You are never too old to play, despite what your parents may have told you. Adult play has many benefits, ranging from reducing stress and preventing the aging process, to stimulating creativity and healing emotional wounds, among others. Whether it’s active play, crafting hobby sets, or collecting toys, play time is as beneficial for adult humans as it is for their smaller counterparts. After all, the child in you never really disappears, no matter how you try to conform to the “adult” dictates of society.
And, if Funko Pop! S popularity is any indicator, it’s safe to say that thousands of adults are reconnecting with and nurturing their inner child – luckily, fortunately.
The Pop! Phenomenon
Based in Snohomish, Wash., The pop culture consumer goods company started making wonderful mannequins in 1998. Funko founder Mike Becker originally created the figure line called Wacky Wobblers, the first of which was the Big Boy action figure. In 2005, Brian Mariotti, entrepreneur and collectible junkie, bought toys from Becker. Eventually, Mariotti became the CEO of Funko, where he is a huge driver of the company’s success in the collectibles and toys market. Over the years, the company has gained a large number of toy enthusiasts, collectors and pop culture fans, all over the world.
The Funko Pop! Line debuted in 2010 at Comic Con in San Diego, under the original name Funko Force 2.0, with Batgirl, Green Lantern, and two versions of Batman as the first dolls produced. These very popular vinyl figures were a hit at the convention; and years later, fans still can’t seem to get enough of it. In May 2021, the Funko company was worth $ 990 million US, up from around $ 670 million US in May 2019. That’s a lot of cheddar for a bunch of big heads, disproportionately sized (but cute as hell!) Toys in polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
Fandoms and a fanatic sequel
Driven by the tenet that “Everyone’s a fan of something,” Funko had released 8,366 different numbers in 2019 (latest data available). Fandoms cover an astonishing array of genres: comics, books, movies, pop culture icons, cult classics, TV series, music, video games, mascots (with the Freddy Funko character swap in mind, of course), cartoons, historical figures, famous artists – the list is as long as the fan base is large. Standard size dolls are around 4 inches tall, but can go up to 5 or just under 6 inches (known as “big-in-box” Pop! S) depending on the character. The Super Pop !, on the other hand, are 6 inches tall, while the Jumbo Pop! measure 10 inches. The Mega Pop! S, among the brand’s new offerings, are 18 inches tall. There are also diminutive versions, known as Pocket Pop! S or Minis, which are 1 to 2 inches tall.
But it does not stop there. Funko collectors are spoiled for choice when it comes to variations. The dolls come in many different versions, such as flocked (with a hairy, fuzzy feel instead of smooth plastic), glitter / diamond (with a glitter coating), patina (made to look like greenish, aged copper), glow in the dark- (either an overall glow or parts that glow in a dark space), metallic (some parts of the paint have a metallic sheen), chrome (coated with a chrome paint color), light black (the one of the newer types, with paint details designed to appear even more under black light) and the chase variant (an alternate version of the original figure, with slight modifications to the character or doll outfit) . Phew! It’s no wonder fans can’t stop Pop! -Ping, really. The largest collection in the world belongs to the American Paul Scardino, who owns more than 5,000 Pop! S and is entered in the Guinness Book of Records.
Prices vary, largely depending on the limitation on the release (how many figures were produced), the degree of collection and demand for the doll, and whether the particular figure has been vaulted. The Pop! “Holy Grail” are those that are so rare, finding one for sale would be like discovering the legendary Medieval Cup. Prices typically start at US $ 10 (PHP 595-650, locally) and can run into the hundreds or even thousands of dollars, depending on the rarity and condition of the figurine.
Find fun in Funko!
Collectors go to great lengths to get their Funko fix, braving the crowds (before the pandemic, that is) queuing for hours, just for dibs on a new version or limited edition. And, the collector base (Nikko Lim’s Funko Funatics Philippines being the largest fan group on this side of Funkoverse, with 43,000 members to date) is as diverse as it is strong.
Why do you ask? The short answer: for fun and nostalgia for it.
“I love collecting Funko Pop! S because it’s my way of having a little party or a reminder of my favorite shows, movies and people,” shares Andie Syyap, photographer, content creator and small business entrepreneur of 22 years old. whose collections cover a variety of fandoms. “It’s like some of my favorite shows and movies are with me forever,” notes Syyap. Tattoo artist and painter, Camsy Valencia, 38, says: “It just makes me happy, every time I get a new Pop! Valencia started collecting Harry Potter figures, but now collects Marvel and DC dolls. Glenmarc “Flash” Antonio, 41, social media marketing manager, ESL tutor and well-known Flash cosplayer in the community, says Pop! S form a big part of his Flash collection. “I get everything that is officially released, for Flash. As collectibles, Pop! S are easy to store, with a uniform sized box. Very stackable, ”he emphasizes.
Pop! that’s life
Whether they are NOOB-ers or OOB-ers (Never Out of Box-ers or Out of Box-ers, referring to whether they keep their Pop! S in the respective boxes or not), the die-hard collectors of Funko in the Philippines are crazy for their toys. So much so that they will probably tell you, with eyes as big as the dolls they haunt them with, that “Pop! it’s life !!! “More than a little boosted, of course, but the Funko Pop! have become a source of happiness for those who pursue them; and what is life without happiness?
And, while non-aficionados may find it a frivolous affair, decrying passion as poorly spent money, Pop! people will vouch for the validity of their Funko binding. Besides, can we really put a price on happiness?
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