Okay, maybe this has to do with that magic economics text that Hasbro has in their ivory tower in Pawtucket, or maybe the suits in Bentonville and Minneapolis have the same book, but a price hike at this point doesn't make any sense whatsoever. In fact, it should probably be the opposite.
What I mean is this: ROTS figures are released April 2nd and are priced at 5.99 at Target, 5.88 at Wal-Mart, and 5.99 at TRU (or so I'm told; I don't have one near me). Within a week, the prices have dropped to 5.24 at WM, with most Targets in the same price range. During that time leading up to and during the release of the movie, you'd think that the higher price would be the more logical one, since demand is higher and you have a greater chance of selling said products.
Now that the film is out, they raise the prices back to the 6 dollar range, basically cutting down on their casual sales. Hell, even TRU.com has raised their prices (as I noted earlier in this thread) to 7.99 on figures! Wouldn't the price logically be higher when demand is higher and once it has cooled off, then you lower the prices?
The "cup is completely ******* empty" side of my thinking is that this price hike, plus the fact that Batman Begins and Fantastic Four are coming soon, has the retailers (and WM in particular; I've never been in a WM where the SW section is treated well and not short-shifted) attempting to wash their hands of SW again now that the "hype" is over. By raising prices, they are taking away their own sales, to be sure, but the WMs near me are just plain spiteful toward SW collectors, and one has even taken down the SW aisle completely, shoving all the figures they could fit into the "usual" 8 pegs in the action figure aisle and boxing everything else up in the back in case those eight pegs need restocking.
I honestly think that toys in general are becoming a niche market with the popularity of video games and all, and retail doesn't know how to handle them. Action figures are a dying fad in their eyes and they only do what they "have to do" in order to keep people coming in. Unfortunately when you have no new stock and you raise your prices in favor of the "flavor of the week" toys getting shelf space, you drive away a lot of repeat customers who would otherwise be spending a lot more money in your store.