It seems like these days there are more lines than ever on the pegs (heck, Star Wars alone has three assortments right now), and there's a lot more competition in the action figure aisles than there was even when I started collecting again in the late 90s. We're seeing more and more exclusives, and now entire waves as exclusives (like Marvel Legends, and DCU Classics). It seems like most, if not all, lines are getting more expensive across the board. We're seeing prices for 3 3/4" stuff like SW, Joes, the upcoming Marvel Universe, Indy, etc. hitting $8 each in some places. The larger scaled (6") stuff like Legends and DCUC range anywhere from $11 to $15 right now. Anyways, where do you see the action figure lines headed in the future? Do you think we'll start seeing less lines overall (and less individual releases within those lines)? Will we see more of a shift to smaller scale stuff with oil prices (even though they are currently a bit lower) and have less and less 6" and taller scaled lines on the pegs? Is the competition in the toy aisle going to start to weed out some of the various lines?
It seems to me (and I guess I'm thinking mostly of Star Wars, but it applies to other lines as well) that we're getting more releases than ever in a year (not even counting exclusives), but at the same time prices are getting higher. Like I said, even ten years ago when I started collecting a little there was just a lot less in the aisle. Now there are just tons of lines, many of which seem to be aimed more so at collectors, in addition to all of the "kids' lines" (I'm thinking like TMNT, Power Rangers, Ben 10, etc.)
Anyways, sorry for the long post, but do you see any changes in the action figure lines in the next 1, 5, or 10 years? In a way, it sort of reminds me of my days as a sports card collector when I was younger. When I was collecting those (late 80s/early 90s), at the time there was (I'll use baseball as an example) Topps, Fleer, Donruss, Score, and a "new" company called Upper Deck (I might be forgetting a couple). I can remember (about the time I got out of it), it started branching into more and more lines and sublines, prices went up (and you got less cards per pack), and collecting them got to be more of a chore. It might have been age, and I don't know how the industry in general did, but it seemed like a lot of my friends and I got out of them almost totally at that point. The action figure collecting area sort of seems to be heading that way too. There are more and more lines all the time, prices are getting higher, there are more collectors, and in many cases we're getting less for our money (less accessories, etc.)