I'd agree with you except they have said in the last few presentations that Vintage would be around for the next two years.
(...this was originally much longer.)
Doesn't mean Hasbro can't re-launch it. As far as I know (in retail land) there are no new assortment SKUs scheduled between now and September (and beyond that who knows?).
Hasbro can CONTINUE Vintage while relaunching it-- this sort of thing happened with Saga between 2003 and 2004. To the consumer, the change was invisible. Hasbro changed the 5-digit assortment SKU (asst) which would mean to Target, the DPCI would change, and to other stores, it's treated like a completely new product-- it just happens to look exactly like the 2003 assortment. This gives the stores the chance to purge and clearance 100% of "old product" as the computers see the new SKU (whatever it ends up being) as a completely new thing, and clearance is largely automated by discontinuing a SKU (although clearance as a policy varies from chain to chain). This is how taking humans out of the equation can work, you CAN easily filter old products out of your system if you're willing to change the SKU for new product, but this needs to be planned months in advance as product can take a while to get to shelves. (From the look of things the Bespin Han wave was manufactured in March and didn't make it here until June or so, if that gives you an idea.)
So... where was I? Right, TVC reboot.
Hasbro can reboot the TVC at any time in a way that's invisible to the consumer and allows retailers to purge old product. It's easy, the packaging can still LOOK exactly the same, it just depends on how Hasbro wants to manage its lines. The same thing happens with other product-- Kleenex discontinues one configuration of its product, but a new configuration immediately replaces it. It might be new packaging, more sheets in a box, or whatever-- it's the same basic principle of refreshing a product line, and it's why you might see Fruity Pebbles on clearance despite the product not being removed from the marketplace.
In this case-- and this is pure speculation here-- it's possible Hasbro is winding down 2010/2011 97568 TVC in favor of a new 2011/2012 TVC SKU-- so we see fewer new characters because they're holding them back on purpose for the new asst SKU, whatever it is. With a new SKU they can easily adjust prices up or down, change the size of the casepack (12 figures, 16 figures, whatever) and so on. Since we're at the 12-month mark for Vintage give or take a few days it's not unreasonable to assume Hasbro might be planning for this soon, but I'd be surprised if it was before December 26 of this year. Odds are if it WILL happen it will coincide with the post-holiday reset of the toy aisles, meaning we'd see it happen after Christmas but we'd probably see evidence of it happening (new Target DPCI, or if EE calls something "Vintage 2012 Wave 1") before then. (Heck, possibly as early as SDCC if they put out the assortment SKU on the tent cards in the display case.)
YMMV on Legends/Clone Wars. Since fans are not as engaged in the line, in some areas, I don't think we're paying as close attention. I saw lots of NEW Saga Legends in the past week with Wave 3 (Death Star Troopers, Boba Fetts, etc.) hitting after several months of nothing new. New cases of Saga Legends have been shipping-- there have been 14 revisions since the 2010 blue-card-weapon-pack reboot by my count-- but you as the consumer would have no way to recognize this without a new figure or a new variation to signal a change. Most of the Saga Legends assortments were remixing previously-shipped products, and were things you didn't care about in the first place as repacks, so odds are it ALL looks like a waste of space to the average collector despite churning over at most retail locations. So to Hasbro, they're shipping a lot of product and mixing up the cases. To us, there's maybe 30 figures between what looks like only 3 waves, and we probably didn't want 27 of those in the first place.
Clone Wars may be similar, with at least 17 different mixes shipping since the blue card assortment changeover last June-August. It's just over 50% reships in every case, so even if new product is shipping to stores it won't look that way unless the NEW characters stop selling so dang quick. As to the stores plagued with stale product (which happens a lot), that's why you reboot the line with a new SKU. It clears out the system. The 2010 Clone Wars relaunch kicked off with 3 new figures and 9 old ones, basically setting the stage for this exact scenario of a glut of product that was old before it hit the shelves.
It's like Star Wars Transformers-- it's a kid line, I don't get excited about it, you probably don't buy it, but it's a big enough seller for Hasbro to keep doing it. Hasbro likes to diversify its brands to a ridiculous extent these days, during Beast Wars Hasbro had only about 4-5 assortments (plus waves in those assortments) per year. In 2011 alone, there are over a dozen shipping RIGHT NOW plus another 7 or 8 which have been phased out with the movie launch, with more still coming. This is how Hasbro does its brands now-- eggs in many baskets, which means they don't take care of some eggs, and some of those eggs are, to the collector, quite rotten... but they're still successful products. I'm not saying Hasbro can't do a better job reorganizing its product line in a way which could make things easier for collectors (no 2010 Battle Pack should be so rare that it's worth $150 by now, that's a tremendous failure in planning) but I can see why they're doing what they're doing. Twelve years ago, Hasbro's roleplay offerings were basically just lightsabers. And today it's an electronic helmet assortment, electronic lightsabers, non-electronic lightsabers, FX Lightsabers, Ultimate FX Lightsabers, removable blade lightsabers, electronic blasters, dart-firing basic blasters... I could go on. The beast got too big.
And one last thing, what's hanging on the pegs really varies by neighborhood. Some places it's vintage leftover from June 2010, and others it's Clone Wars or Legends or whatever. In the few dozen stores I visit, I can tell that poor sellers are not always consistent.