Like I said, it's different worlds I guess... Around me, Target put things out early and had EVERYTHING except some ship everyone wanted (I didn't buy the scaled ships). Target stores went through stock on a fairly steady rotation up to and through the movie's release. Then it leveled off at some point late Summer, things stagnated and sat (but nothing's ever collecting dust at Target).
Wal-Mart put their things out late, and if anywhere collected dust it would be WM because they came late to the game after Target had already put things out, put them on sale a couple times with the movie's release and popularity, and such. The WM game plan was ****. They also did NOT put out playsets at all at WM till just recently when they put prices up on the figures and the movie got a 2nd release at IMAX threaters. Then all of a sudden space on the plan-o-gram was there for playsets too, which surprised me as the figures at WM didn't APPEAR to be selling to me, but again it's not like dust settles on them here either so I really don't know what's selling. WM did mark them down to $4.97 a piece here, never lower, but when they were $5 the most popular figures sold out. It was a sea of yellow shirts (Kirk, Pike, Sulu) and Nero and Old Spock. Scotty, McCoy, young Spock, and Uhura were all even gone at Wal-Mart at this point... Chekov's figure could be found though still for some reason.
Toys R Us I don't go to often. Once a month at best since they're not close to me in any direction. I was at one Sunday though looking for the Interceptor and checked their ST stock. They had a section dedicated to ST that was about 50% the size of the Star Wars section, same aisle, and same side. It shared space with Terminator crap. They had their BoGo sale posted yet, and so I rifled through. TRU here is similar to how WM was when they put figures down to $4.97. They had a LOT of figures, but it was a sea of yellow shirts, Nero's, and Old Spocks, with a smattering of Chekov, and a few McCoy's as well. None of the other figures. Playsets were there, full price.
At the Target stores I visited yesterday while I was out, one store had put out a fresh case of ST figures so I grabbed a Spock and McCoy, and got a third Uhura for customizing. The only other figures they had were Sulu's from past cases. The other Target had only Sulu's and one Kirk. Both had playsets on clearance, which were the same price they've been since put on clearance.
At WM stores, some had barely any or no ST product because they didn't put out much, and the third one had the huge mass of Yellow shirts, playsets, and all the other stuff. So one had very little, and never had much to begin with, one has sold through a lot of stuff, but are backlogged with all the guys in Yellow which is the "norm" around me locally as near as I can tell, and one never got any ST figures in as far as I'm aware.
Like I said, some of the stuff I see, I'm sure has been around for some months now, mostly at Wal-Mart since they seemed to do the worst, but that's as bad as it has been around here. Considering the space most WM's had for ST stuff here locally, they sold through a lot here I'd wager, and were even behind on putting it out in time for the film's release. They were well behind Target and TRU both.
And not a speck of dust anywhere. I honestly would be complaining if I went into a store and stuff was covered in dust like that. I don't want my kids rifling through dirt and things, so I think I'd bring that up to the management next time I was in. WM stores are to be cleaned nightly by the department people stocking the shelves and the janitorial staff over night. I've never seen Target ever look dirty and I assume their policies are similar or more strict since they try to be more "upscale" by comparison. TRU I have no clue what their policies are but they've always seemed clean enough to me.
That's just my experiences though locally... But they jive with Playmates taking the 3.75" line, expanding it to the original TV show, expanding the movie line with another wave, expanding vehicles and things, bringing out a 3.75" beast line to accompany the figures... I think despite what people think they see, and regardless of dust, that Playmates are holding sales info that says 100% contrary and the line sold well enough.
Now... Like I said, if retail doesn't allot space to Star Trek, despite them carrying the line forward, I think then that Playmates over-estimated something. That said though, clearance means NOTHING really. How often have SW figures been clearanced? 30AC stuff got clearanced here locally and a bunch just got dumped at TJ-Maxx stores, but 30AC was one of the better years for the line according to Hasbro at the time.
The BoGo at TRU has cleared out most of the better figures locally it seems, so that's not been a bad deal, plus I know TRU's sales rules pretty well thanks to a friend, and they're still profiting on the line with the BoGo sale... It's not clearance by any stretch (they were profiting with the SW sale last week as well). I think the proof is in the pudding here though, as far as what Playmates says about sales. If they have a presence in the toy aisle for the next waves and the expansion into the TV series, I'd say they did well enough nationally to warrant that then regardless of what anyone says they see. That's just how I see it anyway.