What's Eligible for Grading

CGA grades different types of items under 4 different grading divisions:

AFA (Action Figure Authority) – for packaged, loose, and prototype action figures and related toys
  • Modern Grading Scale - recommended for sealed in package toys produced from 1995 – present
  • Standard Grading Scale - for sealed/new in package toys and new in mailer box toys from all years Loose Grading Scale – for loose, complete toys from all years
  • Qualified Grading Scale (items are accompanied by documentation) – for opened package toys with new contents, handmade prototype toys, incomplete rare and pre-production loose toys, and autographed toys
CDA (Collectible Doll Authority) – for packaged collectible dolls and related toys
  • Modern Grading Scale - recommended for sealed in package toys produced from 1995 – present
  • Standard Grading Scale – for sealed/new in package collectible dolls from all years
DCA (Die-Cast Authority) – for packaged die-cast vehicles and related toys
  • Modern Grading Scale - recommended for sealed in package toys produced from 1995 – present
  • Standard Grading Scale – for sealed/new in package die-cast collectibles from all years
VGA (Video Game Authority) – for packaged and prototype video games and related items
  • Standard Grading Scale – for sealed/new in package video games, systems, and accessories from all years
  • Qualified Grading Scale (items are accompanied by documentation) – for opened package with new contents video games, systems and accessories from all years

For Most Packaged Items:

To be eligible for grading under either our Standard Grading Scale or our Modern Grading Scale, items must be factory sealed if this is how they were available at retail. If items were originally available without a tape, sticker, or cellophane seal or if boxes have an internal blister seal in addition to the tape seal, we will need to verify the contents as new and unused in order to assign a grade. Factory sealed items are not typically eligible for standard grading if they are double-taped (one piece of tape cut and a second placed over the first). While double-taping can occur at the factory, it isn’t possible for us to verify the double-tape as factory applied in most cases. If your toy or video game-related item is double-taped and you wish to have it graded, it is recommended that you cut the double-taped side, verify the contents as new, and submit the item under our Qualified Grading Scale (available only for AFA & VGA).

For an action figure related toy or a video game to be eligible to receive a grade under our Qualified Grading Scale, packaged items must contain new or unused contents. Plastic bags inside the box should not be intentionally opened and there should be no evidence of prior assembly of any part of the item. If bags are torn open significantly, or other packaging inside the box is damaged, but all parts are still new and unused, (i.e. stickers unapplied and plastic parts still on plastic trees, etc.) CGA may, at its sole discretion, assign grades to items. These defects will be noted on the accompanying documentation CGA provides with all ‘qualified’ items. Unused, but tape-cut items which also have internal blister seals to house figures or other items must still retain all internal blister seals to qualify for grading under any scale.

For Catalog Mailers & Mail-Away Exclusives:

Many of these items were distributed in plain white, plain brown, or line-art boxes. While some mailer boxes may have stickers or item numbers which can display or list the contents, the outer box must be opened and contents inspected for a grade to be assigned. A sealed box is not required for mailers, but sealed boxes opened at CGA receive an uncirculated designation. To be eligible for grading under our Standard Grading Scale all contents must be included and in new condition. Sealed or taped bagged items should still be present in unopened bags. Dried tape is accepted at CGA’s sole discretion. All original catalogs and paperwork must also be present. In certain instances, the outer packaging used for mailing the item(s), such as large plain envelopes, may not be required or included with a graded mail-away item. In the majority of instances all contents in addition to the actual mailer box are required for an item to receive a grade.

For Loose Action Figures, G1 Transformers, & Star Wars Die-Cast:

To be eligible for our Loose Grading Scale, items must be complete with all original accessories. For items in original factory bags, the bag must be ‘heat sealed’ to be labeled and graded as a ‘bagged’ item. Provided an item is properly sealed, you may also instruct us to open the bag, remove the item(s), and grade them as loose with an uncirculated designation. Bags which are sealed with tape must be opened and the loose items removed to be graded as such. In the vast majority of instances, items from tape sealed bags are not eligible to receive an uncirculated designation.

Some prototype, pre-production, and extremely rare loose items which are authentic, but missing accessories, can undergo outside authentication by CIB, and become eligible for grading under our Qualified Grading Scale (available only for AFA & VGA). As with all items graded under this scale, CGA provides accompanying documentation in addition to the label sealed within an acrylic case. This documentation is meant to provide additional details, which in these particular cases would include information about the missing accessories required to complete the item, and allow for grading under our Standard Grading Scale.

For Autographed Action Figures & Video Games:

While autographs cannot be verified as authentic in most instances, items with autographs may be graded under our Qualified Grading Scale without the autograph labeled or treated as a major flaw. Accompanying documentation will verify that an item is authentic and has been graded, but that the autograph cannot be verified as authentic. Under any other CGA grading scale, autographs are treated as major flaws and will have a significant impact on the grade an item receives. The only exceptions to this policy in which items may receive a grade under our Standard Grading Scale and be labeled as autographed, are items submitted directly by the manufacturer or event promoter licensed to offer autographed products, items which can be verified as part of a planned limited autographed release, or items in which a CGA representative has witnessed or has other direct knowledge of the autograph in question.

For select Pre-Production, Prototype & Hand-made Action Figures & Video Games:

Provided items of this type can be verified as authentic via outside authentication by CIB, a grade can be assigned under our Qualified Grading Scale. Accompanying documentation will also be provided in order to provide details about the materials used and type of pre-production item. Items such as wax sculpts, certain types of hardcopies, and certain other fragile pre-production items may not be eligible for grading because they cannot be safely encased in acrylic for transit.

We WILL NOT grade any item which exhibits the following:
  • Restoration defined as any foreign and permanent addition to an item (examples include ink or paint used to cover flaws, glue used to re-seal blisters or repair boxes, replaced cellophane, etc.) CGA reserves the right to determine what constitutes restoration.
  • Glued limbs, weapons, and accessories.
  • Holes or cracks large enough to allow an item, parts, or accessories to be removed from a blister or box
  • Reproduction Items
  • Incomplete Items (i.e. missing parts or accessories)
  • Incorrect item - accessory combination
  • Re-sealed Packaging
  • Hand-made pieces excluding prototypes, pre-production items, and licensed release items.
  • Double-Taped items in which the bottom layer of tape has been cut
  • Extensive damage which is deemed likely to worsen if sealed in a case
  • Repainted items, parts, or accessories.
  • CGA reserves the right to refuse any item for any reason.
We WILL grade unsealed boxes if the following criteria is met:
  • For grading under standard or modern grading scales, an item must not have originally come sealed from the factory. This must be the exclusive or most common way the item was released and the contents must be verified as new. We will only grade boxed items which are no longer tape sealed (i.e. tape cut or lifted) under either of these grading scales if a boxed item also has an intact interior blister seal, and all of the accompanying contents and paperwork are stilled sealed in their respective bags when applicable.
  • For grading under the qualified grading scale (available only for items submitted to AFA or VGA), an item can be opened, but must contain unused contents. To qualify, all parts must be attached to plastic trees or in their original factory state, sticker sheets must be unused, and all cardboard, styrofoam, or plastic inserts as well as all documentation and paperwork must be present. Tears in plastic bags and other similar flaws must be deemed unintentional to qualify (i.e. happened at the factory or from contact with a sharp part within the box). However, these flaws may be noted on the qualified COA which accompanies each item graded under this scale.