The AFA Discussion Thread Pt.2

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With the current forum structure all threads over 500 posts have to be locked and restarted. The good ol'AFA thread has reached that point and is being restarted here.

The old thread and the previous discussions can be found here: AFA Discussion Thread Pt.1

And, to refresh, the AFA Discussion Thread was started for this reason:

In an effort to combat the insane amount of AFA related discussions in the vintage section we're going to have this thread and this thread only open for discussion on this topic.

Love it, hate it or if you've just got something say about it - post it here. Any and all future threads on AFA will be locked and the poster will be directed to this thread which will remain sticky.

Related links:

www.toygrader.com

If you can think of any other related threads or links that should be posted here, please PM me and i'll edit the post accordingly
 
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BillCable said:
AFA Sucks!

LOL I literally burst out laughing. When I saw you had the first post I had to read. You really know how to get the ball rolling.
wink.gif


John
 
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I never knew until last week that they actually grade items with cracked bubbles. i always thought if it had been touched up by ink or had cracked bubbles they refused to grade it, i guess not
 
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I sent in a MOC figure that was mint except that someone had set it in spilled "white out" and it had a very small amount on the edge bellow the bubble. They refused to grade saying that it was an attempted reseal. Yeah right, it was CLEARLY factory sealed all around. They were nice enough to case it up and charge me the full $27 bucks.
A respectable company would have contacted me to find out if I wanted it cased or not since it couldn't be graded. I'm done with them.
 
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seadonkey said:
I sent in a MOC figure that was mint except that someone had set it in spilled "white out" and it had a very small amount on the edge bellow the bubble. They refused to grade saying that it was an attempted reseal. Yeah right, it was CLEARLY factory sealed all around. They were nice enough to case it up and charge me the full $27 bucks.
A respectable company would have contacted me to find out if I wanted it cased or not since it couldn't be graded. I'm done with them.

On the submission form you send in, you have to check whether or not you want it cased if its refused. I'm assuming you checked it.
 
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seadonkey said:
They were nice enough to case it up and charge me the full $27 bucks.
A respectable company would have contacted me to find out if I wanted it cased or not since it couldn't be graded. I'm done with them.

The forms you have to submit with your item(s) clearly state that rejected items will still be cased. It shouldn't have been a suprise to you.
 
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Lee_Gray said:
I never knew until last week that they actually grade items with cracked bubbles. i always thought if it had been touched up by ink or had cracked bubbles they refused to grade it, i guess not

Yes. I have an AFA graded figure with a bubble crack. I assume the crack must be small for them to grade it though. In the case of my figure the crack looks like a pin stick it's so small. And for that it got a 70 bubble sub-grade and a 70 overall, despite the card and figure getting 85's. But I'm happy cause I bought it after it was graded and paid half the price it would have cost me as an 85. :p

It's a nice vintage piece and unless you hold it up close you can't even see the damage. Not bad for $65.
 
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Over all I like the AFA grading. I think it's sick that so many people are diving into the trap of paying big big money for a new toy worth $10-15 because it's got a 90 or higher AFA grade. On the other hand if people want to throw their money away on the new stuff over the inflated hype of AFA grading then that leave less competition for the real treasures... the vintage stuff!
 
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</font><blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font>
What's AFA??

[/QUOTE]

AFA: Defined as one word where people are not 100% sure what it is or what it means. Some derive it to mean a means to make $$$ when a certain piece of plastic is graded by certain third party people for a realistic grade. Others regard it as a cruel organization that sentences plastic to a life in a tomb, to which there is no escape.

In a Nutshell: AFA really sucks..

In a classic RS definition: We are not worthy of AFA..

All comments are to be left in the desired place. Now to back to regular programming....
 
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Jason_West said:
</font><blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font>
What's AFA??

Others regard it as a cruel organization that sentences plastic to a life in a tomb, to which there is no escape.

In a Nutshell: AFA really sucks..



[/QUOTE]

I think the key word there is plastic. Sorry, I don't regard my toys as living things that have feelings so casing them up so they look cool doesn't really impact me. I'm also a little too old to be playing with these things -- its not like they have any articulation anyway.
 
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Out of interest, how do the loose graded figures stop from moving about as really just pushing the feet holes into pegs isnt too reliable so what do they do ?
 
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Loose figures constrained by a tight space. The cases are basically custom for every figure so that they can't rattle around and scratch paint.

-chris
 
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I'm a young collector and really don't have much vintage yet. Is it worth it to get some newer but rare pieces graded? (I.E. ROTS exclusives).

