Beginner Funko Collecting 101
Our own Funko collection began in 2013 when I happened to buy Andy some toys for his desk at his new job. At first it was just all fun and games until it resulted in an intervention. Then the collection came home and continued to grow massively till we created The VIParolaz. It is safe to say in the past six years we have learned a lot about Funko collecting. We've captured epic grails and even made some ridiculous mistakes. So we figure we would give you a break down some of the most common questions we get asked about collecting!
The number one question we get is: How do I start collecting Funko's?
This is so simple, just buy one. Buy one that makes you happy. In fact, that's our number one rule in our house. We only buy pops that make us happy and fit our collection. Otherwise, it's easy to get overwhelmed and out of control fast. We do occasionally help friends out getting pops they wouldn't otherwise be able to get them. #CollectorsHelpCollectors
Should I collect In Box or Out of Box?
The choice is yours and yours to make. No one should ever tell you how to collect your pops! We prefer to keep most of our collection in box with only a few pieces out of their boxes. This keeps the dusting time down for us and protects our more expensive pops. BUT, we have seen many awesome displays done by people who collect only out of box. If you are interested in how we store pop boxes when they are unboxed, we will be doing a post later this year on it.
Where can I buy Funko product in store?
Over the years, Funko's have been popping up everywhere. No pun intended. There is quite a long list of huge companies that carry exclusive and common pops. Some of these retailers include Hot Topic, Box Lunch, Game Stop, Barnes and Noble, Target, Walmart, Walgreens, FYE, Kohls, and Michaels Craft Store. Even local comic book shops and toy stores have been starting to carry Funko products. This is this easiest way for you to get lucky and find a Chase pop in the wild.
Where can I buy Funko product online?
All the major retailers that we previously listed will ALWAYS have them available online at some point. The problem with online ordering is that items can go out of stock in mere minutes or go live at random times. If you aren't on your A-Game you can definitely miss out on things. Some online stores to add to that list include Amazon, Disney, Entertainment Earth, and Plastic Empire.
How do I obtain convention exclusives or chases?
If you want something, be ready to wait for it. As stated before somethings are available online for those who are quick. Otherwise, your next best option is to go to the stores and get them. In order to do this, you need to be there early. Usually before the sun is even up. Most stores are now posting on Instagram what they have in stock for the next day, so there are plenty of collectors with notifications waiting for those pops to show up. They will be there early with chairs to get in line for those pops. if the pop means that much to you, then prepare to get up early to get it. I will let you know now, you won't always be first or get the pop. Some days the flippers win and sometimes the product ends up being completely destroyed. It's part of the game if you decide to play.
How do I obtain older or more expensive Funko Pops?
Building your collection and obtaining "grails" is the best feeling ever sometimes. We understand that getting that last piece can be somewhat difficult. We spend a lot of time trading with friends we know locally in groups. We also purchased a lot of older or rarer pops through Gemini Collectibles or Fugitive Toys.
How do I know what a pop is worth or if I'm not overpaying?
There are two great websites available to Funko Collectors that show the average cost of a pop when looked up. The first site is the most common and widely used, Pop Price Guide. You can even make an account to track your entire collection and what it's worth. The other site available for collectors is Stashpedia.
I'm torn between selling and keeping my pops! What should I do?
This comes up more times in our house than people think. It's the game you play when you start collecting Funko pops. You are either brave or foolish. There have been plenty of "OMG, we shouldn't have let that go!" moments, aka the time we sold all the Game of Thrones and Walking Dead collection. There have many "WTF, were we thinking!" moments aka the time we let metallic genie go for $60 before Robin Williams death because "we weren't collecting Disney at the time." There have been times where we went "Holy crap, we got lucky," on getting trading pops before prices dropped. Yep, this happens to all collectors. It's like bargaining with the devil and why trading can get so crazy. Pop prices change all the time especially with exclusives. Our best advice, go with your gut, ALWAYS!
Would you purchase a pop through Ebay?
Funko Pop Collecting on eBay is its own version of the Upside Down. Prices are high. Sellers are iffy and sometimes are offering an item they don't even have yet. You always have to do your research before buying and be extra careful. This is especially true when it comes to buying Prototypes. We advise that newbies stay away from eBay until they learn the ropes.
What are the biggest times of year for the Funko Community?
There is always something going on with the Funko community. That's why we encourage everyone to find local groups in their area! Funko does have a few time of the year where they tend to go all out. Some events include Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle every March, San Diego Comic Con in July, and New York Comic Con in September. Funko does have specific events that it holds throughout the year, but in order to gain tickets, you must participate in their forums. You can find out more information at FunkoFanatics.com
Have any tips for buying pops from someone online?
Ask for pictures of all sides of the pop you are purchasing.
Specifically ask if there is any damage that you would want to be aware of as a buyer
Confirm Shipping Method. How are they going to send it? Box, Bubble Wrap, Packing Peanuts? Make sure it's going to get to you safe.
If using PayPal to purchase, always select "Goods and Services" when you check out. This will protect you in case the item doesn't show up or is damaged. ONLY pay through "Friends and Family" if you know and trust that person.
What are some good Funko Groups to join or Instagrams to follow?
FunkoFanatic.Com Forums are a great way to interact with Funko Fans throughout the world. On Facebook, we recommend Funko Trading by Pop Vinyl or finding local groups in your area where you get to know other collectors and trade.
On Instagram, we recommend following:
The VIParolaz - Don't miss out on our collection!
OriginalFunko - Funko's Official Instagram
Funkofinderz - News And Pop Tracking
Dis.pops - News and Pop Tracking
How do you keep your Pops safe?
All the pops in our house are housed in plastic protectors made by Retro Protection. We've been using these boxes for years and they are AWESOME! They make stacking so much easier. Plus Retro Protection makes boxes for all the different size rides, packs, oversized pops, and movie movements. We highly recommend them.
How do you display your pops effectively?
What if I have more questions?
Feel free to shoot us an email, we are always willing to help people to the best of our abilities.