This is it– the final Fun Publications-run officially-sanctioned G.I. Joe Collector’s Convention. To paraphrase the opening lyrics to the theme song of Enterprise: “It’s been a long road…”
The destination for GIJoeCon 2018 was revealed at the 2017 Collector’s Club Round Table in Orlando. (Brian sang the reveal– you can find it thanks to a live video from YoJoe.com.) The theme was revealed in January 2018 when the convention brochure went online: “Python Peril – Marauders to the Rescue”. Starting at that same month, the Club trickled out the figure reveals from the set:
Python Patrol 2.0:
Overall, the response from the fandom was strong and, boosted by the status as the “Final GIJoeCon”, the sets sold out. The Club, however, went back to the factory and ordered a second run. 91 days out from the event, there were still a few sets remaining.
In early June 2018, just a few weeks before the event, more information started to trickle out with the release of first the convention schedule and then later the seminar & panel descriptions. Two things were noteworthy: Hasbro was once again not slated to have an official presence. Secondly, the traditional Collector’s Club Round Table was absent, in favor of “The Last Panel”– to be held Sunday at 1pm.
Once the event arrived, Collector’s were treated to the usual “registration night” lines– a tradition that continued all the way through this year. Only Golden Ticket holders were spared the experience of queuing up for several hours to pick up both their boxed sets as well as any addition souvenir items.
Finally, some time later we got our first look at this year’s items. Fans were also treated to a quality control issue involving Major Bludd’s missing facial hair.
Sunday was the final day of the final G.I. Joe Collector’s Convention and “The Last Panel” began sometime after 1:15pm. What started off with a series of product reveals transitioned into a series of slide shows— one for each of the 22 years that Fun Publications has been the license holder for Joe Con. After that, certain selected speakers offered their own thoughts before Brian wrapped it all up for one last time.