Current Issues, Upcoming Changes, New Projects

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Ross - I agree with almost everything you wrote. And I don't want anything I've written to be interpreted as me not wanting people to discuss issues that are important to them. For me personally, this is a non-issue and I just find the anger that comes across in some of these anti U-grade posts to be a little over the top. But that's just my opinion. I have mine and everyone one else is certanly entitled to theirs. I just find the dogmatism to be a little off-putting in some cases. That's all.
 
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Yehuda_K said:
I am so confused by these statistics. Do people really think one out of every 100 carded figures survived and also survived carded? that seems nuts!
I would be surprised if one out of every one hundred figures survived open. they were opened broken unloved and thrown out.
2 and 1/2 million left??
maybe I am just misunderstanding. there are only a few hundred or maybe 1000 of them on ebay. Where are the other 2 and 1/2 million. Certainly not in private collections. As Tom said figures circulate as people change there interests and buy and sell . where are the millions of carded figures??

The truth is nobody knows for certain. How could you? It's all speculation. But the impact on the long term growth of the hobby by U-grading is also speculation. There are just too many factors to predict anything. But I'm willling to bet that if and when the vintage hobby begins to decline, it will have absolutely nothing to do with new collectors being unable to find affordable carded figures to start their collections with.
 

HWR

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Maybe at this time the u-grading is not a thread to collecting carded figures, but remember the number of u-graded figures is increasing, and for every new u-graded figure there is one less carded figure in the world.

Tom,I too which you all the luck and fortune in your future endeavors. We talked briefly at a nightclub at CE, where Chris G introduced us to each other, but hopefully we will meet again at an upcoming Star Wars convention.
 
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Wow!, what a read!

Thanks Tom, for taking your time to post it.

Like I have said several times before I have a loose AFA "U" graded collection ( well all except for the VC Jawa and my blue snag in the bag) these I both had graded without the "U".
I probably had about 80% graded myself, the rest I bought from here and Ebay. I would guess that my collection was completed about 2 years ago.
Nearly all the ones i sent in were from beater cards/cut cards and probably about 10 baggies.
I was not concerned with getting u90 grades, but had to have at least a u85.Out of my submissions I probably had 3 or 4 u80's So I sold these (made a loss) and bought u85 and u90's if they were a good price.

Getting these items graded was expensive, taking into account the figure in package price plus grading and postage.It was very apparent that getting figures for u grading to sell, was not going to be at all profitable( unless you got u90 of coarse!) so I never went down that line.

Yes I do regret having those figures opened.Would I do it again? No! But what's done is done.At the time,I would have opened them for my loose collection anyway.I do kind of wish I had opened them.

At least I have learnt from this experience.But I do know that my "U" graded figures are 100% genuine.And are unplayed and minty mint.
They display well in my cabinet they are uv protected and will not need dusting
smile.gif


After the U grade argument that had been going on here, and the U grade haters, I had over last couple of weeks contentplated breaking them all open.Seeing other members on RS do it I was very close to doing it myself.
But you know,Toms post has changed my mind. I didn't think that by breaking them open it would make the situation worse.If I broke them open I would have wasted a lot of time and money. And they would have been graded for nothing. At least I can sell them on with the U to potential buyers knowing they came from a package. They know they are unplayed with and have the correct accesories.

I would like to thank Tom for his knowledge and his contribution to this hobby. He helped me out when i had a submission problem at AFA. He even phoned me himself and sorted out the problem.

I wish him well,and yes spend more time with the family. Some people are not lucky enough to be able to.

Thanks,
Gary
 
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Leif_G said:
Normally with collectibles, the valuable items are the ones that no one thinks to preserve. The items everyone keeps because they think they'll be worth something... end up being more common down the road. But the situation with Star Wars action figures was a different experience.

You may not have been around during the SW craze (1977-79). The 'action figure' was a brand new toy, with a huge 'cool factor'. They were hard to get at first. It became a fairly common thing for people to stow away carded action figures once they began hitting the shelves in 78. Not because they were interested in collecting, but just cashing in on the popularity of Star Wars. I had several neighbors who were buying multiples of each figure to stash some away, banking on the SW craze. Since the popularity of SW only grew, values still floated upward, despite high production numbers and relatively high preservation.

