After the recent hubbub about the LEGO Jabba’s Palace set (#9516) supposedly being discontinued (or even “banned”) due to complaints from a small Muslim group, availability of the set took a big hit, with it going out of stock at places like Amazon.com, Target.com, BN.com (Barnes and Noble’s website), and others. It never sold out from LEGO Shop at Home, but did go on backorder for a while. However, all of this was not because the set had been pulled from store shelves — rather, people thought the set would no longer be available and bought out the available stock, either in the hopes of selling it for a profit or because they had been meaning to get the set but needed a little push to actually pull the trigger.
LEGO has emphatically denied the idea that the set had been discontinued, and that certainly seems to be the case. It’s already available again at many online retailers, albeit at full retail price. Amazon now has more than 200 available, and it’s also available at places like Target.com, LEGO Shop at Home, and Toys R Us (but be advised that TRU charges considerably more than other places). It’s still not available at BN.com or Walmart.com (although my local Walmart stores do have it for around $95, which may be the best you can find at the moment).
So it seems that the net effect of all of the publicity about this set has been to get rid of the discounts that most retailers had been offering. I imagine the price will creep back down once the LEGO “speculators” have bought all the sets they want and retailers realize they this isn’t as hot a seller as it appeared.