CONDITION

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Condition is the heart of determining "value" for a collectible. Anyone who says "grading is subjective" is full of garbage and simply doesn't know how to grade. Grading is NOT subjective; it is absolutely objective for those who know take the time to learn how to grade. There are specific standards established for grading for all collectibles. Each field has its own set of accepted grading parameters. Very Good for a Book is not the same as Very Good for a Comic Book or Very Good for a Lobby Card! If you are new to collecting in a specific area or simply want to make sure our terms mesh, please take a moment to familiarize yourself with the different grading terminologies used throughout this Web site. I have been grading collectibles in numerous fields for over 45 years. I see things as they are and not as I want them to be. I make it a point to note defects and try to hide nothing from collectors. When in doubt, always ask me before you buy! Just like you, I was a collector once and don't like surprises. NOTHING on this Web site has been resealed (a common practice I've unfortunately experienced). Seals and shrink wrapping are all original factory produced.


 


BOOKS

As New: Self-explanatory, books appear as they left the printer with only the most minor handling flaws. Very minor (pin point) wear may exist on book or dust jacket cover tips or edges. Hardbacks with Dust Jackets (DJ) graded As New indicate both the book and dust jacket are in the same grade. If either the book or the DJ are in a lesser condition, the grade is broken into two parts. Softbacks and paperbacks appear unread. Some people may cross over comic book and magazine terminology and use Near Mint (NM) to describe this grade. As New- grade has one minor defect that pulls it out of the As New grade for the book or DJ. 40+ year old As New- paperbacks or softbacks may (or may not) begin to show transfer of color from page one onto the inside covers. This is inevitable with the quality of paper stock used in paperbacks and some softbacks. If this is a concern for you, please ask about it. Factory sealed or shrinkwrapped books are assumed to be As New/Mint condition, unless a visible exterior flaw is noted.

FN = Fine: Hardback books have minor handling wear or minor dust jacket scuffs or very minor dust jacket rough edges, but they still appear relatively new. They may be unread, but show signs of moderate shelf wear or normal aging. Spine is like an As New- or better book. FN+ books are just shy of As New- books in condition. Production flaws may exist, but will always be noted. Glossy softback and paperback covers are still glossy. Spine is tight. No breaks in color on softback or paperback spines are allowed, but minor manufactured roughness is permissible. Slight edge tanning may exist on some of the 40+ year old paperbacks. Minor cover indentations or scuffing on softbacks and paperbacks from handling may exist on FN- grade books. FN- hardbacks may have minor cover depressions or edge/corner depressions (up to 1/4 inch), but nothing that breaks color. An edge tear on a FN- DJ can be up to 1/4 inch. Small remainder marks may exist, but will always be noted. Any interior markings are noted, typically a penciled price or retail code. Books in FN/FN- grade are still very much "collectible quality" items and could be given as gifts to the average reader.

VG/FN = Very Good/Fine: Books are higher in grade than VG+ and have elements of a FN grade book, but are not strong enough to hold a FN- grade. The majority of the books with this grade are paperbacks that are solid FN books with minor cover depressions or a corner compression/dog-ear bend. Most VG/FN copies do not have spine stress lines that break color. Any interior markings are noted, typically a penciled price or retail code.

VG = Very Good: Hardback books have been read, but with reasonable care. Corner or edge stress or compression may be present, minor soiling or scuffing. Spines are solid. VG dust jackets can have minor edge browning or small edge tears not to exceed one inch. Jacket "bubbling" may be present, but will be noted. Softback and paperback books have been read and may have noticeable cover scuffs, minor rough handling depressions, slight corner compression, minor cover stains, or some edge browning from age, but the bindings are still crisp and all pages are supple. In many cases, the cover has received the brunt of the wear and the insides are FN or better. While VG softback or paperback books have been carefully read, the spines can show some stress lines. Small multiple cover bend indentations may exist and edge tanning is almost certainly present on paperbacks (and a few softbacks) pre-1975. Date stamps, remainder marks, prices, retail codes, and dust jacket price strikethroughs may exist, but will always be noted. Library or stamped used bookstore copies are not allowed in this grade. This is the minimum grade accepted by most collectors for harder to find books. These are better than average older reading material and make excellent reference copies. VG+ and VG- books have additional attributes that either improve on or detract from a books appearance.

G = Good: The average used Hardback or Softback Book. They may show spine wear, cover depressions, edge tears, cover bends, soiling, or other flaws that detract from appearance. However, though wear is present, the spines are still solid and hold their integrity. Pages may have tears or folds, or show browning from age, but are not brittle. Dust Jackets may have markings, tears, chunks missing, tape repair or tape marks. Paperbacks obviously show wear from repeated readings. This is the first grade acceptable for library or used bookstore copies, which are always noted. Store name stamps, library markings and names written inside are common, but are always noted.

F = Fair: Hardback covers have heavy wear and surface scrapes, dents to edges, rounded corners, moisture damage, writing, and are often missing dust jackets, which is noted. Pages may have tears and folds, or be brown from age, but are not brittle. Paperback books can have excessive wear, water marks, staining, store name stamps, cover or interior page ink marks, but none that hinders reading. These books still retain some spine integrity, but spines definitely show cracking and wear. While these are often labeled "Reading Copies," these books must still be completely readable. They can have pages missing (title or copyright pages, endpapers) that don't effect story content. Anything missing is always noted. Store name stamps, library markings and names written inside are common, but are always noted. Very few Fair books exist on this Web site and nothing in a lesser grade (Poor) is offered.

Most of my books were carefully selected copies for my collection and are the best "off the shelf" copies I could find at the time. Any major defects are noted per item. As an example, "FN with a 1/4 inch lower right corner ding" means the book's overall appearance is FN, but it has the lone notable flaw which lowers the price by several grades. Please note that bindings that were manufactured poorly by a publisher have no effect on grade. If they were all produced that way, it's history and not a defect. If you have any specific questions or require added scans, please ask.

