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View Full Version : What do you think about grading loose figures?



Gradingtoys
12-14-2004, 11:46 PM
Do any companies grade loose figures? Does AFA? What are you thoughts on grading loose figures?

Please let me know your thoughts on this matter, any info you have will be great! Im thinking about adding this service to my new site and wanted to know the pros and cons! Please no bashing! I just want info positive or negitive. Any info you have will determine how I will go about setting this service up.

Thanks.

ps. Im not going into any details so please dont ask any questions about the new site, in time everyone will see. Im just looking for thoughts on grading loose figures and how as a collector would view this service IF it were provided.

Slicker
12-14-2004, 11:53 PM
I personally wouldn't see the reasoning someone would do it. I am not a big fan of AFA or any of the other "grading" companies out there right now. What they do in my opinion is cause the price of vintage figures most notably to skyrocket because they use there "action figure wisdom" to tell you that it's in good shape when you wouldn't have sent it to them if it wasn't.

Getting loose figures graded wouldn't make much sense, IMO. Why would you pay extra money to someone on ebay or other sites to get a figure that was graded when you can buy the same figure that didn't have the "expert input" for much, much less. I just couldn't justify the investment to return.

I myself am trying to start vintage carded collecting and by looking on ebay I have seen many fantastic looking carded figures that weren't graded that I wouldn't hesitate to buy because they might not have been graded. When I see the same exact figure listed for alot more it makes me wonder who would buy them. Obviously people must and no offense to them but I'm not going for perfection because it's not worth it to me.

Gradingtoys
12-14-2004, 11:58 PM
My prices will be better then AFA! As for grading, it will have the same standard for every person and every figure. There will be 3 Tiers of grading, I dont want to give it all away yet but the lowest Tier will be like $5.99 or so for your figure sealed in a baggy with weapons if complete, label & hologram security sticker for fraud protection. You will also get a certificate with figure diagram outlining your figures grade, its almost like a figure otopsy! The cert will be signed by grader(s) and a hologram sticker will be placed on that as well, thats just the basic service...I will have it all laid out some time early 2005.

Astromech
12-15-2004, 01:06 AM
This one is tricky,
Being a collector for years, it really irks me that the only AF of value is one in it's mint sealed packaging.
Some of my AFs I take out to display because they are cool and look great. Often because the packaging is lame and they look better out. Some I know are going to increase massively in value so they sit in the grage in sealed tupperware, unappreciated by me. It's a shame they are basically worthless (from a financial standpoint) once out of box. My office is littered with loose figures.

SLICK- I know the big-brother vibe of the AFA is irritating, but it is now a necessary evil in a society where every person can easily make a 12 back card with their computer and a good printer. Hell, they sell the CDs with the high res images on ebay. You could easily take an old bubble clean it up, take a loose figure and remount it. Take a somewhat fuzzy eBay pic and BOOM-someone is getting duped. The AFA is insurance for the collector who is basically buying something somewhat sight unseen. I wouldn't drop $500 on a 12 back figure that wasn't graded.

TOY GRADER -
The reality is that since the value for loose figures is so low, no one is going to spend $5 to tell them their mint 77 loose vader is now worth $5.

Just my opinions.
R2

QLD
12-15-2004, 01:55 AM
I think toy grading is a totally worthless service. I know what my toys are worth to me, and the idea of paying someone to tell me what they are worth is utterly ridiculous. Grading basically destroyed the card collecting hobby.

Kidhuman
12-15-2004, 09:26 AM
I think toy grading is a totally worthless service. I know what my toys are worth to me, and the idea of paying someone to tell me what they are worth is utterly ridiculous. Grading basically destroyed the card collecting hobby.


About sums it up for me as well.

bobafrett
12-15-2004, 10:32 AM
I use the following guideline to grade my loose figures

5 stars = I put them in a glass cabinet
4 stars = I remembered to dust them at least once this month
3 stars = they lost the weapon, and I vacummed it up
2 stars = a neighborhood kid grabbed it and used it as a chew toy
1 star = the dog chewed it beyond recognition, thus creating a new alien creature

I never put any value on my collection. I just like to collect, and don't plan on selling my collection, unless I need to bail myself out of jail.

LusiferSam
12-15-2004, 11:33 AM
I think grading is a joke and a gimmick. Its a totally worthless "service" to me. I'm not going to pay someone to tell me what shape they think my figures are in. I've spend more time looking over my vintage figures to check on them than some grader would. I know my toys and I know their history and condition since coming into my possession.

