Since I've been doing this a lot lately, and since I had some free time today, I decided, for the benefit of the collecting community (well, us, really) I was going to try and get to the bottom of this whole Gunship shortage.
My first stop was practically every etailer online. None of the big ones (WM, KB, TRU/Amazon, or HasbroToyShop) had the Gunship in stock, and the latter of those four didn't even have it listed on the site. Several of the smaller etailers (EE, DNS Toys, New Force) didn't have it in stock either (as expected). Pretty much the only e-commerce site that has the Gunship is Ebay, and I think we all know how ridiculous that is, so I won't even go there.
Since it wasn't in stock anywhere, and nobody was even taking orders for future assortments, I decided to have a look around at the local retailers to see if they had any ARCs that would indicate a possible future shipment of Gunships. None of the three Wal-Marts in my immediate vicinity even had space in the SW section for this assortment at all, and both Targets and K-Marts had eliminated shelf space for this assortment entirely. So, etailers didn't have it, retailers didn't have it, so I emailed Hasbro Consumer Affairs late last night to see if the thing was ever going to ship again, and I pointed out what I did in my earlier posting above:
This doesn't even take into account the toy being part of the actual artwork for the "Clone Attack on Coruscant" Battle Pack that Target will be getting in the fall. I just don't see the logic in putting a toy on packaging and not having it available for purchase (I have the same complaint with the "new" Falcon).
So, being the impatient freak that I am, I decided I might get a quicker response by calling Hasbro's 800 number, which I can give to anyone who wants it so you can bother them too.
The woman with whom I spoke seemed rather surprised that a toy that was (according to her) released in March was not in stock at any retailers or etailers, and that HasbroToyShop did not even have them in stock. I asked her if the toy had been discontinued and she attempted to sidestep the question, but eventually she stated that she had nothing that indicated it had been discontinued, and she suggested contacting Hasbro Toy Shop's 800 number to see if they could tell me if any more were on order for that website, as that could give an indication of whether or not more would be showing up at retail.
Sooooo...HTS couldn't even find it as having been available on their website, and had to go to the actual Hasbro site to make sure it existed. Apparently (and this much I gleaned from my prior conversation with Hasbro CA) HTS is not directly operated by Hasbro, but is a subsidiary in the same way that NBC is/was a subsidiary of GE. HTS still has to order cases of product from Hasbro itself, which explains a LOT of why their website is such a mess. Anyway, she stated that the Hasbro system still showed that the Gunship could be ordered by retailers, and that (watch out for the mantra) since it was such a popular item, the possibility existed that HTS could get it and stock the site in the future. So, pretty much, no new information from them.
So, long story short (if you even bothered to read all that mess), here's what I learned from two divisions of Hasbro:
1. The Gunship may or may not ship again (nothing new) but Hasbro's various reps couldn't confirm or deny anything.
2. HTS being a wreck is Hasbro's own fault for not shipping enough product to itself. Now, here's where my Hasbro humor kicks in: Hasbro is always keen on blaming retailers for the gluts or droughts of product. In this case, the retailer is Hasbro. Now, since Hasbro never wants to accept any wrongdoing or blame in any situation, how will they be able to not blame themselves for either over/underordering on one end, or for either over/undershipping on the other end. Will this be the logical fallacy that makes Hasbro's heads explode, or will this be the point where Hasbro's SkyNet becomes self-aware and exterminates us all?
But yeah, I'm still no clearer on if and when the Gunship is going to ship again. Sorry guys, I did what I could.