EDITIONS/PRINTINGS: If a book doesn't specifically state it is a First Edition or First Printing, or list a print code, ex: "5 4 3 2 1," indicating printing, I do not list it as a "First" anything. You will find them listed as "Unstated" Edition or Printing. If I know for a documented fact that a book only had one printing or edition, I will indicate that. In all cases, I've listed editions and printings where available. Some books don't show a printing history and some people automatically call these "First Editions/Prints," but I don't.

BCE = Book Club Edition
DJ
= Dust Jacket
HC = Hardcover, Hardback books.
O/P = Out of Print, available only through the secondary market.
O/P Edition = Out of Print in this particular edition, typically available only through the secondary market. Later editions, often by other publishers, are available.
PB = Paperback, the approximately 4.25 x 7 inch standard size "pocket" book.
SB = Softback, a soft cover book, but not the roughly 4.25 x 7 inch standard paperback, size will be indicated for a softback book.
Note On Size = Always listed as width by height.

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BUTTONS/ PINS
NM/Like New: Regardless of age, the button/pin appears as issued new, free of nicks or scratches in paint, very minor surface wear may show from production handling (typically viewable only at an angle), backs are free of any oxidation, clasp pins are straight. NM- has a small imperfection, scratch, or mar visible under very close inspection that keeps it out of the main grade, but still doesn't detract enough to drop it to VF.

VF+/VF: Button may have minor paint nicks/scratches or surface wear (typically viewable only at an angle), back may have minor oxidation but never any corrosion or rust. These are still very nice looking collectibles. They were most likely carefully used and stored away.

I offer nothing below VF grade buttons and pins. MIB = Mint in Original Bag.  MIP = Mint in Original Package.  MOC = Mint on Original Backing Card.

 

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CEREAL / FAST FOOD PREMIUMS
Many are NM/Like New, Still sealed, MIP = Mint in Original Package, MIB = Mint in Original Box, or MOC = Mint on Original Backing Card. "Sealed" or "Unopened" implies Mint condition for the contents. Defects are noted per item. Cards and Stickers use Trading Card grades seen below. Comics and Magazines use the grades listed below. Film premiums use the grades listed below.

CEREAL PREMIUMS     TOP

COINS / MEDALS / ROUNDS

PROOF COINS/MEDALS/ROUNDS/INGOTS offered on this Web site are all Uncirculated, unless noted otherwise. Most are Mint State (MS) and in the exact condition they were in when issued. Sealed coins have never been handled by collectors. Coins that were encapsulated after issuance have been minimally handled (probably once) with gloves.  Some may exhibit patination/oxidation (thin layers of discoloration that form on metal due to chemical processes created during natural aging or exposure), but this is noted. I do not clean proof coins or medals, but you may certainly do so, in an attempt to restore brilliance once they are yours.

Proof Coins/Medals/Rounds/Ingots are the finest quality produced by a mint. Briefly, the term "Proof" refers to the finish. Proof blanks are specially treated, hand-polished, and cleaned to ensure high-quality strikes. The blanks are then fed into presses fitted with specially polished dies and struck at least twice. The vast majority of these coins are then carefully packaged to showcase and preserve their exceptional finish. Proof coins are often struck at least twice, which gives the coin a frosted sculpted foreground and a mirror-like background shine.

Brilliant Uncirculated (BU) Coins/Medals are hand-loaded into the coining press and struck on specially burnished blanks, yet have a soft, matte-like finish appearance. These are made like circulating coins (which are used everyday as money), but with a special process that produces a brilliant finish.

Sheldon Grading Scale
Almost Uncirculated 58 = Slight wear on the highest points of the design. Full details.
AU 55 = Slight wear on less than 50% of the design. Full details.
AU 53 = Slight wear on more than 50% of the design. Full details except for very minor softness on the high points.
AU 50 = Slight wear on more than 50% of the design. Full details except for minor softness on the high points.
Extremely Fine 45 = Complete details with minor wear on some of the high points.
XF 40 = Complete details with minor wear on most of the high points.
Very Fine 35 = Complete details with wear on all of the high points.
VF 30 = Nearly complete details with moderate softness on the design areas.
VF 25 = Nearly complete details with more softness on the design areas.
VF 20 = Moderate design detail with sharp letters and digits.
Fine 15 = Recessed areas show slight softness. Letters and digits are sharp.
F 12 = Recessed areas show more softness. Letters and digits are sharp.
Very Good 10 = Wear throughout the design. Letters and digits show softness.
VG 8 = Wear throughout the design. Letters and digits show more softness.
Good 6 = Peripheral letters and digits are full. Rims are sharp.
G 4 = Peripheral letters and digits are nearly full. Rims exhibit wear. Heavily worn. The design and legend are visible, but faint in spots.
About Good (AG 3) = Most letters and digits are readable. Rims are worn into the fields. Parts of date and legend may be worn smooth.
Fair (FR 2) = Some details are visible. Rims are barely visible. You can identify the coin to its type.

Some people use the terms Coin, Medal or Round interchangeably. To me, a "Coin" is minted by a government with a denomination and is spent as currency. Medals or Rounds are not. They are most often minted as commemorative "souvenirs" of events, people, places, etc.

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COMIC BOOKS / MAGAZINES
Graded by Overstreet Grading Guide Standards. Grading takes into account the whole issue, not just the cover. That may sound like a "no-brainer," but some people do base most of their grade on the front cover, which is ludicrous. When in doubt, refer to the Overstreet Grading Guide to see what flaws are acceptable in what grades. I always do, and I've been grading comics for over 45 years. 45+ years doesn't make me perfect, but my eyes are attuned to spotting defects. Here's a comic book grading overview:

M = Mint: By nature, anything manufactured has flaws, so I find this grade difficult to assign. However, a few issues fall into this category of near perfection. There are an infinitesimal number of newsprint comics that I'll grade as Mint. As a result, most of my Mint comics, which are extremely scarce, are on high grade paper because of improved manufacturing processes. They are priced at 160-200% of Overstreet NM- 9.2 guide value, depending upon demand and desirability.

NM/M and NM+ = Near Mint/Mint and Near Mint plus: These are typically the highest grades I assign to newsprint comics, but what most people refer to as Mint books. These are top of the heap for paper collectibles with extremely little to no noticeable defects to the eye, all of which are bindery related. NM/M (9.8) and NM+ (9.6) are priced at 140-150% of Overstreet NM- 9.2 guide value. As with Mint, you'll find few of these listed. They go quickly.

