I’m fairly sure most of you have heard of the toy company Funko before. If not I’m sure you will soon because they have plans on taking over the world. At least the toy collecting world that is. Funko is an American company that manufactures licensed pop vinyl culture toys. Based out of Everett, Washington there moto is “If it ain’t FunKo, it ain’t fun!” Based on the rising popularity of their POP figures over the past few years, Funko is definitely having a lot of fun. Fans of these figures can truly be called fanatics, and I should know because I am one.
For me it all started approximately three years ago. My favorite Marvel movie, Captain America: Winter Solider, had recently released. My wife and I were out doing some shopping at our local Target store when I saw my first Funko figure–The Winter Solider POP. Now I have been collecting various items for 25 years and this POP figure just looked….unique and I had to have it. Unbeknowst to me at the time, this seemingly innocent purchase was when my POP addiction began.
If you are a fan of this site, reading this particular article, I can just about guarantee that Funko has the license to your favorite fandom. If not they probably will soon as they are known to produce over 1000 different licensed vinyl POP figures with more being added regularly. Since that faithful Winter Solider day POP purchase my collection has grown to almost 400 POPs with more being added all the time.
I have joined several local Facebook Funko groups where collectors meet to trade/sell POPs on a regular basis. I have joined Funko’s own Funko Funklub which comes with a Freddy Funko (Freddy is Funko’s mascot) POP, a lanyard, membership card and a Freddy Funko pin. I have braved the Funko booth at SDCC (before the current lottery system when it was utter chaos getting in their line) to obtain rare and exclusive POPS. I have been extremely fortunate to attend their annual Funko Fundays event (held in San Diego during SDCC) the past two years. Fundays is a celebration and gathering of Funko fans where extremely rare POPS are given out. These tickets literally sell out in seconds. A friend of mine sold his two Funday tickets last year on eBay for $800 making over a $500 profit. As I stated before, Funko fans truly are fanatics!
Other than Star Wars, which has obviously been around for much longer, I have never collected anything more passionately. Why is collecting POPS so addicting? Nostalgia. Funko has done a masterful job of tapping into fans nostalgic feelings. We all want something to remind us of our favorite movie/TV show or our favorite video game. Plus once you buy one POP of a particular set, its very difficult not to complete that set. Can’t buy Batman and leave Robin sitting on the shelf can you?
These figures typically cost around $10-$15 each for a common figure if you buy them at your local Target, Gamestop, or Walmart store. However some POPS are “chase” figures (variations of common figures but more rare because less are made) and these can be substantially more expensive if you’re not present when one is being unboxed and placed on the shelf. Otherwise they can be bought off eBay at inflated prices. Extremely rare POPS can sell for hundreds and even thousands of dollars!
One of my favorite things to do with my POPS is getting them signed by the actor that plays the character. I get this accomplished at various shows and conventions. Not only do I get to meet the respective actor, I get a somewhat rare memento to remember the occasion. My favorite signed POP is my Back to The Future Marty McFly signed by Michael J. Fox.
A couple of years ago Funko partnered with several companies to deliver subscription boxes that come every other month. Some box themes include Star Wars, Marvel, DC, Women of Power and Disney. Subscription boxes cost $25 before taxes and typically include an exclusive POP and other various items such as T-shirts and pins. Definitely not a bad deal. If you are looking for a fun nerd hobby, collecting POPS might be right up your alley. Be warned though, you can’t buy just one.
Anyone else addicted to collecting POPS? Please comment below.
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