Have Chinese cards mold replica sets gone too far? (1 Viewer)

AcesUp907

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Replicas Good or Bad?

I think they are great. It allows chip fans the opportunity enjoy chips that they couldn't otherwise. Quality chips are expensive and rare. Molds are very different from their counterparts and nobody is being fooled, not comparable to a fake Rolex trying to pass as the real thing. I ordered a set of Tinas and it would have been near impossible to get the real thing with the amount of chips needed & without paying at least 6X+ the price. Quantities of sought after chips are so limited its hard for Chippies to get in on the action. Spread the love of chips, don't hoard it!

I personally love the fact that people can have chips that aren't mass produced. Replica molds are going to Chippies and aren't being sold to the "public"
Everyone would love to still have the real thing. Collecting chips shouldn't be about who has the most money.
 

Okku

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i kind of enjoy the moddest approach of allowing folks to play with a chip set that cost $10k for a $20 poker game. Its not really an investment to me, it is a passion I get to enjoy withs friends, family and peirs!
Played with the Indiana Grands the other month (whenever it was) and a few of the people who are in their late 50s/early 60s sat down and just started asking how the heck I had gotten those chips and they had kind of heard about the casino, but had no idea that it had closed. Later on during the night I explained how I got the chips and the cost, blah blah blah, and they were surprised that I was able to get them for that price. I mean it was an investment for me, sure. Up there as the most I've dropped on a chip set so far, but for what the set is and what I paid for them I'm very happy. Everyone really loved the chips and couldn't stop talking about them all night.

The same goes for all the TRKs, illegals and other chips that I have. Not only do the people who I play with sit and ask how the heck I get some of these chips, but they love that they get to play with something that isn't cheap like dice chips. I don't care how much I drop onto a chip set. If I enjoy them, then that's the main thing. If the players love them as much as me, then that's just an extra added bonus.

One other thing I'd like to maybe do is get @Fynnysh into collecting more chips. I know he's got some chips, maybe a rack or two of random stuff, but stuff that he enjoys and he's happy that he owns. Both of us are young and we don't have the most money in the world. The last time we sat at the table together was probably the most fun we've ever had in all the times we've played at work. We were playing with my recently acquired Wa She Shu $1s along with some Ginsberg $5s and Indiana Grand $5s in a "simulated" cash game. No one actually bought in for "x" amount of money, but we all got equal starting stacks and then whoever had the most at the end of time won the game. Afterwards @Fynnysh and I sat down for a heads up game. Both started with way more chips then we were ever going to need for that small game, but we said why not. We've got all these chips next to us, why not get them all into play. So, we had huge stacks and were originally doing too little of blinds which we then bumped up to help the game go quicker. Not only do we both appreciate chips, but we know the difference between cheap and the real deal (I hope most do on this forum).

Look at the smile on this guys face after beating me! Then you've got me :ROFL: :ROFLMAO:

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I did order a set of Bellagios in this recent group buy to see how the chips would feel. I did get the samples before ordering and I was decently happy with them. I ordered a cash and tourney set for myself and then one cash set for my cousin in Finland for him to have something fun and different which I'm sure his friends would enjoy. Something that says Vegas, a landmark and casino that most people can identify if they've never really been here before. As for my tourney set, I bought one like that because I know there will never be a day that any high denom chips will come out in quantity because they all get destroyed today. That's just the way that gaming commission does things and will continue to do them for the end of time. I thought it would be fun to have a tourney style set with something we could play WSOP style for a single or two table tournament some day. If the chips aren't nice and the players don't enjoy them, then that's fine. If I don't end up enjoying them later on, then that's fine with me. I'd like to use them and I can appreciate some ceramics here and there. More so the OG ChipCos. The ceramics done today just aren't done the same as they used to be (either that or they're missing the rough texture that some of those chips used to have). There is a major major difference between the OG ceramics and ones made today. I'd like for those that are getting some of the cards mold chips to pick up a sample or a handful of the OG ceramics if they have the chance. You will be able to tell a difference, in my opinion.

