Video Inside AFA with Derby

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business is business....
grin.gif
 
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</font><blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font>
SunTrust visits with Tom Derby, OWNER of Collectible Grading Authority

[/QUOTE]
 
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John_A_Graham said:
</font><blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font>
SunTrust visits with Tom Derby, OWNER of Collectible Grading Authority

[/QUOTE]

Yeah, did I miss something? I thought he owned collectible invest brokerage and authenticated items FOR CGA???

Anyway, that USS Flagg was pretty sweet
grin.gif


-Jeff
 
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John_A_Graham said:
</font><blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font>
SunTrust visits with Tom Derby, OWNER of Collectible Grading Authority

[/QUOTE]
Anyone who hasn't already worked that out for themselves, regardless of assurances, is at least one baggie short of a multi if you ask me.
 
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AllanB said:
John_A_Graham said:
</font><blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font>
SunTrust visits with Tom Derby, OWNER of Collectible Grading Authority
Anyone who hasn't already worked that out for themselves, regardless of assurances, is at least one baggie short of a multi if you ask me.

[/QUOTE]

*snicker*
 
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You didn't miss anything...

In my conversations with Tom he has always been very candid that he is a shareholder/owner at CGA. However, it is my understanding that CGA is a corporation and Tom is only one of *many* shareholders. You can tell that the article is focused on "owners" of small businesses and that is probably why they chose to call Tom the owner.

Just watch the video for yourself, Tom never says anything about being the owner or being the CEO.

-chris
 
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AllanB said:
John_A_Graham said:
</font><blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font>
SunTrust visits with Tom Derby, OWNER of Collectible Grading Authority
Anyone who hasn't already worked that out for themselves, regardless of assurances, is at least one baggie short of a multi if you ask me.

[/QUOTE]

A:lol, Allan.
B: Regardless of the suspected link between Derby and AFA, he has never actually been called the "CEO" before, has he?

I somehow imagine that this thread will become a "20 pager."
 
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xiskool said:
You didn't miss anything...

In my conversations with Tom he has always been very candid that he is a shareholder/owner at CGA. However, it is my understanding that CGA is a corporation and Tom is only one of *many* shareholders. You can tell that the article is focused on "owners" of small businesses and that is probably why they chose to call Tom the owner.

Just watch the video for yourself, Tom never says anything about being the owner or being the CEO.

-chris

O.K. now it makes more sense. the caption reading "Tom Derby, CEO, CGA" appearing below Tom during the interview did however throw me off a bit.

Maybe Sun Trust took some liberties in the production...??

-Jeff
 
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AllanB said:
John_A_Graham said:
</font><blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font>
SunTrust visits with Tom Derby, OWNER of Collectible Grading Authority
Anyone who hasn't already worked that out for themselves, regardless of assurances, is at least one baggie short of a multi if you ask me.

[/QUOTE]

Assurances? I suspect some people are mixing up Tom's denial of CCC ownership with CGA ownership. That is, in the past there was all this controversy surrounding CCC and their AFA grading results. People were suggesting that CCC was getting special treatment because they figured Tom was still involved in CCC. But Tom denied any continued ownership of CCC.

CollectInvest said:
For the record, as of 4th quarter 2005, I have left Cloud City. I hold no ownership, profit sharing, or otherwise in that company.

I don't know how much more clear this statement can be. I have not avoided the question or used any deceptive wording. This statement is clear as day.

Also, FYI: Cloud City is far from AFA's biggest customer these days. There are other dealers, toy manufacturers, etc., which represent much more business to both AFA and my current company CIB than Cloud City does.

"Cloud City Cunningness??" Thread


I don't recall him denying involvement in CGA. But even if he had at one time in the past, as I understand from chats with him, his involvement in CGA has evolved since he left these forums. At least that's my understanding.

Leif
 
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Wow - nothing like I've always pictured.
My thoughts of a little room full of parcels and a couple of guys sitting around a table looking at stuff has just been altered.

And that's also the first time I've seen an image of Tom Derby..... a lot younger than I imagined!!!
 
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hmm the SunTrust message I got was:

increased responsibilities + long hours + subjective grading = fail
 
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That SunTrust was a very strange show, a little creepy
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grin.gif

But nice to finally see inside AFA!
 
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dylbacca said:
John_A_Graham said:
</font><blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font>
SunTrust visits with Tom Derby, OWNER of Collectible Grading Authority



duh.gif


[/QUOTE]

wink.gif
smile.gif


[/QUOTE]

Can't handle what's thrown right in front of you Dyl?...
wink.gif


-John
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Leif_G said:
AllanB said:
John_A_Graham said:
</font><blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font>
SunTrust visits with Tom Derby, OWNER of Collectible Grading Authority
Anyone who hasn't already worked that out for themselves, regardless of assurances, is at least one baggie short of a multi if you ask me.

