There’s absolutely no denying that Funko are currently the proverbial kings and queens of pop culture merchandise. They have their fingers in SO many franchise pies and have a few product lines which have just continued to snowball in to the juggernaut it is now – and of course the absolute front runners of these brands are the Funko pop figures. The slogan for the company is that everyone’s a fan of something, and I for one love that they follow through on this and try to create products which fill every niche they can possibly squeeze in to. Now not everyone is going to have all of their favorite characters available… But most people can find at least 1 pop which peeks their interest!
This does however create a problem!
According to the Funko app, at the time of writing this (3rd June 2021) there were a massive 11,134 standard pop figures, so that doesn’t even count the 57 8-bits, 55 pop rides, 26 pop towns, 9 pop trains and god only knows how many pop and tee combos. So there you have the main product line… over 11,200 pop figures, but pop figures isn’t all they do!
There are 1,482 wacky wobblers, 450 random vinyl toys, 150 rock candies, 309 Pez dispensers, 759 key chains, 277 pint sized heroes, 2951 mystery minis, 438 hikari… The list goes on and on, but there doesn’t seem to be any sign of them slowing down or stopping.
In some respects this is great – as I said, it makes sure that there are things for everyone to enjoy, but on the other hand it does make you wonder whether it means that collectors are going to get burned out or just not be able to afford to get everything they want to collect, or whether its going to show a decrease in product quality, or more importantly, and I think most realistically (because a lot of people do already report it as an issue), a decrease in the quality of their customer care. It’s not hard for a company to get so big that the little guy at the bottom – the end customer matters little any more. Let’s face it, how many of us have at one point or another got fed up with the number of items they do, the way they messed up a release or that something isn’t available where you live? And then how many of the people who can say “that’s me” to any of those still run back to their latest release and go through it all again?
Upsetting, ignoring or losing the odd customer here and there matters little if you’re so big that you can pass off a 40,000 item release as a “special edition” or call a 25,000 soda figure “limited edition”.
Now… Don’t get me wrong… I love Funko – I really do and I have plenty of Funko products in my collection (I used to have a hell of a lot more, but there is still a lot), but what got me thinking about this is something which happened 3 days ago. They announced the new Shang-Chi and the Legend of the 10 Rings line which is complete with 7 common pops, a jumbo pop, 2 key-chains, 3 exclusive pops and a soda (with a chase version)… So that’s 15 new figures in one line. Released on the same day that they reminded us of the 12 new mystery minis, 2 new pops, 4 new pins, 1 new shirt, 1 new bag and 1 new lunch box from their Space Jam line, announcing the Hot Topic exclusive red Hulk and also reminding us that the huge Seinfeld line is now available. So on the one day we were reminded or told we could spend our money on well over 34 new figures and some accessories too – on one day!
This wouldn’t usually be an issue (although yes it is a lot of announcements for a single day), but we had literally just come off the back of the Funkoween event just a few days before this… JUST DAYS!
I myself had actually thought that the Funkoween event went on for too long. Firstly why did they have to sit around on so many products and secondly did they even need that many new products to begin with? Funkoween was 5 days stacked to the brim with announcements and a lot of people got bored of it – you could see the number of comments and enthusiasm for the products decrease as the week dragged on…
… And they had everything covered, from Hocus pocus to Jaws and from Funko pops to mystery minis and t-shirts! But even just on that level, I LOVE the Halloween franchise, OK I mean I absolutely LOVE it! But did we need them to release 5 new Michael Myers figures? As well as tons of copies of the same thing with more or less glitter mixed in to the paint or more or less inches in height we also got a bunch of new product lines announced!
- Panini cards
- Little Golden Books (about the only one which I’m excited about as a Funko product for my son)
- Pops that look like cereal boxes
- Game cover pops (this year we already got comic book cover pops)
For some reason at this point I’m catching up with this article a little later on 3rd July and I’m not sure why I didn’t already publish it. What I do know is that after we had that huge number of announcements for Funkoween in May, we also literally just finished the 2021 Popapalooza event which gave us a bunch of music themed announcements yesterday – yet still today (and it’s still young), their Twitter page has given us a repeat of a couple of Popapalooza announcements as well as 2 new Basketball pops, 3 new boxing pops, 7 new spider-man pops, 11 new suicide squad pops alongside 1 t-shirt, a new set of mystery minis and 4 keychains for the franchise a new Disney art series double pack and a new range from Loungefly.
Seriously guys – we can go a day without 1 new product being announced, let alone this many new unrelated products the day after a 3 day launch event for music pops! Funko used to put effort in to seeing what the fans wanted and needed and now they just throw crap at the wall and really don’t seem to care any more whether it sticks… Quantity over quality is definitely the word of the day and I have a horrible feeling that Funko is on the way to burning itself out!
What do you think?
The most annoying thing for me has to be that I still love Funko, and still have a big pop collection and I just don’t want to see the company continue to get more and more greedy and run itself in to the ground.