AFA Grading ...
So to a new collector, what should a person know about AFA grading? How much does having something graded actually jack up the price ... i know its relative to the grade but still. Also, the main question i have is this:
What is the criteria they have for grading an item ... obviously its card, bubble/window and figure but what takes away value, what adds value? Price tags ... do they take away value? Punched vs Unpunched .. does that add value? Is the card the most important thing judged? How come sometimes i see a card rated AFA Y70 card 70/bubble 80/ figure 85. Why isnt all the numbers avg'd togeather. Can someone please explain this whole grading thing to me. I have aqquired several really good condition cards that i am considering for grading but from what i'm reading ... could getting a grade like a AFA65 hurt the value of a card as opposed to just not grading it or does it always increase value?
I guess i have tons of questions and not quite sure who to word them all, so if anyone can shed some light on this, i would be greatly appreciate it, thanks again fellow .org'ers
I just got into AFAing vintage MOTU a few months ago so I will offer my meager experience. Others (you know who you are!) will hopefully jump on here and help out more! Please feel free to correct my mistakes!
1. They grade the card, bubble, figure. The overall grade is always the lowest so if a figure is B75 C85 F90 then the grade will be 75.
2. I don't think unpunched does anything to its grade, though some buyers prefer them and will pay more.
3. Things like the NEW! logo, variations (round back Two Bad or painted back Tung Lashor for example) will be mentioned on the AFA tag. Also, the year (duh) which I really like.
4. Yellow bubbles get marked as Y but does not seem to affect the overall grade. Cracked or dented bubbles, bubbles splitting from the card, all bad. In fact, if the bubble is off the card, they will only grade it as loose-complete.
5. For cards, "spidering" or creasing is a big drawback, as is spotting on the cardback, white edges, crushed corners, etc. Wavy but smooth might not be bad as the AFA cases are designed to flatten them. Basically anything that is not a smooth flat bright card will hurt the card grade.
6. I don't think price tags remove value but damaged cards from removed tags do. I actually sort of like a clean whole tag as it furthers the whole "back in time" aspect of this hobby. Seeing some of them marked down to like $2 is fun as well. Especially KB Toys tags, since they are no longer around. I would probably even pay a bit more for a figure with a Children's Palace tag since I have fond memories of that panda-mascoted TRU rival of the 80s.
7. AFAing adds value...to people looking for AFA figures. :P But to them, it seems to add a lot of value - hundreds of dollars or more. It also saves them the paperwork, shipping, insurance, packing, and waiting that AFAing your figures involves.
I've bought 5 figures pre-AFAed and I just got back my first shipment of 6 figures to them a few weeks ago for a total of 11. I have a single AFA70, that's some people's line. And I bought an AFA60 figure just to get it in my hands to tell the difference. I will eventually upgrade but it was a figure I needed so I'm in no hurry. Got it for a song as well. :)
They look nice displayed, which some people enjoy. However, you can no longer Zolo them to a wall so space/shelving may become an issue.
I'd recommend only sending in your very best, shooting for an overall AFA80 grade but that's just what I've learned from others. Also, I would not send in more than 4 at a time. My 6 took a while and came back in a HUGE box! Also, send in the spring and not the fall, they get backed up before the holidays.
Hope this helps! Best of luck and don't forget to share your grades with the rest of us! :)
Ahh the world of AFA.. welcome :hmgrin: it's a highly addictive world we live in.. and oh.. being broke from it.. is an effect from the drug:hmwink:
A lot of people are not fans but you will find some hard core folks and there are a few on here.
How they grade is really dependent on how the card is, bubble and figure...
for instance.. you could have a card that rates an 85 figure that rates and 85 but the bubble has a crack. as soon as a crack is seen the grade on the bubble is 60 automatically .. then the overall grade will also be a 60,
it's never an average.. in order to get those 85's and 80's.. the card bubble and figure all need to hit those high grades.
as for price tags on the card.. as long as they are not attempted to be removed or tampered with and they do not hinder on the look of the card, it will not effect the card grade, but if there is any writing or tears it will grade low.
typically if there is a small crease in a corner and the rest of the card is real nice you'll get an 80 a large crease.. would hit a 75 and numerious creases would score lower.
The figure, they are looking for paint apps and rubbing and these all effect the grade.
as for resale.. yes it helps but really you won't get rich from it... but it lets buyers now that you are getting what they are looking at..
alot of sellers will say , i have a nice Mint MOC and it would grade a 70, when i look for a nice MOC i like it to be a 75+ so if i'm on ebay or here and someone says it's an AFA 75.. i know what i'm getting.
anyways just a few thoughts to chew on. :)
thaks for all the tips ... they really put things into perspective a bit for me ... what about a card with no creases but a dinged corner ... what about a card with no pricetag but pricetag residue (no damage, just the price tag fell off). How do these things affect the grade? Thanks again guys, this site roocks and so do all the members
Like AGe said, that would knock a potential 85 down to an 80 grade for the card. But a small dinged corner is much better than a large crease. My guess is because its a much more common card "injury" and the damage is much smaller and localized.
Originally Posted by GFunny
I'm just guessing on this one but I'd think a small ding in grade, like the above. Maybe a drop from 85 to 80 or so? I would imagine residue is similiar to writing on the card, but maybe not quite so bad. Again, total guess here.
