Sort of agree with CHEWIE except I think there's pretty much "irreparable damage" with the old guard collectors at this point... I think they're leaving the hobby in droves. Tough to tell since there's so little to buy to even tell if people are still collecting heavily but it seems like people just have lost interest and you're not going to get a lot of them back.
I think if you look around you can tell a lot about the line as a whole by what pegwarms, or at least lingers longer, from repackaged stuff. I've noticed that Wave 2's Deleted Scene Luke, who should be popular by all accounts, is one of the repacks (or even fresh from Wave 2 cases) who sticks around a while. I don't think that would've happened in 2007, or 2006.
I think Retail is screaming for changes to the line as a whole, as I think the line's been on a downslope since the prices started to creep higher and higher... They look at Star Wars as simply numbers, and I think they're the biggest reason things are the way they are now. No ordering from retail is as equally likely, if not moreso, than "Hasbro just can't get the stuff out to the retailers" ya know?
The only wave I think you can
point fingers directly at Hasbro for its scarcity is Wave 3 with Malgus/DSCommander... And I think Hasbro intentionally tried to start putting the brakes on when Wave 3 was starting to ship. I think at that point they'd seen that hedging their bets on TPM3D was a bad idea, and that this was an overly competitive Summer Movie Season, and they knew the TPM carry-forwards were a bad idea. Hate Hasbro? OK, but I think they probably hurt themselves with Wave 3 to stop the bleeding. I'd not be shocked in the slightest to see Wave 3 in bins at 5 Below in the coming months.
People blame E1 wave for everything, but I recall not that long ago what a wonderous thing it was to have a solid case, of entirely new figures except two, and how fantastic they all looked, and how in-demand collectors felt about all of them... They were knocking out all these things people wanted and stuff. But now 2012 Wave 1 is the devil to collectors... How is Maul pegwarming, at all? Kids, collectors, and everyone in between should want him, and if this line truly had a thriving base of collectors and true popularity, that figure wouldn't be found in the first half of 2012... much less pegwarming.
So I think changes are coming... I don't know that collector-focused figures will be abandoned ever by Hasbro, at least for us. Marvel, Joe... I think they're much more likely to face that, but who knows at this point. Drastic times call for drastic measures I guess.
I think if there's significant price drops then the changes are justifiable, but they'd really have to be significant. Not 5 POA figures and a $1 drop. If things go too badly, and prices stay too high, I simply won't buy what I don't want or feel is worth it. 2002 all over, and those were relatively inexpensive, sadly. It's a lot easier to say a POS figure for $5 is at least something I can fix at some point, while a POS figure at $8 is something I shouldn't have to fix myself.
I'm to the point where I see something has to change, but what? And should it encompass everything? Kids haven't been a focus though, for a long time, and the line's not chugged at a good pace since 2007/2008 it seems.
I can always get geeked and excited by, well, just about anything they show if it meets my standards and what I'm into... I mean, the Ewok set, the rumored Speederbike (I've waited YEARS for that), etc. I'm into it still. I'm in the seeming minority there though. But I'm always excited to see what could be... If it sucks, so be it. I'll pick and choose as I have for the last half of my collecting years I guess, and if it's really bad I won't collect at all then.
I don't think it's going out on a limb to say "changes are coming" though. That's up there with going out on a limb that an ESB BF Slave-I was coming.
Between the firings, changing of the guard in brand management, and the current situation on retail shelves... Miss Cleo could've called this one, unfortunately.