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Counterfeit hint books?


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Does anyone know whether counterfeit hint books are something that are actually in circulation?  I recently purchased a Phantasy Star 2 hint book from eBay, and noticed a few things that caused a bit of suspicion.  The hint book is in almost perfect condition, which by itself is somewhat unusual for 30 year old printed materials.  Compared to other images I had seen online, the colors seem just a bit off.  The yellow backgrounds are more muted and the included screenshots don't look quite as sharp.  The paper is also extremely thin, with a mass market paperback feel to it, and the text can be seen through the other side of the page.

For comparison purposes, I pulled out my old Sword of Vermillion hint book, which was the same style of book with same proportions, printed around the same time.  The same things I noticed when comparing to photos online were true when I compared to Sword of Vermillion.  Some of the colors in the Sword of the Vermillion book are noticeably brighter, and also the game screenshots are much crisper.  I can't really determine whether the paper is the same stock, but it is similar enough that I give that a pass.

Overall, if the Phantasy Star 2 book is counterfeit, it is a very good counterfeit.  The cover looks identical, binding is perfect, and pages are centered.  I question whether someone would go through the trouble of painstakingly reprinting a book like this one, with such a limited potential customer base.  On the other hand, I know the Chinese/Russian counterfeiters are getting really good at making accurate reproductions, and they might not have to sell very many at all to recoup their costs.

I included a photo of one of the pages from my Phantasy Star 2 book, and an image of Sword of Vermillion for comparison.  The one thing that comes across in those photos is the difference in screenshot quality.

Am I just being paranoid?  Maybe the differences can be explained by this simply being a different print run?  Or is it completely feasible that someone is reprinting and selling some of the pricier guides and manuals?




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8 minutes ago, LifeGame said:

I could be wrong of course, but I dont see someone going through all this trouble counterfeiting an item that is not of huge value and without a huge demand…

That is my inclination as well, and I think it is much more likely that the book is legit, but then I see all the Russian counterfeit music CD's for sale on eBay and that gives me pause.

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12 minutes ago, MrWunderful said:

Do they ever reprint these? Like a 2nd edition if you will

This particular hint book was a pack-in with the game itself.  As far as I know, it was never reprinted or sold separately.  Otherwise, that could certainly explain some minor differences in print quality.

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