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  1. #1

    Talking My Experience with AFA/Toygrader.com

    I'd like to open the floor here to experiences with the AFA/Toygrader.com. They grade figures (for a price), and put them in plastic cases.

    The first time I sent my vintage Brown Snake Yoda in I admit I was a little scared...ok terrified, but the product came back and I've since spent plenty getting more graded.

    Why did I do it? It stems from my ongoing quest to figure out a better way to display my collection. I also like to keep my special figures safe, and still like to have the best presentation to trade with other collectors. I've found that figures that I've had graded seem to trade alot easier then something I have just 'as is'.

    Overall, I think the service rocks, though it can be pricey if you send alot of figures in at once. Right now they have a web deal on AOTC figures. While looking at it I got to wondering about you collectors out there so I thought I'd offer my knowledge about the grading (I've gotten about 20+ figures graded by AFA now with more on the way) and was wondering what experiences you might have had with them if any?

    I'd hate to know I was the only person out there doing this.

  2. #2

  3. #3
    ehh.... so it's worth x amount NOW, what about down the road? What about when the bubble yellows?
    "SirSteve"
    Check out my new venture:
    CollectionStation.com - A social network for collectors!

  4. #4
    Originally posted by SirSteve
    ehh.... so it's worth x amount NOW, what about down the road? What about when the bubble yellows?
    Exactly. I'd be worried about paying money to have it graded when the status could easily change. But then again, I don't ever expect to sell my collection so I guess I don't worry about value much.
    Wha'choo talkin 'bout Hasselhoff?

  5. #5

    Talking

    Woa, SirSteve appeared! It's an honor to forum with you good sir.

    Uh..yellowing tho? Come on now...Since the beginning of the creation of plastics, many myths have been perpetuated about the longevity of plastics, especially outside in the elements. All plastics come from petroleum and natural gas. Sunlight, especially ultraviolet radiation, has a disastrous effect on most plastics. Some plastics, like polyethylene (PE) milk jugs, degrade quickly in the sun - in a matter of months. PE can easily be recycled. Many children's toys are made from PE and get brittle and crack when left outside.

    Acrylic (Plexiglas, Lucite,and Acrylite) comes from natural gas and is completely inert when in solid form. American-made acrylic does NOT yellow in the sunlight. Witness the protective canopies and bubbles in the World War II bombers - they are still clear after 50 years in the sun! There are three other clear plastics that do yellow in the sun and get confused with acrylic - Styrene, PETG, and Polycarbonate. They have their respective qualities that make this an acceptable trade-off. Ask your Ridout Plastics salesperson for information on all of these plastic solutions.

    So what's this mean for a Star Wars collector? "For safe, long-term storage, AFA's tamper-evident acrylic case offers the most visually appealing form of protection for action figures known. Our cases block 98% of harmful UV rays."

    That's on their site. Without it wouldn't figures just deteriorate and yellow quicker SirSteve?

  6. #6
    Well personally I'd never pay someone to grade my stuff, but I don't care about the perceived monetary value of my collection anyway since I don't plan on parting with it. It seems like with today's technology though if you just keep your carded figs out of DIRECT (like, right smack in front of a window, or outside) sunlight they should be ok....

    Note: I'm not a carded collector so I may have no idea what I'm talking about.

    Good traders/sellers: pthfnder89, jjreason, bobafett07728, TK421, Lord Tenebrous, DahrJin, baby 01, Lman316, jonboy, swfreaker

  7. #7
    I have just gotten into getting all of my figures graded and have decided to go with ToyGrader.com - Their pricing is very reasonable, and they are obviously knowledgable collectotrs themselves. And, speaking in monetary terms, a non-graded C9+ card of 77 Boba Fett goes for about $800 - the same figure with the same grade of 9.0 from AFA ToyGrader went yesterday for over $1,500. For those who are planning to use their collection as college money for themselves or the kids in the future, it is well worth the $30 to get DOUBLE what you would without that simple AFA sticker grading.

    I just picked up a Vintage Jawa 12-back in a seller-rated C-9.5 condition for $50 (yes, $50 bucks) and I plan on sending that, my Jorg Sacul, UK Yak Face and a few others in.

    Some people here look upon this as a beginning stage of scalping. It is not. For one reason. You can't take it all with you.

    "If I could take it all down to my grave
    God knows I'd save and save"
    - DMB - "Seek Up"

    Cheers!
    I don't want it
    I just need it
    To breathe, to feel, to know I'm alive.....

    René (pronounced "eh")

  8. #8
    Yea, I'll admit it. I don't keep good care of my collection cause I really don't know how!! My collection is MOC now, but the future? I've sent in only my "big dog" figures to the service. It would be way to costly for me to send them all in, but I'd love to.

    I should also note that the figures I get graded are for either colleciton purposes or trade only. With all of the fake and custom carded stuff out there, you just can't take chances trading or buying figures you really want. Grading helps people know what they're getting.

    I'm just pointing out my experiences with it and would like to hear more like these guys above.

    And honestly, I don't know what the heck SirSteve is talking about when he asks about it yellowing in the future. Not all vintage plastic is yellow. There's a reason for that. If cased in a plastic that's 98% UV protected there's nothing to worry about.

  9. #9
    Yellowing was just an example. I know advances have been made but it still is possible. Here is another... R2-D2 FX that has batteries in it. What happens in 10 years when they start leaking? Or what about card warping due to heat? All you are doing is getting what Toy Grader thinks it's worth. What expertise in Star Wars do they have? Don't get me wrong, the idea is good but I just don't think it will succeed in the Star Wars universe, perhaps the entire toy collecting universe. It's not like a coin or stamp....
    "SirSteve"
    Check out my new venture:
    CollectionStation.com - A social network for collectors!

  10. #10
    Heh heh...have you guys actually been to their site lately? They are making money folks, not just with Star Wars.

    Steve said "all you are doing is getting what Toy Grader thinks it's worth." Well, yea, but that's not the point. This isn't about getting a grade to get a higher payout by scalping on Ebay. It's about a 3rd party validating the figure as a recgonized source so everyone across the board will know what you have.

    If you had a vintage boba fett (something I am actually looking for) I'd rather buy one that was graded by them then buying one you just hand me. Why? Because how do I really know that it's a fake or custom job?

    Toygrader.com is becoming pretty big in the world of collecting, not just for Star Wars, but GI Joe, Starting Line up, and others. I'm just relaying my experiences.

    What expertise in Star Wars do they have? What expertise in Star Wars does anyone really have?

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