Invisible Reseals

G

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A couple of weeks ago I left a post saying that it is possible for carded action figures to be resealed so well that they can escape the scrutiny of experts.

In fact, this happens a lot more than a lot of people realize.

Someone replied to my post saying that it might be possible for reseals to go undetected to the naked eye -- but they would be detected by "real" experts.

Someone also said that he is always able to detect reseals (glue residue, tears, etc..) And, yes, that is obviously true of badly done reseals.

What some people don't seem to realize is that well done reseals are not detected... because they're... well done!!!

I have been collecting for over 20 years -- and, in that time, I've seen a lot -- not the least of which is well done reseals --what I call "invisible reseals" : reseals that DO escape the scrutiny of experts (and, no, I'm not talking about comic shop owners...;-)

I am posting the following for one reason -- and one reason only: to let collectors know that invisible reseals exist -- and NEVER should lack of evidence of tampering ALONE determine authenticity of a figure -- especially variants!

That said -- this is in no way meant to comment on the ESB vinyl cape Jawa (I personaly, cannot comment on that figure - there are pros and cons beyond its seal-although i don't understand why a poster confessing to having resealed it was not taken at all seriously)

Nor is this meant to comment on the expertise of AFA. Invisible reseals fool EVERYBODY!!!

OK. This is what I did --an experiment -- (and I took pictures of every step of the process):

11/05/02:

I selected a figure from my collection - a Palitoy Admiral Ackbar on a lousy card. I chose this figure because I was not attached to it :) and because there is a distinctive tear where the price tag was removed years ago.

I then carefully opened the card, took out the figure, and marked an "X" on its back (I hated to do that but I wanted a way to document every step).

I filled out the form for AFA asking explicitly for AFA to check for both authenticiy and tampering! I then went out and bought a money order for the exact amount of their premium service ($35.75)

I placed the open figure and cardback on that day's newspaper (11/05/02 election day!). Next to it was the AFA form and, I put the money order partially under the opened bubble to show definitively that the figure had been open BEFORE it was sent to AFA

I then put the figure back in the bubble and carefully resealed it. (The process to open and reseal a bubble I will not go into because this post is meant to help collectors -- NOT to help would-be rip off artists!!)

I sent the figure off to AFA

11/15/02:

The figure came back from AFA. Sure enough it passed their inspection!!!
I was sure it would -- but it did feel good to receive this confirmation: YES, invisible reseals DO get past expert scrutiny!!!

It was given a rating of AFA50 (That surprised me --I would have expected it to have gotten only a 40)

I don't know how to post pictures on this forum and I don't have a website, so I posted the pictures of this experiment on Ofoto.

Ofoto is a website hosted by Kodak for sharing pictures. To view the pictures, just sign in as a member (it's free and fast).

Here is the URL:

http://www.ofoto.com/I.jsp?m=50594565105.36484906105&n=201005927

If you have any questions, fire away!!!
 

MCN

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But you know what? If it's so invisible that nobody can tell, then I guess there really is no difference between the "invisible" reseal and regularly sealed card. After all, nobody can tell, so how can it be disputed?
 
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I can see absolutely nothing.
frown.gif
Those pics are way too small and they don't get bigger, and I am NOT buying prints. Maybe you should get a webshots page and try again. If you really did this I would love to see. I've always wondered just how possible this is to do. However, I really don't see how you can prove it. Yeah, you have pics but how do we know it's the same?

John
*EDIT* I got it to work now. I am looking at the larger pics.

[ 11-15-2002, 08:01 PM: Message edited by: John J. Alvarez ]
 
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Ok, I got a good look. I can't make out the X on the back. Can you take a better pic?

John
 
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I, too, would like to see a better pic of the "X" on the back inside of the AFA case. If you'll send me the pic at saeltmarae2k@yahoo.com, I will host it for you when I return home later tonight.

BTW, Hi John...haven't seen you around much lately.

-Nathan
 
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I said this could be done in the ESB VC Jawa thread, and got flamed like hell for it.....

(I didnt say the Jawa was, but I said you could reseal a card and have it go undetected..)

But it sure looks possible now, doesnt it..
Hmmm....

Like I said, if you can fake antiques and famous works of art, you can fake a kenner bubble seal...
 
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I find that very interesting,I have to wonder if this is true,then why didnt AFA see the "X"?
 