All in all, I know the difference between paying for the premium stuff and getting cheap stuff. I deal with it day in and day out. I talk to people that would like to get a cheap set for their "casino night" or those that are wanting to take the step into the real deal. Whether that is a minty Paulson set or a used set from an older Vegas/Nevada casino. I believe that all chips have a story and all casinos have history, open or closed. Chips from the mob era in Vegas are so nice. TRKs made in the 60s-70s when Lincoln Fitzgerald owned the Nevada Club/Nevada Lodge and Fitzgeralds in Reno are some of the NICEST, most BEAUTIFUL chips I've ever seen. You just don't get that type of quality anymore today. Not even GPI can touch that type of stuff. GPI will never touch that type of stuff imo. Heavy leaded, shaped inlays with beautiful artwork is not seen anymore and if it is, it isn't done easily. Of course, I know that I'm talking about two completely different eras, but I'm sure that many of you know what I'm talking about.

Can the cards mold chips ruin the hobby in some way? I fear in some ways, yes.

I say that because like many stated, the next person that gets them MUST know that they are replicas or fakes. They can't go out there telling that people they are the real deal chips. If that happens then there is going to be a big problem. I'd hate to hear of someone who bought a cards mold set for like $5 per chip or something wild and then later finds out they they weren't what they thought they were. Seller disappears and then the buyer is stuck in a hole. What would hopefully fix that is some transparency throughout the world, but I know that isn't going to fix most problems.

I'm going to say this... If you want to get into the real stuff, do it! Sure, try out a ceramic set if you want, but if you want to really have fun in this hobby and get into the good stuff then go for it. There isn't anything stopping you. Funds could be a bit of an issue for some, but if there is something you are looking for or you'd like to try out, get samples or a shuffle stack, then post a wanted ad and watch what type of help will come pouring in. Paulsons are still affordable for those that don't think they are. You just have to do some digging, ask questions and be willing to pay minimum $3 per chip at least (depends on what it is). When I got into this I never thought I was going to drop $300 on a rack, but then I figured out what the good stuff was. Next thing you know I dropped over $1k on TWO racks of chips. I know plenty of people that have dropped well over that one just ONE rack of chips.

So, get the good stuff, try it out and I'm sure you won't be dissapointed ;)

Sorry for the Ben book, but I thought it was worth sharing my thoughts as the words came to my mind.
 

Marius L

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As stated above with the correct lighting a picture can absolutely 100% look like the real thing. It's not coming... it has already happened! Posts of "getting my Arias on the felt tonight!" "Getting my BTPs in play yeah Boy!!" There is no mention of Card Molds. WE as chippers get excited to see real rare and hard to find chips hit the felt... it warms our hearts and gets us excited (as chip nerds) when we get to see "the real deal" those painstaking efforts I spoke of above put into play. Seeing pictures constantly of fakes will take away that excitement
I guess we just don't agree on this, but I get your point. By the way the use of the BTP design was allowed by Toby for cards molds though, correct? Guess it could still impact the people who own the real set by watering it out somewhat though. However keep in mind the legit BTP clays are much more than just a circus tent. It's the chip material, bright colors, details and rarity (and NAGB history) that makes the set exciting. The cards molds are nothing of that, and not even comparable to be honest. They are simply for another kind of consumer.

The way I see it personally, I just find a cards mold copy of NAGB paulsons pretty silly in the same way I see cards mold copies of chiproom offerings. The reason for BTPs legend status is not the inlay design itself. Its the history, the magnificence in getting them made in the first place, and that they are THC paulson clays in bright colors that are not posible to get otherwise. The inlay design in itself is OK, but nothing that special imo. If BTP was a CPC set, people would not go crazy for them obviously simply because the rarity factor wouldn't be there.

For 99% of people cards molds will be enough, and they will be happy with them as a "value buy". However for the PCFers who are willing to spend $5/chip, $10/chip (or even more) on rare poker chips in quantity are different people both financially and on the nerd scale. They will not simply turn around and get a cheap ceramic knock off and be content with it.