Leif
some people saved some carded figures. but they were not collectibles at the time.
consider the number that is being quoted here as surviving. 2 and 1/2 million!!!
maybe 1000 on ebay 20-40 at the earth couple hundred at brians toys. are they all still tucked away in basements for 30 years?
that number is ridiculous
and destroying 8000 sealed figures is not destroying less then a 1/4 of 1%
I wouldnt be surprised if its 1-2%
and as we speak, more are being destroyed
 
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Yehuda_K said:
some people saved some carded figures. but they were not collectibles at the time.
consider the number that is being quoted here as surviving. 2 and 1/2 million!!!
maybe 1000 on ebay 20-40 at the earth couple hundred at brians toys. are they all still tucked away in basements for 30 years?
that number is ridiculous
and destroying 8000 sealed figures is not destroying less then a 1/4 of 1%
I wouldnt be surprised if its 1-2%
and as we speak, more are being destroyed

Nobody's insisting any of the numbers being discussed are anything more than speculation. Whatever you believe to be the case is just that as well. *Nobody* knows anything for certain.

But if you're going to speculate, you have to account for all MOC figures, not just those currently for sale through dealers like Brian's Toys and eBay. How many are currently in collections? Those count too. We're talking about total supply. Figures in collections become available all the time. On any given day, there are a minimum of 1000 vintage MOC on eBay. How many distinct figures does that translate to over the course of one year? 50,000? 100,000+? Maybe more? That's one year. And yes, there are still plenty of figures in non-collector hands. They turn up all the time.

The implication of the anti U-grade people is that the only figures being opened are perfectly acceptable MOC or rare figures like a VC Jawa or DT figure. But those are the exceptions. How many are cut cards? How many have figures that are covered in frost? How many are on cards that are ripped in half?

Again, speaking only for me, I just don't find the argument compelling. I'm against people opening Irwin DT figures and VC Jawas, but I couldn't care less if somebody wants to open a beater ROTJ Chewbacca.

I think people should be more outraged by the proliferation of repro weapons (and fakes in general). That does far more harm to the hobby in my opinion. How many people buy U-grade because they want assurance that the accessories are authentic?

And at the end of the day, if AFA disappears, people are still going to open figures. You just won't know about it because there's no AFA to slab and track them..
 
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well then lets speculate. and lets do it with some facts.

with any collectible, a certain percentage of items will be for sale on the market. currently withan estimation of a few million carded figures around less than 1/20 of 1 percent a re available for sale. Really???

if the toys are so plentiful , where are they?
If they are all in private collections, and they are held onto with vigor and never come to market, then why are there many on ebay that keep getting relisted without getting sold for under 100 dollars. the supply and demand doesnt match up.
there are not very many carded figures out there and if we are going to speculate on how many exist and what damage is done by opening them we need to do so with some reason
 
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Just because we have a grasp on production numbers it doesn't mean 30 years later we can assume how many are still out there, sure I would love there to be more than I think and U grading to not affect the total numbers one bit but if the total number of carded figures that survived is an assumption then that doesn't mean its a good idea to keep lowering that unknown number.

After years of slamming the service they offer and getting nowhere I have come to the conclusion that my biggest problem with it (after the damage done to carded/bagged figures) is that it bred a level of competition between collectors and it's created a very unstable market for the people that bought into it, yes thats the buyers problem of course but I still feel a little sorry for people paying $600 for a U90 DSD or over a $1000 for a U90 LXW, I dunno I guess I just don't like seeing anyone waste their money even if they choose to.

In time I think more high grade U collectors will realise it was money wasted and they probably won't regain that money if they choose to sell up, some might regret - others won't I guess.

Perhaps people would take a different stance if the area they were collecting in was being affected by something like this which might be why some people have an "I don't really care" attitude, I would guess the majority of people here that oppose the U grade collect carded to some extent and are on a budget, they also appreciate that some of these carded figures might have a knock or a dent or a rip or a tear and thats fine with them, they realise they weren't made yesterday after all.

I remember the baggy collecting community was up in arms about multipacks and rare baggies being graded a good few years ago, many at the time were under the assumption that even taped sealed baggies were being graded as U and there were even more moans and cries on the forum - I wonder if AFA decided to start U grading tape sealed bags would they come forward again?