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Originally posted by rocketjawa:
I said this could be done in the ESB VC Jawa thread, and got flamed like hell for it.....

(I didnt say the Jawa was, but I said you could reseal a card and have it go undetected..)

But it sure looks possible now, doesnt it..
Hmmm....

Like I said, if you can fake antiques and famous works of art, you can fake a kenner bubble seal...
<font size="2" face="arial">I don't think anything's really changed - your pics are too small to make anything out properly - why don't you post some pics on the forum that we can actually see
wink.gif
This proves nothing from what I can see.

Also, how do we know you haven't photoshopped the pics? It'd be way easier for you to fake any viewable pics than it would be for you to have gone to the time and trouble to have sent the figure to AFA .

If you really want to prove this story, perhaps you could send the figure to Chris G. You remember him right - he's the guy I bet you couldn't fool.

Ben.
 
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I don't know too much about AFA's grading practices, but it would make sense if they scrutinize the higher grade items and spend lesser time on low grade ones.

I'd tend to think the scrutiny the "Experts" reserved for a low-grade piece is very small; I would suggest trying this with a high grade piece and see if the results are the same.

And I think it is a bit different; the Ackbar had two eyes on it for maybe thirty seconds? The VC Jawa's have had dozens of "eye-hours" done to it...
 
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Originally posted by Ben Sheehan:
</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="arial">Originally posted by rocketjawa:
I said this could be done in the ESB VC Jawa thread, and got flamed like hell for it.....

(I didnt say the Jawa was, but I said you could reseal a card and have it go undetected..)

But it sure looks possible now, doesnt it..
Hmmm....

Like I said, if you can fake antiques and famous works of art, you can fake a kenner bubble seal...
<font size="2" face="arial">I don't think anything's really changed - your pics are too small to make anything out properly - why don't you post some pics on the forum that we can actually see
wink.gif
This proves nothing from what I can see.

Also, how do we know you haven't photoshopped the pics? It'd be way easier for you to fake any viewable pics than it would be for you to have gone to the time and trouble to have sent the figure to AFA .

If you really want to prove this story, perhaps you could send the figure to Chris G. You remember him right - he's the guy I bet you couldn't fool.

Ben.
</font>[/QUOTE]<font size="2" face="arial">This wasnt MY expiriment.. I CANT post better pics......
 
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Originally posted by BigRed:
I don't know too much about AFA's grading practices, but it would make sense if they scrutinize the higher grade items and spend lesser time on low grade ones.

I'd tend to think the scrutiny the "Experts" reserved for a low-grade piece is very small; I would suggest trying this with a high grade piece and see if the results are the same.

And I think it is a bit different; the Ackbar had two eyes on it for maybe thirty seconds? The VC Jawa's have had dozens of "eye-hours" done to it...
<font size="2" face="arial">If this is indeed how AFA works then AFA is a total farce. All carded figures should be graded with the same parameters regardless of value. That's how you keep the integrity of the grading, by not allowing one item to dominate the process.

I would be interested to hear AFA's response to this.
 
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Interesting topic. Has anyone else tried the experiment?

How many figs would you say AFA looks at per day? How many figs would you say AFA gets in a day? Does anyone know how many people AFA has on staff to look over figs?
 
G

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Originally posted by rocketjawa:
I said this could be done in the ESB VC Jawa thread, and got flamed like hell for it.....

(I didnt say the Jawa was, but I said you could reseal a card and have it go undetected..)

But it sure looks possible now, doesnt it..
Hmmm....

Like I said, if you can fake antiques and famous works of art, you can fake a kenner bubble seal...
<font size="2" face="arial">I think this last sentence is a great point. People are fooling themselves if they think this cant be faked without people knowing. The issue is whether the technology/time/money involved in doing so is worth it to the person. In the case of a rare carded figure it might be.

While I tend to believe the original poster isnt photoshopping things, I admit its impossible to see this X in the AFA case. The point about AFA passing over lower grade figures quickly is a good one (Im shocked that got a 50 to be honest- as hard as AFA is on high grade pieces they almost seem too lenient on this low grade stuff).

I guess my question, without offending the powers that be, is why people think attaching a bubble to a piece of cardboard is difficult?

AfA is on difficult ground here, everyone and their mother can be sending them things to test their skills. I never saw their service as one of authentification anyway.
 
