I don’t really care for AFA-graded figures…
July 16, 2009

A deconstruction of the practice, in pictures…because I don’t need someone else to tell me my figure is in great shape.  I also like the "5 Feet" argument : an AFA90, AFA85, AFA80 or AFA75 all look *exactly* the same from 5 feet away.  Also, as far as I’m concerned it’s "artificial rarity" due to the fact that there could be 1,000 carded Super Powers Robins out there, yet the AFA90 "Only one in existence!" goes for $750.  Give me a break, eh?  Enjoy this "freedom" pictorial!
















Ahhhh….MUCH better, don’t you think?



Read other articles by ChipCataldo.





  • sam moreno says:

    Your money.I dont care either way.

    • John Cage says:

      I don’t care either. And I consider it a good use my time to let you know that, however baffling that may seem.

      Have a good day.
      John Cage

  • Joe G. says:

    Freedom! Only one plastic prison left for them to escape from 🙂

  • jzachery says:

    AFA = Ridiculous.

  • bnjmnrlyr says:

    I agree completely. I hate the CGC for those exact same reasons too.

  • juan jaime muñoz garcia says:

    Hi CHIP!

    Excellent work! nice doing!You released them from their imprisonment!

    I have noticed something about your PLASTIC MAN, did ESTRELA released SUPERPOWERS series III with a MINI-COMIC?.
    As far as I know the US wave III release didn’t came with a mini-comic.
    So is this an original SPOWERS comic?, if that’s so what a Cool surprise it is!

    • Chip Cataldo says:


      Thanks for reading the blog. Estrela in Brazil released Plastic Man, Shazam, and Cyborg with comics. They are all in Portuguese and have some art lifted from other sources, but yet…there they are! 🙂

  • King Yuk says:

    Bravo, Sir!

    I saw on Hasbro’s online store site they now sell some of their collector toys in AFA mummification boxes. How long before they ONLY sell their collectibles in these things with a $50 markup?

  • Lightso says:

    Well the AFA is one of the most clever scams I’ve ever seen and there’s plenty of fools out there gullible enough to fall for it. It’s only money right Chip?

  • Jason Geyer says:

    You the man!

  • texgnome1 says:

    Ahh… free at last. Now take that final step. Toys are meant to be played with. Open it… you know you want to… hahaha.

    But I agree – it’s completely artificial just like CGC as someone pointed out. I know there are people who go for this stuff, but not me. Overkill in my opinion.

  • domu says:

    You rock.
    Screw scams like AFA and CGC.

  • The Tekwych says:

    There is nothing worse than a perfectly good action figure imprisoned in an AFA prison. This is a scam that I love to talk people out of any chance I get. We need to have a ‘panel’ at a convention (preferably a Wizard convention since they are one of the entities behind this stupidity) where we crack open as many AFA cases as we can.

  • Erik superfriend says:

    Would it have been cheaper to buy versions that were not graded?

  • texgnome1 says:

    Tekwych that’s a great idea! Some of the fanboys would have fits, but we’d have a blast. Although Wizard would probably run us off with torches and pitchforks.

  • It cracks me up to see people get all bothered about how others collect. “It’s a scam! Only fools buy them!” The photos are entertaining, but the, “my way of collecting little plastic men is superior to your way of collecting little plastic men,” stuff is ludicrous. I mean like Spaceball One ludicrous.

  • Toythinker says:


  • Superman95 says:

    That’s the whole main plot of “Toy Story 2”. If some people want to keep their figures boxed and minted, fine by me. But nothing can replace the feeling of open the cardboard and the smell of the new plastic. I play a little bit with the figures and then, put in the display in my home. Of course, you have to clean often, but that’s the life of a collector, not a museum curator. Greetings!

  • H-Balm says:

    “The Prospector” of toy story is jealous! Now there is the mere simplicty of busting that 25 year old glue!

  • vancleef9000 says:

    In theory AFA is a good idea but I would not pay a premium for an AFA’d figure.

  • Brian says:

    The thing I’ve never gotten is AFA graded boxed vehicles and playsets. After all, that mint boxed, graded AFA USS Flagg could be full of rocks – and you’d never know! all you’ll ever see is – the box.

  • Joel says:

    See, normally I don’t care how other people collect things. But when I see these officially graded items with insanely marked-up prices, I get bothered. It’s the same as the Wizard price guide – everything’s artificially inflated, so we end up paying more for the things we like. Whose authority do these places have, anyway? There’s no action figure canon or academic institutions. And it’s surreal to have bought single issues of Watchmen for $5 or $10 from comic book shops and then two months later see Wizard mark them at hundreds of dollars because they’ve got an arbitrary number attached. Ooh, my Watchmen #4 is an 8.5? Totally worth $480.

    It’s even more surreal seeing old NES games with ratings. Should’ve kept my Friday the 13th sealed in the box, I could easily find someone who wants to pay $350 for it.

    • But you don’t collect graded items, so what do you care how much other people pay for them? Using your logic, you should stop collecting toys, because the added demand increases their value, resulting in higher prices for the rest of us. Seriously, stop hurting the rest of the toy collecting community by participating in it. If someone enjoys collecting graded items, there is no convincing argument as to why that’s any of your business.

  • Russ says:

    I agree; I have no desire to get my collection graded because it’s graded based on THEIR opinion of how rare, and in good shape it is. Kinda BS in my mind.

  • John_A_Graham says:

    Spot on Chip, Nicely done my friend.

  • Mister Blisterfists says:

    An AFA Figure is one unloved by a child, and therefore the most worthless thing in the world.

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