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Thread: Covering damage on carded figures with stickers: Opinions needed

  1. #1

    Covering damage on carded figures with stickers: Opinions needed

    Well this follows on from another members observation on a 20back SW Vader MOC that was for sale here on the boards by one member as an ungraded piece with visible sticker damage which has now
    been graded by AFA and is in the collection of another member. Low and behold the MOC now has a sticker covering the damage mentioned..

    I guess I won't be alone in saying that for whatever reason that new sticker has been placed over the damage, it was wrong.

    Actually I feel very strongly about this subject because I once bought a MOC on ebay that I had in my collection for over a year that had a couple of price stickers on it, one day I decided to remove them and under the stickers I revealed a huge tear of litho that completely ruined the look and the value of the card once it was visible, there was no residue or litho on either of the two stickers I removed
    so it was quite obvious it was a damage cover up.

    Now..this is where it gets tough and your opinions are needed, going back to the Vader- the member who now owns the figure has shown it off in the limelight section and until this came to light has not done any dodgy dealings
    whatsoever as far as I or others who are aware of this situation are aware of. By all accounts he is a general "nice bloke" should he be outed? Contacted first and given a chance to explain?Another respected member here has even gone as far as to state that in his opinion the sticker is not even "vintage" as in it wasn't transferred and is in fact a reproduction. This stuff is worrying to say the least.

    He may even chime in on this thread but I thought it best to get some opinions and replies before the pitch forks came out..

    Oh and..I have compared and checked this story out since yesterday- it IS the same Vader - extra details/some kind of timeline: Ungraded Vader sold here in April, Vader then graded in July with the sticker covering the damage and finally limelighted here in September.

    I am all for forgiving one slip up/bad move but before people are forgiven they have to admit what they did was wrong first goes nothing- if you are reading and you know it's you I am referring to please let us know what has happened!
    Last edited by Joe_O; 10-05-2011 at 11:54 AM. Reason: omg I can't typeeeee!
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  2. #2
    There are so many ways to look at this issue... Usually, I'd say roast him. Like you, I've been burned by the ol' sticker bait and dupe... It's one reason I will always, always, always be an advocate for sticker removal - I want to know what lies beneath. Unfortunately, there are certain price tags that are impossible to remove without hurting the card. (I typically try to avoid buying any figure with a KayBee or Venture sticker on it, as I know there's only damage to be done...)

    Like I said, I'd usually say out him... However, this situation is slightly different - at least right now. So far, the only entity duped thus far is AFA... And part of me can't help but relish in that fact.

    Don't get me wrong - I completely understand where you're coming from, but I sort of feel that given the current situation, this actually comes down to collecting preferences and practices. If a collector wants to use stickers to cover up damage, as much as I hate saying it... as much as I disagree with it... it's ultimately their's to do with as they please. There are other things people do to improve the appearance of their figures, certain methods that you might find ok, while another person still views it as tampering. (Comic Books get pressed; Some card collectors actually soak entire cards in water baths to wash them - both of these tactics are hotly debated within their respective circle and both are virtually undetectable).

    I'm sort of inclined to liken this sort of thing to U grading... It's absurd to me... It annoys me, but obviously there are people who enjoy keeping their collection that way. To each their own... As long as this person isn't in a situation where they're taking advantage of someone, it seems like it is their business. That said, should the figure ever go up for sale - here or elsewhere - and it isn't disclosed, then I'd say we all have the obligation of making it known.

    To me, the real issue here has to do with the AFA. I really do hope this will wake a few people up. I think this is less about the collector in question and more about them. If they're going to charge for their "expert opinion," then I think its reasonable to expect them to catch something as simple as a sticker cover up. How much evidence needs to come forward to show people their opinion is just as adequate as yours or mine? They obviously lack the education, science and technology to make any analysis that goes beyond our own capabilities. I've been saying it for years - AFA's self-appointed "authority" in this hobby is completely unwarranted, unqualified and ultimately dishonest. In the end, they're a 3rd party opinion - supposedly impartial - who's only real qualifications seem to be in making finely crafted acrylic cases.
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  3. #3
    I think there are two major issues really, the first is obviously that AFA got duped as you mentioned and that brings their authority claim into question but also the fact that this very possibly could be sold down the line to some unsuspecting buyer who will sit it on his shelf and never know about the repair job..ignorance is bliss? or is this actually something people would get upset over if they found out?

    That's another unfortunate thing about something being slabbed and a collector taking the stamp of approval AFA Label over a good old fashioned once over in your hand to inspect the item you are buying, sure you may not have noticed the replacement sticker in hand either but once a piece is graded people probably don't even check at all.