NM = Near Mint: Only subtle bindery defects are allowed. These issues can have a 1/16 inch bend with no color break. They may have tiny color fleck loss from printing or a tiny bindery edge trim imperfection. No other defects allowed. Covers are flat, inks bright, edges and corners cut square with ever-so-slight blunting permitted. Covers and Staples are well centered. Overstreet allows for arrival dates; I don't. For the most part, the minor defects come from mechanical production or original shipping. Paper is cream to off-white, supple and fresh. These copies are nearly perfect with no regard to age, which makes older issues rarer due to the natural self-destructive nature of newsprint. My NM comics are equal to the Overstreet 9.4 number grade. NM is priced at 125% of Overstreet 9.2 NM- guide value. These issues (and better) are the ones people encapsulate and never read for their intended enjoyment.

NM- = Near Mint minus: A limited number of minor bindery defects are allowed. These issues can have a couple very small stress lines on the spine, a very minor corner chip or crease, tiny color fleck loss from printing, a tiny bindery edge trim tear, very slight offset cover or an uneven trim/fold that keep it out of NM condition. A 1/16 to 1/8 inch bend is permitted with no color break. No other defects allowed. Covers are flat, inks bright, edges and corners cut square with ever-so-slight blunting permitted. Staples are generally well centered. Overstreet allows for arrival dates, barely noticeable water stains and minor foxing; I don't, not on or in a NM- issue. Newsprint paper is cream to off-white, supple and fresh. Mando or better paper stock is white. Slight interior tears are allowed, 100% of which are bindery created and most typically in the border from machine pulls. For the most part, the minor defects come from mechanical production or original shipping, not from consumer handling. NM- (9.2) and better comics are commonly referred to as "investor grade." While I recognize comic books as investments, deep down I keep hoping people actually read them for enjoyment. This is the highest grade listed in the annual Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide.

VF/NM = Very Fine/Near Mint: Nearly perfect with outstanding eye appeal. A limited number of bindery defects are allowed, most common being a not perfectly centered cover, offset staples or a tightly cut interior page. Almost flat cover with almost imperceptible wear. Tight fine cover production wrinkles (where paper had a slight buckle during the printing process) may exist on copies. Inks are bright with slightly diminished reflectivity. A 1/8 inch bend is allowed if color is not broken. Corners are cut sharp and relatively square with ever-so-slight blunting permitted. Lightly penciled, stamped or inked arrival dates are acceptable, but will always be noted. No obvious staining, soiling or discoloration, very minor foxing is acceptable. Spine is tight and flat. No spine roll or splits are allowed. Staples may show some discoloration. Only the slightest staple tears are allowed. A very minor accumulation of stress lines may be present. No rust migration. Paper is cream to off-white and supple. No hint of acidic odor. Centerfold is secure. Very minor interior tears may be present, the majority of which are bindery created. Most of my best Marvel Giant-Size or DC 100 Page issues and squarebound magazines fall into this grade because of the way the spines are manufactured. Newsstand magazines like TV Guide, National Lampoon, Penthouse, Playboy, etc. may have a minor cover abrasion where the issue slid over another issue or a slight top/bottom spine bindery cut defect. VF/NM issues require more than a cursory look to spot defects and are still extremely collectible. For most comic books and comic magazines, I take an additional 10% off the calculated value.

VF = Very Fine: An excellent copy with outstanding eye-appeal. A comic book in this grade has the appearance of having been carefully handled. A limited accumulation of minor bindery defects is allowed. Cover is relatively flat with minimal surface wear beginning to show, such as minute wear at the corners or edges. Inks are bright with moderate to high reflectivity. A 1/4 inch crease is acceptable, if color is not broken, slightly larger on VF-. Stamped or inked arrival dates may be present, but will always be noted. No obvious staining or soiling, possible minor discoloration in white areas, minor foxing is acceptable. Spine is almost flat with no roll. Possible minor color break is allowed. Staples may show some discoloration. Very slight staple tears and a few very minor to minor stress lines may be present. No rust migration. Paper is tan to cream and supple. Centerfold is mostly secured. Minor interior tears at the margin may be present. Newsstand magazines like TV Guide, National Lampoon, Penthouse, Playboy, etc. may have cover abrasions where the issue slid over another issue, but nothing that detracts from overall appeal. For most comic books and comic magazines, I take an additional 20% off the calculated value.

F/VF = Fine/Very Fine: An above average copy that shows minor wear, relatively flat and clean with outstanding eye appeal. A small accumulation of minor bindery defects is allowed, staples may be off-center. Minor cover wear beginning to show with interior yellowing or tanning allowed, possibly including minor creases. Corners or edges may be blunted or abraded. Inks are generally bright with a moderate reduction in reflectivity. Stamped or inked arrival dates may be present, but will always be noted. No obvious staining or soiling, possible minor discoloration in white areas, minor foxing is allowed. The slightest spine roll may be present, as well as a possible moderate color break. Staples may show minor discoloration. Slight staple tears and a slight accumulation of light stress lines may be present, as well as slight rust migration. In rare cases, a comic was not stapled at the bindery and therefore has a missing staple; this is not considered a defect, but is always noted. Paper is tan to cream, but not brown. No hint of acidic odor. Centerfold is mostly secure. Minor interior tears at the margins may be present. Newsstand magazines like TV Guide, National Lampoon, Penthouse, Playboy, etc. may have noticeable minor cover abrasions or minor production ink smears. For most comic books and comic magazines, I take an additional 25% off the calculated value.