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Note that this figure is a palitoy - these bubbles are glued using a different process than Kenners.

Also note that the bubble is dirty yellow, this would help conceal the reseal. A clear bubble would be a different proposition.

Even forgetting these two poins, does this guy really think he was able to slice into the paper to get that figure out without leaving a trace?

The BOTTOM line is that you can't do that. You can try to hide the area you cut into, but it's still there, and if it's there it can be found.
 
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Originally posted by cstoj:
</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="arial">Originally posted by rocketjawa:
I said this could be done in the ESB VC Jawa thread, and got flamed like hell for it.....

(I didnt say the Jawa was, but I said you could reseal a card and have it go undetected..)

But it sure looks possible now, doesnt it..
Hmmm....

Like I said, if you can fake antiques and famous works of art, you can fake a kenner bubble seal...
<font size="2" face="arial">I think this last sentence is a great point. People are fooling themselves if they think this cant be faked without people knowing. The issue is whether the technology/time/money involved in doing so is worth it to the person. In the case of a rare carded figure it might be.
</font>[/QUOTE]<font size="2" face="arial">Let it be noted that I said this, as well.. and got flamed for this, too!
smile.gif
 
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Originally posted by cstoj
I think this last sentence is a great point. People are fooling themselves if they think this cant be faked without people knowing. The issue is whether the technology/time/money involved in doing so is worth it to the person. In the case of a rare carded figure it might be.
<font size="2" face="arial">
Originally posted by rocketjawa:Let it be noted that I said this, as well.. and got flamed for this, too!
smile.gif
<font size="2" face="arial">I think both Chris and yourself are overlooking a fairly obvious point - this issue is a little more refined than attaching plastic to a piece of cardboard.

Aside from obvious indicators of age etc, that would need to be replicated, there is a huge stumbling block to faking MOC figures.

In order for a figure to be resealed, the original seal needs to be broken. It doesn't matter how carefully someone does this, they will always leave evidence behind, no matter how miniscule that evidence is.

To get a figure inside a vintage bubble you need to cut into the paper sitting behind the figure - this will always leave *evidence*.

I really don't see how you guys don't understand this. It's one thing to have a few guys say a reseal looks real - another altogether to have it pass by the eyes of numerous, unrelated and highly motivated experts.

Or perhaps you guys have access to nanotechnology (spelling?)...
 
G

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Thanks for the interest in this post. I would like to respond to some of the comments:

MCN - You said "If it's so invisible that nobody can tell, then I guess thee is really no difference"

Correct!!! You are So right!! I have in my own collection, figures that I have invisibly resealed (e.g. to reposition a head) -- and I don't CARE that it's a reseal - because it's just as pristine as if it were never openned! (now, I have messed a few up... I am actually, only completely successful 2 out of 3 times....And until this experiment, I hadn't done any in quite a while!! -- I got lucky :)

John - I have added another picture (picture 11) -- It gives a closer view of the "X".

Cyber Scout - AFA probably did not see the "X" because I put it on in such a way that it is REALLY discreet! It's actually harder to see in real life than in the photo (the photo makes it larger). You also have to hold the card at just the right angle to view it. But, you're right -- It might have been detected. I was keeping my fingers crossed that it wouldn't be!!

Ben Sheehan - I will be happy to post pictures on this forum if someone will teach me how! (I tried earlier on the Test forum here -- but I was not successsful). My experience is in figures -- not in computers :)

You question whether or not I really sent this to AFA. Please contact AFA yourself and ask them. The customer ID for this figure is 1483

You suggest that I send this figure to other experts... Ben, I don't need to. I know the quality of what I have done. I have gone to the time, trouble, and expense to do this experiment for the good of the collecting community... AFA's experts are good --It was not because of any lack of ability that this figure got by them!!! (and that's the point!!!) I guess there will always be people who doubt stuff (like the vinyl cape ESB doubters???? :) That's OK with me.

Big Red - I agree that there might be a tendency to scrutinize higher grade items more than lesser grade items (there shouldn't be -- but it's almost inevitable). It is for that very reason that - on the AFA form that I sent in -- I added--please check for authenticiy and any tampering...

I figured this request should be enough to let them know that this figure should be checked thoroughly. And I am sure they did check the reseal thoroughly...It's jsut that the reseal was well done!

