The only other thing that was great pre Internet was having those figures on the pegs for a whole year. After saving up money for months you had to decide what figure, or with birthday money, figures you would get next. There was no worry that they would be scooped up by scalpers never to be found again. I think that is why so many figures became absolute favorites. My son is kind of missing out on that because I am so worried we will never see a wave again, I buy what I can find and then hide it away until birthday or Christmas.
I also miss, pre websites, the picture checklist that came with the vehicles. It was the first chance to see what you were going to want next.
That is something I sort of miss as well. I'm sure it couldn't really happen in the retail/action figure world these days because of how things have changed, but it was nice just knowing that with lines like Star Wars, Joes, etc. that for the most part figures would be there (and continue shipping) for a year or more. Although there are exceptions, much of the time I have to employ the "buy it when I see it" strategy with a lot of what I collect - Star Wars, Marvel, etc. Not as big of a deal for a collector with online resources and everything, but it does stink for kids who just want a certain character and may not get it since they aren't waiting at store doors at 8 a.m. each day. That's part of the reason I've been ok with the slowdown in releases per year. For one thing, it is tough to keep up - and also, it would be nice to just let waves have a chance at retail before they are scooped up by one or two people. It is too bad that lines can't still be handled in similar ways to the "good ole days" - it may be the nostalgia of it, but parts of it seemed more fun that way.
It is just crazy to think about how far lines like this have come. Sure, we've gotten some amazing stuff along the way - but these days we get about as many figures in a year (or maybe a year plus now in these post-movie days) than we got during the entire vintage run. I'm sure a line couldn't survive just reshipping Luke, Han, Leia, Chewie, Vader all the time like it could back then, but it worked for the time it seems.