Funko’s remain relevant no matter the environment, even when times are tough.
Yet, for most, Funko Pops suddenly started appearing in stores — before they took the internet by storm. It raises the question, what makes these plastic vinyl figures so desirable?
Funko Pops are popular because of three factors:
And there’s a Pop for everyone.
These vinyl figures have built a fantastic (and welcoming) community around it, making meeting new people easy and fun. It’s the ability to make others feel a sense of belonging that has folks coming back.
Did we mention it’s now cool to become a collector?
Think about it; your shelves with Funko Pops that are heavy in nostalgia. You have a Funko Pop from every genre of every film you watched growing up. One glance at them takes you back to that time in your life: those fond memories, those happy nights.
Being a Pop collector opens a doorway for you to travel to ancient times — and that’s one of the significant benefits of collecting. You’re saving meaningful memories. Forever.
If someone sees a character from a TV series, a movie, or a video game — they can’t help but pick the related Funko up. And, before they know it, they have a house full of Funko Pops!
However, to better explain what makes Funko Pops so popular, we must look at Funko Pops’ history and what made collectors start collecting.
Table of Contents
- 1 Funko History: The First-Ever Funko Pops
- 2 Funko History: What Happened as Time Moved Forward?
- 3 Funko Present: The Power of the Funko Community
- 4 Funko Pops Are Released All Year Around
Funko History: The First-Ever Funko Pops
The first-ever made Funko Pop originally announced at San Diego Comic-Con in 2010
Funko Force 2.0.
With it, four brand new figures!
Green Lantern, Batgirl, and Batman (Two Variants).
That’s right. These were the first Pop Vinyl — named differently at the time.
Here’s a closer look at the Green Lantern Funko Force figure:
But, what’s interesting about these choices?
They’re all nostalgic characters! The first-ever Batman comic dates back to 1939.
So, a new line of toys announced of nostalgic characters, no less. It’s no surprise the Funk Force 2.0 figures were immediately famous.
Funko themselves made an excellent blog post comparing their original figures with the re-releases. You can see their evolution and how far Funko has come by looking at their debut figures on their website.
Just like that, using nostalgia as a weapon, Funko had made their first collectors.
Funko History: What Happened as Time Moved Forward?
Naturally, Funko expanded into different franchises while continuing to produce more DC figures. As they did, Funko bought in fans of the new franchises. They explored and slowly started making more and more figure collectors out of those fans.
Once more, Funko used nostalgia to build interest.
Charlie over at Charlie Wright did an interesting article on this. Regarding the re-release of Crash Bandicoot, he said:
“…I mentioned having a video game called Crash Bandicoot on the TV at the start of this blog. This is a remastered version of the original game, I purchased this because I associate it with my childhood and primary school.”
Now, take a look at how advertising uses nostalgia in marketing, too.
And that’s what it comes down to—remembering fonder times.
Using nostalgia, Funko grew in popularity. It was a simple case of Funko getting bigger-and-bigger, rolling down the hill like an avalanche until they dominated the market as they do today.
You can learn more about the history of Funko in an interview with Brian Mariotti, the Funko CEO, himself. Check it out.
One real interesting take away from this interview is this:
“We saw people who would never come into our booth buying products.”
Funko Present: The Power of the Funko Community
It wasn’t Funko alone that fueled its popularity. The many options to choose from, plus the many genres to explore, made for a super friendly and welcoming community.
Whether you’re four, or forty, you’re welcome as a Funko collector and accepted as one.
With that and the wide franchise choice — well — the target audience of Funko’s is undoubtedly one to be envied — and to be excited about for years to come.
There’s a figure for everyone — a bobblehead to play with, or a display to share! The community knows it, and they welcome it.
However, there’s still even more than that.
1. Affordability: Funko Pops Are Cheap, Cheap, Cheap!
Sure, an avid Captain America fan might take the plunge and by the Play Art Kai figure, but your everyday Marvel fan? Probably not.
The Funko Pop is cheap. Yet, that’s not a bad thing.
