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Should Hasbro Do Away With Build-A-Figures In Favor Of Deluxe Figures?

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Toy Biz was the first company to really successfully implement the Build-A-Figure concept with their 6” Marvel Legends line, where pieces of a larger character based figure would be included with a number of individually packaged normal sized figures. The idea was two-fold. It gave people more incentive to purchase all the figures in a wave so they could complete the larger figure, hence increasing sales for a company. It also allowed larger based characters to be released, that might not otherwise be feasible to do because of packaging restraints, allocated retail shelf space and price.

In the beginning we were treated to building sized characters such as Galactus, Giant Apocalypse and the Sentinels. Overtime the Build-A-Figures were shrunk down so they were usually still larger than a regular figures, but not super big. We got the likes Onslaught, Modok, Mojo and many others.

The Build-A-Figure concept became so popular and successful, that many other toy companies started implementing similar type figures in their own action figure lines.

In recent years however, we have started to see a new trend emerge from Hasbro, who of course took over Marvel Legends and the Build-A-Figure concept from Toy Biz years ago. More and more we are seeing the Build-A-Figure being reissued, completely assembled and in it’s own packaging. These figures are usually sold as a more expensive deluxe figures. Some of of these deluxe figures are primarily just re-paints, while others incorporate more sculpting modifications, which allow them to offered as an almost completely new figures.

This new trend of course has been received with mixed reactions from the collectors. Some view it as an easier way to obtain the larger characters, since they no longer need to buy the individual figures in a wave. Others who purchased the full waves in order to complete the Build-A-Figure, feel a bit taken advantage of with Hasbro now re-releasing them individually, especially the ones with only slight modifications.
 
 
Some argue that Hasbro should do away with the Build-A-Figure completely, and just release the larger characters as deluxe figures. The downside too that is, Hasbro would likely see a decline in sales for certain individual characters released in a wave, especially those more obscure characters that many aren’t as familiar with. Hence making it less likely they will continue to release those more obscure guys. Even the variety of larger scale characters might become more limited, as retailers would likely only want to carry the well known characters.

While it can sometimes be a pain to buy a figure you really don’t want, in order to complete that Build-A-Figure you do want, I think the pro’s of the concept still out weight the con’s of it. As for the deluxe figures, I think its better when the figure has significant modifications to it, but even in the case of the recently announced Kingpin repaint that only has slight modifications to it, I like we are getting a second one so we can use one of the bodies with the Shadow King head sculpt that Hasbro released with the Professor X figure. Now we get to have both Kingpin and Shadow King on our shelves without having to purchase two Build-A-Figures.

Let us know in the COMMENTS SECTION. Should Hasbro continue with Build-A-Figures, go with just deluxe figures or continue to do both?

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yes Id rather wait and get a larger figure than forced to get 3-4 extra figures I have no interest in or having to spend a lot of money getting the extra parts on Ebay

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If they do away with Build a Figures then they need to give the figures more accessories... but I like the build a figures. Why not keep them and make the deluxe figures have different paint schemes or different head.

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Yes, I'm beyond fed up with the BAF concept! I would totally prefer to have large figures released as deluxes. I can't tell you how many incomplete BAFs I have because 1 or 2 figures in a particular wave were super-popular and thus hard to locate and then quickly sky-rocketed in price on the secondary market. ML figures aren't cheap in Canada, and getting a wave of figures where most are ones you're not interested in is too expensive; if you want only 1 or 2 figures from a wave, then to get the BAF you're basically having to pay another 100+ dollars.  If they want to keep the concept, then they just need better waves of figures, .i.e. they shouldn't mix characters from different eras together; keep character rosters era-specific and I think more people would come away happier.

 

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NO EFFIN' WAY. Taking the overall cost of the figures into account, the BAF still amounts to a free (usually much larger) figure. All do respect to my fellow collectors, but I'm tired of people complaining that they have to buy certain figures if they want the BAF. Wrong! One doesn't have to buy anything they don't want. I have to buy all the figures. I'm a completist, I want all the figures, thus I have to buy them all. The BAF always has been and should always remain the incentive for buying the entire wave. Like it or not it does boost the sales of ML and the better the sales the healthier it is for the line.

