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BAFs, a relic of the past or does the incentive remain?


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Just sort of gauging interest/ranting about BAFs as a whole. Personally, I feel that with the rise of scalpers and a lot of stores (especially in certain areas) that the BAF format has struggled of late. It also seems that unless you complete a BAF quickly, you likely never will, most BAFs before 2018 are pretty impossible to buy online without donating an organ.

 

I've completed 4 in my time (Warlock, Man-Thing, Sasquatch, and Wendigo) but I've just decided to completely give up on Sandman, Rhino, Allfather, and Absorbing Man.

I like the gimmick, no argument here, but too often is an awesome BAF stuck in a mediocre wave or vice versa. On top of that, sometimes the individual parts skyrocket for no real reason (Allfather legs, everything but Rhino's torso, or the 2015 Abomination head).

I also like the deluxe format, it allows Hasbro to release more figures and those figures would have generally been highly sought after. Seriously, imagine if MODOK or Maestro were BAFs.

What do you think, do you still get the thrill out of Build-A-Figures? Or should Hasbro attempt to move away from the format (maybe to give more accessories)?

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3 hours ago, Dabboi said:

Just sort of gauging interest/ranting about BAFs as a whole. Personally, I feel that with the rise of scalpers and a lot of stores (especially in certain areas) that the BAF format has struggled of late. It also seems that unless you complete a BAF quickly, you likely never will, most BAFs before 2018 are pretty impossible to buy online without donating an organ.

 

I've completed 4 in my time (Warlock, Man-Thing, Sasquatch, and Wendigo) but I've just decided to completely give up on Sandman, Rhino, Allfather, and Absorbing Man.

I like the gimmick, no argument here, but too often is an awesome BAF stuck in a mediocre wave or vice versa. On top of that, sometimes the individual parts skyrocket for no real reason (Allfather legs, everything but Rhino's torso, or the 2015 Abomination head).

I also like the deluxe format, it allows Hasbro to release more figures and those figures would have generally been highly sought after. Seriously, imagine if MODOK or Maestro were BAFs.

What do you think, do you still get the thrill out of Build-A-Figures? Or should Hasbro attempt to move away from the format (maybe to give more accessories)?

I still want the BAFs.  Because nobody seems to be carrying the "Deluxe" figures in significant volume (Target comes closest, but even then it's usually "one shipment and done"), so if the BAFs weren't a thing, most of those characters simply wouldn't be getting made.  

Admittedly the only BAFs that I actually wanted that I haven't been able to build for retail price are the Rhino (waited too long to pull the trigger on that wave) and the Lizard (Never found half the wave).

Generally though, I've found that if you're even mildly diligent about preorders you can get virtually every regular wave at retail price or lower, often on Amazon (Though sometimes I have to stretch a couple extra bucks and get some figs from BBTS or the like).  I don't even know the last time I actually bought a full wave off of store shelves...maybe the Cull Obsidian wave?  Then again, I'm usually only looking for store exclusives that I couldn't preorder when I haunt the toy aisles these days.

I find the solution for both of the "mediocre" problems is pretty easy:  Sell or Trade the figures you don't care for loose.  You may not get all your money back (though often you do!), but you'll get enough back that it makes the pain of buying figs you don't want a lot less.

 

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4 hours ago, Dabboi said:

Just sort of gauging interest/ranting about BAFs as a whole. Personally, I feel that with the rise of scalpers and a lot of stores (especially in certain areas) that the BAF format has struggled of late. It also seems that unless you complete a BAF quickly, you likely never will, most BAFs before 2018 are pretty impossible to buy online without donating an organ.

 

I've completed 4 in my time (Warlock, Man-Thing, Sasquatch, and Wendigo) but I've just decided to completely give up on Sandman, Rhino, Allfather, and Absorbing Man.

I like the gimmick, no argument here, but too often is an awesome BAF stuck in a mediocre wave or vice versa. On top of that, sometimes the individual parts skyrocket for no real reason (Allfather legs, everything but Rhino's torso, or the 2015 Abomination head).

I also like the deluxe format, it allows Hasbro to release more figures and those figures would have generally been highly sought after. Seriously, imagine if MODOK or Maestro were BAFs.

What do you think, do you still get the thrill out of Build-A-Figures? Or should Hasbro attempt to move away from the format (maybe to give more accessories)?

I like the BAF concept. There is a bit of a thrill when one finally acquires the final piece to complete the desired figure. It allows for larger figures to be released.

