Author Topic: AFA - Good or Bad?  (Read 2331 times)

Offline Anarchangel

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AFA - Good or Bad?
« on: November 21, 2005, 09:25 AM »
Hi all,

Please tell me if this topic has been covered, and remove it if need be.

The AFA, good or bad?

My opinion is.........both.

On one hand, I like the way a graded figure comes back.  Nicely displayed, UV protected, etc.

On the other hand, they are shooting prices THROUGH THE ROOF!!!!

Now, any idiot that gets above AFA90 for ANY figure is trying to charge a huge sum for their figure, just becuase it's a good example of that figure.  I saw one guy last week trying to sell a Hoth Stormtrooper (ROTJ card) for 200GBP, that's almost $400!!!!!!!!

The days of bargains is dying.  Almost every carded figure in decent condition is getting AFA graded, which means people will charge double the price, at least.  This isn't the AFA's fault at all though.

What do you guys think?


Mark.

Offline Matt Carroll

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Re: AFA - Good or Bad?
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2005, 12:09 PM »
I don't know if I agree that the days of the bargains is over. High-quality MOC stuff has been pretty hot and highly valued for a few years now, even before AFA came along.

Sure, the much of the nice stuff is being sent to be graded, but AFA 75 and 80's are nice pieces that can be had without the premium that 85's and 90+'s get. In fact, I've seen some examples that have been graded 75 or 80 have gone for less than pretty much equivalent condition, ungraded figures have in the past 6-8 months or so.
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Offline Morgbug

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Re: AFA - Good or Bad?
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2005, 02:56 PM »
I'm not so much a fan.  It's a good piece of insurance, I suppose, to ensure you're getting what you think you are, but I think the cost is too high. 

I don't need my stuff graded frankly and I think the loose AFA stuff is utter nonsense.  Yeah, I've been through the ebay ringer and still need to upgrade figures because they've not been up to snuff and it was too hard to tell from the picture.  But please, I've received two not great Death Star Droids, one in a lot, one singly, total cost of about $12.  I just sprung for one with good pics and a nice description for that same $12.  Lo and behold it's exactly what I was looking for.  Didn't have to pay $50+ to get it either. 

I prefer to be patient and intelligent about my bidding.  Saving hundreds of dollars is well worth it to me.  I guess for those that are super picky about condition it's great, but I don't want all that hulking plastic anyway.  Maybe on a set of 12 backs, but otherwise no thanks. 
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Offline Chris M

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Re: AFA - Good or Bad?
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2005, 04:20 PM »
I'm not a fan of AFA.  I agree with Morgbug that grading loose figures his stupid.  But I don't need my figures graded.  I'm not buying anything that high end anyway.

I agree with the be patient approach.  I've been patient on many an auction and decided to pass when I didn't think the deal would work.  For the stuff I'm after, there is always something else coming along and therefore, I don't need the AFA verification.  I'm not picky about my MOC Han collection, provided they are presentable.  I don't need AFA to tell me that, I can look at a picture and decide from there.
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Offline Andy_R

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Re: AFA - Good or Bad?
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2005, 04:47 PM »
My opinion on AFA used to be neutral, but I have since grown to despise them since they have elected to destroy toys. 
I'm talking about ripping open Kenner baggie figures for the pointless "U" designation.   Makes me sick.

Also, they have treated plastic decomposition as figure variants (green limbed chewie, tan limbed Klaatu, etc.) ...
"Authority" indeed. 

Offline john todd

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Re: AFA - Good or Bad?
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2005, 07:22 PM »
right now i would say bad, but that is only because the AFA guarantee of quality is driving ridiculous prices.  if things ever get realigned where the guarantee only adds a little to the price i would be ok with the carded service.

the loose grading of uncirculated figures is just sacrelig.  it is really disturbing to know that so many bagged and poorly carded figures will be ripped open so they can get a "U" rating.

Offline DSJ™

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Re: AFA - Good or Bad?
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2005, 11:41 PM »
Well here's my take on it...

AFA Sucks!

Nuff said!

Offline Anarchangel

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Re: AFA - Good or Bad?
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2005, 07:29 AM »
The only good thing I will say, like others have said, is that they provide some kind of insurance.

I live in the UK, and since SW figures disappeared from boot sales ("UK" for yard sales, flea markets etc), Ebay is practically my only outlet to buy figures.

Having said that, you can't view the figures yourself.  Being informed definitely helps, and I have e-mailed countless Ebay novies to let them know they are bidding on blatant fake items.  However, even the most informed person can be faked.  Fakers are getting better, and if you're gonna shell out $700 for a 21-Bk Boba Fett, you wanna know it's the real deal.