I do feel for those who buy choice of by economic reasoning don't feel the need to buy an entire wave and end up missing out on BAF that they might want, but I think this Fan Channel is a way to get around this for some fans. And it's a win/win situation for Hasbro. The people who missed out on the original BAF can have strong confidence that the more popular BAF's (Venom, Kingpin, Groot) will most likely show up as a Fan Channel "Deluxe" where some of the lesser BAF's (Caliban, Kree Sentry, Titus) will probably never likely see the light of day again, unless they somehow show up in a multi-pack. And for the people that did get a hold of the first BAF there's still a desire among a fair amount of the base to want to pick up the 2nd one for different paint scheme or design. Seriously, was there any doubt that most of the people who got the original Monster Venom BAF were also gonna want the Eddie Brock Monster Venom that came out later?

I think this current arrangement works out just fine. Use the allowed budget for the BAF in a wave to make the mold and then go for a second bite with a reissue later, ultimately attracting the folks who missed out on the first and also the people who just want the alternate design.

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Re-issuing the BAFS as whole figures is great for those who missed them the first time, or simply didn't like the other figures needed to make the set complete. But it can make it seem like wasted time and money for those who did buy the whole set. The BAF has never been my incentive for buying an entire wave (with the exception of the Hulkbuster and Sauron waves; I would've bought all the figures even without them, but I really wanted those BAFs).

My concern about discontinuing the BAFS, is that I fear corporate marketers would eliminate the more obscure characters. They're familiar with Spider-Man, Wolverine and Deadpool (which is why we see so many) but do they know who El Aguila is? Do they believe Nighthawk from Squadron Supreme, or Equinox, Red Wolf, Doc Sampson, Nightshade- characters they've never heard of- could sell? Because if they don't think so, then they wont produce them. Hellz YES, guys like me would be all over such a set, but many consumers might not.

The BAF (if its a good character) can tie all that together and give more obscure figures a chance.

 

Aguilacj.jpg

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It's a moot argument. Hasbro making BAFS allow them to make large profits on using their old molds. Hasbro won't stop making bafs until collectors stop buying whole wave for a single BAF. 

On the flip side of that, if they did get rid of BAF's we might see better looking figures that I am more likely to grab because it looks like fantastic figure (example Shang-chi). I've been cherry picking so long now that if they started making BAFs into deluxe figures my wallet would greatly appreciate the breather. 

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I think everyone would rather get more accesories, paint apps, sculpting over a build a figure piece if we know deluxe figures that replace the BAFs are a posibility but I doubt hasbro will do it, to them the BAF model is an excelent source of business, it means that some figures that would otherwise never sell or would sell very poorly will do a bit better in sales just because people are trying to get that BAF piece it includes, overall I would like to see more accesories in the ML figures but I think that doing away with BAF pieces would in turn affect the characters they make and we would stop seeing more obscure aharacters in this line in favor of figures that they know will sell well (like the everyday wolverines, spidermans, ironmans and caps) so Id rather they stick with this formula so we can still see obscure characters (or less popular ones) that we wouldnt see if people didnt have the incentive to buy them because of the BAF piece included in them. 

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I think discontinuing the BAFs would be a bad idea, but I'm also a completionist, so they're all upside for me. I buy every figure from every X-wave, and probably would without BAFs too. There's only been a small handful of figures I've had to hold my nose for, and it's rarely more than one per wave. For a buyer like me, the BAF is just a free bonus figure, and frankly they're really made for the buyers who are already buying four or five figures in a wave, to tip them over the edge. That's how Hasbro's able to justify taking risks on the more obscure figures, which a lot of us appreciate. I know I do, anyway. Honestly, I think the way they're currently doing it is perfect. The heavy collectors get their bonus figure, the line's character selection gets to have depth, and the most popular BAF characters get re-released for the more casual collectors, often repainted to lure back in the completionists. I wouldn't change anything.

