Opinion: “The GI Joe Collector’s Club needs to be immediately disbanded”

Once upon a time, if a person wanted to voice their opinion about a topic to the general public and and not do so in “real time”, he or she submitted a “Letter to the Editor”.  The author could write up their opinions and position and have it posted for all to see.  Along came technology and this concept evolved: businesses and institutions use social media to better communicate with their clients, fan clubs have forums and message boards, and groups of fans are able to come together in the form of online communities.  All of this breeds a climate where ideas can be freely exchanged and both praise and criticism can be shared.  It’s the “Letter to the Editor v3.0”.

No one can dispute the fact that 2012 has been a year of blunders and missteps for the G.I. Joe Collector’s Club.  Pretty much anything that could go wrong with the Club’s various endeavors has and the organization has been left scrambling to communicate details and a positive message.  However, it would seem that the issues might go back further than that.  Presented below is an item that dropped in my inbox today– an editorial from a long-time member of the Collector’s Club who has had enough.  It is presented in its entirety– with only the author’s identity removed at his/her request.

 The GI Joe Collector’s Club needs to be immediately disbanded: One betrayed former collector’s 11 year long rant

I’m done. DONE. I have enjoyed collecting both 12″ and 33/4″ GI Joe figures for over 20 years now. I’ve enjoyed it with my children.  I’ve enjoyed showing that what Daddy wore when he was in the service, while they were fascinated with characters like Snake Eyes and Destro.  But now, thanks solely to the GI Joe Collector’s Club, an organization who exists only to cater to people like me, I am so disgusted with the hobby as a whole, I am walking away.

Over the last 10 years, the GIJCC has become increasingly greedy, arrogant, mismanaged and unapologetic to the people it professes to serve. I blame it on the dollar signs I saw in the eyes of Brian Savage (the Club owner, directer, patriarch, resident Kool-Aid mixer, der Fuhrer, etc) when he got the OK from Hasbro to take over the Transformers Collector’s Club several years ago. The Transformers brand is a worldwide seller, with many more members with much, much deeper pockets. The GIJCC has been a small, family run club for many years, so giving them a cash cow like Botcon was bound to turn them into the money grubbing, greed-mongering, carpet-bagging bridge trolls they have become. But as I have watched their slow decline, I held out hope that the core tenets of my precious GI Joe fan club would remain unchanged in the face of it’s more lucrative younger brother, that they would still put on a family friendly event that we could afford, still put out product I can be proud to display and play with, and still make me and my children happy. As of today, I have had enough.

I’ve been buying from the club since the late 90’s, and a member in good standing since 2001. I’m mainly a 12″ GI Joe collector, the more realistic looking military items, not so much the “Adventure team” weirdos but i enjoy the smaller figures as well. Between my own collecting, and my older son who was into the smaller Joes, it seemed like a good idea, and we would have a convention we could attend each year as club members. And as members, even if we could not make the con, we were still able to get the exclusives as “Homefront Heroes”, a wonderful part of the service that we greatly appreciated over the years when family events (like the birth of my first grandchild, or my step son’s homecoming from Iraq) kept us from attending. The club was a caring, understanding organization, and my family felt like they were part of something good, with good people behind it.

I’d have to say I first noticed the club’s attitude changing several years ago, when they took money from members for a “pre-order” on an item they could not deliver, a set of GI Joe Mauler tanks from 2006, and were completely unprofessional when they had to give everyone their money back. They acted as if it was OUR FAULT that they couldn’t deliver. It was like catching a kid with his hand in the cookie jar, and their response is “if you would give me a cookie, I wouldn’t have to take them”.  Their attitudes over the Maulers did not sit well with most of the collectors I knew who were affected by it, but I saw it as one hiccup in an otherwise smooth run. There were frequent price increases on the sets from year to year which I certainly didn’t appreciate, but I trusted my club, so I supported them through the increases, delayed products, mediocre products, and over time, endless excuses.

I think my own eyes started to open when they began regurgitating their own ideas in slightly different formats, but still charging more money for figures that many con attendees already owned. I just shrugged when I saw the second version of the Crimson Strike Team (from the 2009 GI Joe Convention), thinking that we already had it, why buy it again? But my younger son had really grown attached to the newer “modern” little Joe format, so we got him the set. It never sat right with me, but this was my hobby, and this was my Club, and I was there to support it in hopes we would get something we liked better next year.

And we did. The Red Shadows set was a wonderful homage to the classic English Action Force teams and it’s Villains. It was well done, different, imaginative, had great characters, and the souvenir vehicles were fantastic as well. It was one of the better con experiences my family has had for certain. the format had gone back to the older style of the 1980’s Joes, and that was where I hoped it would stay.

Between 2011 and 2012 is when I truly began to see the club for what it is. I saw a growing dissatisfaction among other club members, disagreements over how things were done, and a prevalent “Us against them” mentality on both sides. Members weren’t happy with decisions the Club was making, but the Club would just sit there and say “We’re sorry, but this is how it is”. They did some Adventure Team smaller Joes with terrible vehicles that were horribly overpriced. They teased this “MANTA SQUAD” set that used the older tooling and looked great, but never delivered on it. There was this whole “Figure Subscription Service” that they were going to sign members up for, where you could get 12 carded figures, which they have never bothered to start up, or even grace us with the cost we would have to pay if we wanted it. I’ve seen a lot of collectors, friends, simply drop out and stop dealing with them.

In 2011, we weren’t able to attend the convention, but we were able to get the set sent to us (only the boxed set, not the bagged set, those were sold out) and we had to move quickly to get it because the set sold out very quickly. I didn’t remember the sets selling out that quickly in the past, but I was just happy I could get one, and so was my son. We were hoping some of the souvenirs would be available on line after the show, along with a carded Dial Tone we were hoping to get, but neither happened. Instead, we found out about something called a “Golden Ticket” that was sold to attendees, that allowed them to purchase extra souvenir items 3 at a time. Well, that didn’t sound right to me. In the past, the club limited purchases to make sure everyone was able to get what they wanted the first day, then come Friday morning, they let people buy whatever they wanted, and no one had to pay extra for anything. There had to be something we were missing.

Well, we made plans to attend the con this year. It was going to be a family event, both my sons and my step son were going to attend. My youngest was moving out of toys so this would probably be his last con altogether. My older son has been poking around on line and on eBay so his interest has been resurrected a bit, and my step son had never been to a con mainly due to his military service, and was really looking forward to it. We waited for the information, but it seemed to be taking forever. My older son had been reading some of the on line sites, and would updates me as needed. I had been paying down one of our family credit cards that we had used for vacations in the past, including conventions, so we were ready as soon as the club was. That is, we were ready until my wife caught over $4000 in charges on that account. Three separate charges, in Europe and Asia of all places. It was a MESS. We didn’t catch the charges until we got the statement for January, so at that point they were almost a month old. This card was our convention lifeline, it wasn’t used often, so we didn’t know how someone could have gotten the card number. My son told me he had read something on a site called “Hisstank” about credit card fraud somehow linked to the GIJCC.  Well, much like the Golden Ticket, I didn’t believe it right away. If there was some issue with my club, they would spare no expense in immediately contacting their members to be sure we were protected.  Or so i thought. As I am sure many of you know already, it turned out the Club WAS “hacked”, and the personal information of it’s members was stolen and sold to scammers around the world. I took a look at the information provided on the GI Joe side of the club, but on the Transformers side it looked like it was far more widespread. I was stunned. I checked my email and saw nothing from my Club detailing this situation. My Club, who I supported for over 10 years through thick and thin, didn’t even think enough of me as a member to warn me that my information, my money, my family’s potential livelihood was at risk due to the Club’s own outdated software and on line mismanagement. When they finally did see fit to email us, it was two months after the charges hit out card. TWO MONTHS. That is INEXCUSABLE.

