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View Full Version : Please don't turn to the dark side with AFA



MaxRebo34
05-08-2003, 01:48 PM
I have collected over the years baseball cards, comics, and of course my #1 love Star Wars figures......I hate how things become professionally graded.....This is beyond me....I don't ever want to have a figure graded, when all this happens, people start paying way to much for figures and it takes away what we love about collecting. Hunting down hard to find figures in stores across our great country. When people start having figures graded it feels like getting kicked in the stomach....Please don't join these people by turning to the dark side.....Just one collectors stand point, please respond with how you feel on this subject.

Q

Jargo
05-08-2003, 02:30 PM
I think it's pretty silly too. I know we all love the toys but sadly there's folks who still treat the little lumps of plastic as if it's some kind of investment. All this grading nonsense is winding me up lately. As far as i'm concerned it's mint from factory or it's not. No ifs buts or in betweens just spanky fresh and good to go or substandard and bent. All this faffing around with degrees of broken and degrees of bent or degrees of variation. What kind of insanity is this?
I can just about deal with someone wanting to have a toy museum of the stuff all carded and boxed and stuck to a wall so the room resembles a toystore but I really do not understand paying to have your items shipped out to some jumped up jerk who sits and pontificates about whether or not your toys are worthy or not and then ships them back to you with a certificate. Man if you love your toys then the value you place on them yourself is all that counts. If money is all that interests you collect cars or women or endangered animals.
I think once this grading gubbins took hold everything went arse end up and the real fun of collecting went west. This is all just cruddy mass produced lumps of badly put together, badly painted/printed plastic and card. There's a small key called reality perspective and it appears some people lost their key. If i ever start talking about getting things graded, please shoot me severely in the head. Thanks.

Beast
05-08-2003, 02:40 PM
This was brought up before, and basically I'm in the same boat as Jargo on this. I loathe AFA, and laughed my are off when over at Rebelsum someone resealed a figure and sent it to them and they graded it super high as an unopened figure. It's just a sinkhole for greedy people to pay other greedy people to "grade" their stuff. Even Sir Steve has commented here in the past that it was rediculous. :p :)

MTFBWY and HH!!

Jar Jar Binks

plasticfetish
05-08-2003, 02:59 PM
Originally posted by EMPEROR JARGO
or endangered animals.
AFA gave my pair of white tigers a 95!

InsaneJediGirl
05-08-2003, 03:48 PM
I think it is pretty stupid.How do you know they are graded properly?If Billy-Bob is having a bad day,do you really think he is going to give your perfect figure the 90+ it deserves?Of course not.

I should start my own grading service.Although not a "professional" I could probably do better than AFA:D

LTBasker
05-08-2003, 04:32 PM
If I did it, any single figure that I suspected was going to ebay I would grade a 0. ;)

With the exception of vintage carded figures, it's a pretty low way for scalpers to get more money. It really sucks though because AFA's sticker stuff used easily faked stuff.

vorronsalive
05-08-2003, 04:45 PM
I totally agree with everyone. It was one thing when sports cards got graded. I didn't have a problem with that. Then I learned that they started grading comic books. I thought that this was the stupidest thing in the world to do, because comics are ment to be read, not put in an air tight plastic never to be read again. Then when I saw the first graded figure on ebay, I almost put my fist through a wall. It ticks me off that everyone who grades them only does it just to make money, because there really wouldn't be any other reason to do it. I can understand grading on sports cards because I thought it was cool that you could see how well you had taken care of those older cards, and for the more important fact, you can't really play with a baseball card. But when comics and toys are graded, this is when I get mad. Comics are meant to be read and toys are meant to be played with or at least stay in the package ungraded in case you feel like opening them up. I dispise anyone and everyone who has ever gotten a comic or action figure graded and I always will. There is no reason to do so. So for the love of Comics and toys, please read them and play with them. Do not lock them up in a plastic jail never to be released again. Have fun with them for as long as you can.

