Quick Guide to Vintage Action Figure Grading Abbreviations for new collectors

So you have decided to start a collection of Vintage Action Figures and now you need to decide on what condition of figures you would like to collect. once you start looking around you will see many different abbreviations associated with the action figures. This quick guide is to give you a brief bit of information about the abbreviations so that you can make a decision when purchasing for your collection.

MISB: Mint in Sealed Box

These are very difficult samples to find. Especially if the piece is rare already, and from a major toy line. With MISB sample, ALL of the boxed contents are sealed in their appropriate plastic baggies within the box, original stickers are included and not used, instructions and brand new, and the box itself is 'Factory Sealed' meaning it has never been opened by human hands.

MIB: Mint in Box

This is an uncommon way to find action figure and action figure vehicle samples. Keep in mind that you must ask if the action figure or toy is MIB and complete, make sure that all the pieces are still included in the box. If you doubt this to be true, go home and research to see if the piece is indeed complete. if not, adjust the value of the item down according to the rarity of the piece that is missing. MIP is another abbreviation that is similar to MIB, MIP stands for 'Mint in Package'. The same criteria apply here. You may also want to consider the price of an action figure by observing both the condition of the box and the action figure inside the box separately, if the box is in bad condition, but the figure is mint condition, you must decide which is more important to you, especially as a buyer the packing around the figure or vehicle or accessory, or the figure inside.

On a related note some collectors actually buy every action figure in their collection in mint, loose, and complete condition and then eventually buy boxes separately in which to package these pieces. Therefore, some of the rarer vintage action figure boxes are actually worth quite a bit of money themselves.

MOC: Mint on Card

This is an uncommon way to find an Vintage Action Figure, but is the condition that many collectors desire to own. If a figure is MOC, make sure there is no lifting of the plastic bubble from the backer card or that the card has not been resealed as it is possible for untrustworthy dealers to reseal a card and call it MOC. Cards that have been resealed around loose and complete action figures are worth much less than actual, non-removed, and non-resealed MOC figures.

MLS: Mint, Loose, Complete

This abbreviation states that a vintage action figure, vehicle, or accessory is in mint condition, is outside of its original packing, and is complete with all of its parts. Frequently, i will find action figures listed as 'MLC' that are not. it is important to ask questions before buying an expensive figure to make sure it is complete and in good condition, because sometimes the action figures accessories are worth as much as the figure itself!, if a figure is mint and loose but not complete, then grade down the price of the toy appropriately. A worn toy with no accessories is rarely worth much money, but this all depends on the rarity of the figure itself.

NM: Near Mint

This abbreviation states that vintage action figures in this condition are Loose, complete, and not in their original packing. Not much play wear and almost mint.

I hope this guide has shed a bit of light on the abbreviations and that you can now start a great collection!

Reference Warmans Action Figures Field Guide
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