Real?Fake? How to Authenticate a PDD

Is It Real? Is it Fake? : How to Authenticate a PDD

How do you know if you have a TRUE Pimp Daddy Destro or a forgery? Do you have a very valuable figure in your hands, or is it just a conman's knock-off or maybe just a really nice custom figure? How to determine an authentic PDD is probably amongst the most sought after information in all of G.I.Joe collecting. There are tell tale signs for the experienced collector. And for the first time publically shared, I'm going to hopefully help you all become "in the know"!

I have first hand experience with personally handling, studying and documenting a few carded PDDs. I'm a pretty much a Destro fanatic, and I've made it a mission of mine to uncover knowledge about the Pimp Daddy Destro, as well as track down this rarity. The below information is 100% factual as best can be determined, as I've devoted much time and energy to research this elusive item.

I will happily offer my help to authenticate a loose or carded PDD, should you desire it! Just send me an email and we'll take it from there. Well, without further's how to tell Real vs. Fake.

Loose Pimp Daddy Destro:

There are three definite tell-tale signs to determine an authentic "loose" Pimp Daddy Destro.

1.) The Leopard Spots:

The leopard spots on an authentic PDD will pretty much all be in the correct positioning, when compared to other known authentic versions. Note the emphasis on position, not number or even size of the spots. The PDD production suffered greatly from a poor spot paint spray masking on the figure. So...this means there are some examples with crisp and concise spots, while there are others with more "cloudy" spots. But, the authentic PDDs will have the spots in the general same positions, from what I've observed.

Generally, the spots are around the same size. I've seen some with slightly larger spots, but I've determined this is due to the particular figure having a poor spot production paint job. The spot paint application was a concern to the team making the 1997 commemorative sets. The small size and intricacy of the spots required a more complex paint mask, and thus we see many cases of larger & oversprayed spots, "ghosted spots", and spots that look generally nice.

So, when it comes to the leopard spots there can be some difference in how the paint appears. Descrepancy in the paint/spot appearance shouldn't be the sole factor in your opinion on real vs. fake.

Developing an "eye" for determining Real vs. Fake spots is kind of tricky, and definitely takes some experience. As the spot patterns are very key, I'd recommend seeking-out out someone who has known experience to help you out. (Keep in mind: ALL the pictures of the PDDs on this website have had some change/altering of the spots. This is done to prevent those deceiteful people who'd like to create their own PDDs, and then try to pass them off as if they were real. If they follow the spots on ANY PDD on this website...they will fail and an expert will certainly be able to tell the difference)

If you have the experience of viewing a few PDDs (loose or carded), you'll pretty much have an idea of what to look for. If you haven't had this opportunity or experience, definitely find someone who does and ask them for help.

2.) Non-Countersunk (Not Flush) Elbow Rivets:

All Pimp Daddy Destro's have non-countersunk elbow rivets (NOT flush or sunk into the arms, but exposed) on the underside of their arms. What do I mean? Well, if you look at an authentic PDD, the elbow rivet is raised and is actually exposed above the plastic in the arm. It looks much like a "mushroom cap" rivet. This is a trait unique to the PDD, as all other released production versions of the 1997 have the regular sunk elbow rivets. Check out the comparison picture:

You see the countersunk (exposed) elbow rivet below the PDD's elbow. On the upside-down regular '97 Destro, the elbow rivet is sunk into the figure's arm (and not exposed and/or visible).

Also, keep in mind that using a non-countersunk elbow rivet to try to make a fake PDD with a common '97 Destro will leave definite signs (and damage). If you see a PDD and it's offerred up to you for sale, be sure to get DETAILED and CLOSE-UP pictures of the elbow rivets (both signs) to see if there is any sign of tampering. If so...don't be fooled!

3.) Red Paint on the PDD Chest, Gloves & Belt:

The red paint on authentic Pimp Daddy Destro's is slightly (but noticeably) brighter than the red paint on a common released 1997 Destro. This is a definite difference. You'll need to hold a true PDD next to a regular release '97 Destro to see the difference. This holds true also with the PDD gloves and belt, though this is much harder to determine than the chest.

Because it's a slight difference, this to me is the last test if the other two above requirements are passed.

Carded Pimp Daddy Destro:

I've handled a few of these, and actually discovered the fourth (and crucial) factor in authenticating a real MOC PDD. It's important to note that most (if not all at this point!) uncovered carded PDDs unfortunately suffer from plastic bubble damage. Why is not really clear. But the 1997 G.I.Joe sets have been known to have poorly glued plastic bubbles. This holds true for the mass released team sets, and it would be a reasonable thought that the glue problem was equally as poor (and perhaps even more poor) at the begining of production of the '97 sets when the Pimp Daddy Destro was produced.

The first three points to check for are exactly the same as for the above loose Pimp Daddy Destro:

1.) The Leopard Spots: Same as above for the loose PDD

2.) Non-Countersunk Elbow Rivets: Same as above for the loose PDD. You'll have a harder time to see the non-countersunk elbow rivet on a carded Pimp Daddy Destro. Use a flashlight to better see into the plastic bubble and inner plastic bubble tray.

3.) Red Paint on the PDD Chest, Gloves & Belt: Same as above for the loss PDD. I strongly recommend using a regular release 1997 Destro to compare against.

4.) "9740" Date Stamp on the Back of the Packaging:

This is my personal contribution to the Pimp Daddy Destro collection mythos (other than this site, of course!). In examining quite a few carded Pimp Daddy Destros, I noticed a unique feature that all of the mint on card PDDs shared. I have confirmed with carded PDD owners, that this is truly a unique feature to the PDD card back only.

On the back of the packaging, all Pimp Daddy Destros will have the date code "9740" stamped INTO the backside of the packaging. This is not a printed number, but is a code physically stamped into the card (usually found near the bottom of the card). See the pictures to see what I mean:

This "9740" is production/factory date code. All signs point to this code indicating when the item was produced. The first two digits "97" refer to the item being made in "1997". The last two digits "40" supposedly indicate the week number the item was made. In this case, it would be the 40th week of 1997 (I think this was the 1st/2nd week of October 1997? Not sure.)

Every single cardback from an authentic carded PDD will have this unique "9740" stamp. I have confirmed this number with carded PDD owners, who were sometime surprised to learn of it's uniqueness to the PDD. As luck would have it, Captain DC (the 1st person to bring the PDD's existence to light to the community) retained the cardback from his Pimp Daddy Destro. When I asked him the stamped number, he replied his was "9740" (without me giving any indication as to what I thought the number should be).

It's important to note that ALL of the 1997 Cobra Command Teams have a code date stamp on the back of their packaging. Typically you'll find "9743", "9745", "9748", etc. etc. I have not found "9741" or "9742". I believe this might be due to the production shut-down while the PDD was sent to Hasbro in the USA for approval, it's subsequent rejection, and the changing of the paintmask & production to the regular 1997 Destro. But this is only an educated theory at this point.

So, if you are offered a carded PDD to buy, make sure it has the correct code. It will NOT have two codes. If it does, or it doesn't have ANY code, then I would be very suspect of the item. It almost certainly won't be authentic.

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