Funko Pops – A Buyers Guide
What are Funko Pops?
Funko Pops,Pop Vinyls or just Pops – however you know them, you may or may not be aware that I am currently sat on a collection of over 100 of them which some might consider a minor addiction and others might see as no problem at all. Well just to rewind a bit and give a bit back story, these collectables that I am reffering to are like miniature cartoon versions of various characters from TV/Film and pop culture. They are designed and manufactured by a company called Funko who was founded back on the 23rd October in 1998 and have become a major collectable for nerds and nerdettes alike.
So what makes it seemingly ‘addicting’ is it is one of them things were you buy one and then think “Okay, they need a friend” and then you end up with a small collection, which are not connected but you thought that one looks cool an end up buying it anyways. This then proceeds with you needing to finish sets which then start building up, and before you know it you have no shelf space and part of your rent is paying for storage of these figures (or not if you live at home still in your bedroom).
Based on the above, if you are going to start collecting I would set yourself a couple of ground rules, I mean yes this will sound boring like school but at least it will keep you and your bank balance sane.
– ‘Don’t say be right back’, wait, okay sorry wrong rule. On a serious note I would pick one set whether that be based on a certain TV or Film that you like and focus on collecting that one set first. Based on my personal experience if you do not do that then you are going to end up with singular random pops that have no meaning to you but you don’t want part with having spent money on them.For example, Tesco have recently been selling old stock pops at just £2.50 each so I bought Kitana, one of the characters from Mortal Kombat. Do I play Mortal Kombat?No. Have I ever had an interest in Mortal Kombat?No. Did I buy it because it was cheap?Yes.
This pop is now one of probably 10-15, maybe even more, that I have bought with no justification and now they are just sitting there wasting good space. Just a heads up on this one, sets can be quite pricey depending on what you are going for, an example of this being the Game of Thrones set which is made of smaller sets expanding across all the series with some costing a serious amount of money because they have been vaulted(funko no longer produce them).
Example of smaller sets I have collected are the Yu-Gi-Oh pops, 4 of which have been released as a set and are to easy to pick up and I am also progressing nicely throught TV’S Gotham, needing only 2 more to complete my collection. P.s. if you like Batman but haven’t seen Gotham then what are you doing with your life?
– Don’t go shopping without knowing what you want, you thought this just applied to food shopping on an empty stomach right?Wrong. If you don’t go looking for a certain pop, whether it be in store or online then you will probably end up with one or several that you don’t actually need but they looked appealing. This links somewhat back to the whole buying pops just because they are cheap, I wouldn’t advise it because you’ll just regret it otherwise and to think if you buy a couple reduced ones then you could probably have bought one that you really wanted.
To me, the best way to avoid ‘window shopping’ pops or to stop yourself buying random one’s is to check on a daily basis for one’s that you definitely want. Personally I stick to Ebay and local shops, i.e. Smythytoys, although Amazon have a good selection they seem to come damaged quite frequently and therefore I would avoid them regardless if you need next day delivery with prime or not. Sellers on eBay typically post several pictures so you know exactly what you are buying into, and you can pay some really reasonable prices, I have recently bought a couple that are from the Arrow set and I didn’t overly pay which I am happy with.
– Set a budget. I’m serious, you might think you have an unlimited budget but some of these can get pricey quickly and you might need some rarer ones to finish your set. Typically I go a while without buying any and then as a rule of thumb I will try to spend a certain amount or just go for a certain couple that I definitely want. If you use the funko app available on the Google Play Store, then you can note down the ones you currently own, and you can see roughly how much they are selling for – please note that this isn’t a definitive price guide and depending on availability the prices might fluctuate a fair bit.
As a standard you can be looking between the £10-15 range for any new common pops that have come out, for example the recently released range of pops for Avengers:Endgame which are available in Smyths. It is however worth taking into consideration that the ‘chase’ editions which are released for certain pops are about a 1 in 6 chance when looking online and therefore go for a higher price.
At the end of the day they are fun to collect and everybodys budget will be different but it is a factor to take into consideration.
Why I collect them:
So I feel like I have discussed the above without even really talking about why I collect them. From what I remember the first time I got my first Funko Pop Vinyl was in my first lootcrate box and was the ‘number 49 exclusive glow in the dark groot’, from there I went on to buy a couple more including ‘Dredd’ which I had signed last year by Karl Urban at Wales Comic Con and I will love forever more.
I feel like this sort of progressed, leading to me buying more and more, some from conventions, some from supermarket and then some from ‘Giftdude’ a local geek shop near where I work and it just became a bit of an obsession. To me, it is just seeing how cool they look and being able to get miniature versions of some of my favourite heroes/tv stars. A few of my favourites are probably the previously mentioned Dredd figure, my recently purchased Homer Muumuu from the Simpsons, and finally the Power Ranger’s 25th anniversry Dino Ultrazord figure which is just amazing and was my 100th pop.
Who To Follow:
Firstly,I would go follow Top Pops aka Tristan, he is on Instagram as @TopPopsYT and is also on YouTube as simply as Top Pops. Tristan is a Canadian based pop collector who according to his YouTube bio has been collecting them since July 2014, which I believe is about roughly the same time as when I started collecting them. He is an upbeat guy and posts videos daily about his newest hauls, what he is looking for and has recently done an ‘I bought every Funko Pop at Walmart’ video which is definitely worth a watch.
Secondly, you need to follow the guys at Original Funko themselves who can be found on Instagram @Originalfunko and on Twitter with the same handle. Not only do they post to say when Pop’s are coming out and provide breakdowns of the different one’s in the sets, they also run daily competitions on twitter in which you just need to retweet and follow them to be in a chance of winning.
It’s at this point that I am going to shamelessly ‘plug’ my own page, I majoritively post pictures of my new Pop’s on my own page, which can be found on Instagram @Lewis_Wignall.
I felt like I needed to come to some form of formal conclusion with this post so here it is – If you are ready to start collecting Funko Pop’s then listen to my above advice and have fun, remember it’s not about who has the biggest collection or the most expensive one’s, it’s about being part of a community and having fun. Tag @geeksgetgeekier in any of your Funko Pop photo’s and I will repost them to my story and remember, happy hunting.