I pick and choose which I complete though. I think I completed all the Toy-Biz BAFs, but I don't have the same interest or budget as I did in those days. If the BAF is uninteresting then the wave needs not be completed. 

I would be happy if they released some more deluxe figures. 

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I generally cherry pick waves, so i'd probably be better off arguing for more accessories over BAF parts, but in generally it feels like the BAF model has worked well in terms of allowing for more obscure characters to get figures, so i say keep it.  You can always sell off BAF pieces you don't want or sell figures you don't want but needed to buy to get the BAF part.

But let's not pretend BAF figures don't have their problems. in my experience they are just as prone as any other figure to having loose joints (and for me at least a bunch get loose ab crunch over time)  and sometimes you get one where a leg,arm,or hand just falls off constantly.  I will say i can't think of any BAF's i've gotten where the joints are stuck or fused, and i've never had one with an arm that broke off at the elbow, and for obvious reasons have never had a leg break off.

I don't feel like the character selection for BAFs has been all that great lately, at least in terms of characters i "need" for my collection.  Hyde's the only one i've built this year although its possible I'll complete Stilt-man eventually.  Not much interest in Xemnu, Tri-Sentinel,  Falcons wings (!), or the Eternals guy (at least not yet). Its been a few years since i made the transition from 'completing most of the year's BAFs' to just completing 1-3. 

And of course when you anticipate a BAF being re-released in deluxe format or as part of a set (Fixit, Venompool) then you can wait and get it more cheaply later.

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I can see it both ways. On the one hand, I'm not a completist. I cherry pick from wave, usually only buying two or three figures per set, which means despite having a 150 Marvel Legends, I only have one completed Build-a-Figure in Stiltman. (I'll have Xemnu as well once the Bring On the Bad Guys wave ships.)

I also do most of my Legends shopping online, either through Pulse or other etailers so I'm not searching for the figures in stores. I don't get the same thrill of the treasure hunt, though I understand the allure for those who do. For those reasons, I would prefer if Hasbro released their slightly larger or more complicated figures as single-release deluxe figures rather than BAFs. If that were the case, I would have me a Super-Skrull, Absorbing Man, Abomination, Man-Thing, etc. Right now, I don't, and I'm missing those guys.

On the other hand, though, the Build-a-Figure model is an important part of Hasbro's business plan. It rewards and in many cases ensures that collectors will purchase every figure in a wave, even if they don't like them all. Take away that incentive, and you'll have even more peg-warmers on the shelves. Suddenly, Hasbro is only selling the most popular two or three figures from each six-figure wave. They'll take note of that, and adjust production so that they only make variants of Deadpool, Wolverine, Spider-Man, Captain America, etc. 

Without the BAF model to support them, I guarantee tons of the regular Marvel Legends figures in our collection wouldn't exist because there wouldn't be enough demand to support them. And which of us wants to live in a world without that Rock Python figure from 2019?!!

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There are 3 major reason that the baf have to remain. 

  1. they are incentives for people to complete a wave. If it wasn't for the bafs, all those peg warmers on the shelves. Yeah they would be even more full. BAF give people a need to complete a wave. Not only that but they give those who collect full wave a extra character.
  2. They allow Hasbro to make obscure characters that wouldn't otherwise be available as a deluxe. You all are saying that they should use the Deluxe version. But that is not going to work for the like of Hyde. Deluxe so far have been major villains/heroes or straight up repaints like Red Hulk and Toxin but even those 2 would have sold because they are related to other character. 
  3. Like it has been said several times, Bafs allow hasbro to make obscure characters that people wouldn't buy otherwise. If they remove the BAF then the wave size would shrink to about 4 figure per wave with 3 of them being the alisters. BAF allow hasbro to throw in obscure characters.
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While I cherry pick every wave, I still like the BAF. There is something about getting the final piece and completing the figure. Also to allows for more characters to be made, which means more choice. Also if there it is BAF I want and don't like most of the characters, I would just buy the BAF separately.

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I can't speak for anyone but myself but honestly I couldn't care less about baf parts. I have a few that I bought completed already. The few complete waves I've bought I got because it was a perfect lineup and I wanted them all not because I had to have that baf. I sold off the bafs both times I completed them. If it meant more accessories and more attention to each figure, I would be fine with skipping the bafs. For what I've spent on the bafs I have, I would have been happy with each character just coming as a single release/deluxe. Peg warmers warm the pegs regardless of what piece they come with. I really don't see it making a difference. I do know that my friends and fellow collectors always just buy a completed BAF. I honestly can't recall someone telling me they bought a wave just to complete their figure.

