There was a time when spotting a Rippo (Rip off Zippo) was a very easy task. Quality aside, the Rippo items were done in an incompetent way, spelling mistakes on both the lighter base and the guarantee, along with none existent date codes. In recent times the visual quality of these fake lighters has improved considerably, making a first glance insufficient to decide if it is a fake or real item. For the most part though, actually holding, opening and closing a lighter often gives away the Rippo's provenance. The metal used is inferior, this causes the Rippo sound to differ from that of a Zippo. That said, Many buyers, especially those buying from an online source who only have a picture to go off, will not find this out until it actually arrive at their door. I personally do not consider a 'flip top' lighter to be a Rippo.
Unless it is trying to pass itself off as the real deal (having Zippo on the base or front), then to me, it is just a cheap throwaway lighter. Zippo have waged war on those who copy the design, Though over the years the shape has been used by many manufacturers using everything from a blank base to a large variety of names (Hadson, penguin, star, to name but a few)
I was recently contacted by a collector who was offended by it's inclusion on the page, citing it's design and manufacture as pre Zippo, also pointing out some of the design elements that he thought were superior to Zippo's. However, there are times in online auctions that the park is often advertised as a Zippo, in my eyes (as a Zippo collector) this makes the Parks inclusion to the list an essential addition.
At the end of the day, this site is a personal opinion and cannot be expected to please everybody. With all that said, . as explaining why a fake is a fake is a far from easy task. The clone test being one of the best to show how close some copies have now become.
zippo lighter's or RIPPO ( RIP OFF ZIPPO'S)
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10 June 2009
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