I was reading through Adam's Q and A at Galactic Hunter this week, and really liked some of the points he made in his wrap up section. You can check it out here, if interested:http://www.galactichunter.com/gh/story/qa-big-figures-big-articulation-and-old-figures-gear-eternity
After all the questions, he talks about how the action figure/collectible (and video game) world is changing - and the effect it has not only on collectors, but on kids. To be honest, the kid aspect is something I've thought about before, but this really hit home for me the way he wrote it. I order the majority of my stuff online (I collect primarily SW and Marvel), partially because it is easier for me, but also because I feel like I'm maybe not taking a kid's chance away from finding it if I just order it from an e-store.
I can't imagine how difficult it would be to be a kid collecting an action figure line these days, even without the distribution issues we've seen. In the vintage days, I could take my ROTJ cardback and see what figures were available, and probably find most of them at the local store - or at least have a decent shot. Also, although I personally didn't do this at such a young age, but you could probably stay reasonably complete on the action figure side of it with prices being low ($2ish I think?) and different figures being more in the 10-20 range in any given year from 78-85. I know times have changed a lot, but it sort of saddens me that you can't do that anymore. Heck, I have a tough time keeping up, and I'm an adult with some disposable income.
Anyways, I just thought it was a well written and interesting read - and something I think about a lot these days too. I do wonder if these recent stripped down, basic figures are more of an attempt to get kids and a broader fan-base back. I think maybe Hasbro really did price themselves out of a lot of collectors and casual buyers/kids the past few years. ROTS had to be one of their modern heydays (and the POTF2 days too, not sure which would be more), and the figures were in the $5-6 range then since they were moving so much product. I wonder what we'll see when Ep. 7 rolls around - if the 3 3/4" line will be all these 5 POA, and maybe the 6" stuff will be the "collector figures" much like other lines are doing these days. Also, on a side note, I find the quote that Adam started his write up with (Head of DC Comics: "We don't publish comics for kids, we publish comics for 45 year olds") kind of sad...sad, but true.