Further clarification on the EU wave from 1998:
As previously mentioned, the Expanded Universe assortment of 9 figures was included in the Collection 2 assortment. At the time, Kenner/Hasbro was still obsessed with their 3 Collection case shipping method, meaning that even though a large variety of figures was at retail at once, there was also an equally large (if not larger) number of pegwarming figures. And, as they've always done, Hasbro split up the figures into waves, saving the army builders that everyone would have bought multiples of until the last wave.
The first wave was released in September of 1998 and included Luke, Thrawn, and the Sentinel, along with Ugnaughts, 8D8, and even more Admiral Ackbars and Rancor Keepers. From what I saw personally, Wal-Marts never got this particular case assortment, and it was around that time that they started their 2 dollar off sticker sale due to the huge backlog of, well, Rancor Keepers. TRU was doing this sale at the same time, and not a lot of the first EU wave hit there because of TRUs backlog of Bossk.
The second wave came out in October, and included Katarn, Mara, Leia, and Kyle, along with Luke, Thrawn, and the Sentinel. Again, the 2 dollar off sale was taking place at both WM and TRU, and I only personally saw one case of these figures show up at WM around that time. And, of course, there were more Ugnaughts and 8D8.
The third wave either never showed up at all, showed up at Targets on one occasion, or showed up during TRUs massive clearance sales in dump bins. It took me longer to find a Dark Trooper than any other figure in my collection, and I only got a Spacetrooper because a friend happened to get both of the two out of the one case his Wisconsin Target got and sent one to me. By that point, WM had sent all non-Flashback figures to the clearance aisle where not even the 2 dollar off sticker was helping them move the army of Rancor Keepers.
For those of you who weren't around back in 1998 when the sticker sales and glut of Rancor Keepers was going on, retail, believe it or not, told Hasbro ENOUGH with the three SKUs they had been milking since late 1996 and that had clogged their shelves with unwanted product for the last year. Because of retail's refusal to order any more figures under those SKUs, the final wave of POTF2 that year (DSD, AT-AT Driver, Hoth Leia, and Pote Snitkin) were dumped at the Fan Club and even they were blown out at ridiculous prices at TRU's clearance sales.
I don't think that, at that time, the EU could be held responsible for clogging shelves, as the pre-EU product (particularly the Collection 2 cases of which they were a part) was doing a bang-up job of that on its own without the EU. The other EU products (the Concept Vehicles, in particular) did stink up the shelves, and other attempts to expand that failed miserably too (the Episode I mini-vehicles that didn't hit retail at normal prices after Jar Jar's Amazing Cannon).
My opinion is that the EU is all well and good, but they need to watch it and not overdo it, which I'm afraid is what is going to end up happening. The EU stuff this year has had some memorable tie-ins (the CW cartoon and Republic Commando), but if Hasbro starts throwing out Hoobjibs or Ken Palpatine or the Yuuzhan whatevers and expecting people to just fall in love with it, I think they're in for a rude awakening. I mean, Vos, as much as people want him in collector's circles, is an unknown entity to the non-EU reading SW fan (other than the brief mention in ROTS), and instead of putting him in a, you know, JEDI outfit, they're seemingly going the mercenary route and including the annoying Devaronian with him.
I could be wrong (and I hope I am) in terms of Vos' costume, but I think Hasbro needs to be conscious of how much of a niche market the EU can be. Sure, I'll buy the rest of Delta Squad because I love the game, but I have no interest in the Vong or anything that comes out of the post-ROTJ era. I'm sure some people feel the same, and others will be the opposite. What it comes down to is that the EU is different things to different people, and it's figures like this that have no presence in the 6 films that will draw a firm line between a completist completist and a film completist.
I still think that, by this time next year, we'll be complaining about seeing so many Yuuzhan Vong things on the shelves.