If you want Club exclusives, why not join?

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by GrantB, May 26, 2008.

  1. GrantB

    GrantB Drink it

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    I'm moving/continuing a discussion I started accidentally on purpose over in the Junkion sale threads here. Discussion in the Junkion forums is verboten, so I'm starting a thread here, and providing some quoted context.

    Basically, someone is offering to buy Club exclusives for non-Club members at near cost. While he's a nice guy to be willing to do this, I'm wondering why there's a demand for it. Why is joining the club so distasteful?

    ShadowStitch... um, what the heck are you on about? Given your "hideous figures" comment, I don't think this discussion pertains to you, as you clearly are not interested in the FunPub figures. How does BotCon divide the Collectors and the DedicatedFans? What is the "Seeker debacle" that you speak of?

    For anyone else, if you want the new Club exclusives, why is joining the Club so distasteful?
     
  2. Omegatron

    Omegatron Mandatory Fun. Buy it now TFW2005 Supporter

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    I dunno. For me, the Club's a pretty good deal- especially because of the Botcon discount, and the free Scout figure. The newsletter's only so-so- and shouldn't really be called a 'news' letter, as most of it isn't news by the time it gets to my mailbox. I'd personally like to see more 'history' type articles and exclusive pics of upcoming figures, but generally like the magazine. In fact, I might start digging all the old ones out and start re-reading. There are those who think the club is just trying to screw the fans, but I see them (a) providing more opportunities for fans in regards to Botcon (Primus vs Minicon vs Energon packages) and (b) trying to make a profit, which is why one gets into a business like this in the first place.
     
  3. Voiceroy

    Voiceroy Trans-fo-mahs!

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    Top 10 Reasons Why Voiceroy Won't Join The Club:

    10) "Exclusive repaint" is an oxymoron, like "jumbo shrimp" and "Microsoft Works."
    9) Oprah Winfrey hasn't endorsed it yet, nor has she appeared on the cover of the newsletter.
    8) The newsletter is mediocre and about as "newsworthy" as last month's newspaper.
    7) Club membership gets you a $50 discount at Botcon, but membership costs you $40 a year. Wow, a whole $10 savings! Which won't even buy you enough beers to win at drinking at Botcon.
    6) Two words.
    5) $40 is third-class. $62 is first-class. I want LEADER CLASS.
    4) If you have to pay $40 for something, there's no such thing as a "free" figure.
    3) George W. Bush says Master Collector is his favorite magazine.
    2) Lack of nudity.

    And the #1 reason why Voiceroy won't join the club:

    1) $40 isn't cheap, unless that's what you just paid for sex.
     
  4. taterx

    taterx Lurkin since Transfandom

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    Hell I like the club. The fiction is good and it is important to support FP who provides the fandom with a top notch convention every year. All the ill will towards them is really misguided.
     
  5. silenth

    silenth Well-Known Member

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    Because I dont have to. A fellow board member was generous enough to help buy astrotrain for me.

    Granted the dollar is in decline, $40 is by no means cheap. Besides, just beacuse I have $40 to spare does not mean I have $40 to waste. Joining the club is not distasteful. Its just not practical for everyone.

    My friend enjoys his membership; for him the $40 spent on membership was well worth it. He goes to botcon and enjoys the news letter.

    And for the love of all that is good in this world- pls, no more talk about the '07 botcon seekers.
     
  6. llamatron

    llamatron Shut up, Nigel. TFW2005 Supporter

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    Because the club is a horrific ripoff for international fans.
     
  7. Laser_Optimus

    Laser_Optimus Your opinion was noted. Now get lost. TFW2005 Supporter

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    Honestly, short of people whom just don't have the money (lets face it... not everyone can afford to shell out $40 or $62 a year), I honestly don't see a reason not to at least give it a shot for one year. The only people whom I totally agree that it's not worth it for are the International Members... honestly think FP needs to re-evaluate their shipping methods if those are their prices for overseas (and I do plenty of overseas shipping when selling on eBay).

    Personally, I like the magazine and feel that, while it started out mediocre, it has picked up considerably within the last year or more. While it used to not be very newsworthy and have some rather horrible toy reviews (in the sense that everyone and their brother had owned said toy for months by the time you got the magazine) Pete and others have been working hard to get us more and more first looks from Hasbro (which none members than proceed to bitch about not being able to see!).

