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Lord of the Rings Action Flipz:
Identifying the Stickers

Notes:  Some people have continuing difficulty trying to tell the different
types of stickers apart.  Even in the best of lighting conditions, there are
a couple stickers where it's hard to tell the regular chromiums from the
rainbow foil chromiums. Futuristguy has generously offered the following
tips (thanks!!).  Click here to return to the LOTR FOTR Action Flipz

Additional Tips on Telling FOTR Sticker-Types Apart - Futuristguy

Greetings FOTR Flipz Fans! 

While re-re-sorting my Flipz stickers (you sticker sticklers know what I mean!),
I think I can finally put words to some other tips for telling the  three FOTR
"parallel sets" apart when you don't have access to sunlight. Or,  especially in
case you're like my cousin Fred in Portland, who is completely  color blind and
sees only black and white and shades of grey (wow! What he  misses! But,
whoa?! Bet he sees the squared/mosaic better than I do!). But I digress ...

Anyway, one secret is in the creases and coatings. I did a comparison/contrast
check, and it seems pretty consistent across all 24  stickers (as many as I could
check, as I still don't have 'em all). Sorry if  these directions turn out super
wordy, but I do hope they help!

* The regular chrome stickers have the deepest divots. The creases and
"pebbling" and lines impressed into the sticker to outline or accentuate
different features of the photo definitely are the deepest. The mosaic/squared
stickers have less prominent creases than the regular chrome, but more than
the holochrome.

* Check the titles. Put a set of all three types side-by-side and examine the 
title in the upper left corner: The Lord of the Rings / The Fellowship of the 
Ring. In the regular chrome version, the letters are very prominent. They 
look very "raised up" from the face of the sticker. In the mosaic/squared 
sticker, the letters are more flat, and not so etched around the edges. In 
the holochrome ones, the title words seem the flattest of the three, hardly 
raised up or etched around at all.

* Telling regular chrome from holochrome or mosaic - check the coating. It 
seems to me that the clear coatings on the holochrome and mosaic stickers are 
thicker than on the regular chrome. Kind of like two coats of varnish instead 
of one. Makes them look glossier than the regular chrome.

* Telling holochrome from regular chrome. One of the best places to look for 
the holochrome "rainbow effect" is usually in the name band at the bottom of 
each sticker. These are usually a single solid color, even if there are words 
and graphics on top of it. Tilt a holochrome card back and forth under a 
light, and you should see the rainbow. Regular chrome, same test, nada. It's 
the large area of a single color that seems to do the trick.

* Telling mosaic from holochrome. Okay, this is sometimes the toughest one, 
because both holochrome and mosaic show that rainbow effect in the name
band at the bottom of the sticker, and you don't always see the little squares
on that part. So try this if you're right-handed: Hold the sticker at an angle in
your left hand with the number (upper right corner) side upward against your
index finger and the name (lower left corner) against your thumb. Put your
right index finger on the sticker point that's at "three o'clock" (i.e. right-hand
side), and tilt the card up and down slightly. If you see a solid sheen of
rainbow reflection moving across the sticker, like an oil slick on water, it's a
holochrome. If you see single or multiple small lines of rainbow reflections
glistening across the surface of the stucker, it's a mosaic/squared.

If all else fails, pray!

Thanks to Richard from Utah who gave me the first clues to figuring out
how to use light to help see the different sticker types (see Melian's posting 
below). The rest, I gradually figured out on my own. After a lotta prayer ... 



The differences in the stickers - Melian to Ring

Hi, Ring.

Thanks to the infinite patience of Fred the Iguana and Futurist Guy, I finally
figured this out.

First of all, there are four versions of the stickers in the Fellowship set, two
in the TTT set. The matte stickers came in the retail boxes. There were 2
Flipz and one sticker per pack, and the stickers were regular matte paper.
The glossy stickers came in the hobby boxes, 4 flipz +1 sticker to a pack
and are, of course, far more desirable, not to mention stinkin'hard to complete
a set.

Take your glossies out in the sunshine and take a gander, and it will be
pretty apparent. It doesn't work in regular room lighting-til you get the 
hang of them.

The "squared" set has crosshatched checkerboard looking irridescent 
holographic lines on them. It's the easiest of the three to pick out. The
"chrome set" is not irridescent, looks like, well, chrome or tin foil, and has
an outlined pattern to the characters. It is not irridescent, just shiny.

The "holo" set looks just like the chrome set, including the outlines, except 
that it's irridescent in the larger fields of color. You'll quickly spot the
difference in the sunshine.

And, just to keep us all aggravated, in the TTT set, there is only the matte 
and the spotted irridescent stickers, but they came up with the numbered, 
rare, and ultra-rare of them. Oddly enough, I bought exactly two boxes of
the TTT hobby boxes, and it was exactly enough to complete all the sets
with just a few left over. 

Oh, would that that would have been the case with FOTR!

They are impossibly hard to complete sets of. 


©2003 Futuristguy, Jeff Allender. Comments, updates, & corrections are welcomed!

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