UKG Review - Casing Snapdragon
As some of you already know, I acquired a Factory Sealed Headmaster Horrorcon Snapdragon just after Christmas. This rare find was in great condition, but I feared it could deteriorate if I didn't get it cased for protection. I only removed it from the material and bubble-wrap surrounding it to initially inspect it and take some photographs. As soon as I was finished snapping shots I carefully repackaged the item back in the box it arrived in, and then placed that box in an even larger box and packed that with bubble-wrap and packing peanuts. I enclosed a letter to UKG and sealed up the box ready to be shipped off to UKG for grading and casing.
I will not go into details about the urgency I needed this for as it is not relevant to this review, but circumstances meant that I needed the figure grading and casing within a rather short amount of time. This put a challenge to the UKG team as they agreed to a quick turnaround due to my special circumstances. From start to finish the turnaround was only eight day, two of days were posting the item next day delivery, so it was actually only six days the figure had been with them. To make things even more intense they had one day booked for my grading and casing, but as the figure had not been measured prior to grading, they did the whole thing on the same day including taking pictures of the cased item and posting it back to me.
A Little Surprise
If it wasn't enough that UKG cased and graded the figure in record time they threw in a little surprise. UKG have recently added to their options the choice of a 5mm case along with the standard 3mm. Apparently they needed a guinea-pig to test the new thicker casing on, and my figure happened to be in the firing line for this 5mm case, so rather than make a case for nothing other than just a test and waste acrylic, they decided that it would be better to just case mine with this.
5mm Case VS 3mm Case
UKG have a unique way of casing Transformers, which is to make the case flush against the box. This I like and it really does make a difference when put side by side next to an AFA graded figure which leaves a gap at each side of the figure.
AFA comparisons aside, the new 5mm case is thick, I mean really thick. It just jumps out at you when you look at the figure, and the weight is heavier and it feels a lot more sturdy, like you know if you drop it its not going to do anything other than maybe cause a scratch to the outer case. This thing just looks like it would take some pounding at to crack it. Although I have not done - and will not do - a case strength test, it is obvious that this case is for those who want hardcore protection.
The 3mm case is the standard case thickness, and it has been known that they can crack in the post if the postal service decide your parcel is good for a game of football with, but I honestly do feel that the 5mm case would take a lot more pounding than what the postal service can offer.
UKG as of now are offering three thicknesses of case, the standard is 3mm, 4mm is cost + £3.00, and 5mm is cost + £5.00. So for instance if the cost of grading and casing of a transformer is £44.99, with 4mm case would be £47.99 and with 5mm is £49.99. For the extra thickness this is not much at all, and paying that little extra for that extra protection is well worth the cost.
I did a review of UKG a few months back when I sent in my first transformer to be graded and cased, and the support and willingness to help I got was just amazing. This is where customer service really shines, and UKG might not be AFA, but when it comes to customer service they have impressed me to no end. The constant communication, the grade and photo sent to you when it is completed, and the care and attention to ensure they are packaged well in return to you (mine was double boxed), and the future services, not only for grading, but with their new website which will be launching soon has impressed me no end. I can't wait for some of the new features, and services which are only being put in place because UKG customers have said that is what they want.
At the end of the day UKG listen to their customers, they take note of what people want and push to provide a better service, in any business the customer could not ask for more, they understand that quality of service comes first.
Last edited by wraith2021; 28-01-12 at 06:08 PM.
A small update to the review regarding the costs of the new 4mm and 5mm case thicknesses.