Author Topic: Everything Rebelscum  (Read 173245 times)

Offline Greg

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Re: Everything Rebelscum
« Reply #4125 on: December 18, 2013, 11:56 PM »
Given the $ involved I wonder if a suit could be opened up on AFA?

I know next-to-nothing about legal stuff, but I would think that for AFA to be liable it would have to be proven that they knew the figures were fakes and graded them anyway. If they were genuinely deceived (and incompetent), I personally wouldn't hold them to be responsible. Same deal if any buyers re-sold these fake figures as real while thinking they were genuine. IMO the original seller is the one who really needs to be held liable and punished.

Offline Jesse James

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Re: Everything Rebelscum
« Reply #4126 on: December 19, 2013, 12:32 AM »
The original seller yes, but AFA claims authority on this, and graded things as they did...  I could easily see a suit there for at the very least the price paid for the AFA graded item then in that regard...  They were purchased based on this authoritative grading system...  The original seller may very well claim "It's not my job to tell them what these are, they are the ones claiming authority to discern". 

Unfortunately all our lawyers aren't here now.  Where's Sprry and Paul when you need 'em? :)
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Offline BillCable

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Re: Everything Rebelscum
« Reply #4127 on: December 19, 2013, 07:25 AM »
Somebody posted the AFA legal disclaimer on their certificates.  It basically said "This is our opinion.  If it's wrong you're SOL."  There isn't an legal recourse against them.
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Offline Jesse James

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Re: Everything Rebelscum
« Reply #4128 on: December 19, 2013, 02:18 PM »
Ah ok...  So they were wise enough to cover their asses.  All the more reason I think AFA is a joke ultimately.
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Offline Rob

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Re: Everything Rebelscum
« Reply #4129 on: December 19, 2013, 02:35 PM »
I haven't read the whole thing yet, but from what I've skimmed it seems that this is another perfect example of why I never moved into carded vintage or AFA collecting.  Too expensive as a hobby, too many potentially negative variables as an investment.   

Eventually, everything's coming off the bubble, and there are fakes galore.  Paying a premium for an acrylic case and an opinion always struck me as a complete waste of money with potential for abuse.


Can someone who's read through all that give me the cliff's notes version?  How was he caught, what is the evidence, has he said anything yet?
« Last Edit: December 19, 2013, 02:57 PM by Rob »

Offline Rob

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Re: Everything Rebelscum
« Reply #4130 on: December 19, 2013, 02:36 PM »
Somebody posted the AFA legal disclaimer on their certificates.  It basically said "This is our opinion.  If it's wrong you're SOL."  There isn't an legal recourse against them.

Nor should there be unless someone could prove that they were doing it intentionally, at which point it becomes fraud.

Offline McMetal

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Re: Everything Rebelscum
« Reply #4131 on: December 19, 2013, 03:24 PM »
Can someone who's read through all that give me the cliff's notes version?  How was he caught, what is the evidence, has he said anything yet?

I'll be happy to later this evening, it's too big an undertaking sitting here in the office. Stay tuned.
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Offline JediJman

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Re: Everything Rebelscum
« Reply #4132 on: December 19, 2013, 07:21 PM »
I don't think you could sue AFA for the money you spent on a faulty figure unless as Rob stated you can prove fraud or perhaps incompetence on their part.  However, I do think you could sue for damages on the money you spent to have your figures graded.  Despite their disclaimer, they claim to provide an expert opinion on authenticity and have clearly failed to do so for a significant number of items.  If I had spent big money on AFA grading and got screwed by this, I would definitely contact a lawyer to check my options.

I've personally never used them or bought anything graded by them.  I can see the appeal of having a standard assessment of product condition, so that you have a greater level of confidence in high ticket items.  But I don't like the fact that you have to keep the figure in the acrylic case to prove the grading.  I'd want to display my graded stuff with non graded items and not sure how I would do that with some of them boxed in AFA cases.  I do buy acrylic cases for my carded figures, but I can swap figures and even put a loose figure in the case with the cards. 
"If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason. " -Jack Handey

Offline McMetal

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Re: Everything Rebelscum
« Reply #4133 on: December 19, 2013, 10:59 PM »
Can someone who's read through all that give me the cliff's notes version?  How was he caught, what is the evidence, has he said anything yet?

So this guy makes an offhand comment in the SWFUK forum about how back in the day a huge stash of unused vintage Palitoy cardbacks and bubbles were acquired by a well known dealer called "Toy Toni", somewhere in the neighborhood of 25,000. (Supposedly TT also indicated to this guy at some point he had found a way to heat seal the bubbles onto cards like at the factory.)

