Whether you’re into Marvel, Disney, Star Wars or Harry Potter, there is a Funko out there for you.
These big-headed characters live on shelves across the country but could yours be worth more than you realise? Like limited edition barbies and Lego sets, some Funkos have appreciated in value since they went on sale, and as most start at relatively affordable prices when first released these might be a great way to invest some spare pocket money.
- What are Funkos?
- Which Funkos should you be buying?
- What are chase variants?
- How should you be storing your Funko Pops?
- What are the most highly valued Funkos?
- Does anyone hold a world record for their collection?
- A conversation with a collector
Funkos are small collectable figurines in a variety of styles. First developed in 1998 by a toy collector, the firm got off to a shaky start before getting the licensing for Austin Powers bobbleheads. In 2005, Funko was sold on and by 2011 they had expanded their licensed range and began selling their Pop! vinyl range. Since then, they have introduced multiple new lines ranging from vinyl soda, mystery minis and Funko games – there’s something for everyone!
According to macrotrends, the current value of Funko sits around the $0.89 Billion mark, so it’s probably safe to say they won’t be going bust anytime soon. Currently they hold over 1000 licenses to produce merchandise that appeals to both adults and children. Current CEO Brian Mariotti cites the companies’ ability to conceptualise a design in 24 hours and have it on shelves in 70 days as part of the reason that the company is so successful.
If you’re looking for which Funkos to buy as investment pieces then there’s a few to look out for but it does depend on how you’re buying them. Whether buying them in-store or online there are things to look out for. Some figurines are limited edition and so making them more desirable to collectors – these include releases for comic cons, E3 and the Star Wars celebration. As these are for specific events, they are normally only available at the convention but you have an opportunity to snap up this year’s New York Comic-Cons exclusives online.
Chase variants are limited edition versions of some Funkos – they could be in a different colour pallet, flocked instead of vinyl, a different mould, glitter coated and more. These variants are shipped out at random making them highly collectable and often bringing higher than retail prices. These variants have a much lower press rate than regular funkos at just 1/6, so if you’re buying from a batch of 10000, there would be approximately 1666 chase variants. Whilst these are relatively low odds of getting one, if you do, you might be looking at a decent return on your money.
So, you’ve bought your Funko and you’re wondering what to do with it. Well, if you’re keeping it as an investment, as tempting as it is to take it out of the box – don’t! Not only does the box provide protection for the Funko, it also helps prove that it’s official merchandise or indicate whether it is a chase variant. For super rare Funkos it might even be worth investing in plastic boxes to keep them in for extra protection.
It is no surprise that the most expensive Funkos are also some of the rarest – according to the pop price guide, the most valuable Funko on the market is the 2015, metallic signed Stan Lee figurine coming in at $20000. However, as only 10 were released it is unlikely you’ll find one of these in your local charity shop.
Coming in at $15000 is the Willy Wonka and Oompa Loompa Golden Ticket set. Only 10 of these were made with 4 being given out to competition winners and the other 6 sets being unaccounted for.
Coming in third is the glow in the dark edition clockwork orange Funko values at $13,400. Only 12 were ever produced, leading to their high price point as the right collector would spend serious money to get their hands on one. PopPriceGuide believes that 6 of these limited editions pops were given to some of the biggest pop collectors at the time of release.
If Disney is more your thing, you might want to look out for the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con edition of Dumbo. This happy little elephant was given a makeover for the convention, he features a painted clown face and with only 48 Funkos in circulation, these could bring you a big pay day. At $6000 these little elephants could bring in big bucks if you find the right collector.
For £5000 you can buy yourself the Freddy Funko as Buzz Lightyear (glow in the dark addition). Released in 2011, this pop proved highly popular leading to its high resale price. But with only 12 produced, these are hard to get your hands on.
The answer is yes. The current world record holder is Paul Scardino, with over 5000 of these figurines. He started his collection in 2017 after receiving Hawkeye and Spider-Man from Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War for his birthday. After his initial two pops, he began researching what other characters were available. Starting with the comic book line of Funkos his collection began to grow, before branching out into other lines that interested him. Whilst many of his Funkos are displayed without their boxes, Funko’s above a certain value are kept in their original packaging and an extra protective case. Paul is still collecting and hunting down new Funko’s with his collection ever increasing.
Earlier this week at we spoke to Bhavin, a Funko Pop collector who has grown a collection of over 100 Funko Pops in the past three years.
How long have you been collecting Funko Pops?
My daughter knows that I love Star Wars. About 3 years ago she saw one on sale and bought it for me. Then I picked up another Star Wars one on offer, followed by another. Before I knew it, I have over 60!
Why did you start collecting them?
I love having them at work, I specialise in children’s vision, development and myopia so I get lots of interest and excitement from my patients. It’s a great conversation starter to build rapport with the kids.
Do you collect them for fun or think of them as a potential future investment?
I collect them for fun but I think there is a hope that they will increase in value as an investment. I still have some of my Star Wars toys I had as a child in the 80s. Even though they have been unboxed and played with, they are now worth a lot of money as vintage collectables. I think that Funko Pops will probably have a value for collectors in the future.
Is there anything you look for when choosing your next funko? ie – limited edition
I tend to buy the ones that I like from the movies and characters that I enjoy. I may watch one of the films and then look out for the character.
Which is your favourite Funko Pop that you own?
My favourite is a gold Darth Vader and I have a collection of the child from the Mandalorian series.
What Funko would you most like to get your hands on why?
There is no specific Funko, but I would like to get my hands on some of the earlier Star Wars releases, especially from the original trilogy
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