JoeCon2012: Online registration delayed and Homefront Hero packages possibly limited…

The Collector’s Club sent out the following email regarding online registration for the 2012 Joe Con in New Orleans– stating that initial online registration will be for ATTENDING registrations only.

Hello all!

Registration will not be online today. We are in the middle of a server migration that we must have installed before we start registration.  If the website is offline off and on, please don’t worry.

Just a few notes.  When the server comes back up, we will be loading a package matrix so that you can better understand what feature goes with each package.

In addition, when we start registration, it will only be for attending packages, a few days later we will start with the non-attending packages.  We need to ensure that everyone who wants to come to the show can get a package.

DO NOT REGISTER FOR AN ATTENDING PACKAGE IF YOU ARE NOT COMING.  PACKAGES ARE ONLY CONVERTIBLE AT OUR DISCRETION AND MAY BE CANCELLED IF YOU TRY TO CONVERT.  ONLY ADMIN CAN CONVERT YOUR PACKAGE.

You can also pre-order convention T-Shirts and Hats at the same time.

If you have friends that are planning to register as members, they will need an active membership.  You can paste this link so that they can sign up with the club.  You cannot process a membership at the same time as your registration as these are two completely different systems.  Go here to sign up for a new membership.

In addition, we reserve the right to limit quantities.

We hope to see all of you there for G.I. Joe Con 2012!

See you in NOLA!

Brian

 

What’s interesting is that just last week the Club published the convention brochure which stated that there were 600 produced sets and 325 bagged sets.  Realistically, that means that 325 individuals would be able to purchase a boxed and bagged set combo while 275 individuals would be acquiring a boxed set only.  It’s understandable that the Collector’s Club would want to be able to satisfy everyone who attends the convention and expects to be able to acquire a convention set.  However, unless the vast majority of the Club’s membership is attending the convention, it means that a lot of Joe fans are going to miss out on the opportunity of owning a set of truly iconic (and demanded) classic Joe characters.  As an organization, you would think that the Collector’s Club would want to keep the majority of its members happy and wanting to renew year after year.  After all, one of the definitions of a Club is:

an organization that offers its subscribers certain benefits, as discounts, bonuses, or interest, in return for regular purchases or payments: a book club; a record club; a Christmas club.

 

It’s no secret that 2012 has seen a seemingly endless string of debacles for the Collector’s Club.  Poor communication of the ever-delayed Figure Subscription Service including a lack of FIRM details on figure price, enrollment period, and purchase availability to non-subscribers started the year off.  However, the icing on the cake was the extremely reluctant reveal that the Club’s member database was hacked due to a lack of basic level security and that member credit card information was stolen.   (The club still have only begrudgingly acknowledged any responsibility in this situation.)  Lastly, there’s the Club’s implementation of the “Golden Ticket” program in which the Collector’s Club now charges members an additional charge for something they used to do for free.  Combined with the seemingly condescending attitude conveyed by the senior management of the organization it presents an interesting dilemma for Club members: what do I REALLY get out of my membership?

 

Despite what the pundits and the election year politicos tell us, most Americans are facing tough economic times with increased costs on everything from utilities to food to fuel.  As such, many people I know have begun to rethink their fiscal priorities and have begun cutting back on things like cable, eating out, etc.  When faced with those choices, people are sitting down and asking themselves “What do I really get from this?”  If the overall experience is positive, then the purchase is maintained but, if the experience is anything less and is seen as non-essential then people start to wonder– do I really  need this?

 

Currently, the only benefit of Club membership seems to be in the form of “discounted” pricing on Club items such as Joe Con sets.  (I say “discounted” because non-members are REQUIRED to buy a membership in order to purchase the item– therefore artificially inflating the Club’s numbers.)  The Club will say that the newsletter is a perk– but quite honestly the internet has rendered such notions as printed newsletters nearly obsolete.  Without dynamic exclusive content such as the dio-stories created by Justin Bell and the occasional article, the document is nothing more than a glossy ad with outdated pictures and fan fic level content.  Rather than allow both members and non-members the ability to purchase Club products with members receiving a discount for their annual dues, the Club requires EVERYONE to be a member.  As evidenced on many non-Joe action figure boards, this caveat has proven to be a deal-breaker for a majority of individuals who were interested in purchasing SOME of the figures featured in the Figure Subscription Service but who don’t consider themselves full-time Joe fans.

 

So, at the end of the day, as someone who hasn’t attended a Joe Con in several years now, I find myself asking the question: If I don’t go to the convention, what do I REALLY get out of my membership besides a $40+ dollar “free renewal” figure?  This is followed by another question: Is it really worth the annual $44 for what I get out of it?  Right now, the answer isn’t encouraging for the folks at Cattle Baron Drive and I have to ask myself– are others finding themselves walking down the same logical path?

JoeCon 2012: Convention brochure is now online

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Amidst a flurry of activity over the 2012 Convention set reveals, the Collector’s Club has posted the official convention brochure online.

Details from the brochure of interest are:

  • The Oktober Guard team will consist of Daina, Colonel Brehov, Shrage, Stormavik and the yet-to-be revealed Horrorshow and General Iron Bear.
  • The American Heroes package (attending 1:18 set) will be $345 for members and $405 for non- members.  (This effectively makes all non-members into members.  Go fig…)  Bagged sets are $210 and require the purchase of a convention set.
  • The Homefront Heroes package (non-attending 1:18 set) is the same as the American Heroes package.
  • The controversial “Golden Ticket” concept is back again this year– allowing attendees who pay an extra premium the ability to pick up items early and three times the normal purchase quantities  on exclusives.  75 will be available in 1:18 format and 25 for 1:6 format.  The cost of the “Golden Ticket” is an additional $300 on top of the convention admission price.
  • Quantities of the Operation Bear Trap set are 600 produced boxed sets and 325 bagged sets for both attendees and non-attendees.
  • A special screening of G.I. Joe: Retaliation will be available for $29.  Attendees will receive a full-size movie poster from Paramount Pictures.