I have an Utapau Shadow Trooper I think could get a 90 if i sent it in, would it be worth it?
 
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Mitthrawnuruodo said:
I'm a young collector and really don't have much vintage yet. Is it worth it to get some newer but rare pieces graded? (I.E. ROTS exclusives).

I have an Utapau Shadow Trooper I think could get a 90 if i sent it in, would it be worth it?

I wouldn't advise you do that Mith.
To grade and authenticate a modern figure?

You know the grade from yourself, plus you can play with it whenever you want!
In that case you can't do nothing but stare and admire the AFA grade it got...
 
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Yes true, however chances are if I'd get it graded it would be going on ebay... I'm not at the point in my collection yet to grade things for shelf life.
 
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I have seen new afa items sell for less on ebay. Then I can get afa to grade it for me, and thats after I already have the item. I just won 2 afa yoda's the clone wars for under $30 shipped. I think afa charges like $27 each and you have to have the fig and pay shipping.
 
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I really am not an AFA fan. They have no reall credentials that cause them to be'experts' above and beyond other knowledgeable collectors. Grading seems inconsistent; you can't guarantee who on their staff will grade it, so it naturally will be. That basically defeats the whole purpose of having it third-part graded. Also, are the cases even acid-free and uv-safe? Nothing I've seen of their press says they are, so if they're not, figures encased in them will deteriorate. Just wondering.
 
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TheMadBubbler said:
I really am not an AFA fan. They have no reall credentials that cause them to be'experts' above and beyond other knowledgeable collectors. Grading seems inconsistent; you can't guarantee who on their staff will grade it, so it naturally will be. That basically defeats the whole purpose of having it third-part graded. Also, are the cases even acid-free and uv-safe? Nothing I've seen of their press says they are, so if they're not, figures encased in them will deteriorate. Just wondering.

Acid-free cases? They're acrylic why would they need to be acid free -- it's not a paper case? They offer UV protective archival cases. What makes them better than knowledgeable collectors is job experience -- I imagine they grade hundreds of figures and vehicles every day for years.
 
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hyderyoda said:
I have seen new afa items sell for less on ebay. Then I can get afa to grade it for me, and thats after I already have the item. I just won 2 afa yoda's the clone wars for under $30 shipped. I think afa charges like $27 each and you have to have the fig and pay shipping.

Yes, now's a good time to pick up some stuff if you know you would like a graded, encased figure and don't need to have the highest grades. I think at some point dealers will realize it's only worth it to send in certain pieces for grading. So with the exception being factory sealed cases, I think you will see less and less AFA grading for items that aren't already expected to fetch a high grade. Already now if you check the figure stats at toygrader you can see that lower graded figures are far fewer in number. The sealed factory cases are popular because dealers are fishing for one or two high graded items (AFA 90+) to make their money on while they lose a bit on the low or even moderate-high graded items.

To me buying the modern stuff is like collecting modern postage stamps. I've seen people spend thousands 'collecting' modern postage stamps only to be told by collectors & dealers that they should just use them cause their not worth anything as collectibles. Hope they have to do alot of mailing! In other words, buy all the modern stuff coming out if you have lots of rooms to fill with Star Wars junk and lots of money to throw away. Most people will never recover their money from such a modern collection because we are at the peek of the hype for alot of this stuff. The modern items to buy (if any) will be those that come out when popularity is dying off (remember the original POTF line).

I think that once people are no longer willing to fork over a whole pay check for an AFA 100 item simply for it's being an AFA 100, then we will see the end of dealers sending in entire cases for AFA grading.
 
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TheMadBubbler said:
Grading seems inconsistent; you can't guarantee who on their staff will grade it, so it naturally will be. That basically defeats the whole purpose of having it third-part graded....

Also, are the cases even acid-free and uv-safe? Nothing I've seen of their press says they are, so if they're not, figures encased in them will deteriorate. Just wondering.

I think alot of AFA inconsistencies people complain about is really their own lack of understanding around why a figure received a particular grade. People tend to be vocal about things they don't understand and you will rarely see them admit their own lack of knowledge. A case in point is that while AFA grading isn't perfect, it's much more consistent than the old 'C-something' system where everyone decided for themselves what constitutes a 'C-8'. Yet I have never ever heard as much complaining about the 'C' grading as I have the AFA grading. Watching some dip stick on eBay describe his horrid dog chewed piece of crap action figure as a C-8 is damn hilarious at times but I'll take an AFA grade over it any day.