It took several hours of phone calls, and we had to get a new card, but my wife was able to straighten out the account. I was still angry, and was ready to bail on our convention planning, but we had already made the plans, saved the date, and my family was really looking forward to it.

Then, my son told me the date for the convention had changed. WHAT? Changed to WHEN? AND the hotel had changed? This was unprecedented. And it effectively sank our chances of going to the con. My step son wouldn’t have been able to make it, and I had already set my vacation time at work. I was unable to change it because the new convention time was already taken by someone else. We were done. The Club had just destroyed my entire family’s vacation plans. Not safeguarding our financial information wasn’t enough, they seemed dead set on pushing membership out the door.

My younger son still wanted to get the Convention set, so I told him we would do it. He was hoping for a carded Footloose figure, that, similar to the Dial-Tone from last year, would be available as a carded figure at the con, but I doubt we would have a chance at one of those since Dial Tone  goes for quite a bit of money now, much like all the convention souvenirs from last year that we were unable to get. We were supposed to get a loose Footloose as part of the club membership, so he would get that certainly. Then, he told me that footloose was already going for over $100 on eBay. i told him he was wrong, it couldn’t be, because we didn’t get ours yet. But he showed me, people had already gotten their figures and were selling them for hundreds of dollars. How? We were members in good standing, we paid for our membership BEFORE the credit card issues, how do we NOT have our figure yet, but others do? I called the Club and was told they were “Asking members to be patient and wait until May 31st because they were sent bulk mail which takes time”. So, someone in Seattle, and Florida, and even some collectors in England, THEY have their figures, but we, who live just a couple states away from the Club hub in Texas, don’t have ours yet? What does it take to rate with these people? I’ve been loyal, supportive, non-judgmental, patient, but they don’t seem to care.

Regardless, my son wanted the Convention set, so we waited for registration, and assumed Footloose would get to our home soon. Registration finally went live on line after many issues including something having to do with the new movie release date, but last week it was ready to go…FOR ATTENDEES ONLY. The Club’s response was that they “wanted the con sets to go to convention attendees only” and that “some non-attending packages would be on line later but only after all the attending packages were sold”. Apparently membership and support doesn’t count for what it used to with this Club. I know one collector who is deployed overseas in the US Army from time to time and has relied on the Homefront Hero Package to help him stay connected to his hobby. He is deployed this year. Does the Club hate our troops? I also found out about this “Golden Ticket” that was being sold again this year. It allows the purchaser to buy up to 3 of every item before anyone else who DIDN’T purchase the ticket. We used to be allowed to buy extras for FREE, but now, the cost of this Golden Ticket is…$300. An EXTRA $300 on top of the $345 for the boxed set, which is the highest that the attendee set has EVER BEEN. So, for the opportunity to buy more of the items, an opportunity that used to be FREE after everyone else was allowed to get one of each item, will now net the Club almost $30K EXTRA on top of the already highly priced con sets, con souvenirs, and now useless membership subscription. I guess they are soaking their membership to help pay for all of their mistakes? For all of the potential pending litigation over their mishandling our their member’s personal information? For the software upgrade? I guess the Club’s mistakes are OUR mistakes as well, after all, we have supported them in their continued mismanagement. Even at it’s basest level, the Golden Ticket makes no sense. If you go to the grocery store and buy a roll of toilet paper for $1, they don’t charge you $5 for 3 rolls. It sounds to me as if Brian Savage saw what the items were fetching at auction and decided to charge more and get a piece of that pie. I can’t beleive people are falling for it, honestly.

I was disgusted. This wasn’t my club. MY Club made the hobby better. This Club is a money sucking vacuum, and they don’t care at all about their membership any more. They only care about the money they can take. But I was still prepared to give them my money for my son’s boxed set. He had a game last night, so I went to see him play. I checked the registration before I left, and it wasn’t open yet for non attendees. Hopefully tomorrow…

We got home a little late from the game, my son’s team didn’t win. I checked my email before bed to see that non-attendee registration was up and running, so I went in to get my son a set and…They were gone. Gone. I checked some of the web sites and there were reports of non-Attendee registration being open for two hours before that email was even sent to me. I had to tell my son that we weren’t getting a con set for the first time in 12 years. Another email that I got this morning basically said “They sold out, don’t contact us”.
As I’ve said, I’m done with this Club. Once we get Footloose figure (no, we still have not gotten ours yet, and they continue to be sold on eBay for insane prices) I won’t be giving Brian Savage’s traveling money hole and carpet bagging fan club any more of my family’s money. We have our memories, and that is what it was really about. I’ll miss it, but I am still hopeful that the rest of the Club membership wises up and sees that they are being horribly taken advantage of but an unscrupulous and morally corrupt individual. I also hope that Hasbro sees the club for what they are, as well, and refuses to do any further business with them. It is time for a new club. A Club made by collectors, for collectors. A true FAN CLUB. When there is, we will come back to support them. Until then, it was nice, and I wish my fellow collectors well.

(I was advised by fellow collectors to issue this anonymously, because, and I quote, “The GIJCC has proven they have a short temper, no patience for criticism, and a long memory when it comes to their detractors.”)

Another Angry Former GI Joe Collectors Club Member

Sgt. A Nonymous

Again, this is the opinion of one fan but it certainly seems that the author has several VERY valid concerns.  Given that 2012 has proven to be a year of one mishap after another for the Collector’s Club, as well as my own editorial that the Club has turned into a “Convention Only” organization in terms of their priorities, and you have the beginnings of a very dissatisfied membership.

So, is “Sgt. A. Nonymous” just ranting or does he have a valid point?  Use the comments section below and post your thoughts on G.I. Joe Collector’s Club and this editorial.  (Remember– keep it strictly “on topic” and avoid personal attacks.)

28 thoughts on “Opinion: “The GI Joe Collector’s Club needs to be immediately disbanded”

  1. While there are a few complaints in this article that the club should heed, there are also a lot of things that are either mis-characterization of past events, issues which are at least to some degree the fault of the original poster, or misunderstandings of how the club operates under Hasbro’s license.

    I wish the club would just come out and explain what happened with the ‘con date change this year. If it wasn’t their fault, just say so, otherwise it looks like it was and given their other problems I don’t feel that they should be taking the blame for that one if it wasn’t on them.

    I fail to see how the Mauler complaint is relevant. My recollection of that incident was that the club was repeatedly apologetic about it even though the issue was with the manufacturer and not the club. Unfortunate and disappointing but not worth holding a grudge over.

    I also griped loudly about the Crimson Guard convention set rehash. I have it on some authority that Hasbro prompted some last-minute changes that year that were compounded by bad last-minute decisions by the club. In my mind they have made up for it with this year’s excellent set, so I’m forgiving that one.

    The credit card fraud complaint is obviously very valid. I get the impression that the club was operating with some very outdated software and this was bound to happen sooner or later. They should consider themselves lucky that they are still in business after that fiasco and that they didn’t get permanently blacklisted by the card processing networks. My cards got whacked too. It created an inconvenience to be sure. However, it was remedied relatively quickly and in no way impacted by ability to register for the ‘con.

