How to Tell if Charizard is Fake (What Does a Fake Charizard Card Look Like?)

I recently got back to collecting Pokemon cards. One day, while scrolling through eBay, I noticed some proxy and fake cards priced close to the originals.

What caught my attention was that people bid and bought some of them, especially the First Edition Base set Charizard. Intrigued, I checked out one of them.

It was almost indistinguishable from the original, which explained its popularity. Seeing this gave me the idea to share how to tell a fake Charizard from the original. So, here goes…

What does a fake Charizard card look like?

How to Tell if Charizard is Fake 
Fake Charizard card. Image source: Pinterest

The best way to spot a fake Charizard card is to be familiar with the originals. Here’s a table breaking down some differences between forged and original Charizard cards:

Card Feature

Real Charizard

Fake Charizard


Clean edges

Fuzzy or uneven edges


Bright, clear, saturated.

Washed out.


Not visible.


Holofoil surface


Gritty or sticky.


Clear, crisp, clean

Uneven, blurry, pixelated.

Questionable print quality

How to Tell if Charizard is Fake 
Fake Charizard card. Image source: Pinterest

Most fakes are made using cheaper ink and paper. As such, the colors may appear washed out or bleed into the borders. This is particularly true on the back of the Pokemon card. You’ll often notice the misaligned logo or bleeding edges.

On the front, you’ll notice variations in the font type and size from the original card. In some cases, the text is illegible or looks bloated. These suggest the paper or ink used was of lower quality. Cards with these signs are likely fake.

Wrong text details

Another thing to look out for is spelling and grammar mistakes. The easiest to spot is failing to accent the “E” in Pokemon. This minute detail is a dead giveaway that the card is fake.

Other things to look out for include misspelling Charizard, using the wrong energy symbol, having the wrong card dimensions and measurements, and having incorrect attack values.

The best way to spot these errors is to have a reference point. When buying a card, pull up an original scan from TCG Player online, a reliable marketplace for original Pokemon cards. Having an original on hand will make spotting fake easy.

3 Ways to spot a fake Charizard


As mentioned, your success in spotting a fake Charizard depends on how well you know the original 🧐. Therefore, the best way to avoid being scammed is to have a reference point for the card you’re buying.

You could download scanned images or use actual original cards. Once you have your reference point, use these methods to identify a fake Charizard:

Read the card’s information.

I know I sound repetitive, but I cannot stress this point enough: always read the information before buying a card 👁️‍🗨️. Forgers often make spelling and grammatical mistakes.

Check if the manufacturer accented the “E” in Pokemon, and look for wrong HP values, unclear fonts, poor sentence structures, and grammar mistakes.

It’s worth mentioning that most Pokemon cards don’t have these mistakes. However, some do. These cards are well documented, so before writing off a card as fake, go online and check if it was noted and corrected.

Flip the card and check the back.

What Does a Fake Charizard Card Look Like?
Charizard card. Image source: Pinterest

Once you’ve gone through the card’s information, flip it and check the back. This is the most reliable test since English versions of Pokemon cards dating back to 1999 have the same back.

Look for bleeding between the blue and the border, misaligned logos, and washed-out colors. Use your reference card to look for discrepancies and check online if these discrepancies were recorded and corrected.

Use light tests

Finally, use light tests if you’re unsure if the card is fake. These may require specialized equipment and an expert’s help. These tests compare the inks used in fake cards to those of original cards.

As such, you’ll need both cards. The results may vary with the card you’re investigating. In our case, we’ll use the 1st Edition Base Set Charizard.

Spot fluorescence

How to Tell if Charizard is Fake 
Charizard card. Image source: Pinterest

The genuine 1st Edition Base Set Charizard remains legible under a spot of fluorescence, while the fake is blurry and illegible.

Side infrared

The Side Infrared illuminates the card under wavelengths invisible to the human eye. Again, the genuine Charizard card remains legible and clear under this light, while the fake didn’t.


Finally, the fake card lights up differently from the original under UV light. Since the original doesn’t use ink that reacts to UV, it appears dark, while the fake may light up a purple or red color.

So, how do you protect yourself from scammers?

Always do your homework to ensure you don’t fall for scams when buying Charizard cards 🕵️. Compare original scans to the card you’re buying and walk away from any card that varies significantly from the original.

Also, ensure you buy cards from trusted sources like TCG Players and the Official Pokemon Center Store 🏃. These cards may be expensive, but you’ll dodge the scammers’ net. Plus, some of these sites offer buyer safeguards against counterfeit cards.

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