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Rating Your Collection

Rating Toys: Factors That Influencing Value

By Arno Lippassaar

When a person decides to start a toy collection, how can the value of a toy be evaluated? Many times, that depends on the toy. Condition is a very important factor. Many toy collectors use a standard rating scale to "rate" the toy they have. Below is the rating scale as printed in Toys and Prices 1997 4th Edition by Krause Publishing.

MIB, MIP, MOMC (Mint in Box, Mint in Package, Mint on Mint Card) - Just like new, in the original package, preferably still sealed. The box may have been opened, but any packages inside remain unopened. If the toy is on a blister card, the package is intact and unopened. New toys in boxes, where boxes remain factory sealed, can often command higher prices.

MNP, MNB (Mint No Package, Mint No Box) - This describes a toy in mint condition, but not in it's original box.

NM (Near Mint) - A toy that appears like new in overall appearance but exhibits very minor wear and does not have the original box. An exception would be a toy that comes in kit form. A kit toy in Near Mint condition would be expected to have the original box, but the box would display some wear.

EX (Excellent) - A toy that is complete and has been played with. Signs of minor wear may be evident, but the toy is very clean and well cared for.

VG (Very Good) - A toy that obviously has been played with and shows general wear overall. Paint chipping is readily apparent. In metal toys, some minor rust may be evident. In sets, some minor pieces may be missing.

GD (Good) - A toy with evidence of heavy play, dents, chips, and possibly moderate rust. The toy may be missing a major replaceable component, such as a battery compartment door, or it may be in need of repair. In sets, several pieces may be missing.

Unfortunately, for diecast vehicle collectors, a different rating system is often used. Here is the list as printed in Tomart's Price Guide to Hot Wheels 2nd Edition.

This type of system is called a point rating system. You can evaluate a car by adding up the points as listed for any defects found on the vehicle.

small, barely-noticeable scratch 1 point
slight wear on decal 1 point
slightly tarnished base 1 point
minor wear on wheel 1 point for each wheel
up to three barely-noticeable scratches 2 points
noticeable wear on decals 2 points
slightly crooked tampo (decal) 2 points
clearly crooked tampo 3 points
substantial wear on decals 3 points
tarnished base 3 points
wheels show considerable wear 3 points for each wheel
small noticeable scratches 5 points
up to two small dark spots 5 points
very noticeable dark spots 10 points
very obvious scratches 14 points
reproduction parts 20 points
most of paint missing 40 points
parts missing 50 points

After adding all the points together, locate the vehicle's condition on the following table. For collectors who prefer a 1 to10 numeric scale, the corresponding numbers are in parentheses.

0 points - mint (m) (10)
1 near mint to mint (nm-m) (9)
2-near mint (nm) (8)
6-excellent to near mint (exc-nm) (7)
9-excellent (exc) (6)
20-fine (fn) (5)
25-very good to fine (vg-fn) (4)
30-very good (vg) (3)
35-good to very good (g-vg) (2)
40-good (g) (1)

Prices for a $100 mint car (10) correspond to other conditions as follows.

9 - $85
8 - $80
7 - $65
6 - $50
5 - $30
4 - $20
3 - $15
2 - $10
1 - $ 5

The preceding material was written by Arno Lippassaar. These are the opinions of the author, not the opinions of the Toy Collector Network, and therefore Toy Collector Network does not validate the accuracy of or endorse these opinions.

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