"AFA/3rd Party Professional Grading" Debate Thread

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Re: \"Official\" AFA Debate Thread

sotoam said:
The main difference here, though, is that the AT-ST Driver in your Trilogo, has always been in that Trilogo bubble. You didn't pay somebody $20-50 to rip it out of its bubble, and put it into a case that offers it the same type of "protection" that the Trilogo bubble is offering.
Its easy to make the statement that an AFA acyrlic case for loose figures offers "the same type of 'protection' that the Trilogo bubble is offering." Maybe you can provide some hard evidence of this being true?

The actual 'main difference' is that my trilogo figure has significant paint damage from a single trip through the mail, bouncing around in the soft bubble. My AFA loose graded figures don't.

I'm pretty sure if you compared the number of such occurences in trilogo bubbles to regular kenner bubbles it would become obvious that the amount of room the figure has to move around would coorelate to the amount of paint loss damage. In fact I would even conjecture that the amount of room to move around it is a bigger factor than how hard or soft the plastic container is.

I keep hearing about all of these loose AFA graded figures bouncing around in their acyrlic coffins suffering of terrible paint loss. Although I'm sure it may happen on rare occasion, I have yet to see anyone display images of this horrific carnage that supposedly befalls so many AFA graded loose figures.

I have new appreciation for my 'Made In Macau' trilogo AT-ST Driver now, realizing that the smaller bubble is likely responsible for keeping its figure minty.



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Re: \"Official\" AFA Debate Thread

Leif_G said:
sotoam said:
The main difference here, though, is that the AT-ST Driver in your Trilogo, has always been in that Trilogo bubble. You didn't pay somebody $20-50 to rip it out of its bubble, and put it into a case that offers it the same type of "protection" that the Trilogo bubble is offering.
Its easy to make the statement that an AFA acyrlic case for loose figures offers "the same type of 'protection' that the Trilogo bubble is offering." Maybe you can provide some hard evidence of this being true?
Well, let's see... The Tri-logo figure is encased in plastic. The AFA loose figure is encased in plastic. While I'll admit that the AFA figure would probably move around less, it does move around. When a loose figure moves around in the AFA case, it is bumping up against a much harder plastic than the Tri-logo figure is.

You say the Tri-logo figure got that kind of damage from a single trip in the mail? So in the 30 or so years that the figure has been in the Tri-logo bubble, it has never gone through the mail system aside from the ONE time it was sent to you? Doubtful, but it's possible. Let's see what AFA loose figures look like, in about 30 years after getting bounced around in the hard plastic, before we say they offer better "protection" than the Tri-logo bubble, shall we?

I'm not a fan of AFA, but I can see where it would be useful for MOC collectors and MIB playsets. I just don't see it being worth the $$$ to have someone rip open a figure just to get it in a loose 'U' condition. That's all.
 
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Re: \"Official\" AFA Debate Thread

Leif_G said:
blimpyboy said:
1.) They're expensive.
First of all, someone reading this wouldn't know whether you meant the grading service is expensive or the AFA graded items are expensive. In any case I would say that whether an item should be considered 'expensive' or not depends on several factors including the pricing of competitors, services received for the cost (value), and the consumer's standard of living.
I was referring to the cost of grading. I'm looking at the AFA website now and I see that a vintage carded figure valued at less than $200 costs $26 to be graded, and it'll take it over a month to be done. Even factoring in the cost of the acrylic case, that's *at least* 10% of the value of the overall figure. I think that's expensive to have someone else tell you what someone should already know themselves. I realize that, if you get a grade of 80 or higher, you'll almost always make these costs back when you sell it, but you always run the risk of getting a grade below 80 (which has little secondary market demand), or, worse, finding out there were touch ups or bubble cracks, and then you've wasted a good chunk of money.

AFA is indeed making a good profit. I don't fault AFA at all for this - but I honestly believe collectors who cherry pick loose figures to send to AFA are wasting huge sums of money - if for no other reason than the compulsion to have every figure they own professionally graded at 85 or above.

Leif_G said:
Here's an example of a question that's been asked, and answered by Tom, on several occasions.

blimpyboy said:
2.) There's a question about the qualifications of those doing the grading/authenticating.
A couple of threads that touch on the subject that you may have missed... search yourself for others.

The Grading Operations
Some excellent comments by Tom describing graders and process
I looked over those threads, but they still don't tell me what I want to know - why should I trust the opinion of a person, whose company has only been in operation for a few years, over my own opinion, when I've been collecting for over 10 years? There's a difference between knowledge and wisdom. I'm not claiming that I'm wise, but anyone who's collected for a long time has an inherent advantage over someone who's recently begun collecting. AFA is still relatively new to the hobby, and while I'm sure the traning that the graders receive is thorough, I really don't think it's anything that an experienced collector with a 10x loupe couldn't do for himself.


Leif_G said:
This next statement isn't really even an AFA specific issue.

blimpyboy said:
3.) It makes it too convenient for sellers not to give detailed descriptions and for buyers not to ask questions, despite the fact that a grade of "80" is not universally applicable.
This would apply equally to any grading system including the old 'C' grading. There are as many eBay auctions that list C-7 or C-8 without going into details about flaws. Also a 'C' rating could be every bit as ambiguous. Does a 'C-8' mean the bubble is dented? Or does it mean a paper tear on the card? It can mean either, and is far more prone to not being an objective rating (not being assigned by a third party).
Sellers who identify a figure as "C-8" without detailing flaws are just as asinine as those who say "AFA80" without detailing flaws. But the difference is that many people take AFA grades as gospel when it's not. It's not as subjective as the guy who assigns a grade to a figure he's selling, with the temptation to grade higher to get more money, but it's still subjective. People need to understand that.

Leif_G said:
So my point here is simply this... Why suggest this is specifically an AFA issue when in fact it's not? Somewhere in cyberspace is there a 'C' grading thread where I can go and see you leveling the same critisism in crusade-like fashion against the flawed 'C' grading system? This just seems more like a quick easy stone to cast.
The C system was/is far from perfect, but at least every reasonable collector knew that. They knew grades assigned were not without heavy bias, and if they were savvy, they always made sure to look at pictures and ask detailed questions about the item they were looking at. I would hope people continue to do the same thing with AFA graded figures - buy the figure, and not the slab - but if sellers like Brian, Shaun N., and Cloud City are any indication, just listing the grade and a decent picture is enough to sell an item. That's why I leveled this criticism.

