Whether you like Marvel, Disney, Star Wars or Harry Potter, there is a Funko for you.
These big-headed characters live on shelves across the country, but could yours be worth more than you think? Like limited-edition Barbies and Lego sets, some Funkos have appreciated in value since they were sold, and since most start at relatively affordable prices when they are first released, this could be a great way to invest some pocket money.
What are funkos?
Funkos are small collectible figures in different styles. First developed by a toy collector in 1998, the company got off to a shaky start before licensing Austin Power’s Bobble Heads. In 2005 Funko was resold and by 2011 they had expanded their licensed range and started selling their Pop! Vinyl range. Since then, they have introduced several new lines ranging from vinyl soda, mystery minis, and funko games – there is something for everyone!
According to macro trends, Funko’s current value is around $ 0.89 billion, so it’s safe to say they won’t go broke anytime soon. They currently hold over 1000 licenses to make goods that appeal to both adults and children. Current CEO Brian Mariotti cites the company’s ability to create a design in 24 hours and have it on the shelves in 70 days as the reason for the company’s success.
Which Funkos Should You Buy?
If you are looking for some funkos to buy as an investment then there are some to look out for, but it depends on how you buy them. Whether you buy them in-store or online, there are things to look out for. Some characters are available in limited editions, making them more desirable for collectors – this includes releases for comic-cons, the E3, and the Star Wars celebration. Since these are for specific events, they’re usually only available at the convention, but you have the option to purchase this year’s New York Comic-Cons exclusively online.
What are Chase Variants?
Chase variants are limited editions of some funkos – they could be a different color palette, flocked instead of vinyl, a different shape, glitter coating, and more. These variants are sent out at random, which makes them highly collectable and often fetching higher prices than retail prices. With only 1/6, these variants have a much lower pressing rate than normal Funkos. So if you buy from a batch of 10,000, there are roughly 1666 tracking variants. While these are relatively low chances of getting one, if you do so, you can get a decent return on your money.
How should you store your Funko Pops?
You have bought your Funko and are wondering what to do with it. Well, if you’re keeping it as an investment, tempting as it is to take it out of the box – don’t do it! The box not only offers protection for the Funko, but also helps to prove that it is an official product or whether it is a Chase variant. For super rare funkos, it may even be worth investing in plastic boxes to hold for extra protection.
What are the most valued funkos?
It’s no surprise that the most expensive Funkos are also some of the rarest – according to the pop price leader, the most valuable Funko on the market is the 2015, metallically signed Stan Lee figure, priced at $ 20,000. However, since only 10 have been released, it is unlikely that you will find any of these at your local charity shop.
At $ 15,000 that is Willy Wonka and Oompa Loompa Golden Ticket Set. Only 10 of these were made, with 4 being distributed to the contest winners and ignoring the other 6 sets.
In third place is the Glow in the Dark Edition Clockwork Orange Funko with a value of 13,400 USD. Only 12 were ever produced, which resulted in their high price point as the right collector would spend a lot of money to get their hands on one. PopPriceGuide believes 6 of these limited edition pops were given to some of the greatest pop collectors at the time of publication.
If Disney is more of your thing, keep an eye out for the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con edition of Dumbo. This cheerful little elephant has been redesigned for the convention, it has a painted clown face and with only 48 funkos around, these could give you a big payday. At $ 6000, these little elephants could make a lot of cash if you find the right collector.
For € 5000 you can buy the Freddy Funko as a Buzz Lightyear (Glow in the Dark addition). This pop was released in 2011 and proved very popular, which resulted in its high resale price. But with only 12 copies produced, these are hard to get your hands on.
Does anyone have a world record for their collection?
The answer is yes. The current world record holder is Paul Scardino, with over 5000 of these figures. He started his collection in 2017 after receiving Hawkeye and Spider-Man from Marvel Captain America: Civil War for his birthday. After his first two pops, he began researching what other characters were available. Starting with Funkos’ comic book line, his collection began to grow before expanding to other lines that interested him. While many of his Funkos are exhibited without a box, Funkos are kept in the original packaging and an additional protective cover above a certain value. Paul is still collecting and hunting new funkos, with his collection growing all the time.
A conversation with a collector:
Earlier this week we spoke to Bhavin, a Funko Pop collector who has built a collection of over 100 Funko Pops over the past three years.
How long have you been collecting Funko Pops?
My daughter knows I love Star Wars. She saw one on sale about 3 years ago and bought it for me. Then I have another Star Wars on offer, followed by another. Before I know it, I’m over 60!
Why did you start collecting them?
I love having her at work, I specialize in children’s eyesight, development and myopia so I get a lot of interest and excitement from my patients. It’s a great conversation starter for building a relationship with the kids.
Are you collecting them for fun or viewing them as a potential future investment?
I collect them for fun, but I think the hope is that they will grow in value as an investment. I still have some of my Star Wars toys that I had as a kid in the 80s. Even though they were unpacked and played with, they are now worth a lot of money as vintage collectibles. I think Funko Pops will likely have some collector value in the future.
Is there anything to look for when choosing your next funko? ie – limited edition
I tend to buy the ones I like from the movies and characters I like. I can watch one of the films and then look for the character.
What’s your favorite funko pop that you own?
My favorite is a Gold Darth Vader and I have a kid’s collection from the Mandalorian series.
Which Funko would you most like to get your hands on, why?
There’s no special funko, but I’d love to get my hands on some of the previous Star Wars releases, especially the original trilogy
Disclaimer: MoneyMagpie is not a licensed financial advisor, and therefore the information contained herein, including any opinions, comments, suggestions or strategies, is for information, entertainment or educational purposes only. This should not be viewed as financial advice. Anyone considering investing should do their own due diligence.