Fake Tokais ?

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Staff member
May 14, 2012
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I have noticed a lot of paranoia over the years in threads, fretting over whether something was a real Tokai.

I have seen lots of Partscasters, but those are not really "fakes" in my mind, just a mix of parts. And anyone dealing with bolt on necks should be aware that these parts can be switched, and be cautious when thinking of buying one.

There is also a lot of confusion around the more mysterious years between 1985 and 2009 where serial numbers became much more confusing and the product line shifted into areas that were much less like the traditional Tokais we had come to know, before descending into the period of secrecy, 1992-2009, when I believe Tokai in Japan was under contract making Fenders, and the guitars they made during this time lacked serial numbers, adding to the confusion.

I feel ike the identification section of the Registry has contributed to and perpetuated this confusion, and it is long past time that it was overhauled.

The first full on "fakes" I have seen did not come along until around 2003 during the era of Korean production. And that seemed to be companies that had in many cases contracted with Tokai and decided to make guitars without Tokai's permission. Clearly illegal in most countries.

This happened in Korea and China.

Manufactured Under License For...

The Mysterious Fake Tokai ES Models Fakais

And is still happening. Noteworthy are the Legacy series made in China that seem to be fakes.

I have also seen a bit of boundary stretching with unconventional models more recently in China, although it is hard to say what sort of latittude Tokai was allowing them.

Bottom line is Tokai was often very unconventional and often violoated the rules that the rest of us seem to have made for them. That does not make them fakes.
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Active member
Apr 3, 2021
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I think what is hard for me as far as fakes go, buying something advertised as high quality and it's not. I guess that is why I am here :), to find out those nuances.

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