LEGO Historian

Toy plastic "Encapsulation" Services.... a Rip-Off....

20 posts in this topic

OK... the long dead American showman P. T. Barnum was right when he said "there's a fool born every minute"...

And with auction prices like these... it proves it...

http://www.ebay.com/...rickenvy&_sop=3

If someone wants to send their MISB box off to a grading service to be sealed in plastic and returned with a listed grade on the box, and a statement that it is "the finest known".... that is just plain stupid in my book.

And here's why...

1) the grading is subjective, and may or may not be accurate.

2) listing something as the "finest known"... really means it's the finest known of something that has been sent to these people who sealed it in plastic... it in no way means that it is ACTUALLY the finest known.

3) I've talked to several antique toy collectors, and they said that this was started by an antique toy collector who wanted to make extra money, and so he started this "unofficial" service.

Now let me give you a little background. Rare coin collectors and rare baseball collectors have been doing encapsulation for many years. And when you have officially sanctioned groups like the century old American Numismatic Association (for coins) offer this kind of service, that makes more sense... a long respected association. However in coin collecting there are more than 1 service... ANA (as just mentioned)... PNG (Professional Numismatic Guild) and NCGS. And rare coin collecting is more of an exact science... where a flawless mint coint (Mint State - 70) may be worth 100 times that of just a plain uncirculated coin (Mint State - 60). And theres grades MS-61 thru MS-69 in between. Some collectors don't agree with the grade that one service gave their rare coin... so what do they do... they ship it to another service (or even the same service over again) to get a higher grade for selling. So that skewers population figures... and things like "only one graded at MS-65, with none graded higher" can be misleading or meaningless.

And with LEGO collectors... 99.99% of all LEGO collectors do NOT have their sets encapsulated... so this "none graded higher" statement by this guy who encapsulates LEGO sets... IS MEANINGLESS....

But there are a few suckers out there who see a set graded like this... and they pay dearly for something that true LEGO collectors would laugh at....

Don't get suckered into this type of "Encapsulation" for LEGO... most true collectors don't use it...

Edited by LEGO Historian

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tottaly agreed, this is stupid they have not in packet figs at stupid prices when you can buy a sealed one for a tenth of the price there asking,

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This is the company in question...

http://www.toygrader.com/

And it's just that... a company...

Some of those Ebay prices... I don't know... something doesn't seem right... either that or there are some pretty wealthy people with a lot of money to waste...

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They're are some wealthy people with money to waste. It's a little disgusting, isn't it?

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They're are some wealthy people with money to waste. It's a little disgusting, isn't it?

Yes it certainly is!!

Plus using the encapsulation services "population statistics"... is really misleading... and really doesn't do the secondary market any justice. If you wanted to buy (or even sell some of these sets)... then the unrealistic prices will make it unrealistic for the average AFOL... I know of a German large collector who has kept many auction records for at least the last 8 years... he's shaking his head in disbelief on these. He's likely going to ignore these encapsulated sets in his Ebay history.

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What?!... Just... what?!!

If I were a millionaire I'd want to buy these 'rare unopened' sets, rip open the boxes and build the damn things, then stick the video on YouTube so collectors can stare aghast.

I really don't understand why people value sealed boxes - it's like putting seat covers in your car - who are your protecting them for??

P.S It'd look a little something like this. Start at 6 minutes in, enjoy!!

Edited by Ape Fight

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I never understood the point of that when comic collectors started doing it. It just seems absurd to do it to toys. I can't follow the logic of sealing something that is meant to be enjoyed in plastic. (And I really doubt that gluing 6 slabs of lean around a toy box really does much to increase its value or longevity beyond discouraging an accidental squashing.)

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I think it's only ridiculous for more modern stuff, where the seller is clearly try to "manafacture" a collectable. Brickenvy seems to be at the forefront of this madness allowing you to buy an afa graded Ewok Attack! On an old set though, 20+ years old I see it in a totally different light. If it were cheaper and didn't involve international postage both ways, I've got a few that would be nice to protect properly. But I see them more as custom case makers than actual graders. Thats the main part I care about.