F = Fine: An above average copy that shows minor wear, relatively flat and clean with no significant creasing or other serious defects. Eye appeal is somewhat reduced because of slight surface wear and the accumulation of small defects, especially on the spine and edges. Minor pressure marks may be present. Comics appear to have been read a few times and have been handled with moderate care. Some accumulation of minor bindery defects are allowed, staples may be off-center. In rare cases, a comic was not stapled at the bindery and therefore has a missing staple; this is not considered a defect, but is always noted. Minor cover wear apparent, with minor to moderate creases or dimpling. Inks show a major reduction in reflectivity. Blunted or abraded corners and edges are more common, as is minor staining, soiling, discoloration and/or foxing. Stamped or inked arrival dates may be present, but will always be noted. A minor spine roll is allowed. There can also be a 1/4 inch spine split or severe color break. Staples can show minor discoloration. Minor staple tears and an accumulation of stress lines may be present, as well as rust migration. Paper can be brown to tan, but no signs of brittleness. No hint of acidic odor. Centerfold may be loose but not detached. Minor interior tears at the margins may be present. Newsstand magazines like TV Guide, National Lampoon, Penthouse, Playboy, etc. may have noticeable minor cover abrasions or production ink smears. For most comic books and comic magazines, I take an additional 30% off the calculated value.

VG/F = Very Good/Fine: An above average, but well-used comic book. A comic in this grade shows some moderate wear; eye appeal is somewhat reduced because of the accumulation of defects. This is still a desirable copy that has been handled with some care. An accumulation of bindery defects is allowed. In rare cases, a comic was not stapled at the bindery and therefore has a missing staple; this is not considered a defect, but is always noted. Minor to moderate cover wear apparent, with minor to moderate creases and/or dimples. Inks have major to extreme reduction in reflectivity. Blunted or abraded corners are increasingly common, as is minor to moderate staining, discoloration, and/or foxing. Stamped or inked arrival dates may be present, but not names or initials. A minor to moderate spine roll is allowed. A spine split of up to 1/2 inch may be present. Staples show minor discoloration. A slight accumulation of minor staple tears and an accumulation of minor stress lines may also be present, as well as minor rust migration. Paper can be brown to tan, but no signs of brittleness. May have the faintest trace of an acidic odor. Centerfold may be loose but not detached. Minor tears may also be present or internal paper folds (dog-ears). For most comic books and comic magazines, I take an additional 35% off the calculated value.

VG = Very Good: The average used issue. Shows some significant moderate reading wear, cover shows moderate to significant wear and may be loose but not completely detached. Moderate to extreme reduction in cover gloss reflectivity. Can have an accumulation of creases or dimples. Covers, corners and edges may be blunted or abraded. Store stamps, name stamps, arrival dates, initials, bindery (cover off-center, staples off-center) and printing defects (ink smears, color lifts) have no effect on this grade. I typically note if any of these are present. Some discoloration, fading, foxing, and moderate soiling is allowed. Up to 1/4 inch triangle can be missing from a corner or edge or a 1/8 inch square elsewhere is acceptable. Only minor unobtrusive tape is allowed, but any tape is noted. Moderate spine roll may be present with up to a 1 inch spine split. Staples can be discolored or one may be missing (always noted). Minor to moderate staple tears and apparent stress lines may be present, as well as some rust migration, mostly seen at the centerfold. Paper can be brown, but never brittle. Minor to moderate tears may be present or internal paper folds (dog-ears common). Minor internal writing is acceptable if it doesn't affect the artwork and will always be noted. Centerfold may be loose or detached at one staple, which will be noted. For most comic books and comic magazines, I take an additional 40% off the calculated value.

G/VG = Good/Very Good: Shows some substantial wear, cover shows significant wear and may be loose or detached at one staple (always noted). Cover reflectivity is low. Book-length creases and dimples may be present. Corners may be blunted or rounded. Soiling, staining, discoloration, and foxing may be present. The largest piece allowed missing from the front or back cover is a 1/4 to 1/2 inch triangle or a 1/8 to 1/4 inch square. Tape, restapling and other forms of repair may be present. Spine roll is likely. May have up to a 1.5 inch spine split. Staples may be rusted or replaced. Staple tears and stress lines may be present, as well as rust migration. Paper can be brown but not brittle. Centerfold may be loose or detached at one staple, but this will be noted. Moderate interior tears and corner folds (dog-ears common) may be present. Ink or pencil marks on covers or internally, light water marks, store name stamps, and tape residue marks are common. For most comic books and comic magazines, I take an additional 45% off the calculated value.

G = Good: Shows substantial wear, cover shows significant wear and may be detached (always noted). Cover reflectivity is low or in some cases completely absent. Book-length creases and dimple may be present. Rounded corners are common. Soiling, staining, discoloration, and foxing may be present. The largest piece allowed missing from the front or back cover is a 1/2 inch triangle or a 1/4 inch square. Price box may be clipped from an otherwise higher grade issue and still receive a Good grade, but this will always be noted. Tape and other forms of repair are common in Silver Age or older issues. Spine roll is likely. May have up to a 2 inch spine split. Staples may be degraded, replaced or missing. Staple tears and stress lines may be present, as well as rust migration. Paper can be brown but not brittle. Centerfold may be loose or detached, but this will be noted. Interior tears and corner folds (dog-ears) may be present. Ink or pencil marks, light water marks, store name stamps, and tape residue marks are common. This grade can have a large accumulation of defects, but the issue still maintains structural integrity. This is the lowest grade accepted by many collectors. For most comic books and comic magazines, I take an additional 50% off the calculated value.

Fr = Fair / Pr = Poor: For Fair, covers or interior pages may be detached. The issue may not be entirely complete (ex: missing an ad page or having a coupon cut), but within reason will be readable. A Fr book may have up to 1/4 of the front cover missing (usually the logo missing on a sixties return) or no back cover. Anything missing is noted or completely visible in a scan. These issues are heavily worn, missing staples, having loose pages, taped, marked, soiled, water stained, etc. Poor copies typically have portions of the issue missing including content, may be coverless (always listed as such), or have minimal structural integrity. I have a few of these listed and they are basically Golden or Silver Age reading copies. For most comic books and comic magazines, I take an additional 60% or more off the calculated value.

Conditional Statements: Example, VF: cover loose at bottom staple. This means the issue is in VF condition with the defect noted. It is not graded VF because of the defect and is not priced as VF. In this example, this issue would be priced at a VG value. Most comics from the '70s that are graded VG are done so because of edge creases or corner crimps where a bundle of issues were dropped during shipping, not because of excess buyer handling. As an example, a comic book from 1975 may look NM over 90% of the issue, but have a substantial corner ding that affects the entire book and drops it several grades to VG. Cover loose at a staple will drop a VF/NM to NM looking comic book to a F price or a VF looking comic book to a VG price.

