Raise your hand if you’ve bought a fake Funko Pop. Ouch!
Sometimes we buy one, and we don’t even know if we’ve bought one. How do we know if a funko pop is fake? Is there phony funko pops out there in the market? Sadly, yes.
Well, these are the right questions. Don’t worry; you are not alone. Funko Pops have garnered recent attention that it’s valuable to learn how to identify fake funko pops.
Learn How To Prevent Buying Fake Funko Pops Quickly.
Many collectors have ended up with fake figurines. The most painful part is that they bought them at the price of their counterpart. That can hurt. But what if we can show you how not to make that mistake ever again?
When buying funko pops online, it’s essential to look at the pop’s bottom to ensure a number is associated with it.
Identifying fake funko pops requires looking for five characteristics when purchasing a pop:
- Price: Is it too good to be true? Is it cheaper than it’s ppg value? Avoid it.
- Serial Number: All official funko pops have a serial number on its body, ask the seller! If not, avoid it.
- Color: Does it look faded or darker than the original? Avoid it.
- Box Details: Are the numbers different, is the number on the bottom missing? Avoid.
- Unrealistic features: Eyes are different, etc. Avoid it.
Which funko pops tend to be ‘fakes’? Is it high priced ‘expensive’ funko pops usually targeted, or is it ‘exclusive’ funko pops?
Funko Pops keep on innovating the designs, especially the boxes, it becomes more prone to imitation. Funko Pops, whether exclusive or high-priced, can easily be imitated.
Remember that online resources, fellow collectors, and Facebook or funko pop communities on social media are your layers of defense. Use them!
What should you look for to avoid buying fake funko pops?
We look at these characteristics because scammers have a difficult time recreating the exact funko pop as-is. And serious collectors have an eye for details and can determine which aren’t quick.
Price: Avoid Cheap Priced Funko’s, If They Are Considered Rare
Everybody likes a good deal, but when it comes to buying a Funko Pop, be wary of juicy prices! Since fake Funko Pop sellers use this tool to trap you.
Always check out the actual price for that particular Funko Pop on reliable Funko pricing websites. If the new offer’s margin is far apart from the actual price, this is your first pointer.
Serial Number: Check for and Ask the Buyer To Confirm Before Purchase
Every Funko Pop has a serial number either engraved on the bottom of the figurine’s foot or head and printed on the box or sticker. So if the serial number of the Funko Pop you are about to get went on vacation, then think again.
A funko pop will have a five-digit serial number that comes in three forms:
- Embedded or Engraved
- Printed on the Box
- Sticker on Bottom of the Box
Always ask the seller to see the bottom as a blank serial number will give it away. If a seller refuses to share a photo of the box’s bottom, avoid buying from them.
Color: Check for Color fading or poor coloring from Original
Another way of spotting out fake Funko Pops is through the painting. Most fake Funko Pops makers don’t care about the little details of a pop.
They go ahead and paint.
So you can identify fake Funko Pops when there are no paintings at all. Or the paint is faded, patched, or missing in some very distinct areas of the figurine.
While it may be hard to see all the details, ask the buyer to close up pictures of the pop before purchasing. And google search for photos of other funko pops to confirm that the colors side-by-side remain the same.
You can see the creativity of fake Funko Pops makers on the box design. Some of their boxes are so similar to the real ones. You may only be able to tell them apart when you closely inspect both.
However, some features still give them away. Including their fonts and logos, they are fading box colors, borders, stickers, letterings, and numbers. All of these help to spot out the fake Funko Pops.
Do a quick google search for images of the original funko pop.
Here’s what you should check for:
- Pop logo in corner, are they the same and do they match the original photo?
- Is there a warning sign at the bottom? Does it match?
- Is there an address?
Another characteristic of fake Funko Pops is that the actual figurine is awful! There is no better way to put it than this. From the squishy and wobbly heads to the Funko Pop being smaller. Pulse, their fading paint colors.
