I know some of you don't collect carded/boxed things. Odds are, this thread won't pertain to you. Please feel free to add your observations, though.
Here's one thing I've noticed lately (within the past 3 months) regarding AFA: their grading scale seems to be skewed towards giving the large sellers (Cloud City, for example) MUCH better grades than the smaller sellers. For example, I have a friend who got his unpunched 21 Back Fett back from AFA with a grade of 70. We were SHOCKED at this grading, as this item is truly as nice a 21 back as you'll find. It has one 2-inch spider-type veining on the back which is from where the bubble was attached. (A VERY common occurance even on today's figures)
Then, about a week later, I see a punched 21-back Fett from Cloud City with a noticable warp to the card and the same type of spider-crease (except on the front) with a grade of 95! Quite odd; but that's only one of many examples I've noticed.
I just got a Tig Fromm which is graded from AFA and they have an arguably fair grade on it (in seeing others, I would have guessed it to fair better), but there are two PIECES OF GRASS sealed in the case with the figure!! What!!?!?!? Grass?!?!! That is OUTRAGEOUS!
Also, I've seen figures on eBay lately where the grading sticker was not flush on the bottom of the case, but rather half-way stuck up the side of the case and half-way stuck on the bottom. I've seen others where the sticker was even stuck to the card of the figure!!
One would figure that paying someone to grade the items from their collection would garner them a better cost-to-benefit outcome. I like AFA and love the way the graded figures present and display. However, if I keep seeing things like I've been seeing, I'll swear 'em off like they were a bad habit.
Anyone else notice things along these lines? Am I making a mountain out of a mole-hill? Or, it this just the tip of the iceberg?