Funko Pops have taken the collecting world by storm, spanning virtually every fandom and representing all of our favorite characters. Funko, founded in 1998 by Mike Becker in Snohomish, Washington, has grown massively in the past two decades and continues to expand.
When a new set of Funkos are released, fans often flock to them and add them to their collection. Some are quite rare, as they are given out only during special events or for celebratory occasions. The question that is often asked is whether Funko Pop figures retain or become more valuable over time. Like everything in the collectible world, the short answer is: it depends.
Market Saturation at its Peak
Like anything, supply and demand dictate what consumers are willing to pay for an item. In the case of Funkos, supply appears to be inherently limitless, or so any visit to EB Games or GameStop would have us believe. As video game publishers move toward digital rather than physical games, stores need to evolve, and selling collectibles is a perfect fit. As seen in the image below, it is not uncommon to see entire walls dedicated to nothing but Funko Pops in video game stores.
One effect that this has is that collectors need to hold onto their Funkos and keep them in perfect condition for quite some time - or at least as long as stores stop selling them - in order to make a profit on them.
The Rarest of the Rare
Like most collectibles, the Funkos worth the most money and that will likely retain value in the future are truly difficult to find. For that reason, the hundreds that line the walls at EB Games are great for the consumer who wants a cute figure of their favorite character but are unlikely to soar in price anytime soon.
Bloody Rorschach from Watchmen, number 24 in the series, is worth around $600-700. Why is it so rare? It was a 2013 San Diego Comic-Con exclusive and is now impossible to find. Even more valuable is the Blue Suit Mr. Incredible from The Incredibles, another Comic-Con exclusive from 2011, which sells for about $2,000.
What exactly does that value really mean? Or rather, how does one turn a rare Funko into cash?
What are my Funkos worth, and how can I sell them?
Funko Pops, like any other collectible, have no inherent value. National currencies have a value relative to other currencies in the world, and though some previous metals are “as good as money,” everything else falls within a broad spectrum of liquidity depending on how easy it is to convert to cash.
Real estate is a good example of something that is always worth something, but it is difficult to liquidate quickly unless you take a hit on the sale. Meanwhile, the Mr. Incredible Funko Pop is also valuable but is likely slow to move at market value since the market for such an item is as niche as they come. One would need to create a listing on a site like eBay or a collector’s specialty site and see what kind of interest there is.
Given the rarity and amount of money some of these are worth, they are not likely to sell quickly. You may be sitting on a listing for months before a serious buyer even inquiries about the item.
Most Funkos are not Rare
The outlook for the majority of Funkos does not look good. Currently, there are nearly 6,000 unique figures in existence, and more flood the market every month, as now it seems like every new season of a show is an excuse to pump out the same characters in different outfits. This is to say nothing of the other types of figures sold by the Funko brand that are not Pops, such as assorted Action Figures, Dorbz, Dorbz Ridez, Hikari, and keychains resembling Pop figures.
They are marketed as collectibles and given numbers to designate their place in a collection, but like other similar fads, people will eventually tire of the same old formula. They bear a striking resemblance to Beanie Babies in this way.
This might not be true for the absolute rarest of the rare Funko Pops, the 1% of certain limited-edition Funkos, but the Pops lining retail stores all over the world are not rare in any way. This is truer now than it was twenty years ago, before the advent of a digital marketplace. Before, the rarity of collectibles was often limited to one’s geographical location. Now, however, anyone can hop online and see thousands of Funkos for resale on the Facebook Marketplace, Kijiji, Craigslist, and other sites.
For example, take a look at the collection below. It would be hard to sell the entire set all at once or even piece by piece. It is not impossible, but these are not items in short supply by any means.
Fake Funkos? Fake Funkos!
As is the case with almost all collectibles, there are more and more fake figures being created and sold that look a lot like Funko Pops. This means that buyers need to be extra careful when buying. Below is an informative video by Funko enthusiast and collector Jedha Patrol detailing exactly what to look for to avoid being scammed by fake figures.
At the end of the day, there are many reasons why people want to collect Funkos. Currently, I even have Captain America from Civil War and Batman from some forgotten series sitting on the desk nearby. We all probably have at least one or two Funkos lying around.
However, if you plan to treat your Funko Pops like an investment, be sure to keep them stored in their official box and keep in mind that they may or may not accrue any value in the coming years, but collecting Pops just for the sake of it is also fun.
However, if you plan to use Funk Pops to fund your retirement, you should probably speak to an Investment Specialist rather than dump all your funds into these adorable, but likely financially unstable figures.