Loose Category: Any collectible that is not in the box and complete with all factory accessories, weapons, stickers, etc.
Carded Category: Any collectible that is factory heat-sealed on a cardback with a plastic blister as was available at retail. The seal must be original. If resealed, it will be considered for the “Loose Category.”
Boxed Category: Any collectible that is factory sealed in the package as it was available at retail. This could be a solid box or a window-style box. This category has the following four sub-categories are recognized by Collector Archive Services.
- Single-Tape: Most items came in a box from the factory tape sealed with a single piece of tape-sealing both end flaps of the box. Some of the factory tape has turned yellow, dried and is brittle. In many cases dried up yellow tape will be considered for the “Qualified Category” if it has completely detached from the box.
- Double-Tape: In some cases, the box came from the factory double-taped on one side or both sides. A factory sealed double-taped collectible will be accepted into the boxed category only if both pieces of tape are not cut. Commonly with double-taped items, the first piece has been cut with a second uncut piece of tape placed over the top. In this case the item will be considered for the “Qualified Category."
- Cellophane-Sealed: A few boxed items came with cellophane completely sealing the box in place of tape sealing. These items will be verified that they came from the factory cellophane-sealed and accepted.
- Non-Taped: In rare cases boxed items came from the factory with no tape on either end flap. These items will be verified that they came from the factory devoid of any tape-seal and will be accepted once the contents are confirmed unused from the factory.
Qualified Category: Any collectible that is in an opened box, but is complete with new and undisturbed contents, may be graded with a “Qualified” designation. All boxed items must come with everything that was originally included in the box from the factory, including, but not limited to, instructions sheet, unused sticker sheet, cardboard or styrofoam inserts, product catalog, fliers, accessories in poly-bags, etc., all in unused condition. There should be no evidence of assembly, open poly-bags or applied stickers of any kind. If any prior assembly is detected or factory documentation is missing, then the item will be considered for the “Loose Category.” All qualified items will receive a “Q” designation before the numeric value.
Archived Category: Is the authenticated, yet ungraded category. That is, the item will still be authenticated by us as legitimate as with graded items, but instead of a grade on the label inside the case, the letter “A” for “Archived” will appear and you will receive a 5% discount on the cost to preserve and authenticate the item with us.
Preserved Category: The “Preserved” Grade ("P-grade") allows collectors to submit to CAS a cut card or beater MOC action figure or other item on a card with a plastic bubble, which we will preserve in cases of various sizes described below. We will assign a grade only to the figure or other item inside the cut card or beater MOC, and ignore the bubble and card on which the figure resides. This way, folks have the benefit of UV-resistant acrylic to protect and display these examples, and collectors need not forever alter or destroy what has remained sealed for decades for the figure or other item alone to receive a grade. We will note on the label the toy company, toy line, year released, and figure, as we do for other items. While our labels for our typical toy grades of the entire example has "CAS" in red, green or blue script depending on the grade category, the P-grade will have CAS written in black script, so folks can easily distinguish them. We will also include the word "Preserved" on the label below the figure grade to indicate that it is a P-grade.
Because cut cards come in many sizes, we have various sizes set forth below (we will adjust the rails to different angles depending on how each card has been cut):
- Standard cut card case - 4" width x 6" height
- POTF cut card with coin - 4" width x 8" height
- Cut card where just top half, but not side, of card is cut - 6" width x 6" height
- Beater MOC / only minor cuts to the card - standard MOC case - 6" width x 9" height
- Custom job - 3-pack figures, Max Redo Band MOC, etc. - any example where a figure has severely damaged card or bubble - price depends on size, etc.
Uncirculated Category: Most retail packaging is colorful and designed to catch the eye of a consumer from the store shelves. But there are other items that were not designed to be on the retail shelf since they are sealed inside mundane white or brown boxes, plain envelopes or open-ended sleeves. These collectibles are much more interesting once opened and the contents viewed. They will often provide valuable information such as:
- Are the contents sealed in poly-bags?
