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I love my new Triforce DS Lite! (Except That It’s Totally Counterfeit.)

I’m a huge 3DS fan…in fact, I love the system so much I’ve bought several different models. To help fund my habit, I’ve ended up selling almost all of my original DS’s and DS Lite’s. So, when I decided I wanted to finally play through Chrono Trigger and play the DS version, I decided what better way to enjoy the experience than on an actual DS? The game would look a lot better on the small screen rather than an oversized 3DS XL with upscaled graphics, obviously. I kicked myself for having sold all mine.

So, I decided to buy a new DS Lite and, heck, while I’m at it let’s see if we can find one of those Triforce models. I look on eBay and found one in new condition (though not sealed) and a bunch of crappy kid games for $200. Hey! Perfect! I didn’t want some beat up one, anyway. I bought the thing and was stoooooooooked for it to arrive!

Just three days later, it did, and I was in love. Look at my proud picture of it!

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I’m a proud papa!

But as stoked as I was when I took this picture, there was a small part of me feeling perturbed. I’ve been scammed before with fake games (a pair of rare titles I bought off Craigslist were just common games with fake labels…I should tell that story someday.) You see, the box printing just didn’t seem accurate. I don’t know how to describe it, really, but if you’re a Nintendo fan you know there’s a level of quality they deliver with and I was surprised the box seemed to not have that.

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The font doesn’t seem right. The print quality just seems to be lacking…that’s odd…

Shortly after taking my “Look at what I bought!” picture, I removed the plastic off the system and inspected it. There were little nicks here and there, small blemishes that didn’t seem quite right. The system didn’t feel right in my hands. I turned it on, and it worked, so that’s…good…I guess? However, the real warning sign was the Triforce itself. Running my finger over it revealed that it felt somewhat rough. I expected it to be smooth the way all Nintendo prints are on their devices, but I didn’t have another system to compare and…it is many years old after all.

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You can see the stubbiness and glue residue on the logo.

The volume switch seemed to be crooked, too. It didn’t slide real smoothly. Also, the stylus was practically jammed in. Pulling it out required a good deal of force. It also looks like there’s a line going right through the middle of it that looks plain wrong. That’s when I knew: this is a counterfeit!

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That is one oogly stylus. The screw holes also looked bad, and those screws are standard phillips, not tri-wing.

In the end, the dead giveaway is with the rubber stoppers on the screen. They look smooth on the DS as I could tell from various online photos. On mine, they were comically squeezed in and glued.

These rubber doohickeys should be flush with the system.

These rubber doohickeys should be flush with the system.

It was a real disappointment. I knew $200 was a good deal for one of these, but come on, it’s not like I bought it for $50 at a flea market knock-off stand. I don’t yet know if the seller is aware it’s a fake, but I gotta think that if they were just a middleman that they would’ve checked out the device first. If you’re going to have an eBay storefront, you need to be on top of this.

Oh, and as a bonus, no DS games work on it. They couldn’t at least get that right.

I’m glad I got this on eBay and not Craigslist or I’d be really screwed. Oh, well.  Anyway, here are some more pics of the faux DS Lite and hopefully they can help you avoid a purchase like this in the future! Remember, look at those rubber bits. Dead giveaway.

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About John Blanco

John Blanco is an avid game collector and loves to write about his hobby as much as he participates in it. He run the Denver Retro Gamers Facebook group in Denver, Colorado, and coordinates swap-style meetups with dozens of other collectors every couple of months.

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