I am old enough to remember when you couldn’t GET the figures for even things like 40k or Warhammer, so never felt ‘tied’ except when I briefly worked for them.
I had a very interesting conversation with a dam’ youngster behind the counter in a (small local) wargames shop recently. he asked what I was buying the paints and brushes for, and I said I was painting Historicals
‘Historicals?’ Not heard of that one’
‘Oh… no, it’s a period. Lots of different rules for it, for example Warlord Games do a game called ‘Hail Caesar”
(TappityTapTap) Huh… Romans versus Egyptians? That’s weird’
‘No… you buy the figures where you like, those are just the figures they happen to make’
‘wh..what happens at Tournaments???’
He was obviously completely unused to the idea of not buying ‘Big Spoon Wargames’ box set, the boxes of figures that ‘Big Spoon Wargames’ make and playing other ‘Big Spoon’ Players at games.