G.I. JoeCon 2015 – Final Report, Feedback From Fans, & Suggestions For The Club

G.I. JoeCon 2015 – Final Report, Feedback From Fans, & Suggestions For The Club

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G.I. JoeCon was held in Springfield, Illinois from April 9th-12th at the Prairie Capital Convention Center. It was a nice sized convention center given that Springfield is not a large town. The convention center is attached to the President Abraham Lincoln Springfield – a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, and across the street from another Hilton hotel (which apparently was $30 cheaper according to an attendee).

Traveling To JoeCon:

Getting there from the east coast on April 9th was not an easy task as we had previously reported. The problem was Chicago had severe thunderstorms all day on April 9th, and this caused flights to get cancelled and delayed coming and going. Springfield also has a local airport, but it doesn’t get the commercial flights that large airports do, and traveling there from airplane requires connecting flights from Chicago. Because of the severe weather, I missed picking up the exclusives on the 9th, and was not able to get there from Chicago until the following morning, around 6:30am. This required a 3 hour sleep staying at a hotel near the Chicago airport, and renting a car and driving to Springfield, as the next available flight from Chicago to Springfield didn’t fly in until late Friday afternoon, which was too late to begin coverage for that day. Also not to mention get online for exclusives.

Traveling From JoeCon:

Monday morning was time to leave. The hotel was emptied out and only Fub Publications, Hasbro, and a few fans were left. The flight out was late morning, so I didn’t have to rush during breakfast and had time to work on this article.

I went outside to get a taxi and ended up sharing one with Hasbro’s Derryl DePriest and Mark Weber. Once I got to the airport, I was not listed in their system to take that flight, and it turned out that Hasbro, and other passengers had the same problem. It turns out that if you missed your flight from Chicago to Springfield, you were automatically removed from this flight. Thankfully, they fixed it for everyone. It was nice spending some more time with Derryl and Mark at the airport and airplane, so you really can’t complain too much about the delay.

The aircraft was supposed to be here around 11am, and has been getting delayed since. My flight from Chicago also had to be changed and I had no choice but to take a 6pm flight out.

The Show:

The convention center was large enough to hold the dealer room, as well as all the panels planned located at a lower level. One good thing about this year was the attendance of Hasbro’s Derryl DePriest and Mark Weber, and they were able to reveal all of this years planned releases (minus the SDCC Kre-O set).

The dealer room had a great selection of both old and new G.I. Joe toys, along with other properties. You could easily spend a lot of money based on some of the deals at the show, and not to mention the exclusives and what the club charges for them.

Interview with Boss Fight Studio on Friday:

The original plan with Boss Fight Studio was to hold the interview on Friday after the dealer room closes and we were supposed to have our interview up that day instead of Sunday. What happened was during our conversation, Brian Savage of Fun Publications and the President of the company turned off the lights about half way through the video, and this caused the video to barely show us. Chris, a friend of Boss Fight Studio, quickly grabbed a flashlight and we all looked up at it unexpectedly. Unfortunately, the video could not be saved and we had to reshoot it Sunday.

Boss Fight Studio asked us to publish a portion of that video as a blooper, so we’ll get that up for you to view this week.

Another part of the story is when I was packing up, Brian Savage walked by yelling “lets go, everybody out” and held my tripod and shook it. Now keep in mind it wasn’t recording and the camera phone and everything else was being packed, so it’s not like he could have damaged anything. But still, it was not an appropriate thing to do and based on the feedback from some of you that heard this story at the show, you were not surprised by this as some of you are more familiar with Brian. According to those fans, he’s not that professional.

Saturday Night Dinner:

If there was anything that could have gone wrong, it certainly happened at the dinner. Between the salad croutons being soggy, the chicken not that appetizing, and the wifi situation, it was a disaster. As Mark from Michigan pointed out, they did not have a vegetarian meal for him and his wife that had to snack on bread, mashed potatoes, and vegetables. Last year, the club did offer a vegetarian meal and they should have offered it again along with any diet restrictions.

The wifi went out at the beginning of a trivia game as attendees attempted to log on with their phones and play the game. After Brian Savage and Pete Sinclair tried to fix it, they just gave up and Brian continued the evening with reading off the questions and having the guest shout out the answers. Keep in mind that at this point not everyone was interested in playing the game, but Brian seemed to want to finish it because it was on the agenda for that evening.

As several of you pointed out, they never seem to offer an apology or take blame when something goes wrong, and after listening to Brian and watching him read off the questions, he certainly did not apologize for the wifi, which was unfortunate.

At the costume contest, a fan dressed as Tiger Force Dial Tone make a comment about having difficulty with the wifi on stage, and Brian just seemed to move onto the next person, without commenting on that. Dial Tone came in at third place out of over a dozen other people, not just for his costume, but likely because of his comment.

Fan Feedback:

Having only been to 2 JoeCons, we learn something new every year and this year we learned a lot about what the community and what they think of how JoeCon is run. One fan attending the show 10 years or more said that there has always been something that went wrong, and even though no one is perfect, he expected Fun Publications to learn from previous mistakes and run the show a bit more professionally. According to another fan, registration has been a problem this past 4 years and no longer takes Brian at his word. There are also issues with wifi problems when trying to purchase exclusives, problems getting downstairs to attend panels due to doors being locked, and that took Brian’s wife to bring it to his attention, because when fans told him, he didn’t seem to listen.

Overall:

JoeCon was a lot of fun this year and we certainly encourage fans to go, only because they have some great panels, and also meeting fellow fans of G.I. Joe is always a great experience. But you should never go just to obtain exclusives, because you might be disappointed.

Unfortunately, we don’t have coverage of Fun Publications panel and reveals because I was too busy finishing up the Hasbro coverage, and got to the panel too late to get a decent seat, and without pictures, coverage of it was pointless for us. You guys demand quality coverage, and so do we.

Also, we do wish that Fun Publications would appreciate their press a bit more, as they are the only convention that I ever covered or attended that did not aid in press coverage in anyway, and all of our requests, even tiny ones, were ignored.

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