We had reported to us recently that knockoffs of our products were for sale at the Toronto Comicon, and were sold as the real deal when they weren’t. What is worse, the products were sold at premium price levels, not the cheap price points knockoffs normally go for. So the customers who were misled not only ended up with a rather poorly made copy, but also overpaid for it.

Despite paying lip service to protections against piracy on their website. Toronto Comicon’s parent company Hobby Star, has refused to cooperate with us in identifying the vendor. It seems to me as if they actually do not care that much about it. I’ve spoken all the way up the food chain, to the president Steve Menzie, and have not gotten any cooperation. It would appear to me that they are actually doing the opposite of what their website claims, I can only guess as to their motivation.

This lax oversight of vendors and dismissive attitude towards claims of infringement would make me question any merchandise for sale at their events, but for especially swords. If any of you did purchase a sword there, make sure it is the real deal. For our products it should be laser inscribed and come with a certificate of authenticity (and of course, compare the look and dimensions to the product specs we have). If it isn’t, you were probably ripped off, and hopefully you paid with a method that provides you recourse (such as with a credit card).

19 Thoughts on “Do not trust merchandise from Toronto Comicon

  1. Phillip Capestany on March 13, 2013 at 3:11 pm said:

    Well I don’t condone the forging of anyone’s designs and work you kinda shot yourself in the foot by going to CHINA to have your products made. I myself am a swordsmith and armorer and with all of the beautiful and wonderful talented swordsmith’s and armorer’s that manufacture in the United States I do not understand why given the state of America’s economy you went to CHINA to have your products made. I know that everyone was thinking $$$ on that decision but you also have to remember that everything that comes out of CHINA has been copied or forged in one way or another. I too have seen several knock-offs of Ice and Long Claw at several Ren-Fairs but given where the originals are made I knew it was just a matter of time. I truly hope that you will consider using a manufacturer in the United States where you will better support our livelihood and AMERICAN jobs and I think you will see the knock-offs go away because America had much stricter laws to prevent these type of problems.

  2. Jeremy Jackson on March 13, 2013 at 3:18 pm said:

    I purchased Robert Baratheon’s Hammer from you guys and my expectations were and are still blown away (aside from the apparent mishap with the hammer spike, which was understandable and forgivable).

    I’d hate to think that someone else bought a shoddy knock-off of your product. Hopefully you guys can put an end to that.

    And Phillip Capestany – I’m sure everything you own is ‘Murican. Why come here and rant like a xenophobe? Yikes…

  3. We do try Phillip. Honestly. The warhammer, for instance, we contacted 18 different US factories to see if they could cast the head for us, most never even called us back, the rest all declined. The Night’s Watch Dagger set is almost entirely made in the USA, and we’ll have other such products in the future.

    If you happen to know a domestic sword factory though that can churn out thousands of identical copies of not just blades but also precision cast handle parts, leather, etc. We’d be happy to let them bid on future products. Generally though sword mass production is so specialized only a few factories worldwide have the capabilities. They’re in China (and Taiwan), India, and Spain (though the Indians just bought the main Spanish factory). Plus, it isn’t a toaster, the Chinese have actually been forging swords for several thousand years.

    You’re right, there are a lot of swordsmiths in the US, but they’re generally more like artists, than mass producers. We need places with the capability of putting out 50 a day with consistency.

  4. Did they rip off the box too? Did the box look legitimate?

  5. Sarah on March 13, 2013 at 5:34 pm said:

    I still have the schedule and the only business I could figure out that sold weaponry there was Kutting Edge at booth 1028.
    Here is their website: http://www.kuttingedge.ca/medieval-swords.html?start=10

  6. Yeah, China Stinks for many things in the contemporary world, but indeed, they are an ancient country with many great ancient skills such as music, art, theater, healing and ARMOR. I think you guys made a great decision by choosing whoever it is you use in China to manufacture your swords. My Needle is BEAUTIFUL!! I Can NOT wait for Show version Ice and Oathkeeper!! I WILL have one of each where ever they are from. BTW, this is very true that many swords are made in foreign countries, my Viking Sword is made from one of the best in India. Also, I know someone who had an Archery Bow made and it’s from a guy in Hungry. It’s the most beautiful bow I’ve ever seen. Also, I have jewelery from a woman who’s a Smith Master in Sweden. She makes swords, armor, Candelabra’s Jewelery, etc. She forged a beautiful Gothic wedding armor suit for her own wedding. So, yeah, Valayrian Steel seems to know exactly what they’re doing and they’re doing it very well. I hope they do not raise prices too much as they become more popular though. ;)

  7. Neal McCain on March 29, 2013 at 9:40 pm said:

    I know a foundry that can produce the amount of castings you need. Email me a request for quote on your next design. Everyone at the foundry loves the show, and we would be honored to make grey or ductile iron castings for you.

