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Black Series Deluxe Figures Are A Scam

Let me preface the following discussion by saying that I have nothing against the concept of deluxe figures. If a figure receives many more paint apps and/or accessories, if a figure requires extensive new tooling and many parts (maybe because of size) then a “deluxe” label is deserved. All these things cost money and when production costs are increased because of all the extra effort put into a figure then it’s only ok to ask for more money. However, I argue that Hasbro does nothing of the sort with their Black Series deluxe figures. Let us take a close look at the newly revealed Cobb Vanth figure to see why I think Hasbro’s version of “deluxe” is a scam and rips off collectors by asking for extra money without putting the extra effort in it. Click through for more!

Hasbro’s idea of a deluxe figure

Let’s talk about what “deluxe” should all entail. In my opinion a deluxe figure has every important detail painted. The details have the correct paint apps of course. Meaning the figure is as screen accurate as possible. There’s shading and a wash applied when necessary. You get meaningful accessories beyond the standard one or two blasters a typical basic release will get. Ideal would be one or two sets of extra hands for meaningful poses. And depending on the character maybe even an extra head. With that out of the way let’s cut right to the chase. Does the Black Series Cobb Vanth figure deserve the deluxe label and deluxe price? And you also need to remember that Hasbro’s explanation for the deluxe treatment was “the paint apps”….

Please click on the image to see the 100% view, which will allow you to examine the details more closely!

Ok, so what do we see?

Let’s talk about re-use first. The chest armor piece is 100% re-use from the previous Boba Fett Return of the Jedi figure. The helmet, knee-pad and jetpack are also the same as before, the only exception here that the actual rocket is new, but that is one small part, the jetpack itself is identical. But that’s certainly all understandable, after all, it IS Boba Fett’s armor, it makes sense to re-use old parts here. Nothing wrong with that. Still, it means, Hasbro didn’t need to tool everything from scratch since they could re-use some parts from Boba Fett, which certainly helps with keeping production costs down! But let’s look at the details!

  • the figure has the wrong hair color, Cobb’s hair is salt and pepper, not just solid grey, there are no streaks etc in the figure’s hair, there is also no shading applied to the hair to give it some more depth and structure
  • same can be said about the beard, it’s not just solid grey
  • the logo in the upper left corner of the chest is very inaccurate, it’s extremely faded on the figure, wheras the costume shot shows that the logo is actually still pretty much the same as before and clearly visible
  • the digital readout in the upper right corner of the chest armor is unpainted, it’s very evidently red on the actual costume. The original Empire Strikes Back Boba Fett figure DID have that detail painted
  • the white accent in the center of the chest armor is missing
  • the silver canisters on Cobb’s right hip have no paint detail
  • the pants themselves are somewhat dusty on the original costume. The Cobb Vanth Black Series figure would need a wash applied to the unpainted plastic parts to make them look more weathered and less plasticky and some dry-brushing should have added some dust details
  • the yellow shoulder pads have too much color, the ones worn by Cobb show much more of the beskar underneath the paint on the actual costume and are much more weathered

Overall the figure lacks a proper wash and some dry-brushing, most of the figure is actually 100% unpainted and all we see is the basic plastic. The pants, shirt, boots, belt etc all look very plasticky because of that.

The chest armor piece, if you ignore the wrong details, has some nice weathering, it looks quite good here. Same goes for the helmet. But the question is… does a semi-accurate chest piece and decently weathered helmet justify a deluxe price and deluxe label? Remember, Hasbro wants $9 more for this figure!

That leaves the jetpack… the jetpack is very colorful and has the most amount of paint apps. But even here Hasbro didn’t paint all the details.

The thrusters have zero paint apps which is wrong. Look at the actual prop used in the series:

The thrusters are clearly made of metal, not some solid grey plastic material, they are also weathered and have various small paint details, all of which is missing from the Black Series jetpack. The weathering on the jetpack is generally very basic and not accurate at all. It’s at best a very simplified approximation.

So Hasbro basically tells us that a jetpack with missing paint apps and incorrect details makes Cobb Vanth a deluxe figure. Really? The other accessories are all standard fare, two guns. Nothing special. The handgun has zero paint (which is of course inaccurate), only the rifle has some paint apps. Hasbro’s statement that because of the paint apps Cobb Vanth is a deluxe release seems like a joke, in my opinion, if you consider the fact that the actual figure has very little paint and that various paint details are missing or plain wrong.

The deluxe Boba Fett figure suffered similar issues, some paint details were missing, the flight suit had zero paint apps, not even a wash or some weathering and therefore looked very plasticky. Let’s not forget the warped helmet issue. Jar Jar also had very little actual paint apps applied, only the more or less entirely useless accessories made it deluxe.

Still, people will pre-order Cobb Vanth like there’s no tomorrow, he will sell through. Because Cobb Vanth is a “cool” character, he’s basically a Boba Fett variant and will always sell. And The Mandalorian is of course extremely popular and Mandalorian merchandise sells.

But in my opinion collectors should demand so much more from Hasbro. And if Cobb Vanth needed to be $35 to actually paint everything, that would be, in my opinion, still be preferable to whatever Hasbro deems “deluxe” with efforts like these. They basically sell you an incorrectly painted jetpack as a deluxe item, whereas everything else you get is just standard fodder, not different from any basic Black Series figure.

It is sad that this is probably the only Cobb Vanth figure we’ll ever get. People will buy it, because there is no other choice. And I wouldn’t be surprised if the various YouTube reviewers will praise the figure and love it. And that also means Hasbro gets away with offering so little despite the “deluxe” label.

How could things ever change? Maybe if collectors wised up and refused to buy half-hearted efforts like Return of the Jedi Boba Fett or Cobb Vanth. Maybe providing proper feedback might help. But as things are now the “deluxe” Black Series figures are not deserving of that label. It’s mostly just a scam to squeeze more money out of collectors. Where is the $9 worth of extra effort when I buy Cobb Vanth? Am I really to believe it’s the jetpack which still has paint details missing? Maybe one of the Japanese companies will offer a Cobb Vanth figure down the road, this is the only actual hope collectors have to get a better and more accurate figure.

Would you be willing to pay, say, $35 for an actual Black Series deluxe figure? Meaning, everything is painted, everything is as correct as possible and the accessories are meaningful? What about $40 if Hasbro was so gracious to include various extra hands, extra head and even more accessories? It boils down to this… whatever Hasbro is offering as “build-up packs” are deluxe releases in my opinion. Actual deluxe releases are a scam though. I would rather pay $35 or maybe even $40 (I would pay much more here in Europe anyway if I bother to pre-order the figure) for a figure that is as screen accurate as possible with fun accessories and extra hands instead of giving Hasbro $32 for their interpretation of deluxe.

Hasbro should be ashamed of what they offer under the deluxe label. And collectors should call them out for it and demand much better.

But what do you think? Are you happy with what you will get here? Do you think $32 (and MUCH more elsewhere in the world of course) is justified and you get your money’s worth here? Would you be willing, if you are in the US, to pay $35 or maybe $40 for an actual deluxe figure? Or would that be too much for you and you’d rather Hasbro compromises and cuts corners to keep the price down?

 

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