I Got Scrapped: My First Disney Scrapper Pin

Thar be troubled waters ahead, mark my word…

Recently, I took a particular shine to a pin that I discovered available online. Part of my collection wants are pins that either celebrate a part of a park or a particular ride.

In this instance, the ride in question is Pirates of the Caribbean and the pin in question is the Dead Men Tell No Tales talking skull pin. I really like this pin because it gives a nod to the ride without literally being a ride pin. Also drawing my interest was the discovery that this particular pin was a cast lanyard pin, which (at the time) would have been my first. I dug deep to research my find.

I first went to Pinpics view the description. Immediately two words jumped off of the screen.


Sends chills up the spine, eh? Great. I am going to have to tread carefully on this one.

One of the difficulties encountered in shopping online for a pin is that frequently the seller will use a stock image, often from pinpics, that makes it rather problematic to assess whether or not the pin that is being sold is in fact a legitimate pin.

I found a listing online from a seller and contacted them to see if they had any additional photos. The seller responded by posting two of the blurrier photos that I have ever seen! Still, I had to give them points for taking time to write me a lengthy response that somewhat convinced me that they might have a legitimate pin. I decided to take a leap of faith and purchase this pin.

What then ensued was a series of strange emails between the seller and I. First a “don’t always trust Pinpics photos” followed by a “I know a person close to the parks that says these are legit”, to a “Hey, since you are a first time buyer, half off!”


that last email ultimately left me confident that I had been taken and that a scrapper was on the way. Oh well, back to the drawing board.

A few days later another similar pin surfaced, again using a stock photo. While the seller could not supply an additional photo, the description promised “100% authentic” and feedback seemed to back that up. What’s a little more faith? I pulled the trigger and pirate pin number two was on its way.

Within days, the two pins arrived, and I eagerly placed them side-by-side. Doing this made it absolutely obvious which was real and which was fake (thank goodness I did not end up with two fakes!) Here are the images…

So which is real and which is fake?

Pin one is the legitimate, real deal. Pin two?

Not so much.

First notice the color difference. The real pin is kind of creamy beige, while the fake is yellow.

The real pin also has a slightly different color to the flag tips. The fake is yellow through the entire pin.

The real pin has smooth edges all the way around. The fake is sharp and jagged.

The real pin is noticeable smaller, heavier, and thicker than the fake, which is light, thin and slightly larger.

The backs of the pins also tell a tale of their own…



A couple of things jump out.

First the text on the real pin just appears more clear and lined up properly. The text on the fake pin appears a little blurry and a bit cartoonish. Also the Disney logo appears a bit different on each, though I am not too familiar with these yet.

Two other main differences are that the size is slightly off and also the fake pin has two nubs instead of no nubs.

While I could have been upset by the fake pin purchase, I am actually happy it happened. This has been a very educational experience for me, and as a new collector it opened my eyes to red flags about online sellers, as well as what to look for in real vs fake pins.

In actuality, identifying scrappers can actually pretty fun, like becoming your own CSI.

The main takeaway from my experience?

Go with your instinct. If something does not feel right, then likely it is not right. I should have had that alarm go off when I received really blurry photos from my scrapper seller. Lesson learned!

Let me know if there are any questions I can answer. Happy to help!


Posted on July 14, 2013, in scrapper, tips, trading pins and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I didn’t even realise people went to the effort to make fake pins. Good to know since my kids like to trade their pins when we’re in Disneyland HK …

    • One more thing to worry about, right? There are some great reference website out there that will help guide you in verifying authenticity, just search around a bit. Once you get two in your hand though it gets really obvious!

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