A Gift for the Unique Geek: Funko’s POP! Collectible Figures

Written by  //  January 29, 2014  //  For Mens, For Womens  //  No comments

Perfect Gift For HimFunko Pop! Vinyls may be small in stature, but they stand head and shoulders above the crowd in the collectible toy market.

The little figures are based on pop-culture stars, themes, and images, and they can command big bucks from devoted fans. These prices aren't just for older or classic toys: certain Funko Pop! Vinyls sell for hundreds of dollars almost immediately after their release to fans eager to be the first to add them to their collections.

Funko's History

Mike Becker began Funko in Washington in 1998. He was an avid collector who wanted a bobblehead doll based on "Big Boy," the mascot for the Bob's Big Boy restaurant chain. Rather than buy one, he decided to buy the rights to make the toys. Soon, he had a growing bobblehead line.

Eventually, that product line cooled. It was reheated again by the then-popular "Austin Powers" movie franchise, and this particular financial boost prompted Funko to expand its toymaking into plush dolls. Late in the last decade, they began making the figures known as Pop! Vinyls.


Becker sold the company to Brian Mariotti, another self-described collectable-toy fanatic, in 2005. Today, Funko is a multimillion-dollar company producing more than a million toys a year.

Early on, Funko secured licenses to reproduce logos and characters from films and programs created by some of the biggest entertainment companies in the world, such as Marvel, DC, Disney, and Lucasfilm. 

Among the biggest reasons for Pop! Vinyls' stratospheric success was that the company started by creating toys based on characters featured in hit cable TV shows. "Star Wars" figurines and DC Comics characters are some of the company's top sellers.

Rare Jewels

Another marketing strategy fueling the toys' rise is limited production runs. The inherent scarcity ensures that collectors must move fast to get newly released items at retail price. He or she who hesitates may have to pony up to get a prized toy on the secondary market.

While a definitive list of the most valuable Funko Pop! Vinyls may not be available, there are things that make certain figures more popular with collectors. Special editions, such as figures sold only at comic conventions, are big sellers.

Joining the Craze

The Funko toy line is aimed mostly at the adult collector, as new items are often found in comic shops, bookstores and collectibles shops. The toys are also sold in big retail stores (like Toys R Us, Target, etc.) as well.

Newcomers to the Pop! Vinyl world can learn more about the toys in various online forums, where fans talk about their favorite toys, rare toys, and most importantly, when and where they can find items.

While the Pop! Vinyls are a hot seller right now, Funko makes a variety of products, including action figures, plush dolls, and electronics. The bobblehead line continues to sell well, and the company remains at the cutting edge of new bobblehead technology: a few years ago Funko began putting microchips in the dolls, creating talking bobbleheads.

For the rare toys, such as those found only at conventions, collectors can find items through many of the online retailers Funko sells its products through.

 

This article was provided by Jennifer Chang, current business student and toy collector. If you're looking for the perfect present in the area of toys, Jennifer suggests you go to custombobbleheads.com.

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