Save GI Joe
Dear Hasbro, Inc.,
The G.I. Joe fan community understands that the contract between Hasbro and Fun Publications will not be extended and that the 2017 International G.I. Joe Collectors Convention (JoeCon) is in question. We respectfully ask that you consider the impact that the G.I. Joe brand has had on fans worldwide, and specifically, the importance of continuing JoeCon.
In recent years, more and more fans and collectors have been drawn to the JoeCon experience. Traveling from as far as Australia, South America, and Europe, fans and collectors come from around the world to enjoy JoeCon, collect convention exclusives, and celebrate their love of this brand.
JoeCon has taken on the feeling of a family reunion, growing to be more than a simple toy show with each passing year. These annual conventions have resulted in lifelong friendships and a significant boost to the G.I Joe fan community. Year after year, we’ve watched children grow up around the various vendor halls of JoeCon. This event brings families together and provides a forum for fans to convene and celebrate their love of G.I Joe. This would not exist without JoeCon.
The popularity of JoeCon is on the rise. For example, to promote JoeCon 2015, the G.I. Joe Collectors Club partnered with The Finest, the world’s premier G.I. Joe costume club, to film a series of promotional commercials in advance of the convention. Business Weekly, Comedy Central, Huffington Post, MSNBC, and MTV were some of the media outlets to publish a photograph of the Mayor of Springfield, Illinois presenting the key to the city to a costumed Cobra Commander. The advertisements went viral and generated a tremendous amount of international hype for JoeCon 2015. The fan community was thrilled to help the G.I. Joe brand achieve such widespread international media coverage, and this helped expand last year’s JoeCon to a significantly broader fan-base.
As you know, the G.I. Joe mythos has changed lives throughout the last 52 years. The G.I. Joe fanbase is comprised of active duty military personnel and veterans, law enforcement and first responders, scientists, and engineers. Many of these fans were guided to their respective careers because of the G.I. Joe brand; a tradition that proudly endures to this day. JoeCon is the central event of this fan-base, and is critical for not only the continuation of the brand, but also the upkeep of traditions and values which the G.I. Joe brand has instilled upon generations since 1964.
The G.I. Joe fan community is growing, and will continue to do so with the upcoming release of a third major motion picture. Via social media and web forums, various G.I. Joe-centric discussion groups and fan communities grow daily. In the last decade, the international community of G.I. Joe costumers has expanded exponentially due to the explosion of pop culture conventions and love of the brand. Many Joe-themed organizations have raised tens of thousands of dollars for veteran’s organizations, children’s charities, and other charitable organizations. JoeCon is the nexus of this fan support, and the absence of such a convention would unfortunately also have an adverse impact on fan-driven charity projects.
We ask that Hasbro please consider the impact that the G.I. Joe brand and JoeCon have had on countless lives and families worldwide. As longstanding members of the G.I. Joe fan community, we ask Hasbro to continue to provide this forum for generations of G.I. Joe fans to celebrate our love of the brand. Please consider continuing the International G.I. Joe Collectors Convention in 2017 and beyond.
Coil Club, Full Force Podcast, General Joes, The Finest: A G.I. Joe Costume Club, What’s on Joe Mind Podcast, GI Joe Collector Community, and GI Joe Fans