Fan Club Fanatic
Are you in or are you out?
When you’re a kid, a sense of belonging is so important. You yearn to be included as part of the group, and being left out is the worst punishment. Fan clubs allow kids to proudly declare their membership to the world, with all the documents – from their favorite hero no less – to back it up.
As a kid, I was a card-carrying member of the Pennyland Fan Club. We didn’t hold meetings or attend events, but that little rectangle of card stock made me feel closer to my favorite characters. Of course, some fan clubs actually did things and even elected officers (rumor has it Margie was President of her local chapter of the Jupiter Fan Club), offering members other ways to be connected to their heroes.
And what if that hero were fictional? That didn’t matter at all. In fact, a club made up of real-life members could help bring the fictional character to life. Or maybe, as in the case of the Spaceman Jax fan club, it allowed kids to participate in that imaginary world and explore beyond the walls of the thirty-minute show.
Do kids still join fan clubs anymore? Not as they existed in the past, but organized groups of fans are pretty common online. Whether it’s liking a fan page and staying in touch by following newsfeeds or joining an official forum, there are plenty of ways to be a part of the group. You may not have a pin or a decoder ring to demonstrate your devotion, but Facebook shows your friends the bands or films or characters you like – letting you wear your heart on your page, if not on your sleeve.