EDITING is a wonderful thing. As are concise, direct arguments. Is it any wonder that people would tap out of reading the tomes that were posted on the previous page?
Your idea is interesting. But again, it is operating under the assumption that Hasbro will be able to respond QUICKLY to market research and get their manufacturing contractors to do the same. These are very BIG ASSUMPTIONS.
Hasbro doesn't communicate a lot about their production methods, but some things do sneak out. Like the timeline: 12-18 months for a new figure to be developed. And another thing? Not all figures are produced at the same factory. Certain figure tools are located at specific factories. Hence certain characters from some waves tend to be grouped together.
How does that play out with your concept? Well, suppose we have 4 waves of figures to draw from for this year end greatest hits case. And of those 4 waves, wave 1 and 4 were produced at factory number 1, wave 2 was made at factory number 2 and wave 3 was made at factory number 3. 8 figures are going into this case of 12, with 2 each of 4 different characters and 1 each of the other 4. From wave 1 you have 2 figures, wave 2 is represented by 1 figure, wave 3 has 3 figures, and wave 4 has 2 figures in the greatest hits wave. In terms of sourcing that might mean that this greatest hits wave has 4 figures from factory 1, only 1 figure from factory 2 and 3 figures from factory 3.
So then you have the logistical issue of drawing together figures from 3 seperate factories and getting them packed into a single case for shipment. From a production standpoint that's a possible nightmare.
And this isn't taking into account the production schedule at the factory. It's very likely that when the factory isn't turning out Star Wars, they might be working on Transformers, or Marvel figures, or GI Joe.
Sometimes it's tough to go from concept to reality. It also seems very clear that Hasbro's market research is not perfect. Over time it has become more and more refined. Hasbro studies the problems and adjusts. And then the market changes again. And it takes Hasbro more time to adjust.
Does your idea have merit? Possibly. But I think the timeframe is overly optimistic considering the timeframe that Hasbro works within. If Hasbro were to plan on a greatest hits of 2014 wave? Given their current production schedules, I think it would be much more likely to hit retail in Q2 or Q3 of 2015, and not in Q4 of 2014. Additionally, both Hasbro AND the retailer would seem far more likely to want NEW product on the shelves and pegs for the holiday season, and not a refresh wave.