As for figures deteriorating. They will regardless of what you put them in, but an acrylic case is a lot more figure friendly than a 23+ year old kenner baggie or none at all.
 
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I'm not a big fan of AFA, but that doesn't mean I don't like third-party grading.

I think, overall, third-party grading has met with less resistance from comic book collectors (CGC grading service), relative to the response from action figure collecors to AFA. One of the big differences (and the reason I like CGC better than AFA), is that CGC will do a restoration detection on each book and grade it accordingly. Back in the 1980s, if you looked in any Overstreet guide (for comics), there were full-page ads touting skilled professional restorers (before and after pics of high-end restored comic books), and then these newly-restored books would presumably go back into the market, as a higher grade, and sometimes it was very hard to spot any restoration.

CGC will certify a book and indicate if it's been cleaned, pressed, color-touched, re-stapled, tears fixed, re-glossed, etc. Most collectors won't touch a high-end book unless it's been checked/slabbed by CGC for restoration. I wouldn't either. Many sellers know this, and know they have to get it slabbed because they likely won't sell it to a careful buyer without a restoration certification from CGC. So even though it's been restored, they'll take their chances (and lower dollar amounts) selling a certified restored book (with an "Apparent" grade), then selling an unrestored book without any guarantee (which nobody would touch anyway).

With AFA, if there's any restoration (which usually means Sharpie or some other amateur color touch-up), they won't even grade it. Now there were never the kinds of problems with carded figures being restored as there were with comics, but I don't see a reason why they can't issue an "Apparent" grade, like CGC does (this could be at the submitter's discression-- either return the figure ungraded, or with an "Apparent" grade. I don't understand AFA kicking it back completely-- unless it's been resealed). I think this leads to some instances of sellers putting an old price sticker over said "restoration" and passing it off on ebay to an unsuspecting buyer.

The old arbirary "C" scale was worthless anyway, and I never listened to how anyone graded their items in this way (unless I knew them extremely well). Certainly not on ebay.

People bought and sold high-grade carded figures before AFA (and before the internet), so it obviously can be done, and for much cheaper than leaving it up to AFA, if you're willing to do the work.
 
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AFA does restoration checks on all of its items. CGC allows pressing without giving a restored grade. Comparing CGC to AFA is like comparing my beat up Chevy to a Ferrari. CGCs cases are garbage -- if you look at them funny they crack and the comics jiggle in the wells. Recasings must be an annuity for them. And I hear alot of people complaining about AFA is inconsistent which I think is ridiculous -- just take a look at CGC.
 
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JamesVanDerBeek said:
AFA does restoration checks on all of its items. CGC allows pressing without giving a restored grade. Comparing CGC to AFA is like comparing my beat up Chevy to a Ferrari. CGCs cases are garbage -- if you look at them funny they crack and the comics jiggle in the wells. Recasings must be an annuity for them. And I hear alot of people complaining about AFA is inconsistent which I think is ridiculous -- just take a look at CGC.

Sure, AFA checks for restoration, but they don't grade it if it's been restored. What good's a restoration check if they just kick it back at you if they spot restiration? My point was that CGC checks for restoration and grades accordingly-- they don't just send it back if restoration is found.

From toygrader.com:

AFA reserves the right to determine what constitutes restoration. Examples: Resealed bubble, ink used to cover flaws.

I'm not sure what kind of CGC cases you're referring to, or what exactly you're doing to them, but I've never had a problem with a loose fit, or have ever had to recase a book. Seriously, you're supposed to pretty much just put these things away somewhere once they're slabbed-- there's shouldn't be much expected trauma once you have them back, no?

As far as inconsistancies, grading is not an exact science-- people will always [censored] and moan about grading. If everybody agreed on every grade, we wouldn't need third-party grading services, right?
wink.gif
 
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I agree Dave, I have a bunch of CGC Golden and Silver age comics. I am not an AFA advocate but the CGC cases hold my comics quite tightly and I am pleased with them. I have never had to have one recased. All of mine are displayed. Once they were slabbed they either went on the shelf or sored in the safe, I had them all slabbed myself. It is not like AFA where the figure can escape from the blister. I feel it is quite safe to ship CGC comics. Its not like it is common reading material so the case is not handled at all. The one problem I had was I had too much humidity in my collection room. The top strip CGC stickers started to peel off. So I put a dehumidifier in the room and it solved the problem.
 
