Funko POP! Figures are among the most popular and sought out collectibles on the market today. Loved by many for their genre inclusivity, cute look, and accessibility, you can find these insanely popular toys in almost any retail store around the country. With over 3,000 figures on the market, there’s a figure for everyone, no matter your interests.
From comic books to movies and TV shows, Funko POP! products dominate the world of collectibles. With this kind of widespread popularity, it’s no wonder that there are so many cool tidbits about the company’s history and inner workings. Impress your fellow collectors with your knowledge and check out these eight interesting Funko POP! Facts you didn’t know about.
The Inspiration of Bob’s Big Boy
The Funko POP!s we know and love today came from humble beginnings. The creator of these iconic collectibles, Mike Becker, originally set out to create a vintage coin bank featuring his favorite character: the Big Boy mascot. As this chain of popular restaurants was wildly popular and expensive at the time, Becker decided to make his own masterpiece.
After seeing how much fun the creation process was, Becker began creating more figures. From coin banks to puppets, Becker took his inspiration and explored various characters to build the foundation of this now successful franchise. Without the Big Boy, Funko POP!s might have never come to be.
Austin Powers Made Them Famous
After having success with the Big Boy mascot, Becker started looking for other creative ventures. However, several partnerships fell through, leaving the Funko creator with unpaid invoices and a ton of unsold inventory. Instead of accepting defeat, Becker sought other opportunities.
On a whim, he made a call to New Line Cinema, which informed him that the Austin Powers franchise was available for licensing. In preparation for the release of the Austin Powers sequel, Becker signed a $2500 deal to make bobbleheads of everyone’s favorite retro hero. These bobbleheads were incredibly popular and set Funko up for success in the future.
Rejected Several Big-Name Partnerships
As Funko’s popularity continued to rise, big-name brands from all over began reaching out to make a deal. However, what’s surprising is that Becker didn’t accept every offer. In fact, the Funko creator declined contracts from several huge pop culture industry figures.
The Major Leagues saw Becker’s previous bobbleheads and wanted him to make figures out of famous players. He also rejected offers from Disney and other lucrative figures. Becker sighted integrity and ease of collaboration as reasons not to pursue these particular endeavors, which seems to have paid off in the long run.
Not a Fan Favorite at First
In 2005, Becker handed over his bobblehead business to Brian Mariotti. In 2009, the new owner signed a deal with DC comics to make dolls with DC superheroes as inspiration. However, they quickly realized that their particular design worked better on vinyl, resulting in the POP! line we see today.
They released these new collectibles at Comic-Con and did not receive a good response. Fans didn’t like this new style of toy and rejected them altogether. It wasn’t until deals with huge icons in pop culture like The Walking Dead that fans started singing Funko’s praises.
Some Funko POP!s Are Extremely Valuable
Everyone in the collectible world knows that some figures go for a pretty penny. As franchises reach incredible heights in relevancy and popularity, demands for figures featuring beloved characters skyrocket. It’s probably not surprising to learn that Funko has some valuable toys, but did you know that some of them go for $1000 or more?
A metallic Steamboat Willie costs roughly $1100, which is the tail end of their most valuable collectibles. Fans of the popular show Parks and Recreation can purchase Johnny Karate Funko Pop! for an investment of over $1500! More impressively, the Funko version of Alex DeLarge from Clockwork Orange rings in at over $13,000!
Funko Is a Master Collaborator
Where most successful companies would create enemies out of their rivals, Funko has taken the opposite approach. With tangible success and an optimized toymaking process, businesses have actually reached out to Funko to help create and sell their iconic characters.
Corporations like Hasbro have contracts with Funko to make various characters to boost sales and interest. Companies love how quick, easy, and sustainable Funko’s manufacturing methods are—and they all want a piece of their incredible success. Of course, the more partnerships, the better, so Funko has some excellent contracts with big wigs in the industry.
The “Cute Factor” is All Science
When someone says the word “action figure,” your first thought probably isn’t “cute!” However, this is precisely the kind of response Funko is going for when they design adorable versions of even the toughest characters. Did you know that there is a method to this design style that science backs up?
Through thorough research and meticulous planning, artists within the company came up with a look that will always pull an “AWW!” from anyone who sees it. Simple things like facial feature placement have a dramatic impact on the “cute factor.” Even including niche accessories adds that extra special something that everyone adores.
The Opinionated Fan Base
As Funko has grown and spread throughout the years, the company has amassed a significant following of dedicated fans. These admirers aren’t afraid to express their opinions and have taken to the internet in hopes of influencing Funko to create more specific content.
For example, one fan created a petition for Funko to create a line of POP! figures based on popular Youtubers. So many people agreed with this idea that it got over 15,000 signatures! These devotees even went as far as designing artwork for boxes and creating a baseline for the future project.
As you can see, there are so many interesting Funko POP! facts you didn’t know about. The company’s exciting history entices fans, and as business continues to thrive, more unique tidbits are sure to reveal themselves.
Shumi Toys & Gifts is the ultimate one-stop shop for all your favorite toys and collectibles. Check out our inventory of Avatar: The Last Airbender Funko POP!s. These toys make incredible gifts for your fanatic friends, and even look great as a part of your own carefully crafted collection. Contact us today and let us fit you with the perfect collectible today!