I've been collecting Wades for many years now and I have to laugh when I think back on when I first started collecting them. I would go to Flea Markets and Antique Fairs in search of those little Wade critters and ask each dealer "Do you have any Wades?". Mostly I would get the answer - "No, what's a Wade?".

Well, Wade has come a long way since then, because not only have Wades become very popular but highly collectible. So much in fact, that more often we are seeing Wade "fakes" being passed off as originals to gain higher prices. These "fakes" can take many forms from so-called "prototypes" to repainted "defectives".

Many of the "fakes" found for sale were actually taken from the old Wade car park. When Wade sold the car park, it was noticed that the backfill contained many discarded broken and defective Wade figures. Soon, people started sneaking into the area to dig them up. The problem became so bad, that a fence had to be put up and a guard had to be hired to secure the grounds.

Many of the pieces dug up were Whimsies. The figures were chipped, broken, missing decals, unglazed, mispainted or generally defective in some way. These stolen pieces were then either sold "as-is" or very poorly restored. Some were even painted with the wrong colors. These "fake" Wades have no value and can hurt the value of real Wades.

It is now up to the Wade collector to beware of buying these "fake" Wades. The best way to protect yourself is with knowledge and a good Wade guide. Before buying that pricey Wade figure, compare it with the picture in a Wade guide. If you're still not sure, don't be afraid to ask questions of the seller or get help from a knowledgeable Wade dealer or collector.

Here are some examples........


Notice the brightly painted red, orange, and blue on these Wade mini-nursery figures. This is an obvious example of Wades that have been painted-over after they left the factory. Not all falsely painted Wades will be this obvious.


Here are 3 Wade Disney Thumpers. You first notice that the details are missing from their faces and flowers. Upon closer inspection, you can see that each figure has a damaged foot. These 3 pieces are obvious dicards from the factory.

Looking at these two Whimsies, you'll notice that the amount of glaze is very heavy on the figures. Also, the color of the glaze is not the normal color for them. These overglazed Whimsies could have been factory discards that have been glazed elsewhere to cover up their defects.

It's obvious to see these two Whimsies have been glazed very poorly. I'm not sure how or why they were glazed like this, but I'm sure they never would have left the Wade factory in this condition.

Do you know which Yogi Bear has the correct color hat and tie? Unless you're familiar with what colors the Wade figure should have, you could be purchasing a "fake" version. The corect Yogi has the red tie with yellow & black hat.

Is this Seahorse the rare one that belongs to the Wade King Aquariums set? The glaze looks like it could be Wade. A seller may tell you the figure is Wade simply because it has similar glaze. Don't be too sure.......know your Wades and what the figures look like. If you bought this seahorse, you'd be disappointed to find out - it's not Wade.
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