After 50 years, it’s unlikely many “new” Beatles collectibles will be discovered. In recent years, reproductions and freshly minted collectibles have popped up on numerous online auction sites. Many appear authentic, but confirm with a reputable dealer or reference before buying Beatles collectibles. Here are 5 popular counterfeit collectibles that did not exist in the 1960s and ‘70s:
With hundreds of Beatles-branded items on the market during the heyday of the Fab Four, bubble soap sounds just as reasonable as nylon stockings, talc and tennis shoes. But there were no officially licensed Beatles Bubbles. If you find a bottle, many of which have been aged to seem authentic, check the bottom for recycling and plastic identification logos—a sure sign you’re looking at a newly minted collectible.
Young fans may remember brightly colored, drum-shaped plastic Beatles banks from their childhood and assume they are genuine. But they’re not relics from their parents’ youth, they were produced (complete with the NEMS 1964 logo) in the 1980s. The only authentic Beatles bank was made in 1963-64 in the UK of white plastic molded in the shape of the Beatles heads.
Trivia: NEMS stands for North End Music Stores, a company Beatles manager Brian Epstein formed to license and market Fab Four merchandise.
A Beatles pocketknife seems like a complementary accessory for star-struck teens who likely already own Red Ryder BB guns. When coupled with a tale of how the knife was purchased at Shea Stadium, the fake suddenly seems authentic. Wrong! No licensed Beatles pocketknives were produced. Counterfeiters are now attaching modern Fab Four decals to less valuable antiques and cashing in on shoppers who think they’re buying authentic Beatles memorabilia. The same thing is happening with the Disk-Go-Cases for sale on ebay.
With a bevy of Beatles school supplies—notebooks, pencil cases and lunchboxes—marketed to teens in the late 1960s, it’s easy to believe they made Fab Four erasers too. Nope. All Beatles erasers are fakes. The silhouettes used on the erasers match other counterfeit items including pocketknives.
Long-time Beatles fans may recognize the iconic image on these wood-handled paper fans and assume they are authentic. They would be wrong. No Beatles paper fans were made in the 1960s or ‘70s. The classic image on the fan was enlarged from an authentic Beatles button to create this very original-looking new collectible.