Darthbryan - I am also interested in AFA's response to this. I hope AFA understands that I mean them no disrespect. It is actually because I respect their experience, expertise, and process, that I figured if I could get this past them then I had demonstrated something worth demonstrating!

It is not their fault that they didn't catch the invisible reseal (nobody could!)
Yes, It would have been possible for them to catch the "X" - but, understandably, they were not looking for it. It's not a common defect :)

cstoj - You say "the issue is whether the technology/time/money involved...is worth it.." I realize it may appear that an invisible reseal is a long and/or difficult process. It is not. All it requires is experience, a steady hand, and the right glue :)

You also say that you never say their service as one of authentification -- Maybe I am wrong--I thought that was one of the benefits of their service!

Their service can still be VERY useful in terms of grading figures -- and only accepting bubble with original seals or invisible reseals (as said earlier: no difference!!)

Ben Sheehan - Yes, the figure is a Palitoy figure -- but BELIEVE me--in general, Palitoy figures are harder to reseal than US figures-- not easier!!!

And yes, the bubble has begun to yellow -- but it is not a "dirty yellow" -- not at all!! It was still plenty clear enough to be a valid specimen for this experiment!

I don't know what else to say. I understand that I am not well known on this board. I am fairly well known on the GI Joe board (YoJoe.com) --where I have (I think...) an excellent reputation. My eBay name is airedevon@aol.com if anyone wants to check out my feedback (not that that's an indication of anything...but - hey--I'm trying!!!)

I have been an active action figure collector for well over 20 years -- without ever having taken a break!!! I collect all major lines of figures from the late 70's, the 80's and the 90's. I have a pretty nice collection, and if you're ever in the Dallas area, please send me an email -- I would love to share my collection with you!!

Again, thanks for your time!!
Airedevon
 
G

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Sorry for my spelling mistakes!!!! I forgot to reread what I wrote before I clicked on "add reply"
 
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Word up to what Bryan had to say, I second that motion
grin.gif


Also, Ben Think about This:
**What if you 1. get a clean cardback(no riping,etc. best if the bubble is cleanly cut away from the card, leaving NO rips, etc.) 2. Get a Factory Sealed Kenner figure still 100% sealed in the bubble, but the bubble has been cut off of the cardback leaving a completly sealed, mint bubble. 3. Then you simply put just enough "liquid nails" adheisive on the back of the bubble boarder, line it up properly with the cardback(double bar lines match up, or ESB, etc.)

And Walla ! Alacazam ! Presto ! You have a 100% Factory sealed vintage SW. figure on an origional cardback.
Just something to think about folks...
shocked.gif
 
G

Guest

I forgot a comment: (sorry)

Ben -- Of all the comments made by everyone, this the one that really got to me:

you said: "does this guy really think he was able to slice into the paper to get that figure out without leaving a trace?"

The answer is: NO!!!!!!

If you slice into a card (any part of it) - the cut and subsequent reseal will definitely be detected!!!!!!

NEVER slice!! NEVER use a blade!!! (I hope I didn't give too much away!)
 
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Originally posted by Airedevon:
You suggest that I send this figure to other experts... Ben, I don't need to. I know the quality of what I have done. I have gone to the time, trouble, and expense to do this experiment for the good of the collecting community... AFA's experts are good --It was not because of any lack of ability that this figure got by them!!! (and that's the point!!!) I guess there will always be people who doubt stuff (like the vinyl cape ESB doubters???? :) That's OK with me.)
<font size="2" face="arial">I'll happily pay for you to send the figure to Chris G. if you believe it's this good. I can guarantee he'll find how you broke the seal - it may be that he'll even do it with a naked eye, as he has done in the past.

I don't think for a second that AFA had a good look at the yellow bubbled Ackbar. Like Steve said, it would seem pointless for them to bother authenticating a damaged low end figure - it would cost as much to ship and grade as it would to buy another - probably worth a look into this idea before you call this reseal invisible
wink.gif


Again, you broke the seal, and you can't reverse the damage you do when you've done this. It's there, experts find stuff like that when they look
smile.gif


Ben.