- Are the contents in individual poly-bags or one larger bag?
- Are the bags heat-sealed, tape-sealed or non-sealed?
- What is the country of origin? Do any collectible variations (known or previously unknown) exist inside?
- What type of paperwork or documents exist?
Arguably, the most recognized advantage to designating unexciting boxes uncirculated is that they display much better once opened and placed in museum-style acrylic. All uncirculated items will receive a “Uncirculated” designation under the numeric value.
Collector Archive Services will recognize the following uncirculated categories:
- Mail-away: Many of these items were distributed in common white or brown boxes through the mail with mailing labels adhered to the plain packaging or some were distributed to market as overstock items with no mailing labels. Factory sealed mail-away collectibles may be opened by CAS, which will give them an uncirculated designation. The item will be displayed with all of the contents (e.g., poly-bags, instructions, product catalog, flier, etc.) in an aesthetically pleasing way.
- Department Store: Sears, JC Penney, Montgomery Wards, Spiegel and Alden’s sold many items in dull white, plain brown, or line art boxes. These items would typically be ordered through the holiday catalog and picked up in the catalog department. Most department store boxes have catalog numbers directly printed on the box or placed on stickers adhered to the box while some of the boxes have the list of contents printed directly on the box. Customers may instruct CAS to open plain department store boxes and have the contents inspected, displayed and characterized as uncirculated.
- Factory Shipping Boxes: Toy manufacturers distribute their toys to retail outlets on pallets inside plain brown shipping boxes. The brown shipping boxes will state the manufacturer’s name, the product inside, quantity, assortment number, etc. In some rare occurrences, these shipping cases have remained factory sealed today and qualify as uncirculated by Collector Archive Services standards. CAS may be advised to open the factory-sealed shipping case and designate all items inside the case as uncirculated.
* Customers may opt out of the Uncirculated designation and have their sealed items opened by CAS, documented and archived without the “Uncirculated” qualifier under the numeric value. CAS WILL NOT OPEN AND/OR DESIGNATE AS “UNCIRCULATED” CARDED ACTION FIGURES OR DIE CAST VEHICLES, OR ANY OTHER SIMILAR COLLECTIBLE ON A CARD WITH A PLASTIC BUBBLE; BOXED STORE-SHELF ITEMS; OR FACTORY SEALED BAGGIE FIGURES.
Bubble Protection: We also offer our bubble protection for any of item that is on a card with a plastic bubble, including our Carded Category or Preserved Category. The price will range depending on how much protection your item needs. We can do top and both sides protection; top, bottom, and both sides protection; or top, bottom, both sides, and front of the bubble protection. If you’re interested, reach out to us and we will give you a quote. We are here to preserve your gems!
Trading Card Packs and Boxes: Finally, we offer a grading, authentication and casing service for the following types of unopened sports and non-sports trading card packs and boxes ("Trading Card Packs and Boxes"):
- Individual wax packs
- Individual cello packs
- Individual rack packs
- Any custom combination of multiple packs in one case together
- Full boxes of unopened trading card packs ("Full Boxes")
- Full boxes of trading card packs that have been previously authenticated and cellophane wrapped by a third party authentication company such as Baseball Card Exchange (BBCE), Ripping Vintage Packs (RVP), etc. ("Third Party Wrapped Boxes")
We grade Trading Card Packs and Boxes on a 10-point grading scale that is familiar to collectors of such material. For Full Boxes, we provide an overall grade for the item and subgrades for each of the (i) box, and (ii) all of the packs contained inside the box in the aggregate. For Third Party Wrapped Boxes, we offer additional protection and preservation to the thin cellophane wrapping provided by the third party authentication companies with our durable, UV-resistant acrylic casing. Due to the third party cellophane wrapping, however, we do not offer a grade for that service since we cannot see the packs inside and the cellophane frequently obscures the box's true condition. Instead, the label inside the acrylic case is under our Archived Tier (see above for more information), which describes the item and the third party authentication company that previously wrapped it, but with no 5% discount as we typically offer under our Archived Tier.