So what exactly is the future of G.I. Joe?
Short answer – I don’t think anyone except Hasbro really knows. Heck, I’m not even sure Hasbro themselves know.
Some confusion has emerged over the past 24 hours based on a post by HISSTank which states that Hasbro confirmed at Toy Fair that there would be no 50th Anniversary type line sold at Toys “R” Us this year.
I don’t consider this news very surprising.
Hasbro did go on to confirm that there would be a ComicCon exclusive, and that they were committed to getting the Fan Vote winner Stiletto out to collectors as well. Beyond that, pretty much nada.
Many Joe fans lept to the attack citing a Tweet from Entertainment News International that seemed to say there would be a G.I. Joe presence at retail this year, but in fact, that Tweet merely said a “few reveals” would be at JoeCon. I consider an SDCC set (or two) and the Stiletto release a few reveals, to be sure.
At this point, as it has been several times in recent years, the future of G.I. Joe as a retail brand remains murky. The one main difference now is that while G.I. Joe at retail was sketchy, we at least at the Collectors Club to fall back on, which was generally good for 30 – 40 releases per year, a nice healthy number. Now as we push forward towards 2016 and 2017 not only is retail looking unhealthy, but rumors persist that the Collectors Club is off the brand as well.
So what the heck is going on here? It makes no real sense to jettison Fub Publications if you’re also jettison a retail presence unless there’s some kind of fallback plan, which at this point there doesn’t appear to be. All Hasbro will really tell us right now is “wait for a movie”, but that does us no good in the short term. Over the past few years, the G.I. Joe collectors community has been dwindling with no real catalyst to bring us together, aside from the Kindle Worlds fan vote, which was a fantastic experience, but ultimately came and went.
As we look towards 2017, we have no clear vision of a retail brand, and simply no clue on any product from any sort of Collectors Club, and hell, we may not even have an annual G.I. Joe Convention to look forward to.
I’m not sure exactly what’s going on, but I hope that we can get some kind of information from Hasbro at some point, just so we don’t continue to be left adrift, wondering. I’m one of those few who actually enjoys some healthy speculation, but speculating on something vs. nothing doesn’t do much for me.
Hopefully we can find out what’s next and get some kind of answers beyond just waiting for the next movie.
It does seem strange for Hasbro to sever their connection with the club when they won’t have any product at retail this year.
It makes me wonder if they have something else in the works, or they were really unhappy with the Club.
It kinda sounds like they want to make a strong distinction between everything that has been done and what they are planning for the future. I hope this isn’t the case as that alienates the core fans. IMO they are taking this in the wrong direction and the death of GI Joe as we have all come to know and love seems more and more like a certainty. If they would just make them stand alone films and reboot, setting the films in the 80’s basing them off the original Marvel comic they would have gold on their hands. Ep I ARAH, Ep II Springfield, Ep III Cobra Island, Ep IV Terror Drome, etc, etc.
I don’t think they have any idea yet how to reintroduce the brand into the marketplace, or if there is even a place for Joe any more.
As much as it saddens me to say it, I don’t think there really is a place for Joe at retail right now. Outside of adult collectors who do it for the nostalgia like myself. Kids just don’t play with toys like they used to. And the popular items now like TMNT and SW are much cheaper made items with less detail and articulation.
It comes down to money…unless there is a movie there will be no Joe I’m afraid.
I’m surprised they haven’t tried some sort of Disney Infinity/Skylanders style platform for their properties. Probably too late now, and I imagine Disney would not appreciate it anyway.
I’m sure Skylanders didn’t appreciate Disney, either. 😉
I for sure think there is a market. There are these cheap action force/G.I. Joe knockoffs that seem to sell well in my location. Guaranteed that if Joe’s were next to these on the shelves Joe’s would outsell even with a higher price point. Quality counts, Joe’s always had remarkable vehicles and unique figures.
What we really need is another cold war to kickstart the interest in military fantasy again!