    Also, I've felt sense the beginning that their fiction has always been top notch (and that includes any of the online only fiction they've done as well) and that alone is fun enough for me to continue to join every year.

    And, as an added bonus, you get a free figure for the cost of membership. Sure the first four years have only been repainted scouts, but next years is a deluxe with a remolded gestalt head. Now that's worth a shot eh? And if you've got all five figures you'll be able to combine them into a new gestalt. Hopefully, they continue to give us cool freebies up to this point.

    Only thing I've been massively disappointed in has been the club store exclusives (or lack there-of) when we were promised at least two a year and we didn't receive any until the third year. This year's sets have seen a ridiculous amount of delays as well (thankfully they'll be arriving soon). Also, I feel that the choices for characters were somewhat poor in some cases as well. Airazor (whom I love mind you) was something that would really only appeal to two types of people a) those that want to complete their full BW Botcon cast or b) those that really really love BW. Astrotrain was cool, but was more or less chosen because a select few whined that the figure never made it to retail. I guess FP thought that many people would buy it because of this, but they underestimated how much people were actually willing to shell out for him I think (I do own him BTW) and they still have plenty enough left over (and apparently there were only about 2,000 or so units made) that they were able to do a sale on him and Airazor. Nightbeat is a cool idea, but unfortunately makes use of a horrible mold... I'll have to judge him more when I get hold of him. And, IMO, the Seacons are probably going to suffer from the same thing that Astrotrain suffered from... another exclusive that people bitched about not getting, but they're going to keep comparing the price to what the retail would have actually been. Frankly, I think they should stick to the cheaper exclusives and only do high dollar ones for characters that are definent sells (you know... core cast and such).

    I've also ordered a couple of non-attendee packages from Botcon (when I've had the money) and taken advantage of the Botcon discount. Only $10 off? Well, that's $10 less I had to pay than those whom weren't members... and I didn't have to focus any money towards anything else as I didn't actually attend (and when you attend you get so much more!) and not to mentions so much more than just a trip to Botcon for my membership price.
     
  8. Gryph

    Gryph Action Master

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    I can't believe people are still mad about the 2007 set.

    In regard to ShadowStitch's comments.
    You don't seem to understand the rather simple concept that when these figures were being planned and made, the Classics line was never meant to continue. By the time Hasbro decided to continue it as Universe, the whole process was too far along to do anything about. No sane individual can possibly blame Fun Publications for something they could not have known about. Your opinion of FP is based on incorrect assumptions.

    I wish people would stop going apeshit over this. It's really very stupid.
     
  9. MegaHavok

    MegaHavok Well-Known Member

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    It is so old to hear people complain about exclusives. Its not a club issue it's a collectors issue. People whine about it on TF sites, star wars sites and i'm sure many more. What really bothers me is that its the same complaints every time which have no basis in logic at all.

    1. "Why is it so expensive?"
    This once comes from people who either cant afford the item or feel they shouldn't have to pay more then the retail price for a similar item. Why these people do not understand such basic concepts like "supply and demand" and "Smaller production run equals higher costs" is beyond me.

    2. "This should of been a general release"
    The infamous Botcon seekers are the best example of this. The fact that people blame FP for making toys Hasbro has NO INTENTIONS OF EVER MAKING is just plain retarded. Classics was dead. Fp saw an opportunity to do something cool for the fans and ran with it. GET OVER IT. Nobody is trying to rip you off just because they made a product you want. Would hasbro have gotten around to these guys after seeing classics success? Maybe, but if you expect FP to go "oh hey this is a great idea....lets wait for hasbro to do it." You are, you guessed it retarded.

    3. "Exclusives are stupid a stupid idea and shouldnt be made"
    Exclusive merchandise is just the way things are done now. By having merchandise being exclusive to you store, or in this case club, you provide additional incentive for some to shop there or join.

    Ok
    Now all that ranting aside there are alot of reasons the transformers club sucks. My main issue with it is that a club that makes you pay to visit it should be the best damn transformers site out there. TFW2005 blows the TF Club out of the water both for news and content and they do it for free. The TF club should be providing an inside look into the design process, character selection, and figure previews way before anybody else. The club should at the very least be doing q&as like the star wars sites do for free. Instead the only thing they tend to accomplish is official fan fiction.
     
  10. Ash from Carolina

    Ash from Carolina Junior Smeghead

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    For someone like me it's just never been worth it.

