It’s Official – Transformers Collectors Club to move on from Fun Pub, G.I. Joe’s future uncertain

I think “uncertain” is putting it kindly.

Brian Savage from Fun Publications sent out a pair of emails tonight on the subject of BotCon and JoeCon, each email serving a couple of purposes.  There were some updates on the respective conventions in each message, but most importantly, he appeared to take an opportunity to thank the communities and say “good-bye” signaling the first official confirmation that Hasbro appears to be moving away from Fun Publications for their Collectors Club and Convention licensees.

However, sharp eyed readers might have noticed a distinct difference in the two emails.

While the Transformers oriented email contains the following text:

“All memberships will end December 31, 2016.  Hasbro looks forward to sharing new plans for the Collector’s Club with you in the future.”

Meanwhile, the G.I. Joe one has the following:

“All memberships will end December 31, 2016.”

Yeah, that’s it.

Nothing about any kind of Hasbro announcement or any sort of indication of future events to celebrate the G.I. Joe brand.  Some might say that’s a sign of bad things to come, but I think the G.I. Joe community really needs to take this as an opportunity.  We need to show that we really want some kind of G.I. Joe Club or Convention representation.  We need to prove to Hasbro that our fandom counts, too, even though we don’t love a billion dollar franchise like Transformers.

The fact is, Hasbro would not exist as a company right now if not for G.I. Joe.  Do they owe us something?  Of course not.  But I feel like they owe the BRAND something, and for once maybe we should look past simply the bottom line and do something for the fans who have supported them for not just years, but decades.

Let Hasbro know how you feel.  Write them a letter:

Hasbro, Inc.
1027 Newport Avenue
Pawtucket, RI 02862.

Ping them on Twitter.

Most important thing is to BE RESPECTFUL, but I think it’s pretty clear to me that Hasbro at large doesn’t think G.I. Joe is even worth considering the future of, and that doesn’t sit well with me.  Hopefully I’m not alone.

I have hundreds of friends in the G.I. Joe community that I would have never met without JoeCon.  This isn’t just about toys, it’s about friends, family, and a little bit of joy in our lives.  It’s just one small weekend a year where we ask that G.I. Joe maybe be one of the priorities for a change.  I don’t think that’s too much to ask, but we need to convince Hasbro of this fact.

It’s on us.  However you can do it, DO IT.  It’s evident from that email above that plans don’t appear to be set in stone for 2017 for the G.I. Joe side of the house.  We may be able to change some minds.  If you’re passionate about it, do something about it.  I know I will.  Let’s try to come together on this!


15 thoughts on “It’s Official – Transformers Collectors Club to move on from Fun Pub, G.I. Joe’s future uncertain

  1. Well said, Justin. I appreciate your positive, let’s roll up our sleeves and fight this approach.

  2. Sadly I don’t think GI Joe will ever do well no matter how much Hasbro brings it back with the way things are. Nothing will change as long as they keep using the same approach.

    As for Fun Pub… They tried, but much of the time didn’t do a good job with the clubs. Here’s to hoping something better and more professional comes along.

  3. Maybe not, but other than fun pub and very small offerings from habro via toys r us here and there, WHO ELSE WAS/IS keeping the brand alive. I have spent a good ammount of time in my two years as a subscribing member bitching about this and that, all the while not realizing that this is it. Unless you are very good at making your own figures, there is no future in this hobby without a funpublications unless they hit a jackpot with the next movie. I have many fond memories of gi joe as a kid, now as an adult i enjoy it even more somehow. Funpub may have done some things wrong, but they were there, while no one else was. If it wasn’t for doing an ebay search while feeling nostalgic and finding their figures i dont know that i would have decided to collect again. Lets be happy that they tried, while it wasnt always a home run, they tried and brought us good product, good conventions and kept it alive.

  4. It’s not that G.I. Joe as a brand is going away, but rather that Fun Publications’ relationship TO that brand is ending. I think that we might hear more news about the future of the brand either at Joe Con or over the next year as Hasbro works on this cinematic universe concept.

    Just be prepared– the Joe we see next might not be ARAH but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Joe existed before ARAH and before Fun Publications and it will exist again.

  5. Actually, Marauder Task Force is producing 4″ figures that are on par ( or better than) what Hasbro was doing and the Club was kitbashing.
    Cotswold Collectibles has been producing their own 12″ “vintage-style” GIJOE type figure a couple of years before the Club even existed, and certainly before the Club started doing its own repros. Both actually produce more product by volume than the Club does. The only thing the Club does differently is publish a newsletter ( Cotswold publishes a monthly catalogue), and held a specified convention.
    Joelanta ( being held this weekend) is a larger convention that features a significant GIJOE presence and is held every year and has been quite successful.
    When one looks around, the Club is actually redundant. Other parties have/are taking the banner and running with it.