    I think there is ongoing misunderstanding among collectors about how the club operates under Hasbro’s license. They are no doubt REQUIRED to maintain and probably increase club membership. They are no doubt REQUIRED to maintain and probably increase convention attendance. That is a big part of what their licensing arrangement is about. From Hasbro’s view, it is a special brand-promoting endeavor. Hasbro isn’t just licensing them as an exclusive retailer of limited production run toys. I’ve never seen the club’s licensing agreement contract but it doesn’t take a big brain to see that much of what they do is directed to getting people to join the club and attend the convention. How hard is this to understand? I wish the club would just figure out some way to lay this out for the community so a lot complaints of this nature would be addressed. If you don’t want to/can’t attend the con, or don’t want to drop $50 to be a “member”, then YOU ARE NOT A PART OF THEIR TARGET AUDIENCE – end of story.

  2. Hasbro puts the GIJOECLUB.COM logo on the most of the packaging. That should mean anyone who would buy a GI Joe toy is their target audience. Based on the fact that the only survey information about the Club’s operation and suggestions for them is part of the Convention package, it is clear to me they only cater to those willing to drop hundreds of dollars at a Convention. It is a little ironic that GI Joe has always offered something to everyone at every price level, but the Club for GI Joe fans is geared to reward only those with deep pockets.

    Every issue the club has ever had from the Maulers to the FSS to the Credit Card issue to this years early sell outs has all come down to poor communication on their part. The Maulers wouldn’t have been that big of a deal if people knew before registration that the Tanks for the Memories set had no tanks. The FSS has some great figures but I still don’t know when or how much. Businesses get hacked, but two months to notify your members of that big of a security leak is unacceptable. For this years registration, would it have been too much to tell people an exact time when the registration was going to go live? For all the times they’ve told us stuff would be ready when it wasn’t, you’d think they’d be able to say when something is actually ready.

  3. I said this before but I wish that the Club would do more in terms of “non Con” product. The FSS is a step in the right direction but the potential execution of it is problematic when compared to other similar ventures. (MattyCollector anyone?) I know a great many non-Club members and non-Joe Collectors who are interested in a figure or two but that don’t want to have to commit to all 12 or have to pay for a Club Membership that they’ll never use.

    More and more it seems that folks feel the Club is “broken” but there doesn’t seem to be any consensus on how to fix it.

  4. pluv,

    Re: the Mauler sets, the club was still working on that Mauler issue at ‘con time and still had hopes to get those items out, so it not a correct recollection of events to imply that they were being disingenuous, if in fact that is what you were implying. Re: communication, yes the club needs to improve their communication with members a great deal. Some of the things they communicate probably shouldn’t be communicated at all given their great penchant for stating things that then do not come to pass – rinse, repeat – ad nauseum. Maybe they will figure that out one of these days.

    As for your first paragraph, I just go back to what I originally said. You can wish all day that the club’s (and Hasbro’s) marketing via the club was something other than what it is, but wishes aren’t horses. Hasbro’s license that the club is operating with are there to promote membership in a club and physical attendance at a ‘con. If you can’t afford it, I’m sorry, but you aren’t in their target audience. I cannot afford to buy a Maserati but I do not sit around screeching about it all day long. I *am* glad that Hasbro is letting the club branch out a bit with the FSS as it fills a need that Hasbro has seemed unwilling to pursue through other venues (such as the internet specialty retailers). Still, I am sure the price point on these very limited production run items will suffer from endless, withering, and uninformed criticism to the tune of “more GI JOES only for the bourgeois!”

  5. I think the execution of the FSS is all about the club not getting stuck with extra inventory due to the picking and choosing that goes on with GI JOE collectors. I can tell you, as a retailer, dealing with Hasbro case assortments and watching fair-weather fans “pick over your bones” by buying up one figure and leaving another is an issue that is both impossible to predict accurately and impossible to manage well financially. The FSS marketing model avoids this by making the consumer make a commitment. Actually, I think the secondary market will allow the picky/choosey collectors to get what they want and ignore the rest, albeit at a somewhat higher cost. I don’t see why fans don’t just subscribe then eBay the figures that they really don’t want. You KNOW you are going to at least break even, maybe even profit. Why don’t we focus our complaints on the really important issues, like the credit card security issue, or the fact the the club is so insistent on developing their own e-commerce software that they can’t roll out a major bread and butter product like the FSS at all.

  6. Gotta side with the guy who wrote the letter on this one. I am pretty sure a lot of people feel the same way as well. And I am ‘part of the target audience.’ – end of story.

  7. This letter reads like one long excuse letter. A collector who has lost interest in the hobby, whose children have grown away from the hobby, is blaming the club rather than dealing with the fact that our interests change, and our kids grow up.

  8. The GI Joe Collector’s Club needs to be
    immediately disbanded: One betrayed former collector’s 11 year long rant

    I’m done. DONE. I have enjoyed collecting both 12″ and 33/4″
    GI Joe figures for over 20 years now. I’ve enjoyed it with my children. 
    I’ve enjoyed showing that what Daddy wore when he was in the service, while
    they were fascinated with characters like Snake Eyes and Destro.  But now,
    thanks solely to the GI Joe Collector’s Club, an organization who exists only
    to cater to people like me, I am so disgusted with the hobby as a whole, I am
    walking away.

    Thank you for your time and service to our country.

    Over the last 10 years, the GIJCC has become increasingly
    greedy, arrogant, mismanaged and unapologetic to the people it professes to
    serve. I blame it on the dollar signs I saw in the eyes of Brian Savage (the
    Club owner, directer, patriarch, resident Kool-Aid mixer, der Fuhrer, etc) when
    he got the OK from Hasbro to take over the Transformers Collector’s Club
    several years ago. The Transformers brand is a worldwide seller, with many more
    members with much, much deeper pockets. The GIJCC has been a small, family run
    club for many years, so giving them a cash cow like Botcon was bound to turn
    them into the money grubbing, greed-mongering, carpet-bagging bridge trolls
    they have become. But as I have watched their slow decline, I held out hope
    that the core tenets of my precious GI Joe fan club would remain unchanged in
    the face of it’s more lucrative younger brother, that they would still put on a
    family friendly event that we could afford, still put out product I can be
    proud to display and play with, and still make me and my children happy. As of
    today, I have had enough.

    GIJCC is still a small, family run club.  The difference; now they run TWO
    clubs and probably only gained one or two new employees from it.  Attend a
    BotCon and a JoeCon and the only difference will be one or two more people
    working the BotCon side.  Lest we not forget that this is also a business.  As
    the business it not a “non-profit” their goal is profit.  How do you profit if
    not by taking advantage of the “greedy” opportunities that arise?

    I’ve been buying from the club since the late 90′s, and a
    member in good standing since 2001. I’m mainly a 12″ GI Joe collector, the
    more realistic looking military items, not so much the “Adventure team” weirdos
    but i enjoy the smaller figures as well. Between my own collecting, and my
    older son who was into the smaller Joes, it seemed like a good idea, and we
    would have a convention we could attend each year as club members. And as
    members, even if we could not make the con, we were still able to get the
    exclusives as “Homefront Heroes”, a wonderful part of the service that we
    greatly appreciated over the years when family events (like the birth of my
    first grandchild, or my step son’s homecoming from Iraq) kept us from
    attending. The club was a caring, understanding organization, and my family
    felt like they were part of something good, with good people behind it.

    I discovered the club in 2002 myself.  Joined as soon as I could.  I’d bet
    dollar to donuts (really wish I knew where this saying was from) that the
    Homefront Heroes sets exist only because the Convention sets don’t sell out
    (with a few exceptions).

