Last year's UBPs were a real deal to be sure, as when you figured up the cost of all the individual items, they came out to being well above what Target and Hasbro were charging, even going by the prices at that time. If you look at the sets this year, it comes nowhere close to being a bargain by those standards.
-Skiff: $22.00 (if it were released individually, they'd sell it under the starfighter assortment)
-Battle Pack five pack: $22.00 (since they were released as such, they'd be priced as such)
That's 44 bucks, which would mean they're charging 26 bucks (at the 70 dollar price) for the Sarlacc and Halloween mask base, which is rigoddamndiculous. The Christophsis set is a better value using those pricing standards, but still isn't as much of a value as last year's sets:
-6 figures x $7.00: $42.00
Grand total of $86.00
Last year's sets had a good mix of truly exclusive items in them as well, which this year doesn't really have. Hoth had the Tower, some decent repaints and kitbashes (Blue coat Han, repaint Derlin, SS Luke, "new" AT-ST Driver), and Endor had the same albeit in lesser numbers (Battle Damaged Biker Scouts, two Ewok repaints, "new" AT-ST Driver), as well as the logs. This year, the repaints are minimal and, in the case of the Carkoon set, actually worse than their last issue, and the "exclusive" items are an oft-requested creature in a shoddy base, and a repaint of a currently available 22 dollar vehicle. Not very appealing to collectors due to that, and even less appealing to mom and dad doing Christmas shopping due to the lack of value in buying everything together. Plus, given Hasbro's obsession with twist ties and rubber bands, half of the figures come out with warped legs or hands anyway.
I should say that, despite my hemming and hawing, I did buy the Christophsis set (at 63 bucks), but there is no way in hell I'm buying the Carkoon set unless it goes to serious clearance prices (like, less than 20 bucks, which is unlikely I know). Hasbro putting out so much stuff in general with the economy in the state it's in is a sore spot with me anyway, but to put out two "value" box sets and take away all of the value inherent in last year's sets is asinine and uncalled for. These deserve to go to the clearance aisle and Target and Hasbro deserve to lose money on them.