Originally Posted by GFunny
Something I forgot to mention - writing ON the tag, especially if it was done in a store back in the 80s like as a sale or something, does not seem to affect the grade. My AFA85 Ninjor has a KB Toys sticker on it, and on the sticker a red finepoint pen was used to cross out the price ($6.99) and write '$2.00' on it. Still got a great grade so I'm guessing that sort of thing is considered part of the pricetag.
Come to think of it, I'm enjoying the pricetags way more than I thought I would. I have some from stores I never even heard of, which is fun for me. Your mileage may vary. :)
Yes just like SunDevil said.. regarding a price tag.. never remove it or take it off, this will effect a card's grade.. IE.. someone decided to rip a price tag off of a Prince Adam and it tore the print off and left a white rip on the card... bubble scored an 80 figure and 85 card was given a 60 from that rip and the over all grade was a 70. so it went from a 80/85 to a 70 because someone thought it was better to remove the sticker.
and price wise it went from a 800.00+ figure to a 350 dollar figure, once you hit the 80 mark prices go up 85 even better..
just some food for thought.:hmgrin:
Which of these MOCs are worth getting graded if any at all? What do you think they are worth as is and after grading? How much does it cost to get a card graded?
The way I see it if you want to get something graded, do it. If it means something to you, be it money or just a personal like, that's all that matters. I personally have only had 2 things graded so far, a MOC Shadow Weaver (scored a 90 btw) and a Simpsons series 1 Montgomery Burns (85 for him)
Shadow Weaver was a no brainer being exclusive and all, Mr. Burns was all because I loved the character and the line, heck it easily cost more to get him graded then what he's worth. Even if you only score the 60 if it was something you wanted graded and protected, then there ya go. If you're in it just for money then still it'd be worth it. A guaranteed 60 is still worth something more then a questionable 85 to a lot of people.
But mostly the whole "if you want to, do it" Is my rule. I still have other figures I'll get graded sooner or later my MISB Granamyr & Procrustus as well as MOC Classics Fisto,Sorceress,Teela and vintage MOC Kobra Khan and Webstor at least. The vintage ones will probably only score in the 70's if anything, but at least they'll be protected and some measure of certainty will exist. Also once something is graded, you can name your price, just don't be positive you'll get it. Compare and contrast and adjust by what sells and what doesn't. One things for sure though, don't get outrageous or greedy with the numbers, like asking $1,000 bucks for a commonplace figure, as some have done. There's limits to how far you can go before you're out of the realm of realistic thinking. But just spitballing by the looks of the photos I'd say in the range of AFA 75 to 80,maybe?
I'm interested to see what the more seasoned AFAer's say, and to see how well I guessed in contrast to them.
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Who doesn't enjoy seeing a price tag from Zayre's,Venture or Service Merchandise now & again, right?
Originally Posted by SunDevil
By going on the pictures above, and presuming that the bubbles don't have any dents or cracks, I think the BA He-Man and Prince Adam look really nice and I would estimate that they would probably get an overall grade on AFA 80.
Originally Posted by GFunny
As for your Stratos, I would say a 75 only due to the slight creases to the bottom of the card. But in saying that, I have had an item graded in the past, in similar condition, and it came back as an 80.
As for the price tag, I would defiantly not remove it. As the guys said above, this can really effect the overall grade of the piece due to the damage caused or by the glue residue that's left behind.
In regards to pricing, I would have a quick look on their website, as they offer different turnaround times at different costs, i.e the longer the turnaround time, the lower the cost.
Also from looking at the rest of your moc figures, I would say that you have a few there that would score well (AFA80) if you submitted them for grading. I especially like the Buzz Off moc.
Wow really? You don't think any of them could score an 85? I thought for sure there would be a couple in there. What exactly does an item have to have for it to get an 85? And thanks for taking the time to post on this topic, I always appreciate various opinions.
I agree that I do think you have a couple in there that could get an 85 overall grade. i think its always hard to say for sure that any figure would get and AFA 85 with only photos to go on, as you just can't see the small details that could effect the grade.
Originally Posted by GFunny
Have a look and the bubbles, are there any dings and scuffs. Also are there any paint rubs or factory flaws to the figure itself. When ever I have submitted items to AFA, it is always been the card that has lowered my grades. I've had C80 B85 F85 come back with an overall 85, but on another item with the same grades receive and overall 80.
So I now try to submit my items where the card has minimal or no faults to it i.e creases, spider veins or scuffs etc. which is hard.
In my opinion, if I had your items, I would submit, Buzz Off, Teela, Fisto, BA He-Man, Prince Adam and possibly Evil Lyn and Moss Man first, as I think they would have a better chance of receiving an 85 grade. The cards on Buzz Off and Teela look really nice.:hmgrin:
Thats more like it, your a wealth of knowledge my friend ... now one other question. When submitting them they want to know the approximate value, any idea what the value of these figures are? If you had to guess? an actual breakdown would be nice
Just wanted to share my 2 graded items. I'm just blown away by my Shadow Weaver!
So, quick question from an AFA "noob". I'm thinking of getting my U.S. Boxed Cliff Climber, Tower Tools, & Scub Attak graded here shortly. I went to the website and saw the tiers in terms of pricing and delivery turn-around times. What would you guys recommend :) ?
I have a question also:
I am thinking about sending in my Shadow Weaver, Preternia He-Man, and Wun-Dar; HOWEVER, I used the tab on the back to hang them. Will that make a big difference on their grade?