Leif_G said:
Here's one statement that makes no sense to me:

blimpyboy said:
6.) They don't look any nicer than Oscar's cases.
So? Why is that a con? Do they have to look nicer than Oscars? The AFA is a grading service that charges people for grading, not for casing items. Oscar has nice cases, but does he provide grading services? No. Your comparing apples and oranges and implying that the AFA isn't providing better value for what they charge. Sure, maybe that's easy to do when you ignore the service they provide.
I seriously doubt AFA charges only for grading and not for casing. In the $26 charge I mentioned above, a certain amount of that *has* to be for the cases, probably up to 25%. But I brought this issue up because one of the stupidest justifications that I see new collectors spouting about why they only collect AFA graded figures is because "they like the way they look in the cases." But we all know you can get nice looking cases, most notably from Oscar, for much less. Yes, I realize there's no grade slapped on it. But that goes back to my original point that a knowledgeable collector can grade for himself, while still having the option to purchase nice, custom cases for his figures, rendering AFA pretty much pointless to him.

Leif_G said:
Truthfully, I think your list of 'cons' would be quite short if it were based more on knowledge and less on opinion.

Don't take that as personal critisism. I just think you could benefit from some more knowledge on the subject, a more objective view of AFA services, and perhaps a better understanding of the role of 'value' in the marketplace.
You assume that I'm speaking only out of bias against AFA, but I really have taken the time to try to figure this out. In theory, I don't mind professional grading services, especially for certain markets, but I don't like AFA - no disputing that. I don't like it when collectors suck at AFA's teat without realizing that the service is not flawless. I don't like it when collectors outsource their own research to another company, and no amount of knowledge on the subject will change my mind about this. Which brings me to the next point...

Leif_G said:
This one here...

blimpyboy said:
8.) It makes it too easy for buyers not to do their homework and not to learn how to determine grading for themselves.
...I would probably agree with to some degree, but reworded. I think I would word it like this:

"The AFA grading system is complex and thus some people tend to simply rely on the overall grade given, instead of appreciating the need to understand the condition that grade represents." ... or words to that effect.

Leif
However you want to word it, most of my gripes are minor compared to this one. It's this one that keeps me from using AFA, and judging from what I've read around here, keeps most old-timers away as well. Then of course I left out the concern about damaging figures to get the "U" grades as sotoam mentioned.

I don't want to blather on here, because I think my opinions are pretty clear. I'm sure lots of new collectors who love AFA look at what I write and say "out with the old, in with the new," or something to that effect. I'm still not understanding why some get so offended when I criticize AFA.
 
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Re: \"Official\" AFA Debate Thread

blimpyboy said:
I looked over those threads, but they still don't tell me what I want to know - why should I trust the opinion of a person, whose company has only been in operation for a few years, over my own opinion, when I've been collecting for over 10 years? There's a difference between knowledge and wisdom. I'm not claiming that I'm wise, but anyone who's collected for a long time has an inherent advantage over someone who's recently begun collecting.
Sorry, I don't have time to completely respond at this time, but I wanted to comment on this.

The comments in those threads I was referring to are Tom Derby's (CollectInvest). So I'm thinking you are commenting above on Tom Derby's lack of experience compared to your own.

I'm not sure if your aware of who Tom is or his relationship with the AFA so I'll just say this. Tom does own a business, CIB; he authenticates rare SW items. But he is NOT involved in the ownership of the AFA. He knows the people who run the AFA and he does authentication work for the AFA through his business CIB.

For the record, Tom has more experience in his hobby than you and I will likely ever have. He's been a collector and dealer for many many years. He was the original owner of Cloud City Collectibles. He's the man people trust to authenticate many of the rarest SW items. If you see a 'Certificate of Authenticity' for some rare SW item sold by a major dealer, chances are its got Tom Derby's signature on it. He has seen, and will continue to see, more rare SW items than you and I could dream of.

I really don't think you should blow off his comments so easily.

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Re: \"Official\" AFA Debate Thread

blimpyboy said:
I don't like it when collectors suck at AFA's teat without realizing that the service is not flawless. I don't like it when collectors outsource their own research to another company, and no amount of knowledge on the subject will change my mind about this.
But its interesting that you blame the AFA for what you just admitted was the doing of collectors.

Personally, I don't like people yammering on about stuff they clearly have no clue about, but what you gonna do...

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Re: \"Official\" AFA Debate Thread

sotoam said:
I'm not a fan of AFA, but I can see where it would be useful for MOC collectors and MIB playsets. I just don't see it being worth the $$$ to have someone rip open a figure just to get it in a loose 'U' condition. That's all.
Actually, I take back what I said here. As blimpyboy pointed out, you can just get a case from Oscar that would provide the protection that the AFA cases provide, and it would cost less that AFA.

It was the same thing when I used to collect comics. Me? I liked having the comic in hand, and occasionally reading it or looking at the artwork or chuckling about the off-beat ads that were in the comic. I never really understood what the point of having it slabbed and graded by a thrid-party. I did have some rare comics too (I had a complete run of X-Men, not a single one was graded), and they were in F-VF condition. I must have read X-Men 1-20 about 10 times or so because it told a fun story, and it had the origins of some of the characters that I liked later on (plus looking at Bobby as a snowman was always good for a laugh). That's how I got my enjoyment out of my comics. Not by looking at slabbed items, but by looking at the comics. Same thing with my vintage SW items. I like setting up little dioramas, or grouping them in certain ways or just goofing around with them every once in a blue moon. I can't really do that with acryllic cases.

Yes, I have a carded collection, and yes, I have a baggie collection so I'm not rearraging those in ways that would not be possible in an acryllic case, but why should I pay someone to put it in the case for me?
 
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Re: \"Official\" AFA Debate Thread

sotoam said:
Actually, I take back what I said here. As blimpyboy pointed out, you can just get a case from Oscar that would provide the protection that the AFA cases provide, and it would cost less that AFA.
Actually, no one should need to have it pointed out to them that buying one of Oscar's cases is cheaper than paying for both AFA grading and AFA casing when you don't want the grading in the first place. The math is simple enough. There's no significant revelation there.

Plus, as you say, Oscar's cases give you the ability to remove your item for the 'hands on' experience. I know I prefer to have that choice. I don't play with my toys, but there's something to be said for being able to handle them out of their protective cases.

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Re: \"Official\" AFA Debate Thread

Leif_G said:
The comments in those threads I was referring to are Tom Derby's (CollectInvest). So I'm thinking you are commenting above on Tom Derby's lack of experience compared to your own.
Not at all. I must have worded it poorly. I don't doubt Tom's knowledge - I've brought from him before, and he's definitely a top notch, all around nice guy. What I was referring to was AFA - the company as a whole - which has been around for less than a half decade. This isn't very long when compared to most seasoned collectors around here, myself included. I don't feel like a company that's been grading figures since 2003 is any better than what I've learned how to do for myself over the past dozen years.
 
