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How to beat Animal Crossing’s Jolly Redd at his own art game

Somehow, after all these years, infamous Animal Crossing scam artist Redd hasn’t landed himself behind bars. We don’t know if such a place exists in the land of anthropomorphic animals, but a sketchy kitsune peddling fake goods at extortionate prices must warrant some kind of intervention. He’ll trick your younger siblings or your grandparents, and that won’t fly in this happy-go-lucky island life simulator that is Animal Crossing.

But Redd does have a purpose … you just have to sift through his schemes to uncover it. While he’s out there trying to fetch an inflated price for a forgery, he’s also selling the real deal — works of art Blathers will proudly display in his growing island museum. So how do you wade through Redd’s pesky paintings to further your island’s cultural offerings without paying a pretty penny for something that’s destined for the scrapheap? Here’s how.

When does Redd appear? — How to get art in Animal Crossing

The arrival of Redd was officially announced through the Animal Crossing 1.2.0 update video posted to Nintendo’s social media channels in late April, with the update landing a few short days after that. But Redd won’t appear on patch day. Not without some time travel trickery, at least.

You first have to speak to Blathers in the museum after updating your game. He’ll mention how the museum has grown over time and express an interest in expanding its collection into fine art and paintings. It’ll only happen if you’ve donated 60 unique items to the effort, but so long as you’ve been keeping up with your daily fossil haul since launch day, you should have done more than enough to kick-start the initiative.

With that particular event flag triggered, the stage will be set for Redd to show up in the near future with a couple of these paintings to pass off to you. The first time he appears, he’ll be wandering around town ready to scam any old sucker.

While he’s strolling around ashore, he’ll offer you a painting for an eye-watering 498,000 Bells, but you can tempt him down to a modest 4,980 with a few choice words. Unlike the rest of his goods, this first purchase is guaranteed to be a legitimate work of art, and exactly the kind of item that will push Blathers to open up the museum’s art exhibition should you donate it.

After this choice first encounter, Redd will appear periodically like Leif, Label, and Kicks. You’ll find his Treasure Trawler ship down on the secret beach over the north cliff of your island. You might want to bring a ladder (and a few hundred thousand Bells).

How to identify fake paintings

Just like in past titles, many of Redd’s fine works of art aren’t the real deal. He’s a con artist that specializes in selling worthless fakes for a lot of money. But while the vast majority of his wares would ruin Blathers’ reputation as a curator of wonders, some of his goods are legit. You can only buy one each time he comes around, so knowing how to spot a fake will save you a lot of heartache.

As the reveal video showed, you’re free to inspect anything Redd sells before you pull the trigger. You can zoom in real close to look for any abnormalities in whatever it is he happens to be selling. The thing is, the paintings he offers aren’t original to the Animal Crossing series. They’re real works of art.

In the digital age, that means all you have to do to quickly and easily tell the two apart is to search the internet for the real thing and play a game of spot the difference. Find the painting that matches up perfectly to its real-world counterpart, and you’ll have yourself a work of art that Blathers will proudly display in the museum’s new wing. Hoo hooray!

What does else does Redd sell?

Crazy Redd, or Jolly Redd as he goes by now, deals in the fancy and the fake. He’s out to become a billionaire selling forgeries, but he has a few things actually worth your time, too. Besides paintings and sculptures, Jolly Redd’s Treasure Trawler has a few unique furniture items on sale, though the price he demands is often far higher than they’re worth.

What to do with Redd’s fake items

If you were suckered into buying one of Redd’s forgeries, there isn’t a whole lot you can do with them. Blathers knows better than to showcase fakes in his esteemed establishment, and the Nooklings would rather buy weeds than dabble in the black market.

You can either stash any unwanted works of “art” in your home storage to gather virtual dust, display them indoors if you just happen to like Redd’s unique takes on fine art, or toss them in your nearest garbage can to disappear curiously into the void.

You won’t be getting your money back should you fall for Redd’s shenanigans, but his knock-offs aren’t totally bereft of charm.

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