So, with the price of Battle Packs up to 28 bucks at my TRU, it is time to go over this again, merely for the sake of posterity:
2008: Hasbro states that, due to the economy and the need to keep Battle Packs at their affordable 20 dollar price point, packs will now include 4 figures rather than the 5 figures that we've been used to since the packs were first introduced in 2005. The first pack to show this overtly is the "Shield Generator Assault" figure which dropped a second Imperial Officer figure.
2009: Battle Pack prices increase at most retailers to between 23-25 dollars despite the dropping of the fifth figure. Strangely enough, those same packs seem to be including less value despite the price increases, most notably in packs with "larger" items included (i.e. 1 Gunship turret with 2 figures; the unarticulated and arguably uninteresting Gelagrub with Felucia Clone). Hasbro blames the economy.
2010: Hasbro announces that the majority of Battle Packs will now feature 100% repacks, although some will still include newer figures. Again, strangely enough, the majority of these repacks are figures that are already on the pegs in other assortments in different/better versions or, in some cases the exact same figure. And, once again, retailers jack up the price to 25 bucks even (WM and Target), even going up to 28 bucks at TRU. Cue Hasbro's "It's the economy, stupid" excuse any minute now.
As a collector, I'd rather see the BPs just go away completely or become unique retailer exclusives (ala the Target CW 4 packs this past fall) with new or redecoed figures instead of endless repacks. But, the point remains that, as part of what Hasbro has repeatedly claimed is a "kid-focused" item at an "affordable price point", right now the BPs are failing miserably. You can literally buy 4 figures at WM, better versions of the same characters, even, for the same price or less than you can buy the BPs at TRU. Sure, some of the Battle Packs with "new" figures are great (I've gotten more of the Mandalorian Warrior packs than I care to admit in public, and the Anti-Hailfire Droid set is a really nice set), but paying 28 bucks for Anakin/Obi-Wan/Dooku/Ventress in one box is quite simply a rip-off.
Oh well, at least they're not putting one figure that people really want to get in with three figures that people already have in abundance anymore. Huh? "Orto Plutonia"? I stand corrected.