TBH I kind of hoped U grading wasn't going to be mentioned or rehashed in this thread but if its mentioned you can't stop discussion and you can guarantee there will always be some (even if its the same old).

Whatever the future holds, I do think U grading will slow down, only in the last year 3 people with a full collection of U graded figures have either destroyed them, are trying to sell them or at least admitting to regretting submitting them.
 
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Yehuda_K said:
well then lets speculate. and lets do it with some facts.

with any collectible, a certain percentage of items will be for sale on the market. currently withan estimation of a few million carded figures around less than 1/20 of 1 percent a re available for sale. Really???

if the toys are so plentiful , where are they?
If they are all in private collections, and they are held onto with vigor and never come to market, then why are there many on ebay that keep getting relisted without getting sold for under 100 dollars. the supply and demand doesnt match up.
there are not very many carded figures out there and if we are going to speculate on how many exist and what damage is done by opening them we need to do so with some reason

I'm sorry, but I'm not sure I follow what you're trying to say, but I'll give it a shot. You seem to be arguing that because on any given day that there are only X number of figures available for sale that you can draw some sort of conclusion about how many carded figures are in existence. Is that right? If so, I think that's a bad approach because the sample is too small. You really need to know how many unique figures hit eBay and are offered up for sale through dealers/collectors over the course of one year. But even then, you still have to make assumptions about how many figures you believe still exist MOC or what percentage of those figures this number represents and you're right back in the realm of speculation rather than fact.

But if it can be demonstrated that over the course of a given year that there are as little as 50,000 unique MOC figures available for sale and according to Tom, AFA U-grades an average of 2400 figures per year, that's roughly 5% of all available figures for a given year being taken out of circulation by U-grading. And if the 50,000 number is reasonably accurate, even if you assume it represents 5% of all MOC still in existence, that still translates to 1 mill MOC.

I'm sorry, but I still don't see the emergency.
 
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Joe_O said:
I remember the baggy collecting community was up in arms about multipacks and rare baggies being graded a good few years ago, many at the time were under the assumption that even taped sealed baggies were being graded as U and there were even more moans and cries on the forum - I wonder if AFA decided to start U grading tape sealed bags would they come forward again?

Oops I guess I missed something in Tom's post -

</font><blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font>
The recent numbers are also skewed by AFA’s change in policy to allow (at their discretion) taped bagged figures to receive the uncirculated designation, when those graded previously did not.

[/QUOTE]

Yahoo.
smirk.gif
 
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Joe - I think the anti U-grade people would be well served to take a more reasonable approach and not try and eliminate it altogether. Concede that there are better candidates than others for U-grading (cut cards, frosted figures, heavily damaged and torn cards) and stop the personal attacks on the people who collect U-graded figures. Focus the educational efforts on protecting rare figures and rare carded examples and stop worrying about the rest. I think the response would be much better if this were the case. But most of the anti U-grade people come across as beligerent and that just makes people protect their turf and all the more determined to do what they want to do. Just my .02.
 
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its not 1000 unique figures each week. a great number of them are the same auctions reissued.

but lets forget about numbers at present.
I agree with you that none of us know how many are out there.
my approach is to assume that the number is limited and might be quite low. and if more are destroyed regularly its a bad thing for the longevity of the hobby.

I find it hard to accept the approach that we have no idea how many carded figures remain. So instead lets assume that there are a tremendous unlimited supply and regularly opening and destroying them is not harmful
 
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Bill_Wills said:
Joe - I think the anti U-grade people would be well served to take a more reasonable approach and not try and eliminate it altogether. Concede that there are better candidates than others for U-grading (cut cards, frosted figures, heavily damaged and torn cards) and stop the personal attacks on the people who collect U-graded figures. Focus the educational efforts on protecting rare figures and rare carded examples and stop worrying about the rest. I think the response would be much better if this were the case. But most of the anti U-grade people come across as beligerent and that just makes people protect their turf and all the more determined to do what they want to do. Just my .02. [/quote

this is not about personal attacks, and nor should it be.
its about a difference of opinion on responsible collecting habits
 
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Yehuda_K said:
its not 1000 unique figures each week. a great number of them are the same auctions reissued.

but lets forget about numbers at present.
I agree with you that none of us know how many are out there.
my approach is to assume that the number is limited and might be quite low. and if more are destroyed regularly its a bad thing for the longevity of the hobby.