Assurances? I suspect some people are mixing up Tom's denial of CCC ownership with CGA ownership. That is, in the past there was all this controversy surrounding CCC and their AFA grading results. People were suggesting that CCC was getting special treatment because they figured Tom was still involved in CCC. But Tom denied any continued ownership of CCC.

CollectInvest said:
For the record, as of 4th quarter 2005, I have left Cloud City. I hold no ownership, profit sharing, or otherwise in that company.

I don't know how much more clear this statement can be. I have not avoided the question or used any deceptive wording. This statement is clear as day.

Also, FYI: Cloud City is far from AFA's biggest customer these days. There are other dealers, toy manufacturers, etc., which represent much more business to both AFA and my current company CIB than Cloud City does.

"Cloud City Cunningness??" Thread


I don't recall him denying involvement in CGA. But even if he had at one time in the past, as I understand from chats with him, his involvement in CGA has evolved since he left these forums. At least that's my understanding.

Leif

[/QUOTE]

rolleyes.gif
 
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I assumed this was known info as well. If I remember correctly, Tom purchased AFA from the original owners at or shortly after Celebration II. An old friend of Tom's arranged a tour of Cloud City for me around that time. I remember because ALL of the Vintage toys from the C2 display were still on the property (Got a peek at the original Chewbacca card art and about 15 or 20 DT Vaders!). If I'm not mistaken, I think the deal was actually inked at C2.
 
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We were discussing this in the SWF Chat last night as the thread broke.

AFA have done a good job at projecting themselves as a big powerful established company and i bet many people expected to see men in white coats with gloves, production lines etc etc. After seeing that it looks like a small warehouse operation to me nothing more.

Quite frankly that video totally dispels a number of things that the AFA Loyalists have been saying!

After watching the interview you can clearly see that Tom is all about the business and not the hobby although its wasn't mentioned im pretty sure he was referring to the Q and U grades when talking about the changes implemented and the recent upswing in business.

Im pretty shocked after seeing that video actually.
 
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Vaccaros said:
I feel a great disturbance in the Hobby, as if thousands of MOCs suddenly cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced in acrylic.

I was sipping coffee when I read this and it made me laugh so hard that coffee shot out of my nose. Hilarious! : )
 
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Hello Everyone,

I have decided to post on this particular topic to clarify the facts and to lay out details regarding my business endeavors. For the last few years (albeit not as a participant or a poster on Rebelscum), I’ve been very direct and forthcoming about the fact that in addition to running Collectible Investment Brokerage, I am now a shareholder (a form of ownership) in CGA. There are however currently more than 10 shareholders in the company and there is no individual who controls a majority stake in the corporation.

Regarding the SunTrust video, I’m surprised it has just now been posted. I sent it to several collectors and heard about it from several collectors beginning this summer. This interview (really a SunTrust commercial) was a favor I did for a friend who works for SunTrust. She called me and asked if I could help her by doing an interview because they were on a tight timeline, and were having trouble locating interesting small businesses to interview. It is a fact that I am not an employee of CGA and I receive no salary. I do however sit on the Board of Directors and I spend a great number of hours each week working at CGA. When I was asked about my position, I stated ‘Strategic Analyst’ which best describes my administrative role in helping to improve procedures at CGA, market CGA, and assist in handling the company’s ‘big picture’ endeavors. However, they insisted that CEO was a description which would be less confusing to their target audience. As far as the word ‘owner’ being used, that is simply an issue of semantics and by being a shareholder in the company I am in effect an owner. Because the focus of their interview/commercial was on small business, I can understand why there was simply no reason to confuse viewers by discussing shareholders, board meetings, etc. as I originally suggested.

Regarding the pictures of the inside of the operation, they reflect only about 10% of the building which was actually cleared and set up by the filming crew. I know that there has been a good deal of curioity about this for several years. Beginning last year, CGA began offering tours more regularly and has also been working on a youtube video which will showcase the entire facility. Whether you care about grading or not, I believe getting a chance to see the entire 10,000 square foot operation from the inside is quite interesting, especially the acrylic fabrication factory and the grading lab which were not shown in the commercial.

Anyone who ever wants to get in touch with me knows where to find me. I’m always available to help however I can.

Thanks,

Tom
 
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John,

As I've continued to read these forums your comments have at times become more and more balanced. However, taking an excerpt from a quick, unscripted interview like that and asking me such a basic question shows that you have too much time on your hands to ask public questions in order to get attention, and no time to research these questions for yourself. You can find this answer here on the forums or on CGA's websites.

Furthermore, you've shown me in a single post why I should not consider coming back to Rebelscum. Any help I could provide by sharing interesting and valuable information would simply be overshadowed by the same debates, the same ignored answers, and the same overall discussions which truly offer the hobby nothing of positive value.