What's a color lift? It is a printing defect. When a comic book cover was printed and not allowed to adequately dry before the issue is folded, bound and stacked, the cover of one issue tends to stick and color bleeds into the next copy. Black seems to be the most common color. When the issues are separated and sorted, the color from one cover "lifts" and "sticks" to another. So, front cover color "lifts" and "sticks" to the back cover of another copy of the same issue, and vice versa. So, an issue may otherwise be in pristine condition, but the color lift downgrades it from NM to something lesser, based on the severity of the defect. Some graders ignore this, but I don't.

What's the difference between a bend and a crease? A crease breaks color and a bend does not. A bend that is severe effects the grade of an issue in the same way a crease does.

O/C = The cover is off-center. Overstreet identifies this as a bindery defect. I drop condition by half a grade if I feel the O/C cover is severe enough to reduce overall collectability.

f.c. = front cover  /  b.c. = back cover

Store Name Stamp: The store name stamp mentioned on a number of Silver Age Marvels is 3 lines and appears on the top of the back cover, taking up approximately a 2.5 x 3/4 inch space. It reads: 
Wally's Paperback Book Exchange
2301 S. Craycroft - or - 2600 Dyer
Tucson, Arizona - or - El Paso, Texas

COMIC BOOKS     MAGAZINES     TOP

BDs/DVDs / VHS TAPES
BDs/DVDs:
"I place no warranty on the BD/DVD" does not mean you are getting stuck with junk. If opened, it means the BD/DVD played perfectly on a well-maintained Toshiba or Sony DVD player. If it doesn't play on an unmaintained "Bubba's Brand" BD/DVD player, then it's not the disc's fault. "Like New" means exactly that. The BD/DVD looks just like it did when the keep case was first opened - no scratches, no fingerprints! Keep cases may or may not have wear, but that is always noted. The few DVDs with noted surface marks may stick on some units, so be aware. They didn't on mine. All DVDs are retail copies - NO Rental, Second Hand or Library copies are offered for sale.

VHS TAPES: "I place no warranty on the tape" does not mean you are getting stuck with junk. It means if the tape was opened, it played perfectly on a well-maintained Panasonic or Sony VHS player. If it jams on an unmaintained "Bubba's Brand" VHS player, then it's not the tape's fault. All tapes are retail purchased copies - NO Rental, Second Hand or Library copies are offered. Most tapes haven't been played in over 20 years, but all have been stored in temperature controlled environments. Boxes may have minor shelf scuffing, but no major wear. Every tape has been rewound to the beginning!

O/P = Out of Production. Unavailable, except in back stock or on the secondary/collectors market.

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MOVIE POSTERS / LOBBY CARDS / HANDBILLS / STILLS / PAPER PROMOS
Original theatrical one-sheet movie posters are 27 x 41 inches in size with some adult and foreign one-sheets measuring 27 x 40 inches. One-sheets have a standard three fold into eighths, unless listed as “Rolled” or folded in fourths or 16ths. Pre-1980 rolled or 4th fold posters are highly desirable and carry a premium. If the poster is a reissue, the reissue year will be prominently listed. Movie posters that are not original theatrical one-sheets are clearly listed as such.

All Lobby Cards on this Web site are original issues and measure 11 x 14 inches in size, unless clearly listed as an 8 x 10 inch mini. I don’t offer any lobby card reprints or reproductions.

All Vintage Movie Stills listed as Original were produced by the studio and are from the year the film was released. If it says Original, it is NOT a reissue, restrike or mass-produced photo! It's the real deal. All Press Kits contain original stills for the film. All stills measure roughly 8 x 10 inches, unless otherwise stated.

Reissue stills are also produced directly by the studios, but they are not from the year of release. All reissues clearly state the year of reissue. Vintage reissues are still very collectible items, with many of the reissues on this Web site being over 35 years old.

Restrikes are clearly marked as restrikes and will never be passed off as anything other than mass-produced photos! There is nothing wrong with a restrike as long as you are buying it for the pleasure of looking at the photo and understand you are not getting a studio produced collectible. There are no bootleg or unauthorized restrikes or reproductions for sale here.

Condition grades for Handbills, Mini-posters, Stills and paper promotional items are the same as Posters and Lobby Cards. The first two align more with posters and the latter two more with lobbies. Exhibition/Arcade cards use Trading Card grading definitions.

I use + and – clarifiers to give you an idea on where the items fall in their grade. They are used for informational purposes and have minimal, if any, effect on price. Keep in mind that on lower grade items with staple holes that one staple leaves TWO holes. When the description says “4 staple holes,” it means 8 punctures! “Double staple holes in each corner” means 4 punctures per corner.

M = Mint. Definitely unused and without any handling flaws. I reserve this grade strictly for applicable rolled posters. Mint lobbies are in their original packing sleeves or shrink-wrapping. If a poster has been folded, then under my grading terms, it can't be Mint. A lot of people will disagree with me on this one, but that's the way the cookie crumbles. I offer exceptionally few Mint items.

NM = Near Mint. These items have most likely never been used or may have been used in a theater, but were exceptionally carefully handled during use. Identification stamps from the studio on the back of a poster or lobby card, that don't bleed through, have no effect on this grade. However, handwriting of any kind is unacceptable. The preponderance of flaws on a NM- item are near the corners and edges. NM items are the “crown jewels” in any film hobbyist’s collection.

Posters
can have very slight color registration variations. Poster folds must be near square and horizontally even. One tiny pinhole, up to 4 and only in each corner, is allowable in the NM- grade, but pinholes will always be noted. Very slight indentation marks from movie theater use are allowable. Rolled NM- poster may have small corner dog-ear folds or edge compression. One-sheets, which were normally tri-folded into eighths, may have very slight fold wear which does not significantly affect the eye appeal of the image. Folds haven't damaged the image or caused even a fine tear.
Lobby Cards
have bright colors and solid registration. They may have a very minor indentation mark visible only when the card is looked at on an angle, very minor edge wear, a very minor corner depression that does not break color or extend past the border edge, up to two fuzzy corners are acceptable.
Movie Stills
look as produced, but may have one light minor bend, visible at an angle, where the still was grabbed off the pile by the publicity department.

