Important Info on AFA Grading

Discussion in 'The Toyark' started by ToyGreeder.com, Jan 30, 2008.

  1. ToyGreeder.com

    ToyGreeder.com New Member

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    Some things to ponder about AFA Grading...?

    I started reading up on AFA related topics after a friend told me he had submitted some really nice figures for AFA grading. After AFA received his toys,
    he was contacted by Tom Derby, a representative of a collectibles brokerage company, and solicited to sell the items he had sent to AFA. He did actually
    sell one of the items to Tom Derby.

    Later on I would learn that Tom Derby is the previous owner (1998-2005) of CCC - Cloud City Collectibles (One of the largest AFA Sellers in the hobby),
    part-owner of AFA (2007), Owner of CIB (????) - Collectibles Investment Brokerage (authenticating service that AFA uses exclusively), and part-time
    business partner (2007) of Brian Semling of Brian's Toys (One of the other biggest sellers of AFA items).

    This got me thinking about what a great opportunity it would be, to be able to cherry-pick any of the hundreds of thousands of items that have been
    submitted to AFA, for their impartial, **"anonymous"**, third-party grading. I'll bet some real gems have been sent to AFA by people that are not
    well-researched, or educated in the area of vintage action figures. Only to have their personal information forwarded to Tom Derby, so they can be
    swept off their feet by a cash offer of probably less than half of what the figure is worth.

    The majority of the info that made the CCC/CIB/AFA/Tom Derby/Brians Toys Connection more accessible was from the forums on rebelscum.com , where Tom
    Derby posted regularly for a long while (4/9/02 through 10/10/07).


    Some posts from the AFA section on rebelscum.com forums....



    1...http://threads.rebelscum.com/showfl...page=0&view=collapsed&sb=5&o=&fpart=1#2652094 = AFA debate thread on rebelscum.com forums
    ....5th post down (Steve Tomlinson)explains how items sent in for AFA grading are cherry-picked by Tom Derby,(former owner of Cloud City Collectibles,
    Part owner in AFA, Owner of Collectors Investment Brokerage, partner with Brian Semlinson of Brians Toys.


    2...Same thread....10th post = CollectInvest, (Tom Derby) confirms that toys submitted to AFA, very well may have been purchased by him, before hitting the
    market......This means that every rare, highgrade collectible submitted to AFA is made known to Tom Derby, who being part owner, could use his advantageous
    position as part-owner to contact the toys owner, and try to convince him to sell. What a great opportunity to exploit collectors lack of knowledge in
    Vintage toys.



    3...AFA and Cloud City Collectibles are geographically 7.5 miles apart?????




    4...http://threads.rebelscum.com/showfl...page=1&view=collapsed&sb=5&o=&fpart=1#2849182 = AFA Section on rebelscum.com forums,
    thread titled..."Tom Derby filed AFA Certificate of Incorporation"


    5...First post provides links to State of Georgia public files of AFA Incorporation by Tom Derby in 2002.....Tom Derby owned Cloud City Collectibles until
    2005..

    copied + pasted from first post in thread......

    The 2002 filing is available here

    http://corp.sos.state.ga.us/imaging/12990948.pdf

    Other documents related to the ownership of AFA and Cloud City Collectibles are available here

    http://corp.sos.state.ga.us/corp/soskb/Corp.asp?1068433

    http://corp.sos.state.ga.us/corp/soskb/Corp.asp?161229

    Make of this what you will.


    6....
    Copied + Pasted response from Tom Derby

    Tom's Response:

    Hi Demolition,

    An Incorporator is a person who executes the Articles of Incorporation for a company. I have addressed this topic on several occasions and have even
    addressed issues of ownership. The term agent or incorporator doesn’t reflect officers of a corporation or the breakdown of ownership. In addition,
    privately-held companies do not file public documents related to ownership or changes in ownership. A Georgia resident must also file some of these
    documents and Charles Ware has never been a Georgia resident. I will once again go on record to say that I have no ownership in Cloud City Collectibles.
    I will also go on record to say that I do now have ownership in AFA. I hope this information is helpful to you.

    Thank you,

    Tom


    7....Above response Tom Derby publicly states he has ownership in AFA.



    4....Tom Derby claims to have sold CCC in 2005....16th post in AFA debate thread on rebelscum.com forums


    5...CIB has an office in the AFA building.....16th post in AFA debate thread on rebelscum.com forums





    ***The thing that bothers me most about this whole mess, is that, if you haven't figured it out, AFA was incorporated as a business in the State of Georgia in 2002, by Tom Derby. ......In 2002, Tom Derby owned Cloud City Collectibles, who has consistently been the leading retailer/seller of AFA items since AFA began doing business.


    Everyone's opinions and conclusions are their own........but the facts are the facts.......no matter who tries to sugarcoat them.





    I am hoping this thread will inspire people to do their own research on this subject.
     
  2. Th0r4z1n3

    Th0r4z1n3 The F*cking Lizard King! Veteran

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    WOW! That kinda blows my mind, and don't really help my opinion of AFA much.
     
  3. transmetropolitan

    transmetropolitan nonjon TFW2005 Supporter

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    Very interesting............thanks for posting.

    This requires some rumination.
     
