We’ve all got something that we love to do, whether it’s hitting the gym for a good workout or binge watching the latest season of Game of Thrones.
For some people, collecting is that thing – and the latest trend is the hugely popular Pop! figures by Funko.
So here is the real question – what exactly are these Funko Pop! figures that everyone is going crazy over? Well, let’s take a look.
Brief History of Funko
Funko was founded back in 1998 with the aim to create nostalgia themed toys (mainly bobble heads). The company started off as a small project by Mike Becker, but expanded its product range when the company was sold to its current CEO, Brian Mariotti in 2005.
The Washington based toy creators have a huge range of merchandise, but their Pop! figures are by far the most popular. Launching in 2011, the Pop! range has produced 1,000s of different characters and continues to be the company’s best selling toys.
The Pop! figures usually stand at 3.75 inches (6 inches for the super sized figures) and feature a stylized design of a popular character. Their large heads and simple facial designs are a key feature to the figure and give them a cute and recognisable look.
When debuting back in 2011, the Funko Pop! figures had a more basic look, but the design has gotten more detailed over the last few years – introducing small items such as weapons, instruments and even pets.
Each figure comes in a cardboard box that features the name of the character, the number in the line and the franchise. It also features a stylized design of the character on the side and the rest of the available figures in that line on the back.
You can generally pick up a standard figure for around £10-£15 from most shops, but you’ll have to pay more for exclusives. For some collectors, taking the figures out of the box is a sin – so tread carefully.
Are They For Kids?
Now this is the question on a lot of people’s minds – are these figures for children?
The simple answer is – no, not really. While Funko Pop! figures are available for anyone 3+, they are not necessarily marketed at people on the younger side. The figures themselves do not move, so they might not be as fun to play with as other toys with more points of movement.
Funko Pop! figures are seen as collectibles for a lot of people, and the company continues to release rare and exclusive figures for the avid collector. But we’ll talk more about that shortly.
The figures are fantastic for decoration, and serve more as an ode to our favourite characters from the things we love. But they can be enjoyed in multiple ways, whether it’s mint in the box or glued to the dashboard of our cars.
If you hadn’t already guessed by now, the name “Pop!” stands for pop culture – and Funko doesn’t shy away from what’s popular.
Over the years, Funko has gained a reputation for producing fantastic figure lines and securing the rights to some of the biggest franchises on the planet.
They have produced figures from huge film franchises such as Marvel, Harry Potter, Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, hit TV shows such as Stranger Things and Breaking Bad and even video game icons like Crash Bandicoot and Sonic The Hedgehog.
If you like a character from anything, Funko probably has a figure for it.
As we talked about earlier in this article, Funko likes to release limited edition exclusive figures for the die-hard fans – but good luck getting your hands on one of them.
It would be another article in itself to list all of the different types of exclusives that Funko produce, so we’ll keep it short. You have a lot of different store exclusives such as Hot Topic, Toys R Us, Target and Walmart (most of which are based in America – we told you it wasn’t easy getting one).
These figures are available to people inside of those stores and will often pop up online for a slightly inflated price, and these figures can range from a different variation to a brand new character.
Then you have figures that are only available at Conventions. These figures will only have a limited number made and can only be bought (initially) at these events, such as New York Comic Con and San Diego Comic Con. You can often find people selling these exclusive figures online, but be ready to pay a little more than you would want.
Lastly, we have the sought after Chase figures. A Chase figure is a rare variation of a current figure, ranging from being glow in the dark to featuring a slightly different design. You have a 1 in 6 chance of getting a Chase figure when you order Funko Pop! figures online and they are harder to get than most. If you see a figure with a Chase sticker, we suggest you grab it.
As you can imagine, Funko can only produce a certain amount of figures each year and some lines have to be “vaulted” (meaning there will be no more made).
This in turn makes the figures harder to get and makes them more sought after – and you’d be surprised by the amount of money some people are willing to pay to complete their collection.
For example, a DragonBall Z themed figure called Planet Arlia Vegeta has sold for over $800 before and is now valued at $1820 amongst collectors. There is also an exclusive bloody Ned Stark figure from Game of Thrones that you’d be looking to pay at least $700 for.
As you can see, being a “Pop Hunter” isn’t exactly the cheapest hobby. If you’re a Star Wars fan, we suggest that you walk away now…
Overall, Funko’s ever expanding range of Pop! figures are great fun and can be a super fun item to collect. Their unique design and simple nature makes them fun to look at and we don’t see their popularity slowing down anytime soon.
Keep an eye out for the latest figures available at The Harvey Centre.