Of course retailers have a profit margin, I'm not twelve.
What I meant by arbitrary is that there's a certain point where a standard profit is made and then everything after that is just gravy. I think a lot of gravy gets made on exclusives. How else can you explain WM charging the same amount as a basic figure for their exclusive twin figures when Target charges 2 and 1/2 times that amount for their exclusives with the same run?
Hasbro's greatest expense in producing anything is in development, after that, getting the product to the shelves is dirt cheep per unit. I'm talking pennies per figure and a few dollars per ship, no matter what the size or amount of parts. So the question becomes this, how is the cost of development paid for? It has to be in one of two ways, A) it either gets added to the cost of the item in question, or, B) it's part of Hasbro's general overhead.
If A, then the cost of re-releasing an At-At or a shuttle should cost FAR less than it's initial run or, if B, the development cost that Hasbro constantly sites as a cause for expense is irrelevant.
Shipping certainly does play a major factor, but it costs the same amount to ship a pallet of At-At's as it does a pallet of Basic figures. Certainly it costs more per At-At to ship, but I wonder how much of an impact this does have on the over all price. Think about it. Ten years ago when we first got the At-At, it was the same price as today, but basic figures have gone up $2. Logically, the At-At price should have gone up as well given the increased fuel costs and the fact that it's an exclusive.
I think we all can agree that something doesn't make sense and that I've put far too much thought into it.