In 2013, the annual G.I. Joe Collector’s Convention was held at the JW Marriot in Indianapolis IN from April 4 – 7.
This was the first “Joe Con” in nearly 4 years that JBL attended and actively covered. It’s also the first Joe Con in which social media played a prominent role– such as “live blogging” both the Hasbro and GIJCC panels via Twitter. Also, posts to the front page were made on an event-by-event basis vs. one long coverage page. As such, JBL’s reporting of JoeCon was much more modular than in previous year.
Below is a list of all of the individual posts that went up on JBL during the course of Joe Con 2013. Rather than trying to consolidate all of individual images into one page (and have it take 30 years to load), I’ve opted to merely collect the links.
- Operation: Nocturnal Fire 1:18 convention set
- Convention Souvenir prices and product list
- Thursday Night Summary
- Custom Figures (Part 1)
- Custom Figures (Part 2)
- Friday Hasbro Pics (Retaliation and “Dollar Store” figures, plus some Eagle Hawk)
- 2013 Kre-O Offerings (Forthcoming sets exclusive to Toys R Us)
- Saturday Hasbro Panel
- Collector’s Club Round Table 2013 (The reveal of FSS 2’s exciting line-up!)
- Hasbro Concept Vault (Saturday reveal of Gung-Ho, Leatherneck, Rock-n-Roll!)
- Sunday Voice Actor Panel – Bill Ratner (Flint) & Mary McDonald Lewis (Lady Jaye)
As far as the convention exclusives are concerned, I’ll update this page with review links once my sets arrive. However, the gallery below collects ALL of the quick images of the souvenirs that were shot at the convention!
The items available for the 1:18 crowd were:
- The Night Force Specialists 2-pack (Freestyle, a new female pilot, and Chuckles) – $60
- The FLAK w/ Steeler – $66
- The Night Force Boomer (sans pilot) – $145
- The KREO Night Force 6 pack – $33
- KRE-O Paratrooper Hit-n-Run $14
The last convention I personally attended was Kansas City in 2009 and things were much different this year, in spite of the fact that both events were held in the year of a movie release. The overall attendance, in terms of dealers and attendees, seemed much smaller. The dealer’s room seemed to have as many “non-dealer” booths as it did actual merchants. Additionally there was a marked shift in terms of merchandise toward the 1:18 scale with 1:6 scale dealers being few and far between. This was noticed and reported upon by The Joe Report, a 12″ centric blog that noted an appreciable shift in the overall focus of the convention experience.
Hasbro was in attendance but with the film G.I. Joe Retaliation finally being released after a nearly 9 month delay, there was no new merchandise discussed during their presentation that wasn’t already showcased at Toy Fair 2013. While this may have disappointed some fans, it freed up the panelists– Derryl DePriest and John Warden– to offer more commentary about the products already announced. Fans learned that the hastily-developed Kre-O G.I. Joe line was selling quite well at Toys R Us and that Hasbro was very pleased with its performance. There was also a frank discussion about the development of movie-aligned product and how the differences in production timetables between the studios and Hasbro can lead to variances in the film accuracy of the toy line. It was also discussed that the Micro Force line would not see a second series any time soon and that production had been placed on hiatus.
Hasbro did manage to shock and surprise fans with a last-minute unveiling of the “Concept Vault v 2.0” which included brand new versions of Gung-Ho, Leatherneck, Rock-n-Roll, and Storm Shadow v2.
The real highlight of the convention for this particular Joe fan was the inclusion of Bill Ratner and Mary McDonald-Lewis to the roster of convention guests. Better known as the voices of Flint and Lady Jaye in the Sunbow animated series, this pair of dynamic individuals signed autographs, posed for pictures, and gave two exciting panels that offered first-hand insight into the production of the classic Sunbow series.
One other true stand-out panel was “The History of Palitoy” by Roll Out Roll Call organizer Dave Tree. Honestly– I was interested in this one before it started but it turned out to be a completely FASCINATING look at the history of Action Force and G.I. Joe in the UK. Dave covered everything from differences in the comics to the toy line and back again and the entire experience made me want to go out and buy a Robo-Skull at first opportunity. Here’s hoping this panel is offered again next year as I’d love to be able to get some slide captures and live blog the entire presentation.
The G.I. Joe Collector’s Club Panel provided the usual behind-the-scenes look at the development of the 12″ and 4″ convention sets. However, this session was made all the more interesting by the reveal of the full roster of what has been dubbed Figure Subscription Service 2.0. A second slate of 12 announced figures with a bonus 13th will be available later this year. (See the panel coverage for more details.)
Lastly, the heart of the G.I. Joe Collector’s Convention each year is the attendees– the Joe fans who make the trip to each year’s roving location to spend a few days hanging out, discussing their love of plastic action figures, and spending their hard-earned cash on souvenirs and the like. These last few photos are a few random images from around the convention floor. You’ll see the JoeDeclassifed booth, the Coil Club booth, Kevin Watt’s amazing exhibition of CanvHISS– HISS tanks used as art. (It sounds a bit crazy but the results are undeniably impressive!)
Around the con floor: