FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Q: If I received multiple emails for package pick-up, which one do I go by?
A: The emails are sent out by invoice number, class participants, exhibitors and people on the tour. You can go by any one of them, but we recommend you use the earliest time you received for package pick-up.
Q: How much money should I bring to buy all of the 2015 convention exclusive souvenirs?
A: Costs have gone up because of the complexity of the deco on the items and air freight caused by the dock workers issues on the west coast. There is also an additional souvenir item this year and one that is a large vehicle. If you want to get one of everything you will need approximately $600 for the convention 3 3/4″ items and $200 for the 12″ items.
Q: I was able to purchase a box set, but the attending bagged sets were sold out. When non-attending allocation goes live will I be able to order a bagged set then?
A: No. You have to purchase a non-attending set to get the few loose sets reserved for that group. We will verify each order and those that try to break the rules will be deleted less service fees.
Q: Will there be any bag sets at the show or can I call the office and have one added to my box set?
Q: On Friday are there general admission passes available?
A: No. Registered attendees only on Friday. This is a private preview no general admission.
Q: Is the freebie item per registered person/badge or is it by box set? I got 2 boxed sets, so how many of the freebie item do I get?
A: Attending items are by boxed set(s). Each person will only have one name badge and one voucher to use for the souvenirs until limits are raised.
Q: Are we going to need to print our confirmation that was emailed to us and bring to package pick-up?
A: You will need a copy to prove which time slot will be yours for package pickup. The slots are by invoice number. More instructions will be emailed to you before the event.
Q: Has the parachute drop been confirmed one way or the other yet?
A: Unfortunately, the venues we were trying to get for the drop did not work out. Therefore, there will not be a drop this year. However, you will be able to purchase the parachute figure starting on Thursday night and it will be very close for everyone to get a figure.
Okay, let’s address three of these FAQ’s in short order:
1) HOLY PRICE INCREASE BATMAN!
I know that there’s a sentiment in certain sectors of the fandom that “Joe fans are cheap” and that we “just wait for everything to hit Ross” but according to my math from last year’s souvenir sheet, to pick up all of the 1:18 scale convention souvenirs (skipping the KREO, lithograph, and the hat & t-shirt) attendees had to spend an additional $363.
The breakdown was:
- Rescue Ops 2 pack – $58
- Zombie Steel Brigade 3 pack – $69
- Carded Joe Colton – $30
- Cobra Septic Tank – $72
- Steel Brigade Pilot & VTOL – $65
- Rescue Ops VAMP – $69
So, from $363 to $600 is nearly a 100% increase! Granted, the “Tiger Force” theme involves more paint applications and the Club did air freight the merchandise over to the states from China in order to have it here on time but, in all honesty, I don’t feel that either of these conditions justify THAT much of an increase!
Here’s the rub– it was the Club that chose the Tiger Force theme. Knowing that it required more paint decos meant that they could have adjusted the number of of souvenirs to reflect that so that attendees wouldn’t be hit with THIS much of jump. Plus, it seems to be that better overall planning would have given them more time to ship the product from overseas even with the potential dock strike that was averted.
True one of the souvenirs is a larger vehicle but eventually there is a price threshold that is reached where attendees simply cannot afford to purchase the products the Club is selling and still enjoy their trip. It’s possible that, for most regular attendees (and not Golden Ticket holders) that 2015 could be the year that point is reached.
2) Bagged sets – GONE EARLY!
For the first time in years, it seems that the bagged sets are going to be harder to acquire than the boxed sets. Granted, the club held off registration for the event until almost the last possible moment and therefore had to split their allocation of convention sets between attending and non-attending registrations but it seems that this situation is also a victim of the Club’s poor planning in terms of late registration.
Personally, I’m almost of the mindset that the Club could just do away with boxed sets entirely. Of course, I’m the type of collector who purchases figures to display, not to leave sitting in a box collecting dust.
3) Parachute figures – once again at a premium!
I find this one almost ironic. Last year’s parachute figure proved to create a bit of a debacle for the GIJCC. Due to some logical issues in 2013, the planned parachute figure that tied into the Nocturnal Fire theme had to be scrapped and a Kreo figure was substituted. Rather than just sell the intended figure in the con store, the club withheld him until 2014 to save on costs. Night Force Crazylegs proved to be incredibly popular with fans who wanted to complete their Nocturnal Fire sets and promptly sold out before the general attendees were able to purchase them. (Golden Ticket holders were able to acquire their three times limit but that’s another story.)
It looks like we’re in for another “Parachute-Gate” this year as the parachute drop has been cancelled and the parachute figures are going to be in short supply for every pre-registered attendee to have the opportunity to purchase one. Again.
Honestly, this last one is a real head-scratcher for me. With all of the registration delays and cost hikes, you’d think the Club would want to keep the pre-registered attendees happy. A simple solution is produce 1 parachute figure for every pre-registration that is received. However, in this case, with registration occuring two weeks before the event it just wasn’t possible. Once again, poor planning and execution creates another PR issue for an organization already has a dicey relationship with its member base at best.
This isn’t meant to be a big “Club Bash.” Quite honestly– I don’t want to see the Club fail. What I would like to see is for the Club to make a real honest concerted effort to change. I’d like to see the Club function in an organized fashion with logistical foresight instead of the series of “last minute solutions” and “quick fixes” that seem to have plagued them ever since they took over management of the annual Transformers convention several years ago. It seems clear to me that running two conventions and two subscription services has taxed the G.I. Joe Collector’s Club beyond their logistical and technological capacity. Something has to give or, given the current mood in the fandom, there won’t be much of a Collector’s Club in a few years.
Of course, that’s just one Joe fan’s opinion.
What do YOU think? Is the Club once again a victim of bad luck? Or is change needed?
Leave your thoughts in the comments below!