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.


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!



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?