I find it hard to accept the approach that we have no idea how many carded figures remain. So instead lets assume that there are a tremendous unlimited supply and regularly opening and destroying them is not harmful

You have no way of knowing that without exhaustive research. And I'm saying 50,000 total annually including all other sources like dealers and collectors. People "regularly open and destroy" carded figures all the time without the aid of AFA. It will never stop and the hobby will survive.

We'll just have to agree to disagree on this one.
smile.gif
 
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Bill_Wills said:
Joe - I think the anti U-grade people would be well served to take a more reasonable approach and not try and eliminate it altogether. Concede that there are better candidates than others for U-grading (cut cards, frosted figures, heavily damaged and torn cards) and stop the personal attacks on the people who collect U-graded figures. Focus the educational efforts on protecting rare figures and rare carded examples and stop worrying about the rest. I think the response would be much better if this were the case. But most of the anti U-grade people come across as beligerent and that just makes people protect their turf and all the more determined to do what they want to do. Just my .02.

I agree there has been some awful mud slinging in the past, I remember quite a few people having some very bad words to say about certain individuals, I know its a touchy subject and I guess sometimes it shows but name calling is not the route to go down whatever the subject or discussion.

Having said that, there have been more than enough people in the "anti U- grade" camp that have tried many different approaches to do something about it all. Nicely worded emails and posts, ideas to change how U grading works, Shawns recent FAQ and article.

If there was a fool proof plan of how to go about this and make it work so that they stopped then I would be behind it 100%, I think frustration sets in when emailing and discussing solutions falls on deaf ears and AFA tell the writers of said emails to "better educate the community in regards to what they send in" frustration at there not really being a way to stop all this makes people angry unfortunately.

Education is the key, that much I am sure of but AFA want regular Joe's to do it in their spare time rather than them helping to educate their customers. I really think however many posts I make I am going around in circles and wasting my time with the notion that AFA would type up a "what not to U grade" list of items and have it on their site or even change the U grade scale to not assign a grade to a U figure, merely a U - as was suggested in the past, if the reasons people want U graded figures is original accessories and untouched figures then why add a grade - U is all you need to know, the numbers fuel competitions and spawn sub sections of U collectors, the U85 brigade, the U90 brigade and maybe one day the U95 brigade.. bleh
tongue.gif


Whatever !
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Yehuda_K said:
some people saved some carded figures. but they were not collectibles at the time.

Two things: First, that's technically incorrect. Some people were collecting them right from the beginning. The cards say right on them "Collect all...". Myself and others were collecting other SW items, even before the toys were available. Secondly, it doesn't matter whether they were collectibles at the time or not. Many people saw them as an investment, and the majority of adults who purchased the MOC items as an investment, were not collectors. Thus most of those MOC would make their way back into the collector's market later on. Even to this day, 32 yrs later, people are coming up with 'finds'; and most of those finds aren't factory or old store stock, but people who have stashed the toys away many years ago, and not necessarily as a formal collection.

During the early 90's there was a flood of old store stock; boxes of POTF & ROTJ MOC that made their way into collectiions via dealers who had bought up the stock.

Ultimately, each MOC or baggie opened, is one less factory sealed item in the hobby. But then again, eventually all MOC & baggie items will deteriorate, and many of the people who care will be gone. So it's more an issue of hanging on to and enjoying what we can, for as long as we can.

Leif
 
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Bill_Wills said:
We'll just have to agree to disagree on this one.
smile.gif

that will have to do for now...
One day at some celebration or convention I would love to sit down with you , have a beer and try again
 
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Yehuda_K said:
that will have to do for now...
One day at some celebration or convention I would love to sit down with you , have a beer and try again

Make it a Diet Coke and you got it
grin.gif
 
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Joe_O said:
Education is the key, that much I am sure of but AFA want regular Joe's to do it in their spare time rather than them helping to educate their customers.

Joe

Whoah hold on a second. AFA is a business.

They serve the SW collecting community as a whole. Not a particular faction or philosophy. Now Tom understands (as stated above) that he has talked to people on rarer items and saved them but that's Tom. Not AFA.

If AFA made a stand against U grades then they spit in the face of some of their customer base. They won't do that, and shouldn't. They are a business, not a moral compass for the collecting community to use as a guide.