The entire convention brochure is available here in PDF format.

Normally I’d keep this posting objective but it’s time to step on my soap box regarding the “Golden Ticket” concept.  I wasn’t surprised last year when the ticket concept debuted last year as it seemed an EASY way for the Collector’s Club to milk out additional revenue while providing very little in terms of additional produced items.  However, $300 for something that allows to purchase more items at ever-increasing Collector’s Club prices seems like a blatant cash grab.  Sure, no one is forcing those individuals to pay for the “Golden Ticket” but the very concept really hits home the fact that the Collector’s Club is never and has never really been a true club “of the fans, by the fans.”  It’s a business– one that has a history of baffling decisions that almost seems to alienate as much of the membership as it embraces.

We’ve long suspected that the 1:18 sales bankroll the 1:6 product for the club and the numbers on the “Golden Ticket” and the convention sets bring that point home.  I’ve no doubt that the Collector’s Club will sell all 75 of the “Golden Tickets” and that most of the sets purchased from those ticket holders will end up on Ebay at a vastly inflated rate.  That’s the real rub of the whole situation– the Club is catering more and more to the top tier of its membership with the deeper pockets than it is the vast majority of its members.  Years ago, when I was working in retail our store had the then “gotta have it” Christmas item: the Furby.  Rather than letting a few customers buy out our ENTIRE inventory, our store manager set a store limit: 2 per customer.  The idea was to make as many of our customers happy as possible rather than catering to just our top-tier folks.   In light of ALL of the mishaps that the Club has had in just 2012 alone including missed deadlines on the Figure Subscription Service, late newsletters, and the credit card hack that affect MANY of its members (including this admin) I find it hard to see how the Club is really doing anything in try to keep the vast majority of its membership happy.  Helping items to sell out faster to fewer individuals isn’t going to help win over any of the disgruntled members– even if those individuals are paying nearly convention-set prices for the privilege of spending more.

Bad form, Master Collector.  Bad form.

March Collector’s Club newsletter delayed…

It would seem that the GIJCC is going for the “hat trick” of issues with their monthly newsletter.  Both January and February announced that members were in the middle of the subscription service period for the FSS and now we have the following update from Brian regarding the March newsletter.

Hello,

It seems when it rains it pours.  We just found out this morning that our printer has failed to mail you the March issue. This will be going out by Friday so they are incredibly late.  If you don’t get yours by the end of the month, please let us know.  We apoligize [sic] for the delay.

Brian

It’s been reported on some forums that the Club was unaware the newsletter had not shipped until active members called in to report it.  Granted, some of us miss the days when we could just get a .pdf copy of the content on the club’s web page.   In this day and age, a reduced rate subscription with a .pdf-only option with email delivery seems to be a no-brainer.

The Joe Declassified Project returns to the 2010 G.I. Joe Collector’s Convention

The Joe Declassified Project will return to the G.I. Joe Collector’s Convention this year, and arriving back with a bang. For those that were able to visit us last year, you were privy to see some of the coolest and most revealing Joe items of your collecting career. This year, we plan to return with more of the same, as well as another issue of our free newsletter! This one will is in full color, and it comes in at almost 30 pages of Joe material, including a huge behind the scenes peek at the making of the G.I. Joe movie by one of the Rise of Cobra’s Production Assistants, Josh Eggebeen. If you love this hobby like we do, then come on by our booth!

The Joe Declassified Mission Statement:

We feel that it is high time that we, the fans of G.I. Joe, take up the responsibility of ensuring the growth of our hobby – both in wealth of knowledge, and broadening the fan base to welcome everyone into the overarching community. As collectors, we have all spoken of, or heard others speak of things they wish to see in the community; secrets to be revealed, collecting tools made available, and so forth. We aim to go out of our way to ensure these voices are heard, and these desires become reality. We wish to work with other existing groups that are fan owned, operated and oriented, and seek to put aside those here solely to profit at the collectors expense; those who hold no love for our hobby.

We are putting our money where our mouth is. None of our endeavors will be for profit. A stronger, collaborative community is reward enough. Our newsletter was, and will continue to be, free to the collector. Our website aims to aid fellow collectors in every way possible, while stripping away old trappings that have discouraged us all in the past. With you, we will forge a stronger and united community based on sharing, inclusion and assistance. Now is the time for us to all come together and lead G.I. Joe back to being the number one toy brand is has been various times in the past. With you, we can make this happen. The future is yours.

Thank you for making this hobby better,

Sam “Nomad” Damon

JoeCanuck Newsletter #6 is online

canada.gifThe latest issue of the JoeCanuck Newsletter is online here.  Produced by G.I. Joe fans north of the border it contains the same great articles and commentary as usual as well as the latest installment in the “Frozen North” dio-story.

Check it out, and don’t forget to keep checking JoeCanuck.com for all of the latest Canadian (or American) G.I. Joe information!

JOhio.org publishes second newsletter!

johio.gifThe gang at JOhio.org have come through once again!

The latest issue of the JOhio.org newsletter has debuted online! Filled with photos from past Collector’s Conventions, pictures of the forthcoming convention exclusives, and articles written by various members it’s a debut issue that you’re not going to want to miss! Check out the latest issue now! (The debut issue is also available for viewing here!)

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