The 6" Rebels figures, and especially Ahsoka, are stunning. I confess that my eye lingered long on them when first I came across some in person, but ... the dyed in the wool 3.75" collector in me resisted their lure. I cannot start a new collection, and given that I buy figures to display in dioramas, 6'is just too big.
6" is a master stroke from Hasbro. Manufacturing prices have skyrocketed in recent years, so I understand that they must have found themselves incredibly squeezed when it comes to producing viable product at 3.75" with the level of tooling and articulation that we have become accustomed. There's a perceived value conundrum where they can't just keep raising the asking price, and even with the new films, the market isn't what it was. Making the jump to 6" allows them to set a new premium level price point and build a comfortable margin back into the business model. They likely don't cost much more to make than a super articulated 3.75" figure, but the perceived value at retail is much higher. It's much more sustainable for them to produce 6" than 3.75" SA toys, which is why the marketing has been aggressively ramming them down our throats these past few years. They want us all to make the jump to 6".
That they have continued to produce some 3.75" SA toys is actually remarkable in my opinion, and I am thrilled that they have committed to continuing next year with the Vintage Carded Collection. The vintage-inspired cardbacks offer them another chance to present these as premium items with a correspondingly higher price point, which is to be expected. Where they're also making their economics work is by padding the line heavily with repacks. It is disheartening to me that even repaints or accessory swaps are considered new figures for the sake of their budgeting. That makes it much harder to get excited for what is to come. As an opener, vintage cardbacks are meaningless to me. I want new figures. An existing figure with some fresh paint isn't something already own. There's plenty of trooper, droid or alien tooling that could be repurposed that way, if only they'd do it, but there also has to be a chunky amount of genuine newness or it's going to be a dead in the water line.
But bringing this back to Rebels, I just can't see much opportunity for realistic Rebels characters in what is already a low number line that is significantly comprised of repacks. The few new figure slots in the line are going to be allocated to lower hanging fruit from the movies. And even if they did do some Rebels figures, one or two a year is probably the most we could hope for, meaning we might never even complete the Ghost crew, let along anyone else, and it's those backgrounders that most interest me.
It's gonna be customizing time, I reckon.
At least Disney seems keen on continuing to include Clone Wars and Rebels droids in their park exclusive sets. Overpriced and trickier to get they may be, but I'll take 'em over nothing!