They are saying that if some people feel strongly against opening MOCs then it's on them to get the word out.

I don't think AFA is asking the community to do a job for them, they are saying that influencing a certain type of collector isn't in their charter. Its up to the rest of the community.

If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a forum to raise awareness.
 
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Which is precisely why they want someone else to do it lol

I know they are a business, no-one is disputing that and the aim is to make money, I just think there is a middle ground and indeed a difference between being a "money maker" of a business and a "responsible to the hobby that feeds them" kind of business.

There could be a solution to all this if they wanted to listen to one, assigning removed figures a simple U designation was about the best we had on here for brainstorming, no doubt there are even better ways to go about it which they could investigate or work with the community to produce a solution everyone was happy with. Then again thats a dream world way of thinking for me - as I have said in other posts I don't think a company would listen to people that don't buy into their company, I don't submit figures to grade, I don't buy AFA so therefore my opinion or suggestions are not worth a great deal to their bank balance even though they are to do with the hobby in general.
 
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Joe_O said:
Which is precisely why they want someone else to do it lol

It's not want Joe. They are saying you have the right to do it. They have no right or reason to stop doing what the customer wants. It's nothing illegal or truely immoral (dont get on me about immorality as it relates to toys you all know what I mean) so they will follow the hobby but not shape the hobby.


Joe_O said:
I just think there is a middle ground and indeed a difference between being a "money maker" of a business and a "responsible to the hobby that feeds them" kind of business.

Joe - with exceptions like DT Figs and VC Jawas, we arent running out of MOCs. You say a responsibility but it's not to the hobby. It's to some collectors in the hobby and I say "some" to be either the pro or con of U grading. No matter which camp you put your foot in, you potentially isolate yourself from the other.

Joe_O said:
There could be a solution to all this if they wanted to listen to one, assigning removed figures a simple U designation was about the best we had on here for brainstorming,

The U grade's real intention (as some say) is to 100% guarantee a weapon is real by knowing the entire item came off the card. If you remove the U you still need to designate it somewhere. So let's say you change the labels so a guaranteed weapon means the serial number starts with a 4. Then you'll see a bunch of "4" collectors. People look for things to collect. If somehow the graders names were released I'll bet someone would start a "Steve" focus and go for a full set of figures graded by Steve.
 
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You don't have to specify anything on a U for it to be changed, just lose the number after it, ok - I know its a "grading" company and that goes against the point of the business but can't the U just mean it came from a package and that's that?

Nobody ever, and I mean ever has admitted that the customers are chasing numbers, nobody who U grades admits to chasing the numbers they always use the same argument which is - we want to know the figure came out of a sealed package, it was uncirculated amongst children and the weapons are guaranteed authentic and are true to the figure they were packaged with.

Those things I can kind of understand with the comparison being people who just open MOC figures for loose displays, so if thats all there really is to U grading and if no-one is chasing a number then "U" should be sufficient. It would even save them valuable time assessing a piece..you as the owner and customer look through the bubble and see the state of the figure, before you send it in and decide yourself if you think it'll be better in acrylic of a yellow bubble ?

It might put off copycat graders, it would put a dent in competing to score higher grades than your neighbour and it would lower the amount of things that went in on repeat submissions looking for a high grade.
 
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Joe

Maybe uncirculated goes to a simplier grading system?

U M (Uncirculated Mint)
U E (Unciculated Excellent)
U F (Uncirculated Fine)

Maybe that would help?
 
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Joe,

If a figure is cased up without a grade, then how would you know the condition? With some figures it might be easy to see all the paint details but many figures have capes that cover up most of the figure. I certainly like the idea of buying a figure with all original accessories but I would not want a figure if I did not know the condition under the cape. As a submitter this would not be a big deal (at least for me) but resale would present some issues for most. I know your intention is good but I just don't think this idea would work.

-chris
 
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I really like the idea of just the U with no grade. It confirms everything is legit, encases the figure and people aren't banging more open to try and get a higher grade. I really think the only reason people would oppose this idea is because they collect the labels, not the figures. And of course AFA would oppose this as they would get less submitted to them which means less money.

How do people know what condition it is in? hmmmm, maybe look at it? But what about if there is damage under a cape or something? Really who cares, its locked up in a clear coffin anyways, never to be touched or moved anyways.