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Re: \"Official\" AFA Debate Thread

Leif_G said:
But its interesting that you blame the AFA for what you just admitted was the doing of collectors.
I agree completely. I think one of the worst reasons for collecting is the whole "I gotta have a 90 or better" mentality with no focus on the figures themselves, the history behind them, or the longevity of the hobby. For instance, that whole thread about whether or not to open the MIB Blue Snaggletooth represents just about everything I dislike about mindlessly AFA-addicted collectors. But yes, it's not entirely AFA's fault. They're merely providing the *option* of destroying pieces of history to get a U grade, and it's up to the collector to ultimately decide. But they're still providing the option that I completely disagree with, and I can and do fault them for that.

Leif_G said:
Personally, I don't like people yammering on about stuff they clearly have no clue about, but what you gonna do...

Leif
You keep making AFA out to be and overly complex company that I need to study in-depth before I'm ready to critique it. It's not. It's a company that grades action figures. I've read these forums, read their website, read what Tom Derby has to say, and listened to AFA's most ardent supporters ad nauseum. I think I get it. One thing I still don't get however is the "do no wrong" attitude towards AFA that a few people around here have, including you. I'm genuinely interested to hear what has caused you to be so staunchly pro-AFA.
 
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Re: \"Official\" AFA Debate Thread

blimpyboy said:
You keep making AFA out to be and overly complex company...
AFA grading is complex. Period. I like it that way because its more useful, but its also a drawback for many people. One example... how many people look at the AFA subgrades and automatically assume the overall grade is an average of the subgrades? Many, many people do this. Why do they do this? They do this because that's what is 'intuitive'. It seems like that's the way things should work. Then they say a certain average grade makes no sense to them. Well... no wonder it makes no sense to them when they don't understand how the grading system works and its not intuitive like they assume it to be.


blimpyboy said:
One thing I still don't get however is the "do no wrong" attitude towards AFA that a few people around here have, including you.
Then you've obviously never read any of my posts since I've never claimed the AFA was infallible and have always maintained a realistic view of their services, recognizing (and reporting to them) their mistakes.

As much as you would like to claim you've done your homework I can tell from your posts you really haven't. Nor would I expect it. In my opinion you are on a crusade, and like most crusades it isn't driven by knowledge or understanding.

I know you and several others think I'm only interested in defending the AFA. I'll tell you now what I'm really interested in.

I am a pragmatic person. I don't hold grudges, I let go of ill feelings as quickly as I am able to indulge in them. You and I may fight like the dickens on this forum, but in the end I won't hold anything against you and will most likely grow to appreciate the positive aspects of anything I might more immediately consider negative. I don't have a bias that I am not willing to let go of in favor of something I come to esteem to a greater degree. For me, what I esteem is reason. I believe in logic, and common sense. Extreme views of any kind are incompatible and inherently 'wrong' to my way of thinking. What galls me isn't your perspective of the AFA, its your disregard for what I esteem. Don't take it personally, we are just very different and our manner of thinking and our value systems clash. Being the pragmatic person I am, I wouldn't expect things to be any different.

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Re: \"Official\" AFA Debate Thread

Blimpyboy, I just wondered how was it that you bought most of your collection? I presume you were able to attend toy fairs, comic shops, do deals in person to collect a fair proportion of your items and therefore be able to examine what you bought before purchase?

You have to remember that this may not be an option for many, especially international collectors where fairs are few and far between and vintage shops don't exist anymore. I have been stung many a time with items which are not as described because pictures or descriptions on ebay are so poor and its expensive to send anything back to the seller these days. For me AFA graded items give me the reassurance I need to get a figure in 'roughly' the condition I want. I say roughly as I realise the system can have inconsistencies but in my experience it does work for buyers like myself and cuts out a lot of the badly described rubbish I have received in the past.

I don't blame collectors who don't want to use AFA as it would be expensive to grade a whole collection (and why would you need to anyway?). I'm just saying that for many collectors it is an ideal solution in assisting buying/selling.

However, I do also agree with you that people selling should take more time to highlight flaws on AFA items instead of relying upon the grade itself
 
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Re: \"Official\" AFA Debate Thread

DarthWensleydale said:
Blimpyboy, I just wondered how was it that you bought most of your collection? I presume you were able to attend toy fairs, comic shops, do deals in person to collect a fair proportion of your items and therefore be able to examine what you bought before purchase?
Pretty much all of my collection I bought online - probably 70% from eBay, 20% from sellers on this site, and 10% from the newsgroups back in the day. Only a few figures I purchased at flea markets back in the mid 90s, when you could actually find good deals. So almost none of my collection I've been able to handle and scrutinize before buying. It's taken me a lot longer, and I've probably foregone 90% of the auctions I've come upon because of no description or poor pictures.

DarthWensleydale said:
You have to remember that this may not be an option for many, especially international collectors where fairs are few and far between and vintage shops don't exist anymore. I have been stung many a time with items which are not as described because pictures or descriptions on ebay are so poor and its expensive to send anything back to the seller these days. For me AFA graded items give me the reassurance I need to get a figure in 'roughly' the condition I want. I say roughly as I realise the system can have inconsistencies but in my experience it does work for buyers like myself and cuts out a lot of the badly described rubbish I have received in the past.
But if you just avoid auctions that are poorly described, avoid the ones with blurry or undetailed pictures, isn't that just as good? Especially these days, with digital cameras as cheap as they are, there's really no excuse for not having decent pictures attached to an item. And as for descriptions, if a seller doesn't think I'm worth his time to write up an honest list of flaws, then it's not worth my time to bid.

I see you live in the UK, so I understand buying is probably more difficult than if you were stateside, but in my experiences dealing with Europe, the vast majority of problems arose from damage in the long transit, customs delays, or, in the cases of countries like Italy or Poland, not getting the package at all. How does AFA help this problem? There was just a thread where a guy's AFA ROTJ Chewbacca torpedoed through its bubble in transit, which could have been avoided, possibly, if the shipper had included some packaging inside the case, which is of course impossible with AFA'ed figs.

DarthWensleydale said:
I don't blame collectors who don't want to use AFA as it would be expensive to grade a whole collection (and why would you need to anyway?). I'm just saying that for many collectors it is an ideal solution in assisting buying/selling.
I understand, but I still think that the price difference between a graded figure and an ungraded figure is too high. I'd rather take my time, ask questions, move on to other auctions if the descriptions/pictures suck, and use the money I've saved not buying graded figures on other things. Although, I am noticing that AFA figures are coming down drastically in price in eBay, so the hype may be winding down.
 
