In the world of Designer Toys and Toy Art, Funko Pop figures are generally perceived as a bit of a no go area. To understand why means explaining why people collect what they collect and what they see in their collections.
But first lets take a look at the history of the Pop! figure and see where it all started.
- 1998 – Funko was founded by Snohomish resident Mike Becker. The first line of products were Wacky Wobblers, starting with Bob’s Big Boy.
The original Bobble Head “Big Boy” was a promotional item designed for a chain of burgers restaurants – and it had an instant collectable look and feel, very cleverly using retro styling and keeping the bottom line cost of the figure low.
While this original whacky wobbler has changed and the main focus is on the Pop! range of figures – the target market is budget collectibles and collectors. So what happens when retailers start to stock these figures and sell them via the same route to market as designer toys and toy art which are a higher value purchase for their customers?
A couple of things happen, and putting things in the simplest terms the first thing is designer toy buyers have their noses put out of joint when low value Pop! figures start to take the place of designer toys on retailers shelves and on their websites.
This also means that collectors who would have looked at designer toys and decided they couldn’t afford to collect them, now have a way of starting a collection of figures that are priced to sell and make more sense to them.
Thing is – it doesn’t matter what you collect. From licensed figures created in large numbers for worldwide markets, to single pieces created specifically for one customer – all of these pieces bring the collector some joy in a shitty world where joy is in short supply.
Custom Funko Pop
Some collectors are even getting their own custom pops created now, and guess which artists they are using? That’s right, they are using the artists who customise designer toys and are paying the same as those designer toy customers.