“The End is Near?” Not So Fast———Fan Attendance “Over Double” Last Year’s at Recent G.I. Joe and Action Figure Show in Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas

Greg Brown and other members of the DFW GIjOE Collector's Club prepare their dealer booths before the opening of the 2013 GIjOE and Action Figure Show in Carrollton, TX. (Photo: DFWGCC)

Greg Brown and other members of the DFW GIjOE Collector’s Club prepare their dealer booths before the opening of the 2013 GIjOE and Action Figure Show in Carrollton, TX. (Photo: DFWGCC)

"We Can Do It!" This little "Joehead" sports a nifty Cobra tattoo and the kind of "can do" spirit found in most fans of the world's most popular toy. Go, JOE! (Photo: DFWGCC)

“We Can Do It!” This little Texan seemed determined to ‘keep the spirit of GijOE alive’ by flexing a nifty Cobra tattoo at the recent show. (Photo: DFWGCC)

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:

Even Queen Amadala made an appearance at the D/FW show, sporting one of the most elaborate headdresses we've ever seen. WOWZA! (Photo: DFWGCC)

Expanding the show’s offerings to include other action figures was enough to elicit a visit from this Queen Amidala cosplayer who sported one of the most elaborate headdresses we’ve ever seen. WOWZA! (Photo: DFWGCC)

“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)!”

Many dealers at the 2013 DFW GIjOE and Action Figure Show were family-run, such as this one which was operated by a father-son team. (Photo: DFWGCC)

Many dealers at the 2013 DFW GIjOE and Action Figure Show were family-run affairs, such as this Father-Son operation. You know they made memories that’ll last a lifetime! (Photo: DFWGCC)

This is what it's all about. At the show, a father points to some toys while explaining some little American history to his son. You can buy the toys, but you can't buy such precious moments. (Photo: DFWGCC)

This is what it’s all about. At the show, a father points to a toy while recounting some American history to his son. You can buy the toys, but you can’t buy these precious moments. (Photo: DFWGCC)

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.”

Vintage, Modern, Repro, Knock-off. It was all for sale at the 2013 DFW Show. Drool! (Photo: DFWGCC)

Vintage, Modern, Repro, Knock-off. It was all for sale at the 2013 DFW Show. Drool! (Photo: DFWGCC)

As shows grow in size and popularity, so do the opportunities for fun photo ops and other activities for all ages. Check out these incredibly detailed Star Wars cosplayers. Outstanding! (Photo: DFWGCC)

As shows grow in size and popularity, so do the opportunities for fun photo ops and other activities for all ages. Check out these incredibly detailed Star Wars cosplayers. Outstanding! (Photo: DFWGCC)

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.”

The DFW Show also held custom figure, diorama and vehicle contests. Victory! (Photo: DFWGCC)

The DFW Show also held custom figure, diorama and vehicle contests. Victory! (Photo: DFWGCC)

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!”

A big hall + a lot of dealers + a lot of fans = a LOT of fun—for everyone! (Photo: DFWGCC)

A big hall + a lot of dealers + a lot of fans = a LOT of fun—for everyone! (Photo: DFWGCC)

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!”

This dealer had plenty of 3.75" Joes on hand for those who love the 1980s, RAH "Little Joes." Check out that USS Flagg! Go, JOE! (Photo: DFWGCC)

This dealer had plenty of 3.75″ Joes on hand for those who love the 1980s, RAH “Little Joes.” Check out that USS Flagg! What a cool toy. Go, JOE! (Photo: DFWGCC)

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!

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2 thoughts on ““The End is Near?” Not So Fast———Fan Attendance “Over Double” Last Year’s at Recent G.I. Joe and Action Figure Show in Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas

  1. Mike says:

    I wish I could attend these shows. How I do miss them! Does anyone know where I can Locate a few 70’s Adventure Team (African adventurer/ Mummy’s tomb) tan matching outfits? I need 4. Will even take the club version. Any help at all would be appreciated.
    Thanks, Michael

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