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Re: \"Official\" AFA Debate Thread

Leif_G said:
AFA grading is complex. Period. I like it that way because its more useful, but its also a drawback for many people. One example... how many people look at the AFA subgrades and automatically assume the overall grade is an average of the subgrades? Many, many people do this. Why do they do this? They do this because that's what is 'intuitive'. It seems like that's the way things should work. Then they say a certain average grade makes no sense to them. Well... no wonder it makes no sense to them when they don't understand how the grading system works and its not intuitive like they assume it to be.
I still don't think it's that complicated. If they were to look at the radioactive isotopes on the card and tell me exactly how much of the card has decayed in the last 30 years, I would call that complex. I couldn't do that myself. But as far as I understand it, they take a loupe to the figure and look for bubble cracks, stress lines, paint loss, touch-ups, or other blemishes. Then they slap a number on it that's more or less consistent with other figures they've graded with similar amounts of wear and tear.

Leif_G said:
As much as you would like to claim you've done your homework I can tell from your posts you really haven't. Nor would I expect it. In my opinion you are on a crusade, and like most crusades it isn't driven by knowledge or understanding.
Then tell me what more homework I need to do. In reality, I'm not on any crusade here against AFA. I probably have the least amount of time and money invested in this hobby now than at any other point since I started collecting. I have nothing to lose nor to gain by criticizing AFA. But I do so anyway because I feel the way some collectors revere it is damaging to the hobby. Other than you, not a single one of the vocal AFA supporters on RS have tried to reasonably defend AFA from the things I say.

Leif_G said:
I am a pragmatic person. I don't hold grudges, I let go of ill feelings as quickly as I am able to indulge in them. You and I may fight like the dickens on this forum, but in the end I won't hold anything against you and will most likely grow to appreciate the positive aspects of anything I might more immediately consider negative. I don't have a bias that I am not willing to let go of in favor of something I come to esteem to a greater degree. For me, what I esteem is reason. I believe in logic, and common sense. Extreme views of any kind are incompatible and inherently 'wrong' to my way of thinking. What galls me isn't your perspective of the AFA, its your disregard for what I esteem. Don't take it personally, we are just very different and our manner of thinking and our value systems clash. Being the pragmatic person I am, I wouldn't expect things to be any different.

Leif
I wouldn't call my views all that extreme. If they were, few if any people would agree with the list of cons I mentioned on page one. The fact of the matter is that many collectors, particularly old-timers, don't care for AFA and don't feel we need AFA. You shouldn't take this as an affront to you personally.
 
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Re: \"Official\" AFA Debate Thread

</font><blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font>
But if you just avoid auctions that are poorly described, avoid the ones with blurry or undetailed pictures, isn't that just as good? Especially these days, with digital cameras as cheap as they are, there's really no excuse for not having decent pictures attached to an item. And as for descriptions, if a seller doesn't think I'm worth his time to write up an honest list of flaws, then it's not worth my time to bid.

[/QUOTE]

A fair point, but such honesty and good photos are few and far between unfortunately. I find that when a very good listing appears (and one where the seller will ship internationally) then the bidding is such that prices often get close to that of a graded example in any case


Although fairly new to RS I have been collecting vintage SW for a number of years. In that time AFA has arrived and whilst I know how to accurately grade a figure myself I have no hesitation in using their services. I can totally understand why many people don't want to 'AFA' their figures but I just don't know why certain people seem to feel so threatened by it.
 
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Re: \"Official\" AFA Debate Thread

DarthWensleydale said:
I can totally understand why many people don't want to 'AFA' their figures but I just don't know why certain people seem to feel so threatened by it.
The bigger question would then be how does AFA "add" to the hobby? What was broken that needed fixing?

Enjoy playing with that spanner guys, I'm pretty much on the fence when it comes to AFA.
 
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Re: \"Official\" AFA Debate Thread

blimpyboy said:
I still don't think it's that complicated. If they were to look at the radioactive isotopes on the card and tell me exactly how much of the card has decayed in the last 30 years, I would call that complex.
It seems to me that I am talking about the AFA grading system and you are talking about the actual process.



blimpyboy said:
Other than you, not a single one of the vocal AFA supporters on RS have tried to reasonably defend AFA from the things I say.
Yeah, well there's this neat little forum feature they are using called 'ignore'.


Just kidding. But to be totally honest I suspect part of the issue is that you haven't said anything new. Every point you've tried to make has been discussed to death here in other threads. Which is why I find it puzzling that you originally seemed to think no one had addressed of these issues before. Frankly, much of the stuff you raised is based on misconceptions that have been clarified time and time again in various threads in this section.


blimpyboy said:
The fact of the matter is that many collectors, particularly old-timers, don't care for AFA and don't feel we need AFA. You shouldn't take this as an affront to you personally.
I don't take anything you've said here in this thread as an affront. As far as old timers are concerned, I've been collecting for far more than 10 years. I still have my first SW collectible purchased in 1977. So I for one am an old time collector who appreciates the advantages of AFA grading over the old 'C' system.

Leif
 
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Re: \"Official\" AFA Debate Thread

Kaneda_01 said:
[<font color="blue">I appreciate your opinion… good to hear that there are collectors out there that are conscious and critical of issues that may affect our hobby. Just can’t say I agree with your thinking... sorry... but, I am entitled to my own opinion.
</font>
It's nice to see that a little civility and respectful disagreement in this thread never killed anyone. Since you're one of the collectors here on RS with one of the more impressive AFA loose collections (even if it isn't everyone's cup of tea, obvoiusly), I appreciated your input here, Bill.
 
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Re: \"Official\" AFA Debate Thread

John_sH said:
The bigger question would then be how does AFA "add" to the hobby? What was broken that needed fixing?

Enjoy playing with that spanner guys, I'm pretty much on the fence when it comes to AFA.
I would say this... before the AFA the hobby lacked third party grading services. In other words, we had to rely completely on the word of the seller and their ability to formulate an accurate and objective 'C' grade. That old 'C' grading system was broken from the beginning.

It seems to me that most people who are critical of the AFA, are actually mostly concerned about what other people are doing in the wake of AFA grading. That is, collectors paying ludicrous amounts for high quality items, dealers asking ludicrous amounts for high quality items, collectors who are more concerned with grades than the items themselves, collectors and dealers destroying packaged items because they either want all their items to be 'U' graded or they want that extra few bucks they can get selling it to someone else who does.

