Who goes to the GI Joe convention

The kind of people who might attend the GI Joe Convention are serious fans

The kind of people who might attend the GI Joe Convention are serious fans

Back in the day, GI Joe was one of the most popular toys around. More than five decades ago, the toy first surfaced as a way of drumming up patriotism among the country’s youngest. In the 1980’s the toy took a more mobile turn and introduced more characters to the populous. It was here where the toy really hit stride and that popularity spawned a television show and a whole set of different comics all based on the characters. 

While there have been attempts to resurrect GI Joe with a short running series around the start of the 21st century and a couple of movies loosely based on the earlier shows and comics, fans remember the mid-20th century versions as the best of the best. 

Except for those live action movies and a long running comic book series, GI Joe has largely been kept alive by a cadre of loyal fans who want to get together and reminisce about the good old days when the toys – now “vintage Joe” – and the show were kings of the hill. 

There seems to be a convention for almost everything these days and GI Joe is certainly no exception. Unlike something like ComicCon which is considered a festival for anyone who likes anything Science Fiction related, the GI Joe convention is actually quite a bit more specialized. 

You may not know whether or not you are one of the people who goes to the GI Joe convention unless you can tick off a few check marks in some specialized categories.


If you are looking to hang out with a bunch of people that are all dressing up as characters from the television show or the movies, then this probably isn’t the place for you to hang out. The GIJoeCon is more of a place for collectors to check out the latest edition of some of their favorite figurines.

An awful lot of what goes on at the convention is sales and trading. People can bring their own GI Joe figurines they would like to unload. There will also be more than 200 different sales tables at this particular convention willing to sell attendees any number of different items and paraphernalia.

This is a convention, so there will be some special guests attending the event. In years past there have been voice actors from the actual animated series as well as people who worked for Hasbro the company that produced the toys. The 2012 convention featured some voice actors who played some of the more beloved GI Joe characters as well as a member of the marketing team for Hasbro when the company’s sales of GI Joe figures were in their heyday. 

The thing to keep in mind when talking about the kind of people who attend this sort of event is that they are people who truly care about the history of the toy and everything that can after it. Whether being fans of the original figures or of the later versions that featured storylines that included Cobra and all the colorful characters that came with the Joes’ arch enemies.

The convention is a place where the fans can gather and share stories, including video storylines they have put together themselves with other fans of the franchise. There is even a class that will allow you to customize your own GI Joe figures any way you want, including in the kind of suits you wouldn’t have ever expected to see them in. 

If any of this sounds like it would be something you could enjoy more than just a little bit then you might be one of the people who goes to the GI Joe Convention at least once in order to get a feel for the event.