If this guy really committed fraud on this level, possibly for hundreds of thousands of dollars, has anyone filed a complaint with police? I'm shocked that there isn't some kind of criminal investigation?
All of this underscores why I don't collect carded vintage. There was no discernible difference between his fakes and the real deal besides the air in the sealed bubble... And even authentic carded figures are too expensive a risk considering that eventually all those bubbles are coming off of those 35 year old cardbacks someday anyway as the glue ages and fails.
It's why I stopped collecting carded vintage, about half way in. I have some really nice pieces, no question. No AFA crap either. But two brief stories:
I bought a lovely vintage Star Wars carded Gonk Droid. It came alright, but shortly after the glue let go and I now have a lovely loose Gonk Droid. I can't even get and AFA-U on it because they didn't open it. Rob's right, the glue will eventually let loose. It might be another 30 years, but it might be 30 days.
As for AFA I have a very good Canadian friend that sent in his toy fair Vader to AFA. He's an excellent collector and a very big vintage carded collector as well so he's quite aware of grading and quality factors for cards, bubbles, etc. He was pretty convinced he sent in something that should come back as AFA90 and it came back AFA75. He is absolutely convinced that AFA switched out his Vader for another. Now, it's completely and utterly anecdotal and there is precisely zero proof behind the story. But I know the guy, he's been collecting since he was a kid and that's when the movies first came out. He's a knowledgeable authority IMO and he thinks he was screwed. I'm betting he was right.
I'm not a fan of grading. I understand the appeal, but it's all a scam to me. Same thing in comic books. Yeah, if you're buying an Amazing Fantasy #15, sure, you want it in good shape and you're damn unlikely to read it. But the modern stuff, like McFarlane's run on his Marvel Spiderman title? Puhlease, there's probably at least a million of those in circulation. Crazy idea of adding value where there's nothing really to add.