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 ado....here'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: