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The vagaries of graded figs

Discuss vintage Kenner and Palitoy Star Wars toys from the 1977-1985 era.
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phreatobite
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The vagaries of graded figs

Postby phreatobite » Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:33 pm

Just a quick question: I've got an afa graded C-3P0 with straight 95s but an overall 90, this doesn't seem to make sense if they're taking an average?

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Re: The vagaries of graded figs

Postby Bonsai_Tree_Ent » Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:12 pm

You've got a minty C3PO. Full stop. That ought to be the end of the story!

Some pimply young fellow in a low rent industrial estate, working for probably close to minimum wage has looked at this figure and written a number on a sticker. He's then probably chowed down on a donut and texted his girlfriend in boredom, before being barked at by the duty manager because time is money.

AFA don't consist of a forensic league of uber collector scientists, unfortunately they appear to make careless mistake like yours all too frequently.

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Re: The vagaries of graded figs

Postby Mr-shifter » Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:19 pm

Bonsai_Tree_Ent wrote:You've got a minty C3PO. Full stop. That ought to be the end of the story!

Some pimply young fellow in a low rent industrial estate, working for probably close to minimum wage has looked at this figure and written a number on a sticker. He's then probably chowed down on a donut and texted his girlfriend in boredom, before being barked at by the duty manager because time is money.

AFA don't consist of a forensic league of uber collector scientists, unfortunately they appear to make careless mistake like yours all too frequently.


Surely not. I thought Tom derby inspected every one personally with a microscope before diligently photographing and cataloguing the piece, writing a 3 page condition report and then personally entering the details on to their computer system.

They are after all, the authority.
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Re: The vagaries of graded figs

Postby subzero » Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:35 pm

Don't agree with grading for the most part, but on the other hand it's helped me get a very cheap Boba Fett MOC because it was graded a 50 for some silly reason, in my eyes looks more like a 70 with a good bubble, if I wanted I could crack that thing open right now and double my money selling it.

Thank you AFA for your awful grade. 8)
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Re: The vagaries of graded figs

Postby ScruffyLookingNH » Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:38 pm

subzero wrote:Don't agree with grading for the most part, but on the other hand it's helped me get a very cheap Boba Fett MOC because it was graded a 50 for some silly reason, in my eyes looks more like a 70 with a good bubble, if I wanted I could crack that thing open right now and double my money selling it.

Thank you AFA for your awful grade. 8)


Just had to look over to my right to check my Palitoy Boba Fett MOC graded 50 that I picked up for a bargain price was still there :lol: Benefited from a few "low graded" MOCs going cheap because the owner couldn't get past the grade. It's about the only reason I like grading.

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Re: The vagaries of graded figs

Postby subzero » Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:48 pm

ScruffyLookingNH wrote:
subzero wrote:Don't agree with grading for the most part, but on the other hand it's helped me get a very cheap Boba Fett MOC because it was graded a 50 for some silly reason, in my eyes looks more like a 70 with a good bubble, if I wanted I could crack that thing open right now and double my money selling it.

Thank you AFA for your awful grade. 8)


Just had to look over to my right to check my Palitoy Boba Fett MOC graded 50 that I picked up for a bargain price was still there :lol: Benefited from a few "low graded" MOCs going cheap because the owner couldn't get past the grade. It's about the only reason I like grading.


Haha I stole your Boba!

Same situation with my one it's like the seller listed it thinking this is all it's worth cus it's a 50, only the seller had no idea I probably would have paid an extra £100 on it easy! :wink: it's actually a really nice card.

Whoever graded it that day must have been dumped by his bird or something lol.
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Re: The vagaries of graded figs

Postby choffialoopa » Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:14 pm

I would rather have a figure in one of Iain's display containers and a handful of pictures to decide if something belongs in my collection. That big AFA/UKG number stamp doesn't look pretty. Gives the whole collection an artificial scientific look, rather than a genuine romantic look.

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Re: The vagaries of graded figs

Postby weasel » Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:31 pm

Bonsai_Tree_Ent wrote:You've got a minty C3PO. Full stop. That ought to be the end of the story!