I still don't think the ungraded U would stop what bothers me. The double telescoping set that was sent in etc. still would've been opened. I think AFA really dropped the ball on that one. I didn't sign the petition or anything like that but I had some stuff I was going to send in to get graded and encased and decided against it when I saw those.
 
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KevinA said:
But what about if there is damage under a cape or something? Really who cares...

Quickly remembering why I typically stay out of these debates......
 
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xiskool said:
Joe,

If a figure is cased up without a grade, then how would you know the condition? With some figures it might be easy to see all the paint details but many figures have capes that cover up most of the figure. I certainly like the idea of buying a figure with all original accessories but I would not want a figure if I did not know the condition under the cape. As a submitter this would not be a big deal (at least for me) but resale would present some issues for most. I know your intention is good but I just don't think this idea would work.

-chris

Condition is a good point Chris which is something I knew would be picked up on, I think the reality is, even from a card a figure isn't always mint and that should be something people think about before they think U = Mint.

The two don't go hand in hand due to a variety of reasons so they shouldn't be grouped together, U figures can be worse than loose figures so do you wan't a U figure because of the reasons that keep being listed or do you want a mint figure which not every U figure will be.

If you want both then good old fashioned photos and descriptions would be the way to go, I know people come back with "well the AFA is a third party opinion so we don't have to argue every point on the C scale with a seller" but lets be honest damage can happen in an AFA case after grading so an 85 or a 90 with a USPS karate chop could reduce your figure to an 80 or worse.

Pictures and accurate descriptions before you receive any figure should not stop because of a grade on a label, I have seen encased figures with their heads completely off their bodies, they are no longer 85..
 
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I quickly want to add to this that the U designation idea was not something I come up with, Rudyard tossed this idea around last year, he even sent an email suggesting this as well and he (so I recall) received the standard stock answer that I got, even though our emails were almost completely different-

Here is Rudyards original idea, I still think its the only pretty decent solution to the problem which satisfies both parties (if AFA want to satisfy any of us :p )

Rudyard said:
I'm copying/pasting some of this from comments I left on another forum...

I have quite a few U figures (among other vintage SW collectibles - including MOC). For me, its about knowing that the figure has not been played with, drooled over, thrown in a sandpit, whatever. Also I know for sure that the weapons/accessories are genuine. I also have some non-U figures. Certainly most of them are not U90s and I would never pay the kind of silly prices people are talking about on the other thread for them. I have also never submitted anything for grading, nor would I ever.

I certainly don't collect the label, I collect a toy that has been authenticated to be genuine and in good condition, with guaranteed orginal accesories, that I know has not been maltreated in some playground or in some kids filthy bed.

The fact that U90s command such high prices suggests that they remain rare. The lesser grades - 80s, 85s, 90s, U80s, and even many of the U85s don't command such premiums (when you look at what they actually sell for - not what they are advertised at). If U90s didn't sell for such high amounts, surely the mass submissions wouldn't be worthwhile. I would like to think there can't be that many people seeking to collect only U90s, for these huge sums. If they started selling for £30-£40 rather than the £100 or more they currently seem to go for, then it would become far less attractive for dealers to continue mass submitting.

So, assuming that U grades will not be banned outright.... and assuming that most reasonable folk, whether they be U grade collectors or not, recognise that destroying of hundreds of MOC/baggies every month (whatever the number is) is damaging the long-term future of the hobby, what is at the heart of the issue and what could be the solution?

AFA U submission guidelines would be good start. i.e. AFA first assesses whether the carded fig would grade at a level above AFA 60 or something before they proceeded to open it. However, I see people's point in that some folk might destroy cards before sending them in.

Seems to me the crux of the problem is the distorted value that the market is currently placing on U90s.

Therefore, assuming that the U grade won't be banned outright, perhaps folk could lobby for the classification to be modified. Perhaps AFA authentication (of figures with correct accessories) alone (rather than grades) of loose figures is the way to go. AFA could differentiate between U and non-U if it wants, but the numeric grade is stripped in respect of U figures... That way all these U90s.... would not exist and would not have any more value than what the significantly more common U85/U80s have. Market saturation of regular 'U' designations (with no grade) would kill the market value, meaning it might not be worthwhile people submitting the better conditioned cards. So, in summary, loose AFA 80, 85, 90 etc still exist, but loose 'U' figures are only designated 'U', with no numeric grade. This would eliminate the rabid search for U90s at the expense of lesser graded figures.