Dr Zoltar
05-08-2003, 04:55 PM
For only $200 each, I'll grade figures! : )

But seriously, AFA is a bunch of garbage. I never plan on having any of my figures graded. They are for me to enjoy until the day I die. Then my family can figure out what to do with all of them.

Kidhuman
05-08-2003, 05:01 PM
I don't need some moronic imbocile to tell me my figures are in mint condition. I am not blind, I can see what condition they are in. If someone wants a graded condition in a trade or something I can give a good estimate. Who ever came up with that idea is getting rich off of some fools out there.

JangoFart
05-08-2003, 06:51 PM
I think you all are missing the point. You see, every one of you are TINY fish in the figure collecting ocean. TINY! I'm the tiny fish to your right. There are figures out there, say vinyl cape Jawa 12-back or POTF Anakin or Droids Sise Fromm or Droids Fett, that go for THOUSANDS of dollars in top condition. If I were a bigger fish and had, say five grand to plunk down on a single figure, would I rather take Joe Blow eBay seller's word for it or would I rather have the word of an independent 3rd party give me their professional opinion as to its grade? Kind of an easy question for me.

Now, when I see the Saga Qui-Gon Jinn graded AFA-whatever, it does kinda irk me. Not everything is "worthy" of professional grading, be it from AFA or whomever. For example, the picture of Jango Fett that I drew is not hanging up in a museum next to a Monet. And for damn good reason - they are not in the same league.

There are some figures out there that are so uncommon or in such phenomenal shape, that they should be professionally graded - if for no other reason than to seal them from the elements and ensure their safety for generations to come. This keeps schmoes from making fake copies and passing them off as the real deal. I'd have to read the Rebelscum article and see pics of the sealed fake before I bought that story. (I just looked on Rebelscum's page and couldn't find any such article - I'd like a link, please.)

My main problem with AFA is: I've seen some VERY NICE samples sold by some small-time sellers which received 70 - 85 grades. I've seen samples about half as nice from large corporate sellers, like Cloud City, receive grades of 90 - 95. That's my only beef with AFA - it's too objective and easy to manipulate. "Should I give Cloud City a 90 on this figure, or the 75 it deserves? If I give 'em a 75, they might not keep sending me 50 figures a month." That's my beef. EACH AND EVERY figure should have to go through a 3 person review before the final grade is issued. To the best of my knowledge, this does not happen.

I have about 10 AFA graded figures; all vintage. Would I get any more graded? Heck yes! Will I do it any time soon? Heck no! Not until I see some major corrections coming out of them. I'm not sending my ROTJ Vader worthy of a 90+ to them so it can receive a 75 because I don't send them 50 a month. I'll wait this out or find another grader.

The IDEA of 3rd party professional grading is great. It helps preserve these figures as SOME OF THEM ARE - works of art worthy of preservation. However, like with everything else, theory and practice tend to differ.

J

Turbowars
05-08-2003, 07:10 PM
Lets face it people, the grading thing is for people with extra money to blow and bragging rights, Hey my figure is better than yours, because it's a 95 and yours is a 90. It's all a load of crap.

DarthChuckMc
05-08-2003, 07:30 PM
One of our local comic shops is using a grader now. The shop owner goes through all of the comics when they come in, pulls the nicest copies, and mails them off. He doesn't even let subscribers, that have been shopping there for 8+ years get 1st pick. He hangs the graded ones up, and marks up the price. Lousy grading crap.

Kidhuman
05-08-2003, 09:17 PM
Here is another thread where grading was discussed, albeit a short one.click here (http://www.sirstevesguide.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=17879&highlight=grading)

TheDarthVader
05-08-2003, 10:23 PM
JangoFart,
You can not really say that since a figure is older, it is more a work of art than the new figures. I believe (for example) that the new Vader is better than the vintage vader. (As far as looks). And the newer Jawas are better than the vintage Jawas (as far as looks, not value). Etc Etc. And there are many more examples. I would just like to know how you can say that the vintage should be preserved because they are more of a "work of art" than newer figures. Am I reading too much into your post? That is just what your post sounded like to me. In my opinon, if you collect you should protect your figures no matter how old or "valuable" they may be. I guess some people don't look at it this way...for instance, my toy fair darth vader is worth more to me than what it "books for". And that is okay...I will never sell my figures. To me, all of my figures are "worthy or preservation". Even though they are all POTF2 figures and were made from 1995-now. :)
The issue at hand: grading sucks. I do not have any graded. Only selfish, greedy, and "all for profit" companies and individuals send in 50 figures a week. That is stupid. I do not like it either and will not turn to the dark side. ;)