Slightly unrelated but I'd argue that the lowered interest in BTPs recently is due to the fact of other NAGBs adding a bunch of nice chips in the same market segment, rather than because of cheap China knockoffs with completely different feel/color/level of detail/history/appeal.
 

PLOdonk

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However keep in mind the legit BTP clays are much more than just a circus tent. It's the chip material, bright colors, details and rarity (and NAGB history) that makes the set exciting. The cards molds are nothing of that, and not even comparable to be honest. They are simply for another kind of consumer.
As a complete noob who is interested in card mold BTP's, I agree with the last sentence.

I know nothing of their history, or significance. I simply scrolled through galleries of chips, and enjoyed the colors and designs of BTP the most. To me, it really is just bright colors and a circus tent. The design gives me a feeling of light-hearted fun that I want to bring into my home games. For me, they are purely aesthetically pleasing. There's not even imitation, or desperation that I "can't have the real thing". I barely know there is a real thing. I just know that out of all the chips I've viewed, BTP had the best colors and designs, and card molds offer me a way of getting those at an affordable price.

I'm not interested in the legacy behind the chips, or having the highest quality mint Paulson's. I'm interested in getting some fun and exciting themed chips that will be higher quality than my buddies Walmart chips.
 

krafticus

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So, how is this different from getting labels for chips? Those designs are copied, put on “real” chips, and could be passed on as authentic. Same thing IMHO. Still stealing a design, still could have ramifications.

I’ve got both CM chips and 2 racks of over-labeled chips. I’m not saying either is right or wrong, but let’s not pretend they’re that different
 
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Mongoose

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As a complete noob who is interested in card mold BTP's, I agree with the last sentence.

I know nothing of their history, or significance. I simply scrolled through galleries of chips, and enjoyed the colors and designs of BTP the most. To me, it really is just bright colors and a circus tent. The design gives me a feeling of light-hearted fun that I want to bring into my home games. For me, they are purely aesthetically pleasing. There's not even imitation, or desperation that I "can't have the real thing". I barely know there is a real thing. I just know that out of all the chips I've viewed, BTP had the best colors and designs, and card molds offer me a way of getting those at an affordable price.

I'm not interested in the legacy behind the chips, or having the highest quality mint Paulson's. I'm interested in getting some fun and exciting themed chips that will be higher quality than my buddies Walmart chips.
Nice post @PLOdonk. A fresh perspective that likely reflects the majority of the population.

All said, I definitely agree with many of the other sentiments shared by other PCF’ ers in this thread.

Full disclosure; I do own some CM sets. They are what they are…
 

Kid_Eastwood

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Tribute has always existed and I'm fine with it.

But buying 1-to-1 copies of the real thing is something I don't personally like and would even consider these as counterfeits and as such, I would not encourage their promotion here on PCF. But this is just my personal opinion.
 

Xzk1

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I know most of this forum is from the US but to give other perspective on this:

-There are a lot of countries from EU/South America that the average wage is below 1000 USD.
Spending 2k-5k USD on a set of chips is not reasonable for most people in these countries, especially after taking into account monthly expenses.
It could take a couple of years to put that money aside to buy some chips.

-In the US the salaries are better in general so spending 2k instead of 500 is not a big deal.

-I think Cards Mold gives opportunity for the beginners to start his hobby and potentially get more valuable and better quality chips.
The same thing happens with every hobby, I wouldnt buy a Rolex if I was just getting into watches, I would probably buy a cheap 100$ watch (or even less) and then as the interest in the hobby grows I would upgrade.

-We tend to attribute too much value to materialistic things, yeah there's a difference in quality and history but at the end of the day, they are just chips.

The moments we spend with people are more meaningful than any Rolex watch, or those quality boots that are 10x the price of an average pair or some chips that have "history".


Personally I couldn't care less how much someone spent on a set / how long it took for them to collect chips / history / who manufactured .
 

Kid_Eastwood

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I know most of this forum is from the US but to give other perspective on this:

-There are a lot of countries from EU/South America that the average wage is below 1000 USD.
Spending 2k-5k USD on a set of chips is not reasonable for most people in these countries, especially after taking into account monthly expenses.
It could take a couple of years to put that money aside to buy some chips.

