I know we've had a topic like this here before, but with all the chatter lately (pre and post Toy Fair) regarding some recent decisions with the line, I thought it might be a good topic to bring up again. We've seen a lot of frustration with things like the slow demise of the CW line, the constant repacks in the Movie Heroes/Vehicles/etc. areas, the rising prices, and of course distribution issues. I also feel that the newly reveals battle packs (Naboo and Bespin) helps to add more fuel to the fire as to the future of the SW line(s).
Do you feel that the BPs are a "test" for a change in the regular figure lines, or something much less - just a different direction for BPs or maybe even a one wave deal. I mentioned it in the BPs thread, but maybe this is a different way for them to do the "Movie Heroes" line in the future - as I could see these being good figures for kiddos. I know when playing SW with our daughter lately, I can appreciate figures that are sturdy, can stand, hold their accessories, and fit in ships (although more recent TVC figures can do all that and more too).
The BPs seem to be just one of the various strange decisions with the Star Wars lines lately. The TPM 3D "launch" seems to be pretty stale, at least around here. The new Vintage wave moves fairly steadily, but everything else (Movie Heroes, Clone Wars, Vehicles of all sizes) seem to be collecting a lot of dust at the moment. Although AOTC 3D hasn't even been officially announced yet, you have to guess that we'll be seeing more of this type of approach next year (and in the years after) unless Hasbro adjusts their strategy.
I also wonder how this year's "big" vehicle (the MTT) will end up doing with the Fall launch. The price is higher, interest largely seems to be lower, and I wonder if there will be much parent/kid push at all for this. Even the new Naboo starfighter will be out months after the movie release (if at all, with all the vehicle repacks lingering on shelves). We haven't seen quite as much in the way of exclusives (which is good in some ways, bad in others), and the ones we have seen have largely been straight repacks as well (after having years of all new beasts and vehicles as exclusives).
All this, plus the rumors that the Vintage Collection may go on hiatus starting in 2013, create a little more of a murky future for SW in the coming years than we've seen in awhile. We hear about CW ratings declining, the ho-hum box office of TPM 3D, and more things out there grabbing people's attention. What do you think the future of SW collecting holds? Is it truly a time where we're starting to see the light at the end in some ways, or another example of the "doom and gloom" we see every few years with the line. I do feel that the Vintage Collection continues to put out top notch figures, even if the price stings a bit. I've often been a supporter of a more simplified (and scaled back) approach for Star Wars (one line, 40-50 figures a year) - but with Clone Wars and now movie re-releases out there, I can see why we don't see that. Prices don't seem to be going down anytime soon, unless these new BP figures are an example of what it would take to bring them down (not guaranteeing there would be a price change there anyways). Just a lot of questions surrounding the line right now - and I'm curious to see where things are headed.