I want to say something inflammatory here, so prepare thyself:
I don't think that there should be any difference between what EE charges for a case of toys and what they would charge for the same item individually. I keep seeing everyone (and I am not complaining about you guys in particular, just at EE) talk about how if you order a case, they end up being almost 2 dollars cheaper than if you buy one set of each separately. That's good for everyone who can actually afford to buy a case, but bad for those who can't.
Maybe I am looking at this from a communistic point of view (someone call McCarthy's estate), but just because some people can't afford to buy six of each at once doesn't mean that they should have to pay more for them. EE is basically saying, "Unless you buy 12 sets at once, you have to pay a higher price." And I can understand the argument that "you can make friends with people in your area and go in on a case together." The problem with that is that not everyone lives in a particularly large or friendly (or both) area, and may have to go online and beg people to let them take a set or 2 so they can actually get them without having to invest in some KY jelly.
There seems to be a lot of vitriolic sentiment in the collecting community these days against people who have jobs or who have families and aren't able to go out all the time to search for toys multiple times a day (I am not referring to anyone here, mind you, but you can probably guess who I am talking about). I'm glad that you are able to sit at home and collect a paycheck for doing something you love, but some people have to get up at the crack of dawn, go to a job they hate, just to be able to feed themselves, more importantly their spouse and/or children, and the last thing they want to worry about is making a daily trip to Target to see if they might have gotten that Commander Bly in today.
The point I'm making is that there seems to be a mentality among certain collector sects (especially in my area) that stresses competition over cooperation, evasiveness over honesty, and hostility over friendliness. Items are more and more being made for specific groups, as they are the only people who see them. Ebay is becoming the end destination for a rather large amount of the popular figures being released, and the old adage of collecting being a "hunt" is sadly becoming about as cutthroat amongst many people.
Hasbro knows that its product isn't getting to the people that want them, but they don't care. Retail makes just as much money (sometimes more when palms are greased) when one guy buys all 12 Clone Battle Packs as when 12 people buy one each, so they don't care. Entertainment Earth is given another popular exclusive that they have priced even higher than the previous overpriced exclusive, but as long as they make a dollar (or in their case, 40) they don't care. The whole "hunt" mentality has gotten to a point where a large number of collectors are out for themselves and **** everyone else who needs help, so they don't care.
One of the things I have enjoyed about JD and its forums is that there is no elitism, there is no division between the staff and the, well, forum members, and that there is a great sense of community and shared love for collecting. If I need something, I can count on someone asking what they could do to help, and if there is something I can do to help someone here, I am more than happy to do it. The sad truth is that we are one of the last bastions of this way of thinking in the SW collecting world, and that saddens me.
It is only through one of the nice people on this board that I might be able to get both of the astromech sets from EE, and I have thanked him before and I will thank him profusely if I am able to get my set of each when they are released. Were it not for his help, I would not be able to even get one of the sets, because EE has made it so economically unfeasible for me to get one of each. I can't help but wonder how many kids with internet access and no income feel when they see all the cool little droids and find out how much they cost. Hasbro goes on and on about how kids drive the line, but they continually market and sell items at a price point that no child could ever hope to afford?
I'm sorry to go on a rant like this, but when etailers are selling figures for a ridiculous price and other sites' writers are saying what a deal it is and how we should thank our lucky stars they are even made, it makes me ill. And again, none of this is directed at anyone here, because this is one of the only good places left these days.