GI Joe no more

Well that was a hyperbolic headline, wasn't it? The actual story is merely that, as suspected, the end of Fun Publications being in charge of the GI Joe Collectors' Club appears to mean the end of the Club as a whole. They've posted a nice farewell message on their Facebook page:

Thank you to each and every one of you that has supported us over the last 20 years. We have a great 2016 planned, with the FSS 4.0 currently shipping and info on FSS 5.0 right around the corner!
[...]
Finally, back to the very first point. Thank you! Thousands upon thousands of you have supported the Club over the years and right now, as of today, the GIJCC is as strong as it ever has been! That is because of all of you, your love for 12 inch G.I. Joe, the Real American Hero line and everything in-between! So many of you truly enjoy what the GIJCC offers and enjoy what we do and none of what we have done would have been possible without you. You are an amazing fan base and thanks to all of you who continue to have an important impact on the hobby! You all are what makes this fun to do!

Make no mistake, GI Joe will be back. Hasbro owns that property 100%, so no licensing fees = a higher profit margin for them. Hasbro will always come back to GI Joe for the same reason Mattel always comes back to He-Man. It may just be time for a rest. Generation 1 gave way to GI Joe Extreme. Generation 2 gave way to Sigma 6. And now it's Generation 3's turn to retire the colors.

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9 Responses to GI Joe no more

  1. yo go re says:

    If they can come back with something even stronger than they had before? I welcome this gap and look forward to Generation 4...

  2. Zed says:

    Huge fan of GI Joe from back in the day and I generally liked the Generation 3 figures (particularly the ones that came out between 2010 and 2013 or so), but I really do think it's time for Hasbro to give the property a break. It clearly wasn't working for them economically, even with the media push of two live-action feature films (yeah, the films were fairly mediocre—if that—but they apparently still made decent bank).

    I do believe GI Joe needs a major rethink before being reintroduced, though. The world is a very, very different place from what it was during the brand's 1980s heyday as far as the general public's everyday exposure to the realities of armed conflict through media narratives (to be fair, I think the GI Joe: Renegades cartoon had the potential to address changing popular perceptions of military conflict, but I think it ultimately fumbled the ball). Couple that with the changes in the retail space, and it's clear that Hasbro has its work cut out for it if it wants GI Joe to be a major international brand again.

  3. Black Arbor says:

    I just don't see Hasbro making another attempt at 3 inch joes for a while, at least if they're going to have more than 5 POA (like the new Star Wars figures, ninus the Wal-Mart exclusive Black Series). Maybe they could do something like the Hero Mashers with GI Joe, or (and it pains me to say this) follow Mattel's example in the Batman V Superman basic figures, and put out six inch figures without crazy articulation for a roughly ten dollar price, just to test the waters...

    • Wolf says:

      Sadly, I think you may be right on this one. 5POA seems to have been a considerable success for Hasbro -- I could see G.I. Joe relaunching with a new CG cartoon and a line of 5POA figs accompanying them. This would be disappointing, but if 5POA is selling well, there's no incentive to do much more.
      Only time will tell, but I hope it does return. G.I. Joe was one of my favourite lines as a kid and I would love to see it back -- especially in a Marvel Legends/SW Black format.

      • yo go re says:

        Man, Hasbro can't even get Star Wars Black Series figures onto shelves when the world's biggest movie is in theaters - imagine the trouble they'd have doing even a small assortment of mass market 6" Joes...

  4. Joe says:

    The club really wasn't a place for the average fan. It's great that they managed to release a lot of guys that would otherwise never have seen the light of day, but $30 for four inch toy is an awfully steep barrier to entry. Without the club there'd be no Tiger Force, no Night Force, no October Guard, but maybe Hasbro could have sent those characters to stores instead. Not to judge you if you're willing or able to pay that much for a G.I. Joe, but the club shut most of us out.

    • Sean_C says:

      Not just average fans, the club shut-out some of us above-average long time fans. Others rationalized it early one...$200 for the first 3 3/4" Convention set...sure, you'll miss the attendee bonus, but any adult can spare 200 bucks once a year, right? The sets climbed in price over the years, more attendee exclusives were added....then the figure subscription.

      Collecting every modern GI JOE item became a rich man's hobby, something you'd more expected of being a vintage completist. Now neither vintage collecting or current collecting was feasible for anyone under certain tax brackets. That's life, but diehard collectors from once-popular fanbases wonder why people got out and there's no new blood...that's why. I once considered myself a big GI JOE fan, but I don't even rate and I really don't care if it comes back because I was never fond of the "scale creep" from 3 3/4" to 4"+. I blame that on scale purists/model enthusiasts influence, instead of sticking with with what people knew for 20 years.

      Not that I think it will comeback. Military toys for kids are out fashion for both political and pop culture reasons, (though more generic brands endure, like Lanard's The Corps and TRU's True Heroes, but Hasbro won't make GI JOE generic, they'd rather sit on it). Action figure lines aimed at kids are either dying or dumbed down. Action figures aimed at adults are climbing to $20 to $30 per figure, which again, rules out average fans. And expecting anything past the first wave to arrive at retail is a crapshoot.

      .

      • yo go re says:

        I blame Mattel for showing other companies that fans would pay $20 for a $10 figure, and all the people who excused it by saying that they were "just charging what the market would bear." They paid the extortion, and now everybody gets squeezed when we go to the store even though oil prices have dropped enough that gas went under $2 a gallon.

        Like you said, The Corps! figures cost a couple bucks at most, and Hasbro tries to sell Joes for $10. Given the difference in quality, $5 for GI Joe would probably still feel fine...

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