Gradingtoys
12-15-2004, 08:46 PM
I see, lots of good points. Any others? Is there anyone out there that would have some loose figures graded? Thanks.

mabudonicus
12-16-2004, 09:16 AM
Bobafrett- LMAO you slay me man, most of my collection would get 3.5 stars on your system, and nothing below 2 (no dog ;))
I'too, would concur with the general sentiment that "professional grading" is the type of thing which has the strange efect of only being required if people buy into it....
The MOC arguments are quite valid, technology is pretty darn slick these days, I'm sure many of us here have better equipment on their desktops than was available to Kenner back in the 70's.... personally the "value" of carded stuff is puzzling, I open everything (rage against the machine, man, do it) anyways, and to me any toy still left on the card should be even cheaper than it's SRP

But I doubt that loose grading would be of much use, anyways, as stated, most of the figs are cheap anyways, the rare ones are expensive, end of story

BTW, in the case of variants and such, what kind of material analysis would be done to determine if the whole thing is the "real deal" anyways???

I'd have half a mind to craft up a fake red-cape bib fortuna or something just to see if I could do it- would there be some kind of "insurance policy", in case a really good fake somehow got past the system???
Just curious

Slicker
12-16-2004, 11:45 AM
Good point Mabudon. I have no skillz what so ever in custom figures but I bet with enough Boba Fett's I could whip you up a pretty good one with the half-circles on his hands. One or two of these slips your grading system and you'll start to lose consumer confidence.

Loose action figures would much tougher to grade than carded figures, IMO. They don't have as many points to grade them on which, once again IMO, could make them much easier to forge and fake. There would be a market for grading loose figures no doubt but would enough people care enough about there loose collection to get it graded.

Gradingtoys
12-16-2004, 08:19 PM
BTW, in the case of variants and such, what kind of material analysis would be done to determine if the whole thing is the "real deal" anyways???

I'd have half a mind to craft up a fake red-cape bib fortuna or something just to see if I could do it- would there be some kind of "insurance policy", in case a really good fake somehow got past the system???
Just curious
I have some star wars experts I would ref these kinds of items to. If they were undecided on it, it would be returned to the customer without shipping refunded. I will make note of the name of the person who submits this kind of thing and have a data base with photos of all questionable items submited and then returned. I will for the most part just return the item back to the customer, I have no problem with this. I might go as far as just send a item back to a person that I think is trying to pull some shate. The good ol' we have the right to refuse service to anyone! This I will take to the extreme! Not everyone will be able to submit stuff, blacklists will be up and running also.

JediTricks
12-16-2004, 09:46 PM
TOY GRADER -
The reality is that since the value for loose figures is so low, no one is going to spend $5 to tell them their mint 77 loose vader is now worth $5. I wasn't going to respond here originally, but the point above is dead-on IMO, there are so few loose figures worth anything to collectors right now, in any line not just SW, that I can't imagine there being any interest in this service. A good friend of mine who got me into modern SW figure collecting has a few open variants like brown vest Luke and paint-variant Boba Fett but the former is now barely getting any money in package and the latter can be easily faked so probably isn't worth squat.



Bobafrett- LMAO you slay me man, most of my collection would get 3.5 stars on your system, and nothing below 2 (no dog ;)) I used to have a dog, he pooped on my 12" Hall of Fame Cobra Commander, great figure ruined, 2 days later he crushed my 1/18th-scale die cast Ferrari concept car... lesson learned about dogs (and cats, who chew on less stuff but knock more of it down), don't let them into the room with your toys.

My collection would be the same too, except I've only ever vacuumed up 1 accessory, the Saga Luke Jabba's Palace gun, and I actually got so OCD about it that I took the garbage bag which I had emptied the vacuum into and thrown away out of the dumpster and sifted through it until I actually found the accessory!!! However, as I almost never dust my figs, it's a 3.5 for me too. :D

Astromech
12-17-2004, 03:24 PM
Is there a .5 on Boba's scale for blew it up with firecrackers or left it in the creek so long that it is all one color now?
;-)

mabudonicus
12-18-2004, 05:31 AM
LOL A.mech

That makes me wonder about the value of a certain Jar Jar and gammorrean guard after their "amazing journey" ;)

And JT- When I was a kid I'd be out in the backyard once a week digging through the "empty vacuum" pile, sometimes in minus 40 weather :beard: princess leia's gun was a royal pain

InsaneJediGirl
12-18-2004, 11:53 AM
I use a system similar to Boba Fretts.I have a few figures so chewed up(mainly droids) that they are used for little "scene props" :D Somehow I cant manage to throw them away...although I know it looks sorry.:crazed:

Onto the subject.I open about 85% of my collection and...I wouldnt get my loose stuff graded.I know how much its worth just by being a collector.I think grading of carded figures is just as bad too,because knowing the prices on your toys is pretty easy with all the guides and forums out today.

The only market I can see this working for is someone new to SW collecting and trying to make an "investment" to cash on in 10-15 years thinking hes going to sell this stuff for major bucks and send his kids to college.

Gradingtoys
12-21-2004, 11:00 PM
Hi, I just wanted to say THANK YOU. For everyones thoughs and idea's on this subject. I will take into account everyones comments and try to work with all the information. I think that everyone here did a wonderful job explaining there views. I hope that some of you will check out the site when its complete some time in 2005. Once again Thanks for all your help! Happy Collecting!



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