakes, some call them bootlegs, some call them counterfeits. Some anonymous guide writers on eBay (these are the guys who are selling them!) are now claiming they are “garbage” runs from the printing facility. They are just trying to make them sound legitimate.
Regardless, whatever one wishes to call them, they are NOT original movie posters! All collectors should avoid these fakes like the plague!
Since these counterfeits are now over 20 years old, they are starting to age and in some cases are no longer bright white. If not looked at very carefully they can easily be mistaken for an original.
8 factors that will help you to determine if you have a fake/bootleg movie poster:
A fake movie poster may not possess all the characteristics described below, but it will definitely have most of them.
1. Is it “minty white”? Just because a poster looks brand new does not mean it is a fake. It is just the first obvious sign that it is. This must be combined with at least some of the other factors below to confirm it is a fake.
2. Have they been continuously for sale by the same Rochester, NY and Oklahoma dealers for the past 10+ years?
3. Are they slightly blurry when compared to undisputed originals?
4. Is the art work slightly different (slightly cropped) when compared to known originals?
5. Is the suspect title one that is highly collectible?
6. Is it on a glossy type of paper, usually both sides glossy, that has not been used on any other type of movie poster ever? (except for the confirmed 19 or so highly collectible bootlegged titles listed above)
7. Are the overall measurements significantly different than known originals? Bootlegs often are smaller by at least a quarter of an inch or more, but this is not always the case.
8. Did you buy it for a “steal”? If you think you got a great deal by buying a poster on ebay, go back and look at the auction. Was the auction description vague? Did the seller have a lot of feedback? Was he from Rochester or Oklahoma? Was the picture small or blurry? Did a lot of people bid on it? Were they seemingly knowledgeable people judging by their feedback/experience? Was it a “PRIVATE” auction? Dishonest sellers often make their auctions private (you can’t see the bidders identities) so honest people can’t warn bidders that they are about to be ripped off.
UPDATE: Minty Whites That Aren’t Minty White Anymore!
In June 2007 we acquired a Jaws insert that looked and felt right. It was not “minty white”, was not glossy on both sides, and the printing was fantastic. We listed it as an original. We had no reason to believe it wasn’t authentic. We have handled a TON of fake inserts so we know what to look for. This one completely fooled us! It was originally acquired in 1999 on eBay from a known fake seller in Oklahoma. The paper has aged!! It does NOT look fake anymore!! Someone brought it to our attention and after a little investigating we found out where it originated from. These things are DANGEROUS! As time goes by they are going to look more and more real and fool more and more people. They are ruining the hobby for new collectors. BEWARE!