Sidiously Darth
05-08-2003, 10:32 PM
I just checked ebay for SW figures with AFA grades. There are some ridiculous figures being graded. POTJ Gungan Warrior, Saga Destroyer Droid, Eeth Koth, etc. There's about 2 pages with a little over half being vintage. This is turning into a joke.:rolleyes:

SirSteve
05-08-2003, 11:31 PM
AFA wanted me to back their service... I declined. :)

plasticfetish
05-09-2003, 01:00 AM
So that means you would give them a 10 or maybe a 15?

QLD
05-09-2003, 01:11 AM
Glad to see most people coming out against grading. As I have stated in other threads, it destroyed the card collecting market, and I would hate to see it happen to figures. As an opener, it makes even less sense to me.

JangoFart
05-09-2003, 02:04 AM
Originally posted by TheDarthVader
JangoFart,
You can not really say that since a figure is older, it is more a work of art than the new figures. I believe (for example) that the new Vader is better than the vintage vader. (As far as looks). And the newer Jawas are better than the vintage Jawas (as far as looks, not value). Etc Etc. And there are many more examples. I would just like to know how you can say that the vintage should be preserved because they are more of a "work of art" than newer figures. Am I reading too much into your post? That is just what your post sounded like to me. In my opinon, if you collect you should protect your figures no matter how old or "valuable" they may be. I guess some people don't look at it this way...for instance, my toy fair darth vader is worth more to me than what it "books for". And that is okay...I will never sell my figures. To me, all of my figures are "worthy or preservation". Even though they are all POTF2 figures and were made from 1995-now. :)
The issue at hand: grading sucks. I do not have any graded. Only selfish, greedy, and "all for profit" companies and individuals send in 50 figures a week. That is stupid. I do not like it either and will not turn to the dark side. ;)

Well, looks alone to not make or break a "work of art." The Picasso paintings, for example, look like he painted them after a major acid binge. Yet, they're worth millions, if they are well preserved. (And even worth tons of scratch if they're in bad shape) My point was that older figures, or rare figures - old or new - should be considered works of art and I have no problem with their grading and preservation by an independent source.

But, lest we not forget that folks like Van Gogh died dirt-*** poor; as his art didn't receive the attention back then that it does now. Now, however, some rich schmoe that didn't even paint the picture can sell a nice one for a few million bucks. Age does make a difference in just about every form of collecting. I think the "Walking Liberty" silver dollars from the 1990's, for example, are some of the most beautiful coins ever made. But, they're worth about 10 bucks now. Butt-ugly "Morgan" silver dollars from the 1920's go for major cash in excellent condition.

I too view all of my figures as works of art. Even the (shudder...) Jar Jar figures. Figures like Ephant are instant classics and I bought a special, custom-made acrylic case for it. The unpunched Tig Fromm that I have that was graded by AFA is not only a nice figure with fantastic artwork on the card, but it's also a rare figure to find in that condition. Not to mention the fact that it's in that condition while being almost 20 years old.

A 21-back Fett with the black card with Star Wars logo is a horribly crafted figure with a beautiful card. The new Pit of Carkoon Fett is a beautifully crafted figure with a decent card. Yet, the value of one is nowhere near the value of the other. Is one more of a "work of art" than the other? Yes, and no. It all depends on what floats your boat as a collector - are asthetics of the card or figure your primary reason for being attracted to the figure? or are you more attracted to the age and condition of the given item?

So, maybe I'm tying "work of art" in too closely to "value" here. And, maybe I'm not. I too agree that all of our figures should be preserved - whether we open them or not.

