We will not forget!
The Bunko Squad
The fake badges
*** PBN Collector Alert ***
Hey, right here on the net... Did ya
know that you too could buy cheap, repro junk badges... I found
a place where you can buy badges for $20 to $30 and live happily
ever after. Sound like fun? Well, let me tell you what it does
to both you and our hobby. First, You are paying for what is
touted as a "collectible". There's nothing collectible about
reproductions. They will never be worth what you paid, unless
you scam somebody else. Then try and sleep at night. Second,
the flooding of our hobby by dealers like this, as well as a
manufacturer in the Northeast (who also can be found here
on the net), is taking its toll. Several States
are considering or already have enacted laws that affect
the well being of badge collecting as a hobby. There are
even certain states where badge collectors fear the public
display of their collections. Then there's the trust issue...
just listen sometime during a badge show...constant questions like
"is this a good one?" are more common the old greeting of "hello".
So... you think you are gettin' a bargain when you pay $19.95 for that
current issue LAPD? Well, lets just compare one of these cheap junk
badges to an authentic.
Okay, guess which one is the real one? Well, it's certainly not the
one with Sgt. Webb's badge number! Look closely, these aren't even the
same shape. Look at the building (LA City Hall). Look at the lettering,
the panels, the background of the badge. Collectors badge? Hmmm, maybe
if you collect Cracker Jack Toys.
An even bigger laugh is that of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's badge
being sold on the net. Compare the "repro" on the left with the real one on
Heck, they couldn't even get the number of arms on the star correct.
And I quoted the word "repro" because, in the true sense, this is a
"fantasy" badge, one that never existed except in the makers mind. The real
LASO badge here happens to be one of a defunct rank, although the style
is the current issue today.
Moral of the story... save your money...and save this hobby too. There are
good genuine badges out there that you can find for the same price range or maybe
a little higher. Remember... this hobby is, like most others, a way to invest
in something yet have fun doing that investment. Junk will always be junk!
NEW LANGENBACKER SPOTTER'S GUIDE
COMING SOON! (Very doubtful, though)
A Langenbacker generic badge. This badge has a control number, 15, on the back.
This is an example of the upcoming info & drawings you'll find in the updated
guide, coming soon!
Another illustration from the upcoming second edition of the Langenbacker Spotter's Guide,
this one a D&RGW Detective's star, hallmarked Sun Badge Co.
An updated version of the Langenbacker Spotter's Guide is being completed in
the near future. This book by Dave Arnold outlines each of the fake badges
being made in Utah. A quick and easy reference guide designed for take along
at shows, the update version will have computer drawn renderings of each
badge in production. All known hallmark information and control numbers
(that are on some badges) will also be included. The release of the book
will be announced here at PBN.
NEW Langenbackers: David Langenbacker has added 17 new badges to his
offerings since my publication of the Langenbacker's Spotter's Guide. The
following badges, numbered 264 through 280 are as follows:
264 U.S. Territorial Marshal, a circle with cut-out five-point star
265 Cochise County Sheriff, a crescent with cut-out five point star
266 Town Marshal (generic), narrow band circle with cut-out 5 pt star
267 Dos Arroyos Special Officer, a 5 pt ball tipped star
268 Marshal (generic), a lapel pin-type badge, S-shaped
269 Los Angeles Police #141, a pinched shield of yesteryear
270 Constable Smyth County, a pinched shield
271 Marshal (generic), a flag-like lapel pin-like badge
272 Dolores Police, a ball tipped 6 pt star
273 Frontier Battalion, Company D, Texas Rangers, a circle with cut-
out 5 pt star
274 Utah State Deputy Game Warden, a pinched shield
275 Sheriff (generic), a pinched shield with heavy scrolling
276 Chief of Police Princeton, a 6 pt ball tipped star
277 Fish & Game Protector, California Fish & Game Commision,
badge #64, and eagle topped shield
278 US Indian Police, a pinched shield with cut-out 5 pt star
279 Sergeant KC Metropolitan Police, a 6 pt star surrounded by a
280 LA City Police, badge # 32, an 8 point star (1st issue badge).
See the Lieutenant's Office for more info
I am constantly asked about on-line auctions such as E Bay and Allbadges.
Many visitors here request that I check a badge for them before I buy it.
I rarely have time but what I will tell you is that the auctions are loaded with
garbage. From brand-new to flat-out
repro's, they proliferate the on-line
One of the biggest
reproduction dealers on the Internet is "Pineridge7". It
is rumored that the LAPD recently filed a cease and desist order against
Pineridge for reproducing and selling their current-issue badge.
One problem with
dealing with a seller on an auction is that you have no clue who you are dealing
with. In that there are several people "in" the hobby who prey
on unsuspecting collectors, it is important to know the person and maybe even
check with other collectors whether they know that person. You typically
can't do that with auctions since they use a screen name. I would suggest
you contact a seller before you bid. Ask his name. Whether or not
you can check his references or with collector friends is unimportant,
really. The ones who are used to "bad press" will give you a
hard time about asking their name. Then you'll know. Of course, if
he is a total commercial venture, like Pinridge7, he will probably flat out brag
about how long he's been in business and how many happy customers he's served.
Other things to
think about before you buy:
Does this person
have more "rules" typed out then he does "description"?
Does the seller
want an inordinate amount for shipping and "handling" his own badge?
the seller offer a return policy?
Remember, we live in a "Buyer Beware" world today, especially in the