In December of 2015, a friend sent me a Doctor Who Tenth Doctor Pop along with a Doctor Who TARDIS Pop. Then I bought a few more to display along with those two on top of my desk. Then I traded for a few and bought a few more. Then it snowballed. Now I have over 150 Pops in my collection. I don’t know why but I love these little things and I just can’t seem to get enough of them; and I’m not alone. Pops are very popular collectables now and available just about everywhere. Read on for a quick introduction to all things Pop collecting.
Pops are incredibly addictive. Once you buy one of them, you will HAVE to buy MORE of them. It’s a fact! I only wanted a couple Doctor Who Pops and now I have over 150 Pops!
If you’re just starting out, here are some basics:
First, what are Funko Pops? Well, they are 3.75″ vinyl figures with large minimalistic heads and detailed bodies based on people and figures from pop culture. They are highly collectable and available almost everywhere for a relatively good price (around $10 USD for brand new Pops) and hold their value well unlike most collectable fads.
How collectable are they? Well the most valuable Pop currently being bought and traded is the Freddy Funko Black Ranger which is currently listed at being worth $2,600 (that’s what they’re actually selling for not just what it’s being listed for sale as). The two most valuable Pops I have in my collection are Mass Effect Grunt and Star Trek Captain Kirk which are currently worth around $65 and I originally purchased both for $12 each. That’s not to say that ALL Pops increase in value like this. Incredibly common Pops usually keep their value at around $5 – $10.
How do you find out how much a Pop is worth? The best go-to resource is Pop Price Guide though it shouldn’t be your only resource. Also check what they are selling for on eBay (not just being listed for but actually selling for; check out sold auctions not unsold auctions). Another place to check is Amazon which usually keeps up with Pop prices quite well. To be honest, it can be a little like following the stock market except you’re unlikely to bottom out unless you have the worst luck ever.
What pop culture license does Funko have? It seems like almost all of them because what they don’t have now, they’re working on getting soon. The most popular licenses are Star Wars, Marvel, and DC though they also have a lot of television shows, movies, animated shows, and games. It’s best to just look and see though, like I said, if they don’t make a certain Pop yet, they most likely will be soon.
Now for some common terms you may encounter. If I missed something, let me know.
What does “vaulted” mean? Bascially that’s a Pop that is no longer being manufactured. Vaulted Pops are usually worth quite a bit. I have a original Star Wars Han Solo Pop that I bought for $7 a couple years ago which has since been vaulted. It is now worth about $20 – $30 and that will go up in time.
What does OOB mean? OOB stands for “out of box”. Some collectors keep their Pops in their boxes while others, the OOB collectors, display their Pops without their boxes. It can honestly be a point of contention between collectors! I am an OOB collector though I keep the boxes in storage. A Pop without a box is generally worth roughly half of a Pop with a box so it’s a good idea to hold onto those boxes even if you’re an OOB collector. Some people sell their boxes to in box collectors who need mint condition boxes usually as replacements for boxes damaged during shipping.
What is a “chase”? A chase is a limited edition version of a Pop that is made to be hard to find by Funko. Not every Pop has a chase edition but those that do, the current ratio is 6:1. That means one out of every six Pops could be a chase. A popular chase variant at the moment is the Star Wars The Last Jedi Porg with open mouth. Most Porg Pops sold will have a closed mouth. If you’re really lucky, you may find one with an open mouth. A chase is worth considerably more than a regular Pop.
What does GITD mean? GITD stands for Glow In The Dark. Yes, that’s right. Some Pops actually glow in the dark. There’s a Godzilla Pop called Atomic Breath Godzilla (on my in search of list) where only the mouth and spine glow in the dark. It’s awesome looking. There’s also a Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland live-action movie that the smile and eyes glow in the dark which looks so sinister!
What is a “flocked” Pop? Basically, flocked means fuzzy. Flocked Pops have a thin layer of fuzzy material on them that gives them a very different look and feel over the regular vinyl.
What is an “exclusive”? Exclusives are just that, exclusively sold at one store and only that store. Some exclusives are harder to find than others (Walgreens and Target are the hardest to come-by for me.) They are also usually valued more though are normally the same retail price as regular Pops.
Where to buy Pops? A lot of stores carry Pops now where it used to just be comic book shops. The main sources for Pops including exclusive Pops are Hot Topic, Walmart, Target, FYE, Walgreens, Toys’r’Us, and GameStop. As for online sales, my go-to place is Amazon.
There are countless Funko Pop groups on Facebook where people can just talk about Pops, sell Pops, trade Pops, and/or just show off their collections. Some are themed while others are more generalized. Personally, I belong to May the Funko Be With You which is a group for only Star Wars Pops, Poppin Off About Funko which is a general group, Funko Collectors Anon which is another general group, and Funko Trading which is primarily for trading, buying and selling. All of these groups allow trading and most allow selling.