I mentioned it on Twitter Jay, but for me, if these had been what they are now in 1995, I don't think reactions would've been TOO different. People were buying then... Monkey Leia, hell, she was expensive beyond belief to the point Hasbro/Kenner put many more out.
I think they'd eventually have progressed in articulation, features, gone through the 2001/2002 pre-posed phase, etc.
I think the thing that would be different would be people would be looking back on those more fondly, and saying, "That figure still looks good". I think these look good in many cases. Not all though. Just some. I think Han looks pretty neat, I think the Clones don't look bad.
Like Justin said above me, it's like going from iPad to spiral notebook... maybe not THAT drastic but similar.
If these were sculpted to actually look vintage and not modern/realistic/detailed, I'd probably be into them actually. If they were honest extensions of Vintage figures from where 1985 basically left off, I'm quite sure I'd be into picking/choosing. OT for sure, some mains of PT figures I think.
Right now, when I see Han, I just figure my VOTC is better. When I see Chewbacca, I figure my EB or VOTC is better. When I see that Maul/Kenobi set, I get annoyed that I'm going to have to make that Maul what I want it to be, but at least it's not expensive to pick the base up.
My thought is what Brian said though... I think Hasbro wants 6" to replace the current $10 level figures in the 3.75" line, and feels these $5-$6 figures are more than sufficient replacements for people who still want to collect only 3.75"... It's like it took them to 2004/2005 (10 friggin' years) to actually get really good with the line and its features/quality overall, and then they're going to turn the hands back on the clock for different reasons.
Like I said, if they ran together I'm not as annoyed or panicked about it as I notice some folks are. I think it could help the "collector-focused" line even. But I'm not so sure that's always going to happen. I'm not so sure that collectors are going to have any more choice than low POA 3.75" or high POA 6", and nothing else. That, to me, sucks. That, to me, is the end of the majority of my collecting basically. Customizing fodder would be it for me at that point and I'd be very selective.
I can say with absolute certainty though, Hasbro feels their 5 POA figures are of the highest quality, and as good as the current $10 figures but for half that price.
I don't care for that mindset they have if they can't see a difference like I think most collectors can agree, there is an obvious difference.