How to Spot Recarded Star Wars Action Figures

Written by michelle barry
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How to Spot Recarded Star Wars Action Figures
A toy in its original packaging is usually worth much more than one that has been repackaged. (toy car image by Ron-Heidelberg from

Action figures, particularly name brand and highly collectable vintage action figures such as those from the Star Wars genre, will often be repackaged or recarded to be resold. While placing the vintage action figures along with the cardboard backing that originally lined the toy's packaging inside a new package helps protect the action figure and creates a more visually appealing display, an action figure in it's originally packaging is typically far more valuable. For a collector, being able to spot a toy that has been recarded or repackaged can be financially beneficial.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Action figure in packaging

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  1. 1

    Check for pieces of tape holding any part of the action figure packaging together. The bubble that holds the action figure, any weapons or accessories or the plastic packaging container itself will be held together by glue if it has not been recarded. If it was recarded, the person who resealed the action figure packaging likely used tape.

  2. 2

    Look for fingerprints inside the clear bubbles or packaging. This suggests the action figure was handled and repackaged.

  3. 3

    Look for bubbles under the seams and edges of the bubble holding the action figure or the accessories in place on the cardboard backing. If the action figure was recarded, there may be some lingering bubbles from the tape.

  4. 4

    Hold up the packaging and evaluate if the bubbles holding the action figure and accessories are in the correct position. If the bubble was placed crookedly, unevenly or at an odd angle, this would indicate that it has been recarded. Once a bubble is taped and replaced onto the cardboard, taking it off would damage the cardboard backing. Therefore, if a person replaced the bubble in an incorrect position, they may not have wanted to risk damaging the cardboard by removing and relaying it.

  5. 5

    Check for any tears or scrapes in the cardboard that would indicate someone placed tape down and then removed it.

  6. 6

    Evaluate the packaging case to see if it is custom-fit to the specific action figure or if it is a generic block that would fit over many different action figures of varying shapes and sizes. Packaging cases are sold that are designed to fit over most action figures, therefore if the casing looks customised to that particular action figure, it is a sign that it has not been recarded.

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