Some pimply young fellow in a low rent industrial estate, working for probably close to minimum wage has looked at this figure and written a number on a sticker. He's then probably chowed down on a donut and texted his girlfriend in boredom, before being barked at by the duty manager because time is money.

AFA don't consist of a forensic league of uber collector scientists, unfortunately they appear to make careless mistake like yours all too frequently.



Ehhh....Girlfriend!? :lol:
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Re: The vagaries of graded figs

Postby Merrion » Thu Jan 18, 2018 9:20 pm

I dont get the consistent rants or slights or disdain for graded figures whenever grading is discussed. This is not unique to this thread specifically and ive read numerous views expressed on this site in other threads just bashing grading full stop. Its almost like if you dont a negative view for grading ur almost by implication guilty of some hanging offence lol.

Grading is a feature of the collecting community, simple as. Sure you dont have to buy into it but suggesting those that do are somehow duped because apparentedly they needed someone else to tell them what condition their figure is in.

In an era where figures are flooded with repo weapons grading offers security to those less familiar with idetifying fakes. Some people like having an independent body examining their figure and having them graded to validate its condition objectively. For some the thrill is in the anticipation of getting a high grade and then putting this in pride of place to their collection. Nothing wrong with that.

Of course like any service provided in any industry mistakes can be made and questions raised on some decisions. But hey tell me where this dosent happen. I also dont like U grading petsonally for obvious reasons and would make the exception on this element.

So for anyone else reading this and who likes collecting graded items I just wanted to shout out and express a positive view to proceedings. I have some graded figures but only represents about 4% of all my figures. That said I would have no hesitation in getting more at the right price, particulary the first 12.

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Re: The vagaries of graded figs

Postby palitoyjunky » Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:53 am

phreatobite wrote:Just a quick question: I've got an afa graded C-3P0 with straight 95s but an overall 90, this doesn't seem to make sense if they're taking an average?


I will do u a favour and actually answer ur question :lol:
The overall grade given to a piece is not the result of an average :!: The overall grade given is the most fitting to describe the overall look of the piece :!: So u say ur 3PO has got straight 95 subs :?: Am assuming it has been graded 90 95 95 :?: Who ever graded it believed that overall ur MOC looks like a 90 and is not quite good enough to look like a 95. So in ur case they believed the lowest sub grade governed the overall appearance of the piece :!: I have MOCs in my collection with identical sub grades and diff overall grades :!: Just rem at the end of the day it’s just an opinion of someone else and the differences between a 90 and 95 r so microscopic it really doesn’t matter :)
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Re: The vagaries of graded figs

Postby Clarkspie&chips » Fri Jan 19, 2018 12:14 pm

palitoyjunky wrote:Just rem at the end of the day it’s just an opinion of someone else and the differences between a 90 and 95 r so microscopic it really doesn’t matter :)


That is true until you come to sell because going from a 90 to 95 can add a huge amount to the price

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Re: The vagaries of graded figs

Postby Snaketibe » Fri Jan 19, 2018 2:39 pm

Merrion wrote:I dont get the consistent rants or slights or disdain for graded figures whenever grading is discussed. This is not unique to this thread specifically and ive read numerous views expressed on this site in other threads just bashing grading full stop. Its almost like if you dont a negative view for grading ur almost by implication guilty of some hanging offence lol.

Grading is a feature of the collecting community, simple as. Sure you dont have to buy into it but suggesting those that do are somehow duped because apparentedly they needed someone else to tell them what condition their figure is in.

In an era where figures are flooded with repo weapons grading offers security to those less familiar with idetifying fakes. Some people like having an independent body examining their figure and having them graded to validate its condition objectively. For some the thrill is in the anticipation of getting a high grade and then putting this in pride of place to their collection. Nothing wrong with that.

Of course like any service provided in any industry mistakes can be made and questions raised on some decisions. But hey tell me where this dosent happen. I also dont like U grading petsonally for obvious reasons and would make the exception on this element.

So for anyone else reading this and who likes collecting graded items I just wanted to shout out and express a positive view to proceedings. I have some graded figures but only represents about 4% of all my figures. That said I would have no hesitation in getting more at the right price, particulary the first 12.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, including you. You like, or at least believe you can see some benefits in, grading. That's entirely fair enough. However, it's also fair enough for those of us who consider grading to be a waste of time and money to hold that view too.

Your views are your own and you are absolutely entitled to hold them, no matter who might agree or disagree with them. I would however like to offer a rebuttal to some of the points you raise. Firstly, I genuinely don't require someone else, whether expert or not, to tell me how good something I already own actually is. I have eyes and a brain and can see that for myself.

Secondly, you mention what at first glance sounds like a good point with regards to repro weapons (presumably with loose graded figures, of course). However, firstly this assumes that the graders can actually spot a fake weapon from a real one (some will, some may well not), however once that weapon is encased in its plastic prison, it makes checking whether the graders have made the right decision considerably more difficult. Far more to the point however is that you seem to be saying that there are people out there paying the very steep grading prices in order just to guarantee a genuine weapon. Come off it! Who pays twice the price for a loose figure in order to ensure that just a weapon (which incidentally can never again be held by any figure for as long as it's encased in Perspex) is the real thing? A vanishingly few people might do this, but the vast majority of people won't.

You also mention that some collectors like having an independent body validating an item's condition objectively, but it isn't objective. It's entirely subjective; it's simply the personal opinion of that particular grader or that particular day. There's no official global standard measure for assessing the condition of these things. It's only ever been about people's personal opinions. And yet once those opinions are given, they magically imbue the graded item with double the value of an identical ungraded one! That in a nutshell, more than anything else, is why I consider grading to be so pointless.

By implication as well, you seem to be saying that there is almost an altruistic element to grading; that the graders are assisting the inexperienced collector in purchasing the real thing (both figures and weapons, of course). But let's get real here, if that ever happens it's an incidental by-product of the grading business. Grading exists for one reason only; so graders can make money.

If you personally don't understand the dislike of grading, even after you've heard the arguments of those people, such as myself, who don't like it, then that's fair enough. I can only repeat that you are absolutely entitled to your opinion and YOU ARE NOT WRONG :-); if you like graded figures and the grading process, that is your perfect right. However there is no absolute right or wrong answer here regarding whether grading is good, bad or indifferent, and therefore those of us that don't like grading for the reasons stated above (or others), are entitled to think that too.

Peace! :-)

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Re: The vagaries of graded figs

Postby subzero » Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:44 pm

I don't like grading and I completely stay away from it with everything I collect, accept for just one extremely rare example and that's my VCJ which is the only figure I wanted to buy graded, however I didn't buy it because of the grade I solely wanted it for the authenticity. I even had the chance to buy an 85 grade but passed on it when I spotted an 80 for a bit cheaper, I would have still bought it if it was a 70 as I just don't care about the number, if it looks nice and it's real then that's all that matters to me.

With the amount of fakes and scams out there with the VCJ i'd rather have that graded for piece of mind for both me and my buyer if/when I decide to sell it one day, it gives the buyer absolute confidence in it's authenticity and makes it much easier to shift and get the best price.

I'll never get another graded figure!
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Re: The vagaries of graded figs

Postby Mini99 » Fri Jan 19, 2018 6:50 pm

Snaketibe wrote:
Merrion wrote:I dont get the consistent rants or slights or disdain for graded figures whenever grading is discussed. This is not unique to this thread specifically and ive read numerous views expressed on this site in other threads just bashing grading full stop. Its almost like if you dont a negative view for grading ur almost by implication guilty of some hanging offence lol.

Grading is a feature of the collecting community, simple as. Sure you dont have to buy into it but suggesting those that do are somehow duped because apparentedly they needed someone else to tell them what condition their figure is in.

In an era where figures are flooded with repo weapons grading offers security to those less familiar with idetifying fakes. Some people like having an independent body examining their figure and having them graded to validate its condition objectively. For some the thrill is in the anticipation of getting a high grade and then putting this in pride of place to their collection. Nothing wrong with that.

Of course like any service provided in any industry mistakes can be made and questions raised on some decisions. But hey tell me where this dosent happen. I also dont like U grading petsonally for obvious reasons and would make the exception on this element.

So for anyone else reading this and who likes collecting graded items I just wanted to shout out and express a positive view to proceedings. I have some graded figures but only represents about 4% of all my figures. That said I would have no hesitation in getting more at the right price, particulary the first 12.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, including you. You like, or at least believe you can see some benefits in, grading. That's entirely fair enough. However, it's also fair enough for those of us who consider grading to be a waste of time and money to hold that view too.

Your views are your own and you are absolutely entitled to hold them, no matter who might agree or disagree with them. I would however like to offer a rebuttal to some of the points you raise. Firstly, I genuinely don't require someone else, whether expert or not, to tell me how good something I already own actually is. I have eyes and a brain and can see that for myself.

Secondly, you mention what at first glance sounds like a good point with regards to repro weapons (presumably with loose graded figures, of course). However, firstly this assumes that the graders can actually spot a fake weapon from a real one (some will, some may well not), however once that weapon is encased in its plastic prison, it makes checking whether the graders have made the right decision considerably more difficult. Far more to the point however is that you seem to be saying that there are people out there paying the very steep grading prices in order just to guarantee a genuine weapon. Come off it! Who pays twice the price for a loose figure in order to ensure that just a weapon (which incidentally can never again be held by any figure for as long as it's encased in Perspex) is the real thing? A vanishingly few people might do this, but the vast majority of people won't.

You also mention that some collectors like having an independent body validating an item's condition objectively, but it isn't objective. It's entirely subjective; it's simply the personal opinion of that particular grader or that particular day. There's no official global standard measure for assessing the condition of these things. It's only ever been about people's personal opinions. And yet once those opinions are given, they magically imbue the graded item with double the value of an identical ungraded one! That in a nutshell, more than anything else, is why I consider grading to be so pointless.

By implication as well, you seem to be saying that there is almost an altruistic element to grading; that the graders are assisting the inexperienced collector in purchasing the real thing (both figures and weapons, of course). But let's get real here, if that ever happens it's an incidental by-product of the grading business. Grading exists for one reason only; so graders can make money.

If you personally don't understand the dislike of grading, even after you've heard the arguments of those people, such as myself, who don't like it, then that's fair enough. I can only repeat that you are absolutely entitled to your opinion and YOU ARE NOT WRONG :-); if you like graded figures and the grading process, that is your perfect right. However there is no absolute right or wrong answer here regarding whether grading is good, bad or indifferent, and therefore those of us that don't like grading for the reasons stated above (or others), are entitled to think that too.

Peace! :-)

So Snaketibe, are you for grading or not, I’m not too sure! :lol:
I must say that was a well written argument against grading without getting too personal. :wink:
I for one do have a few graded items in my collection, just because that was how they were when I bought them, I certainly wouldn’t and didn’t pay a premium for them though.
When I restarted collecting I did send two items away for grading, as I lacked the knowledge to be able to tell if the weapon was correct or not, but am very unlikely to that ever again.
Not because its un cool, but because I have the faith in guys on here to be able to help and assist me when I need help.
I also have found that building my knowledge is half the fun, I check, make a decision and then get a second opinion if a bit unsure, to further my knowledge.
Get to know guys on here and you will build up a group that you will feel comfortable with asking anything, believe me, it’s better than sending off something for grading, considerably cheaper, far far quicker and more enjoyable!

On another note, I think that this would make an excellent “forum” for a future podcast if anyone’s reading. :wink:

Enjoy your collecting which ever way you chose, it’s your collection so do it your way, as Frank Sinatra would have said. :lol:
Last edited by Mini99 on Fri Jan 19, 2018 8:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: The vagaries of graded figs

Postby choffialoopa » Fri Jan 19, 2018 8:02 pm

Display preferences are individual.

I find some upgrade 80 prettier than some 85. It is a subjective unscientific grading process that makes its own existence paradoxal. But it guarantees less risk when selling again.

Authentication makes much more sense in binary question of yes and no. Like an autograph from carri fisher is real or not.

Only place grading would make sense is spotting repro or original VCJ. But if snakebite is right you might have an inexperienced grader who can't spot some of the better reproductions then it just confirms the paradox of afa and ukg


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