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Seth, I've also never had a problem shipping (sending or receiving) slabbed books. I've noticed a little bit of lifting on one my labels (it's an older style label I've had for years), but it's certainly nothing I'd send back to have CGC fix. I'm glad you figured out how to solve your problem-- and the dehumidifier is a great idea anyway.
 
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Dave_T said:
Sure, AFA checks for restoration, but they don't grade it if it's been restored. What good's a restoration check if they just kick it back at you if they spot restoration? My point was that CGC checks for restoration and grades accordingly-- they don't just send it back if restoration is found.

Action figures are plentiful. People buying AFA graded pieces are trying to find the best of the best condition therefore a restored figure is worthless in their eyes. To many people, a few normal flaws are worthless. There's no point in grading figures that will fall below a certain condition level and it's even worse if it's been restored. People don't waste time grading poor figures.

If you want figures that are just cased then you need only to buy a case. Low condition figures have a market and restored figures have a market, but it's just not the market that AFA caters to or a market that wants AFA graded items.

-chris
 
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ChrisGeorgoulias said:
Low condition figures have a market and restored figures have a market, but it's just not the market that AFA caters to or a market that wants AFA graded items. -chris

I see your point. So, with comics, there are books that sell for amounts into five figures (and some into six), even with restoration, because of the rarity of that particular issue. With "plentiful" action figures, as you said, even the highest graded probably wouldn't break into five figures, at all, in top condition (except for the telescoping figures), so any restoration would make them relatively worthless given that particular market.
 
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Just when one thinks afa could not be anymore stupid, this comes up for sale..

Medicom jawa

Though the figure is not vintage, guess anything is graded these days. So they take a figure out of the plastic bag and box and have the ba**s to grade it a U95. Just outstanding!!!
 
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Jason_West said:
Just when one thinks afa could not be anymore stupid, this comes up for sale..

Medicom jawa

Though the figure is not vintage, guess anything is graded these days. So they take a figure out of the plastic bag and box and have the ba**s to grade it a U95. Just outstanding!!!

AFA grades non-vintage items. I recently had some Transformers re-release, Marvel Legends, and Star Wars Unleashed MOCs graded. As far as the Medicom Jawa, it looks like a 95 to me and based on the auction description, it looks like Brian's Toys submitted it and listed it for grading. I don't think I would have any interest in the item but the case looks pretty cool.
 
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JamesVanDerBeek said:
As far as the Medicom Jawa, it looks like a 95 to me

It doesn't matter if you, or I, or anyone thinks it "looks like a 95." If the grader says it's a 95, then that's what it is. Next time around, the same thing might be a 90, or something else. In fact, it appears that Semling used the same exact picture for his U90 Jawa. You're really buying the label that says "U95," regardless of what it looks like. He didn't really need to post a picture at all (although since he chose to, he should've posted pictures of the actual item for sale, ofcourse):
U90 Jawa
 
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Dave_T said:
JamesVanDerBeek said:
As far as the Medicom Jawa, it looks like a 95 to me

It doesn't matter if you, or I, or anyone thinks it "looks like a 95." If the grader says it's a 95, then that's what it is. Next time around, the same thing might be a 90, or something else. In fact, it appears that Semling used the same exact picture for his U90 Jawa. You're really buying the label that says "U95," regardless of what it looks like. He didn't really need to post a picture at all (although since he chose to, he should've posted pictures of the actual item for sale, ofcourse):
U90 Jawa

Good catch. I guess the side is kind of hidden on that 90. I guess they are unusual items to be graded but I know several collectors that like these figs. My friend Bob Oliver who frequents another collector's forum will probably be interested in it because he likes Legos but I'm not sure at that price. He has been kind of droopy lately because of some of the negativity on other forums. I told him he should try this one because it seems more upbeat and then maybe he won't be hanging so low.
 
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so i'm wondering. i've only recently begun collecting. i've almost completed my ROTS figure collection(with variants) and i've begun collecting the new saga collection. are these toys not going to go up in value in the coming years???
 
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More than likely they will go down in price or stay flat. There's just too much of it being collected for it to go up in price.
 
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so what has made the vintage star wars figures so special? were they not as mass produced as toys are now? i've always wondered why they are so expensive now.
 
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A lot of the reason is that back then very few people 'collected' the toys-- they were bought, opened, and played with. So relatively few survived in the package compared to today's figures. Now those who were kids and played with those toys 25 years ago are grown up, have the nostalgia and money, and want their 'childhood' toys again. So there's lots of demand and relatively small supply.

So even 25 years from now, if there are a lot people wanting Mint on Card ROTS figures, they won't be that scarce because so many people have saved them.
 
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