Sadly, I think we have the makings of that… :/
I cant find hardly any G I Joe’s or Assortments at all either Walmart or Toy R Us or even Target … As a Collector it makes it hard for me to Collect that which I love
Bro, there haven’t been Joes at Wally or Target in months. TRU is your only option at brick and mortar.
live on the outside of New Orleans so dont know where Brick and Mortar our … Been a Joe Collector since the 60’s when My brothers got them for Christmas all those yrs ago
At this point, if Hasbro wants to save Joe, they’re probably better off starting fresh…which it seems like they are planning to do. We know that Joe’s future is tied to how well they can integrate it into the Transformers franchise. That doesn’t lend itself to being the Joe we know and love.
But, would it really be so bad if Joe took a break for a while while the market resets itself? In 5 years, the comic book movie craze might be over and the world might be ripe for a new Joe. Maybe as an adventurer who could stand as a single character against some familiar enemies.
I know this is a sore spot for you Justin, but you know that due to the prices they charge, the Club exclusives were never a practical alternative for the majority of fans, who have budgets. More power to you if you have the disposable cash to spend $400 on a convention set — plus more for the extras — and then drop another $300 just a couple of months later for the Subscription Service.
Me (and a lot of fans) at best picked and chose a couple of those figures we really wanted and bought them off eBay. Further, there exclusiveness meant kids had no real access to them. Sorry, Fun Publication was never a viable substitute for a retail presence. At best it was a bone thrown to the fans to shut us up. And now, once again, Hasbro is betting everything on a movie.
How many times do we have to go through this? You want to do a movie to promote the brand, great. But neither movie produced a toy line that could sustain itself at retail. Heck, for the last Transformers movie, the toy line was a relatively small affair, they didn’t even bother removing the collector friendly Generations line form retail. They’ve learned not to bet everything on the movies.
Except for GI Joe it seems. Sigh… Maybe GI Joe should take a nice long break.
GIJOE is dead.
It’s just that no-one wants to admit it and let go of the body.
The politics of this brand are staggering. The public is either skittish or indifferent about the brand, the cultural climate has not supported the military fantasy-premise for quite some time, Hasbro wants a movie to carry it…..but Paramount is slow in developing the brand as a movie, and wants to tie it in with other brands to shore all of them up.
To top it off, the only real consistent presence the brand has had–the GIJOE Club–looks to be retreating from the brand itself after this year.
How much more suck needs to be attached to this thing for the writing to be any clearer on the wall??
Other movies, like Deadpool, mean jack-squat in this equation. That is grasping at straw that isn’t even related to this. The superhero genre movies are really only one big bomb ( and it’s coming) from making studios drastically re-think their game-plans. A re-think means pulling back on expending big dollars for films that……really……..are aimed at a fickle audience. And kids and “comic book geeks” are the most fickle audience of all.
There are so many external factors to GIJOE, that marketing it is really hit-or-miss. The wrong story in the news, a badly-timed scandal, just plain ugly politics, or a surge in some other cultural meme or trend and a military toy line is, once again, out of style and unpopular. This has happened before, and to a degree it is happening right now.
There can and likely will come a time when Paramount, and in turn Hasbro, will just throw in the towel because of the unmanageable risks and just shelve the brand again.
Intellectual Property stuff is a tidal business……….”tidal” in the sense that it’s value comes and goes. Mattel has let a number of very profitable properties lapse over time: Big Jim and Major Matt Mason are two.
They are good perennial toy-line examples in this- sports/adventure and space/sci-fi–and they SHOULD defy trends.
But both are dead, and furthermore their trademarks are either vacant or lapsing. Some have or are being bought up by outside parties because Mattel, simply sees no future in maintaining them.
These are two properties that have great potential for updates and attachments to other brands. Sports franchises are huge still, and space-sci-fi barely needs and angle to work these days…….and yet……no-one at Mattel bothers with these in-house legacy brands that THEY STILL OWN.
