Hey JBL – Where Have You Been?

It’s been pretty quiet around JBL for the past 13 months.

No new reviews, no news postings, no snarky nostalgia-filled pieces about things that just happen to pique the admin’s interest.

Instead, it’s been quiet.  Or, in the words of Elmer Fudd “vewy vewy qwiet…”

What’s the reason for that silence?  Well, I can’t really say but there are several things that have contributed to it. Continue reading

What did we learn about G.I. Joe at Toy Fair 2016

Toy Fair 2016

Toy Fair 2016 is now a distant memory.  The displays have been removed from the Javits Center, the vendors have gone home, and the internet press has left the Big Apple.  It was an exciting weekend filled with reveals, licensing announcements and more product debuts than a toy collector can shake an Episode 1 Jar-Jar Binks action figure at.  Yet the more time passes since the event has concluded, the more it would seem that people are debating a single topic:

What did we learn about G.I. Joe at Toy Fair 2016?

Normally this is a pretty straight forward question– one that is answered by Hasbro at their annual media blitz presentation.  However, this year, G.I. Joe wasn’t mentioned during any of the official announcements.  (Neither was the new semi-hyped “Hasbro Cinematic Universe” but more on that in a moment.)  In fact, if it weren’t for two individuals who were covering the event for entertainment sites that focus on a variety of toy lines, there might have been nary a peep mentioned about Joe anywhere.  However, thanks to JayC of ToyNewsI.com and Fran from ToyArk.com (aka Destro of HISSTank.com), we have two seemingly conflicting reports.   Or do we?  Fans have embraced one and questioned the other but do these two reports really conflict at all?  Pull up a chair and a frosty Yo Joe Cola and let’s take a look!

Continue reading

One fan’s thoughts on the G.I. Joe Collector’s Club Figure Subscription Service

You may or may not have read the announcement of the G.I. Joe Collector’s Club Figure Subscription Service going live soon.  If you haven’t, I’ll give you a minute to do so.

Okay, all better?

Good– let’s talk about this.

It’s been an interesting year for toy fans and subscriptions.  Mattel recently concluded their “subscription drive” over at MattyCollector.com for three of their product lines.  The DC Universe Classics line went through– but only barely due to the efforts of SaveDCUC.com, the Masters of the Universe Classics snaked by with a last minute surge and the Watchmen sub… well that never seemed to be in question.

With two of these lines, price was a REAL point of contention.  A 6″ Masters of the Universe Classics figure had previously sold for $20.00 and was increased to $25.00 per unit for subscribers and $28.00 for non-subscribers on day-of-sale IF any were available.  This created quite an uproar in the MoTU fandom as the had previously been plagued by poor customer service from Digital River and QC issues in the form of reversed joints, breakage, and sloppy paint apps.  However, the argument from brand manager Scott Neitlich was that these were “high quality collector figures” with unique tooling that was found nowhere else.  This was the only way to get 100% original tooled figures like the forthcoming Ram-Man etc.

So, if a 6″ figure with all NEW tooling costs $25.00 and fans clamored at the blow to their wallets, where does that place the G.I. Joe Collector’s Club Figure Subscription Service?

Continue reading

Opinion: “The GI Joe Collector’s Club needs to be immediately disbanded”

Once upon a time, if a person wanted to voice their opinion about a topic to the general public and and not do so in “real time”, he or she submitted a “Letter to the Editor”.  The author could write up their opinions and position and have it posted for all to see.  Along came technology and this concept evolved: businesses and institutions use social media to better communicate with their clients, fan clubs have forums and message boards, and groups of fans are able to come together in the form of online communities.  All of this breeds a climate where ideas can be freely exchanged and both praise and criticism can be shared.  It’s the “Letter to the Editor v3.0”.

No one can dispute the fact that 2012 has been a year of blunders and missteps for the G.I. Joe Collector’s Club.  Pretty much anything that could go wrong with the Club’s various endeavors has and the organization has been left scrambling to communicate details and a positive message.  However, it would seem that the issues might go back further than that.  Presented below is an item that dropped in my inbox today– an editorial from a long-time member of the Collector’s Club who has had enough.  It is presented in its entirety– with only the author’s identity removed at his/her request.

 The GI Joe Collector’s Club needs to be immediately disbanded: One betrayed former collector’s 11 year long rant

I’m done. DONE. I have enjoyed collecting both 12″ and 33/4″ GI Joe figures for over 20 years now. I’ve enjoyed it with my children.  I’ve enjoyed showing that what Daddy wore when he was in the service, while they were fascinated with characters like Snake Eyes and Destro.  But now, thanks solely to the GI Joe Collector’s Club, an organization who exists only to cater to people like me, I am so disgusted with the hobby as a whole, I am walking away.

Over the last 10 years, the GIJCC has become increasingly greedy, arrogant, mismanaged and unapologetic to the people it professes to serve. I blame it on the dollar signs I saw in the eyes of Brian Savage (the Club owner, directer, patriarch, resident Kool-Aid mixer, der Fuhrer, etc) when he got the OK from Hasbro to take over the Transformers Collector’s Club several years ago. The Transformers brand is a worldwide seller, with many more members with much, much deeper pockets. The GIJCC has been a small, family run club for many years, so giving them a cash cow like Botcon was bound to turn them into the money grubbing, greed-mongering, carpet-bagging bridge trolls they have become. But as I have watched their slow decline, I held out hope that the core tenets of my precious GI Joe fan club would remain unchanged in the face of it’s more lucrative younger brother, that they would still put on a family friendly event that we could afford, still put out product I can be proud to display and play with, and still make me and my children happy. As of today, I have had enough. Continue reading

Eating Crow: One Fan’s Experience with the “Rise of Cobra”.

Thoughts from the Admin

Thoughts from the Admin

According to Wikipedia, the term “eating crow” is defined as follows:

Eating crow (archaically, eating boiled crow) is an English-language idiom meaning humiliation by admitting wrongness or having been proven wrong after taking a strong position.

I’ve never read a more apt description for what I’m about to write in my life.  You see, for the past year I’ve been quite the out-spoken critic of most things related to the Stephen Sommers’ film “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra”.  Like so many personas on the internet, I used my keyboard to loudly and proudly decry the fact that I wasn’t going to participate in the hype that was surrounding what was sure to be one of the summer’s biggest bombs.  I was drawing a line in the sand and I would be passing on the entire line, hype, etc.

One small problem with that: I’m a life-long Joe fan.

Continue reading