I'm starting this blog to build awareness and document a scandal surrounding vintage Star Wars toy prototypes sold by collector, Scott McWilliams over the past few years. This blog is called "Green Harvest" in a nod to the faux title of the Star Wars film "Return of the Jedi", and the reference to alleged production of green Dynacast hardcopies of the Star Wars action figures. The scandal emerged from multiple accounts from customers of Scott's deals of rare prototype items that were inconsistent with Kenner's practices during the vintage Star Wars era (1977-1986). Scott had asked many of these customers to keep the deals secret, but as these customers shared information, a larger story was assembled. The scandal first went public in a post by Chris Fawcett to rebelscum.com in October 2010:
I, as well as some other involved parties, need to bring a very important issue up to the community in regards to a very widespread scam that has surfaced recently involving fake prototypes. This has been going on for at least five years, but it has only been in the past few months that people have started comparing notes and the startling truth has come to the surface.
A collector by the name of Scott McWilliams who lives near Orlando has been selling fake hardcopy and wax prototypes to collectors. These include both painted and unpainted prototypes in materials visually similar to carbalon, dynacast and other less common materials.
If you are a member of other forums or clubs, or a web master, we would ask that you please disemeninate this information to as many people as possible so we do not have any further victims of this scam.
Some of the physical evidence:
1. Parting lines with identical match to production figures and sometimes mimic production flaws.
2. Poor quality paint jobs that do not match the detail an fineness of KEnner originals.
3. Figures not sized correctly - too big or too small or limbs not sized right to the torsos.
4. Figures cast off UK variants that wouldn't have been Kenner HCs.
5. Details that are poor quality, rather than being sharp. This is especially evident when comparing the fakes to known originals.
6. Evidence of filled peg holes.
7. Evidence of sanded off dates.
8. Poor pin placement on limbs, inconsistent with Kenner originals.
9. Missing details (gun holster holes filled in for example)
10. Internal material features (inside peg holes or looking at broken parts) don't match internal features of real examples.
11. Air bubbles on the hardcopies that were painted, which is inconsistent with the Kenner practice of painting only very good castings. Legitmate HCs with air bubbles have always turned up unpainted.
12. Colors that don't quite match dynacast or carbalon of known real examples.
13. A UV light test on certain HCs reveals differences between real and fake HCs.
14. Paint is too glossy on some HCs as compared to Kenner originals.
15. Painted pieces showing very little signs of age that should be apparant on 20-30 year old pieces.
While the above is a generic description of flaws seen across many pieces, some buyers have agreed to come on to this thread with their figures and post specific examples. These will be forthcoming in the next couple weeks.
Some of the ancillary evidence:
1. Confirmation of Scott lying about provenance. One example is claiming to have bought pieces from the Earth. THe Earth was contacted and had no record of selling the pieces. Scott also claimed to have bought from 3 Kenner sources, all of who have been contacted and deny selling anything to him. In one instance the Kenner contact had never even heard of Scott.
2. Bait and switch by sending different figures than the photos sent to the buyer
3. Claiming pieces being sold were the exact one from the Star Wars Collector's Archive when they were not
4. Quickly and easily offering refunds without any desire to defend the pieces, nor asking questions about why the buyer thinks they were fake.
5. Skipping out on an authentication meeting with a buyer and Tom Derby at C5 for the $15k Jawa figure. Why would you skip out on a $15k sale if you knew the figure was legit.
6. Completely ignoring collectors phone calls and emails since C5.
This post has two purposes. First to warn everyone in the community to be very careful of buying hardcopies and make sure they do not trace back to Scott.
Secondly, we're putting together a list of victims in order to start legal action. If you have bought pieces from Scott, have any questions, or think you might have been scammed and want to join our effort to attempt to get reimbursement, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I'm sure there will be lots of questions and I, as well as others, will attempt to answer them.
CJ's post and the entire follow up thread was removed from Rebelscum following a legal threat from Scott's attorney. As far as I'm aware, Scott never publicly responded to these allegations, although if he wishes to respond to anything on this blog I would give him the opportunity to address any points. Although initially some of Scott's customers got refunds for the items that were shown to be inconsistent with Kenner's practices, as the scandal snowballed, Scott's remaining customers were unable to reach him and did not get refunds.