I suppose I'm a little more optimistic than Scott is. Not sure why, it's certainly not in character for me, but I am. I'm not expecting a long term flourish that keeps up all happy, but I am expecting it to make it a bit further. I think the sales of the OTC stuff will be the deciding point. Hasbro knows us schleps will buy stuff regardless, but I view the OTC, while disappointing, as a distinct, targeted effort at pulling in an army of new collectors, coincident with the DVD.
I also agree with Scott that most of the comments regarding the OTC figures are necessary. Not all, however and some interesting perspectives can be drawn from positive statements:
Don't forget these figs are less aimed at those of us that already collect and more at people who may become "inspired" to collect after the get the Trilogy on DVD. I bet a lot of these will be tough to get even if they are re-hashes.
It is a good way to draw in new collectors. I would have liked a bigger push with new figures and really don't need these. But I think Hasbro is making a pretty big outlay in terms of individualized cards for each figure. They probably needed to save the money on new figs so they could produce individual cardbacks (razor thin margins etc.). They also seem to be following an old tried and true Hasbro marketing scheme. How many cards was the vintage Vader released on? Was that a bad thing at the time?
The rehash OTC figure assortment is pretty good:
3 Vaders - sure, we don't need them, but Vader never sits on a peg and I've never seen one clearanced.
4 Lukes - almost ditto, but not quite. Still, Luke is attractive to younger generations, perhaps their target market.
The better part of the original vintage 12 figures are there. Luke and Vader above. Ben, Leia, R2, 3PO, stormtrooper, Jawas, Tusken, Han (even if the selection sucks). Pretty cool.
Army builders are present: the aforementioned stormtrooper, tie pilot, scout trooper, snowtrooper. Never sit on the pegs either. Could even count the Tusken and Gam Guard here, though I dearly wish they had redone the Gam guard for some variety.
Bounty Hunters: Greedo (failed BH), one of the best Boba's, IG-88, Bossk. I'm a little surprised they didn't release Dengar on the new card as well, since they had the new sculpt anyway. And Bossk is the new sculpt, hell, it's only been out for a couple of months.
Really, if you are trying to attract new collectors, that's a pretty damn impressive assortment.
also from elsewhere
Frankly, I don't see why people complain about re-releases at all. The way I see it, the re-releases don't really replace new sculpts, they're just there to suppliment them. It's not like there's not enough out there to collect, either. There's always something else if you really think there's not enough new figures and you really feel the need to buy something.
I don't entirely agree with the comments above, but outside of a relatively select few collectors, probably numbering in the 100s, of which we belong to that group, most people may not have all of these, notably the latter group of figures. And there is always other stuff to collect. The mind fairly boggles at the concept.
I think the worst thing is the quality of plastic being used currently. I think it was a Luke I was handling the other day that had a lightsaber hilt molded directly onto the figure and it was rubbery, not at all hard. Dire need of viagra there. Lando Skiff's staff is also incredibly soft plastic. Better hold that puppy vertical or it's going to look more like a sickle in month or so.
How to Change THings:
#1 They really need to take a page out of Fan Relations 101 from Playmates, Palisades and Toy Biz and have a real voice within the community and not the secrecy they operate the line with
#2 Release NEW figures even if they are resculpts, people in general have gotten over the resculpt P&M that was commonplace in the late 90's and that's mainly due to the superior molding they have been doing
#3 Go all out on each and every figure. Bring back the good plastic, keep with the SuperArticulation
#4 Have fan polls more often
#5 Have Web chats
These are all excellent points. Especially one and three. Two I'm not so keen on, mostly because I'd rather see a new figure than a resculpt in 99% of cases. I did not feel Bossk needed to be redone. Sure, it's higher quality, but I can't fathom people that really like vintage sculpts over modern sculpts (He-Man orange/green cards notwithstanding). I'm not so sure 4/5 will do much as they tend to be skewed somehow (#4) or dominated by certain personalities (#5) which is the nature of the medium. Well known entities, such as Scott, are widely respected and often have great ideas. Through no fault of their own though, they are likely to overshadow and possibly obscure some kid with a great idea. Us old farts tend to be pretty set in our mindset (redundant) at times. Not singling out Scott, just using you as an example.
There, I'm done be optimistic for the day. Gotta go kill something now so I feel better