You know, I've chimed in on this thread and I've had a pretty heated discussion on this topic on another site as well and this still is a topic that seems to be on my mind a lot lately. Having bought enough figures in the Legacy line to have double (and in some cases triple) built every one of the Build-A-Droids, plus having a complete set of all Blue/White and Red/White figures in my MOC collection - I seem to take it personally everytime that they blame collectors for a lack of sales in their Q&A answers.
So instead of complaining about case pack ratios or production numbers or the Legends line (all of which I feel are to blame to a degree), I'm going to throw out a new discussion point and dig up a REALLY old argument...
Would we be even having these discussions if they had decided to make Clone Wars figures in the "realistic" style instead of trying to release figures that more closely match the 3D animation?
I know this is a mute point now since we've had almost two years of the animated style figures, but bare with me for a moment...
POINT 1: We already have had the precedent set where the 2D Animated Clone Wars designs were taken and translated to the realistic line - Yoda w/Kybuck, Roron Corobb, CloneTrooper Armor Obi-Wan, Quarren Warrior, Mon Calamari Warrior, Lancer Droid, Snowbunny Padme, Chameleon Droids, Saesee Tiin in Clone armor, Nelvaan Tattoo Anakin, Voolvif Monn, ScubaTrooper, Quad-Gun Trooper, ARC Trooper, Ventress, etc.... So it's not like it would have been the end of the world if figures like Rex, Ashoka, Yularen, ARF Troopers, etc... were done in the realistic style.
POINT 2: If Clone Wars figures had been made in the realistic style, there would have been a greater ability on Hasbro's part to reuse parts from a much deeper catalog of parts. I think regardless of what Hasbro says, they are putting most of their sculpting resources into building out the library of animated figure parts - that effort instead could have been spent on developing parts for the realistic line, benefitting figures based on all SW media.
POINT 3: But what about the kids? They want to buy figures that match the media! Well, if that's the case, then why would kids even buy Legends figures? The truth is that the kiddies really don't care whether Anakin looks exactly like the cartoon or not. When we were kids did we care that Bespin Luke didn't look exactly like Mark Hamill? Of course we didn't, we enjoyed them because they were Star Wars figures. Kids today are no different. If a kid still wants action figures the only thing they want them for is to play with them and if Anakin and Ashoka were done in a realistic style but still true to the costumes of the cartoon, that would still be perfectly fine. Getting back to Legends - if kids only want what's in the media, then why would they even glance over at Legends figures? So either kids don't care about mixing animated and realistic stuff which means they don't care about the style of the figures or kids aren't interested in Legends and therefore are only buying the animated stuff. It really can't be both no matter how many times Hasbro might say it is.
POINT 4: There are supposed to be four or five seasons of the Clone Wars cartoon - five makes more sense based on the plans to make about 100 episodes of the show. That means the last season will end sometime in 2013 - five years before the end of the license. Who here doubts that between 2013 and 2018 we'll get realistic versions of Ashoka, Rex, CW Armor Anakin, CW Armor Obi-Wan and any other major CW characters that shake out between now and the end of the series? When the cartoon ends and all that is left is the live-action series on HBO and the kiddies are all gone, I'm sure that we'll get realistic versions of them and at that point, the animated line will have been deemed pretty pointless.
I would be curious to see what everyone else thinks, but I think that if the Clone Wars figures were mixed in with figures based on the movies, I think we wouldn't be having the problems we're having now. Sure some obscure characters like Yarna or Breha Organa might not have been made, but at least kids and collectors would be spending $$ in support of a single line.