[ 11-16-2002, 01:59 AM: Message edited by: Ben Sheehan ]
 
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Originally posted by Carba-Dyna-mite:
And Walla ! Alacazam ! Presto ! You have a 100% Factory sealed vintage SW. figure on an origional cardback.
Just something to think about folks...
shocked.gif
<font size="2" face="arial">I don't doubt that this idea seems plausible to you, but the fact is it would be so obvious - you are going to have to line up ever tiny fibre of paper so that the joins between the two suraces match. This kind of job would be so obvious under a microscope, that I guarantee it wouldn't be worth the trouble past making a display piece.

Ben.

[ 11-16-2002, 02:01 AM: Message edited by: Ben Sheehan ]
 
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Hi People.

Ive been following this thread since it was posted. I must admit this is quite amazing, and supprising. The last picture that Airedevon has posted on his site, you definately can make out the "X" or a slight portion of it.

However like most of you. It would be great to see larger pictures of this process. Airedevon if you are unable to post them yourself on Rebelscum, maybe you can email them to someone, or myself and we'll be happy to post them for you on this thread.

Am i skeptical about this demonstrated process. - Yes. Well sort of. More so with the Picture 3, which shows the Note placed underneath the bubble.
Why. - Because the only way this could have been acheived is by cutting around the bubble with a knife. And this would, or should leave evidence of tampering.

Why did AFA not pick this up.?? A question everyone is definately asking. Has anyone contact, or emailed AFA this link, or the link with the pictures.....If so have they replied.??. I would be a real shame to see a grading service not paying attention to such items as they should be, considering the costs involved to grade an item.

Anyways its good that Airedevon has provided pictures of each stage....it does go someway of backing his theory up.

My 2 Cents worth.
 
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Originally posted by Airedevon:
John - I have added another picture (picture 11) -- It gives a closer view of the "X".
<font size="2" face="arial">I must admit it does look like it may be an X.

Originally posted by Airedevon:
Ben Sheehan - You question whether or not I really sent this to AFA. Please contact AFA yourself and ask them. The customer ID for this figure is 1483

You suggest that I send this figure to other experts... Ben, I don't need to. I know the quality of what I have done. I have gone to the time, trouble, and expense to do this experiment for the good of the collecting community... AFA's experts are good --It was not because of any lack of ability that this figure got by them!!! (and that's the point!!!) I guess there will always be people who doubt stuff (like the vinyl cape ESB doubters???? :) That's OK with me.
<font size="2" face="arial">Ok, not to sound like a doubter but I feel Ben is 100% correct. If you REALLY want to do it "for the good of the collecting community" then please finish this experiment. I really wish you would take him up on his offer. He offered to pay for everything, which can't be more than $100 anyway. I suggest you send it to Chris and let him have a look. Have him check the number and make sure the figure went to AFA, then look if he can see the X. The next step is to crack it out of the case and look thoroughly at the seal, as thoroughly as the ESB Jawa. Then finally open it to confirm it has an X on it's back. If this is real it would make a great article for The Archive. It would also help everybody understand a little better what a "good" reseal would look like.

I'm curious how you did it. I had a Tri-Logo come to me once and 3/4 of the right side of the bubble opened during shipping. I could probably pull the figure out. The funny part is the bubble came up but the paper didn't tear, ONLY the graphic came off and stuck to the bubble. If I push the bubble down you can't even tell it was open. I KNOW I could reseal this w/ no problem what-so-ever. Perhaps you found a way to loosen the glue...

John
 
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I don't think for a second that AFA had a good look at the yellow bubbled Ackbar.
<font size="2" face="arial">Ben, I think that is the problem. If AFA did not take the time to "properly" inspect a lower grade piece, then they are a complete sham. This can surely open the flood gates for lower grade samples that have been "resealed" to get past them. I have always rode the fence concerning AFA and their grading pieces. Currently, I do not own a AFA graded piece in my collection. I remember all to well the comic business and how grading inflated the prices on certain comics that eventually busted the market.
For AFA to be a "honest" business partner in the Star Wars community, they MUST take the time to properly inspect EVERY piece that comes before them regardless of condition. If you pay 30+ dollars for a figure to be graded, you should get your money's worth!!!!
John, you also make a good point. This would one hell of a article for the Archive. If the figure is indeed sent to Chris G., I want to know his findings. Personally, I think reseals and fakes will part of the market for a very long time. It will be up to each person to educate themselves and ask a lot of questions.
Who knows, one of use might own a "invisible reseal" in our collection!!!!
wink.gif