    I don't attend Bot Con and the non-attending package is just a bit pricey for the really casual sort of collectors. Heck the package would be more than my entire Transformers budget for some years.

    Even before the whole seekers war the club just always came off as sort of elitist. Like somehow a fan was better than some other fan because they had more money to spend to get the exclusives. Not really sure what they can do to change that image.

    Plus I'm just not into exclusives. They are some really nice toys but just something about all the effort and cost that takes the fun out of the figures for me. Guess it's down to different tastes since some people enjoy them and some don't.

    But yea if the exclusives were really your thing and you've got the disposible income for the non-attending set then you do sort of have to wonder what the big deal is about the extra $40.
     
  11. Velcrohead

    Velcrohead Banned

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    I think the '07 Seeker issue has pretty much worked itself out within the Henkei line, so I see no need for it to be re-hashed.

    Why I don't join the club:

    * The free figure? Not so free with the $40 membership. $40 scout class makes NO sense to me.

    * The magazine? I can find out info on an up-to-the-minute basis by visiting TFW2005, Allspark, or the official website. I don't need a magazine or newsletter to deliver me weeks old information or toy reviews.

    * Botcon? As a couple have said, it's only a $10 savings when you factor in club dues.

    * The fiction? I've been able to find every bit of FP fiction for download on the net without having to pay for it. Besides the fact that there are good fanfic writers out there who don't charge a dime. I really don't care to pay for non-canonical fanfic anyway, and could probably write better myself.

    So please, somebody show me a really good reason to join...

    Oh...y'know, if the club wanted to see a lot of folks sign up, how about run off another set of Thrust or Dirge and make THAT the club exclusive figure. Betcha I'd sign up then.
     
  12. Draven

    Draven Banned

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    Because it's an extra $49 to send some envelopes (only half of which are of any use to me) overseas.
     
  13. RKillian

    RKillian https://rktoys.myshopify.com

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    This guy wins the thread.

    If you don't want the ever-so-original clear Energon toy, a handful of newsletters with an occasional comic that's more of what you don't like about comics, and access to yet another message board frequented by many of the same insufferable jackasses as the free ones, it is indeed a waste of $40. And that's for 3rd maybe-it-shows-up-eventually-or-maybe-it-just-doesn't class, let alone the additional $22 for regular mail. So there's one reason, near zero value for me.

    Not so much of a knock against the club as simple mathematics. The $98-120 price of Nightbeat and compulsory membership can buy me 2 new die-cast Binaltechs, the core Autobots of Animated (and then some), or a case of 8 Universe deluxes (and then some). The $169-$191 price of the Seacons and compulsory membership can buy me 3 new die-cast Binaltechs, a case of Encore Meisters, 2 cases of Universe deluxes (16x), or the entire core cast of Animated.

    The compulsory membership wouldn't be such a big deal if I liked what it "bought" (the newsletter and clear toy) or there was more to buy afterward. I don't want a hat, puffy art, leftover 2007 souvenirs, or old newsletters. At the rate these exclusives go, I'll have to spend another $40-$62 to renew before another's announced, let alone released. And the prospect of cutbacks (even fewer exclusives or more Wiigii involvement) if this round of exclusives fails doesn't thrill me either.

    I understand where FP's coming from, I really do, because I've looked into licensing and manufacturing for a couple of projects. It's very expensive on a small scale and it's full of obstacles. However that does _not_ mean the club works for everyone and not doing business with them is somehow a sin against true fandom.
     
  14. KidDynamite

    KidDynamite don't know nothing Veteran

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    I was a member for the first three years, but couldn't justify it for the fourth. Too much money, not enough payoff if you don't go to Botcon. I wish the newsletter had more historical articles like they had in the first year or two. The news is old (even when they have exclusive news, people who have first class memberships reveal everything online two weeks before I get the issue in my mailbox), the fiction is lame (admittedly I am just not that crazy about fan fiction in general), and the interview and reviews aren't that compelling. The toys were sort of okay at first, but I think it was a mistake to box themselves into an aesthetic corner by doing a five member combiner, because for five whole years we've been getting clear Energon era toys in red or blue. I wish there were more variety.
     
  15. Laser_Optimus

    Laser_Optimus Your opinion was noted. Now get lost. TFW2005 Supporter

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    I just need to say something here (and no it's not a rib on anyone or anything like that), but I keep seeing the term fan fiction thrown around. However, it's my understand that all of their fiction has to be Hasbro approved and is thus official and cannonical.
     