Mark.

Offline JohnH

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Re: AFA - Good or Bad?
« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2005, 03:33 PM »
I used to hate AFA, with the exception of the fact that they could verify the authenticity of items such as a vinyl Jawa, DT figure, etc.  Since then, however, I have seen them grade Chewbaccas and authenicate them as "green limbed", and (this is the best) grade a loose Leia Boushh with a Nikto staff, among seemingly countless other obvious errors.  So at this point, I see AFA as a completely useless entity.

John

Offline Jesse James

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Re: AFA - Good or Bad?
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2005, 03:57 AM »
I agree John...  If anything I view them as a highly negative entity due to the effects they've had on "perceived value" in the vintage market...  AFA's supposedly expert opinions have totally thrown the normal balance of supply & demand out of whack IMO.

It's in a weird way similar to the way scalpers impact the modern hobby by throwing supply/demand off by interfering with the natural flow of things.  Not in the exact manner, but it's similar interference that, I as a collector, could certainly live without.

I was browsing through some 12-back auctions the other night just for ***** and giggles (god knows I can't afford to at the moment buy anything) and I was just disgusted what the AFA rated figures were doing...  I am less active in vintage since really the prequals started but I keep my eyes on it since I do polish off or upgrade my loosies still and just know I'll be back in vintage at some point like I was pre-1999.  I'm sorta disappointed looking at it though and hope the bottom falls out on all these people in it that I think aren't in it for the long haul. [/end side rant]

Anyway...  I look at AFA as a crutch for a lot of people.  I'd be disappointed in myself as a collector if I relied on AFA's word over my own educated judgment.   :-\  Harsh opinion perhaps, but I just wonder when it was that this hobby got filled with people unwilling to learn about it themselves.  AFA's probably saved some people the aggrevation of buying a fraudulent piece, but I think it's done much more harm than good.
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Offline JesseVader08

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Re: AFA - Good or Bad?
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2005, 06:07 PM »
I suppose one could argue that AFA graded items were a way to "protect" newer collectors (that's assuming AFA wasn't making so many mistakes).  However, half the fun of this hobby is educating yourself about what you're looking for - AFA takes that away.

Offline CorranHorn

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Re: AFA - Good or Bad?
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2005, 12:47 AM »
However, half the fun of this hobby is educating yourself about what you're looking for - AFA takes that away.

Exactly! I've been saying ever since I heard of AFA that you are taking the judgment out of the collector's hands and into that of an "authority" who quite frankly isn't any better than any of us in judging the condition of a figure. While the idea of knowing what you're getting is nice, you can be paying an insane premium for doing so, instead of doing some research for yourself.

Offline Jesse James

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Re: AFA - Good or Bad?
« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2005, 02:33 AM »
Agreed 100% and then some...  To that end AFA strikes me as something that caters to the lazy and in turn has a pissy effect on US as a consequence.  I mean, learn the goddamn hobby and be proud that you DON'T need someone to hold your hand.

Ask advice from the guys that do know, learn from them, gain some knowledge...  Read up on sites/articles that the experts put out there like Gus Lopez or Shane, and just learn something...  AFA's charging you for advice more or less, while other people give that advice away for free for you to learn and use in your collecting.  That's how it should be, so to that end I look at AFA as a bit of a plague really.
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Offline JesseVader08

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Re: AFA - Good or Bad?
« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2005, 01:56 PM »
I've been watching a number of auctions lately to get a feel for reasonable prices these days.  But it seems like as soon as there's a bloody AFA in the title of the auction, the price is immediately through the roof.  It can be very frustrating for a newbie vintage collector.

Offline bobafett14

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Re: AFA - Good or Bad?
« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2005, 09:15 PM »
I think overall AFA is bad.  I look at it the same way as I do the sports card industry.  You have millions of cards that are just worthless now unless they are a chase or graded.  I'm hoping our hobby doesn;t become poisoned as well.

The only good thing I can say is that I like seeing thousands spend thier $ on grading vs. buying mdse.  (that's a good thing) now, I'd rather buy up all the mdse. as possible cheap...then if grading is "good" it will be around years from now, and I can get stuff graded then....if I so desire.

Why rush and spend your $ getting stuff graded now ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
Star Wars and toy Collector since 1978(age 7).  currently over 6,500 SW items in my personal collection. Collect modern/vintage and everything in-between ;^)