Because of its low price-point, it’s simply more accessible for fans of the franchise. So much so, it makes it easy for people to gift Funko Pops.
You can see the proof in the pudding by looking at the number of reviews for each figure:
First, the Play Art number of reviews:
And second, the Funko Pop:
If this doesn’t prove how much price can affect popularity, we don’t know what does!
The collectors of the Kai variant may look down on the Funko Pop collectors. It’s a very prideful market. Though, don’t let that stop you.
The amount of Funko Pops is wide-spread, with over 10,000 figures on the market, Funko isn’t slowing down anytime soon!
Even better, Funko figures have great discounts! We’re sure you’ve all been in stores and seen the “bargain bucket” of Funko Pops.
If you’re in the market for cheap, there’s an excellent guide on How to Find Cheap Funko Pops and Save Money When Buying Them!
And that’s all there is to it. There’s a Funko Pop for everyone!
2. Nostalgia: Vintage Funko Pops are Popular
As said, Funko was originally called Funko Force 2.0, but what’s interesting about them is they’re still around today.
However, you won’t get the brand new, and they’re tough to get hold of due to their rarity. We mean it. Tough.
Because the original models have long since been vaulted, in other words, Funko no longer produces them.
But how different were they from today’s Funko Pops? You’ve already had a close look at the above YouTube video, but let’s get some more original figures side-by-side:
You can see Batman, Batgirl, Robin, The Joker, and Penguin. The first line of DC Funko Pop figures.
You’ll note the primary difference is the cylindrical packaging. Yet, what you might not notice — which may surprise you — is that these models were traditional bobbleheads.
While today, you may sometimes still get the occasional bobblehead Funko, most modern models have lost that charm.
Now, you must be thinking, with the rarity of Funko Force 2.0 and how hard they are to get hold of, they must be worth something. And you’re quite right!
Let’s take a closer look at the Funko Force 2.0 Batgirl.
As of August 2020, she was worth an estimated value of $2070USD.
3. Longevity: Will Funko Pops Increase in Value?
And that brings us to Funko’s Growth Strategy. But not for the company. We’ve gone over that. Their growth strategy is to buy as many licenses as possible and keep expanding — and it’s working great.
Let’s talk about your growth strategy and why you should invest in a Pop Funko today.
As you know, and as we’ve mentioned, all Funko Pops are eventually vaulted. When they are, they naturally increase in price. Why? The less there are on the market, the more in-demand they become.
Now, imagine if you had bought a Funko Force 2.0 on day #1. You’d have a toy worth $2070.
That’s why you should invest in Funko Pop.
To further emphasize this, let’s take a look at how far Funko has come over the years. The best way to do this is via Google Trends.
Now, 2004-2010 are moot because Funko didn’t exist. In early 2010, there was hardly any interest. Funko was starting, and so it’s only natural.
Funko has been on a steady incline since then.
The trend chart shows how Funko far has come and how far they are likely to go in the years to follow. From this, you can make a strong projection.
What’s with the decline?
Unfortunately, the sharp decline toward the end of the chart is associated with events of 2020. However, you’ll see Funko is on the rise, and they’ll continue to be. Even the drop in 2020 was only a slight one.
And all the while, Funko still releases more figures. They still vault figures too, and no doubt, more are increasing in value.
And this all wraps up to one final statement.
Funko Pops Are Released All Year Around
They’re rising in popularity every day and can make an incredibly worthwhile and valuable investment.
It’s no secret that Funko Inc. continues to release pops: #FunkoFair is an excellent example of a virtual event where they show concepts of pops made and ready to pre-order at local stores.
GameStop, Target, Walmart, Amazon, and more Funko Online Retailer Stores Beyond Big Box Stores update their websites to offer new promotions around these Pop figures. All the time.
So please pick up a figure today, and hold it close.
Funko isn’t going anywhere, and nor should you.
And when that figure is worth something, why not first examine How To Sell Funko Pops Online and Offline?