The only unfortunate thing about this characteristic is that a picture may not show you all these. You may have to touch it to notice, which becomes problematic if you need to order it first before accessing it.
Which Places Are Safe To Buy From Without Fakes?
Reputable places such as Hot Topic, Walmart, Target, and Big Box Retailers are often clear from fake funko pops because they have a direct reseller license that fulfills these orders. Most who have the reseller license are trustworthy.
Here’s a list of reliable online stores that also do not sell fake funko pops.
- Entertainment Earth: Home of Action Figures: Toys, Collectibles & More
- Chalice Collectibles | Pre-Order Funko Pops|
- Pop In A Box US | Funko Pop Vinyls from $8.95
- BoxLunch Gifts | Get Some, Give Back
- GalacticToys.com Gundam Model Kits, Funko Pop Vinyl – Galactic Toys & Collectibles
- ForbiddenPlanet.com – UK and Worldwide Cult Entertainment Megastore
- Online Bookstore: Books, NOOK ebooks, Music, Movies & Toys | Barnes & Noble® (barnesandnoble.com)
- Best Buy | Official Online Store | Shop Now & Save
When purchasing from Facebook, local swaps, Apps like Offer Up, Mercari, etc., check feedback on the sellers. Most selling/trading Facebook groups have feedback threads, and anytime you are planning a purchase, please reference these tools.
The collecting community has done an excellent job policing the fakes, but scammers can still slip in the fake image to push the sale. When using PayPal as a payment form, always remember to use goods and services, an added layer of protection from being scammed.
Why Worry About Fake Funko Pops In The Toy Community?
Showing off your collection is a lot of fun and keeping pops on the shelves goes hand and hand with that. However, collectors also enjoy trading or selling pops when they run out of shelf space. They enjoy keeping their collection fresh and improving on their collection over time.
Once a fake funko pop is in the community, it’ll likely resurface again and again. Unfortunately, someone else will end up with that pop and will get suckered by it. It’s a cycle that’s hard to break, and once fake pops have entered, it’s hard to get them out.
Five Ways to Avoid Buying Fake Funko Pops
1. Confirm Who and Where You are Buying From
Some online stores, to a reasonable extent, guarantee that you will be buying real Funko Pops. Such as Amazon, Pop in a Box, Forbidden Planet, or Entertainment Earth. However, be wary of auction sites!
2. Stay Clear of Pops Shipped and Sold From China
Not to say that all products or pops from China are fake. But precedence has shown that a good number of pops from there are fake Funko Pops. So be aware. Avoid places like AliExpress as they are prone to have fake funko pops.
If it ships and sells from China (especially on eBay), then there’s a 99.9% chance it’s a fake funko pop. Plain and simple, avoid it at all costs.
Avoid listing that uses stock photos as they likely drop shippers selling from China or sellers who do not have the product in hand to sell and will buy from China to sell to you. Only buy from reputable companies to save yourself the headache.
3. Reviews: If Negative or Limited, Avoid it.
Always check out the feedback or reviews left by previous customers, especially if you are buying online. If the thoughts are few and or negative, it may not be a good idea to purchase.
A low number of reviews could also mean someone recently created the account to sell off a ton of fake items and then run away with the money before anyone notices.
You could also reach out to others who have bought from that online store or seller before, asking if they are legit.
Always look for ways to build your confidence that this pop comes from a credential and trustworthy place. Ask friends, take screenshots and share them in funko pop groups. Protect yourself!
The Funko community also does a great job at protecting others by providing a list of scammers. Check to make sure the seller was not on that list before buying!
4. avoid When Seller has Large Quantities Available
When you find sellers advertising large quantities of Funko Pop, it may be an indicator (not always) that they are fake, especially if this is a rare Funko Pop.
Bulk ordering likely it means it’s from a provider that mass produced these pops and are not licensed.
5. Be Aware of Unreal Discounts
Discounts can be fantastic, but when they are cutting too deep, it may be a sign that the pop’s real price goes for $100. And you find one willing to go for $20, that is most likely a fake Funko Pop!
