My take on the G.I. Joe: Collectors’ Club subscription

So, the big news out of the GIJCC Roundtable was that the Collectors’ Club is adding a new “subscription” service!  Patterned after Mattel’s “Matty Collector” online store, the idea is that you pay a monthly fee (or a one time fee) and you get whatever figure the Club releases each month.  In this case, the Club is releasing two figures per month for 6 months, with a “bonus” 13th figure for those folks who subscribed right from the start.

At this point the idea is apparently to focus on unproduced Hasbro figures or other unique items that fans might be interested in.

The first two figures are apparently “Quarrel” and the “Nano BAT”, both unproduced items initially slated for Hasbro’s 25th Anniversary line and the Rise of Cobra line respectively.

Both of these figures are excellent candidates, I think.  A lot of folks have seen the pre-production Nano-BAT, which is interesting because of what it is, though the figure isn’t all that appealing.  Well, the production figure was going to have green translucent arms and a light-pipe system to make him glow, and I think that’s pretty damn cool.  By the looks of it, the Club version is doing that.  As for Quarrel… perfect choice.  Though now I’ll have to track down the 09 Con Exclusive Blades!

My guess at monthly costs are probably around $40 – $50 for two figures.  It’s not a small amount, but for two carded figures produced in small numbers by the Club, I think that’s about what we can expect.  That makes each figure in the $20 range or so (if shipping is included).

I do see folks having a lot of hopes and dreams that I think they want to be careful of.  Before we start hoping and praying for all of these figures, I think it’s fair to assume that the Club is going to stick with existing tooling.  They’re not tooling figures up for this  on their own, they’re most likely going with what’s already there.  Granted, there’s a pretty big tooling library, but folks hoping for stuff like Pythona are probably going to be disappointed.

As long as we get freaking Iron Klaw, I’m ALL IN.  City Strike Scarlett would be cool, too… but I’d also love to see them expand the G.I. Joe: Resolute roster a little bit.  I think there are enough existing parts that could be used.

We’ll see.  Whatever happens, that’s another guaranteed 13 figures this year, and when only 30 – 40 are slated for retail release, that’s a nice little bump in the roster.  Looking forward to it.

  • Those are pretty good choices for the first two offerings. Has it been confirmed that these figures are going to be MOC? Truthfully, I hope they don’t… I’ve never been an ardent MOC collector. Joes are ACTION figures. They should be free of plastic stockades!

    I’m hoping they’re not quite THAT expensive, or at least that the Club will offer a decent discount if you sign up for all six months at one time. If they can keep it around $20 per figure (with shipping) I’d think about it; if they somehow pull off $15 per figure I’m in.

  • LockOn

    I do like the 1st 2 choices, especially Quarrel. I am excited but I am also worried about it being expensive.

  • Mysterious Stranger

    I don’t think these will be carded and instead will be packed like the membership figures, bagged with a filecard and accessories.

    The one thing that has me concerned is what happens when they release an armybuilder like the Nano-BAT. Will they offer the option to purchase extras without the subscription? Or will people be locked into buying, say 5 subs to armybuild some figures?

    I definitely like this idea. While I haven’t loved everything the Club has done in 25th style the figures have all been well made and thought out. And if they put out some of the more popular and wanted unproduced figures (arctic Resolute CC, City Strike Scarlett etc) then this will be a hit for them.

  • Charles Emanuele

    Two points:

    1) Do you need to be a member of the Joe club to subscribe? I’d love to take part in this but I’m not going to join the Joe Club to do it.

    2) If they can pull this off I can imagine Mattel taking a hard look at how they do things.

  • Andrew Hall

    I LOVE THIS. My wife, not-so-much….

  • Andrew Hall

    It might be too early for this but… A). Did the club say what the 2012 Membership figure would be? B). Where is the next con going to be?

  • BlackRocknRoll

    Personally, I think this is a horseshit money-grab. There’s honestly no reasonable reason why these “unproduced” toys haven’t been released through traditional retail outlets or as online exclusives. They could’ve easily also been offered via a Hasbro-concern entity such as HTS. Oh wait! There is a reasonable reason why: if they had been released as mass-market items there would’ve been peg-warmers galore, eventual steep clearances and lost accounts (see WalMart), but as soon as something becomes “limited”, “HTF” and “rare” geeks suddenly can’t get enough of it. Plus, this gives the “collector’s club” a firmer hold over an already sorry monopoly. So, you know, HIP HIP HOORAY!

  • I love Quarrel, no surprise there ! and yeah Im with you Justin, I soooo want that Iron Klaw !

  • Sounds interesting, it would be fun to get something new every month that isn’t on the brick and mortar retail shelves. And it is sort of like a payment-plan way of getting a set of figures overall.

    What’s the limit of the price on these? I’d like to see it down near $10 (max) a figure, and that would be $20 a month for two… on the flip-side, maybe a nickel-and-dime-ya type of way of selling figures, too.

  • $20 a pop is far too high. Matty charges this for a 6″ figure that was tooled exclusively for their MOTUC line. If the GIJCC charges the same to simple produce a previously-tooled-but-unreleased figure this will be an outrageous cash grab by the Club directed at a seemingly shrinking membership.

    I hope they think long and hard about pricing. In this economy they need to exercise prudence in order to be successful.

  • Liam

    I like the idea, I really do, but 40-50 Bucks? thats bull, the He-Man figures over at Matty Collector (from which this idea is being stolen lets be honest) run 20 bucks a figure for a 7 inch figure, that most often pulls from existing tooling, the club subscription would have to run 10-15 bucks a figure or we would be getting ripped off, 4 inch VS 7 inch for the same price? that is a scam

  • I dunno, Fred. There is a ton of shared tooling in the MOTU line. So many different He-Man and Skeletor variants, not to mention that pretty much 85% of the figures use the same generic torso, waist, etc… that saves a TON on tooling costs.

