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How do you use the Action Figure Scale?

The C-Scale is the most commonly used Action Figure scale for grading figures.

There are several levels of accepted grades available in the C-Scale, which generally refers to the condition of the card not the actual figure.

The condition of the card considered to be so important in the grading process because if the card is in mint condition then the figure inside is also presumed to be in mint condition.

Below is a guide to the C-Scale, and what each grade means, but please note that this is a GUIDE and, as always, ensure you are dealing with an established or reputable dealer when buying action figures using the C-Scale.

C10 (MINT)

General: The backing card should be flat with bright, clear colors and NO creases, tears, or marks.

Most cards have a noticeable sheen or "gloss" to them. They should be free from stains, holes (such as pin or tack holes), writing (unless it's been autographed by the character), or any other markings.

Edges: Tight, no fraying or separation.

Corners: No curling, bends or creases.

Creases: None.

Price Tag/Card Surface Tear: None.

Bubble: Clear, completely attached, no yellowing, crushing, dents, dings, malformations or cracks of any size.

It is particularly important to check where the bubble meets the carding as I have known dealers to "reseal" shop display figures back into their original display boxes to be sold as mint items.


General: The backing card should be flat (or nearly flat) with clear, bright colors and its original gloss or sheen and it there should be no stains, tears, holes, or writing*.

Edges: Should be tight with no fraying or separation.

Corner Curl: Minimal curling is generally accepted but there should be no creasing or cracking (i.e. the damage should be so minimal that it could probably be flattened out without further damage). The damage should be barely noticeable.

Card Curl: Only minimal card curling is acceptable if no creasing or cracking has occurred and the curling is very minimal and barely noticeable.

Creases: There should be no creases.

Price Tag/Card Surface Tear: None.

Bubble: The bubble/blister should be clear, completely attached, with no yellowing, or crushing. Only minimal dents are acceptable if barely noticeable and the bubble isn't creased or broken. There should be no severe malformations or cracks of any size and the bubble should be sealed tight against the backing card.

C6-7 (FINE)

General: Some curling and/or creasing is acceptable but there should be no cracking of the ink or print.

The colors should be reasonably bright though some of the original sheen may have faded. There should be no major tears, stains, holes or writing.

Edges: Should be mostly tight although there maybe some minor fraying (see glossary) or separation (section[s] less than 1 inch in length total).

Corner Curl: There may be some minor permanent creasing or cracking of print and/or fraying of the card at the corners (1-2 corners).

Creases: Minor creases may be evident. No cracking of print or ink allowed along creases.

Price Tag/Card Surface Tear: Small tears allowed but must be less than 1/8 inch.

Bubble: Some yellowing may have occurred but only slight discoloring the bubble should be present. It may appear to have a light tan or yellowish color, but not a dark tan or brown.

The Bubble should still be primarily attached (i.e., not resealed), although it may have become detached in places. These areas should be smaller than 1/2 inch and without tears to any other part of the card front attached.

The bubble might show some signs of damage or crushing, if it can be reformed.

Minor dents are also acceptable and cracks less than 1/8 inch are also allowed.

C4-5 (GOOD)

General: There may be permanent curling or creasing of the card including cracked print or ink.

The card may have lost all its original sheen and brightness to a flat, dull finish although it will still have color. The card may have small tears if they are less than 1/2 inch). Also some stains, writing (including autographs) and some small holes may also be present (1-3 pinholes or one large hole less than 1/4 inch in diameter).

Edges: May have some minor fraying or separation (section[s] less than 3 inches in length total).

Corner Curl: Severe or permanent creasing or cracking of the print, with severe fraying of card corners (1-4 corners).

Creases: More severe creases that may include cracking of print or ink.

Price Tag/Card Surface Tear: Larger tears (less than 1/4 inch) permitted.

Bubble: A more pronounced discoloring or yellowing may be present but it should be medium tan and not completely brown.

The bubble should still be primarily attached with no possibility that the figure could have been removed though it may have detached sections smaller than 1 inch. There may be other parts of the card front on the bubble, including tears to the print/ink. The bubble may have cracks less than 1/4 inch and have pronounced bubble damage such as crushing or large dents without any reformation.

C2-3 (POOR)

General: The card may be almost completely folded over or severely curled or creased including cracked print and/or ink. The cards original sheen or gloss may have completely faded to a flat, dull finish with the colors severely faded or discolored.

The card may also have more pronounced stains (such as water stains) or dirt and may have more pronounced tears or holes.

Edges: Pronounced fraying and separation (greater than 3 inches total) maybe visible.

Corner Curl: Severe or permanent creasing and/or cracking of print, with severe fraying of card corners (2-4 corners).

Creases: The card may be permanently creased with cracked print orink. The card can be almost completely folded over.

Price Tag/Card Surface Tear: More pronounced tears on card surface (1/4 up to 1 inch).

Bubble: Severe yellowing may be present and the carding may be completely brown or opaque in sections.

The bubble should still be attached, though it may be detached on up to two complete sides so it may have been possible that the figure could have been removed and re-inserted into bubble.

The detached areas may also have parts of the card front surface, including pronounced tears, in the print ink. The Bubble may also be completely crushed (if figure is undamaged) and contain major dents/dings without any reformation. Bubble may have cracks up to inch in length.


General: This is the lowest grade available and as such an action figure given this grade may have a card that is completely ripped or curled with permanent creases and one or more prominent holes may be present. It may have other stains or marks on it and similar damage may also be present. In fact the only reason this has a grade is because the action figure is still attached, no mater how slightly, to the card.

Edges: Severely frayed, split and/or separately.

Corner Curl: Corners may be severely curled or torn with permanent creasing and/or cracking ( 2 corners).

Creases: The card may be permanently creased or broken with cracked print or ink and/or the card can be completely folded.

Price Tag/Card Surface Tear: Large surface tears present tears (over 1 inch), signs of the price tag being removed etc.

Bubble: Completely discolored a brown or dark yellow and may be cloudy or opaque totally or in part. Large cracks (larger than 2 inches) present and possibly detached from card. The bubble may have been crushed or severely damaged.

Remember, if in doubt always ask for clarification from the seller and if he's unwillingly to answer your questions don't buy it!

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