The G.I. Joe Collector’s Club sent out the following update to its membership regarding their ongoing Winter Clearance Sale and Joe Con 2015:
Hmmm… “Registration is still several weeks away”…
According to the countdown timer embedded on the GIJoeCon website, the convention starts in just over 36 days. That’s roughly 5 weeks from the time that I’m writing these comments. In essence, Joe Con 2015 is also “several weeks away.”
I consider myself lucky this year as the con is just about 1 hour south of my house as the crow flies. However, it is the opinion of this Joe fan that the Club is doing a major disservice to its membership that has to make travel arrangements more involved than hopping in the car and heading down a state highway.
I’ve read comments on various forums and Facebook message boards by folks who have held off making their travel arrangements until after registration. One of the reasons for this is the annual customizing class which is held on Thursday. For those individuals, participation in the class determines their day of arrival and whether or not to reserve another night’s lodging at the con hotel. The longer the folks on Cattle Baron Drive delay the opening of registration, the more expensive the airline flights will be.
Now, some of you might be wondering “Who is this guy to criticize the Club? Has he ever organized a convention? Doesn’t he know that they’re working hard to get the registration system up and running?“
No, I’ve never run a convention. I’ve attended plenty over the past decades but I have to admit my attendance at the Joe Cons hasn’t been as consistent as many others. However, I am a “dues paying member” of the Club, annually shelling out my hard-earned cash in exchange for a membership newsletter and a renewal figure as well as knowing that my funds are helping to make the annual Joe Con possible. The years that I’ve attended I’ve even tried to provide event coverage for those back home. While real life may have interfered with my attendance in the past, I’ve still watched the events each year with great interest.
However, this year’s efforts by the Club, both in terms of the convention theme as well as the continual registration delays, seem to be lacking the same enthusiasm that the membership has for the annual event. The email copied above is a slightly-altered copy of the previous email that the Club sent out. The only part that was updated was the part about the Club’s sale. If the “several weeks” line was an oversight on the part of the Club that speaks to a much larger issue — one of apathy on the part of those sending the communication.
Simply put– more effort seems to be put into shilling for the clearance sale than has been put into ensuring that their dues-paying members can register for the event in a timely fashion. According to this latest update, we’re still “several weeks away” which means that many people will end up having to book their travel arrangements before actually securing their place at the event.
This hasn’t been the greatest few years for our beloved G.I. Joe. Rise of Cobra, which was supposed to reinvigorate the brand ended up dividing the fan base and eroding retailer confidence in the merchandise. The sequel, G.I. Joe Retaliation, saw its release delayed by 9 months and its merchandise release suffered as a result. In its 50th Anniversary year, the brand was reduced to a Toys R Us exclusive that, by all appearances, isn’t proving to be the strong seller than Hasbro was hoping. One would expect the Club to be the lighthouse for the brand, shining brightly during these dark times. Instead, once again registration is delayed due to technical issues that, quite honestly, should have been cleared up years before.
I’ll climb off my soapbox now. Kvetching and griping doesn’t solve anything unless its done in a constructive fashion. If you’re frustrated by the lack of progress once again this year, reach out to the Club and let them know. After all, if the fans are unhappy but remain silent then the Club has no incentive to improve.
We’ll post any further updates about registration when it eventually goes live which I’m sure it will eventually. After all, the Club has those prized “Golden Tickets” to sell… but that’s a rant for another day. After all, this is just one Joe fan’s opinion.
What do YOU think? Sound off in the comments below!