Friday, October 31, 2008

HasbroToyShop now selling AFA graded figures


Well this is something I thought I would never see. HasbroToyShop.com, the official toy site of Hasbro, is now selling AFA graded G.I. Joe figures (wave 11). This is just plain odd -- as a mass market toy company, Hasbro has often shown a lack of concern towards collectors. As anyone who has ordered from their website knows, their shipping can be very hit or miss -- sometimes things arrive in good condition, other times the package will be dinged up, and very little care is used in the packing.
But in my experiences, they have gotten slightly better in that regard lately, using some extra padding in the boxes in recent shipments. Perhaps this is another step in Hasbro acknowledging the existence of adult collectors. In recent months, they've seemed to list more collector-oriented things on their site, with Transformer Special Editions from Japan, and San Diego Comic Con exclusives. But I never in a million years would have thought that they'd start to sell AFA graded figures. Perhaps this is a test to gauge interest and see what kinda profits they can make. And if they sell well, we might start to see many more graded toys on their website. Since they have access to the action figures from the factory, it's pretty easy for them to pick out the perfect ones. Either way, the prices on these aren't horrible when you consider the costs of searching for gradable figures, buying them, carefully shipping them to be graded, and paying the AFA fee (which is currently $20 for a modern G.I. Joe figure). What do they cost? Hasbro is selling the G.I. Joe wave 11 action figures graded 9.0 for $50; 9.25 for $60; 9.5 for $80; and 9.75 for $90.
And apparently people are buying them, as about half of the various versions are sold out. The only thing I worry about now is if they are picking all the nice figures out of the cases to grade and sell, does that mean if I order the ungraded ones I'm gonna get bent and dinged versions only?

AFA Graded G.I. Joe figures at HasbroToyShop.com

Update: Among the sold-out figures listed is a Cobra Eel "weapon variant" version 1 and 2.
This is the first I have heard of this variant, and the pictures and description don't indicate exactly what the variant is.

G.I. JOE COBRA EEL Weapon Variant 1 (AFA Graded 9.0)
G.I. JOE COBRA EEL Weapon Variant 2 (AFA Graded 9.0)

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