Jason

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I would like to give my 2 cents regarding this Ackbar. It is certainly possible that the reseal was overlooked as tens of thousands of figures have now been graded, but I must agree with Steve. Why would AFA closely examine a ROTJ Ackbar with a yellow bubble on an AFA 50 card (approximate value = $15)? What realistic purpose would one have for resealing this figure? It would be something if I sent a high grade figure which carried with it value which encouraged tampering, but in all truth, I certainly wouldn't examine a figure like this Ackbar enough to discover a clever reseal job. Get a DT Darth Vader 12-back past AFA and I would be impressed. However, AFA should always be trying to improve and this mistake on there part will hopefully spur closer examination of even low grade, low value figures. Again, just my 2 cents.

Thanks

Tom
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With the greatest respect - shouldnt ALL figures sent in recieve the same service? Afterall AFA doesnt charge less for a low end figure, or more for a figure worth thousends of $'s.
 
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I'm going to go out of my way here to vouch for Airedevon's reputation. As she said she is a very well-respected member of the GI Joe community, a community which many of you know i am also a part of. Now, it's understandable that this thread has ruffled feathers...but by no means is it necessary to fire around false accusations of photoshopping or that figure wasn't even sent. Airedevon wouldn't put her rep on the line to do something so foolish.

Aire went out of her way to prove a point and prove it she did. As far as her reputation goes in other communities, i again vouch for it, and in doing so will put my reputation here in this community on the line (which i think is fairly well-respected).

As far as the actual experiment goes, i don't know the particulars of how it was done but as people have been saying all along, if other, non-toy collectibles can be faked to such a convincing degree as to fool the experts on the Antique Roadshow, it's only a matter of time before it happens in our hobby.

Now, AFA really dropped the ball here by letting this go unnoticed. It just lends more credibility to the arguements that people have been making against AFA. Regardless as to whether a figure is high end or low end, they should all undergo a standard inspection. Period.

The question here isn't whether or not Chris G (a man that i respect to the utmost degree) could detect the reseal or not. We all know the dedication and degree to which he subjects each piece he authenticates and i have no doubt that with his techniques he'd be able to spot the reseal.

But the fact is, more and more people are using AFA as a means to authenticate pieces and if they're fooled this time, they will get fooled again. Not everyone has access to using Chris's skills as an authentication expert and that's a very important fact to consider.

That being said tho, with the attention this post has garnered, Aire, i think you should take Ben up on his offer to send the figure to Chris and see what exactly it'll take to spot the reseal, which i'm sure he will. Let the debate continue...
 
G

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Originally posted by Ben Sheehan:
</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="arial">Originally posted by Airedevon:
You suggest that I send this figure to other experts... Ben, I don't need to. I know the quality of what I have done. I have gone to the time, trouble, and expense to do this experiment for the good of the collecting community... AFA's experts are good --It was not because of any lack of ability that this figure got by them!!! (and that's the point!!!) I guess there will always be people who doubt stuff (like the vinyl cape ESB doubters???? :) That's OK with me.)
<font size="2" face="arial">I'll happily pay for you to send the figure to Chris G. if you believe it's this good. I can guarantee he'll find how you broke the seal - it may be that he'll even do it with a naked eye, as he has done in the past.

I don't think for a second that AFA had a good look at the yellow bubbled Ackbar. Like Steve said, it would seem pointless for them to bother authenticating a damaged low end figure - it would cost as much to ship and grade as it would to buy another - probably worth a look into this idea before you call this reseal invisible
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Again, you broke the seal, and you can't reverse the damage you do when you've done this. It's there, experts find stuff like that when they look
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Ben.
</font>[/QUOTE]<font size="2" face="arial">For this peudo-experiment to work the possibiliy must exist that the figure is not resealed. If you hand a vase to someone and tell them there's a crack in it, they will find it. There are proper ways to design these experiments, but I think using microscopes is ridiculous enough :^) You'd have to have 10 of the exact same figure in the exact same condition and 1 of them MAY be resealed. Knowledge of which if any would be kept by a third party. This would then have to be repeated multiple times with various combinations of reseals in each run. If a single reseal is missed under such sterile conditions then it could indicate seriosu future problems for this hobby. Then again, if you cant tell then why really care.