    Regarding 3 ¾” Joes Con sets (all taken from JoeCon Brochures only) History
    before we get into the rest of the letter:

    2002 – Crimson Strike Team – 500 boxed sets, 150 “Fuscia”-bagged sets (originally
    intended to be Crimson).  Unsure if sold out at Con.  I just remember Fuscia
    sets being available in October 2002 when I found out about the club. 
    Supposedly sold out quickly per the 2003 Con Brochure.

    2003 – Operation Anaconda: Ambush at Cobra Island – 750 boxed sets, 300
    bagged sets.  Did not sell out at Con.  But the Hiss 2B and Firefly packs sure
    did.

    2004 – Dreadnok Rampage: Escapades in the Everglades – 750 boxed sets, 400
    bagged sets.  Did not sell out at Con and I believe still available through the
    Club.

    2005 – General Mayhem: M.A.R.S. Invades! – 750 boxed sets, 400 bagged sets. 
    I do believe this sold out AT the Convention.

    2006 – Cobra’s Most Wanted: Mercenaries! – 750 boxed sets, 400 bagged sets. 
    Did not sell out at Con and I believe still available through the Club.

    2007 – Tanks for the Memories – 750 boxed sets, 400 bagged sets.  Did not
    sell out at Con but did sell out shortly afterwards on the Club website I
    believe.

    2008 – Cobra Headhunters! – Unknown boxed sets, not listed, 350 bagged sets. 
    Did not sell out at Con despite my best efforts.  (This is the first year of
    the Convention comic too.)

    2009 – Crimson Strike Force – Unknown boxed sets, not listed, 300 bagged
    sets.  Did eventually sell out at Con.

    2010 – Vacation in the Shadows – Unknown boxed sets, not listed, 300 bagged
    sets.  Did not sell out at Con.

    2011 – Mission Brazil II – Unknown boxed sets, not listed, 325 bagged sets. 
    Did sell out either at or before the show, I forget which.  First year of the
    Golden Ticket.

    2012 – Oktober Guard: Operation Bear Trap – Unknown boxed sets, not listed,
    325 bagged sets.

    I’d have to say I first noticed the club’s attitude changing
    several years ago, when they took money from members for a “pre-order” on an
    item they could not deliver, a set of GI Joe Mauler tanks from 2006, and were
    completely unprofessional when they had to give everyone their money back. They
    acted as if it was OUR FAULT that they couldn’t deliver. It was like catching a
    kid with his hand in the cookie jar, and their response is “if you would give
    me a cookie, I wouldn’t have to take them”.  Their attitudes over the
    Maulers did not sit well with most of the collectors I knew who were affected
    by it, but I saw it as one hiccup in an otherwise smooth run. There were
    frequent price increases on the sets from year to year which I certainly didn’t
    appreciate, but I trusted my club, so I supported them through the increases,
    delayed products, mediocre products, and over time, endless excuses.

    In 2007, Tanks for the Memories was supposed to also have available a Joe
    and Cobra Mauler.  As the Club still WANTED to OFFER these even though there
    was a delay on the part of the Factory they took a pre-order and were willing
    to ship them to us.  But guess what, it didn’t work out!  They had to cancel
    the pre-order and since they had already given us the driver, refunded the
    pre-order cost sans driver.  Sounds good to me.  Sounds like an excellent job
    of customer service.  “Hey, we couldn’t fulfill your order because of
    <insert 3rd party that is out of our control> so we are
    refunding your money.  As we have already delivered part of the promised
    product, we will be charging you for this portion of the product.”  I see no
    problem in this at all nor did I ever see them saying “Shame on you collectors,
    this is your fault for wanting a mauler that we had to do this.”

    I think my own eyes started to open when they began
    regurgitating their own ideas in slightly different formats, but still charging
    more money for figures that many con attendees already owned. I just shrugged
    when I saw the second version of the Crimson Strike Team (from the 2009 GI Joe
    Convention), thinking that we already had it, why buy it again? But my younger
    son had really grown attached to the newer “modern” little Joe format, so we
    got him the set. It never sat right with me, but this was my hobby, and this
    was my Club, and I was there to support it in hopes we would get something we
    liked better next year.

    Two years later.  What was going on at retail at this time?  Could it be
    that maybe, just maybe the GIJCC did not have a choice in this product?  As you
    claim to have attended the 2008 JoeCon do you remember the Hasbro panel where
    they showed us a 25th store exclusive Crimson Strike Team that was
    to be for Wal-Mart?  It included the Baroness, Tomax, Xamot and 3 Crimson
    Vipers.  That ended up being canceled though.  So let’s pretend you’re a major
    multi-national corporation with the muscle to flex and get your small off-shoot
    licensee to help you make use of all of the figures you produced that ended up
    being canceled.  Win/win for the club?  They are able to produce a 25th-style
    Con set to gauge the response but what about the figure hints that were being
    dropped?  The GIJCC did also tell us during their annual panel that the NEXT
    year (2010) would be the final year of the o-ring as most of the molds are
    degraded and Hasbro is cleaning house.

    And we did. The Red Shadows set was a wonderful homage to the
    classic English Action Force teams and it’s Villains. It was well done,
    different, imaginative, had great characters, and the souvenir vehicles were
    fantastic as well. It was one of the better con experiences my family has had
    for certain. the format had gone back to the older style of the 1980′s
    Joes, and that was where I hoped it would stay.

    I truly believe that the 2010 Con set was SUPPOSED to be released in 2009
    before Hasbro stepped in and had the club release the canceled Crimson Strike
    Team.  Look at the hints they dropped for the 2009 Convention Theme.  They are
    100% spot on for the Red Shadows and barely passable for the Crimson Strike
    Team.  Again, if you had attended the club panel in 2009 you would know that
    this would be the final o-ring Convention set.

    Between 2011 and 2012 is when I truly began to see the club for
    what it is. I saw a growing dissatisfaction among other club members,
    disagreements over how things were done, and a prevalent “Us against them”
    mentality on both sides. Members weren’t happy with decisions the Club was
    making, but the Club would just sit there and say “We’re sorry, but this is how
    it is”. They did some Adventure Team smaller Joes with terrible vehicles that
    were horribly overpriced. They teased this “MANTA SQUAD” set that used the
    older tooling and looked great, but never delivered on it. There was this whole
    “Figure Subscription Service” that they were going to sign members up for,
    where you could get 12 carded figures, which they have never bothered to start
    up, or even grace us with the cost we would have to pay if we wanted it. I’ve
    seen a lot of collectors, friends, simply drop out and stop dealing with them.

    The Adventure Team Joes/vehicles are overpriced possibly due to their
    limited number made?  I personally still want a second set of each to open but
    haven’t gotten around to it yet.  It was in 2010 that the Manta Squad was
    hinted as a possibility as an o-ring gift from above.  They said they WANTED to
    do it not that they would/could/will.  Regarding the FSS, would you have liked
    the club to put it up for order/pre-order when they were having issues with the
    Credit Cards (see your comments below)?  If you’re curious about the cost,
    guestimate!  If it’s anything less than $30 per carded figure I will be highly
    surprised.  Your last sentence has nothing to do with the paragraph aside from
    the club APOLOGIZING and then saying that’s the way it is.

    In 2011, we weren’t able to attend the convention, but we were
    able to get the set sent to us (only the boxed set, not the bagged set, those
    were sold out) and we had to move quickly to get it because the set sold out
    very quickly. I didn’t remember the sets selling out that quickly in the past,
    but I was just happy I could get one, and so was my son. We were hoping some of
    the souvenirs would be available on line after the show, along with a carded
    Dial Tone we were hoping to get, but neither happened. Instead, we found out
    about something called a “Golden Ticket” that was sold to attendees, that
    allowed them to purchase extra souvenir items 3 at a time. Well, that didn’t
    sound right to me. In the past, the club limited purchases to make sure everyone
    was able to get what they wanted the first day, then come Friday morning, they
    let people buy whatever they wanted, and no one had to pay extra for anything.
    There had to be something we were missing.