Always ask a friend or post the offer in a Facebook group to get others’ opinions before buying a very cheap funko pop.
Fake Funko Pops Example, Avoid at All Cost
Glow in The Dark Loch Ness (GITD) Funko Pop
First, you’ll notice that the color is different than expected; the real Loch Ness pop has a darker tone than the fake. Second, you will notice the sticker color is different from the original sticker color. And lastly, there’s no serial number.
A funko pop worth $300 – $400 is a pop you want to make sure isn’t a fake before purchasing.
Ask as many questions to the buyer as possible such as “how long have you had this for?”, “Has this pop been taken out of the box?”, “Does this funko pop have a serial number on it? Or “Could I see more photos?”.
Frequently Asked Questions For Sellers & Buyers To Avoid Fakes
Is it alright to swap Stickers on Funko Pops?
Swapping stickers for your collection is entirely up to you. However, it’s frowned upon when selling funko pops. If you switched an exclusive or convention sticker to a standard pop, it’s respectful to let the buyer know.
A funko pop with a sticker swapped is a fake funko pop, no matter how you look at it. It’s cheating because Funko produces only a select few that receive stickers, especially when you compare a shared con sticker versus an actual con sticker. Pops with con stickers are considered a high-end pop and go for a lot of money, sometimes over 1,000 dollars. If you find yourself buying pop at that price, you’ll want to make sure it’s not a fake.
Some Funko pops do not have chase variants, and when you see them available for sale, you should avoid them as much as possible.
Replacing a funko pop sticker is risky because serious collectors can figure out what happened.
An excellent tip to avoid buying a fake funko pop where the seller swapped the sticker is to look at sticker placement. Funko pops with a sideways or upside down sticker are not real. All stickers remain on the right side of the pop. Because these are likely funko counterfeits, you’ll need to stay away from them. Lastly, be aware of situations where the pop is fake; however, the box and sticker are real.
Unsure if a funko pop is fake, what do you do?
Post a photo of the funko pop in a local Facebook group to get other’s opinions! It’s always good to get another collector’s opinion before purchasing if you are unsure.
Check other photos of funko pops online to make sure yours aligns. Look to determine if the release sticker at the bottom of boxes is not stuck correctly or in the wrong placement.
All you have to do is upload photos of all sides of the box to the group and expert collectors will help. Majority of them have either seen their fair share of fake funko pops or they own the real one and could tell which are counterfeit.
Why check the bottom of the box?
Check the address found on the bottom of the box because it should always remind the same unless it’s an older pop. All funko pops are either made in China or Vietnam. However, they ship to the USA, and then those boxes are sent to retail stores such as Amazon, Target, Walmart, etc.
Here’s a funko pop box bottom that is completely fake and if you see this, you should avoid it.
Items worth remembering to spot a fake funko pop when checking the bottom of the box:
- Make sure the address says 2802 Wetmore AVE, Everett, WA 98201; Funko’s headquarters.
- Always make sure it has a serial number!
- Check for the Funko logo imprinted on the box
Also, check to see if the pop has a warning message at the bottom of its front-side.
Do fake funko pops scan on the app?
Fake funko pops won’t have a five-digit serial number on the bottom of their box to scan. Additionally, if you open the funko pop box to look at the figure’s body, you will also not find a number available to scan.
Is there fake funko pops on Amazon?
While fake funko pops show up across marketplaces such as eBay, Mercari, and Whatnot, Amazon handles their fulfillment process and has a license with Funko to safely distribute pops.
Stay Vigilant & Protect Your Collector Friends From Buying Fake Funko Pops
Truthfully, telling a fake Funko Pop apart from the real one is becoming more and more difficult. These fake Funko Pops guys are quite creative!
But then, if you know what to look out for, you can prevent buying a fake funko pop. These red flags plus your experience will help you never to buy another fake Funko Pop!