To Funko Pop! or not to Funko Pop!?

 Dustin argues that you can find almost any character you love in here, Joey counters that they all look the same- cheap and boring.  You decide!

Dustin argues that you can find almost any character you love in here, Joey counters that they all look the same- cheap and boring. You decide!

Funko Pop! vinyl toys.  That is what we are here to discuss today.  Are these small, vinyl toy/statuettes, widespread as they are, a curse or a blessing upon our society?  Should collecting them be encouraged or grounds for exile into the Mojave desert?  We argue, you decide!

Opening Statements

Dustin:  Funkos are cool.  There are, what, hundreds of them?  I’m not going to find out, but let’s assume there are at least hundreds of them.  Do you like something?  Anything?  Then there’s a Funko vinyl collectible for you.  I’ve got a bunch of them because of that.  Where else am I going to get a Pennywise the Clown figure and an Iron Man Hulkbuster to sit next to it?  Especially at under $20 a pop.  They’re addictive and easy to collect and make for some nice little office decor.  I keep a Cyclops on my desk so that when I talk to students they know that I’m the kind of person who will eventually become a fiery god of Destruction and Rebirth.  Funkos allow you to highlight your interests and express your personality for a very reasonable price.

Joey:  Funko Pop! figures and other vinyl figures are garbage and a waste of money.  There is nearly zero artistry put into them; they are basically the same exact figure over and over with a different crappy paint job. If you care about a property, go get the action figures with which you can play, or get a beautifully sculpted macquette or bust. Basically, use your money to get something that actually LOOKS like the character you love so much.


Joey:  Funko playability is zero. Their collectibility is basically zero since they are a saturated market. The only thing worse than Funkos are those crappy retro faux-vintage action figures they make to further cash in on your nostalgia. Go to a flea market and find something that could actually appreciate in value.

Many Funkos look alike in shape; the Hulkbuster is a notch above.

Many Funkos look alike in shape; the Hulkbuster is a notch above.

Dustin:  I’m not looking for playability with Funkos.  I agree that they basically have none, but I disagree about collectability.  Are they a good investment?  Absolutely not, but neither are all the comic books filling the long boxes in my basement or the ones on my walls.  Funkos are decor pieces.  I admit that a lot of them are just a basic re-painted model, but 1) so what? and 2) not all of them!  My Hulkbuster, for instance, is twice as big as the others and has a lot more detailed sculpting.  Same for the Slimer one that I have.  They have a nice, simple design with bright coloring and just enough of a hint of  a stylized aesthetic to appeal to me.  I don’t expect to ever be able to re-sell them and I don’t play with them, but they add character to my office and are small enough that I can hide them around the house where the fiancee doesn’t oppose them.


Dustin:  Joey suggests buying action figures (for playability) or maquettes for decor.  Well I really don’t care for action

My Obi-Wan maquette is one of the greatest things I own, but it had a price tag commensurate with that awesomeness.

My Obi-Wan maquette is one of the greatest things I own, but it had a price tag commensurate with that awesomeness.

figures; the joints make them look ugly (imo) so they don’t work for decor.  I also don’t play with them very much.  I would much prefer static pieces.  So maquettes/statues/busts?  Yes.  Absolutely.  The Animated Maquette line from Gentle Giant is amazing (and I have the Obi-Wan, the Gandalf, and the Saruman) but they are also like ten times the price of a single Funko.  There is no way that I can afford to buy nice statuettes of all the comic book, tv, and movie characters that I love- even if someone was making them.  I can afford to buy a bunch of Funkos to scatter around the house while letting the nicer sculpts/statues/maquettes stand out.  And if my nephew slobbers on a Funko, well then I guess he just got himself a new toy and I’m only out $10 instead of a hundred.

Joey:  Articulated joints provide opportunities to pose characters in dynamic and exciting vignettes OR, if you’d prefer, do not remove the toy from its original packaging so it retains (or increases) its value. Most articulated action figures retail anywhere from $5-$30, so they are comparable in price point to Junkos– I mean, Funkos. And if you’re like me, you can find your favorite classic toys online or in antique stores for great deals!


Articulated toys are way better than static figures

 Closing Statements

Joey:  Dustin is wrong. Funkos are bad. If the glove don’t quit, you must acquit. This whole court’s out of order! Goodnight, everybody. 

     Dustin:  Ladies and Gentlemen of the TMS Jury, I’d like to close with an anecdote.  One of my good friends, a friend of the TMS- not only a friend in fact, but the designer of our lovely “S” logo- collects rubber duckies.  She gets them from all over and her friends remember that she collects them and will often send them to her when they find a new one.  They all have the same basic mold with a different (and not highly detailed) paint jobs on them.  They don’t have articulation so they don’t have a huge playability factor and you can find these things by the score so collecting them is not a lucrative proposition.  But still she does it.  She has all kinds of rubber duckies.  Yellow ones, blue ones, vampire ones, Darth Vader ones.  Joey would tell her that her collection is “bad” and “glove doesn’t fit”, but I say unto her and unto you all that she should collect all the rubber duckies her heart desires!  Yea!  Unto the least and last of the duckies!  By her duckies shalt thou know her!  And, for all those same reasons, Funkos make a fine basis for a collection.


3 thoughts on “To Funko Pop! or not to Funko Pop!?

  1. I think the Funkos make your interests more accessible to other people because they are a little generic shaped and designed. They don’t scream “I REALLY LIKE THIS COMIC BOOK/MOVIE/VIDEO GAME CHARACTER OR THING!” I think the Funkos work as conversation starters because people don’t necessarily readily identify them as a comic book/movie/etc character and that gives you a gateway into a conversation. Action figures, maquettes, and busts can be too “in your face” and lead people to making assumptions rather than starting conversations.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I didn’t like Pop! figures at first, they were too cute in my opinion. But then I saw there was a Batman keychain figure. And a Daryl Dixon keychain figure. And a full size Ash from Evil Dead. And The Dude. Needless to say, I have a few now, although not as many as I have TMNT action figures, Justice League Mystery Minis or Justice League Chibis. They are addictive though, be careful, I had to stop myself!

    Liked by 1 person

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