    Re-read your first sentence.  Preferably the last 6 words.  Let’s now
    explore the idea of the Golden Ticket.   The GIJCC has a finite amount it can
    raise their prices each year without causing too much of a stir.  The GIJCC has
    to find additional sources of revenue to allow it to offer us high quality
    collectible toys at a decent price.  If people are willing to pay extra for the
    chance, not guaranteed, ability to buy additional souvenirs, well, that sounds
    like printing money to me.  The club now has an effective way to make an extra
    $30,000 allowing them to keep producing high quality sets or maybe even hire on
    another full time person.  And there were always daily limits after they sold
    12 Hiss 2b’s to one con-goer (sorry everyone!)

    Well, we made plans to attend the con this year. It was going to
    be a family event, both my sons and my step son were going to attend. My
    youngest was moving out of toys so this would probably be his last con
    altogether. My older son has been poking around on line and on eBay so his
    interest has been resurrected a bit, and my step son had never been to a con
    mainly due to his military service, and was really looking forward to it. We
    waited for the information, but it seemed to be taking forever. My older son
    had been reading some of the on line sites, and would updates me as needed. I
    had been paying down one of our family credit cards that we had used for
    vacations in the past, including conventions, so we were ready as soon as the
    club was. That is, we were ready until my wife caught over $4000 in charges on
    that account. Three separate charges, in Europe and Asia of all places. It was
    a MESS. We didn’t catch the charges until we got the statement for January, so
    at that point they were almost a month old. This card was our convention
    lifeline, it wasn’t used often, so we didn’t know how someone could have gotten
    the card number. My son told me he had read something on a site called
    “Hisstank” about credit card fraud somehow linked to the GIJCC.  Well,
    much like the Golden Ticket, I didn’t believe it right away. If there was some
    issue with my club, they would spare no expense in immediately contacting their
    members to be sure we were protected.  Or so i thought. As I am sure many
    of you know already, it turned out the Club WAS “hacked”, and the personal information
    of it’s members was stolen and sold to scammers around the world. I took a look
    at the information provided on the GI Joe side of the club, but on the
    Transformers side it looked like it was far more widespread. I was stunned. I
    checked my email and saw nothing from my Club detailing this situation. My
    Club, who I supported for over 10 years through thick and thin, didn’t even
    think enough of me as a member to warn me that my information, my money, my
    family’s potential livelihood was at risk due to the Club’s own outdated
    software and on line mismanagement. When they finally did see fit to email us,
    it was two months after the charges hit out card. TWO MONTHS. That is
    INEXCUSABLE.

    I commend you for being responsible with your Credit Card.  Most are not,
    hence the current depression.  The lack of information coming out of the
    GIJCC/TFCC when this credit card mess first started is definitely a problem.  I
    believe this is the most valuable point you have made.  However, the fact that
    it was two months after you personally were defrauded does not mean it was two
    months for everyone.  Mine actually happened after the announcement.  It might
    be because I’ve worked for a bank but when fraud occurs you know you are not
    liable for any of the cost.  That’s part of the agreement with VISA and
    MasterCard.  Let’s not forget how many cases of fraud actually happen per
    year.  A company is required to notify its customers when they’ve been breached
    as soon as the breach is confirmed.  What we don’t know is when the club officially
    identified the breach.  How many people that buy from the club also purchase
    from BBTS or one of the Transformer-toy-vendors?  Until the GIJCC actually
    identified the hole in their setup, they can’t confirm they were the ones who
    were hacked.

    It took several hours of phone calls, and we had to get a new
    card, but my wife was able to straighten out the account. I was still angry,
    and was ready to bail on our convention planning, but we had already made the
    plans, saved the date, and my family was really looking forward to it.

    I’m glad you were able to get it sorted out.

    Then, my son told me the date for the convention had changed.
    WHAT? Changed to WHEN? AND the hotel had changed? This was unprecedented. And
    it effectively sank our chances of going to the con. My step son wouldn’t have
    been able to make it, and I had already set my vacation time at work. I was
    unable to change it because the new convention time was already taken by
    someone else. We were done. The Club had just destroyed my entire family’s
    vacation plans. Not safeguarding our financial information wasn’t enough, they
    seemed dead set on pushing membership out the door.

    We still do not know the reason for the convention dates changing yet.  I am
    truly sorry that your family vacation has now been sunk but the GIJCC has
    always stated that the date/location may change.  I’m willing to bet that the
    true reason for this change had to do with the G.I.Joe movie release date per
    instruction from Hasbro.  One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.  The date
    change might not have benefited you and yours but that does not mean that it
    did not benefit everyone.  Being that it’s now a week later, maybe a certain
    MOC Dealer from Chicago can go that I haven’t seen in years.

    My younger son still wanted to get the Convention set, so I told
    him we would do it. He was hoping for a carded Footloose figure, that, similar
    to the Dial-Tone from last year, would be available as a carded figure at the
    con, but I doubt we would have a chance at one of those since Dial Tone goes
    for quite a bit of money now, much like all the convention souvenirs from last
    year that we were unable to get. We were supposed to get a loose Footloose as
    part of the club membership, so he would get that certainly. Then, he told me
    that footloose was already going for over $100 on eBay. i told him he was
    wrong, it couldn’t be, because we didn’t get ours yet. But he showed me, people
    had already gotten their figures and were selling them for hundreds of dollars.
    How? We were members in good standing, we paid for our membership BEFORE the
    credit card issues, how do we NOT have our figure yet, but others do? I called
    the Club and was told they were “Asking members to be patient and wait until
    May 31st because they were sent bulk mail which takes time”. So, someone in
    Seattle, and Florida, and even some collectors in England, THEY have their
    figures, but we, who live just a couple states away from the Club hub in Texas,
    don’t have ours yet? What does it take to rate with these people? I’ve been
    loyal, supportive, non-judgmental, patient, but they don’t seem to care.

    The way you have this written it sounds as if they should be sending them
    out one-by-one with regards to how long their membership has been with the
    club.  And on top of that, they should be making sure everyone gets theirs.  If
    you truly do not receive yours, mine is still sealed in the mailer and will
    gladly send it to you as your son will play with it as opposed to me eventually
    putting it on E-bay.  Due to the fact that most people are vapid liars I see no
    reason to fault the club for a) the USPS’s failings and b) not sending out
    additional figures for those that “did not get them”.  Up until the Dial-Tone I
    never once heard a complaint of “I didn’t get my figure”.  The first free
    figure, Clear Zartan in 2003, Glow-in-the-Dark Heavy Water in 2004, Jungle
    Viper in 2005, Nullifier in 2006, Copperhead in 2007, Unproduced Cobra
    Commander in 2008, Undertow in 2009 (of which I am sad to say I do not have
    enough), Big Lob in 2010.  With Dial-Tone in 2011 and now Footloose in 2012 we
    are now hearing the complaints.

