+ Buyer Beware: Seconds, Reproductions, Fakes, Frauds and a few collecting myths
Vintage Sims Taper/Woodkicks, NHS Bearings and more
There seems to be an awful lot of these "rare, vintage, undrilled" decks floating around eBay. But how is this possible with a supposedly-so-rare 70's deck? Well, this deck is not necessarily a fake, but it is NOT as rare as some would lead you to believe. In fact, as sources tell us, there exists a warehouse with pallets full of these things....another example of old overstock. Also, some report that there were recent "reproductions" made that were given to sales reps/distributors to give away to shops as promotional items. Besides the above examples, this has also been pointed out by collectors as one of these easiest decks to copy. So what is our advice? As always, buyer beware!
Yeah, I was reading your article on FAKES AND FRAUDS. I was the original artist and screener for Sims in 1976.
Sims Skateboards was the hardest hit in the Wee Willy Winkle counterfeit scam. In 1977. There was/is an East Coast distributor who allegedly masterminded the whole scam. He was the one sending the decks to Art Harris at AWH [editors note: AWH was founded in 1976 in the back room of Art Harris' Tom Thumb Hobbies And Crafts store in Evanston, Illinois.]. They were buddies. For fear of another lawsuit from them, let's just say that Tom Sims told me that the guy and his ugly girlfriend named their company after an a big ocean.
He told me their names are Torsy Blewit and Tacky or something like that. They would buy 50 decks from us which gave them the right to advertise and distribute the product. Then they would allegedly ship 95% of the orders with counterfeits.
Sims lawyers caught them and won the lawsuit, but they declared bankruptcy to avoid the paying the penalty. Then they started-up the company again under the ugly girlfriends name as the new owner and carried on as if nothing happened. Sims told us that years of lost profits, lawyer fees, and the lost financial award from the East Coast is what drove him into bankruptcy in 1980....so add to your list of suspected counterfeits, the Woodkick, 36" and 44" Taperkicks, and all of the routered boards that were sold WITHOUT the routing. (Bowman, Andrecht, Lamar). The counterfeit Taperkicks are easy to spot. The screened top and bottom logos all had rounded edges, were Fire Red and were fuzzy. Mine were crisp and clean and were a darker Bright Red.
Also you mentioned about the warehouse full of Woodkicks. Wrong! [edit:Some have been made later.Here he is talking of earlier versions] There WAS a warehouse full Woodkicks and Taperkicks, a huge one! But when the 7-Plys came along they couldn't give them away. And a "mysterious" fire happened and burned them all up all the obsolete decks in 1978. Believe me, I was part of the clean-up crew. But that doesn't mean that they are all fake, I was screening 500 a week. Sims at the time was the number one company in the world.
I was told that they were also flooding the market with fake NHS bearings. They are not custom made you know, you can buy the generic parts for pennies, and the manual presses only costs $30 each. All you need is to have some metal shop stamp NHS on the face plates. Ever notice how they always came in a greasy wax paper tube, in an oil drenched box with no name on it?
And as always, buyer beware! Check pictures on eBay very closely. Blemished decks or factory seconds are very difficult to spot. Before bidding, always check via the "Advanced Search" option, the seller's past history and feedback. Look for anything in the history that may look sketchy (i.e. using another user id to bid on their own items....yes, it happens....or listing the same deck every number of days). My best advice is to deal only with collectors you trust!