Today on the Transformers Collectors Club Store it was discovered that the descriptions for club memberships has been changed slightly, indicating that any memberships purchased starting now will expire in December of 2016. This has led to speculation that the Club may be ceasing operations after that point. Another indicator to that outcome is similar language appearing in Joe Club membership descriptions today. With the recent announcement of a TFSS 5 in the planning, this comes as a great surprise, and raises questions about the future of the Club and Botcon itself. We reached out to Fun Publications' Pete Sinclair for comment, keep reading to find out what we learned.
When asked for comment on today's developments, Pete responded indicating that the last reported state of current projects is still correct, which seems to indicate that TFSS 5.0 is still in the planning, and 2016's Club and Membership exclusive toys. However, he could not offer any comment on the Club memberships beyond what the updated description text already says. Nothing specific to Botcon was said at all. So for the time being we're left with only speculation.
The simplest conclusion to reach is that Fun Publications may not be handing fan club business for Hasbro properties after the end of next year, and with it may or may not go running of the official conventions. In the recent conference call, Hasbro's representatives indicated their dedication to maintaining an official convention event for fans, including Botcon 2016. But with the Cityneon and Victory Hill "event and exhibition" license that was announced in November, could Hasbro be looking at approaching this from a different direction?
For now we'll simply have to wait and see how this develops. If the Club's days are indeed numbered, many fans will likely lament the probable loss of an outlet for a lot of unusual Transformers toys every year, as even if the convention and some sort of fan club carry on without Fun Publications, it feels unlikely that a new organizer would automatically pursue the same scope of merchandise on a yearly basis.
Stay tuned for more information as it develops.