“My main complaint is that I waited 50 years and all I got was this lousy t-shirt. (And I DO mean lousy).” —Sean (SpaceCrawler)
Countless Profit-Making Opportunities Continue to be Ignored by Hasbro
After 50 years, you’d think Hasbro would’ve had enough time to create a killer line-up of “50th Anniversary” collectible action figures for GIjOE fans—and in BOTH scales. Something like all-new, super-articulated figures with golden dogtags, all-gold versions of classic vehicles (a gold space capsule, anyone?), all packaged in special-edition “gold top” boxes. You know Mattel could (and WOULD) do it with Barbie.
No retooling is required. It’s a simple change of plastic colors, add some gold fleck to the vat, use the same molds, and press out the same products to collectors again as “limited-edition 50th anniversary collectibles.” Keep the numbers low. Sell them out. Make millions of dollars. It’s not brain surgery. Such profit-making possibilities go on and on, and without a doubt, Joe-starved collectors around the world would scramble to “Collect ’em All!”
But no. With 2014 only a month and a half away, there has been ZERO news out of the “Big H” about any sort of plans for 50th Anniversary GIjOE products. In fact, based on recent showings at Toy Fairs, little of consequence is expected to be produced for Joe fans next year, and 1:6 GIjOE fans in particular continue to grind their teeth in bitter disappointment. So, what to do? Let’s ask the club!
Throwing Collectors a Bone
The first “official” 50th Anniversary GIjOE products won’t be coming from Hasbro, Sideshow or Hot Toys. In fact, they won’t be coming from a toy company at all. The only 50th products currently in production will be offered by an organization that has official licensing rights from the Big H, and therefore, is legally able to create GIjOEs during the product’s continued absence from toy store shelves. The group we’re talking about, of course, is the GIjOE Collector’s Club, a sort of “last resort” for fans in what appears to be an ever dwindling Joe-world. According to the club’s recent official news release:
“The MAN OF ACTION is one of the GIjOE Collector’s Club free Membership Incentive Figures for 2014.This free figure will be sent to any GIjOE Club member that chooses the 12-inch figure option and whose membership is active by March 16th, 2014.There will also be an add-on accessory set with a box and uniform available for purchase so you can complete this great 50th anniversary figure.”
While we’re discussing the club’s upcoming membership incentive figures, we’d be remiss not to mention its incentive for collectors of the 3.75″ Joes. According to the club:
“CROSS-COUNTRY is the GIjOE Collector’s Club free Membership Incentive Figure for 2014. This free figure will be sent to any GIjOE Club member that chooses the 3 3/4-inch figure option and whose membership is active by March 16th, 2014.This club exclusive CROSS-COUNTRY action figure features a new head sculpt, new vest with holster, figure stand, classic file card and accessories, including: assault rifle, pistol, and new vehicle wrench. Members can expect to receive this bagged figure with all his accessories in late spring/early summer of 2014.”
Bottom Line: Despite everything the club does right, it still tends to get some fairly obvious things wrong. As any fan of 1:6 scale Joes can tell you, 2014 will NOT be the 50th anniversary of the “Man of Action” (MOA), or of “The Adventure Team.” They weren’t even introduced until 1970! A real 50th figure should be based upon one of the first four military figures sold in 1964, possibly upgraded with a super-articulated body and interchangeable hands, and packaged in some kind of gold-trimmed box. Make sure the graphics reflect the 1960s, not the 2000s, and include a fancy certificate of authenticity. You’d sell out of them GUARANTEED. <sigh> Oh well, at least the club has “thrown us a bone” with this half-hearted MOA. Hasbro, by contrast—still offers nothing.