  8. Paul on April 4, 2013 at 2:58 pm said:

    I was incensed by this as a fan of Valyrian Steel the show and resident of Toronto and decided to see who was still trying to sell Longclaw after they have all sold out. I found this Ebay listing which is quite obviously a shoddy replica. I hope this might point your actions in a productive direction. Thanks for your effort.

  9. Michael Stackhouse on April 9, 2013 at 2:17 pm said:

    I already own Needle and have Robert’s Warhammer on the way. I’ll be attending both AnimeNorth and FanExpo Toronto this year so I’ll keep an eye out for shoddy replicas and let you know who/which company is selling them.

  10. Marco on April 28, 2013 at 1:06 am said:

    Just thought I’d shine some light on this one, I only became recently introduced to game of thrones and got really into it, so much that I desperately wanted a Longclaw sword to mount in my den. After much research I realize that you are sold out and don’t plan on making any more, but from what I understand there might be a possible HBO Longclaw coming soon? worth the wait I suppose.

    Anywho, upon my searches for an affordable sword, I encounterd this. not sure if its a scam or the REAL REPLICA, but thought I would shed some light on it if you are interested in knowing who’s using your product information without crediting you.


    again I have never purchased nor do I intend on purchasing from this person, as it seems like a scam to me.

  11. Yes those are definitely knockoffs.

  12. Philip Stark on May 20, 2013 at 7:02 pm said:

    Why should anyone sympathize with your plight of people selling knockoffs of your swords? You didn’t even produce enough for cosplayers and fans to get them. Now people are re-selling your swords like Longclaw on Ebay for $2400+. Personally I would love to provide you with my money but you decided to stop making swords? Why? All you’ve done is FORCE other people to step in and fill the void you intentionally created. Maybe if you decide that it’s time to start ordering more of the most popular weapons in the series to provide to consumers, regardless of if they are Chinese made or whatever, Or if you decide to explain why you’ve chosen to stop production on those weapon replicas, or provide a source you condone/endorse that makes the same sword, people will begin to give a crap. Until then you’ve made your bed, sleep in it.

  13. Wow. We didn’t choose to stop making anything. Take Longclaw, we started work on it in 2006, before a show was on the air. After it came out, it sold poorly, to the extent we had to put it on sale for over a year, and it would have sold even poorer still had it not been limited edition. To go back and redo that exact same sword would make liars out of us when we told so many customers that it was a limited edition. We won’t do that. We are however are right now making a show reproduction (as opposed to a book reproduction) of that sword, so you’ll have the chance to buy it from us again. Also, don’t feel sorry for us, feel sorry for the customers duped by the sellers of illegal knockoffs who think they’re buying the real deal and only later found out they paid full price for a cheap imitation.

  14. Philip Stark on May 22, 2013 at 12:36 pm said:

    “Caveat Emptor.” translation: Buyer Beware. If those consumers didn’t ask for a certificate of authenticity, or check this website then they have themselves to blame.

    Do you plan to provide details on the Show reproduction of Longclaw? Release date? Cost? Extras? Whether or not you’re making more than 50 of them?

    By the way, welcome to the internet.

  15. We will provide what details we can. We have already provided cost ($250) and release date estimates (summer for preorders to open), and how many we’re making (unlimited).

  16. Longclaw Owner :P on June 6, 2013 at 7:15 am said:

    Looks like someone feels cheated that they didn’t read the books 6 years ago and put up their money for a limited edition sword from a series that wasn’t even very well known back then!
    You only have yourself to blame for missing out but I’ll let you know when a time machine has been invented…
    I for one am very grateful that Valyrian had the guts to take the opportunity to make the swords BEFORE they were so popular, they saw a market from the community of fans of the book and they knew how to get our attention. Its called limited edition!

  17. Mark on July 20, 2013 at 7:00 pm said:

    I have seen knock offs of Ice and longclaw on ebay. The Ice knockoff is pretty hard to tell the difference. The dire wolf pommel on longclaw is noticely different to anything more than casual inspection, other than that it would be hard to tell it apart from the real thing. Neither one comes with a certificate of authenticity and they don’t have # etched on them. They are made in Pakistan. The guy selling them on ebay specifically states they are not valerian steel products and are not meant to represent longclaw or ice and any resemblance is coincidental.

    He is selling them for $80 (LC) & $100 (ice) plus $20 shipping.


  18. Thanks for letting us know Mark. Its amazing how ignorant some people are of copyright law. As if saying “any similarity is coincidental” is a legal defense. We’ll get eBay to terminate his auctions.

  19. Not sure if you are aware of this site (http://www.swordskingdom.com/game-of-thrones.html), but they are even claiming the same “look and feel” as your products; by name. Such a shame to see cheap knock offs of a great product.

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