There are days that the G.I. Joe Collector’s Club surprises me– and today is one of those days. It’s no secret that the 2012 Operation: Bear Trap convention sets sold out in near-record time. Whether this was due to a smaller production run or the popularity of the Oktober Guard or both remains to be seen yet the Club sent out a surprising email over the weekend to its membership:
Just as a CHECK and we are NOT saying we are going to do this…..
We are curious as to how many of you did not get the Oktober Guard set and would still like to order one (boxed only)? We don’t know if there is enough demand left to meet the MOQ (minimum order quantity) with the manufacturer.
In addition, we have NOT cleared any potential additional manufacturing quantities with Hasbro. So that we have an idea and can better serve you with future sets, if you would be interested in a set (IF it were possible to make more and it was approved), please fill out the attached spreadsheet with ALL of the information requested by Monday, July 2nd and return it to this email’s return address (firstname.lastname@example.org). We will only analyze spreadsheets that are returned and will not count/look at information in the email as this is a huge task.
We will analyze the data and see how much demand is still pending and we will let you know soon after July second if there is enough demand to warrant a second run. There should be no variation in the two runs.
I don’t want anyone to get false hopes but we don’t know what the potential demand is unless we ask. So, at this point assume that we will not be making any additional sets.
Thanks for helping us gauge your desires!
For years, the comment directed back at those who complained about the inaccessibility of convention sets (in terms of both price and production run) was that the sets were meant to be for those who attended the actual convention. Now, with the release of this email the Collector’s Club seems to be indicating a real shift in their thinking– that maybe convention sets could be offered as “club sets” instead. (Let’s face it, there is NO WAY IN HADES that these would be ready by the con which means that the number of Homefront Hero packages will increase if this goes through.) There is no doubt in my mind that a second production run would see any sort of decreased cost– meaning that instead this will generate more revenue for the Club at a time when the economy and infrastructure needs have most likely tapped the coffers a bit.
So, is this a good idea or a bad one?
Sounds like a really clunky way of doing a good thing. The right way to do this in today’s digital age is to take orders and state that if orders reach a certain number by a certain date, the item will be produced, otherwise the cards will not be charged. This is what Matty Collector did last year with the DC Universe subscription. The way they’re doing it now, they could have people who say they will buy a set but don’t ever commit to it. And it’s hard to spread the word around the net when you have to attach a Word document to everything. They also ought to have gotten pre-approval from Hasbro before they started this, because the statement that they might not be able to do it will just discourage people from e-mailing back the form. I would hope they’d also produce more loose sets for those of us who were able to get a boxed set but couldn’t get a loose set, as well as for the new boxed set buyers. Let’s hope that next year they take pre-orders as far in advance as possible so that they know how many sets to produce.
@JediJones – that would work however they haven’t even approached Hasbro yet (which is to say that as yet there is NO product for sale and no reason to believe there will be) so to create such an order would be fraudulent. As to them not having approval from Hasbro yet, well thats kind of the point, they need to have some estimation of the number of people interested so that they can even bring the idea to Hasbro who won’t consider anything without some hard data. Is it a hassle – yes, but its better than nothing and as far as “spreading the news” the Collector Club is only really concerned with members that want the items and all members should have received the email. I do agree with you on taking Pre-orders well in advance next year to try and ensure everyone gets one.
I am currently in the Army on a FOB and as a club member who was unable to go to toy con, comic con, and joe con or sit on the laptop to grab the bear trap box or bagged set. I am slightly upset with the club and the low order of sets boxed or bagged, then when I believe I am out of luck comes this e-mail. So being the good member I am I fill it out, e-mail it back and still hear nothing as to yes or no about a second run. Lets just say its hard to stand beside a company that puts its dues paying members second.