Personally, I think there's something to be said for people who question the rational or responsibility of continuing the 'U' grade for loose figures and coins. Other than that, I don't see how the AFA can be held responsible for what seems to be the real concern of most critics... the insanity and greed of other people involved in the hobby.

Leif
 
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Re: \"Official\" AFA Debate Thread

It's nice to see that a little civility and respectful disagreement in this thread never killed anyone.

[/QUOTE]

Totally agreed Dave_T


Additionally, a little humility goes a long way on these boards!

Paul.
 
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Re: \"Official\" AFA Debate Thread

kyussa said:
It's nice to see that a little civility and respectful disagreement in this thread never killed anyone.
Totally agreed Dave_T


Additionally, a little humility goes a long way on these boards!

Paul.

[/QUOTE]


You guys are right. Bill's a great guy and his input is invaluable in a thread like this.

You guys got me thinking. While this is a debate thread, and I have honestly been doing my best to stick to some rational level tempered debating, I find myself deficient to the task. It's not that I'm thinking this thread has taken an uncivil turn. It's for debating, so naturally there is going to be debating of every kind, both the mild and the heated. Debates aren't popularity contests so its not reasonable to expect everyone to put on their best Sunday smile either.

But simply put, I just don't have it in me to debate this topic properly. I'm not alone really. Between the people who will frequent this thread and say nothing (or at least nothing related to the topic being debated), and those who will see it only as an opportunity to whine, complain, rant, vent, etc unreasonably... I think there are very few people up to the task of actually launching a sound and rational arguement either way. By that I mean one that is sound and rational to people besides themselves and people of like bias.

But what you guys said makes me realize that I'm not fit to participate here at the moment. I'm worn thin. Maybe you guys have felt that way yourselves at times and maybe you understand what I mean. I don't want to be part of anything brings a well intended thread down or causes someone else unneccessary bitterness.

Anyways, thanks guys.

Blimpyboy, I hope you won't take anything I've said too personally or think I hold any malice or ill feelings. My intention was only for a good rational debate.

Leif
 
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Re: \"Official\" AFA Debate Thread

There's no problem with everyone participating and speaking his mind, but I commented earlier because there just seemed to be quite an unfriendly tone to much of the thread until Bill's post (and then here comes a guy who's probably spent more on AFA graded figures than most of the other people in this thread combined, and not only did he respond, point by point to someone's critiques, but he also sincerely found a way to agree with and compliment the critic at the beginning and the end of his reply, with no nastiness, intended or otherwise, sandwiched in between). I honestly got more out of his post than several of the previous posts combined.

Personally, I don't see that there's too much to debate about, since I'm fairly indiffernet to AFA. Even though I certainly wouldn't call myself an AFA collector, I chime in from time to time because I think it's important for all collectors to understand how third-party grading affects a hobby, since it influences supply/demand/pricing hobby-wide, even for pieces that aren't graded. You don't have to like it or buy it, but it will probably have an effect on how you collect, like it or not.

I do get a bit irritated when I think AFA has a practice or policy that doesn't make sense (their lack of a "qualified" grade, maximum grades for certain flaws, their grading of non-restoration ink, etc). And I frequently bring up other grading companies (CGC, etc), because they're older companies that have faced some of the same challenges, so it wouldn't hurt to see how they've handled similar issues (case in point is my post about CGC's disclosure about anonymity of submission). There's no need to reinvent the wheel for a lot of this stuff, since other grading companies have sucessfully met similar challenges in the past. And if criticizing AFA or pointing out shortcomings means it'll be a better company five years from now than it is today, than there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.

If anyone wants to talk about how great AFA is, or how AFA sucks, well, you know what they say about opinions.
Like everything else, the truth in this case is probably somewhere in the middle, and middle-ground in the realm of "The AFA Debate" seems to be lacking.
 
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Re: \"Official\" AFA Debate Thread

Leif_G said:
But what you guys said makes me realize that I'm not fit to participate here at the moment. I'm worn thin. Maybe you guys have felt that way yourselves at times and maybe you understand what I mean. I don't want to be part of anything brings a well intended thread down or causes someone else unneccessary bitterness.

Anyways, thanks guys.

Blimpyboy, I hope you won't take anything I've said too personally or think I hold any malice or ill feelings. My intention was only for a good rational debate.

Leif
In both of our defenses, I think that since I was squeaky enough to get this thread started in the first place, this debate's been pretty civil. Let's be honest - you and I disagree - no way around that. But I like it that way. I don't expect us just to play grabass all the time and never get a little heated over the subject, and I've taken no offense at anything here, and I've actually learned quite a bit. I personally don't know what Kyussa and Dave meant about the civility comments - if you thought *this* was bad, you should have seen the way we argued back in the War and Politics thread!

Anyway, I guess this debate is in danger of going in circles, so I'll bow out with Leif. My sentiments are pretty much contained in Dave_T's post above.
 
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Re: \"Official\" AFA Debate Thread

I've read different views on the "U" grading part of AFA and had a question? Those that are against the "U", is that strictly for vintage Star Wars items or does that include some of the less easy to find items from the modern line?

Just today, I sent off a POTF2 FF Darth Vader w/ Removable Helmet. This one was the variation with the "clear" lightsaber. I know it's not worth a lot but it's for my collection. The card probably wouldn't have graded above a 70 so I submitted it in a loose custom tier. Yes, the figure will come back with a "U" grading but the cardback will also be diplayed in the oversized case.

In this manner, the figure get's the uncirculated grade but the packaging is not lost to time. Some may look at it as as a waste of money but I think the final piece will look very nice.
 
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Re: \"Official\" AFA Debate Thread

I haven't commented on this topic because there are no true fact or fiction pros/cons. All these pro or cons are simply opinions. Certainly, everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

If you asked ten different people what the pros and cons of AFA are, you would receive ten different answers.

Debates exists for two (or more) opposing groups to present their "side or opinion" for a thrid imparial party to decide which they believe in.

Since, I am happy with the way I collect, I am not interested in trying to change someone elses opinion. I belive the both blimpyboy and Leif have presented what is important to each of them and I have no intention on trying to push my views on someone else.

I can however share my own "opinions" on the pros and cons of AFA.

My Pros:
1) Authentication - No substitute for knowing its real.

2) Consistent and appealing look - I do like the cases better than Oscar's first set of cases, but now he has the same style case so this doesn't matter much. I began buying star cases and the design has changed three times, then Acrylic cases and the design has also changed. I like consistency which is why in seven years buying AFA, I can say that the original case they offered is still available today.

