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Condition Grading
Throughout the site all models are given a condition grading. The first letter applies to the model and the second to the box or packaging.
  • A+ = Mint
  • As new Condition
  • A = Excellent
  • Only the slightest faults
  • B = Very Good
  • Some signs of wear
  • C = Good
  • With obvious wear
  • D = Fair
  • Possibly parts missing
  • E = Poor
  • Restoration project only
  • NB = Loose
  • No box or packaging


Valuing Your Collection

There are many reasons why you may want to value a collectable toy or model. If you are building a collection you want to be sure you do not pay too much and can instantly recognize a bargain when you see one. If you are selling you need to know what is a realistic price, ask too much and you will probably be wasting your time, sell for too little and you will definitely be wasting your money. Knowing the value of your collection will also assist you with insurance quotes and claims. If you are collecting as an investment, buying or selling decisions can only be made if you are up to date on current values.

The first thing to establish is exactly what you have. Manufacturer's name/brand, model name and stock number are the most useful things to know. In most cases (particularly if it is a modern production) this is easy as it is usually written on the item or the box. Most old toys will have the manufacturers name or trade mark on the toy which gives you a good starting point, after that you need to trawl the internet and reference books for pictures and information. If you are really stuck the best solution is to show the item or a picture to a dealer. Most dealers will be happy to help as they will be interested in purchasing the item, however at this stage do not accept any offer but make a note of the price offered for future reference.

Ok, you know what you have or at least you think you do. Great attention must be paid to variations of a model or toy. For example a "Lesney # 15a - Diamond T Prime Mover" is usually found in orange but it was also produced for a short time in yellow, making it very scarce. As a result the yellow version's value is about 40 times that of the orange one. Variations to a toy or model are common and can apply to the wheels on a toy car (plastic or metal), the hair on an "Action Man" doll (painted or realistic) and so on.

The condition of a collectable item is tremendously important when trying to establish a value. Many vintage collectables are very easy to find in a playworn or poor condition but almost impossible to get in perfect condition. Consequently perfect items command a much higher price than less than perfect items. Be critical when assigning a condition grading, only a completely perfect item in perfect original packaging can be given an A+/A+ grading. Use the table below to give your item and its packaging a condition grading. i.e. (A+/B = Mint model good box)

Mint, as issued by the manufacturer.
Excellent with only the slightest faults.
Very good but with some signs of wear.
Good but with obvious wear.
Fair perhaps with some parts missing.
Fit for restoration purposes only.
No box or packaging.
Having identified, and assigned a condition grading to the item you wish to value, it is time to do a little research. To get a realistic valuation it is best to gather data from a number of different sources. The data you collect should be on what other people think your item is worth (price guides etc), what your item has actually sold for recently, and what price sellers are actually asking for this item.
Firstly you can browse the ToyMart database by using the Manufacturer/Brand, Model Name and Model Number. Our listings give you values for all conditions plus links to other sites on the internet where this item is being sold, including 3 different search results from eBay. See: ToyMart Price Guide
You can now also take advantage of the Toymart Check-a-Mart tool to see sold and current items simultaneously.
Average Your Results
Once you have gathered as much price info as possible on an item you should be starting to get a good idea of the market value. You will see that often there is quite a big spread in the values achieved/asked even after taking into account the different conditions. There are many reasons for this spread including locality (some items sell well in certain locations), seller listing low for a quick sale, two bidders getting carried away resulting in a high price and items listed for sale at an unrealistic high price. The real value of your item will be somewhere in the middle of this spread and if as a rule of thumb you aim at the higher end when selling and the lower end when buying but always be a bit flexible you will not go far wrong.

In order to value an item you are going to need information, the more information you have the more accurate and reliable your valuation will be. The internet of course is a fantastic and mostly free resource and much of what you require can be found online. However there is also a vast selection of books, magazines and guides on the subject of toy and model collecting. These publications tend to go into great detail and often contain lots of high quality pictures.

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