 

VF = Very Fine. Items are bright, supple, clean and like a NM posters or lobbies may have never been used or carefully used. A slight amount of color loss is acceptable in this grade. VF and better items are sometimes referred to as "investment quality," but take my advice and invest in what you like, not what you think will make a buck. You'll enjoy collecting much more.

Poster
folds can be near square, but not off by more than an inch. VF posters exhibit more fold and handling wear than a NM poster, but without significant color loss in the fold area. One or two tiny pinholes in each corner is allowable in this grade, but will always be noted. Writing on the back of the poster that does not bleed through is acceptable, but will always be noted. Minor tears are allowed in this grade, but they should be less than a half inch in length, and not more than two total tears on a poster. Common areas for tears on posters are at the folds, especially the interior folds where the item may have been unfolded and then refolded. If they exist, tears will be noted. A one inch corner dog-ear or extended edge wrinkle is allowable.
Lobby Cards
may have some handling wear or a minor visible fold near the border or corner dents, but no folds that affect the central image. One or two pressure marks visible at an angle may exist, but nothing that detracts from direct viewing. Two top corner border pinholes are acceptable in VF- lobbies, but staple holes are not. Pinholes are always noted. Like posters, writing on the back of the card that doesn’t bleed through is allowable, but will be noted. Wear marks on the back that have no effect on the front are also acceptable. One or two edge discolorations are allowable, but nothing that extends more than a half inch in from the edge or corner. These will all be noted.
Movie Stills may have some minor bends from handling that are viewable of the glossy surface from an angle. Typically, when you look directly at the still, these minor defects are not visible. Edge discoloration or staining is only in the white border and doesn’t affect the image. One pinhole in the upper border is acceptable, but will always be noted.

 

FN = Fine. Fine material is still quite collectible, especially on items better than 35 years old, but wear is becoming more obvious.

Posters
still have bright colors, but handling and wrinkles are more apparent. Fold wear is greater and may have produced multiple small tears, but none greater than an inch. Edges may have tears, but none greater than an inch into the border. Poster folds may not be square. Border chips may be present. I offer scant few posters below this grade.
Lobby Cards have some apparent surface handling wear or soiling. Small corner and edge tears or folds, border creases that may affect the central image, up to four fuzzy corners, and border chips can be present. Unlike VF lobbies where the detractors are more toward the borders, FN cards show the wear encroaching on the images.
Movie Stills will have more handling wear as described in Lobby Cards, possibly noted fingerprints, scratches in the glossy coating that do NOT cut into the image may be present, pressure marks on the image visible at an angle may also be present, up to two pinholes in the top border.

 

VG = Very Good. This is the average used item with heavier wear. Creasing, writing, tape, dog-eared corners, or specific damage that may detract from the central images on both lobby cards and posters can be present. Edge tears are common and corners can have chips over an inch missing.

Poster
fold tears can be larger than an inch, but not exceeding two inches.
Lobby Cards
can have multiple pinholes or staples holes along the edges, not just at the corners.
Movie Stills may have the defects listed in Lobby Cards or writing along the borders, but never on the image.

 

G = Good. Heavy wear and the central folds are creased white, multiple staple and pinholes into the image area are common, staining and writing on the face of the piece is present, large image tears and chunks out of the borders and corners are common. Good is a misnomer because Good is not so good!

NOTE: Any extenuating "damage" will always be detailed on all film collectibles. I’d rather be over descriptive than leave details out.

PH = Pinholes: The one-sheet has a small pin hole in each corner of the top border, but NONE at the bottom. These two holes do not come close to the immediate image border and are noted in all cases. If you matte the borders, the holes will not show. As defined, NM posters may have pinholes, but I will always note their existence.

Miscellaneous Film and TV collectibles are described per item. If it's paper, the above grades still apply, unless the item is a book or magazine. In those cases, see the appropriate areas. If it's a toy, see the TOYS / MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS section.

MOVIE & TV     TOP

ORIGINAL ARTWORK
If you already collect production art originals, you know what they look like. Comic book pages are approximately 11 x 16 inches and magazine pages are slightly larger. Size for all other artwork is listed per piece. If you've never seen production artwork before, blue lines, white out, art tape (like a white masking tape), margin notes, zip-a-tone, paste-ups, tack holes in the corners, etc. are not uncommon. These are not defects. However, coffee stains, creases or tears in the image are defects and will always be noted, though nothing I currently offer has a defect.

ORIGINAL ARTWORK     TOP

PRINTS / PORTFOLIOS / POSTERS
Signed Prints and Portfolios all are NM-NM/M, As New, As Issued and have never been framed, mounted or hung. Unless noted, portfolio plates are in near mint or better condition. Portfolio envelopes or slips may have very minor scuffing or handling, but nothing that detracts from the illustrations. Any defects will always be noted per item.

Posters are all color and on slick paper stock, unless otherwise indicated as B&W (black & white) or Matte paper stock. Comic Book posters are all long out of print promos for various series or titles that were distributed to comic book shops or through trade magazines. Almost all the large posters were issued folded and folds are indicated by NF (no fold), 2x = in half, 4x = in quarters, 6x = in sixths, 8x = in eighths. See Movie Poster grades above for condition definitions.

O/P = Out of Print, typically available only through the secondary market.

PRINTS & PORTFOLIOS     TOP

RECORDS - Vinyl LPs and 45s
Sealed record albums are under the original manufacturer's cellowrap/shrinkwrap. The vinyl is assumed to be NM-M, but the jacket will be assigned a grade if it is flawed. I don't offer anything that is resealed and then passed off as "new." There are no library or used record shop copies offered. Everything was purchased retail and had only one owner - me. Audiophiles, feel free to ask for any specifics you need (outgroove etchings, etc).