  16. Velcrohead

    Velcrohead Banned

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    Don't know about that, but even if that's so, which universe and which canon??
     
  17. Counterpunch?

    Counterpunch? Interior Renovator

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    True story.

    I was at the meeting where Brian Savage and Pete Sinclair determined the membership price.

    If I remember right, it went something like this.

    "We need a club, but we need membership dues, you know, to keep out the riff-raff. How about $50?"

    "Are you kidding?!? These are Transformers fans we're talking about here.

    Make it $40."


    Blah blah, exclusive figures & low production runs mean higher prices....blah blah....6 magazines & comics....blah blah...BotCon discount...It's not like it hasn't been said before.

    The Club has been a big benefit and opportunity to the fandom. Cool releases, good fiction, reliable BotCons. I spend twice as much per month in coffee as I do for a year of club membership. Whatever. It's another opportunity to get cool stuff. If we could just (as a fandom) set aside this sense of entitlement regarding low cost exclusives, we might just look back favorably on the downright cool toys we (occasionally) see out of the club.

    I have issues with the Club, I'm not a cheerleader for it (more fan input and communication would be great). Overall though, they really do provide a lot of opportunity.
     
  18. Omegatron

    Omegatron Mandatory Fun. Buy it now TFW2005 Supporter

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    c) Really liked the Slugslinger mold, and liked the idea of a repaint in better colors with a new head.
     
  19. Bryan

    Bryan ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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    :lol 

    For me, I join the Club 'cause I go to BotCon.

    So I do get a bimonthly magazine. Yeah, it's pretty crappy, but it's improving, although if you're reading this, Pete, I'd love more history-oriented articles, but anyways...

    And I get a "free" figure that I might otherwise buy for standard retail 'cause I'm a completist, but that's the only reason.

    But mostly, it's that I get all that for completely free, since the BotCon discount pays for it. Then I get to buy the exclusives, which I do dig. The prices...I mean, I know they've been debated to death. They're acceptable to me, though. Not great, but acceptable.

    Far as why someone would wanna buy the exclusives off a member for cost--if you don't go to BotCon, and you don't much care to buy other exclusives down the road, it's a savings of $30 or so. For thrifty folks, I can understand why that's significant. Mebbe you can flip the freebie, but that's a hassle and if you don't want to spend the money up front in the first place, what's the point?
     
  20. ams

    ams Generation All Veteran

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    Let's try to look at it from the standpoint of what you DO get rather than "what I could get instead", which is kind of moot; I could use the $40 for pies if I wanted to.

    For the least expensive domestic membership, the cost is $40. When broken down, the cost of the club is about $3.50/month (rounding up slightly). So the way I figure it, $3.50 a month for a year gets you:

    - Six club magazines per year; if this was all you got, that would equate to slightly less than $7.00 each. Given that a general-release comic from IDW is in the vicinity of $4.00 these days, that doesn't seem too terribly out of scope. And truthfully, there have been a few things that we saw there first; while the pics trickled out online in a matter of days, that doesn't mean the club didn't get there first. The exclusive information, fiction, interviews, and occasionally interesting articles are a plus as well.

    - A basic figure ($7 value), and next year a DELUXE figure ($10 value).

    - The ability to recoup the ENTIRE cost of membership if you go to Botcon.

    - Access to retail-ish prices at the Club store. This is often scoffed at, but when '08 Movie Bee was nowhere to be found at retail, he was at the Club store. That's where I got mine. There have been a few occasions when something has hit there before regular retail.

    - Use of the Club forums

    - Access to exclusives

    Indeed. I wonder if those so dissatisfied with the current Club/Con administration remember what things were like 5-6 years ago when there was a decent chance the toys you'd paid for wouldn't be there when you arrived. Memories of the catastrophic failure of the OTFCC seem to be fading.

    Is there room for improvement? Certainly! The Master Collector rag adds no significant value, the Club forum and store software is horrible, the manual Botcon registration system is laughable in the year 2008, and our international friends are definitely not getting their money's worth. All of these things need to be addressed; but every problem is not going to be fixed in a couple of years; I think we need to be realistic in our expectations, and from the success of the last three cons/exclusive sets, it would seem these guys are doing something right.
     

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