I'll buy that, so to speak. Either way I'd be happy.
The look of the individual pieces is cause for concern though. I'm not sure how you could design a multi-use playset that also doubles as a puzzle piece that doesn't look absolutely goofy as a stand alone. Little kids will look at it and have no idea what it is supposed to be unless they can read the little description on the box. Seeing a fully armed and operational round Death Star that opens up to be a full on playset is nearly guaranteed to catch everyone's eye.
The same goes for the preposed Star Destroyer. I can't even imagine what those pieces would look like in individual boxes. Strange little four walled rooms with a slanted roof. Certainly nothing that a parent would be willing to spend $20+ dollars for.
There is also the issue of pricing. Just like a hacked up car, you know that Hasbro would price the total cost of individual pieces to be much more than pricing the thing out as a whole. Parents can be very savvy when seeing the big picture and might feel a rip-off scheme coming on. Toss in the possiblity that availablity of all the pieces might not be there and a large percentage of potential buyers will just pass on the whole thing.
Yeah, high prices on any toy keep people away. I just saw a legion of 12" Dewback/Stormtroopers at the local Toys R Us. Is that because of the $80 price tag? Hell yes. Why? Look what you're getting for $80 bucks. Not much really. However, toys that look like spaceships, that open up into hours of fun playsets have much more built in value than a big dinosaur with it's $20 rider.
After all is said and done, one piece ships are the way to go for everyone.