To read a bit more about their new releases for 2022 from Toy Fair these are in my Toy Fair 2022 round-up article, but I wanted to take some time to write a little more about these guys as they were the main company I was there to see and who I managed to get a closer look at.
As I mentioned to them while I was there I am a Funko collector myself and it is the company that really help to fuel my renewed interest in collecting, to the point where I have a very nice collection myself now (of Funko and beyond), run this site in my spare time and even launching my own line of sustainable figures later this year. No matter what I will always have a special place in my heart for this pop culture giant.
Now I want to start by saying that the collector in me has from time to time become a little disillusioned by Funko and I wanted to address these issues because seeing their stand today did just that for me. I am still a collector of Funko, albeit a slightly more selective one so it’s not all bad what I’m going to say now!
So why is the collector in me sometimes a bit fed up with Funko?
Depending on why you collect you may well want your collection to be a bit more exclusive… a little bit special. When Funko first came out this was easy! Their product lines were smaller and limited releases were much more limited. Many of their limited-edition releases now run into the tens of thousands regularly. They are finite so technically still limited but they just feel that bit more special. To be honest, they have started to address this anyway as the Fundays packages have returned in the states with nice limited edition figures, those soda figures don’t have insane release numbers and NFTs have actually helped too. Funko digital releases also come with real-life products which bring those limited numbers right back down… hopefully this is a trend that will continue.
However there is something much bigger to consider!
At the end of the day, we’re collecting toys! Products made for the masses to be enjoyed. I know, I know! Playing with a pop figure is a sin for many of us… even getting them out of the box is! But at the end of the day, this is what they are and it is us who have made it such a collectible. We… very much including me shouldn’t be bitter about their success because it feels like it affects the collectibility of our beloved pops.
This leads me on to my second gripe… which to be honest is actually more of a worry.
Why are they making so much stuff!
I do sometimes worry that with all the different things they make and sell… at their booth they had around 800 items on display and that’s just the tiniest fraction of what they do. I do worry that this might affect quality, productivity or even cash flow, because the last year has seen so many new lines being tried… popsies (this year), masks, gold, Christmas tree ornaments, and more. However, they seem to be doing well and their ranges are pretty secure. Most of all, when you see it all in one place, it actually makes sense. I can see why they make so many products and why shouldn’t they make something for everyone to enjoy?
Let people collect what and how they want to collect!
The final issue is my ongoing issue with their art series.
I don’t think it has been entirely resolved – I still don’t like most of them and think the recent art series teenage mutant ninja turtles figures for Target are a bit of an eyesore… BUT! I saw one of the Winnie the pooh ones today and have to admit that in real life (having just seen renderings before), I can actually see the appeal of some of these.
Even the gold figures, which I reviewed in the large figures actually look much better in person in the smaller size. I wasn’t a huge fan or convinced by the premium figure sales point for the larger ones but these small figures really do work! It sounds like they have got a lot of plans in the pipeline for this range beyond what they offer now, so we may well see some major improvements with these figures for the wider collectors audience… going back to rejoining that they’re trying to make their products accessible to anyone, no matter what you’re in to.
So as I said at the beginning, check out the toy fair roundup to see some more of what they had on offer along with everything else I saw while I was there, and in the meantime let’s stop focusing on which things we don’t perhaps like about the Funko direction these days (and let’s face it they’re never going to please us all, all of the time, and that’s ok), instead focus on why we started collecting them because of what we continue to like about them. Afterall they are the best pop culture collectibles on the market right now, so success and growth are only going to be natural!
Thank you Funko for showing me around and removing my collector’s blues… although I was kind of hoping for one of those nice little black funko bags 😉