    Regardless, my son wanted the Convention set, so we waited for
    registration, and assumed Footloose would get to our home soon. Registration
    finally went live on line after many issues including something having to do
    with the new movie release date, but last week it was ready to go…FOR ATTENDEES
    ONLY. The Club’s response was that they “wanted the con sets to go to
    convention attendees only” and that “some non-attending packages would be on
    line later but only after all the attending packages were sold”. Apparently
    membership and support doesn’t count for what it used to with this Club. I know
    one collector who is deployed overseas in the US Army from time to time and has
    relied on the Homefront Hero Package to help him stay connected to his hobby.
    He is deployed this year. Does the Club hate our troops? I also found out about
    this “Golden Ticket” that was being sold again this year. It allows the
    purchaser to buy up to 3 of every item before anyone else who DIDN’T purchase
    the ticket. We used to be allowed to buy extras for FREE, but now, the cost of
    this Golden Ticket is…$300. An EXTRA $300 on top of the $345 for the boxed set,
    which is the highest that the attendee set has EVER BEEN. So, for the
    opportunity to buy more of the items, an opportunity that used to be FREE after
    everyone else was allowed to get one of each item, will now net the Club almost
    $30K EXTRA on top of the already highly priced con sets, con souvenirs, and now
    useless membership subscription. I guess they are soaking their membership to
    help pay for all of their mistakes? For all of the potential pending litigation
    over their mishandling our their member’s personal information? For the
    software upgrade? I guess the Club’s mistakes are OUR mistakes as well, after
    all, we have supported them in their continued mismanagement. Even at it’s
    basest level, the Golden Ticket makes no sense. If you go to the grocery store and
    buy a roll of toilet paper for $1, they don’t charge you $5 for 3 rolls. It
    sounds to me as if Brian Savage saw what the items were fetching at auction and
    decided to charge more and get a piece of that pie. I can’t beleive people are
    falling for it, honestly.

    The purpose of a convention is to drive people TO the convention.  As the
    convention grows the popularity of the convention sets will grow with it. 
    Sadly this means that those who do not attend the convention will be slowly
    pushed out.  I would be surprised if they even have non-attending for next
    years JoeCon.  That is a pretty big leap of faith to go from “My friend in the
    military can’t register so the Club hates our troops”.  I realize your emotions
    are quite high from this but that’s analogous to me saying “You’re not
    attending JoeCon, you hate G.I.Joe.”

    For better or for worse the Golden Ticket will be here to stay.  As I stated
    above, it allows the club to (in theory) keep prices lower or higher an
    additional employee.

    Find me a company that doesn’t pass on the “savings” when they screw up to
    their customer?  If anyone plans to sue the GIJCC please god let me know so I
    can follow the case.  I want to see how quickly it’s laughed out of court. 
    This is Credit Card info, not Identity Theft.

    I was disgusted. This wasn’t my club. MY Club made the hobby
    better. This Club is a money sucking vacuum, and they don’t care at all about
    their membership any more. They only care about the money they can take. But I
    was still prepared to give them my money for my son’s boxed set. He had a game
    last night, so I went to see him play. I checked the registration before I
    left, and it wasn’t open yet for non attendees. Hopefully tomorrow…

    Welcome to last week for Attendee Registration.   I don’t know how many
    times I refreshed the club page to see if Registration was up.  Hell, I even
    fell for it once when someone posted that it was up (but several lines lower
    told the truth).  Shame on me for not reading entirely

    We got home a little late from the game, my son’s team didn’t
    win. I checked my email before bed to see that non-attendee registration was up
    and running, so I went in to get my son a set and…They were gone. Gone. I
    checked some of the web sites and there were reports of non-Attendee
    registration being open for two hours before that email was even sent to me. I
    had to tell my son that we weren’t getting a con set for the first time in 12
    years. Another email that I got this morning basically said “They sold out,
    don’t contact us”.

    So, it would have been okay if they won?  And the sets sold out for
    non-attendees in ~3 hours.  I received the e-mail about non-attendee
    Registration at 4:30 PM Pacific.  I received the e-mail that it was sold out at
    8:20 PM Pacific.  You’re not getting a 3 ¾” Con set through the GIJCC.  You can
    still get a 3 ¾” Con set through the secondary market or even the 12” set.  I
    assume a lot of the calls they received go like this: “Hi, I didn’t get to
    register for JoeCon.” “I’m sorry, we’re sold out.”  “SOLD OUT!?!?!?!  BUT I
    DIDN’T GET MINE!  HOW DARE YOU!” and that’s just a guess based on the ire I’m
    seeing posted online.

    As I’ve said, I’m done with this Club. Once we get Footloose figure
    (no, we still have not gotten ours yet, and they continue to be sold on eBay
    for insane prices) I won’t be giving Brian Savage’s traveling money hole and
    carpet bagging fan club any more of my family’s money. We have our memories,
    and that is what it was really about. I’ll miss it, but I am still hopeful that
    the rest of the Club membership wises up and sees that they are being horribly
    taken advantage of but an unscrupulous and morally corrupt individual. I also
    hope that Hasbro sees the club for what they are, as well, and refuses to do
    any further business with them. It is time for a new club. A Club made by
    collectors, for collectors. A true FAN CLUB. When there is, we will come back
    to support them. Until then, it was nice, and I wish my fellow collectors well.

    Based on your comments above, misplaced rage and general lack of
    understanding, I think you will be better off taking a long break from G.I.Joe
    Collecting.  As Corey Stinson has already stated, the Club needs to grow.  If
    it grows by providing an amazing product in limited quantities, then it shall. 

    (I was advised by fellow collectors to issue this anonymously,
    because, and I i, “The GIJCC has proven they have a short temper, no patience
    for criticism, and a long memory when it comes to their detractors.”)

    Another Angry Former GI Joe Collectors Club Member

    Sgt. A Nonymous

    I see this as being a mistake on your part.  If you’re unable to stand up
    for what you believe in you’re doing yourself a disservice.  I proudly stand by
    everything I have said here.

    -Kevin Baughn, better known as Admiral Hunter

  9. I’d just like to point out that most “Fan Clubs” are made by fans and are typically free or cost very little. Typically the members just gather to talk about the thing they are a fan of and if there are any incentives, it’s a small cheap item. Case in point: The Misfits Fiend Club used to be free (By free I mean the cost of sending a self addressed, stamped envelope) and all you’d recieve would be a newsletter (maybe 6 times a year if lucky), some homemade stickers and maybe a used concert ticket. In the newsletter, you’d have the chance to buy exclusive items like CD’s, T-Shirts, Buttons or Masks.

    Now with the GI Joe Collector’s Club (Notice they don’t call it a fan club) you have to pay for membership and you get an exclusive figure and a newsletter every month. The opportunity to buy exclusive stuff that is primarily for a convention is a BONUS.

    Has the club made mistakes, sure. IT Security is a problem I’d blame on them. The items they offer being super popular and bought up by many people with a lot of money? I doubt you can blame the collector’s club for that. Maybe if collectors didn’t feel the need to buy multiples of everything or maybe if the items being offered were not as popular then perhaps Mr. Anon could get what he wanted, but just blaming the club for it casts Mr. Anon in an unpleasant light.

  10. The Club needs more work.

    I found out about my credit card # (was only used to re-up my Club membership) being stolen by my bank a day after news broke on GeneralsJoes.

    I took 2 days for them to tell me that my membership didn’t transfer over from the old system. I was also told that if I don’t have Footloose by 5/31, I have to email them, but now I’m wondering how many other people are also waiting.

    I for one was really upset that the 2011 Con set (Great looking set) sold out so quickly, and a little down when the 2012 set (another great looking set) sold out. Those sell out should be an indication that production should be increased for the following years to accommodate new members.

