Condition Grading Guide
We try our best to grade our Pop boxes accurately so you know what to expect your Pop and its box to look like. Obviously, grading is subjective and not everybody will see things the same way, so if you buy a Pop from us and don't agree with our condition grade please reach out to us and we will do our best to make things right. We're not happy until you are. Having said that, most collectors would consider us very conservative when it comes to grading boxes. For example, our 8 might look a lot like what most would consider a 9 (or even 10). At the bottom of the page are visual aids that will show you examples of what we consider minor, moderate, and severe flaws to be. Keep in mind that we are only grading the box and not the actual Pop itself. Many Pops will exhibit paint flaws from the factory; this is not something we factor into our grading scale. For the sake of our sanity and the sheer number of Pops we put on the site each week, we do not try and split hairs between an 8, 9 or 10 on Pops that are under $40. Rather, we simply say "8 or better" for Pops that we think 98% of collectors will be happy with.
This is a general guide as to what each grade will look like and the damage we look for. If we grade a Pop with a half grade (example: 7.5/10), that means it has flaws that qualify it as a 7 but it presents better than the technical grade in our eyes:
10 - We will never call any Pop a perfect 10, so a 9.5 is the highest grade a Pop can receive on our scale.
9 - A Pop that is nearly perfect. A 9 will only show 1 or 2 barely noticeable flaws that are visible only upon close inspection.
8 - The box will be very presentable and will show very little wear. The box may exhibit 1 to 3 minor flaws.
7 - The damage to a 7 will be far more noticeable, but the Pop will still present well. The box may exhibit 1 to 3 moderate flaws.
6 - The box may show 3+ moderate and/or 1 severe flaw. 6 is the level where the flaws on the box starts to become more obvious and the visual presentation is compromised.
5 - This is where things start to get ugly. A 5 will have 2 or more severe flaws but still be somewhat presentable.
*It is rare that we will grade a Pop lower than 5. If we deem the box as a 4 or lower we will usually pull it out of the box and sell it as 'Out-Of-Box'.
**We do not downgrade box condition for the following: stickers applied by retailers, rounded windows (vs windows with a straight folded seam), and paint blemishes on the Pop itself.
***There is always an element of judgement involved when it comes to grading the condition of Pops. The condition grade we give on any particular Pop is our opinion, no more and no less. Please understand that this isn't an exact science but we do the best we can to be consistent when it comes to condition grades.
Examples of minor flaws:
Examples of moderate flaws:
Examples of severe flaws: