You know, my main gripe with Hasbro (of which there have been MANY over the years) is that their eyes are bigger than their stomachs, so to speak. They have put out around 18 figures so far this year (not counting the HOF wave) and out of those, how many of them can we honestly say we've seen on a regular basis?
Three. The Hoth wave, which came out in early December. Through the help of online friends, I've managed to keep up to date through the Yavin wave, but I have yet to see any of the Luke Jedi wave or J'Quille on a peg, and I only saw Lando, Rappertunie, Holo Luke, and Elom once. The Yavin wave I have seen a few times, but they're there a few hours and then they're gone again, not to show up again for weeks and weeks. It took me three separate times to be able to complete that wave, and that is with characters that, let's face it, aren't exactly going to be flying off the pegs if they were put out in decent numbers.
The point to all my incessant rambling is that Hasbro keeps on cranking new stuff out but doesn't spend enough time getting it to the shelves. By the time a new wave comes out, people should have been able to find the last wave, for pete's sake. Instead, Hasbro just gives some excuse like "those cases are in the system" as if to say, it's not our problem. If they're not going to work on getting the stuff out, then don't make so damned much in the first place. I like having a lot of different figures come out in a year as much as the next guy, but a large variety does no good when nobody can find anything. Hasbro can moan all they want about retail not ordering enough, but they're to blame as well, if not moreso for the lack of new product.
For me, the POTJ line will always be the pinnacle of case packouts. There weren't any constant recards and it seemed as if every case was evenly packed with new figures. If a figure was shipped in a subsequent case, it was because there was a demand for it. And outside of a few figures (primarily the Bo'Shek and Eeth Koth waves), none of the POTJ stuff was particularly difficult to find (oh, and the clean Biker Scout, which I saw once and from there on out it was always the dirty version). To me, that system worked. Why Hasbro went back to their POTF2-era four new figures and 8 pegwarmers is beyond me. To make it worse, they've started shortpacking figures that are new to a case (Elom, for example) while repackaging figures that everybody either already has or doesn't want in the first place (Hangar Duel Anakin, Coruscant Obi-Wan).
The thing that is scaring me is that these last two Saga waves are going to be a repeat of the last few waves of the other lines. With the OTC coming up, Hasbro will be switching to a new SKU for those figures, and the Saga SKU will pretty much go away completely. I don't think I need to remind anyone that's been around since the beginning of POTF2 of the Spacetrooper/Darktrooper wave, the Sio Bibble wave, TC-14/R2-B1, or the Motti/Leia wave problems.
And the thing that irks me most is that even after all the problems they've had over the years, and the success with the POTJ case packouts, Hasbro still hasn't figured out case assortments. Sad.