3) I know what I am getting. Remember this is my opinion, but I believe that grading for US carded figures is very consistent (within 2%). This can be debated all you want, but after sampling 180+ carded figures I have two or three that I may question.

My Cons:
1) The expense of getting an item graded - Its now $26 to grade a standard carded figure. An equal quality case from Oscar is $10.50. Therefore, the value added for authentication and grading must equal at least $15.50. However, once shipping and insurance is added for the round trip, the price increases drastically. The shipping for a $200 figure with insurance can range from $14.00 to $28.00 depending on quantity and service selected; whereas the shipping of an empty case is approx $4.00. Once the cost of shipping is added, the value added must equal $25 to $40 per figure.

This is my only con.

Other factors that don't bother me, but do bother others.

1) Qualifications for graders.
This doesn't bother me at all. I have graded my entire collection myself and believe that I have done a pretty good job. I have collected for over ten years and have 300 vintage carded figures in my collection. The fact that I have collected for over ten years actually has no bearing on my ability to grade. Grading is based on examples graded, not time collecting. If I had only collected for one year, but had 10,000 items pass thru my hands, I would probably be a better grader. The master graders at AFA have had well more than 100,000 items pass thru their hands. Over 20,000 of which are vintage carded Star Wars figures. If there are 3 master AFA graders, that means on average they have each graded close to 7,000 vintage carded figures (slightly more than 23 times the amount I have graded in ten+ years.) I certainly don't question any of their qualifications.

2) Don't actually authenticate weapons. If you don't know, then ask. I have no interest in loose figures, so I don't know the answer to this question. I do know that CIB will authenticate weapons and that can be attached to an AFA graded figure, therefore a weapon can be authenticated and this becomes a no issue for me.

3) Quality of service. I use the term quality of service because service encompasses every asepect of their business and not just their turnaround times. In all the figures that I have submitted, I have only had two problems. Both of which were fixed with one phone call and well beyond my expectations. I was even more impressed with AFA's quality of service after they fixed my concerns.

4) Are employees allowed to actively participate in the hobby. Here is a quote directly from their homepage: "AFA's employees will never buy or sell AFA graded action figures. We feel this would be a conflict of interest and impossible to maintain our unbiased approach." I certainly hope that this remains the case today. If I ever heard of an AFA employee buying or selling AFA graded figures, my trust in the company would completely diminish.

I think every other Con that I have ever heard has no real bearing on the company AFA, but rather collectors or the hobby. I will discuss this further if someone questions me.

I look forward to reading others opinions on pros and cons of AFA grading or the company itself. Its always interesting to see what people strongly believe.

Thanks
Adam
 
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Re: \"Official\" AFA Debate Thread

What, it's been more than two weeks and no more debate? Lock this one up!


Good post, Adam. I'm really surprised nobody responded yet.

I'm certainly not going to rehash what I think AFA can do better (I've probably mentioned it in this thread, and I'm sure I mentiond it in others), but one point I will touch on, because it came up recently, is the issue with graders not having collecting background.

I don't doubt the qualificatiosn of the graders, and as Adam pointed out, they've certainly had their hands on enough pieces to know how to grade. But the issue with the DT Luke bothered me quite a bit, i.e. the graders not knowing it was a DT saber, and mislabeling a 12C cardback as a 12A. One of these errors is a huge oversight, and one is a minor oversight, but a collector with relatively modest collecting experience wouldn't have made either.

Most of the time, I don't think this is an issue, and as Tom pointed out, there were mitigating circumstances (this was graded at the time of C4, etc). But I know I'm not the only person here who cringed when AFA missed that saber-- yellow bubble or not, it's a mistake that can't happen.

Any time I have my hands on a 12 back Luke, Ben, or Vader, the first thing I check is the saber, and I'm sure most other collectors do the same. I don't think any of us would've missed that, so I'd hope that the master graders at AFA wouldn't miss it either.

I'm also concerned that this might be an issue with certain carded figures. For example, lets say someone does up a ROTJ C3PO w/custom Anakin offer stickers (maybe somehow removed from another figure) and submits it. Would AFA catch it? A collector would say, "Wait a second, I thought this figure didn't exist?" and then really give it a close inspection. Do AFA graders have the experience to do a double take when something like that goes through their hands? It's probably an unlikely scenario, but again, anyone with a collecting background would stop and think about it.

And I realize AFA has other toy lines they grade, and graders can't have collecting knowledge in every field, but I don't think it would be the worst thing in the world if one grader had a background in Star Wars, one in Joe, one in Mego, etc, so there was enough in-house knowledge to spot rare variants and unusual carded figures.

I really don't see what the advantage is to having graders who don't have collecting background. I can see disadvantages, but I can't see how there are benefits.
 
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Re: \"Official\" AFA Debate Thread

Dave_T said:
And I realize AFA has other toy lines they grade, and graders can't have collecting knowledge in every field, but I don't think it would be the worst thing in the world if one grader had a background in Star Wars, one in Joe, one in Mego, etc, so there was enough in-house knowledge to spot rare variants and unusual carded figures.

Hi Dave. I think there is a need to keep grading separate from authentication. Currently, the AFA graders grade, and if soemthing needs authentication, they get CIB (Tom Derby) to authenticate it. I think what you probably have in mind is some level of authentication that goes beyond what non-collecting graders can provide, but a process that all items are subjected to, not just certain items.

I also agree that it would be good if they could offer some authentication on a level that goes beyond what the graders themselves can offer. Autheniticating accessories even. Perhaps a solution would be for the AFA to get Tom's company to provide expanded authentication services so that the grading and authenticating are still separate.

The question is... would collector's pay more for such services? Because I think that's what it would come down to.



Dave_T said:
I really don't see what the advantage is to having graders who don't have collecting background. I can see disadvantages, but I can't see how there are benefits.
I think Adam answered this above:

abenefiel said:
"4) Are employees allowed to actively participate in the hobby. Here is a quote directly from their homepage: "AFA's employees will never buy or sell AFA graded action figures. We feel this would be a conflict of interest and impossible to maintain our unbiased approach." I certainly hope that this remains the case today. If I ever heard of an AFA employee buying or selling AFA graded figures, my trust in the company would completely diminish."
Leif
 
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Re: \"Official\" AFA Debate Thread

Dave_T said:
What, it's been more than two weeks and no more debate? Lock this one up!


Good post, Adam. I'm really surprised nobody responded yet.
I rule with an iron fist.


Actually, I am very glad that someone finally responded to my post. I didn't mean to stop discussion completely.

