Re: retailer returns:
I think that's not happening much if Hasbro can at all avoid it. I can imagine that the costs of recalling unsold product from the shelves has changed drastically from vintage days. It may be more inexpensive for Hasbro to remanufacture and distribute than to hire 3rd party reps (which they were in those rare modern cases when ALL their key accounts were literaly swamped with pegwarmers) to travel, recall, inventory, and ship the items.
What I wonder is if Hasbro has started doing price protection for accounts, and that's why we're seeing such a quick discounting of '03 items at Target. We often do that in my industry to shore up preorders from accounts like WM, TRU, Best Buy, etc. What doesn't move at the retail price the retailer can discount and bill back the cost or be credited, within a set price margin.
Aside from seeing a LOT of SC Anakin at Walmart recently (but sold, amazingly), the figures from Collection 1 that they reshipped seem to be fairly popular and there's probably a reasoning that quite a few people missed out on these. Not that that explains why there's NO Ephant being reshipped or why Ashla/Jempa needs a recard, but hey.
Plus, they know there's idiot like me out there that still collect all the card variations! And, I really think the new packaging with the gold band is much more peg-appealing than the earlier Saga cards. In the end I don't think its that big a deal that they're doing this, considering how fast the assortments are changing this year.
Don't forget that there's this "Hall of Fame" assortment coming in a few weeks:
1x HOF Chewbacca Mechanic (NEW), 1x HOF R2-D2 (NEW), 1x HOF C-3P0 (NEW), 1x HOF Obi-Wan, Coruscant (NEW), 1x HOF Anakin Skywalker Hangar Duel (NEW), 1x HOF Stormtrooper (NEW), 1x HOF Yoda (NEW), 1x HOF Darth Maul, Theed Hangar Duel (NEW), 1x HOF Princess Leia, Imperial Captive (NEW), 1x HOF Hans Solo, Flight To Alderaan (NEW), 1x HOF Luke Skywalker (NEW), 1x HOF Darth Vader Throne Room (NEW)
Now that's a bunch of hooey that I'll be annoyed if I have to sift through at Target looking for a frickin' Rappertunie.
Sorry for the long windedness,