Action Figure Fans Gather in “Big D”
At a time when famous GIjOE collectors seem to be selling off everything that isn’t nailed down, and turning once overstuffed “Joe Rooms” into empty spare bedrooms and echoing basements, a club in the Dallas/Ft. Worth region has shown that interest in collecting “America’s Movable Fighting Man” and his action figure friends, is far from over. In fact, the truth appears to be exactly the opposite.
According to DFW GijOE Collector’s Club rep, Michael Milstead, their “GIjOE and Action Figure Show,” held recently in Carrollton, TX, was wildly successful, proving that collectors in that part of the country are in no hurry to leave their beloved hobby. Rather, interest in all sorts of action figures appears to be on the upswing in the Lone Star State. In another exclusive provided to The Joe Report, Milstead happily revealed the following “post-show” insider-intel:
“An item I didn’t mention over on Facebook was that attendance for this show was over DOUBLE what our turn-out was for last year’s inaugural show! We had a fantastic turn-out this year, so the club was EXTREMELY pleased. We even had reports from dealers stating that this “was one of their best shows EVER, sales-wise.”
For the show to have been such a success in terms of attendance and sales, there must’ve been a LOT of buying and selling going on in that dealer room. Surprisingly, according to the in-depth, post-show “wrap report” written by Milstead, the size of the show turned out to be MUCH larger than anyone had anticipated. In his report, Milstead revealed:
“Without a doubt, on September 21st, 2013, action figure excitement was in the air. The show ended up being FOUR TIMES LARGER than the previous year’s inaugural show, with four times as many vendors (34 in all)!”
What Makes a Successful GIjOE Show?
The DFW show’s success was undeniable. Many believe that the club’s generous admissions policy had a lot to do with the event’s growth in popularity and higher attendance. Milstead concurred, saying:
“As a collector, I’ve become fatigued by many of the shows’ escalating and exorbitant ticket prices. The nice thing about OUR show is that we held the ticketing cost down to $5 per person and only $10 for a family admission. Additionally, we wanted to honor the Boy Scouts, Military, Police, Firemen and Law Enforcement personnel by allowing those good folks into the show for FREE as a show of ‘thanks’ to the community and for their service.”
There’s more to the D/FW show’s popularity than just its low ticket prices. As Milstead reminds us:
“It’s extremely important to mention that this show is planned, staffed and supported wholly by the local DFW GIjOE Collector’s Club members (and their spouses who allow us to come out and play!). This show is a labor of love and we’re in it for the LOVE of the hobby and the collectors. This show truly is by the fans for the fans.”
If nothing else, GIjOE shows (when run as well as this one) do a lot to help “pass the torch” of fun and play to the next generation. Milstead concurred with this point, saying:
“Personally, I’ll never forget the little boy who came in with his father. Upon seeing the inside of the exhibit hall, the little boy let out a loud and very long “wooooooow.” It was a magical moment for that little boy (to say the least) and it pretty much made my day as well!”
Of course, such success tends to breed even MORE success. Fans and happy dealers are already asking if there will be a third show soon in the D/FW area. Milstead’s club isn’t saying much about that yet, but he did offer the following bit of tantalizing intel:
“Officers of the club will be meeting to decide that issue very shortly. If and when a third show happens, the format may be expanded
—to 2 full days!”
Bottom Line: GIjOE shows are fun for the whole family, and it’s great to see that any Joe show held 50 years after the toy’s introduction is still able to pack in the fans and DOUBLE the event’s attendance after only one year. This show’s organizers and the members of the D/FW GIjOE Collector’s Club have a LOT to be proud of. Congratulations, to everyone involved, and a special thanks to Michael Milstead for his contributions to this article. Go, DFW Club!