I've met Ken and Todd personally and both are slimy. Todd's book issue & Revenge of the Jedi box flat as mentioned below and Ken's auction house issue don't help their reputation. My concern is that there are serious players in the SW collecting realm on the board or employed by CAS. With that said, it's hard to believe that certain submissions wouldn't get "favorable" gradings based on these close friendships. There was a post on FB over the weekend where such a group got together of these elite collectors, all of which who are "pals of the program".
To be fair, I overheard someone at Celebration 2017 saying that they've called Chad at AFA to dispute the grade they were to receive and got the rating bumped from a 80+ to an 85 as they have a certain AFA member status. With that said, what's to say it hasn't or won't happen at CAS.
Below is a post in RebelScum that speaks for itself. I don't disagree that there should be competition for AFA, but I'm 100% sure Todd Demartino and Ken Black shouldn't be the ones leading an organization to do just that. I'll stick to AFA until those two and their new counsel move along.
Posted by Hoth_My_Fav in RebelScum
CAS grading company and Ken Black
I will keep it short and simple-
The hobby has endured many scandals, frauds and shenanigans through out the years. If one simply digs deep into the rich archives of Rebel Scum, many of these scams, frauds and other black spots, whether large or small can be found. Due to the hard work and diligence of the community, when something comes up, when there is something fishy, when something is off, when someone is misleading, the community comes together to warn others, to get answers and to protect the community from any possible dangers. In this manner, things can be clarified and fixed and the safety of collectors can be assured.
As time marches forward, events like these are often forgotten or aren't talked about because old members move on, new members come in and aren't aware of these dark times. Sometimes a few new members such as myself, have learned through research about some of these dark times because they are documented here on Rebel Scum.
One thing I have greatly enjoyed doing is compiling price data from auction houses on select SW vintage toys and related items. In my travels, I like to check around what the various auction houses are offering and whats coming up. The more I do this in my spare time, the more you become familiar with whos running what. As I was going over where I collect my prices from, it was brought to my attention that one of the principles involved in the CAS grading agencies is Ken Black, who is the COO of CAS. I remember seeing Ken Black's name and him being involved with Sellersville Auction.
If you go online and google Ken Black and his Sellersville Auction, there are a LOT of allegations that do not paint Ken Black in a good light and throw up a lot of caution signs. All over the Internet there are countless complaints about his services, alleging fraud and non payment. More recently, there is the issue regarding bankruptcy, that Ken Black is involved in a Chapter 13 personal bankruptcy case that will be filed soon. A recent news article talks about many recent lawsuits filed in courts alleging non payment and the bankruptcy filing.
Find that article here http://www.mcall.com/news/watchdog/m...27-column.html
When you read that article, I dont know why, at all, you would want to buy a single graded CAS item or even send in your vintage toy to them. Furthermore, why has Todd DeMartino gone into business with someone who brings a less than favorable light to the grading agency? There are other individuals, known to the collecting community that serve as advisors to CAS and my question to them is: are they aware of what is going on with Ken Black and his Sellersville Auction? Are they not bothered by what is going on with with Mr Black and that perhaps their reputations might be affected by what happens with Ken Black?
Finally, in regards to Todd, didnt he stir up some bad feelings (and yes I know this happened years ago and was perhaps forgiven by some) but most newer hobbyists are probably not aware of this but he was called on the carpet for his selling tactic on a Revenge of The Jedi box flat. Had it not been brought up by the community, that issue would not have been corrected. Here is the thread in regards to Todd and how he approached the situation, which it seems, if fellow members had not persuaded him, he would have left a less than accurate description of what he was selling and not being up front. One has to wonder if he did this in the past, how will he implement a system that allows for transparent accurately graded items.
here is the link to that thread on Rebel Scumhttp://forum.rebelscum.com/showthrea...g+revenge+flat
What you all decide to do in the end is up to you but I did find all these things interesting and decided it be better to share what I knew with the community in case others are not aware of what is going on and avoid anyone any heartache.
I plan on following all court filings and documents in detail and I am interested in seeing how much Ken Black owes, who he owes and how much the court decides that he is to pay out to those that are allegedly owed.