Generally speaking, I am not a fan of "scalping". I really don't like it when some people go out of their way to buy up a bunch of an item from a store or whatever to resell to the people who actually want them at a higher marked up price, when those people should have been able to buy it from that store directly. And arguably back in the pre-subscription days and even just after they first started when the line was still doing well overall on it's own merits without the sub, that's what anyone buying up items to resell was doing.
But now things have evolved into something different. Now the overall production run is based on the number of subs sold in the first place (something that wasn't the case early on). The general rule of thumb is that they make enough figures to cover the sub, with a certain extra % made for day of sales and for held back customer service stock. This means that for every sub sold, regardless of who buys it (an actual collector, or a "scalper") is helping support the line, and actually to an extent is even helping those who don't subscribe as it increases the likely hood of more day-of stock, and even puts more duplicates of items on the secondary market, allowing those who pick and choose what figures they want more options.
And a lot of resellers got stuck with items like the Star Sisters this year. Big Bad Toy Store already started accommodating for the Fighting Foe Men next year by putting up presales for figures like Ram-Man and Jitsu at higher prices, with a specific note explaining that the higher prices for the more popular figures is to help balance out the cost of figures that don't move. And you know what? They sold out of their preorders... so apparently there are enough people who would rather buy the figures they do want at higher prices than be forced to buy figures that they don't want that it works out for everyone involved.
And with that in mind, the way I see it, even if "Scalpers" with multiple subs end up with a bunch of free figures (highly demanded or not) that they can sell and make at least afew extra bucks off of, they may look at that as an incentive to subscribe again in the future for 2014 and beyond, and that's only going to be a good thing at this point. While the benefits can range from marginal (i.e. sticker sheets) to occasionally exceptional (a highly desired exclusive figure like Shadow Weaver), the subs have always had various benefits here and there that subscribers get and non-subscribers don't. Sometimes they are specified up front (like the exclusive figure and map), sometimes they aren't announced early on and we discover them along the way. In this case, the free figure, even if an apology item for an error, is a benefit that subscribers get.
No matter how this situation was handled, there would be someone who disagrees with it. You may not be happy with how this is being handled, uaxuctum, but there are others who might be perfectly happy with the way this is being handled, and wouldn't care much for whatever your idea is on how this should have been handled. No one is going to agree 100%.
And while there's some chance that some highly demanded figures (that go for a lot on ebay and the like) may end up in the hands of some scalpers, to be honest I highly doubt at this point that they even have very many, if any, Teelas (or other comparable figures) left. Mattel is in the business of making money... they always have been. If they truly were sitting on a HUGE plethora of left over Teela figures, and they know that she is highly demanded and going for a lot on ebay, they wouldn't just sit on them and not sell them (or not have a plan to sell them at a future time) when they know there are plenty of people who would buy them up.
I'm sorry that you got into the line late and had to play catch-up, resulting in there being some figures that you've had to (or may end up having to) pay extra for in order to get them. I do feel for you. I've been collecting the line since day 1 and I've been lucky in that I've gotten the vast majority of my figures directly from Matty, and the few that I've gone elsewhere for I was able to get at a reasonable cost for the most part. The only figure that I paid a huge amount for (over $200) was a Bronze King Grayskull.
But it is what it is. Some people who came into the line late were able to get some figures on the secondary market for less than what the cost of the figure + shipping (and possibly tax in some cases) would have been from Matty directly. And for that matter, people who were playing catch-up, but bought many figures during sales like the recent black friday/cyber monday sale (and the one last year) at discount prices with combined shipping, while someone like myself bought them as they came out at their full, original price with month-to-month shipping costs. While it may suck that the late-comers might have to pay a huge amount for a figure like Teela or on the secondary market, if they saved an average of $5 to $10 on several other figures by way of discount prices and/or savings on combined shipping, then in a round-about way it averages out to the overall cost of putting together a collection being not much more than (and possibly in some cases less than) that of those like myself who have been collecting since the line started.
But look at it this way, if there were no scalpers at all or people otherwise selling off figures, and if all the figures sold when they originally came out ended up in the hands of people who wanted to keep them permanently, then there wouldn't even be a secondary market from which to buy any figures at any price. It is what it is.