-In the US the salaries are better in general so spending 2k instead of 500 is not a big deal.

-I think Cards Mold gives opportunity for the beginners to start his hobby and potentially get more valuable and better quality chips.
The same thing happens with every hobby, I wouldnt buy a Rolex if I was just getting into watches, I would probably buy a cheap 100$ watch (or even less) and then as the interest in the hobby grows I would upgrade.

-We tend to attribute too much value to materialistic things, yeah there's a difference in quality and history but at the end of the day, they are just chips.

The moments we spend with people are more meaningful than any Rolex watch, or those quality boots that are 10x the price of an average pair or some chips that have "history".


Personally I couldn't care less how much someone spent on a set / how long it took for them to collect chips / history / who manufactured .

The issue is not about having cheap chips in fact.
But the issue is about creating counterfeit. And this has nothing to do with revenues or whatever.
For the same amount of money spent, you can come with a tribute or an original idea instead of creating what can be considered counterfeit chips.
 

Xzk1

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The issue is not about having cheap chips in fact.
But the issue is about creating counterfeit. And this has nothing to do with revenues or whatever.
For the same amount of money spent, you can come with a tribute or an original idea instead of creating what can be considered counterfeit chips.

But what really is considered a counterfeit?

If you copy a casino chip and put it in a cards mold , is that a counterfeit, is that tribute?
Because the material of the chip is not the same, the colors are not even the same( they tend to be more muted in a cards mold).

Obviously to the untrained eye they might be mistaken for the originals, but I doubt people in this forum would be mistaken.
 

Kid_Eastwood

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But what really is considered a counterfeit?

If you copy a casino chip and put it in a cards mold , is that a counterfeit, is that tribute?
Because the material of the chip is not the same, the colors are not even the same( they tend to be more muted in a cards mold).

Obviously to the untrained eye they might be mistaken for the originals, but I doubt people in this forum would be mistaken.

In most "western" countries, using the artwork protected by the copyright law to replicate the original product is considered counterfeit.
And even if it's not protected by the copyright law, it's more probably protected as a registered trademark.

It even goes further: for instance, replicating a product even intentionally making a small typo can also be considered counterfeit if it can be confused with the original.

For instance, recently, even if the word "Barbie" was not written in the packaging, the US customs have destroyed 10k fake barbies coming from China. This is because they estimated they were too similar with the real thing.

In my opinion, the Aria Cards Mold fall into this category. On the other hand, you can have proper tributes, like for instance the "Burro's Horseshoe" which cannot be confused with the chips they are tributing.

Again, it's only a personal opinion I'm sharing here. Most might think differently.
But this is why I am now refusing some design work if it's for something I'd myself consider counterfeit.
 
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Azalyer

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Nice post @PLOdonk. A fresh perspective that likely reflects the majority of the population.

All said, I definitely agree with many of the other sentiments shared by other PCF’ ers in this thread.

Full disclosure; I do own some CM sets. They are what they are…
As a fellow newbie on a budget, my instincts with regards to cards mold were to avoid replicas - the appeal to me was the possibility of customization or unique design specifically.
 

ekricket

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But what really is considered a counterfeit?

If you copy a casino chip and put it in a cards mold , is that a counterfeit, is that tribute?
Because the material of the chip is not the same, the colors are not even the same( they tend to be more muted in a cards mold).

Obviously to the untrained eye they might be mistaken for the originals, but I doubt people in this forum would be mistaken.

Counterfeit money is usually not printed on the same paper nor does it use the same ink as the original. That’s what makes it counterfeit, it’s not the same but it resembles it enough to pass as the same.

It’s literally part of the definition of counterfeit to use different materials than the original to simulate the original.
 

upNdown

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So, how is this different from getting labels for chips? Those designs are copied, put on “real” chips, and could be passed on as authentic. Same thing IMHO. Still stealing a design, still could have ramifications.

