There are some fundamental differences between us Eric on how this playset should be done. I'm fine with that.
I'll point out some of the key reasons why an all-in-one shouldn't be done.
1) Cost to consumer. For this playset to be done "right" with all the major scenes and fit at least action figures, it's going to be HUGE. Which also means it's going to be expensive. If the BMF was $150 at the start, and it's been reported that if this is the BMF version of the Death Star and it's significantly bigger, then how much do you think THAT is going to cost? I'd guess $250 at minimum. With the economy the way it is nowadays, most parents either can't afford something like that or will just flat out refuse to buy it.
Doaling the modular sets out a little at a time is much less of a money crunch on any consumer. It's much easier to buy something for $20, 30, 40, then a one time purchase of $250 or more.
Again if Hasbro markets this right, they can get people excited about buying modular. Imagine say a new piece (playset section) of the Death Star every 2-3 months. In a year the whole thing would be out to market. Over that year though, we would actually be spending MORE than the $250 that Hasbro would get for the all-in-one. Over just a little more time, Hasbro makes a lot more money. In my case frankly, I'm not plunking down that much money for something I know is going to not meet all my wants and desires for a playset for the most grand location in all of the Saga.
2) House space or kid/collector. This thing would be one big ball. Bigger than the Falcon. Now before you start the retort that the modular design would be bigger yet, understand that initially it won't. As well people can set it up how they want. So they can acommodate the space issue to their own specific needs/wants.
It would also be much easier to make space for something smaller at the start and plan it out over a longer time, than to have one honking big thing right away.
3) Retailer space- We all know shelf space is a big issue that Hasbro has brought up from time to time. Do you honestly think WM, TRU, and Target would stock something 3ft wide by 3ft tall (I'm approximating of course) for a long period of time? I don't. It would be much easier to stock smaller playsets and reorder them as needed. Also keeping that room for the new room/hallway playsets taking their place.
4) Asthetic value-while some people want the shape of the Death Star as it is from the outside, the playset itself from the inside would hardly look like the "real" thing. With curved walls all over it would detract from it. Making these specific locations within more closely replicates the scenes that were shot and also creates the room neccessary to "play" in with the figures from those scenes. Ultimately the modular set would not look like the outside of the Death Star, but it's not meant to. It's supposed to look like the scenes that were shot in the movies.
One big problem that I'm reading into this is that those in the all-in-one camp want it NOW. Right now. You (general you, not pointing to anyone in particular) can't fathom that it may take a year to get the whole set. Yet, those of us in the modular camp know that in the end, we'll have something that looks more like the actual scenes and has a potential to have much more detail, accessories, figures (if Hasbro chose to include them) and even elcetronics.
There is a HUGE difference between the BMF and the Death Star. The BMF was well made and while still not to scale, looks great because it's close enough for most.
A big ball of a playset just won't have the kind of detail in it that a modular set would. Yes it may have many of the same play features, but you are completely tied to that ONE toy. Giving collectors and more importantly kids the option to build a grand Death Star playset how THEY want to adds to the imagination of it all. That in turn fosters more creativity and play value. Something an all-in-one just can't deliver.
For an all-in-one Death Star to be done in a manner that would satiate the modular minded folks, it would have to be much bigger than even this picture shows and it wouldn't hurt if some of those rooms could be switched round. Again though the initial cost would be through the roof. Not just for kids/collectors, but Hasbro as well.
Also take into account if this all-in-one were to bomb. Now retailers are stuck with this big POS (because were it to fail it would become a POS), they can't possibly hope to recoup costs on.
If the DS was of a modular design then were it to fail, Hasbro could either stop production or reintroduce sets at a later time.
I'd say it would be better to fail at the modular side of things because Hasbro wouldn't have all that much vested into this as the all-in-one would.
If the DS is ever done as a playset, it's going to have to be one or the other and it's going to piss off one group of another. So whichever camp you reside, be that all-in-one or modular, let's hope it just gets done. If it fails then the other group has every right to complain about it.
Thankfully this all is conjecture for the time being. Though I do enjoy a good debate on the subject and look forward to more responses. Not just from Eric either.
Oh and E, I didn't take it personally. I understand you were using my reply as a means to sound off further. No worries. I've had this very discussion more than one here and on other boards. I'm quite happy to talk it out again. especially if it garners the attention of Hasbro and gives them some ideas one way or the other.