My final post and answer to a question which most longstanding forum members already know the answer to is:

Of course AFA checks for everything mentioned. This includes fake and reproduction carded figures, boxed items, loose items and virtually everything else. It is only CIB's job to check both GAS submissions (rare loose variants and prototypes) as well as to provide second opinions on a variety of other extremely rare and high end items.

I'd be happy to address any other questions or help other collectors any way I can, but please email me directly at tom@collectinvest.com

Thanks,

Tom
 
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Question...

What about something like this

I understand mistakes happen, but when the idea of a service is based primarily on AUTHENTICATING items, when something slips through the cracks is quite disturbing.

Maybe that's a cause for loss in revenue, a loss in faith in the service?
 
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I respect Tom's attention to collector's concerns, so as per his statement in my PM - I hereby post his resonse to me for other collector's to read:

Hi Mike,

I am signing off after this message, so please feel free to email me any questions. Your question is a legitimate and important question so I'm answering by PM. Please be encouraged to post this informtion as I believe the answer is important. When certain knockoffs are released (and are production quality and factory produced), it can take a short time to identify them on the market. If AFA makes a mistake like this, they buy it back, reimbursing the buyer in full so that there is no risk in purchasing graded items. This item was bought back and taken off the market so that it is no longer in circulation. This is AFA's policy to ensure collectors are safe and protected when buying graded items. It is important to realize that this is not only a factory produced item with only minor differences, but also one manufactured using many parts from the original molds in China. Lucasfilm is very good at enforcing their trademark, but there are new knock-off Transformers hitting the market everyday. As AFA approaches close to a quarter of a million items graded, there are certainly some errors in circulation. It is AFA's policy of dealing with these mistakes and offering reimbursement which is most important. Afterall, mistakes can and will occur in any job performed by people. How a company deals with these mistakes is what defines a company.

Please feel free to email if I can do anything else to help.

Thanks,

Tom
 
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CollectInvest said:
John,

As I've continued to read these forums your comments have at times become more and more balanced. However, taking an excerpt from a quick, unscripted interview like that and asking me such a basic question shows that you have too much time on your hands to ask public questions in order to get attention, and no time to research these questions for yourself. You can find this answer here on the forums or on CGA's websites.

Furthermore, you've shown me in a single post why I should not consider coming back to Rebelscum. Any help I could provide by sharing interesting and valuable information would simply be overshadowed by the same debates, the same ignored answers, and the same overall discussions which truly offer the hobby nothing of positive value.

My final post and answer to a question which most longstanding forum members already know the answer to is:

Of course AFA checks for everything mentioned. This includes fake and reproduction carded figures, boxed items, loose items and virtually everything else. It is only CIB's job to check both GAS submissions (rare loose variants and prototypes) as well as to provide second opinions on a variety of other extremely rare and high end items.

I'd be happy to address any other questions or help other collectors any way I can, but please email me directly at tom@collectinvest.com

Thanks,

Tom

Tom I respect the fact that you took it upon yourself to come on and reply to my posts, I figured it was only a matter of time before you would do so.

That being said, I'll make a PUBLIC deal with you for the sake of those who like your service(s) and are members/collectors of these boards.

If YOU come back to posting on RS on a regular basis then I WILL stay away from ALL AFA/CGA/CIB discussions/posts/threads, and if I don't then the higher authorities can take upon themselves with my blessing to ban me from the boards for life.

I'll leave the decision up to you sir.

Cheers,

-John <<<<Who has always had a great respect for you, just not necessarily your business practices.
 
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Tom my apologies on the CIB/CGA statement above, as it was posted at the exact same time you posted your explanation, therefore my comment was made/posted without the knowledge of your first post, and as such I would not have made my post knowing that you had posted.

Sorry about that.

-John
 
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John_A_Graham said:
Tom my apologies on the CIB/CGA statement above, as it was posted at the exact same time you posted your explanation, therefore my comment was made/posted without the knowledge of your first post, and as such I would not have made my post knowing that you had posted.

Sorry about that.

-John

John - 10 yard penalty for overuse of the word "post" LOL
 
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I for one, hope that Tom would rejoin the forums.

During the early-mid 90's most of my SW collecting acquisitions were through collectible toy dealers, and I soon became aware of the fact that there are different degrees of separation between people who collect, and people who simply profit off of those who collect. There are people out there who do share our interest in vintage SW collecting, even as they also view the hobby as a way to earn money. They may have more of a business focus, and may not always do things the way a pure collector may. Sometimes, this results in legitimate concerns being expressed.

In the past, when Tom was more actively participating in the forums, he was always doing his best to address people concerns, answer questions, etc.... which is not something you will find in many business people related to our hobby.

It would be nice to see a day when these forums could function as a platform for more mature discussion with fewer comments born out of ignorance, attitude or ego. I know I'm no 'poster boy' in that respect either. But I'm trying.