People who feel like they were forced to buy 5 to 7 figures they didn't want to get a BAF should probably get into the habit of either buying the BAFs they want on the secondary market (usually around $40 for less popular characters; way cheaper than 5+ figures) or waiting for their re-release (which seems increasingly commonplace for the more popular characters). Or, hell, trade the BAF parts they don't want for ones they do. There's plenty of places online to do that, including here. It feels like a lot of people view the BAFs as unfinished sources of frustration instead of rebates through re-selling. *Shrug*

I think people would largely be pretty upset about the consequences of doing away with BAFs. It's not a perfect system, but it works well enough for me.

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Getting rid of the BAF system is an extremely bad idea. Sure they may re-release older bafs down the line, but like @monron999 said do you honestly think they would release another Titus? Warlock? Red Onslaught?. No they won't do them in a deluxe set because they are not popular. Hell I remember when Titus was reveal and there was a big "HUH? who the F is this?" The ones that got re-release are popular villains. Also none of them are just straight re-release. they are all repainted and new sculpted, be it a new head or a fan requested paint. 

There is also the fact that several people has said. There won't be more obscure characters if they can't use the BAF to sell them. The line would become only Spider-men and Iron men. They need the BAF to get people to buy the figure. Would you have bought Rock Python if it didn't come with Thanos (well, yes but that's a bad example)? There is also the fact that complete the BAF makes buying the whole wave worth it in the end.

THAT BEING SAID, maybe not have the BAF for every wave. Take a break every once and a while particularly for certain sublines. Let's use Spider-man for example. How many BAF does he have left? maybe have a wave where you have a ton of accessories. Or maybe have a wave with some backdrops or stands.

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Do people actually think that if Hasbro released figures without BAF parts, that Hasbro would lower the price point of that figure? For proof that they won't, I give you the "Vintage" "Retro" carded figures. Same price point. No BAF. And that X-men "Retro" wave is just peg-warming. An X-men wave is pegwarming. A Captain Marvel BAF-less wave has no chance LOL

So let's say Hasbro decides to cram in extra accessories instead of a BAF part, and keep the same price point. If the choice is getting a seventh sword or a 13th gun, that just sits in a tupperware somewhere, I'd rather get a "free" BAF part that allows me to get a SECOND bigger figure eventually.

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I would honestly keep the BAF concept and re-release them later as deluxe figures. I remember wanting the Venom BAF from the Monster Venom wave, but I didn't want Spider-Ham, the crappier Eddie Brock Venom, Scream, Poison and Typhoid Mary. So I skipped the entire wave and 2 years later, they re-released the figure with better paint apps. I'm sure if Hasbro sees a BAF as popular, they'll just re-release it 2 years along the line with better paint and maybe accessories. Yes, buying unwanted figures sucks, especially for me, but if we want me and my teammates as Action Figures or the likes of Rock Python (KMN) or Doppelganger or even Lady Deadpool, Hasbro needs to find a way to entice us to buy those figures so that they can keep their business running and if BAFS are the way. Then this is the way. I don't mind the re-release of older BAFs as it allows collectors like me, who can't always or don't want to buy an entire wave to get the BAF in-hand. Although I hope Hasbro doesn't release Okoye as a deluxe figure because that figure isn't worth much on the market right now.

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If they continue releasing "deluxe" revamps of BAFs, I'll start collecting something else.  One of the biggest incentives in collecting Legends figures for me are the BAFs.  I love my entire collection, even the more obscure characters that others choose not to buy and I feel rewarded for making those investments.  So if Hasbro wants to bring more collectors in in the short term to buy these deluxe figures and reduce the amount I choose to buy to maybe 2 or 3 from each wave (usually how many most would prefer to buy), it can be their loss.  There are many people who feel the same way and I seriously doubt they would recoup the losses from the B and C-rated characters that just end up sitting on store shelves.

