Pin Trader Club

Scrappers & fakes; what’s the difference?

Scrappers and fakes. We’ve all heard the names, but do you know what they mean? There is quite a difference between the two and today I’m going to explain exactly what they are. 

Scrapper 
A scrapper pin is a pin that was made by an official Disney factory/manufacturer but did not make quality control. Hence the name scrapper. These pins were meant to be scrapped but the factories decided to keep them and sell them (illegally) On eBay and other unofficial websites. Although these pins are official, they are not to be traded in the park. Now, spotting a scrapper. Generally a scrapper is easily identified by very bad quality in the pin enamel, lines and general appearance. The enamel may show grooves or indentations which you would normally not find on a pin would purchase in the parks. You may also be able to identify a scrapper by the difference in colour verses and official pin. 

Fake pin 
A fake pin is a pin not made by a Disney factory/manufacturer but by a different company/factory trying to replicate the design. It is much easier to identify a fake pin mainly by looking at the back. Most pins have what you call “waffling “which is the pattern on the back of the pin. This pattern is generally in the shape of Mickey heads but on some limited edition pins it can be a pattern of ice cream cones. If the pattering does not reach the very edge of the pin and appear to fall off the edge of the pin then chances are it’s fake. You used to be able to if a pin was fake because the FAC number would not be visible but unfortunately factories have now begun lazering on a FAC number. Some people say you can identify a fake pin by looking for two small bumps on each side of the pin tack on the back. If these bumps are not present you can assume your pin may be fake. I have seen official pins without these bumps so I would not judge based purely on this theory. There is also an exception. It’s important to remember those bumps are there to stop your pin twirling on your lanyard, so if your pin has two backs, it’s possible it won’t have these bumps as it can’t twirl with two backs securing it.

If you are going to trade pins with someone and you fear that their pins may not be official or real you can always ask for a picture of the back. I have seen many people who have used fake and scrapper pins for craft projects such as pictures, upholstery and other things. Unfortunately, most pins on cast member lanyards in the parks are scrappers which people have purchased off eBay. You will see bag lots on eBay of 20+ pins for $20-$30. These pins arrive in a small plastic Ziploc bag with a red stripe. Say this red stripe is like a red flag in the pin trading community, if you see the stripe, steer well clear. 


This article was written by Dreamingofdisney__.

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  1. tosbourn 05 Sep 2019 11:36 AM

    Fantastic article! It’s so sad that the majority of pin boards are filled with scrappers.