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To play devil's advocate a moment, the guy with the green shirt is kind of right. While I don't personally value AFA grades, one thing that the AFA does is individualize a figure. What it does is give a figure a provenance, a history, and unique identity. In a way, once that figure has been detailed and catalogued, it becomes one-of-a-kind. It's not just A Klaatu Skiff...it is THIS Klaatu Skiff. It's sort of like putting your initials on the soles of a figure's boots.

Hey, there's a story arc for you...some collector goes all Citizen Kane and offers exorbitant sums to reclaim a figure he sold at a yard sale when he was ten...it has to be the actual figure he played with, not someone else's toy.

Again, I don't subscribe to that logic...there are other things I would prefer to spend money on...but I can understand the appeal.

Posted by: Tresob    January 19, 2011 7:20:00 PM CST

Hey Tresob - if I pick my nose and put it in a plastic case, does that become THIS snot instead of A snot? I see dried up boogers in both instances.

Posted by: Bill Cable     January 20, 2011 12:00:29 AM CST

"Hey Tresob - if I pick my nose and put it in a plastic case, does that become THIS snot instead of A snot? I see dried up boogers in both instances."

First, we have to create a market for your mucus, Bill. Once we have people willing to pay for your excretions, then we can start hiring medical experts to rate and hermetically seal individual globs.

But if there was such a market, I could imagine it playing out in a similar fashion. People would be bidding for your snot based on color, texture, mass, the orifice from which it was expelled, and possibly the occasion on which it was produced. And we would definitely want someone to verify that it was in fact Bill Cable's gloop and not some random sneezer's.

Now, whether or not the AFA really has the expertise or authority to judge action figures or even bodily fluids is questionable...but I was just arguing the logic behind paying for such a service. Again, I think the cost of AFA grading is absurd...but I can see why some obsessive collectors would find it appealing.

Posted by: Tresob    January 20, 2011 7:54:00 PM CST

Collected thoughts:

2011-01-19 07:48:41

I don't know if AFA collectors actually believe this stuff or not. I've spoken to some who claim they do, but THEY CAN'T BE SERIOUS.

I think when you set up the argument as Z does so effectively in today's strip, it exposes condition collecting for the fraud that it is. Condition doesn't make a common figure rare. A high grade example of a common figure nothing more than that... an example of a common figure. Anyone who thinks differently is fooling themselves.

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