I WANT accurate looking figures, but I want better distribution MORE...
Hasbro's distribution to retailers is fine. It's the retailers
themselves that are like gluttons when a movie's released, cramming the pegs for over a year with the same first two or three assortments. It's their fault, not Hasbro's.
As for Bespin Luke
, going from a magnet to a metal peg to a plastic peg actually makes sense from a production "damage control" point of view. Hasbro simply made the best running change it could while retooling the necessary parts for the figure.
The closer it is to a movie's release, the more "honest mistakes" occur in product development. When a movie THIS dependent on last-minute visual effects has a toy line that requires a YEAR to develop, changes happen. The 2-headed announcer in The Phantom Menace
is a great example of "Whoops, George made another change!" The first Artoo with booster rockets is another. And licensees have to react.
Then there's the approval process. Everybody knows how debateable color is (Hoth Han). Hasbro uses style guides provided by Lucas Licensing for many of its color choices. But sometimes those colors change. Early in Star Wars licensing, someone would just look at an uncalibrated monitor and try to figure out what a costume color looked like to them, sometimes studying only one scene. Years later, someone else might stumble across that particular costume in the Archives and think, "Oh my, that's not brown, it's blue!" Style guides change and once again, licensees react.
The Luke with black glove on his left hand could have been a simple miscommunication at the factory. That's a pretty small part, and unless you're privy to the BIG picture, to Lee Factoryworker, it's just another little action figure hand. Someone transposes an "R" for an "L" and you need a production change. When you see the final product in context, it's a VERY noticeable error. But sitting in a bin with 20,000 other little black hands it's easy to miss.
Yes, Hasbro makes intentional variants. They make more honest mistakes, though. Fortunately for them, such mistakes become valuable variants to many collectors, so they don't have to worry as much if Luke's eyes aren't quite the right color.
I'm sure if Hasbro could get everything perfect the first time, they would. With licensed product, so much of the development is out of your control, it's amazing that these toys even make it to market at all.