See, I don't think it is a chicken and egg argument, to go back to the earlier issue... I think it's pretty flat out that, since 2008, figures have gone up, extras and quality (some, not all) has decreased... cardbacks are cheaper, paint aps are cheaper, accessories and pack-ins are less or non-existant. But prices went up, steadily.
Hasbro's made it abundantly clear that reworking pricepoints is an issue... That's why you see the Class I set format changing, Class II ships changing, etc. There's obvious changes there to that issue.
And for a lot longer than since last January, Star Wars figures haven't done as well as they did for many years. It wasn't like January hit and Star Wars suddenly died from that. 2012 assortments are definitely a place to point a finger at Hasbro, but Hasbro banked on TPM3D being popular... So did Lucasfilm, and McDonald's, and Pepsi, and Lays, and whoever else put money into the idea of that film coming back out.
That's the risk's Hasbro has taken with every movie release, and some have done better than others. 2002 was a failure too. This isn't their first rodeo with bad decisions on a movie release.
It just screwed them, top to bottom, at a time when retail support seems, maybe just to me, to be thin at best. Toys R Us is the only one sticking, and for them it's all they do so what else can they do really?
HTS.com isn't Hasbro... It's been said a lot, but collectors have to differentiate the two. Hasbro can't just say to them, "Well take this stuff and sell it! Here's what it costs!", because they're a wholely separate company under the Hasbro umbrella. Hell, THEY have to ask Hasbro for exclusives and work out a deal similar to any other retailer. It's my understand THEY were the ones to do a HTS.com exclusive at C6 till they decided it's too costly to do C6 so they didn't go. Brian's Toys stepped in and took it. I may be off on some of those details but that was my understanding at the time.
I think what's being said is a natural progression going forward for the line but also to some degree all toys. Interactivity is ever-increasing. Every store has an ap. Every company has a site. From Social Media to free online games, etc. Action figures aren't always "it".
At the same time though, something Hasbro's relied upon (selling the same figure, again and again), is becoming increasingly difficult. I think you can tie that somewhat to the decreasing attention span of kids. Life's changing and Hasbro has to change with it.
I think the line's in for serious shifts. I think collectors won't like them all, or even many of them. I like figures, and figures done well, and for me that's what I fear I'll lose (at a fair price). The problem there is, I'm an old guy with a pretty disturbingly focused attention span on a toy line I've collected since 1995, and that's not counting of course Vintage I was collecting from childhood. I'm not who Hasbro can always rely on to carry it, and I'm not who they have to try to hook into something and keep them hooked on it for as long as they can. So what I like may be taking a back seat to something I hate. Or several something's I hate, and one I can maybe tolerate a little bit.