  11. I gotta agree with this guy. I’m unable to attend conventions due to being active duty military. I joined the GIJCC in 2005 and actually went back and bought all the Con Sets up to that point. The only two I skipped were the “Vacation in the Shadows” set and the “Crimson Strike” 25th set. I have bought EVERY figure from them religiously, and have a collection of over 7,500 figures, pay my dues on time, help others out when they can’t get figures from retail due to poor distribution from Hasbro (POC Lowlight and Renegades Storm Shadow come to mind). And all I have seen is them up the prices and make more and more concessions for people who have unlimited funds to spend! What about those of us who aren’t 6 figure income earners? I thought a collectors club was for people who had a common interest and a common Love for something. These guys only care about the bottom line…and yes, it traces back to their buddies,HASBRO! Honestly, if Hasbro dictated that stuff to me, I’d be like, “fine…we’re the UNOFFICIAL GI Joe club”. All they are doing with this Golden Ticket, FSS and cutting the number of CON Sets is making it a Scalpers Market.Real fans can’t afford to buy! You sound like Barbara Striesand “If you’re REAL fan’s you’ll find a way to afford my ticket prices!” Well shaft you Hasbro and the GIJCC! Enjoy! Like the author of this letter, I’m out too! Not only am I no longer gonna collect and let my membership for the GIJCC expire, I REFUSE to watch the movie Hasbro had NO FAITH in!

  12. At the VERY LEAST, the Club could have told us WHEN non-attendee registration would go live and avoided a lot of flak over the instant sell out this year.

    But that wouldn’t have gone much distance to rectify the disappointments, inconveniences and outright violations of privacy that many members have suffered over the past few years. And not getting a con set this year can’t help but add to that largely negative experience.

    Corey and pluv are both right about communication being the most apparent problem, but this has been pointed out to the Club time and again. They don’t want to hear it (or any other feedback that isn’t praise). And that’s indicative of a larger problem: contempt for their members.

    Over the past few years they’ve adopted very much a “take it or leave it” attitude and approach to service (and damage control). They have no desire to improve the membership experience or cater in any way to the dues-paying base that provides them what should be their most reliable (and appreciated) stream of recurring revenue.

    Instead it appears that almost every decision they have made in recent years has been motivated by greed. The Golden Ticket is the most obvious example. It’s clearly designed to attract speculators who will buy up product to create scarcity and attempt to flip the product on the secondary market at an even more inflated price (which begs the question of what the Club’s interest might be in helping to drive up secondary market value on its products — are they making extra units in secret to sell on eBay?).

    My biggest concern is that, now with the movie postponed and the future of the toy line at retail uncertain, the Club will have even less incentive to listen to or even feign an attempt to care about their members. After all, they could soon become the only game in town for people who want new Joe product.

    If I were Hasbro and had any intention of keeping the Joe brand alive after the Retaliation boondoggle, I would seriously reconsider making The Club the sole steward of that brand for the next 9-to-11 months. Because, despite Hasbro’s stated desire to make Joe a hit with kids, it hasn’t been since the 80s. The kids who loved it then are today’s collectors, and it’s been the collectors who have kept the brand on life support over the years. The irony being that the so-called “Collectors’ Club” has made it clear that it doesn’t care if its members, those collectors, stay or go.

  13. While I can’t say anything in regard to the conventions since I could never afford it or justify spending that much even if I could afford it, I was a member for a single year and was left completely disgusted with my experience. While I knew about the club for a couple of years, I had held off joining until the 2010-2011 year. I wanted to take advantage of the “lower” prices members received so I could purchase some of their o-ring offerings. I picked up a few things although found the shipping costs to be horrifically overpriced. I live in WA State so it’s not like they are shipping it from the Southeastern tip of Florida to get it to me. At the time though, I brushed it off and reminded myself that I was getting some items that weren’t exactly the kind of thing you could just go to the store and buy.

    Was I satisfied with what I bought, for the most part, yes. The monthly “magazines” were alright; I liked a few of the articles though the comics weren’t all that great. It was still kind of cool to get one in the mail each month. Let’s face it though, one of the main reasons for one to join the club is for the “free” monthly figure. That year it was Dial-Tone. Now I am not really a fan of the 25th/ME style to say the least (25th looked neat in the package but I didn’t care for opened). That said though I was kind of looking forward to getting Dial-Tone as it would be my first official club membership figure. The announcement was made that they had been shipped. So I anxiously checked the mailbox everyday in hopes of seeing it but each time nothing showed. One month went by, I got my magazine but no figure. Two months go by and still nothing. In the meantime, I sent a couple of emails to the club inquiring as to what was going on. It took almost two weeks each time to get a response. Each response said to keep waiting, sometimes it takes awhile. If I hadn’t already been able to purchase things directly from China and receive them in a week, I may have believed the club that it really did take a couple months to get my figure. Anyway, after a third response, I was told that they were sold out of Dial-Tone and that I could get a refund or pick a different figure from the remaining membership figures they had in stock. At that point I was more than furious. For one, they send these things in a small box plastered with GIJCC big and bold on it for anyone to see (shady people being able to snatch these things rather easily) and sell out all of the figures so that there aren’t even enough to replace ones that may get lost or damaged in transit? This after having been given the run around for a couple of months whenever I asked about it? Mind you I only emailed 3 times over two months after waiting each time they asked me to. I understand that things get lost in the mail and delays can happen but as a first time member experiencing this kind of service, I realized I should have never joined to begin with as the bad outweighed the good.

    So from my perspective, while based on far less experience with the club, I agree with this person who feels the club should be disbanded. Or at the very least give it over to someone else who can manage it better and who actually gives some thought to customer service. I think that their other issues; current FSS failure, convention date/location difficulties, failure to keep some extra stock on hand to fix mishaps (i.e. don’t sell out EVERYTHING immediately just to get fast cash), Golden Ticket and all the other actions that people take issue with wouldn’t cause AS MUCH of a negative stir if their customer service wasn’t so piss-poor.

    I have since not renewed my membership and never will again. At this point, the few clubs I have joined that offer figures, discounts, etc., have all disappointed me in the extreme. As a plus, I’ve taken to diving into customizing/sculpting for my own personal enjoyment and continuation of the hobby. It’s more enjoyable, more productive and I get a hell of a lot more out of it without having to throw away my money.

  14. “Corey and pluv are both right about communication being the most apparent problem, but this has been pointed out to the Club time and again. They don’t want to hear it (or any other feedback that isn’t praise). And that’s indicative of a larger problem: contempt for their members.”

    I couldn’t have said it better myself. When they first started having issues, I went on their facebook and posted what I thought were valid critisms of hasbro and it’s policies, nothing vulgar, just straight up “as I saw it”. I hit “Reply”, went to another GI Joe Collector page and told a friend that I had brought some issues to their attention…within that 3-4 minute time frame, they deleted my post. They simply DON’T WANT TO HEAR ANYTHING BUT ACCOLADES FOR HASBRO! They don’t care about collectors…if they did, they would have put steps in place to stop scalping. They have become like Hasbro, they only care about the Almighty Dollar.

  15. The main ongoing problem with the club is that they are no longer dealing in limited appeal variants, their own made-up kitbashes and storylines, or figures that are homages to obscure international variants and such. They are now piggybacking on the massive retail success with collectors of the 25th/30th toy lines. They are making figures that are key to the Joe mythos and an integral part of that popular collection, yet they are producing the same limited quantity that they did before. This creates extremely fast sell-outs and extremely high-priced figures on eBay, two things that by definition tick off a large number of people.

    The golden ticket is the fuel on the fire. It gives the club a huge incentive to keep doing exactly what they’re doing, because they are skimming profits off of the scalpers who know they will profit even more off of the club’s insanely underproduced toys. Making money by intentionally depriving people of what they want is highly unethical.