A Note About Bootleg Vinyl: Collectors acquired boots to obtain something that was "unavailable," which in this day and age has become an antiquated concept. Collectors still buy them to put their hands on the physical product. People who list bootleg vinyl as "Mint" have obviously never dropped a needle on the record. Coming from someone who has owned boots from "GWW" forward, bootleg vinyl was as cheap a substance as could be pressed. Extraordinary copies may make an EX+ grade. Well preserved copies fall into VG+ to VG. Most copies plummet below. Please be aware of this when you see "Mint" copies offered on a certain bidding site or a certain "multinational technology company focusing in e-commerce."

GRADING: Record/Vinyl grade first, followed by Jacket grade on LPs or Sleeve grade on 45s. You can't grade a record only by appearance! You have to play it to grade it. The following grades are used for records.

Near Mint (NM): A nearly perfect record. No record is ever truly perfect, but the vinyl will show no obvious signs of wear and any audio imperfections are at an absolute minimum. The grade constitutes both appearance AND sound. So if it looks perfect, but the pressing is poor, it can never be NM. A 45 (single) sleeve will have no more than the most minor defects, such as almost invisible ring wear from distribution or other signs of slight handling. An LP cover will have no creases, folds, seam splits or other noticeable similar defects. No cut-out holes/slits, either. And of course, the same should be true of any other inserts, such as posters, lyric sleeves and the like. Basically, an LP in near mint condition looks as if you just got it home from a new record store and removed the shrink wrap on well-pressed vinyl. NM- is a copy with one small additional imperfection.

Excellent (EX): An EX record will show some signs that it was played and otherwise handled by a previous owner who took excellent care of it. Most of my EX and EX+ records were played once and taped, then stored away. Record surfaces may show some signs of wear and may have slight scuffs, but no scratches, that produce very minimal surface noise in quiet passages. Very slight warps that do not affect the sound are acceptable. The label may have some ring wear or discoloration, but it should be barely noticeable. The center hole will not have been misshapen by repeated play. Picture sleeves and LP inner sleeves will have some slight wear. Turned up inner sleeve corners (very common in LPs) caused during initial manufacturer insertion or a slight seam split may be present. An LP cover may have slight signs of wear and may be marred by a cut-out hole, indentation or corner clip indicating it was taken out of print and sold at a discount (remaindered). Cut-outs are always noted. In general, if not for a few things wrong with it, this would be NM. Most collectors will find an EX vintage record highly acceptable. EX+ records offer more attributes in the high end of the grade and EX- more in the lower end.

Very Good (VG): Many of the defects found in an EX record will be more pronounced in a VG disc. Surface noise will be evident upon playing, especially in soft passages and during a song's intro and fade, but will not overpower the music. Groove wear will start to be noticeable, as with light scratches that will affect the sound. Labels may be marred by light writing, or have tape or stickers (or their residue) attached. The same will be true of picture sleeves or LP covers. Bends and creases on albums jackets are common, but no tears are allowed. Seam splits are at a minimum. Any of these defects will be noted.  VG+ records offer more attributes in the high end of the grade and VG- more in the lower end. A lot of my VG vinyl may look EX to NM, but if the pressing was off or there is warping, it will end up with a VG grade.

Nothing below VG is offered.

 

MUSIC COLLECTIBLES     TOP

STAMPS

CENTERING:
S =
Superb, nearly perfectly centered
XF =
Extremely Fine, very nicely centered, almost perfect
VF =
Very Fine, slightly off center but still well away from the edge
F-VF = Fine to Very Fine,
design is closer to the edge, but still has a good border and eye appeal.
F = F
ine, more than slightly off center to the point that the frame of the design almost touches the perforation holes.
VG = Very Good, off center to the point that the frame of the design touches the perforation holes, but does not cut into the design.
AVERAGE = Perforations or panel edge cut into the stamp's design.

For all plate blocks, centering grade is based on the worst stamp in the block. Example: If two stamps are XF and two are F, the block will be graded F.

GUM SIDE:
NH
= Never Hinged, Also implies original gum is as issued without any defects (Some use MNH = Mint Never Hinged)
LH = Lightly Hinged, gum has had a hinge applied, but the mark left is small or light.
HH = Heavily Hinged, gum has been hinged and the mark left is large or prominent.
Gum Skip = When the gum was applied during manufacture, it was not spread completely over the stamp and it left a portion of the stamp without gum, sometimes leaving an ungummed thin line.

STAMPS     TOP

TOYS / MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS
MOC
= Mint on Card, MIP = Mint in Original Package, or MIB = Mint in Original Box (some people use NIB = New In Box) The product is as it was released and assumed "mint" or "as issued" in the package or box. "Sealed" or "Unopened" implies Mint condition for the contents. An MOC, MIP, MIB item can have minor shelf wear or scuffing on the shrinkwrap or container. MOC, MIP, MIB in no way implies perfection. A box with a minor crease caused during packaging or a slight split in shrinkwrap is normal. A box with a compressed corner or a major tear in shrinkwrap is not normal and would be noted. Any defects in an opened/loose toy or product are always noted. Packaging wear that is greater than minor shelf or distribution wear is also noted. I do not reseal anything. All shrinkwrapping or plastic wrap is from the factory.
COA = Certificate of Authenticity

TOYS     MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS     TOP

TRADING CARDS
Graded by strict Beckett sports cards standards. Please refer to the condition guide in your Beckett Annuals. That's my benchmark for grading. Cards fall strictly into their grades. A perfectly flat, white card with sharp registration, edges and corners that has 90/10 centering will NEVER be listed as NM on this Web site. Because of the centering, in this example, it would be graded VG+ at best. No matter how perfect all the other attributes are, a card can never be NM if it is off-center more than 65/35. Even "professional" graders have this fabricated "NM o/c" grade. Sorry, all you PSA Zombies, if it's o/c, it's not NM!!! The same goes for wax marks. A NM card with front wax marks is not NM! It will be graded and priced as "Ex+: front wax" on this Web site. + and - discriminators are used to help you determine where in the grade the card falls. When in doubt, on cards that don't already have an image posted, ask for a scan! I am happy to provide them. All my scans exceed the card size, so you see centering, edges and corners.

