Well, having seen most of the new product for the remainder of the year and into Spring of 2012, it seems it will be a quiet year for several collectors.
Star Wars: Lately, there has been an incredible amount of attention to detail and a major spike in quality with Hasbro's Star Wars figures, and I LOVE the vintage theme... but to me, it only makes sense for original trilogy characters. There is also always an abundance of re-tooled or re-packaged Star Wars figures and vehicles, so they're not really going anywhere, and I'm getting to the point where Original Trilogy is all I'm gunning for. The speed Hasbro continuously puts out bigger and better products is so ridiculous, I feel like they're making a good chunk of my collection "obsolete," so it's hard to get too carried away with the line.
Transformers: Hasbro seems to be mainly focused on product from Transformers: Dark of the Moon and Transformers: Prime... I can pass on all of it. A few choice figures from the Generations line will be more than plenty to fill my needs.
G.I. Joe: Hasbro has released some nice additions that fit right along with the 25th Anniversary Line, such as the "Wolf Hound" (Snowcat), and the new Skystriker, in addition to a few new figures like the SDCC Exclusive Zarana, Sci-Fi, and Crazylegs... but not much else, save a handful of cool re-imaginings of character designs from the "Pursuit of Cobra" line. Though, "must-haves" are few and far between. As far as G.I. Joe: Renegades goes... meh... Let me see a new U.S.S. Flagg and we'll talk...
Marvel Universe: Again, we are plagued with a line of action figures of fair quality and selection, but how much will ever be enough? I have a feeling this line will end with collectors clamoring for just ONE MORE FIGURE... JUST THREE MORE FIGURES... JUST FIVE MORE FIGURES... "If they'd only made a *insert character name here* then my collection would be complete!" Who will collectors have to do without in their 3 3/4" Marvel Universe when it's all said and done? I'm thankful I'm not particularly vested in this line.
Justice League Unlimited: Mattel's initial DCU "Budget" toy line has made a remarkable streak. Some of the rarities in the line are fetching big bucks on eBay. The animated style is fantastic, and the selection is great, but the figures are just... shoddy. Not worth the price they're going for. I recently parted ways with my entire JLU collection for a steal (which shocked even me). At first I was uneasy and regretted the decision, but the more I think about it, the more I'm glad it's gone. JLU is another line that just won't ever be complete... no matter how many figures Mattel would have put out. "If only I had a *insert character name here*."
DC Universe Classics: It looks as though Mattel is pushing collectors to shell out money for an online collector club through Mattycollector.com to get the good figures. They say the regular line will continue at retail, but the "most fan-demanded characters, team builders, and collector favorites," you need to subscribe. Translation: "If you want what you came for, you'll have to pony up the dough for the exclusives... retail's going to be re-packages and fluff." There's been enough "fluff" in DCUC, and I can't see paying for a club membership, plus the cost of tons of figures I don't want just to get a Jay Garrick Flash. Sorry Mattel... Not this time.
Ghostbusters Movie Masters: Okay, this line has got me hooked. If there were one toy line in all of creation I wished had been made, it was this one... and Mattel did it! I'm still quite pleased with the line and have my Club Ecto-1 membership. The thing about this line is that since one new figure only comes out every two months, it's easy to maintain and not too costly. Also, I was more than impressed with Mattel's Prop Replica PKE Meter, so I'm really looking forward to the Ghost Trap. Bring it on, Mattel! My $$ are secure, here.
Lego: Some of the biggest toy news at SDCC this year was the announcement of Lego obtaining the licenses to the entire DC and Marvel Universes! Big news! The drawback here is that Lego costs and arm and a leg, and it typically spends limited time at retail. And boy-howdy! If you think it's expensive at retail... just wait a year or two and look for it on eBay, you'll feel otherwise. So, while this is awesome news, Lego collectors are going to have to shell out some mad money for these items.
Everything else seems to be centered on the Marvel films and Green Lantern, most of which is aimed at kids rather than collectors. With the exception of the GL Movie Masters and maybe a few Marvel Select figures from the movies, I can resist most of the urges here. (Although, if I get one more figure from Diamond, of which the wrist joint breaks immediately out of the package, it may be the straw that breaks the camel's back). Aside from a few grabbers mentioned above and a new Thundercats line and the continuation of Mattel's Masters of the Universe line... collectors don't really have an unobtainable wish list this year... at least, not this one.
But honestly, I could use a break from "Man-I-Gotta-Have-That" fever. It'll allow me a little peace of mind, time to get what I do have in order and organized (as I'm currently trying to thin out some shelf space), and several extra bones lingering around in the old wallet for a rainy day.