    Excuse the lack of pictures by the way guys- at this point if I put up a picture of the Vader in question it would be extremely obvious who owns this and as I am looking for opinions on it all and perhaps the owner/submitters input on what's happened I think it's best for now that I don't point too many fingers.

    All I will say to add to the story at this point is that the person who bought it is still the owner, so this is not a question of someone else putting the sticker on the card and passing it on. It was in my eyes an attempt to make the card look better in order to grade it, perhaps not for resale YET but you can never say for sure how long something will stay in another persons collection.

    Edit**- well I guess the third issue is- has a fake/reproduction sticker been used? Not that it really changes the situation in regard to the sticker not being original to the carded figure but in the grand scheme of things I guess a reproduction sticker is worse than a transplant?..
    Last edited by Joe_O; 10-05-2011 at 11:15 AM. Reason: Because my typing is terrible today..
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  4. #4
    My main question regarding the possible/eventual resale of this item, is what if it happens behind closed doors in PM only? And it never gets listed openly and freely in the classifieds? Then no one is the wiser until the new owner lime's it and someone that knows about it speaks up. That to me, would be more dangerous than if it was listed in the classifieds.

    Either way, it's a very sticky situation. I just hope the owner chimes into this thread eventually.
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  5. #5
    I would contact first and give the party in question achance to explain. If no response...out him. I too have been burned in the pas twith stickers covering up damage. Don't let my post count fool you, I've been into this stuff for about 10 years now (off and on) and have ZERO patience for this kind of crap. Again, it sounds like "only" AFA got "tricked" but what if, as ChrisB stated...this is sold at later date off the boards and out of sight. Some poor sap is going to get burned. My 2Ē
    Last edited by HughJorgan; 10-05-2011 at 01:04 PM.

  6. #6
    I've seen the pics,2 major tell tale signs exist to confirm that it's the same figure before and after, and the replacement sticker, looks generic and un-aged, in my opinion. BUT to be fair, had I not seen the before pic, I likely wouldn't have placed the price sticker under as much scrutiny if shown a pic and asked what's wrong with this piece. In hand I believe that I would have noticed that it didn't look right, but it was obviously nice enough to get past AFA's "expert" graders.IF it's a transplant or worse a repro, it's still wrong, personally it doesn't look old to me. Once pics are posted,judge for yourself. Unlike a company that touts itself as an "authority", I admit that I can be wrong when looking for defects. As Joe_O said, the person in question is someone that most in the community have(myself included) had good dealings and conversation with in the past and has not one stitch of sketchyness associated with him, which makes it even harder to know how to approach this. Hopefully he will come forward on his own and we can see what's up.

    Last edited by JosephY; 10-05-2011 at 01:17 PM.

  7. #7
    It is a tough matter. A sticker by definition is not factory so I'm surprised that AFA grades with them on, but not. So many vintage stickers cannot be removed safely, and I'll try for a bit but if it looks like it will make things worse I stop. I've gotten into the habit of not even mucking with them if the figure is nice. If someone wants a figure with a perfect card and it has a sticker, there is probably a reason a sticker is still there. Either it couldn't be removed safely or it might be covering a boo boo. I wish I could have cards without stickers and that has cost me happiness and regret in trying to remove. Personally I wonder if stickers I have had been mucked with, but would rather not know to some degree. Some minimum wage clerk put the sticker on and mucked it up from the start if it is there. My trying to remove it, if unsuccessful makes me pissed that I should have left well enough alone. I understand the want to return things to the state found, so I have a hard time being upset if someone restuck a sticker. If someone blatantly stickes a phoney sticker I'm not down with that. A reprint is a fake by definition.

    To sum up, it is far safer to buy the figure in the condition you want it. If you want no sticker, then buy no sticker figures. No chance of getting a fake. Once it's there, it's there and if AFA considers it an acceptable aftermarket item to begin with my opinion has shifted to keep the darn thing as it is. I have removed stickers (or started to) and once done, you can't go back. If it turns out nice, great, but otherwise great sadness.
    Last edited by SF1138; 10-05-2011 at 02:03 PM.

  8. #8
    Give the person a chance to show the item and explain how he/she was thinking.
    If thereīs no response out it, i donīt want to be the next owner..

    In .m.h.o itīs no question about if itīs wrong or right hiding damage to a piece.

    What will happen to the AFA-grade it got?. . .

  9. #9
    What a tool.AFA already put a sticker in the case,he doesnt have to add hi $99 cents worth

    nah,seriously this is nasty.Im pretty sure all the AFA guys would even turn their nose up at this.
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  10. #10
    The motive to coverup a damaged card is obvious, weather its sent to afa or resold.... i think outing this piece is important because these tend to turn up on the bay shortly after being "discovered" (cought)

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