I think there's plenty to like and dislike any given year, and really 2007 wasn't much different. I have to say though, as a collector, I'll take 2007 over 2006... I'll take 2007 over 2002, 2003, 1999... These are all years I was letdown by either the figures themselves, distribution woes, or some other issue I can think of. 2007 was far better to me.
I'd criticize Hasbro on the issue of distribution... Namely, I find wave 7.5 the biggest waste of time/money if you are already in a crunch. The "point" of the wave really was lost when Hasbro was in a major backlog of product fairly early on in the year... The repaints should've just been nixed, and instead of trying to fill a gap, Hasbro should've been trying to play catch-up on all the poorly shipped figures...
The coin issue is just one of those things. "**** happens" is the best way to sum it up... It sucks, it sorta screwed up the year's distribution, but it was seemingly a factory issue in Asia, and nothing more. A mistake happened, and there wasn't a contingency in place, and that does suck.
UGH... I agree, UGH is overdone. I do think UGH was easier to find in 2007, but that doesn't mean that finding them was actually "easy". It was just easier than 2006, at least by my estimation it was anyway. The real problem of UGH though isn't always even finding the items, as much as who it attracts to the hobby. UGH draws in the scalpers when they'd pretty much seemingly avoided Star Wars because it was found to be a property they would lose their shirts on eventually. The line's more popular now though, and add in "chase figures", and we're back to seeing the greasey dicks rifling through the pegs for that "HTF" figure again.
But, beyond really distribution and such, I can't complain a whole lot (well, $7 figures suck, I don't care what anyone says.) ultimately.
In 2007, articulation was simply outstanding, there was a ton of great pack-in accessories this year, and figure choices were off the chart. Cantina aliens, droids, JP aliens, Expanded Universe, Concept, Army Builders, resculpts that needed done, and more. Paint aps and sculpting were on par with the last several years I think, and the figures all looked real sharp for the most part.
The 30thAC Legends assortment was even pretty decent... Sure we can all cite pegwarmers from it, but ultimately even things that are pegwarming are selling steadily, at least from what I see... There's the odd Leia Boussh (which had TSC figures still on the pegs so the Legends one was unnecessary I think), but figures like the Clones all seem to sell steadily, so it's tough to really criticize those too much...
Uninspired product, I don't know... We went from at least 3 dozen of each Jabba Band pack at my local WM, to maybe a dozen or ten total of the packs on the shelves, and that's in a week... Criticize it all you want, they're selling... The ARC-170's one of the only things selling at Target actually, while the AT-RT sold after the sale they had, and the TIE Bomber is doing so-so... So I guess, at least by my estimation, the ARC-170 was something we "needed" because it's seemingly popular here.
Target not having figures has indeed sucked, and I have no clue what's up there. They've been real hit and miss though with distribution, but like others have said, WM and TRU have picked up some serious slack. Even KM's done better at getting in figures though than Target... They're picking up a little now though I hear, so that's something maybe, right?
I'm personally coming off one of, if not the best year collecting for me. If anything, I could do with less in a year just to keep up with army building and such. I mean, I was really struggling justifying some of what I spent. But that's me... I'd take 2007 with its problems, over many of the past years where the figures just weren't this nice. Lots of great diversity in the products was great too... Mandalore packs were cool, EU 2-packs, whole waves of EU figures, and things. Not a bad year really. 2008 looks to be more of the same too.