    Cost of material does factor into it (6″ – 7″ versus 4″) but also think about how much more articulation a Joe figure has. More articulation = more tools, because each POA requires another separate tool per piece.

    Granted, if the Club is going to completely reuse existing tools, then I can see the options being a bit cheaper, but I’d much rather pay a bit more for a sub with the idea in mind that we might see some new tooling down the line. Maybe I’m alone?

  • Also, don’t forget that above and beyond the subscription figures, Matty Collector sells other, much more expensive items alongside to offset the somewhat lower sub costs. You would have to imagine the Joe Collectors’ Club would probably just focus the bulk of their attention on the sub figures without being able to subsidize those lower costs with more expensive, higher end items.

  • Alexx

    Hm…I guess the idea is okay, but I won’t be able to take part in it since I’m already a part of MotUC, and that’s a HUGE money dump (well, not “dump”, ’cause the figures are awesome, but you know what I mean). Then, of course, I’m also big into G.I. Joe and some other toys, so I just can’t afford to promise cash to another toy subscription. I budget things, of course, but much of it is on a first-come-first-serve. If I find a toy, I get it, but that means that if I find a ton of other things I’m looking for, I can only get so much with one check. The stuff that I find would have to take a serious hit if my money was already promsied to Mattel and the Collector’s Club.

    Great ideas, and I’m probably going to be hurting, watching the releases and not being able to get them, but oh well…perhaps I can at least buy that B.A.T. off someone.

  • I’ll definitely sign up for the first go-round, unless the list of figures is published and it is a SERIOUS turn off, but I don’t see that happening.

  • Unfortunately I do guess the need for existing tooling rules out a Candi/Candi in Bongo the Balloon Bear duo.

    I’m gonna start a petition. If they made Big Lob, they can make Candi!

  • wayne

    When did they say This six month Subscription was going to start? I think I am all in.

  • -Nas

    Ugh! I want to be in on this, but I also want to be in on MotUC this coming year, and I just can’t see paying for both while still trying to get the otehr stuff I want at retail. Ugh! And these had better NOT be priced at $20 a pop. That would be pure extortion, especially with how much the club charges for shipping. I soooo like the idea of this, but I soooo hate the idea of the money I’ll have to spend to enjoy it. We’ll see what the final word is, I guess, but with the prices the club charges for their exclusives, the outlook is grim.

  • Turtle Master

    The 2-figures per month was to ‘combine’ shipping costs, so it sounds like the club is aware of price sensitivity. I’m excited that they have an outlet for limited runs of figures that otherwise wouldn’t be made.

  • Admiral Hunter

    A few things to help clear it up… All information that was given at JoeCon during the panel.

    These WILL be carded.
    These WILL be sold 2-at-a-time.
    If they make 2,500 of the first set, they will only make 2,500 of the remaining figures.
    Someone suggested this idea to GIJCC, and they assumed Hasbro would say no but asked anyways. As you can see, Hasbro agreed.
    They are hoping to start these at late summer/early fall.
    There was an impromptu vote on how we want the information: a) See these two, nothing else, b) See these two, listing of characters to be made, c) See everything before subs start. B was the over all winner of the unofficial poll.
    Feedback is best received on the GIJCC message boards.
    (End of information that was given at JoeCon. Start of opinions, even condescending ones.)

    If $50 per month is going to break your bank, I think it’s time to start selling parts of your “collection”…
    I HOPE TO GOD that they only sell to members of the club following their current pricing tier. (X for Officer, X + $15 for Trooper, X + $30 for non-Member)
    I think the club will have to price them around $25-$30 per carded figure to offset their costs.

  • Ben

    I’m almost positive these are going to be carded so $20 per is probably the minimum cost. They need to go ahead and announce AND show at least mock-ups of all 12 planned figures. And they should at least announce the bonus too if not show it as well. I wonder if like the Con sets you’ll be able to purchase additional bagged figures.

    I don’t know about this plan though. The two initial announcements seem pretty weak to me. Repainted Scarlett and translucent BAT don’t exactly have me reaching for my wallet. I hope the rest are more along the lines of the Iron Klaw Trooper or maybe take one of these Iron Grenadiers…
    http://generalsjoes.com/wp-content/gallery/joecon-day-3-hasbro-archives-roundtable/05_IG_Five_Pack.jpg
    and make Destro’s Sergeant Major.

  • -Nas

    Thanks for the info, Admiral. While $50 won’t “break my bank”, it’s a lot of money for two small 4-inch figures. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask that these figures cost less than the MotUC line at all. Will it work out that way? Who knows, but I think the club (which I am a member of, happily) might find that less expensive figures that require membership will draw membership. Also, give the option for carded or uncarded. Openers like me would gladly pay less for a figure I’m gonna open anyway.

  • Shogun

    Sounds great – on the surface.
    In practice I don’t think this will work. The club is just not dependable enough.
    Maybe they can ride in my MOTH vehicle. Oh wait. Didn’t make it.
    Or they can pose in front of that awesome Tank from the Tanks for the memories set. Wait, no, didn’t make that either.
    Last month I got on the website to renew my membership so I could get the dialtone figure,and order a non-attending package, but luckily first checked my email and found a message that dialtone was unavailable since they set them aside for the con. Which is odd. Dialtone in the box set, dialtone available at the con, dialtone for the incentive. Paying for one figure. Three times.
    Moth. Tank. Dialtone (and dialtone and dialtone). Three strikes.
    There’s no guarantee that they’ll even finish these subscription figures. I would have been all over these – but in light of that kind of record, I can find plenty of more reliable ways to spend my money. Like buying expired lottery tickets.
    Okay. Rant complete.