Dave, you bring up an excellent point about missing variations. I sent in a Klaatu Tan Limbs figure on a 65 back card. I wrote the variation down on the submission form. When the figure came back to me, it didn't have the variation on the label. I showed it to Tom, he contacted AFA, resubmitted the figure. AFA graded it for me at no charge and sent it back; this time with the variation on the label. To date, it is still the only carded Klaatu with all 4 tan limbs that has been graded and authenticated.

What worries me, is how many others have been missed?

I don't doubt for a minute that many variations go without being caught. Thats why we see more DT figures everyday. People miss them. They are easy to miss. However, I hope that graders are checking each submission for these. It would be easy to have a checklist for each figure for variations that exist. In some cases the checklist might be very long, but nothing a data base couldn't keep up with.

Adam
 
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Re: \"Official\" AFA Debate Thread

One of the few things that has bothered me with grading some of my Palitoy figures so far is that the label has simply been marked as '12 Back' for example with no card variation mentioned. As with Kenner's there are a few differences and I always note whether it is an A or a B etc on the submission forms. To date the card variation has never been recorded. Being in the UK its not worth the cost of sending the figures back but I will have to ask AFA why they don't show the variation as I've made it easy for them
 
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Re: \"Official\" AFA Debate Thread

abenefiel said:
I rule with an iron fist.


Actually, I am very glad that someone finally responded to my post. I didn't mean to stop discussion completely.
Yeah, I always feel like, "Was it something I said?" whenever I end up capping a thread unintentionally.


</font><blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font>
Dave, you bring up an excellent point about missing variations. I sent in a Klaatu Tan Limbs figure on a 65 back card. I wrote the variation down on the submission form. When the figure came back to me, it didn't have the variation on the label. I showed it to Tom, he contacted AFA, resubmitted the figure. AFA graded it for me at no charge and sent it back; this time with the variation on the label.

[/QUOTE]

And as you mentioned, many submitters probably didn't notice the variation before submitting it (so AFA likely missed it as well), and I'd imagine that some people would opt not to send it back to AFA to have them correct it. I understand how helpful AFA is when they make a mistake, but it's so much hassle to have to send it back, regardless of who's paying for it (the time and material it takes to pack it securely, the risk to the figure for an additional roundtrip to AFA, etc).

It's in AFA's best financial interest to really try to cut down on these sort of sloppy mistakes (missing Adam's variation that was noted right on the submission form, mislabeled figures-- there's another thread where a "B-Wing Pilot" is mislabeled "A-Wing Pilot", etc) and it's the sort of thing that really shouldn't be that difficult (i.e. carefully read the submission forms, and carefully double check it against the figure that's sent back out). They're throwing money away every time they miss something simple and have to recase it and pay for shipping.
 
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Re: \"Official\" AFA Debate Thread

Leif_G said:
I think there is a need to keep grading separate from authentication. Currently, the AFA graders grade, and if soemthing needs authentication, they get CIB (Tom Derby) to authenticate it.
Leif, that's my point-- are the graders prepared to know what to show to Tom in the first place? Sure, VC Jawas and Rocket Fetts are easy. But what if someone sends in a "32 back with Survival Kit offer," or that ROTJ C3PO figure I mentioned, or even a DT figure where the submitter didn't note the variation on the submission form
... to me, these are the kinds of things that may easily go under their rader.

I'm definately not talking about graders being authenticators, but they should definately be able screen out rare variations for further analysis.

</font><blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font>
Dave_T said:
I really don't see what the advantage is to having graders who don't have collecting background. I can see disadvantages, but I can't see how there are benefits.
I think Adam answered this above:

abenefiel said:
"4) Are employees allowed to actively participate in the hobby. Here is a quote directly from their homepage: "AFA's employees will never buy or sell AFA graded action figures. We feel this would be a conflict of interest and impossible to maintain our unbiased approach." I certainly hope that this remains the case today. If I ever heard of an AFA employee buying or selling AFA graded figures, my trust in the company would completely diminish."

[/QUOTE]

[/QUOTE]

Being active participants in the hobby and having knowledge of the hobby are two different things. There's no good reason that these guys couldn't have had prior collecting experience.

And if corporate executives can pull off insider trading, there's no reason in the world why an AFA grader couldn't, if he wanted to. It's something that's almost impossible to enforce (let me be clear that I don't think that's what's going on, but it would be virtually impossible to police if graders were buying/selling figures privately).

Again, if that's the reason why graders are hired who don't have collecting experience, I just don't think it's a good enough reason.

(spelling edit)
 
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Re: \"Official\" AFA Debate Thread

Dave_T said:
And if corporate executives can pull off insider trading, there's no reason in the world why an AFA grader couldn't, if he wanted to.
Yes, corporate executives can break 'rules'. But that's not a valid reason to do away with the rules. They serve a valid purpose, which is to draw a solid line in the sand and differentiate between what is okay, and what is not.

As you probably know, any company has to operate under policies. A company without policies is like a ship without a rudder. The minute you break from policy, the slippery slope begins.


Dave_T said:
It's something that's almost impossible to enforce (let me be clear that I don't think that's what's going on, but it would be virtually impossible to police if graders were buying/selling figures privately).
Many laws are difficult to enforce. None of them are created with the expectation that they will never be broken. They simply exist to determine what is lawful from what is not.

I'm not suggesting it's the only way, or the 'right' way. Who knows, maybe it could have worked as you propose. I'm sure they could have set up the AFA much differently than they did, but obviously they felt it necessary to set it up the way they did at the time.

Leif
 
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Re: \"Official\" AFA Debate Thread

Leif_G said:
Dave_T said:
And if corporate executives can pull off insider trading, there's no reason in the world why an AFA grader couldn't, if he wanted to.
Yes, corporate executives can break 'rules'. But that's not a valid reason to do away with the rules. They serve a valid purpose, which is to draw a solid line in the sand and differentiate between what is okay, and what is not.
I'm not at all saying that companies shouldn't have policies, nor am I saying that this particular policy isn't a good one. It's a good policy-- mostly unenforcable-- but still a good policy.

If the graders don't have collecting experience, It would make sense to me that at least there would be a seasoned collector who proofs what gets sent back out, after the grading is done. I think it would really cut down on the mistakes we've been discussing here (mislabeled figures like the B-Wing pilot, mislabled cardback variations, missed figure variations-- either common ones like Adam's, or uncommon ones like the DT saber, etc), which would save AFA money by cutting down on re-casing and re-shipping costs, as well as increasing customer satisfaction and confidence. Sometimes I feel that they're expert graders who don't really know exactly what they're grading all the time, with all due respect. I don't think it would hurt to have a veteran collector taking a look at the finished product prior to shipping to make sure that there weren't any oversights that would likely be returned to AFA anyway. If the graders aren't experienced collectors (which they apparently aren't), I think this is the next best thing.
 