I’ve got both CM chips and 2 racks of over-labeled chips. I’m not saying either is right or wrong, but let’s not pretend they’re that different
What has two thumbs and doesn’t like relabels either?
 

ovo

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I haven't gotten onboard with the cards mold yet, got a sample set. I haven't heard how they wear over time. But I tend to lean towards your line of thinking @aggie
 

allforcharity

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There is nothing wrong with the card mold chips as a product. Yes, it does serve a market for its relative quality and price point. Yes, there should be affordable options for customized chips. That is not the issue here.

When did the definition of "tribute" come to mean "an exacting copy of a previously existing clay chip with faux inlay and edge spots in direct proportion and colour scheme"? It used to mean taking some of the best elements of a chip design, but changing some obvious element that a) makes it more personal and relevant to your game, and b) so that couldn't be mistaken for an original chip. This used to be done very simply by either changing a font, or using the same font but replacing the text (like changing the name of the city/state/country), or switching the colour of the denom, or replacing a graphic element, or whatever.

Ceramics have inherent design strengths that cannot be replicated by compression clay chips. Recent polls have indicated that many "desirable" recognized series of clay chips have design flaws. So why replicate them? Is this just a manifestation of the culture of instant gratification? "I want something that others think are good but don't have the inclination to come up with anything original"?
 

ekricket

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There is nothing wrong with the card mold chips as a product. Yes, it does serve a market for its relative quality and price point. Yes, there should be affordable options for customized chips. That is not the issue here.

When did the definition of "tribute" come to mean "an exacting copy of a previously existing clay chip with faux inlay and edge spots in direct proportion and colour scheme"? It used to mean taking some of the best elements of a chip design, but changing some obvious element that a) makes it more personal and relevant to your game, and b) so that couldn't be mistaken for an original chip. This used to be done very simply by either changing a font, or using the same font but replacing the text (like changing the name of the city/state/country), or switching the colour of the denom, or replacing a graphic element, or whatever.

Ceramics have inherent design strengths that cannot be replicated by compression clay chips. Recent polls have indicated that many "desirable" recognized series of clay chips have design flaws. So why replicate them? Is this just a manifestation of the culture of instant gratification? "I want something that others think are good but don't have the inclination to come up with anything original"?

This whole hobby is built on FOMO. Cards mold are a way of not missing out. There are problems brewing, but hey, let’s live for today and fuck all that future stuff. We can put bandaids on it later.
 

Colquhoun

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I have a framed poster of a famous painting in my home office. Its not a fake or a counterfeit, rather a photographic copy of the original.
It’s a great way for me enjoy and appreciate the piece in my own home for an item that is unattainable.
 
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Kid_Eastwood

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I have a framed poster of a famous painting in my home office. Its not a fake or a counterfeit, rather a photographic copy of the original.

Copyright has a given duration. Anyone can reproduce a Picasso or print a Picasso on his t-shirt without risking anything - even for commercial purposes.
Now you can in fact even print and sell a t-shirt with the orignal Mickey Mouse and Disney can't tell you anything about it.

In your case you're probably good if the painting is old enough but just think about the below case.

I've a friend who is a professional photographer and recently travelled to NY, took pics and then run an expo where he was selling his pics with very nice frames or in chromaluxe format. Each pics was sold max 30 times.

I can tell you that he'd be really pissed if a buyer copied / reproduced one of his photography and distributed freely to others who cannot afford an original.
Reproducing arts under copyright is just stealing the artist who invested a bunch of money, time, ... to create his work.

It’s a great way for me enjoy and appreciate the piece in my own home for an item that is unattainable.

But then, what's wrong if for someone, a pair of Jordan is unattainable and imports a counterfeit pair ?


In the end, legal risks apart, it's just about everyone personal's own moral in fact - and it's normal that everyone does not have the same vision.
 
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Mojo1312

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My perspective is different from others who are incensed over the growing popularity of card mold chips. The fault doesn't lie with the consumer, it lies with GPI gobbling up the casino grade chip manufacturers and subsequently shutting down sales to the home market. In addition, collecting casino grade poker chips is no longer predominantly a North American hobby, it is an international hobby.