And Ben, the point that I think is valid is that the true experts are those who spend the time to research things for personal gain. I doubt Chris spends much of his time looking into all the ways that a bubble can be detached from a card and resealed flawlessly, whereas someone looking to make money from a scam would (if they were good). I stand by my statement, breaking the seal on a bubble and then resealing it flawlessly is possible given time, money, knowledge and motivation.

I think its clear where you fall on this issue and why :^) I'd be the same way. Best of luck.
 
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Ok...first off...AIREDEVON is a a SHE...not a HE.

Ok, I know for a fact one way to remove bubbles is by freezing the figure.Hot wheels collectors do this all the time when they are doing custom HW cars.....they simply put them in the freezer overnight and the glue and the bubble will release...allowing the customizer to have a perfect package to put the custom car back in.....perhaps this method was used.

I just took a minte before posting to examine the glue hatch marks on a vintage figure's bubble...and compared them to a plain Hot Wheel car.....the hatch marks are almost 100% identical.....in my opinion...so perhaps this method was used.

I'm also a member of the same GI Joe board as AIREDEVON.....so I can vouch for her love for toys.

I honestly have no comment about the AFA issue.....I just haven't bothered with AFA figures...and I doubt I will.I personally like to hold my carded figures without being cased in acrylic.

Thanks, Brian TopJedi
 
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I agree that this is highly possible, but am very disappointed that AFA would let this happen, regardless of the high volume of figures that pass through their hands. They should spend the same amount of time and inspect everything equally. How else can we truly have an accurate and “fairly consistent” grading service? After all, AFA is going to get their fee whether the item they are grading is a ROTJ Rancor Keeper, or a POTF Yoda. The bottom line is, they provide a service, and without consistency, cannot and will not continue to flourish and “revolutionize” the hobby. Although I am very disappointed about this, I would like to see documented proof of the figure actually having being sent in, and would like to hear a response from AFA. If this actually did occur, I would like to see them openly admit it. I look forward to seeing what actions they take regarding this matter to prevent an unrest among AFA collectors.

-Nathan
 
G

Guest

I too, would like to vouch for Airedevon's reputation.

I am a regular poster on yojoe.com and Airedevon is THE person we ask when we have a question about practically everything. I have been collecting for quite some time, and always though myself a expert on GIJOE. That was until I met Airedevon. Compared to her, I know practically nothing! (and I know a lot)

I dont buy the excuse that the figure was passed over because it is less valuable...If that is the reason then this discredits the work that AFA does...Should a mechanic spent less effort fixing my car because it is less valuable than others? You pay for a serivce..you should get it!!!

What I dont understand is why people are questioning Aire? I think she did a service to collectors...An experiment like this is pretty important.

Some people buy MOC figures so they can have the absolute best quality figure possible.
I know a few GIJOE collectors that only buy MOC items to open them.
If I bought a item listed as MOC and the figure wasnt MINT I would be angry to say the least! especially being the cost of MOC figures is sometimes triple the cose of a mint loose one.

So obviously figures CAN be put back on the card..and the "experts" CAN miss this!
 
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As has been said already, the only figures this 'could' really affect are the 12 back carded variations (i.e. VC Jawa, DT figures...and thats about it).

There is no other reason to open and reseal a figure unless you are switching said figure for a rare variation that also appears on the same card. There is only the DT's and the VC Jawa that this could possibly apply to cos no other variations bring enough money to make it worthwhile (Large Head Han?).

So this means opening a mint 12 back Vader, Luke, Ben or Jawa, and to be honest, unless your 100% sure of success (2 out of 3 ain't bad?) then it could get nasty. I just dont think this is that much of a problem.
 
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I agree with acmirro. (BTW, Anthony, this is dragun
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) I'm a regular on yojoe, as well, and though I've never dealt with her personally, Airdevon is always a straight shooter on the yojoe boards (and I didn't even remember she was a regular here, too! D'oh!).