I think AFA is a potentially great, but ultimately over-used, resource for collectors. In my opinion, for whatever that's worth, it's the type of service that should be more selective in what it grades. Vintage lines? Sure. Toy Fair Vaders, Theatre Lukes, and other modern classics? Sure. Rare variations like the Dexter Jettster with "pipe" text or bloody-hand Lukes? Yeah, I think so too. Every damn figure that gets churned out of Hasbro? No. I think those types of services should be used as they were, most likely, intended to be used when they were set up - as services for the most serious, i.e., richest, collectors that want independent, verifiable confirmation that the item they are about to plunk down serious scratch for is what the seller claims it to be.

I'm $.02 in the hole now.

J

aceguide
05-09-2003, 08:52 AM
AFA grading is bogus. Quite simply it is part of the scalpers scam to artifically inflate values, and thus produce increased profit.

JangoFart does have a point though. It is important that a third party assess the value of any collectible based on an objective and professional opinion. That is why there are professional assessors that must be certified.

I just don't think AFA is very objective, and feel that they are part of a scam to inflate figure prices before their time...

MaxRebo34
05-09-2003, 09:22 AM
I would rather die the poorest man in the world and have every figure in the star wars universe not graded. than to have one figure graded

droidekas2
05-09-2003, 09:40 AM
I open all of my figures and could care less about the cards. I think it is a complete waste of money.

Teeska Mon Eebon
05-09-2003, 09:42 AM
I'm against it... I want to pay my 5 bucks a figure... I can stand a few bucks over, but not outrageous stuff like 20, 50, 100+ for a stinkin figure. I even thing 50 bucks is pushing it for vehicles

JangoFart
05-09-2003, 09:51 AM
Originally posted by MaxRebo34
I would rather die the poorest man in the world and have every figure in the star wars universe not graded. than to have one figure graded

You might want to do some re-evaluation about the logic behind that position, my friend :)

J

MaxRebo34
05-09-2003, 10:03 AM
Why is that Jango? Some people love to buy every variation out there...Myself....I just want one of each figure carded in Star Cases to have an awesome star wars room when I buy a house.....You may want every variation out there, which I completely respect, I just think most of us are in it for the love of collecting, not making profits on special figures.

Dark Marble
05-09-2003, 10:30 AM
I wouldn't have any of my figures graded either. But I, like droidekas2, open all of my figures. I don't think we should jump all over jango however. Having figures graded is a preferance, and nothing more. Some do it some don't. It is just another avenue to take collecting down.

Someone here posted that having figures graded is all about "braging rights." And I couldn't agree more. I think all collectors are guilty of that every once in a while. I know my collection is better than some and way WAY behind others. But my collection is a source of pride. The money and time and effort I have spent on it makes it great. Especially to me. Ok, maybe just me.

In short, grading is not my cup of meat, but if it makes someone happy, let them do it. However, try to find a credible impartial 3rd party to do it. ;)

JangoFart
05-14-2003, 03:56 PM
Originally posted by MaxRebo34
Why is that Jango? Some people love to buy every variation out there...Myself....I just want one of each figure carded in Star Cases to have an awesome star wars room when I buy a house.....You may want every variation out there, which I completely respect, I just think most of us are in it for the love of collecting, not making profits on special figures.

Why is that?? I might be in the minority here, but I would call it a tad extreme to prefer death as the poorest man on earth over owning one AFA-graded figure. I can assume you were being facetious and that's fine.

I don't collect every variation out there, but I do collect some. Bloody hand Luke, "pipe" Dexter, and the like, sure. But, I typically maintain ONE of a variation - not the corrected version AND the variation; just the variation.

But, that doesn't really have anything to do with grading; nor does profit/value of a collection. My collection will get sold for profit after I'm long dead, I assure you. As long as breath is in my lungs, I won't part with my stuff. If my kids decide it's crap and sell it for $1.50, so be it.

