GIjOE Collector’s Club Local Divisions Enjoy Resurgence of Popularity across the U.S.

Members of the newly created New England Division of the GIjOE Collector’s Club pose together during a recent meeting. (Photo: New England GIjOE Collector’s Club)

Members of the DFW club discuss a custom bridge at a 2011 meeting. (Photo: DFW GIjOE Coll. Club)

It’s a pleasure to report that local divisions of the GIjOE Club are becoming much more active. For a few years there, local fan activity had begun to seriously wind down. Many of the older GIjOE club websites (Hello, South Florida?) seemed to cease posting club news altogether, or even soliciting members for activities. Fortunately, many of the newer local divisions are now reporting a resurgence in club activity and popularity.

What happened and what’s changed? Well, as Hasbro began to wind down its output of official GIjOE products a few years ago, fans and collectors around the world began to turn to their peers instead, for that regular, satisfying “Joe Fix.” And with fewer new items to purchase, many also began to expand their Joe Rooms, create ever more elaborate dioramas, or “kit-bash” their own new figures.

Members of the Central Illinois division discuss items on the shelf in a member’s “Joe Room.” (Photo: Mark Otnes)

Such creative extensions of the 1:6 scale hobby encourages individuals of a like-mind to band together, so as to SHARE their experiences and unique creations. After all, what better way to share the “wonder of Joe,” than with a bunch of guys in a CLUB?

Two such local divisions, the New England GijOE Collector’s Club found HERE and the Central Illinois GIjOE Collector’s Club found HERE have recently updated their club websites with all-new pictures and information. Here’s a description from the New England division’s website describing their first meeting…

“The inaugural meeting of the New England GI Joe Collectors Club went off without a hitch. We had an excellent turnout and had a great time. Our gracious host Rick turned his garage into a mini GIjOE mecca. We had members drive in for the meeting from all over New England including Cape Cod, Central and Eastern Massachusetts, Connecticut and elsewhere. I never expected anything like this when just 2 months or so ago I decided to make up a name and a website and hope to have a few guys meet up with myself and Rick on Sundays and discuss Joes and do some trading. You guys are the best and I know this club will go on long after we are gone!”

Other popular divisions such as the Dallas-Ft. Worth club found HERE and the Atlanta, GA club found HERE also have large memberships, hold regular meetings and put on their own yearly shows. If you’re considering forming a new local division in your area, we suggest that you take some time to review the websites and activities of these four popular divisions.

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