Welcome to Rebelscum, A.C.!
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[ 11-16-2002, 05:53 PM: Message edited by: Sithblade316 ]
 
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Hello Everyone,
I do certainly agree that each figure should receive the same amount of attention and I am not trying to take fault away from AFA. It sounds like they made a mistake. However, one discovered mistake of this type in approx. 25,000 figures is not a crisis in my opinion either. This test does not seem to be a fair test of AFA’s ability to detect a reseal because it involves the use of a figure whose value would not really be swayed one way or the other by the reseal. Please keep in mind that there are only a few reasons a card would be resealed in a real life situation. 99% of the time, a collector decides he wants a rare variation on a card (either to keep or profit from) or he wants to reseal a figure on an opened card (either to keep or profit from). This figure does not fit either description because the card was intentionally opened and is too low in condition and value to be an appropriate reseal candidate. It just does not make sense that someone would reseal a $10 figure on a beat up C6 card to raise the value to $15. Grading itself ranges from $16-$30. Many people have figures graded for the display case and if I worked at AFA, I would feel this one would fall into that category. There is no payoff related to having this particular figure graded. These factors make the reseal almost an intangible factor when assessing the figure’s grade and value. This in turn makes strict bubble seal inspection a lower priority than usual.

To reiterate, I am not defending the likely mistake made by AFA, but with over 100 figures a day graded, I am not surprised that AFA has made this one documented reseal mistake. The real test would be to send in a decent condition figure valued at $75 or above. At least then, the potential for a reseal in the 'real world' exists. I understand that many will disagree, but this logic is similar (although not quite as black and white) as the logic I would use in saying that although AFA checks the entire card and edge of each carded figure under a dissecting microscope for ink touch-up, they need not perform this test when grading an uncirculated figure they pull out of a case. Many would say that these cards deserve equal attention and they certainly do, but looking for a flaw which just doesn't seem to be a possible thing, doesn't make sense either. I hardly think a mistake of this small magnitude would affect any aspect of the hobby. I have been doing this for much too long and made too many mistakes of my own to lose faith or feel scared of future resealed cards with only this instance to go on. Anyone who buys an AFA 50 Yellow Bubble Admiral Ackbar would probably care less about a nice reseal anyway. They are obviously not in the slightest bit concerned about getting a nice card. I think a buyer purchasing an ESB Han Hoth AFA 80 would be a much more serious collector and this type of reseal would have a much bigger impact on the hobby if something like this slipped by AFA. I would be very surprised if this happened though because that figure would be an example of the average figure being sent to AFA, and I am doubtful a reseal on a figure of this type would escape detection because the possibility of a reseal would be present and an appropriate amount of time would be spent trying to discover if this was the case. In AFA's defense, I had a Meccano VC Jawa (certainly a reseal candidate) for almost 6 months before close inspection by many well-known collectors revealed this clever reseal technique. I would hope AFA learns from this error and closely examines the seals of even the cheapest and lowest condition of cards so that the public can once again sleep at night.

I will have trouble sleeping as well because I now know that I may one day purchase a yellow bubble C4 ROTJ Chief Chirpa for a large sum of money only to find out later, when selling it through Sotheby's that it is in fact a reseal, knocking its value from $15 to $14 in the blink of an eye. Not trying to offend with this joke. Just putting things in the perspective in which I see them. On a more serious note, mistakes are an absolute certainty when dealing with items in very large quantities. Improvements and increased awareness are necessary to decrease future mistakes. However, one should not forget that we are all human, mistakes will be made, things will be overlooked, and nothing is 100%. AFA greatly reduces the chance of receiving a lower than described condition or tampered with figure, but while it is a great improvement over the every collector for themsleves grading which existed prior to AFA, it cannot be perfect. Lets just hope it stays as close to perfect as possible and keeps developing better detection techniques. Thanks for reading.

Tom
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P.S. How could a 7 foot Wookie live on the planet Endor with a bunch of 3 foot ewoks? It just doesn’t make sense and if it doesn’t make sense, you must acquit.
 
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Anthony, howdy bro.....it's me TopJedi...or as you know me...GungHo from YoJoe. Great to see another YoJoe'r here at RS...Peace, Brian
 
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Is it just me, or does it look like you can see a little white line on the right side of the inside of the bubble where it was cut? There aren't any close ups of the inside right side of the bubble. If that is true, it isn't an "invisible" reseal which in my opinion is the most important factor.

I've got a test for you. Instead of replacing the same figure on the same card, try replacing a different figure (different character) on that same card. If you can pass that off AFA 80 or higher, then I am convinced. In my opinion, an AFA 50 just doesn't cut it.

Chris Mueller

[ 11-16-2002, 08:22 PM: Message edited by: Chris Mueller ]
 
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