The whole point I'm trying to make is in my experience people are either selling off the completed BAF or theyre selling off the figures they didn't want when completing their baf so what's the point? Just my 2 cents. 

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I think Hasbro has hit the perfect divide of BAFS and Deluxe figures. Some characters that have a strong enough of a presence like WarMachine, Red Hulk, Toxin, Archangel get very nice deluxe releases that sell phenomenally, then the more obscure or less likely to get solo releases or are harder to fit into standard packaging like Man Thing, Wendigo, Sugar Man, Strong Guy get the BAF treatment. A either way we get to choose to chase the BAF or get the deluxe

really it’s win/ win. I really don’t get why there is even an “argument”. Don’t get the whole MCU vs Comic “ fight” either. We are in a Legends Golden Age, with more releases now than in any point in Legends history. It seems to me we are all winning.

 

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8 hours ago, McHogan said:

I think Hasbro has hit the perfect divide of BAFS and Deluxe figures. Some characters that have a strong enough of a presence like WarMachine, Red Hulk, Toxin, Archangel get very nice deluxe releases that sell phenomenally, then the more obscure or less likely to get solo releases or are harder to fit into standard packaging like Man Thing, Wendigo, Sugar Man, Strong Guy get the BAF treatment. A either way we get to choose to chase the BAF or get the deluxe

really it’s win/ win. I really don’t get why there is even an “argument”. Don’t get the whole MCU vs Comic “ fight” either. We are in a Legends Golden Age, with more releases now than in any point in Legends history. It seems to me we are all winning.

 

Definitely agree with this.  As for why there is an argument, it comes down to two complaints:

1. "I don't want to buy figures for characters i don't want just to complete the BAF - why can't he just be sold separately??"   This neglects that of course you CAN buy the BAF separately on ebay etc but it will cost at least $60 in most cases, and often considerably more. People like to point to deluxe figures but in most cases those are priced lower because they are repaints of an existing BAF (that is, the tooling costs were already part of an earlier wave's budget).  MODOK and Archangel's wings are the main exceptions that i can think of.

2. "I don't care about the BAF.  Why don't they just skip it and give me more accessories instead??"  This neglects the fact that without the BAF you wouldn't get nearly as many obscure characters receiving figures - it would be even more Wolverines, Deadpools, Spideys, Caps, Venoms and Iron Men than we receive now. It would be more like McFarlane's line with its endless Batmen. (which, i like the line, but sure wish the character selection was a bit more diverse).  And of course if you don't like having random pieces for a BAF you don't intend to complete, just sell them or trade them. Sidenote: the alternative gimmick to BAFs seems to be retro packaging, which while not going quite as deep into the catalog of characters, at least tends to provide some non A-listers.

Of course this has all been rehashed a million times before, but people like to complain/vent so i expect it to come up at least once a year.  I think people should be happy that hasbro at least attempts to rerelease BAFs for more well-known characters more often, that is a a huge improvement -  trying to complete figures like Rhino or Sandman is a pretty tough task now.

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On 5/11/2021 at 2:27 AM, Dabboi said:

What do you think, do you still get the thrill out of Build-A-Figures? Or should Hasbro attempt to move away from the format (maybe to give more accessories)?

I love the BAF concept. I thought it was a brilliant idea when it was rolled out all those years ago, I STILL think it's a great idea.

That being said, action figures are expensive. Would I mind if the Has' phased out the program in favor of more ecological "Retro-Style" blister cards and a return to the 19.99 price-point? That's a big NO.

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11 hours ago, McHogan said:

I think Hasbro has hit the perfect divide of BAFS and Deluxe figures. Some characters that have a strong enough of a presence like WarMachine, Red Hulk, Toxin, Archangel get very nice deluxe releases that sell phenomenally, then the more obscure or less likely to get solo releases or are harder to fit into standard packaging like Man Thing, Wendigo, Sugar Man, Strong Guy get the BAF treatment. A either way we get to choose to chase the BAF or get the deluxe

really it’s win/ win. I really don’t get why there is even an “argument”. Don’t get the whole MCU vs Comic “ fight” either. We are in a Legends Golden Age, with more releases now than in any point in Legends history. It seems to me we are all winning.

