One of the most widely distributed bootleg out there is the Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace double-sided teaser poster. Lucas decided to release a single-sided poster through his fan club. These posters were marked with a black-light water mark that could be seen from the back. The double-sided posters were not released through the fan club and could only be found from actual movie theaters. As a result, the prices for a double-sided poster went through the roof. It didn’t take long for another “supply” of these poster to hit eBay and as a result the teaser poster value plummeted from around $300 to less than $20. Unfortunately, while you can easily tell the difference between an original poster and a bootleg when they are in front of you, it is much more difficult to tell from an eBay picture.
The exact size of an original poster is: 26 13/16″ x 39 11/16″. The bootleg measures: 26 9/16″ x 39 15/16″. This is a little strange as just about all bootlegs are slightly smaller than the original due to the copying process.
Pictures will be available as soon as possible.
The print quality of the bootleg is worse than an original. First, the color of a bootleg is much more saturated than the original. This means the colors seem a little more vibrant and darker than an original. Second, the bootleg does not have as much detail as the original. The sand in the original has a lot more definition while the sand in the bootleg seems to be missing all of the texture. Pictures detailing the differences will be available as soon as possible.
Third, the Lucasfilm logo on the bootleg is not as defined as on the original. The bootleg is missing the line that connects the left side of the “L” in “Lucasfilm.” The original poster has this line clearly. Also, the Fox logo isn’t as sharp.
Finally, the easiest way to determine if a poster is the bootleg is to look at the back side. On a double-sided poster, the back of the poster is a mirror image of the front. If you shine a flashlight on the back, the front side should look look very crisp. On the bootleg, the back of the poster is printed slightly off center, which results in you being able to see part of the image from the front when a light is on back. Second, the reverse side of the original poster was printed with a lot less saturation than the front. It looks almost whited out. The back of the bootleg is printed using the same color saturation as the front. The back looks identical to the front except for being a mirrored image. The pictures below are of original posters. Notice that the front is much darker than the back.
(jrosen is the author of this authentication.)