Do it yourself, man!
December 29, 2007

Recently a person who had been banned some time ago from the AFI forums wrote to demand that he be let back on the forums. Never mind the fact that he was warned multiple times before being banned (and the fact that almost no one goes far enough to even get banned from AFI) or that he continually goes to other forums to trash talk me and others here. What gets me is that he somehow thinks we are trampling his rights by not letting him post his rants here.

His rights?!?  Let’s get something straight: this is my website (and Daniel Pickett’s, and our mods). If you break the rules, we throw you out. You have no rights. The rules are there for a reason. Why is this something that happens over and over and over again, in every forum across the web? Seriously, somehow people think that being on the internet means that they can say anything they want, insult anyone they want, and whine, bitch, and complain about everything but when anyone disagrees with them then suddenly you are taking away their right to "voice my opinion". 

When this happens, I tell them the same thing I’ve always told them (when I can be bothered to actually respond to the many trolls out there): build your own damn website! Why keep trying to get into someplace that doesn’t want you? In this day and age, it’s pretty darn easy to set up a website for next to nothing. Heck, I’ve done it four times: from my original AF Archives, to Raving Toy Maniac, to ToyOtter, and now AFI. It’s easy

I’m writing about this partly because of the ex- forum member referenced above, and partly because of a message board that I was pointed to this week: Critical Mess.  Back when I was at RTM and my partner and I started the first toy forum, it really was the only game in town. When we had the inevitable troublemakers on the buzz, we played "good cop, bad cop" to keep the perps in line. But it was tiresome. Over time, some folks who wanted an alternative that was more in line with their way of thinking set up their own sites rather than deal with the clowns who never seem to get the message. Folks like the Fwoosh, AFHub, RingOfCollectors, LOG, Doosh, AFI, and yes, Critical Mess. These guys wanted something else and instead of endlessly bitching that they deserved to have things changed to fit them, they went out and did their own thing. And that thing is great!

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking RTM. It still outpaces pretty much all other toy sites and is just as popular as ever; Bobbi & Rob have kept it minty fresh over the years. Heck, I probably post more over there than I do in our own forums! But I applaud the folks who did it their way, instead of trying to impose their views and disrupt peaceful communities who like being what they are. We may not always agree with them, but we sure respect them. The web is more than big enough for everyone, and is probably still not big enough quite yet.

So next time, before you think you need to question why a mod has deleted your post for the 20th time, why not look into a nice domain from GoDaddy with one of their introductory packages?  Because if you build it, they will come. Trust me (unless you’re Shocker Toys. I think that’s a lost cause at this point) But please get the hell away from here first. Go try Doosh; they take anyone! 


Jason "ToyOtter" Geyer
AFi Editor-In-Chief Jason Geyer has been part of the online pop culture world for nearly 20 years, having founded some of the very first toy sites on the web including Raving Toy Maniac, ToyOtter, and now Action Figure Insider. Along the way he helped pioneer online coverage of industry events such as San Diego Comic Con, E3, Toy Fair, and CES. He is also a former toy designer who is now a marketing genius. If he does say so himself. And he does.
Read other articles by Jason "ToyOtter" Geyer.





  • “But please get the hell away from here first. Go try Doosh; they take anyone!”

    I’m not sure if this is tongue and cheek or a dig.

    Allow me to clarify something about the Doosh. At the core of our little toygeek haven is the strong belief of freedom of speech. Couple that with an admin/mod approach of being hands off.

    The lurker viewing our board might confuse the heavy handed quality and the coarse language as immaturity. However, those who hang there long enough discover that we have a dynamic which allows our posters to speak freely without having to worry about appeasing moderators, corporate people, or anyone else that might be frequenting the site. This dynamic is devoid on a lot of other boards, where often times people don’t freely speak their minds, instead they join the group consensus established by that board’s elite.

    Besides all that, we have one of the best custom areas on the web.

  • Jason ToyOtter says:

    It was a joke. I wouldn’t have given the Doosh a shout-out if I wanted to take a dig at them. You guys got your own thing going on, and it’s cool.

    However, The Doosh hasn’t ever hesitated to take shots at AFI, and I’ve never popped over there to clarify anything about our site or extoll its greatness.

    So let your site speak for itself and layoff the hard sell that tries to position yourself as everything that is right where AFI is wrong.

  • DC Biased says:

    Are we really at the point where we’re talking about one action figure forum taking shots at another action figure forums? Really? Wow. No wonder everyone thinks we’re all nerds.

  • TGJBot says:

    Thanks Jason, the notice is much appreciated!

  • “So let your site speak for itself and layoff the hard sell that tries to position yourself as everything that is right where AFI is wrong.”

    I certainly don’t feel that way and I don’t post stuff like that on my site, so I’m not exactly sure where that comment is coming from. My prior comment was NOT a knock against AFI. I have absolutely no problems with your board. There’s enough room on the internet where there doesn’t have to be a Doosh vs AFI thing.

    Besides, I’ll freely say that AFI has a lot of good stuff going on. A number of posters on my site (myself included) have given your board props before. Especially with your SDCC coverage, which has been tops.

  • “…its wings were stretched from wall to wall…”…

    Jason “ToyOtter” Geyer has a blog post about the online action figure collecting community, explaining why they recently banned a forum member (I don’t know who, nor does it matter). It occurred to me that I’ve been a member of …

  • pootboy says:

    this is old news, but i just found it!! i thought it was nice mention, myself. (although I wish you linkified the last “doosh”).

    only think i might say as that you are MORE than welcome to pop into the doosh and argue how awesome you are, how much we suck, or vice versa, or just tell us your feelings on Judith Light.

    but you can’t hold it against US that YOU don’t exercise the beautiful freedoms, the wonderment, the “no-underwear-and-oh-sh*t-is-that-*ahem*?” feeling that is…. the DOOOOOOOOOOSH!!!!

  • pootboy says:

    well i’ve now been informed this topic has been discussed to death.

    really sucks when the internet filter in prison won’t let you onto your own message board.

  • dkdjfikd says:

    Funny look at “Da Mess” these days. These slobs have a “Rumble” board. They certainly don’t disrupt other peoples junk. Less than 200 members. Gee, the majority speaketh!

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