What I do desire is to have the nicest figures within my means. I myself can't afford an AFA 90 21-back Boba Fett at the current time; although I plan to within the near future. Would I turn my nose up at one if I could afford it right now? Heck no! As a matter of fact, I would personally prefer to have a figure with that market value graded over not graded. Why? Because with today's technology, it's just too easy for some crook to fake one and I'd never know the difference. If I'm gunna shell out the kind of cash to own such a critter, I would much rather have independent confirmation that it is what the seller says it is - as opposed to a real nice fake.

But, that's just me.

J

Tonysmo
05-18-2003, 02:13 AM
I have a few of my football cards graded.. thats it. I was torn on if I should have had it done - and greatly dissapointed that I went through with it. For the longest time my thoughts were against it. Knowing that once its sealed, its forever. No more touchy touchy... I couldnt handle that. It takes all the fun out of it. Then, after seeing that my Drew Bledsoe Rookie card that is worth say $30 could go for $1000 if it were graded with a 10... hmmmm... why not take a chance.. well, I didnt get a 10 ( which I expected I would not get a 10 ) but I didnt get a 9 or an 8 either... which blew my mind.
As a collector, you put your own value on things, and I truely thought I had a nice card, and that I was jipped.. nothing I can do about it now, but look at that plastic POS case and wonder if I will ever get near what its worth..
I know some of this may be taboo to you guys, talking as if I actually plan on selling some of my collection.. well, simply put, sometimes I have too.. so it makes some sense to know what I have, and what its worth, and what I can do to make it worth more.. Not that I need to make a quick buck or anything, but sometimes to justify spending money on Star Wars figures, I have to weed out some of my other collection.. sometimes just to make room for the new stuff.. would I go to the extreme to have eveything I own in a graded case? nope.. but if I knew I could send off my Jorge Sacul to have its value go up a few hundred bucks.. then I'd have to say sure, why not..

so I guess it's a toss up.. I couldnt/wouldnt have everything graded, and there is a 99.8 % chance I'll never send off anything again... but I'll leave that open justa bit.. cause you just never know.. having certain things preserved isnt all that bad..

it's all in what you like.. and thats the bottom line..

TheDarthVader
05-19-2003, 01:38 PM
AFA grading IS a rip off. I, too, believe that companies that send in a bunch of figures will get the benefit of the doubt when their figures are graded, as opposed to a collector that sends in one carded figure. I just don't do it...I collect figures for the fun of it, not the money!

DarthQuack
03-04-2010, 10:25 PM
This thread was actually one of my first threads under my first name here MaxRebo34....I guess I forgot I had 2 names!

Neuroleptic
03-05-2010, 07:25 AM
Since this thread has been brought back to life, have opinions changed on this at all?

I personaly would only grade one of my figures (a vintage R2-D2 tri logo ROTJ figure) but it would be to have it preserved, not to up its value or anything else. However when I see the price of doing so actualy costs a lot more than I paied for it, I always think twice about it and decide my star case is just as good 'for now'.

I don't care what the grade is or value though, as I'd never sell it.

bigbarada
03-05-2010, 05:03 PM
Since this thread has been brought back to life, have opinions changed on this at all?

I personaly would only grade one of my figures (a vintage R2-D2 tri logo ROTJ figure) but it would be to have it preserved, not to up its value or anything else. However when I see the price of doing so actualy costs a lot more than I paied for it, I always think twice about it and decide my star case is just as good 'for now'.

I don't care what the grade is or value though, as I'd never sell it.

I think the grading is still a scam, but I do like the acrylic cases that AFA uses, mainly because they create just enough empty space around the edges of the card so that you can see the entire toy (you lose about 1/4" around the edges of the card with Star Cases because of the way they snap together). So I just buy the AFA cases and forget about the whole grading thinkg.

TheDarthVader
03-05-2010, 06:43 PM
I hold to my same opinion that I had six years ago.

plasticfetish
03-11-2010, 02:30 AM
AFA gave my pair of white tigers a 95!I'm still pretty happy that I got those tigers graded.

...and this thread doesn't exactly count as being "brought back to life." I'd call this a zombie thread at best. ;)