Over the years we have been more than happy to bring the serious collectors in our community news and information regarding on-going scams from Ebay sellers on fake G1 Transformers, fake Lucky Draw Transformers, and so much more. It’s with a bit of a sad heart that we now bring up a growing scam on Ebay that serves only to hurt the collector community – fake AFA graded Transformers.
In a recent discussion thread on our forums, a member saw a G1 Transformer figure AFA graded for sale on Ebay. He thought that was pretty cool – until he noticed that the AFA grading ID number was the same as his sealed AFA graded figure! Further investigation showed that this toy had been fakely AFA graded by a known scam artist on Ebay, and had been in circulation (and in 3 seperate collector’s hands) for a couple of years now. Thanks to the power of the Internet, the seller of this item and the collector he purchased it from were able to communicate with our members and the discovery that the original seller of this item is a known AFA scam artist on Ebay.
What’s so important about this?
For starters, AFA graded items, especially Generation 1 Transformers, can go for THOUSANDS of U.S. dollars. So while some people can be scammed out of $30.00 USD for a Rumble/Frenzy & Ratbat two-pack, others are being scammed $2,000.00 USD for what they believe is an AFA graded G1 Transformer. It also brings to light a conversation that many have been having for years – is AFA (Action Figure Authority) grading really that meaningful? You pay money to have the figure graded and even pay money to get a grading summary on an item.
And now AFA is being forged and faked by scammers.
For those of you who collect sealed items, including AFA sealed items, we recommend using caution, as you should always be doing when making any online purchases from individuals as opposed to online toy stores. If an item is AFA graded, you have a right as a buyer to either have the seller provide you an item grading history, or to get that information on your own. There is always more information, of course, at AFA’s website, ToyGrader.com. We also urge buyers to use our forums, especially our Transformers Toy Discussion and Transformers On Ebay forums, to get information from other users and to use the numerous threads of information on how to tell the difference between knock-off reproductions and legit items.