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

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?

GIJCC: Footloose is shipping and CC monitoring for members!

Last night the Collector’s Club dropped a “one-two-punch” email into the inbox of its membership.   The first piece of news is that the 2012 renewal figure of Footloose is starting to ship to members who renewed by the March deadline.  That’s right– the second Infantryman of the G.I. Joe is on its way soon!

The second item is that GIJCC members should be on the lookout for a letter coming via mail.  Inside is an individual code redeemable for a year of free credit card monitoring.  It’s a very unexpectedly proactive step that the Club has taken– one that is most likely generated by the volume of criticism over the handling of the recent data breach that affected members of both Fun Pub’s major clubs.

The full contents of the email are posted below:

Here are the latest updates from the G.I. Joe Collectors’ Club:

SURPRISE! This week we started mailing the FREE membership figures for 2012!  We were able to get these manufactured much earlier this year, so off they go to you!  It will take several weeks for them to reach all of the membership, so please be patient.  If you don’t receive your figure by the end of May, please let us know.

In your April issue of the Club Magazine, you will find a letter that offers:  credit card fraud counseling; instructions on how to place a credit alert on your accounts; and a free one-year subscription to a Credit Monitoring and Identity Theft Recovery Service that we have purchased on your behalf.

If you have received any evidence of fraud on your credit cards, please call and make a report with the 800 number listed in the letter for the recovery services.

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