  16. I know 100 percent for a fact the maulers mold was not destroyed. There was nothing wrong with the mold.. Gijoeclub.com lied and said that because they didnt want to tell everyone that the cost was to high and they didnt sell the amount they had hoped for and they switched to another factory hoping to cut cost but that didnt work and they were not able to cut the cost and so they lied and said the mold was broken.

  17. It does seem like making things too exclusive takes the fun out of collecting.

    The con sets used to be cool because it was something that you really didn’t need for your collection, but it was a fun way to remember the time you had at the con or a little something different than retail. No must have characters, but plenty of fun factor.

    Now it seems like we are getting sets that should have seen retail but end up at ever higher con prices or insane e-Bay prices. It’s almost like they want to force you to buy expensive exclusives just to get characters that were a part of the cartoon or comic books. I’m not sure that having to join the club and attend the conventions just to have a nice selection of characters is the best way to do long time fans who might not have a huge hobby budget.

    Given some of the horror stories about costumer service you have to start wondering if some exclusives don’t come at too high of a price.

  18. The one thing I’ll say about the figure choices the club makes is that if the club didn’t make them, Hasbro wouldn’t make them. Hasbro approves what the club makes so it doesn’t interfere with what Hasbro is going to have on the retail shelves. Pissed off you’re going to have to pay crazy prices for the Oktober Guard or the Cancelled IG set? Well that’s better than them never being made right? At least with the club you have the option of saving up and buying a set. (Even if it is from ebay)

  19. Depends who the “you” is you’re talking about. If you’re referring to more than 750 “yous” or whatever the production limit is, then, no, the 751st “you” and above do not have the option to buy the set. I think we’re all very happy that exclusive sets have gone to EE and BBTS with new figures not sold at retail. The difference with the club is that the production is too overly limited and the prices are too high. Even for those of us who do get the sets, we certainly have grounds to complain about how much we’re being charged. Many people think $10 at retail for a figure is too high. What does that say about the club’s prices?

    I do think they deserve credit for the ME-style Adventure Team sets and for bringing us a Dr. Venom figure through those. That is the kind of thing they should be doing, figures which have NO chance of ever hitting retail (you can’t say that for the Oktober Guard set, since Red Star and Iron Grenadier variations did hit retail in ME-style, and some OG came out in the 2000s comic packs). Also, these are figures which are sold on their web site for all club members, not just for con-goers. I can see paying a little more for figures which could never be sold to the wider retail market. I think the FSS could be a good thing and as I recall, the character selection on those also seemed well-chosen as figures that had a very low likelihood of ever being at retail.

    However that just underlines the fact that it is going to upset a lot of fans who miss out when even more mainstream characters than the club offers through their store to all members are limited to a high-priced convention set that, particularly this year, many non-congoers were shut out of buying.

  20. So, did anyone else see over on YoJoe that Guru-Planet is advertising that it has pre-orders for the 2012 Joe Con set? Either they exploited a loophole in ordering sets or the Club sold them some…and either way, it really blows, especially considering Guru is charging $800 for their “Last One.” If that doesn’t prove that the Club needs to find a different way of handling con sets, I don’t know what does.

    Here’s the link to show you what I mean: http://store.guru-planet.com/gicoex.html

  21. JediJones, there are four to seven “Main stream” figs are Duke, SE, SS, CC (maybe Baroness, Destro, Roadblock now)…

    Anything else is a bonus.

  22. A lot of the problem is the 4-7 mainstream figures Hasbro KEEPs producing. How many Dukes, Snake Eyes, Cobra Commanders and Storm Shadows do they think we REALLY want? There have been a FEW exceptional Varients, but like the CON and Club items, they are too limited (Renegades Storm Shadow comes to mind). The collectors see the offerings at Toyfaire and other shows and can tell what will sell and what won’t…and what kills me is that TIME and TIME again, Hasbro kills the stuff all of use would buy (Data Viper/Kwinn/ Robot Rebellion Cobra Commander) and puts out trash we don’t want…like version 73(made up number, don’t go looking for it!!) of Snake Eyes. Take Mr. Freeze Destro,why were there like 4 of him to a case? Or ROC Destro? Yet, a lot of collectors had to go online to eRape (eBay) and pay $45 or more for Lowlight, Renegades Storm Shadow, Lifeline, Law and Order, ect? And forget about ever owning Dial Tone or Footloose without winning the mega millions! And with these Con sets, how are people selling 3-4 sets piecemeal on Ebay? I couldn’t get a attending set and have someone pick it up, I had to wait and scramble for the, what? 15 non-attending sets they had? Yet online retail sites ended up with how many sets and RESOLD them for $800 a pop? And these are figures Hasbro has been told time and time again Collectors want, yet they KEEP producing SE,SS, Duke and CC….this is what is driving a LOT of us away from collecting! And their whole attitude is….well, have an issue and post it on their FB page or call them on the phone…..you’ll see…..

  23. All I can say there Frank is that being a completionist is NOT the way to go. I’m a MOC collector, and I only have 20 left, I know it’s going to take me about 10 years to get them because I won’t spend over a certain amount for them.

    Eventually I will get them… It’s what drives my collecting. And the sets weren’t limited to one per until after they opened Non-Attendee Reg.

  24. Honestly I can see both sides of this. First off the “Club ” isn’t really a club it’s a business out to make money. They aren’t putting a gun to anyones head forcing them to buy anything. They offer product that can’t be bought anywhere else. But are they selling it for a fair price? Is it right that they sold carded Dialtones at the Con before all of the membership got thier loose ones? Should they get extras and keep them until is is assured that everyone got the figures in the mail? The only way they would know how much product to make would be to do a preorder for everything they want to make, but that will never happen because Brian likes to have suprises. So they estimate how much to make and lately it has been selling out. The club has it’s good points and bad ones just like Walmart and Target the bottom line is this it’s your money spend it where you want to!

  25. First off I hate scalpers and there are things that the club does that makes it highly lucrative to scalp. Having said that I’m not sure anyone is “owed” a set. If you have the money and time you can attend the con and get the exclusives. If you don’t have either then you will have to rely on a buddy or the secondary market. I guess what it comes down to is how much you are willing to pay. If I had a ton of money I would buy multiple con sets and sell them for $50. One dude does have a point about Guru Planet and other etailers though. How do they get multiple sets to sell without an inside job? I think that is what really steams people. I love BBTS but they have the same issue with SDCC exclusives.

  26. Kevin Baughn, a Joe line with 7 “common” characters and everyone else being rare is not what we were sold in the ’80s and would certainly be a stupid way to market a Joe line now. Talk about limiting your customer base and profit potential. The success at retail of the 25th line and POC/30th releases like Lowlight, Sci-Fi, Lifeline, etc. shows that there is a big collector demand that goes far beyond those 7 characters. Not to mention, G.I. Joe was always about the TEAM. And the cartoon cycled through an entire year’s worth of characters pretty evenly. Changing Joe into a “Batman”-style line with just a couple main heroes and side characters that rarely ever get shipped to stores is utterly stupid, and fails every time Hasbro tries to do it. The latest Duke and Cobra Commander variants pegwarm for months while every original character sells out in a couple days.

    Dusty Ayers, the bottom line is why should only 750 Joe collectors (or whatever the amount was) get to own the Oktober Guard figures? We can argue about what’s the fairest way to price and distribute those 750 sets. But why create the distribution problem in the first place by limiting the sets that low? The Joe club should be allowed to do only REALLY obscure figures and variants, not major cartoon/comic characters or the only ME versions of single-carded ’80s figures. They should get to do Mission Brazil or Night Force versions of characters, but not the original characters.

  27. Pingback: On the subject of the GI Joe Club and its subscriptions | OAFE – Blog

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