The question that seems to be on more and more minds among Marvel Legends collectors is, ďAre the prices of basic figures rising to $30?Ē
In recent weeks, we have seen small retailers like Gamestop
raise the prices on their figures to anywhere from $25-$30. Just this past week, I went into my local Gamestop to find figures listed with $23 price tags and others with $25. If you go to the Gamestop website
, you will see many of the figures, including the most recent releases, listed with $30 price tags. Some of the Fantastic Four figures listed for $30 on the website were only $25 at my local store.
Iíve seen multiple people claim FYE
, another smaller retailer, has raised prices to $30 on Marvel Legends as well. FYE ó the same place that has the upcoming $25 Stan Lee Marvel Legends
figure currently listed on their website
Here is the thing. A retailer can choose to set the price of the figures they sell for whatever amount they want. The manufacture, in this case Hasbro, puts out what is called a manufacturer-suggested retail price (MSRP) for these things, which is still $19.99 (see Hasbroís listing for the most recent solicited Black Widow wave below). However, Hasbro canít force a retailer to sell at that price.
Smaller retailers often have to raise the prices a few extra dollars over the big box retailers for a multitude of reasons. One of the biggest reasons is that small retailers canít command the same kind of discounts as the big box stores. As I understand it, the more product a retailer orders, the bigger the discount they get. Sadly, this is something that gives larger retailers a significant advantage over the small guy. Sometimes small retailers will raise the prices more on figures they know are popular, to offset the loss they likely will get from the figures they know wonít sell. When a store like Walmart and Target get stuck with figures commonly referred to as ďpeg warmersĒ, itís not as big a deal. When a small retailer get stuck with lots of peg warmers, it can cause them to be put out of business.
Thatís not to say greed doesnít sometimes come into play with these things, which will result in unreasonable price hikes. When supply is short and demand is high, you can always bet there will be those who try to take advantage as much as possible.
Still, none of these things are really examples of an overall price hike. From what I have been told from multiple sources, all indications are that Hasbro is keeping prices on their end the same as before. When it seemed liked more tariffs on China were coming, there was talk of price increases of a few dollars. When the tariffs didnít happen, neither did the price hike.
There was a Target shelf tag
someone recently posted on social media that said $29.99 for the current Wendigo X-Force wave. This of course sent many into a tizzy. I donít know where the image originated from or how legit it was. Whether the tag was a mistake or someone wanted to have some fun with the collector community as a whole remains unclear. I suppose itís even possible that some wayward Target manager decided he could sell long-released $20 figures at a $10 markup??? What I do know is that if you go to Targetís website, the price on all basic Marvel Legends, including the upcoming most recent Black Widow wave are still listed at $19.99. I have also not seen any indication Target actually charged anyone $30 for a regular Marvel Legend figure. Places like Target and Walmart portray themselves as having the lowest prices around, so it wouldnít make much sense for Target to sell old Marvel Legends figures at $30. Especially when their main competitors such as Walmart and Amazon sell them for $20 or less.
While I donít doubt the prices eventually will go up on these things, itís not likely going to be an instant $10 price jump, and I donít think it will happen in the immediate future. If or when the standard price goes to $30, I agree 100% with those saying that is the day when this hobby is done. While I donít doubt their will be some who would pay that much, it wonít be enough to keep a mass market line such as Marvel Legends going in what is already a small niche market. I certainly wouldnít expect most parents to pay that much on any kind of regular basis. There is a point, no matter how much you can justify the cost, where you simply price yourself out of the market. You only have to look as far as the comic book industry to see that happening.