People get curious and start asking more questions, it turns out a few other people recollect hearing this story as well, yet find it curious that none of these unused cardbacks ever turned up in any kind of quantity. TT comes one and denies any kind of wrongdoing, and claims to barely even know the person who supposedly sold them to him. (Who it turns out is now dead)

Then it comes out TT actually DID know this guy a lot better than he was letting on, had apparently started an internet business with him, etc. so doubt starts to creep in. This is further cemented when it is revealed that TT has a secondary ebay account he has been using over the years to buy up minty loose and U-graded figures.

At this point the eBay account is hidden from view, and it also comes out he has changed the name on this account over 30 times over the years. People start doing close examinations on carded figures they have brought from this guy and start noticing inconsistencies : blurs, smudges, triangular indentations in bubbles, and printing errors that seem unlikely to have been approved for production. Several of these same flaws are noted on other unused cardback samples from that era.

So this all leads people to conclude that this guy has worked out some method to reseal the vintage bubbles to the vintage cards, using actual vintage figures and then made a small fortune selling them as minty "warehouse finds" over the years. Many of these pieces have been AFA graded as 85-90's.

The original source has since produced a list of many of those unused cardbacks supposedly part of the original deal and they seem to match up with TT's sales history, etc etc. At least one person has confirmed selling loose figures to the suspect ebay account that again match figures which were later sold carded.

There has been some intermittent communication from the accused, an initial denial, but subsequent emails have been brief and somewhat evasive, certainly not what you would characterize as a vigorous self defense.

Whew, I think that is the highlights in a nutshell. It's a lot of people affected and a lot of money and potentially untold damage to the hobby in general. Stuff like that makes me sick, pure human greed.

Slice you open like a tauntaun, faster than the Autobahn,
Or a motorbike in Tron, do the deed and then I'm gone.

Offline Rob

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Re: Everything Rebelscum
« Reply #4134 on: December 20, 2013, 04:38 PM »
That sounds like a **** show alright...

I always pick the wrong register line at the grocery store, but I really feel like not collecting carded vintage SW was a smart idea.

Offline Pete_Fett

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Re: Everything Rebelscum
« Reply #4135 on: December 21, 2013, 10:53 AM »
The only AFA items I have in my collection is the cancelled 2nd wave of Walmart Cantina Figures (the wave that contained Dr. Evazan)

Anyway, nothing was wrong with the figures and the scores were good, but I was horrified to see that on the grading label for Evazan they misspelled the figure name as Evazam.

So I called up AFA and asked if there was anything they would do to fix it and they told me that since I wasn't the person who paid for the grading they wouldn't talk to me and if I had been the one who paid for the grading, I would have had to send it back, authorize for them to break the case (which risks damaging the item) and pay for them to re-grade. So they recommended I send it back to the seller.

I basically told them that they were a joke and that I would never waste my money on their bull**** service.

I still have the piece and it's my representative example of why AFA grading doesn't mean crap.
Peter

Letting my collecting OCD get the better of me on a DAILY basis... and loving EVERY minute of it!

Offline JediJman

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Re: Everything Rebelscum
« Reply #4136 on: December 22, 2013, 10:04 AM »
Wow, there's some solid customer service.  What a joke.
"If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason. " -Jack Handey

Online GrandMoffNick

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Re: Everything Rebelscum
« Reply #4137 on: December 22, 2013, 01:02 PM »
That is sad. Especially considering the amount they charge, you'd hope that would equal the quality of customer service. Guess not.
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Offline Nicklab

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Re: Everything Rebelscum
« Reply #4138 on: December 22, 2013, 01:40 PM »
This story regarding ToyToni just seems to get worse and worse.  And it makes me so glad that I've never taken the plunge into Vintage carded collecting.

The pessimist in me is not surprised in the least that AFA has disclaimers about their service.  I understand the need to legally protect your business.  But if a grading service won't legally stand behind their professional evaluations of authenticity, then what the hell good are they to anyone at all?
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Online GrandMoffNick

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Re: Everything Rebelscum
« Reply #4139 on: December 22, 2013, 01:50 PM »
I love my vintage carded collection and wouldn't change the decision to buy the 2/3 of the line I do have carded. With that being said, for the most part I have been fine with the creased cards and so on so I haven't spent nearly what I could have if I was buying so called "excellent" cardbacks and now thinking, "oh my God are these real?".
"A dog doesn't care if you're rich or poor, clever or dull, smart or dumb. Give him your heart and he'll give you his. How many people can you say that about, how many people can make you feel rare?"