What’s the deal with Funko Pop figures?


I happened to wander into the mall the other day. Well, not really wander as the Chipotle I’d just had dinner at didn’t have a working bathroom; so I moaned, groaned, and headed to the mall itself. I did wander into a Hot Topic as it’s fun to see how their product selection changes. About seven years ago or so I was heavily into Western occultism/mysticism and also into the Goth scene as well. It’s a huge departure from fishnet shirts and leather pants to almost only geeky graphic tees and jeans, lemme tell ya. Anyway, back then Hot Topic had a much more focused product lineup with the tell-tale, trip pants, cd’s, piercing paraphernalia, etc. In other words, their focus wasn’t so much on a broader cross section of pop culture as it is now. That being said, I rather like the change as it makes shopping there a more fun and varied experience.

Now that you’ve sat through my hideously boring background, let’s get to the meat of the story. As I saunter into the Hot Topic, almost immediately my eye is drawn to the veritable wall of Funko Pop figures. I’ll admit that I’ve seen them before and they never appealed to me but the sheer number and variety of them was impressive. After browsing for a little bit I saw a Magneto one and was instantly intrigued as he’s my favorite Marvel character and has been my whole life (even with his flip flopping personality). I spent at least half an hour walking around, deciding if I really wanted to spend my money on these figures that were, in general, too cutesy for me.

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I was offered help at least five times by very friendly employees but I always declined. I finally broke down and decided to get some, the sale being the most compelling reason. Surprisingly, my first choice after Magneto was Ant Man because he looked awesome! There was so much detail invested in the figure plus Hot Topic’s version glows in the dark. After examining the paint jobs on several of them, I settled on one, then repeated the process with Magneto and Earth 2 Batman (how random is that?!).

There are definitely a lot of positive aspects of these figures that appealed to me as a first time buyer/outsider. First and foremost was the sheer variety and number of them. There were X-Men, The Walking Dead, Skyrim (Dovahkiin), Breaking Bad, Star Wars, Harry Potter, Attack on Titan, DBZ, Orange is the New Black, and the list goes on and on. If you’ve watched any t.v. in the past few years you’d recognize some of the collectibles.

Conversely, there were a few less appealing aspects as well. I hate to play the male card but, in general, as I mentioned earlier, the majority are just too cute looking to make me want to buy them. Granted, given how serious of a character Magneto this contrast is part of what actually drew me to it. Additionally, a lot of the basic molds and sculpts look the same and the faces are often pretty plain looking and lacking expression. Case in point - Earth 2 Batman should obviously be scowling. Notable exceptions that I can remember now are (the Hulk, Professor X, and Lord Voldemort). This lack of expression and their tendency to not have mouths makes their heads look even bigger. I know, I know, they also function as bobbleheads so this makes sense.

This next point is also something that comes with the territory but the paint jobs can also vary drastically. I don’t know what compelled me to take such a close look at each and every figure, but I noticed some blemishes on the faces and bodies of some; so I passed on them for more consistent, better done paint jobs. This is weird to me ‘cause I don’t even grade comics, paint figures or anything else like that, so there’s nothing obvious that would make me this detail oriented.

Overall though, if you like this kinda thing you have a huge playground to jump into and many sources to turn to in order to satisfy your collector’s craving. Despite my initial misgivings I’m still tempted to back and buy Xavier as his expression on his big, bald head is just hilarious and the Ted one was fitting as well. Plus, what’s wrong with having a few things that can give you an instant smile or laugh. That’s always welcome.

What’s your take on these? Sound off in the comments section and thanks for bearing with me. I’ve not written anything on here in a long time. :)

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