The POwer Team Elite stuff is mind-numbing... It's usually lacking paint applications, and it's usually very simplistic (and cuts corners by making incredibly thin walls and such). But it's really some of the cooler stuff from a collector's POV. It sells well, but I wonder who's buying it sometimes. Is it adults buying it for GI Joes and stuff? Just by what goes fastest with it, I sometimes just assume it's the adults.
For instance the figure 3-packs sell one out above any other, and it seemst o be due to the accessory it comes with. The buildings and bridge sets tend to go quickly too. Also the Chinese tank flew off shelves this year, as did the AFV, but things like Humvees and such didn't go so fast. It's kind of weird how well PTE sells though.
Part of me thinks Hasbro would reply that, while "half-hearted" to collectors, they feel they put a lot of thought into their playsets in design and execution, and that they cost a pretty penny to produce. I think a happy medium can be struck, and I think Hasbro could/should look at other options (and according to all I've ever been told, they are constantly looking at how they can do stuff). I just don't know that collectors needs and kid-needs, will ever be met on the playset world, to get things done. Short of it going to a company to take over anyway, and produce in limited quantity for a premium price, ala Sideshow (which would pretty much eliminate the kid-market, of course).
Hasbro doesn't show signs of wanting to let any of the 3.75" line go to anyone else though.
Clone Wars seemed like such an ideal time to try something new though, and they didn't even try. Unless you count the big vehicles, of course.