 

I'm right here too. Initially I was against the Deluxe system, but I've come around. Especially knowing that some of the more well received BAFs would come available to people who didn't get the first one or those who wanted some sort of variant but didn't want to go through the process of purchasing an entire wave for what is mostly a repaint. Figures like Grey Hulk, Classic Kingpin and Maestro (though I think he deserved a new sculpt, or at least boots) may not have been done without the Deluxe format.

As far as the BAF, I'm still on board all the way. To me it is an incentive. Sure we get caught having to buy some stinkers like 2 versions of Queen Bee Marvel, Iron Skull, the Legless Wonder Cannonball and straight screw jobs like Spider-Ham, but they're all still basically new figures we don't have and the BAF is almost always certainly a character that we don't have. Of course we also get bad BAFs like Caliban and Titus and outta scale crap like Kree Sentry and the MCU Really Tall Man and some douche plays like the Finish-A-Figure for pretty much every wave that has a character that has wings, but I  think the good outweighs the bad by a large margin. Some recent victories that stand out to me are Ursa Major, Hyde and Strong Guy, who are all figures that I don't have confidence would have caught foothold in the Deluxe model.

Ultimately, I'm thinking the way the BAF will move is to do mostly just those lesser know, yet cool looking characters like Armadillo and A-Bomb, while the larger Have-to-Have figures will all be an done as an extension of any particular wave as a Deluxe figure. An example would be the assumed eventual Thunderbolts wave where say the main characters would be Zemo, Winter Soldier, Taskmaster, US Agent, Etc. and the Deluxe would be MCU Red Hulk, while the BAF could be comic Atlas.

I don't think either system is going away any time soon, and I think they work well together. There is a "rip-off" factor built into the combination of the two, such as the previously mentioned Meastro who was given the cheap repaint treatment rather than doing the version we all actually wanted, but then again MODOK was cool, if a little pricey, wasn't he?

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On 5/11/2021 at 8:28 AM, RyanDaly said:

On the other hand, though, the Build-a-Figure model is an important part of Hasbro's business plan. It rewards and in many cases ensures that collectors will purchase every figure in a wave, even if they don't like them all. Take away that incentive, and you'll have even more peg-warmers on the shelves. Suddenly, Hasbro is only selling the most popular two or three figures from each six-figure wave. They'll take note of that, and adjust production so that they only make variants of Deadpool, Wolverine, Spider-Man, Captain America, etc. 

Without the BAF model to support them, I guarantee tons of the regular Marvel Legends figures in our collection wouldn't exist because there wouldn't be enough demand to support them. And which of us wants to live in a world without that Rock Python figure from 2019?!!

Good point. I wonder how significant an issue it really is. For example, do they really have more peg-warmers in the retro lines that don't have BAFs compared to the others?

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5 hours ago, Chunkylover said:

Good point. I wonder how significant an issue it really is. For example, do they really have more peg-warmers in the retro lines that don't have BAFs compared to the others?

Purely anecdotal but outside of certain exclusives I always have a MUCH easier time finding retro-carded figures than BAF assortments at my local stores.

 

Also 🤚

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I took down my posted thinking it may lead to fighting but put your virtual hands up if you think getting rid of baf and replacing them with deluxe is a bad idea?

for yes 👎 for no

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6 hours ago, Chunkylover said:

Good point. I wonder how significant an issue it really is. For example, do they really have more peg-warmers in the retro lines that don't have BAFs compared to the others?

Wit( just a few exceptions, my local Meijers for example, are full of Boom Boom and Cannonballs. Like.. literally every store in lower Michigan. Besides this, I haven’t seen another Retro card in stores in months.

So these Retro figs muse be tickling someone’s nostalgia bone... 

.. very bad idea to replace when there is room and market for both

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Just now, MagnaPrime said:

I like the idea, but I'd like to see some of these getting released again or given an update

I'm kind of amazed they haven't re-released Rhino and Lizard in some form yet.

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No Baf means less figures and especially less obscure figures. Also more Deluxes could easily just mean more Siege Shockwave Syndrome figures.

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As much as I do not like having to buy unnecessary figures in order to complete a BAF. I do agree with the majority that a BAF is an incentive that allows unwanted pegwarmers to fly off shelves a lot quicker. Plus, there is always the fun addition of trading BAF parts in order to help other collectors complete theirs while also completing your BAF. I have done this method to complete Strong Guy and it was really fun. Not to mention, guys like Strong Guy and Sugar Man may not have seen a deluxe release if you consider their girth.

