Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Have Collectors Damaged GI Joe's Future?

Who doesn't love to army build? Seriously, buying all those extra Cobra soldiers? Just creating a massive Cobra army! Awesome stuff! 

Well, maybe... maybe not.

I'm running on memory here, so my numbers may be a little off. Of just the modern era figures, here are my estimated numbers of the figures that I can think of at the moment.

Cobra Viper - 15
Cobra Trooper - 18 (original POC/30th)
Cobra Trooper - 12 (Blackshirts - DG)
Cobra Trooper - 8 (Blueshirts - DG)
Cobra BATs - 28 (original, Resolute, & Jungle)
Cobra Trooper - 12 (Resolute)
Desert-Viper - 8 (Rise of Cobra)
Elite-Viper - 9 (Rise of Cobra)
Dr Rex Lewis - 8 (customs)
Helix - 6 (customs)
PIT Commando - 4
Shipwreck - 6 (green DG)
Shipwreck - 4 (blue DG)
Snake Eyes - 6 (PoC - customs)
GI Joe Trooper - 8 (Retaliation)
Steel Brigade - 8
Red Ninja - 4 (Retaliation)
Dark Ninja - 3 (Retaliation)
"Ultimate" Duke - 3 (Retaliation)
Cobra Combat Ninja - 3 (Retaliation)
Storm Shadow - 5 (black & white - DG)
Storm Shadow - 3 (orange & white - DG)

I know that there are more multiples of figures, but I just can't think of any more at the moment. Of course, all of the individual characters and their multiple versions have to get added into the count.

It can be easily assumed that I have a pretty big collection of figures and it may be actually a pretty small collection when compared to other collectors.

So what's the point of this post?

I wonder, if we, the collectors who have disposable income to buy these toys, have ruined GI Joe in the market place. Well, maybe not ruined, but severely damaged the line at retail.

Just look at my list. Did any kid have a chance at buying these figures? Well, if I didn't buy them, some other collector (or scalper) may have swooped in and snatched them up. Maybe that's the problem. Adults who played with the figures as children and fueled by nostalgia and money probably bought a large percentage of the product.

Have you ever seen any of these figures at a garage sale? Maybe kids didn't have any to get tired of and sell off at the family garage sale.

I just wonder if adult collectors have damaged GI Joe's presence at retail by not allowing kids to buy the bulk of the figures. Maybe I'm just crazy, maybe I'm just getting older, maybe I'm just seeing the burden of this growing ridiculous collection.

"Support the brand!" - the cry rings out across the collector/fan-boy landscape. Where are the kids who should be loving GI Joe?

My hope is that Hasbro does a nice decent tribute to GI Joe next year for his 50th birthday and then just radically revamps the concept with the original target audience in mind - the kids!

Hopefully, collectors will see it and both support it and reject it. By that I mean, with an attitude of "Yeah, it's pretty cool, but not my thing. I'll leave it for the kids."

If Hasbro has to rely on the collectors market to keep GI Joe alive, GI Joe will die as the collectors die off. Harsh, but true.


Dr Syn said...

I wouldn't give a kid any of the figures form 2007 onwards, they're way too fiddly.

Lets face it those 25th Anniversary sets were collector focused and they've been that way ever since.

There was an attempt to dial it back down to playable with some of the figures in wave 1 of Retaliation, but you know how fans reacted to those.

JD said...

Kids don't care about GIJoe. My kids know what it is because of me but they aren't fans of it and I imagine it's the same for many. This is a collector's line now even if Hasbro doesn't realize or won't acknowledge it.

Octavious Johnson said...

I am a no collector and I thought that kids had no clue of what it was until t yesterday I was looking on the offer up app and I just looked up gijoe just to see but to my surprise it was a huge lot of 30th,retaliation and roc figures for just $10.I thought this could not be real but I messaged the person she answered me back I went to purchase the lot her son came out and he was like he just wanted to sale his toys to buy his mom and grandma something for my mind I'm like this is my xmas but it was a great deal I ended up giving him 30 and told him thanks.I really felt like I was getting over I had to give him something. The lot had renegade figures also to my surprise it was a great purchase for me.