View Full Version : A little help please. AFA...why?

Darth Cruel
05-17-2005, 05:23 PM
Is there anyone who knows anything about why these guys are given so much credit? Why does a figure that can still be found warming the pegs in a 95% condition at $5.38 go for 30.00 or more (note this auction is at 30.00 and has over 6 days left as of this posting) just because AFA grades it a 90. I don't get it. Correct me if I am wrong but hasn't AFA been fooled into giving 85 and 90 grades to fakes sent to them to test their accuracy? And if not, what is their claim to expertise? Is there a University of Action Figure Grading that they all have PHDs from? I feel pretty confident that I can apply a percentage grade to my action figures myself.

$30.00 ($40.00 so far with shipping) for a peg-warming Clone Pilot?


If this is how it is...I am going to start buying extra figures to send to AFA so I can scalp them. Particularly variations, imagine what a person could get for an AFA graded 90 Dooku Saber #2 Anakin?

05-17-2005, 07:46 PM
I think USC offers an undergraduate program in action figure grading.

The seller is filling a need obviously, as is AFA. For the seller, AFA grading is probably a crap shoot, she may have to send in several figures at her expense (shipping & AFA's fee) in order to get one or two figures with high grades. But apparently the high graded figures sell for enough money to make it worthwhile. There must be profit in it somewhere otherwise they wouldn't be doing it.

I don't like what MOC collecting does to the hobby. Manufacturers put more resources into developing packaging to court this niche market, raising their overhead, which may result in higher overall product prices. I can appreciate nice packaging, but once I cut into it and open the toy what's the point? Plus some e-tailers go through the labor-intensive process of sorting good cards from the bad for their customers. That cost is passed on to consumers, raising prices as well. Plus you've got this ancilliary market that's sprung up to cater to MOC collectors, from grading services to plastic figure containers. Bleah.

05-18-2005, 12:51 AM
you have to remember that AFA also charges a rather hefty fee to grade figures, around $18-24. So take the cost of the figure, $6, plus $20 grading fee, plus shipping cost to AFA $4, equals $30. So if that figure doesn't rise in price anymore, and I doubt it will, the seller isn't even going to make a profit. I, for one, really like AFA. I like the slick casing, and the fact that my figure is now ultimately protected from smoke, pet hair, the ever curious hands of my kids, moisture, and anything else. Also, when purchasing on-line, it's reassurance that the figure and card are actually in the condition stated by the seller. It's easy for a shady seller to hide a couple of creases or a slight bubble lift with a crappy pic, but they can't hide the glaring grade stamped by AFA attesting to its condition. Its basicly paying for the reassurance that what is stated is what your actually getting. All that, and an awesome built in display case.

Fluke Skywalker
05-19-2005, 10:14 PM
I hate AFA. It seems more and more online retailers are AFA grading their Vintage stuff... the mark ups are outrageous. Somebody call Oliver Stone, I sense a conspiracy!

05-23-2005, 01:53 PM
AFA exists because there are scumbag dealers out there and grading is subjective. Many carded collectors would like to have the peace of mind that an AFA graded figure provides. How does this work?

1. the grader does not have a monetary interest in the grade of the figure- a disinterested 3rd party if you will.

2. Although grading is still subjective, having a group of graders crosscheck using strict criteria cuts down on variance of scores.

3. the cases themselves help preserve the figures and cards inside.

It's a mug's game really- buy an AFA graded figure and you will pay a rather large premium to buy it because of the reasons above. Buy a non AFA graded figure, and it is much more likely that you will get a reseal or a fake.

That being said, I don't have a problem with AFA- they provide a service. There are still plenty of carded figures to be had that are not graded.

05-24-2005, 04:16 AM
With all of that said, the question...
Is there anyone who knows anything about why these guys are given so much credit?...still hasn't been answered. I've often wondered about their background. Their Web site doesn't really have an "about us" or "who we are" page. I always assumed that it was mostly just a semi-clever way to sell acrylic display cases. :neutral:

05-28-2005, 02:57 AM
Ugh. I hate all of these grading services. It's totally ridiculous. I have already watched grading ruin the sports card industry. Fortunately, I open pretty much everything I buy, so this service is even more worthless. Why anyone would pay their insane fees to have someone tell them what condition their figure packaging is in, is totally beyond me.

06-07-2005, 12:54 AM
I'm with QLD, AFA is full of crap. Why would anybody pay somebody else to tell him how mint their figure is. You can tell that for yourself. A bunch of money wasting nonsense.

I saw AFA setup at Celebration III and I almost went off on them. Telling people how this and this makes their figures mint how why you should spend $80 on their new Anakin figure. What a bunch of bull.

06-07-2005, 10:46 AM
This was one of the reasons why I stopped collecting baseball cards, it destroys the hobby IMO. You collect things for how much they mean to you, not how valuable then can be by sending it away with your money you should be spending on more things for your collection.

Darth Cruel
06-23-2005, 03:32 PM
Now that Clone pilot figure ended up going for 50.51 and 10.00 shipping for a ridiculous total of 60.51! FOR A CLONE PILOT!

My sense of galactic order has been smashed!