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MARK HAMILL USES TWITTER TO PROTECT FANS FROM DISHONEST AUTOGRAPH DEALERS

on December 28, 2015 - 9:08am

Photo: @HamillHimself Twitter Page

Collecing Star Wars autographs is an increasingly popular way for people to express thier fandom of the franchsie.  Sadly, in this time of unparaleded popularity of Star Wars, the already great risk of collectors being sold a fraudulent autograph increases tenfold. I receive messages on a daily basis asking to authenticate signatures, so much so that I can hardly keep up. 

Last night, as orignially reported HERE by The Hollywood Reporter, a collector went directly to the source to one of the GFFA's brightest stars on Twitter.

Twitter user @tylerjamesdavis sent the following photo to Mark Hamill, asking if it was real.

Photo: @HamillHimself Twitter Page

I saw this signed poster at a local auction w the whole cast (so I'm suspicious). Is that yours?"

This collector not only received an answer from Mark Hamill, he also sparked the evening long dialogue between Hamill and people wanting to know if their autographs were truly his signature, or if a piece they were planning to buy was authentic.

Luckily for this collector, he was able to get confirmation from Hamill that the autograph was not authentic. "In a word- NO. I'm so sorry there's so many fans spending their hard-earned money for fraudulent signatures.

There are currently 104 results when you search "Mark Hamill Autograph" on eBay with prices starting at $5.50 up to just under $2,000 (not including multi-signed cast pieces, which exceed $10,000.) During his Twitter conversations with fans Hamill cautioned people even when confirming a signature as authentic.

Photo: @HamillHimself Twitter Page

"That one is REAL- go for it! (but only at a reasonable price!)

So what is a reasonable price for Mark Hamill's autograph? Hamill was known for signing autographs through-the-mail for many years, and as recently as last month some fans were still receiving their autograph requests back from him after 7-8 years.  Thankfully, for those of us who weren't able to get his autograph TTM, Hamill has attended every Star Wars Celebration since the first Celebration Europe in London back in 2007.  Not only has he attended six Celebrations, but the price for his autograph has remained remarkably consistent. 

Celebratin Europe (2007): £85

Celebration Japan (2008): ¥20,000

Celebration V (2010): $125

Celebration VI (2012): $125

Celebration Europe II (2013) €120

Celebration Anaheim (2015) $125

If you collect Star Wars autographs, Hamill's signature is surely high on your wish list.  I purchased my first Hamill autograph through a private signing conducted by Official Pix in 2009 and paid $117.94, slightly below what they would charge for his autograph at Celebrations starting in 2010. These prices will give you an idea of what you would pay for his autograph if you were to obtain it in person, but not necessarily what you would pay through a private sale or on eBay. Many collectors are able to find authentic Hamill autographs below his convention price, which is particularly beneficial to those who can not make the trip out to Celebration. Education is the key when deciding to purchase autographs from a third party, which Hamill stressed last night in the following posts.

"Sadly, another fake. Look at the signatures I verified to learn to spot the forgeries for yourself.

"Memorize this REAL signature and you can start spotting the phonies yourself!

"Hope everyone can learn my real signature to help prevent fraudulent dealers. We might not win completely but it is a start! ‪#‎BeatTheDealers‬ ‪#‎FansRule‬ ‪#‎StarWars"‬

Photo: @HamillHimself Twitter Page

You may remember the humorous Hamill-signed cards posted by PSA/DNA Prinicpal Authenticator and Pawn Stars regular Steve Grad back in July (For those who can think of nothing else but The Force Awakens right now, and I don't blame you, you can find the link HERE.) Several people sent images of those signatures to Hamill as well, wondering if they were authentic, which resulted in some of my favorite responses.

Photo: @HamillHimself Twitter Page

Both REAL (with REAL corny jokes, btw)

Photo: @HamillHimself Twitter Page

YES!!! That's real & I always ask if it's OK to make a joke. If they want MTFBWY, that's what they get (no joke)

Photo: @HamillHimself Twitter Page

Sorry to admit it's REAL. (Seemed funny at the time... what was I thinking'?)

With the release of The Force Awakens, Grad published this short video to help Star Wars autograph collectors avoid purchasing fraudulent signatures. From Grad's Facebook page:

"With Star Wars The Force Awakens officially opening today I wanted to share this video I did for my company, PSA/DNA. Be careful folks! If you are getting caught up in the hysteria of the new film, don't rush out and buy anything you see. I was searching eBay this last week for new Star Wars signed items and the amount of fakes staggering. Full size cast posters with bad Disney paperwork as well! It's crazy! Do me a favor and watch this and then buy smart afterwards! Good hunting!"

Thankfully, Hamill is not the only Star Wars actor helping collectors spot fraudulent autographs.  The people behind the Jeremy Bulloch and Dave Prowse social media pages often post examples of signatures that are not authentic.

Photo: Jeremy Bulloch Fan Club Facebook Page

From the Jeremy Bulloch Fan Club Facebook page, August 17, 2015.  "The fraudster is at it again."

Photo: Dave Prowse Facebook Page

From the Dave Prowse Facebook page, December 7, 2015.  "Another pathetic forgery on Ebay, one of the many many Star Wars fakes bought every day by fans...Will request Ebay remove it, but wanted you all to see it before it is removed."

Hamill getting a checkup from Oscar at the Great Ormand Street Hospital for Children. Photo: @HamillHimself Twitter Page

Hamill used several creative hashtags to combat the rash of fraudulent autographs which I enourage followers of Star Wars Autograph News to continue using when educating other collectors in this area.

#fake

#authentic

#beatthedealers

#bewareoffakes

#fightfraud

Hamill with Carrie Fisher and David Collins at Celebration Europe II in Essen, Germany.

Several hours into his dialogue with collectors, Hamill was asked "How are you not getting tired of telling people the same thing about your signature?"  His response was more than any collector could ever hope for.

"Because I owe it to all true fans to protect them from being victimized by dishonest dealers!"

You can follow Mark Hamill on Twitter at @HamillHimself and click HERE to "Like" him on Facebook.