Well, if that doesn’t convince you to go to JoeFest 2019, then I don’t know what will.
JoeFest is a portion of the Augusta Toy and Comic Show that is filling a niche for G.I. Joe fans and collectors everywhere. The show features a fantastic and full guest list that is guaranteed to bring in G.I. Joe fans from all over the country, including Sargent Slaughter, Ron Rudat, Hank Garret, Keone Young, Mark Bellomo, and more!
But can we talk about some of the exclusives? ROMA Collectibles, Scorched Earth Creations, and other amazing customizers and toy makers in the community came together to product amazing toys, art, and shirts especially for this event.
To hear more about the show and see what else attendees can expect, I got together with JoeFest show runner Ed Schumacher for a Toy Wizards exclusive interview! We love conventions and toys, so therefore, there’s no way this conversation won’t be awesome!
Hi Ed! Thank you for giving Toy Wizards this interview. We are not only big toy junkies over here, but are wildly into the convention scene as well. All right—you’d said that this upcoming show on June 21-22 in Augusta, Georgia is the second official JoeFest. Please give our readers a little bit of history. Is JoeFest something that stemmed from the preexisting Augusta Toy Fest, or were the two of them conceived together?
Ed: Both shows came in existence hand and hand. Augusta had a void of conventions for 25 years and Joecon was just lost. We thought we could incorporate both to get off the ground. At first it seemed JoeFest was the leader of the two, but without the local attendance it does seem to be slightly behind. I understand with so many other great Joe shows now, JoeFest being the new guy, collectors may take a wait and see approach. Although overall ticket sales have been impressive!
Please tell us more about your toy exclusives—who is making them and how did you decide on what kind of product you wanted to see sold at your show?
Ed: Our exclusives are made and distributed by vendors who want to entice shoppers to their booths. Kind of like having something new and exciting that another vendor may not have.
JoeFest is incredibly composed; you have really awesome guests, toys and exclusives, and a full programming schedule. What has been your experience in the convention scene, either as a show runner/staff member or attendee that you knew which nails had to be hit in order to make a really great and fleshed out show that would successfully grow?
Ed: Our show was years in development. With great connections forged throughout the years, and attending great conventions such as New York Comic Con, Charlotte Comicon, and MegaCon, I’ve attended and learned the workings of a great convention!
Let’s get back to the toys—would you tell us some of your G.I. Joe collecting history, and how has that collection affected what sort of toy vendors you wanted to see exhibiting at JoeFest?
Ed: I’ve collected since I was about 9 years old and always had a soft spot for the toy that was not the highest in grade. But I respect that everyone collects all things in any condition and that is what JoeFest is built around. We have top of the line rare and specialty dealers like ROMA Collectibles and the Toy Federation, and massive inventory from the Toy Department! We have vendors that have created their own new and unique toys such as VSS Venomous Sea Serpent, Dio-Warriors, Star Wars Mike’s Customs, and Bobby Vala’s new line the Valaverse!
If you could have any dream guest come to JoeFest or Augusta Toy and Comic Show, who would it be and why?
Ed: Our dream guest would be The Fridge Refrigerator Perry, as we hope to garner his attention this summer and invite him in 2020!
What are your future plans and vision for JoeFest and what are your aspirations for it?
Ed: My vision for JoeFest is to have a summer convention built around friends and toys. That was the allure of Joecon, friends gathering each summer to be passionate about the toys they collect!
What is something about you (interests or hobby wise) that might surprise some of your friends or acquaintances in the toy collecting community?
Ed: My hobby outside of toy collecting is reading comics and collecting baseball autographs in person! Been involved in all since I was a child! Also, I’d like to thank Toy Wizards for your time and hope to meet you in person right here in Augusta or wherever JoeFest may be in the future!
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