Also, as others have already stated, more accessories in favor of BAF pieces is the absolute wrong way to go.  How many of us hae a bin or bag or whatever full of guns, heads and other 'effects' that aren't in use?  That's all I need is more of that crap.  Just stop re-releasing the BAFs.  The "I want/demand all of the things!" millenials will just have to either pony up the cash for the honor of completing the set or deal with it.  I'm sorry but these are collectibles.  100% accessibility makes them no longer collectibles.  

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See I think it depends on which figures are in a particular wave as I might like to get a whole wave despite what the BAF my be. Now if a wave has just 1 or 2 figures I'm interested in then I'm likely will not complete the wave no matter what the BAF is so in this instance I'm all for Hasbro to release these stand alone releases, I'm thankful they released the Thanos BAF as a Walmart exclusive a few years ago otherwise I wouldn't have got him.

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I've been collecting Marvel Legends since before they were Marvel Legends, when they first went from the 5" scale to the 6" scale with Spider-Man Classics, X-Men Classics, etc.   I now only buy characters that haven't previously been made before. I've sold off all of the extra versions of the A-listers they produce over and over and just keep my favorite version. If they abandoned the BAF concept, I'm afraid that they wouldn't make any more figures of characters that I don't already have. My favorite releases recently have been White Rabbit, Shang Chi, Spymaster, Boom-Boom, Rage, etc. I could easily see these types of characters no longer being made. I only buy MCU figures if they haven't made a comic version (Heimdall, Colleen Wing, Ego, Collector for example). I'll admit that I hate it when the BAF is something I want but I only want 1 or 2 figures in the wave (like the recent Black Widow wave) but there are still a ton of characters I hope to eventually have immortalized in 6" plastic, so I'm not ready to give up on the concept that works just yet.

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From a realist standpoint, I don't see this happening in any conceivable way. BAFs are a good incentive to get people to buy more an entire wave (which also allows Hasbro to make figures for more obscure characters), and reissues give Hasbro an extra buck. Additionally, a handful of BAFs use characters that aren't popular enough to be released on their own.

However, I'm personally tired of the concept of BAFs. As years go by, it feels less like getting an extra "free" figure and more about making concessions. Nowadays, waves are either about getting big BAFs with plain single-carded figures (like the Gamerverse Abomination or Sugar Man waves) or getting a regular-to-medium-sized BAFs with decently-tooled single-carded figures (like the Super Skrull or Demogoblin waves). It's too evident how the budget is divided.

While I feel that regular-to-medium sized BAFs defeat the purpose of the entire concept of BAFs, I loathe when the value of wave is defined by the BAF. Getting a figure that is bare-bones and thinking "well, at least this figure comes with an arm double its height" is not a mindset I agree with. I think single carded figures should be worth the purchase on their own.

This being said, I hope Hasbro tries their hand at doing BAF-less waves intermittently, maybe with less figures than usual, pouring their budget on accessories or maybe even bases. Their latest survey indicated they have contemplating dioramas. I recently bought the ToyBiz Series 8 Modern Iron Man loose, and I kinda feel like I didn't "treat it right" by not buying it in-package because it blew me away. A good base really elevates a figure from a piece of plastic to a display piece.

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I did buy a couple of figures I wouldn't have to get that Kingpin. If I'd known he was coming, I would have waited.

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I stopped collecting. Hasbro is a nasty little capitalist machine, slave to perpetually increasing profits. Double dipped 2packs, double dipped BAFs. No thanks. I've wasted too much on that cheap plastic nonsense. The quality control issues are nuts to boot. Anyone else get stuck with an MCU Ronin that has a bum knee? Disney screwed us too. REAL humans churned out generosity during the pandemic, but these capitalist traitors gave us deferred payments and deferred entertainment. Where's the Black Widow movie? Postponed??? When everyone is stuck home with only reruns of crap? These corrupt, greedy, evil companies betray our vulnerabilities for money EVERY chance they get. Hasbro will be getting a GIANT molten pile of plastic from me very soon. 

