Author Topic: Star Wars Action Figure GRADING  (Read 2796 times)

Offline tait

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Star Wars Action Figure GRADING
« on: December 14, 2005, 01:08 PM »
I'm a long time fan of Star Wars, but new "collector".  I'm trying to learn as much as possible - where's the best place to start learning on how to truly "collect" as opposed to just gather from the clearance bin at Wal-Mart?  Like, how do I learn about how to know what's hard to find and how to procure it in C9+ condition on day of release, etc?

Anyway, my main question is this:  what toy grading services are out there and which one's the best?  I've heard of before, but see they are $22 per figure for carded figures without UV protection.  Is that the best?  Are there others?  How would you rate them if there are?

THANKS and I'm glad I found this great site!

Offline Gatillo

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Re: Star Wars Action Figure GRADING
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2005, 10:50 PM »
I've been collecting for a while and keep some items MOC but the majority are opened and displayed ( and even customized).  IMHO toy grading places are a waste of time and money.  If you cannot look at something and decide for yourself then you should not deal with it.

In collecting you have to decide what you want to do.  Nowadays you are not going to build a collection that will gain any value.  Most likely it will be the opposite.  So you have to decide what you want to do and how.  If your collecting strategy involves throwing money down the drain so some punk can tell you your MOC figure is actually not as good as it could be then so be it.

To me collecting is about fun.  I do not buy everything out there because a lot of crap is manufactured.  I buy the fun stuff and if I like a figure then I buy a few and make new figures that Hasbro will never ever make.

Good luck and welcome to JD.
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Offline Jesse James

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Re: Star Wars Action Figure GRADING
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2005, 06:57 AM »
Hmmm...  Well first welcome to of course.

As far as how you learn to collect, you really only learn this hobby by jumping in and getting your hands dirty.  If you want everything, you just start looking and buying everything you want as you're financially capable.  Issues of grading figures on your own are simply learned by experience...  You pick the pegs over till you find the quality you want or as near as you can find.  If you want to upgrade it down the road because of a "flaw" you try to do so...

Grading modern figures I liken to putting expensive rims on a $2000.00 car.  Also "you can't polish a turd" comes to mind as an applicable phrase...  So going to a company like AFA to grade your POTF2 Green Card Luke Stormtrooper just isn't smart collecting IMO...

I personally don't view card grading as a smart investment for vintage collecting either.  I collected vintage since I was in my teens and for me I prefer using my own eye, hands, and knowledge of the vintage hobby to grade toys rather than relying on the flawed opinions of companies like AFA or whatever that other one is that you mentioned.  Those people half-ass the effort and  you pay more for someone to basically "do the hobby" for you.

If you want to be IN the hobby, especially vintage, you look at the free vintage resources on the net like stuff Gus Lopez has up for instance...  You learn what's good, what's fake, and whatnot...  You hang out at a good vintage forum, and might I say that our vintage forum has very knowledgeable guys like our own forum mod DSJ (Dale) there to give advice.

Vintage is something you have to maybe read up on more to really learn it, but modern you pick up mostly just by visiting a site like here at and get involved in the community...

Bare in mind too that "C9+" varies by every dealer/seller...  One guy may think a C9+ Vintage Loose 3PO is one that when you move his limbs you hear the snap of the paint sealed on the plastic...  Others may say that just a 3PO without flaws on the gold and whose limbs don't flop around loosely is C9+...

And worrying about what's "rare" isn't wise unless you're looking to get into something for financial reasons...  With vintage, rares will pop right up when you start looking at what stuff's selling for on Ebay...  When you see the difference between what a Hoth Soldier sells for compared to Amanaman, or how a Luke Skywalker sells against a double telescoping saber Luke Skywalker.

With modern, buying based on value probably just isn't going to earn a lot of friends in the hobby...  Collecting because you really want this stuff though, that's what the community is all about.  And not to mention that what's "rare" in the modern line is generally not actually rare, and it's more just something that will decrease in value real fast down the road.  Thank God...  I like the hobby not having value.  That makes me feel less dirty.  :)
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Offline bobafett14

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Re: Star Wars Action Figure GRADING
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2006, 09:27 PM »
AFA seems to be the one most talked about in SW.

In my personal opinion...why bother getting it graded unless you're going to sell it right away?  Whats the point?  Why not wait and see what happens?  What if AFA goes belly up, and a new better grading service comes into play in a few years?   ;)

As long as the fig. is well stored and protected/condition won't change, it's a waste in my opinion.

I have all mine in clear cases, and don't care to spend $$$ to have someone basically put it in a case and stamp an number on it.

If I had $500 I'd ratehr buy more sweet SW stuff to add to the collection than get a few dozen figs graded.

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 ;^)