Hasbro is seeing this with GIJOE. They’ve milked the brand for all they could……..what’s left? Bobble-heads?? No, they’ve done those. They’ve gone back to the basic formula numerous times, and it might sell for a little while, and then it peters out. A lot of pushes end up as shelf-glue. The brand has no legs at retail, it has far too small an audience to sustain even a subscription-based format. And the tragedy is that, despite having people that truly, dearly love the brand managing it, it’s ended up, for whatever reasons, being not that well managed.
This is GIJOE’s sunset, and he’s walking off into it whether we like it or not.
I don’t think I totally agree with you. When I think of something as “dead,” that means it is never coming back – ever. Joe is in a really bad place right now but I think a reboot is coming eventually. The downside to a reboot is if Joe follows all current models, we will see a 5 POA line associated with a new movie. I frickin refuse to buy a 5 POA fig. There is no way I will support a line that uses 30 year old articulation at a 2016 price.
This is getting a bit ranty so I will end it there.
That is part of what I speak of when I (take it upon myself to) declare the line “dead”–is that it can be “resurrected” as 5 POA “Zombie” GIJOE crap.
What we have seen up to now, with multi-POA figures……I think those are dead.
Hasbro declared that it had learned its lesson with the 5 POA Retaliation Joes, and then went out and made 5 POA 12″ Titan figures and Marvel 4″ figures.
And that stuff sold!
So why bother going with anything other than 5 POAs for GIJOE from this point on?
Are they going to reboot things?? I have no clue, and i have even less hope.
There’s STILL rumours of Black Series 6″ Joes kicking around, but those rumours are about a year old now…..and nothing has been shown. There’s no “event” coming that would logically herald a debut of such a line until a movie comes out……and there’s no movie coming out anything soon either.
I’m disheartened to say the least.
I hear you man. I’m pretty bummed too.
I think the 5 POAs sell because Joe fans have no other options. I just bought a couple that would have been far down my list if I had things to choose from. But Im so starved for anything Joe I buy it. When a man dying of thirst gets to the oasis and finds there is no water he drinks the sand.
What does poa mean? Please excuse my ignorance 🙂 I’m currently collecting vintage Joes for my toddler. As well as transformers, ninja turtles and masters of the universe. These will be given to him roughly around his 5th bday… I dunno why I said all this lol sorry. I just want them to release new/old Joes. They should be a legacy toy that outlives all of us. What boy doesn’t wanna play with action figures with dope vehicles? Only toylines that seem decent right now are some transformers and the turtles
Points of Articulation. Essentially means how poseable an action figure is. 5 POA means basically shoulders, hips, neck and that’s it.
I think Hasbro has very little interest in the brand anymore. They make much more money through licensed franchises such as Marvel and Star Wars. So, why spend time, money and resources on a brand only a limited group of collectors (such as myself) is still interested in? As for the Club and SDCC, sure those are somewhat valid options if you live in the States, but will cost you an arm and a leg if you live abroad as in Europe. The last couple of years it has been a horrible task for me to get my hands on SDCC sets, not only for GI Joe but also other exclusives such as Marvel Legends, Kotobukiya etc… I personally hate these exclusives and would rather see them disappear as they mostly only benefit retailers and re-sellers. But back on topic, I think it’s more a question of not willing anymore. When I look at the recent success of kickstarter projects such as the ones by Marauder Inc., I think it’s clear there’s still an adult market for military based action figures. But this market is probably too small for a company such as Hasbro. A new movie might bring a small revival, but I’m afraid the effect will only be temporary. Times have changed and for the foreseeable future I see no room anymore for GI Joe in retail stores. Kids are no longer interested and the pool of collectors who often buy out of nostalgia (I admit that’s not the only reason, but it’s an important factor) is shrinking.
Hey guys I dont think the Joes are dead. Im 13 and I still think there awseome and I know plenty of people who think so to. I just got my own 12 inch Gi joe action soldier. and Ive been a collector for 3 years kind of a noob but I still think there awsome. I think they have a shot if the advertise right and do the good old O ring format and give us all those points of articulation. dont worry the youth is ready for some Joes. :]
Adding on what I sand earlier I think to get the fans back we need some authentic military stuff. Thats waht the people at my school want.