I agree, $35 plus shipping is too much for this set individually.
However, since Jim, Brent, and I are splitting a case, we are each getting a set of four 4-packs for $112, that's only $28 for each 4-pack or $7 per figure shipped.
Maybe that's $8 more than if I was able to find 4 CW Clones back in 2003, but I guess I understand because:
1 - it's a year later
2 - At least 3 of the 4 sets have "new"/different figures thanks to the colors and battle damage
3 - it's an EE exclusive
In fact, I'd wager that the $35 price is almost ALL Entertainment Earth's doing, NOT Hasbro's. EE is the same company after all that "let" us buy the Holiday Jawas for $17.99 even though the 2003 Holiday set was $12.99 at Wal-Mart. Were Jawas more complex than R2/3PO? No. EE knew we (the complete-ists) would pay whatever the price they set to get it.
If this set were at Target/TRU/Wal-Mart, I can easily see it falling into the $20-25 price range for 4 ultra-articulated Clones. The fact of the matter is though that this set is not at Target, it's at EE and they can charge whatever the heck they want (like it or not).
It sounds like this set was proposed by EE and created for EE. It is an exclusive that EE requested. I don't think it would have been done if EE had not specifically gone to Hasbro and asked for this type of Army builder set.
EE knows what they've got. They are run by SW Collectors who keep a close eye on the communities, they are most definately aware of the demand for these. It's a 4-pack of highly articulated army builders with new decos on 3 of 4 sets. They know that the completists will buy at least 1 of each for the packaging, the army-builders will want in on them, the loose completeists will end up bying a set or two to get the colored troops, etc.
As such, it's no surprise that EE has set the prices on these the way they did. They know what they've got here and they know (thanks to vOTC) that collectors will pay a higher price if the product is good enough. They know that while there may be vocal outcry on fansites, they'll still sell out most likely.
Is it Hasbro's fault? I don't think they care what EE does once they ship the product to EE. After it's gone, I don't think Hasbro really cares much. I also don't think Hasbro would ever say anythig to EE about the pricing.
So, do I think the pricing sucks on these? Yes. Is it Hasbro's fault? Probably not, probably EE's fault. Am I going to end up buying them? I already put in my order.
I am not trying to excuse the price away, but simply stating my opinion. I think it's another Sandcrawler-esque example of "be careful what you ask for, you just might get it".