  4. RoboticPlanet

    RoboticPlanet Exclusively Exclusive

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    Great post! I've been vaguely familiar with some of your points, but you've added to that info. Every time I see CCC selling an AFA piece on eBay which has an absurdly high grade I can't get the word "collusion" out of my head. I wonder why that is...
     
  5. snackdragon

    snackdragon Banned

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    Is it really that important? So cloudcity got/gets a special treatment... that´s the way people do business these days (look at the gouverment and the defense contracts). Also where talking about collecting toys. I collect graded figures just te be sure that the figures are really sealed. I always look at pictures to see in what condition the box is in, no matter what grade it received from toygrader.
    I really don´t get the whole AFA sucks movement...:confused:  I like boxed transformers and for me it is a great way to make sure they stay in the condition I bought them in......Also I think they look very nice in those cases. I´m not trying to make a profit (because I don´t sell them), I just like the way they look. Isn´t that why we collect tf´s in the first place?
    To each there own... But I just don´t get people that are so busy with the things they don´t like.... Why not invest your time in something you do enjoy..:thumb 
     
  6. RobotoChan

    RobotoChan Nothing to see here

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    I have no interest in having my toys 'graded' by any company, be it AFA, UKGraders or anybody else.

    While I do agree that having MOSC figures in a display case is nice, and I would like to get some of those cases for my collection if anybody knows where to get some nice UV ones, I don't see the point in the little sticker saying how good a condition the figure is in.

    It just seems to artificially inflate the price of a figure by, in some cases, an order of magnitude. Is that really necessary?
     
  7. Bryan

    Bryan ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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    I really appreciate you sharing this information.

    Never been a fan of AFA, this just drives it home.

    Plus, I had no idea they were in GA. Makes me wanna find 'em and visit 'em, just to see it all in person.

    This is mealy-mouthed garbage. While it's technically true--an incorporator isn't necessarily an officer or an owner--unless it's a lawyer assisting in the preparation of paperwork (which Tom Derby doesn't seem to be), it typically is someone involved directly with the company's ownership. Who else would it be? Just some guy they asked to file paperwork for them?
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2008
  8. rizuan76

    rizuan76 Banned

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    Ebay:
    Thanks for all the info dude. at least for us TF/toys collectors across the pond it let us know a little bit more abt the whole AFA thing.
     
  9. Bryan

    Bryan ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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    Called 'em to see if I could drop something off in person (I don't like AFA, it's for something very specific), and they said that they couldn't accept personal deliveries, as the address listed was only a holding point and the real location of AFA was, and I swear to you this is what she said, "a closely-guarded secret due to the number of insured items we have there."

    I'm going to follow a delivery truck and post the address on the web, just to be a dick.
     
  10. Soundblaster1

    Soundblaster1 The Heisenberg of Toys

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    You're already up there, but you would be my hero for sure if you did that.

    I'm kinda wondering where Jeff is. He can smell AFA threads from several miles away.

    This conspiracy thing doesn't surprise me much at all, and it could have something to do with the issues that one guy had with his rubber wheeled Rodimus Prime...

    I'd like to see what happens to them now.
     
  11. RoboticPlanet

    RoboticPlanet Exclusively Exclusive

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    Would shipping something to them with a GPS unit in it work? :inquisiti  :D 
     
  12. Soundblaster1

    Soundblaster1 The Heisenberg of Toys

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    I'd think one could carefully open something with a non-window box and put a GPS unit in the box instead of the toy... Would be fun to try, but those things are expensive as hell.
     
  13. Reeds

    Reeds Q-Wing Pilot TFW2005 Supporter

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    AFA sells cases without grading. But they're slightly different. They have sliding bottoms. They sell both the UF and basic cases. --> http://www.toygrader.com/caseorder.aspx

    If they'd just do online ordering and stop this silly cheap-ass print, fill out, and send with M.O. crap, I'd order alot and often.
    In this day and age, its really unprofessional looking to have system that relies solely on snail mail for transactions. They're either very cheap, or very dumb. Either way, it conveys a low-rent image to me, which is why I stay away.
     
  14. RoboticPlanet

    RoboticPlanet Exclusively Exclusive

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    There's also http://www.oscarscases.com/

    I believe he's selling some on eBay right now for GI Joes, Star Wars, etc. I've only heard good things about Oscar's Cases, although I didn't seen any mention of UV protection on the site.
     
  15. Killa-B-Killed

    Killa-B-Killed Material Handler

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    I have heard some of these rumors from collectors in other hobbies.

    It makes perfect sense seeing that Brians Toys, and Collectible Investment Brokerage (Tom Derby) are promoting a huge action figure auction in 2008.
     
  16. Prim

    Prim New Member

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    Quote from toygrader.com

    "Standard of Integrity

    AFA's employees will never buy or sell AFA graded action figures. We feel this would be a conflict of interest and impossible to maintain our unbiased approach."

    So is this not a contradiction? Selling thier own products?
     
  17. NIDARAM12

    NIDARAM12 Robot art guy

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    Honestly, don't people feel better just buying the figure straight from the person on ebay? Less time messing with the toy.

    By the time that person packs it up, sends it to AFA, then has the AFA people handle it, put it in a box, send THAT back, then the person puts it on ebay and ships it AGAIN to you.

    I dunno.... it seems like there is no way to EVER get a minty-mint toy.
     

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