Being in retail, I have noticed that the Action Figure Collector market has really changed this past year. The 3 3/4" collectors are shifting their focus choosing to buy figures that are loose instead of carded or boxed.
This could be because of price, or the fact you see what you get. In our house its so we can make dioramas and when the kids play with them we are not so worried that it cost 'This Much' and they may break it. With the magic of an 'O' ring or two and some 'Speed' brand superglue, they're fixed!
The 12" market is changing too. The manufacturers seem to be sticking mainly to the figures they know have sold in the past and just retool them slightly and re-release them. Do we really need 13+ Iron Man 12" figures?
Now don't get me wrong, yes I'm sick of them bringing out the same Clone Trooper with a different colour on his armour - but they are all super detailed and articulated and pretty cool. The little details can really make some figures really neat to display!
Perhaps if these companies listened to the customers they poll at the conventions these manufacturers would find more unique and origianl ideas for figures that would rekindle the collectors passion.
~This is the opinion of this person only and does not reflect the opinions of Chinook & Hobby West