I'd agree wholeheartedly Scott... I was trying to think of better years and came up empty.
In 2005, ROTS started strong really, and was lead in with a great preview wave as well as 2004 product leftovers that were outstanding, but 2005 sort of fizzled besides the Evolution assortment figures. Quality took a bit of a drop around the Fall figure line-up and I was disappointed with the likes of the repaint waves, and figures like Captain Antilles that year. Not everything was rosey by any means... Just some odd trail off to end the year.
2006 I was personally disappointed in... I felt a lot of figures last year lacked in terms of overall quality, usually my gripe of articulation was the focus. Derlin, Veers, Scorch, etc., etc., etc. 2006 had some cool figures, dont' get me wrong, but there were definite lacking figures and a price-hike to boot!
2007 rolls up and holy ****... First wave, all bsically SA figures save for the miner, and he's still a big hulking decent figure. 2007's first wave trumped most figures from 2006. I mean, sure Momaw Nadon's a neat resculpt, but the figure was a 6-point statue basically. Disappointing.
Anyway, 2007's had:
-Comic 2-packs for a paltry $10... While not all figures in the series are great, or even my cup of tea (I have the Marvel figures personally), the $10 price for 2 figures and a comic is really ideal stuff. Outstanding sets IMO. Making 2007 greater themselves, and really satisfying a LOT of folks (myself included) who do like EU.
-Return of Evolutions... News is all it is, but it's good news regardless. Love it, want more of it.
-Vintage's Best Wave Ever?... I'd say yes. 2007's Vintage figures are, to me, their best work ever from Hasbro. If Luke and Leia are the "flop" of the 6 figures, and they're better than many of the previous vintage figures since the line's concept, then I think we got some great figures. Bossk's a major upgrade, IG-88 may be the greatest figure ever, Luke finishes a main character, Endor Leia does the same, Hoth Han is destined for reworking in the line, and the Snowtrooper is in-frickin'-credible and destined to get re-released himself. Vintage was a huge part of 2007 IMO.
-Basic figure quality is UP... From sculpts and paint applications to articulation and accessories, Hasbro has a marked improvement overall in 2007. You're getting large accessories with figures you have to put together, and in some cases you buy the figure to get simply the accessory (and still don't feel cheated!). That's friggin' sweet right there. Then you get super articulated army builders out the whazzoo, to the point it's tough to keep up with and army build them. Removable gear and working holsters are almost a standard. Softgoods is being used liberally and in good ways. Sculpting is on-par with Hasbro's best work in many cases.
-Coin Pack-Ins Seem Popular... Compared to past pack-ins, I think Hasbro has their winning deal with the coins. People in general seem to like them loose and want a set, sometimes even if they don't open their figures normally.
-Obscurity... While Hasbro's giving us staples like Luke resculpts, and clone army builders, nobody can deny the coolness that is the Cantina aliens, or figures like the Jawa w/mining droid. Or what about Hermi Odle? Or Concept Art figures (a whole line), or video game figures, or Clone Wars extras... Hasbro's gone out of their way to do cool figures that hardcore fans want. I mean, Rebel Honor Guards? **** yeah! And he's the best rebel army builder ever made too! Go figure!
I'm anxious for 2008... Evolutions, more obscurity, hopefully the quality remains high (or even better?). Very little I'd gripe about in '07... Price I feel is high. Compared to other lines, $7-$8 a figure in this scale is slightly unreasonable to me, especially with the rate at which Hasbro repacks (Legends, battlepacks, etc.) things to counter costs across the line overall. Youv'e got a lot of "pure profit" type items being sold, and sold through too (line's popular it seems) at retail, so Hasbro isn't hurtin' with this line right now I'd imagine. Besides that and some minor things here and there (availability's been frustrating with some items, and I'd be happy to see UGH done away with all together, as it just attracts the wrong element to our aisle in the stores) usually with specific aspects of a figure, I'm quite pleased.
2007 is definitely my favorite year this far... 2008, I want a new SA Fleet Trooper, maybe other Rebel troops (brand new), and a nice ICMG.