Yes, BAB seems expensive at first, but once you have your stuffed animal, it's not bad at all. We love going in to BAB and getting a shirt or some shoes, etc. for Froggy. Their clothes are priced inexpensively, and are a good treat for kids. I enjoy knowing that I can tell my son, "You can have a treat at the mall...Froggy can get a new shirt".
I think the staff at BAB is excellent. They are very friendly and so helpful. Very customer service oriented.
I suggest just buying ONE animal, if you want to keep your kid interested in it. Buy one animal and then just keep going back for more pieces for their wardrobe. My son continues to change Froggy's clothing daily. I find that his friends with mulitple animals tend to lose interest. It's also helpful to set a limit before going in the store, so your child doesn't beg for everything. I say "we can get a shirt today" or "Froggy can get some new shorts". It really helps keep the begging and costs down.