Nowhere is that better reflected than right here on PCF. I have trouble accepting the p.o.v. that people should save up and buy the real McCoy in light of how rapidly Paulson's have escalated in cost. What use to sell for $3 to $4 a chip is now $7 a chip. Let's be honest, is poker chip collecting all about status? Because to me, that is what it has become.

We are the ones who have made it this way by buying into and trying to recreate what we see on t.v. and other platforms.

And I don't see a problem in that. If your in the position where you can spend thousands of dollars building out a poker room, thousands more on chairs and a custom poker table along with a nice display cabinet to show off and protect your $10,000+ poker chip collection, go for it! You have earned it. But don't expect others who love the game to do the same. That is a luxury many can't afford or is not at the top of their list.

I would love to count myself as a member of the old school chipping community where you could obtain Paulson's at sensible prices. Now, I find myself asking why Paulsons, when none of it really matters to the people I play cards with. I think we need to appreciate where each of us come from. Finding people who have the same level of passion for poker chips and the game that makes such investments worthwhile is easier to do in urban areas and surrounding suburbs. The same doesn't hold true when you live in a rural area that is home to less than 30,000 and is larger in size then Delaware and Rhode Island combined.

Setting standards for chip collecting in the name of preserving a community is upside down imo. Outside of TRK's there is no preserving taking place, Huge quantities of Paulson chips are being manufactured every year, they are just not available to the public.

If not for poker being good to me and having built a collection of fond memories over the years, I wouldn't be in this ridiculous hobby where racks of chips similar to some of the sets being knocked off fetch south of a thousand dollars.

At the end of the day, poker is a game that brings people together, where everyone plays for money around a table while enjoying each others company.

NLHE and other various flop games are being played across the world by rich and poor alike, by those who appreciate quality casino poker chips and those who have zero knowledge on the subject. What those that don't know the difference do know, is that the 10 cent red plastic dice chip you handed them is worth $5. You can exchange that red dice chip with a cards mold tiger claw $5 chip and tell them that chip costs .35. Most will understand and appreciate the value. Show the same players a Paulson chip with the same cool edge spots whose denomination is also $5 and tell them that chip cost you $10, well, be prepared for some blank stares and people wondering whether you have lost your marbles or have dumb amounts of money to spend.
 
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upNdown

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I totally get the allure of buying cheap, fake versions of a real thing
I absolutely don't get it.
I have a framed poster of a famous painting in my home office.
Okay, that's an interesting analogy. I do have some framed prints in my home. Hmm, I'll have to think about this.
 

Colquhoun

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Copyright has a given duration. Anyone can reproduce a Picasso or print a Picasso on his t-shirt without risking anything - even for commercial purposes.
Now you can in fact even print and sell a t-shirt with the orignal Mickey Mouse and Disney can't tell you anything about it.

In your case you're probably good if the painting is old enough but just think about the below case.

I've a friend who is a professional photographer and recently travelled to NY, took pics and then run an expo where he was selling his pics with very nice frames or in chromaluxe format. Each pics was sold max 30 times.

I can tell you that he'd be really pissed if a buyer copied / reproduced one of his photography and distributed freely to others who cannot afford an original (chromaluxe large prints are expensive).
Reproducing arts under copyright is just stealing the artist who invested a bunch of money, time, ... to create his work.



But then, what's wrong if for someone, a pair of Jordan is unattainable and instead imports a counterfeit ?
I understand and agree with you on the copyright issue. I think the main argument so far has been less about copyright and more about the chips being fakes/counterfeits…and how CM chips lessen the market for the real thing. I’m not yet convinced of this.
Now if someone were to try to pass these off as something they’re not, that’s obviously a problem…something that certainly could happen.
 

opengun

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Where's my popcorn

meanwhile a $1,000 defunct casino chip will be sold for $19.99 per chip. Who can afford to put together a tournament set for that price? All this talk about counterfeit is ridiculous. The definition of counterfeit is to create an exact replica with the intention to deceive or defraud for profit. Nobody is turning a profit with the Card Mold or China Clays. All the elitists here can continue to gobble up all the unobtainium while the rest of us will make better financial decisions.
 
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