Over the past few days the 2023 Kakawow/Phantom Disney 100 Years of Wonder set has suddenly popped up. People seem to be buying into it heavily as seen for example on eBay, but is this set even real? What do we know? And what does it mean for a set to be real?
As far as we can see the cards do actually exist and are seemingly of good quality, so in that sense, yes, they are real. However the question remains whether this is an officially licensed Disney product, and about that I have my doubts.
I won’t be able to verify that they are 100% real or 100% fake, but I’ll list the reasons of why I think they might be fake and why I would personally steer clear from this product, for now.
Update: There have been some recent developments since this article has been published, it now looks like an official license does exist. Read more about it in my 2023 Kakawow/Phantom Disney 100 Years of Wonder: Chinese License Explained article.
The first thing I noticed is a lack of professionalism, there is for example no official product page available, which is odd as all other big trading card brands have those pages available for their products.
The second thing I noticed is their Hello World tweet:
Hello world! KAKAWOW is a trading card brand under Suplay Inc. We are the official licensee of Disney, Pixar, Starwars, Marvel, Tom&Jerry, Sanrio, National Geographic, Detective Conan, Genshin Impact, Miku, the forbidden city, etc. Hope to bring more high quality products to you!@kakawow_global
For me it is hard to believe that Disney would condone Starwars and Tom&Jerry to be stylized like this, instead of stylizing it as Star Wars and Tom & Jerry. It may just be a minor thing, however it is not uncommon for scams to contain such errors.
Are the cards really licensed?
Kakawow claims to be the official licensee of Disney, but why do Disney themselves nowhere mention Kakawow or this new set? You would expect there to be a press release, a Tweet or information of any kind. But there is nothing at all. Isn’t that odd?
And if they really are unlicensed, can they then still be graded? I have my doubts, because I don’t think PSA, BGS or CGC would want to meddle with licensing affairs. And I don’t recall any obvious fakes having been graded either from any card set. Yes, there are fakes that have been graded but those are fakes that are intended to look like the real cards, they don’t have anything to do with unlicensed product.
The sudden appearance
Another thing that strikes me as odd is that these cards suddenly appeared on the market. No announcement, nothing.
Next to that Disney has also been working on a Weiss Schwarz set and they have been heavily promoting that product and are still promoting it right now, mostly in Japan. Though you can also purchase it outside of Japan, for example here on eBay.
So it is really weird that these cards appeared all of a sudden.
The differences in price also strike me as odd, with them ranging from $200-300 on several places such as eBay and other online stores, however the exact same sets are also available on AliExpress for prices well below $100, isn’t that strange?
I doubt that the boxes on AliExpress are fake as the boxes have been around for just a few days so that is hardly enough time to create fakes. This makes me believe that the current prices on eBay are inflated and I would urge caution with buying into the hype.
Does it actually matter if the cards are real?
Well, yes and no. If you truly enjoy the cards then you are of course free to collect them, nobody will stop you from that, and this is all very reasonable.
However if you are investing in them or collecting them with big hopes that they will be valuable in the future or perhaps hoping to grade the best copies, then yes, it does matter a lot. If it turns out that they are unlicensed then their prices will plummet and you likely will have lost most of your investment. That is why I would steer clear of it, there simply is too much risk involved right now.
Hopefully this article has given you the ability to make a more informed decision about whether to buy this product and at what cost. I’m still curious if we will find out via official means whether they are real or fake, though I think the only way to be sure that they are real is when Disney officially endorses this product on their own media channels.
If that won’t happen then the next thing to watch for is whether grading companies will grade this product, that will also be a big indicator.
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