I was another one who thought OTC would tank big. Tonight I'll dine on crow. These things have been moving very well in my area.
I think the thing Hasbro finally got right was case assortments here. These last few cases have for the most part been one-pers. That means every new case is potentially going home with the first customer. Last week at a Wal*Mart near me I had the deeply unsatisfying experince of being the second
guy to a new case of figures--the last wave, with the Gam Guard, Bib Fortuna, the Generals and the Scanning Tech. The guy who beat me bought them all--though he was nice enough to let me oggle them first.
That put me on the hunt, though--I hit about twenty stores in one day last week and saw just about every figure that's been released in 2004 (even J'Quille and Tanus)except those last few. I found a Lando General but that's been it.
The thing that hurt them was the early cases (with the Bespin and Dagobah figures) and that crap display at the Wal*Marts (with the figure cases). I've seen those figures lining shelves at most of the WMs around here--just way too many of too few figures to sell like the rest.
And the VOTCs have been a totally different story. They sit and sit, even Yodas and Vaders are starting to hang around here more. One WM here has a top shelf piled high with all the VOTCs they couldn't sell off the Falcon display. Maybe I'll buy Ben there when he gets deep discounted.