  6. For many of us GIJoe was a huge part of our childhood. We identified with the various characters, we enjoyed the comics, we watched the cartoons, and we played with the toys. I believe that if they return the franchise back to the original first 5 years of the Real American Hero they will see a huge return of the fans of GIJoe. Bring back the original figures and characters as well as the vehicles, most of us have children now and would fill our homes with these toys again. Thanks

  7. Yea ive seen the MTF figures. Theyre not bad, my only complaint is that, even mire so than what funpub was doing with their releases, they are literally all repaints of the same one figure. I DO like the customizable armor, but definitely would like more diversity in my figures. They are treat for army builders, though. I have to look into the joelanta thing.

    I guess its relative to what you want. If you want all new figures all the time, then, yes, funoub may not be good for too much. A couple new headsculpts here and there maybe. They were also a great okace to hold the community together. I have met quite a few fellow joe fans through the club. I guess theres always hisstank for that, but i enjoy posting on the club site much more.

    Heres the thing for me: if the brand (and i mean GI Joe, not GI Joe like products, all due respect to marauders gun runners) does not completely go in the geave, and we still get new product here and there (something i argued for, new product here andtfor here with new parts instead of new CHARACTERS every years and very little new parts) and theres still ways to interact, both online and IRL then maybe its not as bad as it seems. If someone else starts outting out joe like products ill always take a look at them and decide if thyre for me or not. Thats just personal taste, and not trying to trash the marauders figures or anyone who likes them, they just arent what i personally like. I’d like to see hasbro continue to back the brand that made them, but such is life. Whatever happens happens. Its still pretty saddening for me, especially if without funpub, hasbro continues the slim to nothing offering they have been giving us, ir worse, drops it all together. We shall see.

  8. and I just started to enjoy collecting GI Joe. but like Fred said, does this means the end to 3.75″ GI Joe line of toys? or just the relation with Fun Publication?

  9. I’d kinda be more fired up to fight for G.I. Joe if the major deciding factor in all this – Hasbro – actually seemed to care. They keep basing whether or not G.I. Joe can make it by pandering to nostalgia or making figures from movies that didn’t do very well. When was the last time they tried to reinvent it? Jumpstart the franchise? Why does the WHOLE THING ride on a successful live-action movie? Why not a cartoon again? Why not new characters? Why not redesigns? Why not rethink the toys?

    I mean, I like the old fashioned remakes as much as the next fan, but that’s ALL they’ve been for awhile now. The last time I was actually excited about G.I. Joe was Pursuit of Cobra with all these new accessories, designs, and brand new ideas. Before that it was Renegades, and then Sigma 6, and then before that was the wonderful (albeit simple times, for accessories) that was Spytroops and VvV. Remember how they brought in tons of new army builders and characters and old standbys were getting redesigned?

    And I get it – those all “failed” at some point, I think. I don’t really know the behind-the-scenes junk for all those and how well they did. Perhaps G.I. Joe as a whole can’t make it, but it seems like they had a semi-good run for a little while there. There has to be SOME algorithm that works. Tons of cartoons out there doing amazing work and animation right now. Someone needs to freakin’ CARE, beyond the fans, because we can’t keep this alive by loving it and what is WAS. We need someone who can make it something NOW.

    …of course, this all means nothing, coming from me. Saying what needs to happen doesn’t make it happen or make me understand how it’s supposed to happen. This is just how I feel. I can’t get excited about something that the freakin’ creators can’t even get excited about anymore.

  10. One would believe that in the age of the “War on Terror”, a cartoon/toy line

    human, American combat soldiers fighting international terrorists, would be an instant goldmine. In the 1980’s, we were in the twilight of the Cold War, with the Soviet Union, and GI Joe’s battle against Cobra, was an instant hit. Perhaps after 15 years of war, we’ve grown tired of the concept.

  11. I have never been a member of any collector club, but I have spent my fair share on GI Joe and Transformers. My favorite “Line” was the 25th, when they re released almost all the original Joes updated to the (what was standard at the time) articulation. When that line started to wind down and disappear from store shelves it was the beginning of the end. Hasbro claims kids have no interest in action figures anymore, and they can’t justify spending the cost to produce them just for the collector market. I used to spend hours setting up every figure, vehicle and weapon I owned, just to have a 20 minute battle that would leave everything in piles of ruin. When was the last time you saw a kid do that today? ADD, ADHD, Cell phones, tablets, portable DVD players and iPods took all that away. They can’t appreciate playing with action figures the way we used too.

  12. I’ve been hearing rumors of a re-launch, but I have no idea what that means. Are they waiting for the third movie, and will just put out more poor selling toys with reduced articulation? Star Wars released the biggest movie ever, and we got mostly 5 POA figures and a handful of very overpriced vehicles.

  13. You can go to Walmart right now and buy single figures of “The Corps!” From Lanyard for less than $3.00 a figure. Almost the same articulation as GI Joe. Now if a tiny little off brand company can do that. what exactly is Hasbro’s excuse? They don’t even have to pay license fees like they do for Star Wars because Hasbro OWNS GI Joe.

  14. You’ll buy whatever they put out, Leo. It will be the latest, greatest, and makes everything made prior rubbish in comparison.

  15. Wow! I guess my screen name knows what he’s talking about too! (I’ve never seen anyone else ever use my screen name in the 19 years I’ve been using it. I must have lost my mind.)

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