M = Mint: As close to perfection as possible. No printing flaws, 4 sharp corners and sides, centering 55/45 both ways on front, 70/30 or better on back. Clean gloss with one or two tiny surface flaws barely noticeable to the naked eye. Pre-1974 cards in this condition carry a premium, as they are rarely found. I don't use Gem Mint or Pristine grades. If my Mint cards are actually Gem Mint or Pristine, then you benefit from it.

NM/M = Near Mint-Mint: 60/40 or better centering on front, 80/20 or better on back, sharp corners and sides to the naked eye, but slight imperfections allowed under close examination. Smooth borders, very minor color or focus imperfections. Solid gloss with very minor scratches detectable only upon close inspection, or a subtle metallic print line. Pre-1974 cards in this condition carry a premium, as they are scarce.

NM = Near Mint: Centering 65/35 both ways or better on front, 90/10 or better on back. Very minor wear on two or three corners is allowed, edges may have slight roughness, very minor chipping, no more than 2 very minor print spots or minor speckling are allowed. Very minor color or focus imperfections or border discoloration. Solid gloss with a few very minor scratches detectable upon close inspection, subtle metallic print lines. Cards in this condition and better are the highlights of any collection.

Ex/M = Excellent-Mint: Centering 70/30 both ways or better on front, 95/5 or better on back, very slight diamond cutting is allowed. Corners may be fuzzy, but free of bends and fraying. Edges may have moderate roughness, moderate chipping or minor notching. Noticeable print spots, minor color or focus imperfections, minor border discoloration and color or focus imperfections. Wax stains permissible on back only (waxing is always noted). Relatively solid gloss with minor surface imperfections, but devoid of scuffing. Possible metallic print lines.

Ex = Excellent: Centering 80/20 both ways or better on front, 95/5 or better on back, slight diamond cutting is allowed. Four fuzzy corners, a touch of notching or a minor bend is allowed, noticeable edge roughness but no layering. Very slight notching or noticeable chipping is allowed, minor depression. Noticeable print spots, minor color or focus imperfections, minor border discoloration. Minor wax stains on front (waxing always noted). Some gloss lost from surface with minor scratches, but devoid of scuffing.

VG/Ex = Very Good-Excellent: Centering 85/15 both ways or better on front, 100/0 or better on back, moderate diamond cutting is allowed. Corners may have slight notching or layering, or moderate bends. Edges may be chipped, notched and/or slightly layered. Heavy print spots, moderate color or focus imperfections, moderate border discoloration, minor bend, hairline crease. Moderate wax stains, pencil marks or erasures, small very light ink mark (all always noted). A good deal of gloss lost from surface. Very minor scuffing or an extremely subtle tear in the form of a touch of broken surface paper.

VG = Very Good: Centering 90/10 both ways or better on front, 100/0 or better on back, moderate diamond cutting is allowed. Corners may be slightly rounded or noticeably notched corners with slight layering. Edges may have heavy notching, moderate layering or heavy chipping. Heavy print spots, noticeable color or focus imperfections, noticeable border discoloration, scuffing, minor depressions or creases. Wax stains, light ink or pencil marks, tape stain, very little surface gloss.

G = Good: Centering 95/5 both ways or better on front, 100/0 or miscut on back, noticeable diamond cutting is allowed. May have: Noticeably rounded or heavily notched corners with moderate layering. Edges severely chipped, notched or layered. Severe print spots, noticeable color or focus imperfections, noticeable border discoloration, heavy wax stains. Ink or pencil marks, tape stains, creases. A surface devoid of gloss. Noticeable scuffing or a noticeable tear. My 1950s and early 1960s G cards are Good, not trash! Over the decades, I've seen far too many Fr cards or worse listed as Good.

Fr = Fair: Centering 100/0 or miscut on front or back, heavy diamond cutting, corners are heavily rounded or heavily notched with noticeable layering, destructive chipping, notching or layered edges, severe print spots, heavy creases, severe color or focus imperfections, heavy border discoloration, severe stains, water damage, no original gloss, heavy scuffing or a tear. Basically, a placeholder card.

P = Poor: Miscut, badly creased, abraded to the point part of the photo is missing, stained, written on, taped, torn, or mangled. Good for making noise in the spokes of your bike (for those of us who remember doing that).

Unopened or Factory Sealed sets, boxes and packs are sold as "implied mint." Unless each card was hand selected, there is no such thing as a truly "Mint Set." There is no way of knowing what condition a card will be in until you break the seal or open the pack. If after you pay for a factory sealed set, you want me to open it and confirm a key RC exists, I will be happy to do so. If the card is not in the set, I'll return your money order/check immediately.  "Average condition" for a lot means that the majority of the cards (70% or better) in the lot are in the stated condition or range - some cards may be better and some cards will be worse.

What's the difference between a bend and a crease? A crease breaks color and a bend does not. A severe bend effects the grade of a card the same way a crease does (and may even be listed as a crease); a faint/mild bend does not.

Here are some common abbreviations used:

AS = All-Star Card MB = Master Blaster
ASG = All-Star Game Insert MG = Manager
CL = Checklist MIP = Mint in Original Package
CO = Coach Card MOC = Mint on Original Backing Card
COA = Certificate of Authenticity MVP = Most Valuable Player Card 
COR = Corrected Error Card O/C = Off-Center
DK = Diamond King Card PB = Pro Bowl Card 
DP = Double Print Pre-RC = Pre-Rookie Card, card issued prior to the accepted RC for a player 
DT = Dream Team Card RB = Record Breaker Card
ERR = Error Card RC = Rookie Card
FFC = First Fleer Card RP = Rookie Prospect Card
FPSC = First Pro Set Card RR = Rated Rookie Card
FRAN = Franchise Player Card RY = Rookie Year Card
FS = Future Stars Card SP = Short Print / Single Print
FSC = First Score Card T-B = Top to Bottom Centering
FTC = First Topps Card TBC = Turn Back the Clock Card
HL = Highlight Card  TC = Team Card
HN = High Number Card TCL = Team Checklist Card
(HOF) = Hall of Fame Inductee TL = Team Leader Card
IA = In Action Card UER = Uncorrected Error Card
L-R = Left to Right Centering VAR = Variation Card

 

SPORTS CARDS     NONSPORT CARDS     TOP

 

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