Spotting a Fake Pokemon Lost Origin Booster Pack and Box

Readers, I ordered a Chinese counterfeit / fake Sword & Shield Lost Origin booster box from China so you wouldn’t have to!

Whether it’s some random dude on Facebook Marketplace or a mother buying her kids cheap Pokemon cards, counterfeit Pokemon booster boxes are surprisingly common. These booster boxes can be found on Chinese retailer’s websites for as little as $12. Sword & Shield and Scarlet & Violet sets are available and all come in deceptive boxes.

The primary buyers of these fakes really does seem to be moms and scammers by the way. I feel the need to mention that these booster boxes / booster packs are a way for the impoverished to participate in Pokemon… it costs TEN TIMES less to buy counterfeit than to buy real Pokemon cards. I don’t know if that says more about The Pokemon Company’s pricing practices or about society in general but it is something to remember.

The booster box arrived a little beat up but the packs inside were perfectly fine. Not bad for clearing customs in two countries and spending 10 days getting beat up by package sorting equipment and disgruntled workers.

Let’s start tearing this thing apart.

On the face of things this is a Lost Origin booster box… but right away if we take a second you will notice there is a second Lost Origin logo on the cardboard flap above the first Lost Origin logo. It’s not supposed to have that. It’s supposed to be a boring white.

We can continue with the face of things… the carboard cutout that the white flap tucks behind is also the wrong shape. If you see the front of the box above don’t buy it because you’ll be getting a fake.

We can all thank Jia Baili (Guangzhou) Trading Co. Ltd. of China for this obvious fake! They even put a sticker with their name on it on the plastic wrap!

But let’s continue with this fake product teardown.

Another thing to note is that the “Pokemon Pokeballs” seem to be the wrong size relative to real booster boxes. The real logos are surprisingly large.

Notice how shiny the fake booster pack is… real booster packs are not that shiny. In fact they seem pretty dull compared to the counterfeit foil packs.

All of the fake booster packs share the same shiny nature and scalloped edges. Those scalloped edges are a giveaway, they should be crimped.

Also, the booster packs weigh between 12.70 and 13.08 grams instead of the real boosters weight of around 21 grams. If you have a scale use it.

As you can see, real booster packs are not as shiny as the fake ones and also have a noticeable printing effect… note all of the dots and lines. Also note that the packs are sealed by crimping the top and bottom and that there are no scalloped edges.

One of the first things you should notice about the backs of a real and a counterfeit / fake Pokemon card booster packs is the barcode. The fake doesn’t have one! In fact, the fake booster pack has next to nothing on the back! The real Pokemon booster pack has a ton of text on it and a barcode… so if someone is selling you a plain backed booster pack say no thank you because that thing is a Chinese counterfeit.

Oh look a Giratina.

Anyways, each fake booster pack contains 9 cards instead of the claimed 10 cards on the booster pack. So that’s a way to tell them apart right off the bat.

One thing you should notice about the cards is that their yellow borders look washed out compared to real Pokemon cards.

You’ll also notice that the cards are thinner and weigh less. In fact they weigh about 1.3 grams each compared to about 1.7 grams each for the real cards.

I’m also kind of wondering if the manufacturer uses the same cards in the same packs over and over without variation. I’d have to get another booster box to test that though.

Product quality does not seem to be on Chinese counterfeiters radar. All holos in the booster box have a similar faded back. I have no clue why. But you can see the holo card on the left above and the normal fake card on the right. Quite a difference in color.

l of the counterfeit cards have a white center… this contrasts with real Pokemon cards which use a blue core. Plain white cardstock is the cheapest available for card printing, which makes sense since this is a Chinese counterfeit and they’d like to make a profit not give you long lasting cards. If you rip a real Pokemon card you should see a thin layer of blue sandwiched between white,

So to sum things up… A card or booster pack is fake / counterfeit when…

  • The booster pack is very shiny. Real booster packs are generally more muted.
  • The cardstock used to make the cards is thinner.
  • The cards have washed out yellow borders.
  • Holo cards have faded backs.
  • The booster pack has scalloped edges on top and bottom. Real booster packs are crimped.
  • The booster packs only contain 9 cards. Real booster packs contain 10.
  • The booster pack weighs in the 12 to 13 gram region instead of the real booster packs weight of around 21 grams.
  • The cards smell wrong when a booster pack is opened. Not joking.
  • The cards have a pure white interior. The Pokemon Company uses 280 gsm paper with a blue core.
  • The card weighs 1.2 grams instead of a real cards weight of 1.7 grams
  • If the price is too good to be true, it’s a fake… or stolen…

I hope this article has been helpful and will keep people from unknowingly buying counterfeit product from China!

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