Just my musings.
 
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Leif_G said:
Yehuda_K said:
some people saved some carded figures. but they were not collectibles at the time.

Two things: First, that's technically incorrect. Some people were collecting them right from the beginning. The cards say right on them "Collect all...". Myself and others were collecting other SW items, even before the toys were available. Secondly, it doesn't matter whether they were collectibles at the time or not. Many people saw them as an investment, and the majority of adults who purchased the MOC items as an investment, were not collectors. Thus most of those MOC would make their way back into the collector's market later on. Even to this day, 32 yrs later, people are coming up with 'finds'; and most of those finds aren't factory or old store stock, but people who have stashed the toys away many years ago, and not necessarily as a formal collection.

During the early 90's there was a flood of old store stock; boxes of POTF & ROTJ MOC that made their way into collectiions via dealers who had bought up the stock.

Ultimately, each MOC or baggie opened, is one less factory sealed item in the hobby. But then again, eventually all MOC & baggie items will deteriorate, and many of the people who care will be gone. So it's more an issue of hanging on to and enjoying what we can, for as long as we can.

Leif


Just to add to this verification of adult "investors" buying MOMC figures to hang on to. A NY news story at Toys R Us.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qcjs1RMF1iw
Check it out at time marker 1:42.

edit: I love how that guy says that someday these "are gonna be worth a lot of dough."
 
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DarthBerizing said:
.. you still need to designate it somewhere. So let's say you change the labels so a guaranteed weapon means the serial number starts with a 4. Then you'll see a bunch of "4" collectors. People look for things to collect. If somehow the graders names were released I'll bet someone would start a "Steve" focus and go for a full set of figures graded by Steve.

People do look for things to collect I agree which is why the following suggestion is just another "thing" to collect.

DarthBerizing said:
Joe

Maybe uncirculated goes to a simplier grading system?

U M (Uncirculated Mint)
U E (Unciculated Excellent)
U F (Uncirculated Fine)

Maybe that would help?

An M designation basically is our current 90, so people send in 5 DSD's looking for a U M and wouldn't be content with a U F for example.

The only way to let people continue to U grade (if their true desire is an uncirculated figure) but not make it a competition based on the score it receives is to stop grading the figure and have a standard letter designation simply meaning - This figure came from it's original card or it's baggie and the weapons are genuine and authentic etc.

Please cast your mind back to Rulair stating he has sold some of his U90's because even he can't make out the difference between an 85 and a 90. This really says a lot about the kind of micro differences people in fact can't spot with the naked eye side by side. Which begs the question , why were all those figures opened in the first place?

It's not going to stop people opening carded figures but it should somewhat decrease the volume things are sent in and also the competition, I think it would really set aside the people who really collect uncirculated figures (whatever the condition , wonky spray apps, a bit of discoloration perhaps) over the people that are either U grading for profit or are chasing numbers to collect.

Just as I write this another idea popped in to my head, what if the highest grade an Uncirculated figure could grade at was set at the average grade a current figure gets. Let's say of the 7000+ figures that were U graded so far the average grade was an 80 or an 85, cap that and make it the highest grade from a MOC that ANY figure can achieve and there won't be any need to raise the bar if your first submission reaches this grade, which would be likely considering most people can tell what will score high and what not just from looking at the figure on the card.

It might well make the current U90 and U95 figures extra "rare" in someones eyes but they would also have to realise that the grading system that figure was graded under is now obsolete and they might think twice about buying a U90 at such an inflated price if they knew the reason behind the new "highest grade possible" rule.

As long as AFA played ball and graded things equally and didn't try to grade them a bit more strictly to crank out more under the highest grade possible then in theory more people would be getting 85's on their first try..
 
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Joe - Just curious: how big of a problem is it really to score a 90 on most figures? I know everybody always cites the Death Star Droid, but are people really sending in multiples of a bunch of other figures in an attempt to get a U90? Afterall, most figures aren't as tough as the DSD is. True or not?
 
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Leif_G said:
Ultimately, each MOC or baggie opened, is one less factory sealed item in the hobby. But then again, eventually all MOC & baggie items will deteriorate, and many of the people who care will be gone. So it's more an issue of hanging on to and enjoying what we can, for as long as we can.