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They could get rid of the BAF parts, but it would likely lead to cutting down on the number of obscure D-listers they make since it's clear certain characters get made on the assumption a BAF part will bolster sales. So the people already complaining that Hasbro doesn't do enough deep dives would likely be SOL.

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They already do baf less waves.  Its called the vintage waves they do every year.   And they charge the same price so I'd rather get an extra figure.

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deluxe figures with a lower pirce tag...What I don't like about the BAF is getting other characters which I am not interested with (i.e. paladdin in Sasquatch wave).

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44 minutes ago, Jowen said:

They already do baf less waves.  Its called the vintage waves they do every year.   And they charge the same price so I'd rather get an extra figure.

There it is.  It'd be different if they went a little further on accessories or new tooling for the vintage waves, but they don't.  I suspect, with a heavy heart, that BAFs maybe will go away, if only because the ML consumers have been primed to pay the same price for non-BAF figures without any additional incentive, save some nostalgic packaging.  I don't mean to be dismissive of that packaging either; I know it's a significant factor to a significant portion of the fanbase.  Just not me.  And I don't expect that incentive to carry on forever either, particularly in light of Hasbro's pledge to eliminate the plastic from their packaging.

19 minutes ago, Bluecomet said:

deluxe figures with a lower pirce tag...What I don't like about the BAF is getting other characters which I am not interested with (i.e. paladdin in Sasquatch wave).

I'm on the other side of this one because there really are few characters I'm not interested in.  I get just as psyched for the D-listers like Paladin and White Rabbit as I do for 80th anniversary Thor.

I'll celebrate and support re-releases of build-a-figures with a purpose.  The Kingpin is an excellent example of that.  Hasbro released a Shadow King head to give that all-white Kingpin body another job before unveiling an alternative to having to collect a second set of BAF parts for folks that want to own/display both characters.  As a bonus, that alternative came in the deco/paint job I would have preferred in the first place.  It was very clever and, yeah, they're gonna get my money.  Re-releasing Juggernaut the way they did was pushing the envelope with me.  You had to buy him to get that long-awaited Colossus, and he was really pretty similar to his BAF version.  If they re-release Wendigo as a deluxe figure sporting only a new classic head, then I'll complain.  That would be over the line for me and I wouldn't support it.  I'd be much more inclined to pick up a casting of the new head head on Ebay.  The classic Wendigo head is needed, but just pack it in with someone in a future wave like was done with Red Skull/Onslaught/Kitty.

I guess my answer to the question is to keep both the BAFs and the deluxe figures, but do it responsibly and have a plan for each case that makes good sens for the manufacturer and the consumer.

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2 hours ago, Jowen said:

They already do baf less waves.  Its called the vintage waves they do every year.   And they charge the same price so I'd rather get an extra figure.

The vintage waves feature repaints and retools of previous figures (with the X-Men wave being a bit of an exception, but still reusing a lot of parts), so they're not the same as if Hasbro did regular waves without BAFs. And in my case, when I hope for BAF-less regular waves, it's not that I'd just want to get the same figures I'd get if they came with BAF pieces, but rather that I'd expcet Hasbro to use the resources that'd go into the BAF into new tooling, more paint apps, and more accessories,

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From my standpoint, the completing a BAF is now nearly impossible due the cost of figures, so re-releasing BAFs is a great idea (Come on Demogoblin). However, I don't think they should get rid of the BAF, there is an incentive to collect all the figures and the BAF is the reward, Also if Hasbro do re-release the BAF later as a Deluxe release, well the person who got the BAF isn't going to be cheated as their version will be different from the re-release. 

 

Also if they stop doing the BAF, they wil stop doing the obscure figures? Don#t be ridiculous, Hasbro need the figures in order to keep the line fresh and other waves like Transformers and Star Wars have no problems having obscure characters and they don't even have BAFs. 

 

Finally as for BAF-less waves and being cheaper, it can happen, the European exclusive Marvel legends line shows that it can be done. (Granted they are all re-released but it does make you think where all the cost is going)

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