Leif
 
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I, too miss the presence of Tom Derby on these forums, but completely understand why he chooses not to be a part of this community. Heck, the fact that i collect AFA items sometimes makes me fearful to post here at times.

I would like to say that i appreciate Tom's candidness in this post, and also his general classiness as a friend to the fellow collector, i know it cannot be easy with all of the anti AFA sentiment going around.

I hope that someday we can put this all to rest and have a live and let live / collect and let collect attitude (although to be clear, i am not holding my breath on that one).
 
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jaymassive619 said:
After watching the interview you can clearly see that Tom is all about the business and not the hobby although its wasn't mentioned im pretty sure he was referring to the Q and U grades when talking about the changes implemented and the recent upswing in business.

I would expect any small business owner (which is what you are when you are an owner of a closely held company) who is being interviewed in a business-related video to come off as "all about the business". That's kind of the idea.

And I respectfully disagree with the inference that Tom doesn't care about the hobby. I won't get into an argument here over it but when the hobby is your lifeblood for personal income (and income of employees) it's impossible to not care about it. It may come across differently to those of us because Tom financially benefits from the hobby in a way most of us aren't able to.

I suspect there is no way for Tom to return to the forums. Everytime he's here his threads devolve into AFA name calling but make no mistake, the forums are always better with his participation.

And as a former Suntrust banker I must say I never thought my former bank would get into the tv production biz. Good see they have some spare time in the Atlanta market, ha ha.
 
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Nice post Bryan.

I actually had to laugh when in the video, the SunTrust folks suggest to Tom that he do more online to present himself as an expert in collectibles. On top of actually being one of the foremost 'experts' in terms of his vast exposure to SW toys, he's also one of the most outstanding personalities I've had the pleasure of meeting online. Even on issues unrelated to AFA, he always seems willing to respond to people's questions and share his insights. Of course, more so through PMs and email since 'leaving' these forums.

Leif
 
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Feelings about AFA aside, I've had several dealings with Tom Derby and he's been nothing but fair and square with me. This is my experience.
 
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I just wish Tom would have wore his t-shirt that says "My Pen Is Huge" that would have made the video awesome.
smile.gif


-Jeff
 
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Glad to see all the thoughts and opinions. I personally love AFA and CIB. A lot of people who dislike AFA hate it because it drives up the items value.
I do not bye the grading fees or being trapped excuse. Yes it is true, there are people out there who only have items graded to increase there bargain, to their, benefit, but that's business. IT'S ALMOST TO ME A BETTER PRESENTATION. When you have something rare graded and it comes back OK you are relieved.


Question?

How many of you have seen something you wanted to purchase but didn't because it was ungraded?
Raise your hand.
I too fall in that category.

There are mixed feelings. How would you know if it is real or not unless you had it graded? We all rely on experted opinions, but to see it graded gives a sign of relief.

I bet to shut up before I dig a deeper hole.
FunnyMandiggingcl2.gif
 
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BobaBlarcFett said:
How many of you have seen something you wanted to purchase but didn't because it was ungraded?

If I see something I want to purchase regardless if it is graded I will attempt to purchase it provided I have the funds to do so. I've purchased AFA Graded items in the past only to bust them out of the case as soon as I received them, I did not purchase AFA graded items because they were graded, but rather because that was the only way I could find the item(s) (grade had nothing to do with the purchase either).

As to this: </font><blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font>
A lot of people who dislike AFA hate it because it drives up the items value.

[/QUOTE]
Have you not been paying attention at all? There are countless reasons COLLECTORS dislike the services that you mentioned, other than the fact that they do indeed drive up the prices to false/inflated values.

Keep driving the prices up and the younger generations will never be able to enter the hobby, then what??? Without new younger collectors the hobby will eventually dry up.

-John
 
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The problem with that video was a severe lack of buzz words. Good grief! Could they say leverage like five more times?
 
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As to this: </font><blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font>
A lot of people who dislike AFA hate it because it drives up the items value.

[/QUOTE]
Have you not been paying attention at all? There are countless reasons COLLECTORS dislike the services that you mentioned, other than the fact that they do indeed drive up the prices to false/inflated values.

Keep driving the prices up and the younger generations will never be able to enter the hobby, then what??? Without new younger collectors the hobby will eventually dry up.

-John

[/QUOTE]

Younger collectors will respect that they have a better example than theres next. There really is no way for me or you to win this argument. Other than let AFA play it's part. If you hate AFA don't respond or should I put in better context don't agree, don't respond. I have a piece I had CIbed and if it wasn't for that I would not believe it as it is a rare and bold statement to make if you do not own a legitimate. 40million yen say enough. I hope. I love rebelscum. I am not loved by the others as I can see no support.
 
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