It has come to our attention via the Empire Strikes Back Timeline Group that a large auction on eBay of vintage and modern Star Wars items are not what they claim to be. neatstuffcollectibles are claiming that in particular their vintage and modern preproduction items items come from
the original Kenner factory in Ohio and sourced by a former engineer/toymaker who requested anonymity” and “worked there for over 30 years” and “All prototypes in this auction are actually figures he himself designed and engineered or hand painted.
A fellow vintage Star Wars enthusiast did some digging on this claim and turned up a name of Jim Ebersole as the original owner of the items. No evidence of Jim having worked at Kenner turned up so questions were asked further afield.
Some long term collectors in the community did recognise the name and some pretty hard evidence has come forward.
According to my friend he sold many of his customs to Jim back in the late 90s early 2000s. Additionally he used to bid against Jim on prototype auctions back then as well. My friend started to remember several of the items being sold in these auctions as items that he had bid against Jim on and lost to Jim as well as many customs that he had made and sold to Jim. He went back through his emails and sure enough he had records from some of these customs sales and other conversations he’d had with Jim.
It would seem that this ebay seller just purchased Jim’s collection and is selling them as coming from a kenner engineer. The claims of some of these customs coming from original vintage kenner molds (custom rocket fett auctions and others) are untrue as my friend created some of these himself and some of the rocket fetts are $30 ebay Mark Poon customs.
Here are some of the many items questioned in the post
Here is a custom royal guard that was sold as a potf2 prototype for over $500. The figure was made in 1997 but this “prototype” has the head from the 2002 royal guard and the pike accessory from the same 2002 Saga figure.
then these royal guard custom auctions were listed from the same seller after this first one sold
My friend made several of these holographic custom figures in this auction and sold them to Jim as well that were described as being made off of the “original kenner molds” The luke jedi is a potf2 figure and even still has the copyright info which would not be present on a hardcopy or something made from an original mold. My friend still owns one of his luke jedi customs and said that his has yellowed too like this one and the Anakin in the lot which he also made over 20 years ago using translucent resin and glass stain/paint from Michael’s craft store (attached a photo of how the Luke used to look before it yellowed).
Thankfully in this community there are many people who can spot customs and reproduction items and special thanks go to all of the guys who worked behind the scenes on this one. It goes to show that you couldn’t take for granted the authentication of stores, auction houses and the like for these very rare pieces. My advice for anyone who has bought an item is to send a picture to one of the experts and be know your rights for refunds.