Leif

eventually the Mona Lisa will crumble to dust and in a few thousand years people may not care about it. lets set the B*tch on fire
 
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Bill_Wills said:
Joe - Just curious: how big of a problem is it really to score a 90 on most figures? I know everybody always cites the Death Star Droid, but are people really sending in multiples of a bunch of other figures in an attempt to get a U90? Afterall, most figures aren't as tough as the DSD is. True or not?

Well, I couldn't begin to imagine whats a tough U90 to get, I could probably go through old posts and read graders and U collectors opinions but we know multiplies go through in decent numbers for most figures because they aren't the easiest grade to get in one hit, I think the majority of things hit a low or high 85 or lower.

That's the unfortunate gamble and try and try again method thats been used till now to get U90's.

Imagine you have U90 Yak face with weapon, U90 Trilogo Boba Fett, U90 Blue Snaggletooth, U90 Vinyl cape jawa, imagine even one of those came back an 80 or an 85, they would have to wait out another one that comes up for sale or try and submit again.

I don't know if Robbie or Rulair would be happy to give out the honest figures on this, no witch hunt involved from me I can promise that, but they have first hand experience of how hard it is to get certain figures at certain grades.

U90 seems to be the toughest "set" to complete , with U95 being something of a rarity.
 
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Here are some quotes for you Bill -

ChrisTrooper said:
Just had my first ever batch back from AFA! I will hopefully get some pics up later.

Cloud Car Pilot - 80
IG-88 (Silver) - 85
Yoda (orange snake/ light green) - U85
Prune Face - U85
Bib Fortuna - U85
Darth Vader - U85
Stormtrooper - U85

Imperial Dignitary - 90
Tie Fighter Pilot - U90

I reckon the Vader was worthy of a 90 but heyho
grin.gif


Sent my next batch of 12 off today.

ChrisTrooper said:
Some more amazing figures there bud! Cant see the sticker on the 3rd Luke but i presume its U90 as well? Did you send all of those in together? The last 2 times i have sent in about 10 figures i only get a couple of 90/ U90 grades back even though most were in 90 condition
confused.gif

galactables said:
First of all, the very hard to find U90's and all U95's fetch big prices because they are so hard to find in flawless condition. Just look at the prices that loose AFA 90's (not 'u') of snaggletooth, at-at driver, luke x-wing, Luke bespin, Luke hoth, Leia Bespin, Blue snaggletooth have fetched in the past, regardless of the 'u' grade. You can strike it lucky from time to time.


And in recent times another worthwhile quote -

rulair94 said:
I personally have downgraded some of my U90(s) w/ really nice U85(s). Many of them, I can't even tell the difference. AFA 90/U90 are a bit over-rated, 85 grade is good enough for most figures IMO
 
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At the end of the day if someone can pick up a beater card and 'strike lucky' and get a u90 or u95 even,then they will continue to send items in for 'u' grades.

Money makes the world go round and as long as people can make £ by sending MOC's for destruction they will.

I recently saw an auction for a u95 LXW with a starting bid of £2000!!!
 

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Tom, first and foremost, congratulations to you and your wife on your new baby daughter! I hope all is well with them both.

Regarding the rest of your post, you really did give a lot to think about. I am glad to see you are putting your personal life ahead of your job, you deserve it. Too many have done the opposite and come to regret it later in life. My only concern with your leaving CIB/AFA is your loss of knowledge there. Sure you can train guys to the best of your ability, but there is years of experiance by you that can not be taught. Hopefully there will be no issues as you did state you would still be around if needed so that is good. And thanks for posting your feelings on U grades and other issues surrounding AFA and such. It provides an inner look to much that many don't know or realize

I am looking forward to your edition of John Kellerman's book and can't wait to see your web site come to fruition. Good luck in all future endeavors and don't be a stranger.

Mike
 
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I had finally time to read your whole post, Tom. Thanks for taking the time to explain everything and putting a new perspective on some things. Especially since here have been so many flame wars, narrow-mindedness etc here lately. I know how much you care for the hobby and can't thank you enough for everything you have done and are doing!

Looking forward to the 2nd edition of Kellermans book. The sample spreads we saw on CV were really interesting looking.

Mattias
 
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