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14 hours ago, McHogan said:

Wit( just a few exceptions, my local Meijers for example, are full of Boom Boom and Cannonballs. Like.. literally every store in lower Michigan. Besides this, I haven’t seen another Retro card in stores in months.

So these Retro figs muse be tickling someone’s nostalgia bone... 

.. very bad idea to replace when there is room and market for both

Southeast Michigan, eh? You must be happy to see all the lower peninsulas being used to vote for preserving the BAFs! 

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I have bought full waves I've yet to sell just to get the BAF, it's one of my issues with only MCU collection. I also have BAF pieces that came with MCU figures that I'll never complete, another of my issues. I like getting a free figure with my collection every now and then, but hate chasing it down... in the end, I feel like things are just the way they should be right now, and with the Infinity Collection coming soon, at least I wont have to think about BAFs for a while.

🤚, definitely

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On the one hand, I would be happy to lose the BAF piece in exchange for more accessories.  Maybe Hasbro could incentivize less popular figures with more/better accessories (guns, effects, beer bottle for Logan, bags of $ for street villains, etc.)  I also wish the BAFs came with more accessories.  

What if Hasbro was more judicious with the use of BAFs?  For instance, instead of spreading out Constrictor (2012), Eel (2016), Cottonmouth (2016),  King Cobra (2018), and Rock Python (2019) (all of whom were pegwarmers), what if Hasbro made them a themed wave with a kick-ass Bushmaster BAF?  I think collectors would be more willing to purchase those characters if you knew you were getting core Serpent Society characters in one fell swoop as opposed to dragging them out over the years with uncertainty about which characters would be made and when they would be available. 

What if Hasbro made smaller production runs of deluxe characters like Mr. Hyde and sold them through fan channels or Pulse (kind of surprised they don't do this already as an incentive to join)?    

 

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On 5/11/2021 at 7:28 AM, Jmacq1 said:

I find the solution for both of the "mediocre" problems is pretty easy:  Sell or Trade the figures you don't care for loose.  You may not get all your money back (though often you do!), but you'll get enough back that it makes the pain of buying figs you don't want a lot less.

I get what you are saying, and that is what I plan to do with the Shang Chi wave (although I'm going to sell Hyde) but often everyone is trying to sell or trade the same figures from a wave.  Making consumers buy something that they immediately try to get rid of is not a way to engender loyalty.  

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18 minutes ago, burroughsd said:

I get what you are saying, and that is what I plan to do with the Shang Chi wave (although I'm going to sell Hyde) but often everyone is trying to sell or trade the same figures from a wave.  Making consumers buy something that they immediately try to get rid of is not a way to engender loyalty.  

Maybe, maybe not on trying to sell or trade the same figures from a wave.  Either way I've never had any difficulty selling or trading them.  SOMEBODY wants them, whether for custom fodder or they're loose collectors or whatever. 

You don't have to like every single figure to be loyal to the brand.  I mean just look around here.  Everybody's got different tastes in what figures they like/want, but I'd say most are "loyal to the brand" whether they always get those specific figures or not.

Some BAFs I build and keep, a few I build and sell/trade, and some I just sell/trade the parts I'm not going to use from the figures I DID want from a wave (but didn't care about completing the BAF).  Either way I still buy a ton of Marvel Legends every year.

As for the "themed wave" you suggest, I think that's betraying a certain lack of knowledge as to how these waves get sold to retailers.  We only get a Rock Python because HAsbro can say "people will buy him to finish building <BLAH> and the other characters you know people like anyway because they're Avengers (or whatever)."

A full wave of C/D listers would be poison to retailers.  They WANT an Iron Man/Cap/Spidey/Deadpool/Wolverine in every wave.  Those characters generally sell, and more importantly retail (and Hasbro) want those characters on shelves so that new collectors can get some version of "the main characters" relatively easily.  It's pretty clear AI Iron Man and Civil Warrior (Still recognizable as some kind of Captain America) exist as a way to get retailers on board with a wave that's mostly unknown characters (to the general public).  Same way we got an Iron Man in the first Black Panther wave.

Put another way:  A couple extra hands and a bag of money accessory are probably not going to make many/any casual buyers pick up Rock Python.  But packing him with the arm of a major character from the movie might.

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