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Re: \"Official\" AFA Debate Thread

DarthWensleydale said:
One of the few things that has bothered me with grading some of my Palitoy figures so far is that the label has simply been marked as '12 Back' for example with no card variation mentioned. As with Kenner's there are a few differences and I always note whether it is an A or a B etc on the submission forms. To date the card variation has never been recorded. Being in the UK its not worth the cost of sending the figures back but I will have to ask AFA why they don't show the variation as I've made it easy for them
And this is exactly my point. Does this sound like a satisfied AFA customer? Couldn't this discrepancy have been picked up prior to being shipped by AFA halfway around the world, or couldn't AFA have at least contacted him via email to explain why the cardback variation was left off the label?

Collectors care about this sort of thing, or else they wouldn't put it on their submission form.

For AFA to send it back out, listing a cardback on the AFA label different then what's on the submission form, without at least contacting the buyer first, doesn't make sense. When I talk about customer satisfaction and confidence, this is exactly what I'm talking about.

(edited last sentence for clarity)
 
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Re: \"Official\" AFA Debate Thread

sotoam said:
I guess my biggest complaint is that there are people destroying pieces of toy history to get a silly 'U' grade. Bagged Blue Snaggletooth? Rip 'em open! Baggies in general? Rip 'em open! Some of these "collectors" probably don't even realize how rare some of the baggie figures are.

Beater cards (VERY subjective BTW) are getting ripped open for a U grade. Playsets, mailaways. You name it. They are getting destroyed just so they get a silly little 'U'.

It's pretty sad.
I totally agree!

I had a break from collecting for a couple of years and came back to find the new 'U' grade. I find it sad because when I was young and just setting out collecting I could only afford 'beater' cards - they weren't beaters to me though, they were moc sealed figures which, despite flaws, still had the cardback and cool artwork.

These days, years on, I can buy C9 moc figures if I want, but many can't and their alternative is replidly being depleated to be turned into 'u' graded loose figures.

You can argue a capitalist system, where everything has a price and that price is set by buyers - and I do agree. However, this kind of hobby will need new blood at some point. Hopefully younger or new collectors can still find a way into MOC for the hobbies sake - but with fewer options I don't know how easy they will find it.

I'm not anti AFA at all - I just really can't see how the 'U' loose figures grading can be anything but negative for the hobby.

flame away!
 
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Re: \"Official\" AFA Debate Thread

Dave_T said:
DarthWensleydale said:
One of the few things that has bothered me with grading some of my Palitoy figures so far is that the label has simply been marked as '12 Back' for example with no card variation mentioned. As with Kenner's there are a few differences and I always note whether it is an A or a B etc on the submission forms. To date the card variation has never been recorded. Being in the UK its not worth the cost of sending the figures back but I will have to ask AFA why they don't show the variation as I've made it easy for them
And this is exactly my point. Does this sound like a satisfied AFA customer? Couldn't this discrepancy have been picked up prior to being shipped by AFA halfway around the world, or couldn't AFA have at least contacted him via email to explain why the cardback variation was left off the label?

Collectors care about this sort of thing, or else they wouldn't put it on their submission form.

For AFA to send it back out, listing a cardback on the AFA label different then what's on the submission form, without at least contacting the buyer first, doesn't make sense. When I talk about customer satisfaction and confidence, this is exactly what I'm talking about.

(edited last sentence for clarity)

Actually I have been very satisfied with AFA's service when submitting Kenner items as this is obviously a line they know very well. I have dropped an email to AFA to explain the issue with Palitoys and hopefully something can be done.

The problem for AFA is that UK and European collectors are not going to have the confidence to submit their collections for grading if vital information is going to be missing from the grading label. I don't know if there are cardback variations on Harbert, Meccano and Clipper figures as well but I would be interested to hear from anyone else who has had similar issues in relation to these lines.

The foreign lines do clearly deserve the same level of attention to detail during the grading process as Kenner items. Perhaps there is some lack of knowledge amongst the graders when it comes to foreign items but this is something that needs actioning sooner rather than later.
 
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Re: \"Official\" AFA Debate Thread

Thanks for chiming back in. I guess I should've said, "Does this sound like a fully satisfied AFA customer."


DarthWensleydale said:
The problem for AFA is that UK and European collectors are not going to have the confidence to submit their collections for grading if vital information is going to be missing from the grading label.
I really hope someone at AFA read what you just wrote.

</font><blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font>
I don't know if there are cardback variations on Harbert, Meccano and Clipper figures as well but I would be interested to hear from anyone else who has had similar issues in relation to these lines.

[/QUOTE]

I'd also be really interested to hear how submissions have been with these lines, when it comes to variations being noted on the labels.

</font><blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font>
The foreign lines do clearly deserve the same level of attention to detail during the grading process as Kenner items. Perhaps there is some lack of knowledge amongst the graders when it comes to foreign items but this is something that needs actioning sooner rather than later.

[/QUOTE]

But if they can't even get the variations on Kenner U.S. cards nailed (which they can't, at least thus far), it's certainly not going to happen with Pailoty cards, or any other foreign cards, for that matter.
 
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Re: \"Official\" AFA Debate Thread

This conversation seems to have dried up.

Has anyone seen any information on how frequently the population report will be updated?

Adam
 
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Re: \"Official\" AFA Debate Thread

I was wondering if it has ever been updated.

I was hoping it would be updated on a regular basis. Every two weeks to a month seems "fair". I feel that it is going to be a dissapointment in the end though.


Your friend, TSM-in-N.Y.
 
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Re: \"Official\" AFA Debate Thread

Hopefully Tom will check in and let us know, if he has any news about this.

I was thinking it would ideal (reality may be different) if info was uploaded to the database once the case label was printed. I wonder if there's a way that could be done?

Speaking of the census, yes, it's not up to date, as we all know. Case in point-- my LL Jawa auction (there's a thread about this posted in this subforum). I know for a fact that there's at least 2 LL Jawas (AFA 90), and a few more AFA 85s. But when i listed this, I quoted the AFA census, stating there's just one AFA 90, and two AFA 85s. I wasn't lying-- that's what the census says. But I'd also heard from other collectors that there were others in that grade that were out there. The data made my figure seem rarer (in grade) than it actually was. It helped me in my auction, but all things being equal, I'd like to see it updated sooner rather than later.

(Adam... thanks for bumping this. I was sick of seeing my name up there for six weeks.
Hopefully someone else will reply and take my name off of here soon).
 
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