Also acrylic sheeting (perspex) is more expensive than I and many others may have expected. It's more expensive than glass and could be very pricey if you wanted a nice thick sheet that could do all 6 sides of a 1000+ piece lego box.

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Like was stated before they are attempting to create a collectible. As an AFOL and a coin collector I think its a little absurd to encapsulate a lego set with the exception of if it was a very old set or just because it was a favorite set that u wanted to protect for yourself. Coins being graded and then encapsulated I do agree with because of the ease which they can be damaged and the huge price difference that can occur from the slightest little ding.

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If I wanted a "encapsulated" set, I'd rather make a glass box myself and shove the set in there...

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LEGO Historian, I like all your topics and this is not an exception.

I completely agree with you.

I hope my language will not be considered very offensive, but I must be completely idiot to pay $5.500.000 for this:

$%28KGrHqR,!r!FCTB85foDBQrVvt7JPQ~~60_3.JPG

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What?!... Just... what?!!

If I were a millionaire I'd want to buy these 'rare unopened' sets, rip open the boxes and build the damn things, then stick the video on YouTube so collectors can stare aghast.

THIS. *highfives* I'd take great satisfaction in watching that. :grin: I'd do exactly the same thing in that situation too.

I've heard about the same thing happening to musical instruments...'classic' or 'vintage' guitars from the 50s and 60s currently sit in vaults as 'investments' for wealthy collectors. WHY? They're musical instruments! They were designed and built to be played and enjoyed! Similarly, when a toy isn't played with it isn't a toy. It's forced into being something it isn't, which is really sad.

I loved that James May vid BTW. The cheeky trollface.jpg grin as he left the auction house was great. :devil:

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This is just wrong on so many levels I don't even know where to start.

... Then again, if those eBay prices actually reflected _real_ market value, maybe I should buy more fire insurance 'cause based on the first page alone I've supposedly got ~$23,000 in models just sitting around my office. Of course they're all opened and assembled THE WAY TOYS ARE MEANT TO BE so I guess there goes my retirement fund...

Slabbing a LEGO kit? Ridiculous. :angry:

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To be fair, there's definitely some value in keeping sets preserved, untouched, for archival/historical reasons. TLG has a vault of their own where they have a number of vintage sets shrink-wrapped for preservation. With that said, plastic encapsulation of this kind seems like overkill when a layer of shrink wrap and some tender loving care should really be enough. And the "grading", as you mention, is worthless as an actual measure of the product's value when there is so much more to a LEGO set's value than merely its condition.

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Everyone should go there and offer $1 on all of the auctions (Best Offer feature) just to make them go through and decline every one.

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To be fair, there's definitely some value in keeping sets preserved, untouched, for archival/historical reasons. TLG has a vault of their own where they have a number of vintage sets shrink-wrapped for preservation. With that said, plastic encapsulation of this kind seems like overkill when a layer of shrink wrap and some tender loving care should really be enough. And the "grading", as you mention, is worthless as an actual measure of the product's value when there is so much more to a LEGO set's value than merely its condition.

Aanchir... I have seen many pictures from the LEGO Vault in Billund... and sometimes TLG doesn't do a very good job of stacking their sets in there...

You can find some huge 10 kg sets that are stacked on a few small sets that are kept in groaning agony waiting for someone to remove the big sets before the little ones collapse under all that weight.... :sick:

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Wow, and I though lego was for building and having fun :(

It is. Likewise, there's hardly a single exhibit in a history museum showcasing something that was designed for being displayed in a history museum. Can we please stop using the "LEGO is for playing with" argument? The real issue with this is the artificial value these grading services try to attach to these products. Otherwise, it's really nobody's business to tell people what to do with their rare or collectible LEGO sets-- after all, I'm sure plenty of AFOLs have LEGO sets collecting dust on a shelf, which isn't the average set's intended purpose any more than than keeping the set MISB in any condition, regardless of whether the displayed set has been built/played with once.

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After the revulsion of the horror of seeing Lego encapsulated like that had worn off I thought maybe in twenty, fifty, however-many years we might appreciate the fact that someone went to the trouble to preserve sets like that. I guess it's the way that it's being done and the money involved that bothers me.

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