I believe that there are people at Hasbro (at least some) that are probably just as excited at the prospects of things like the AT-TE and new Death Star Playset as we are. I mean, you know some of those people have to be fans and/or collectors. As much as I'd like to see both of them (among other things), I agree with the points that have been made about it just being a different retail market nowadays. I thought I read somewhere that an AT-TE would have anywhere from a $60-$90 pricepoint, and although most of us here would likely pay that for a nice AT-TE, parents really wouldn't I don't think. I'm not saying that kids drive the line, but judging from the number of vehicles I've seen clearanced (at least around here) over the years since I started collecting....we (as collectors) must not represent quite enough sales to get things cleared out off the shelves. That said, a lot of what we have gotten in recent years have been repackaged or slightly differently painted ships, so that might say something as well. Thinking back of some of the ships I've picked up over the years, most were on clearance, or were clearanced later:
POTF 2 Falcon - Clearance at KB $30
POTF 2 FX X-Wing - Clearance at KB $20
POTJ B-Wing - Paid Full Price ($40), saw clearanced for down to $10 shortly thereafter
POTJ Tie Interceptor - Paid Full Price ($30), used to see a number rotting the TRU shelves
POTJ AT-ST w/Speeder Bike - Paid Full Price ($30), saw them rot for awhile after as well.
Episode I Naboo Starfighter - Wife gave me as gift, picked up on clearance for about $8 I think.
Saga (AOTC) Jedi Starfighter, Slave 1, Gunship, Speeders - Paid Full Price for all, saw all on clearance shortly after.
OTC Slave 1 - Paid $25, saw clearanced for $15 or less not a month later. Also saw OTC Falcon clearanced for $20 or less (and still sitting in piles at TRU).
Anyways, not all ships covered there, but just an example. I really enjoy the vehicle line (although I don't have the room for it much anymore), but I just don't know if retail can support the big ones anymore. However, I do see the ROTS vehicles selling pretty well right now, especially the ARC-170. That might change once the movie gets closer, but the only ships I see sitting much now are the Jedi Starfighters...which I think are pretty cool. Maybe just released in bigger numbers. I think if we get something along the AT-TE lines, it might be through the same avenue as the Sandcrawler, but you never know.
On another point mentioned earlier, sometimes I do wish that the line was (or could be) handled like the vintage days. Don't get me wrong, the more stuff the better, but there is something about that vintage line having less than 100 figures total in the span of all three movies, and the vehicles spread out/re-released throughout that time too, that makes it seem more simple and appealing. Then again, I just picked up around 40 figures, plus a few vehicles/beasts for ROTS here within the span of a month, and I'm still going out looking for something "new"
. I guess a part of me wouldn't mind seeing the line slow down a little bit next year, offering figures the quality of VOTC (or those Evolutions packs), and having a wave a month or something like that. As far as playsets/dioramas and things like that...to me the current status of Marvel Legends (for those who are familiar with it) comes to mind. They now have the "build a figure" assortments, where each figure in the wave comes with a piece of a larger figure. Although I haven't gotten a "set" able to complete the larger figures, part of me wonders if Star Wars couldn't do somthing along these lines too. Maybe each figure having a piece of an environment, to build part of the Death Star, or to build Yoda's hut on Dagobah (thinking of the OTC Dagobah wave), or something like that. Maybe it isn't as feasible in a 3 3/4" line, because it would take lots of figures to make up some of the Star Wars environments, but it was just something that had me thinking.