Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Don't have an account?
Error Message

What Makes Funko Pops so Valuable?

What Makes Funko Pops so Valuable?
April 3, 2024
Keenan Flack

This is a blog post produced in partnership with hobbyDB , an invaluable free resource for collectors interested in collectibles across categories like toys, diecast cars, and vinyl art, among many others!

What is Funko?

In 1998 a small toy company headquartered in Snohomish, Washington was struggling to sell coin banks depicting the mascot of Big Boy Restaurants. Following a licensing deal that allowed them to manufacture and sell bobble-heads of Austin Powers, the company sold tens of thousands of these toys and used this model to grow a massive fanbase of collectors.

As nerd culture grew over the next twenty years, so did Funko. Since 2010, ‘Pops’, as their flagship toys are so adorably termed, derive their characters from over 1,100 properties licensed by the company. From cultural heavy weights like Star Wars, Marvel, and Game of Thrones to properties whose fandoms have a smaller, but still passionate fanbase like Sailor Moon or Team Fortress 2., to individual superstars like Lebron James, Shohei Ohtani, Michael Jackson, the list goes on and on, and on; if there is someone or something you are a fan of, chances are you can get a Funko Pop of it.

Fans might begin collecting Funko Pops via one of their favorite movies or television shows, but many of them go much further than that, purchasing more and more collectibles due to their love of everything Funko, an appetite evidenced by the success of maybe the most beloved character in the Funko universe, Freddy Funko.

hobbyDB allows its users to track several variables about each unique Funko Pop including Estimated Value, Calculated Average Rating, Number on Wishlists, Collectibles Quantity Count, Release Date, and Number Produced. Can any of these metrics help us understand why some Pops are more valuable than others? Are older Pops more valuable than more recent releases? Let’s look at the data behind Funko Pops and try to better understand the market for these popular collectibles.

As mentioned, the company has been releasing their signature Pops since 2010, nearly fourteen years of releases should tell us something about how collectors value the vintage of their Pops.

data from hobbyDB

The first thing that pops out when we track Estimated Value against Release Year is the first three years of releases being significantly more valuable than any of the following years.

data from hobbyDB

If we dive into the individual titles of Funko Pops released in those years, we see that one character is driving much of the value. And this value can be attributed to simple supply and demand dynamics; Freddy is usually released in very limited-edition sets. Many Funko Pops depicting popular characters for sale in retail are released in what are called “Open Editions”, meaning the company can and will print as many as they think will be purchased by their customers. Freddy Funko Pops, as well as several other highly desirable Pops, come in print runs of as few as 10 figures.

As with many top-tier collectibles, there is always someone willing to pay a hefty fee for a piece in low supply with a story behind it. There is the Rocket Copy ‘Action Comics #1’ , the Mickey Mantle rookie cards at the bottom of the Hudson, and then there are Clockwork Orange Funko Pops.

In 2012, Funko intended to release a Pop in partnership with a licensing firm named “Radio Days." Just before the Pops were released into the wild, Funko was threatened with legal action by the rights holders of ‘A Clockwork Orange’, and then CEO Brian Mariotti elected to destroy all but 24 of them; 12 chase and 12 non-chase. In February of 2023, one of these figures sold for a whopping $60,000, making it the second priciest sale at the time in Funko history and the most ever paid for an individual Funko.

At the time of the Clockwork Orange sale, the overall record stood at $100,000, set by a ‘Willy Wonka Golden Ticket 2-Pack’ purchased in May of 2022 by Funko super-collector and hobbyDB user GrailMonster; only for him to turn around and sell it for an astonishing $210,000 in 2023. Locking in the all time record price for a Funko Pop.

In fact, if you scroll through the top 20 estimated values on hobbyDB you will only see a single Pop with a supply above 24 figures; the top 5 Pops, estimated between $30,650 and $163,440, all came in editions of 12 or less.

data from hobbyDB

Those first three years of low production runs gave way to an era of Pops that are far more sought-after than more recent editions. When production jumped up in 2013, the company released more than double the number of Pops (58,334) compared to the prior three years put together (27,282).

This massive increase in production over the next years might have caused some to predict a decline in the quality of their brand. Average Ratings over time seem to show stability in ratings across years, implying that the Funko collecting community is appreciative of both the high and low end of their market.

data from hobbyDB

These averages are slightly skewed by the far greater quantity of high-supply editions, so it is worth pointing out that Pops with price estimates below $1,000 see an average rating of 3.53, compared to an average of 3.3 for those estimated above $1,000. It would stand to reason that a collector would more highly rate a Pop they have the chance to acquire for themselves, and it goes without saying that not all of us have the funds for a $10,000 Funko Pop.

In exploring what drives Funko Pop values, hobbyDB’s data reveals a fascinating intersection of supply and demand dynamics, collector behavior, and the undying allure of limited editions. From the meteoric rise of a small toy company to the clout of a global phenomenon, a Funko Pop's value hinges not just on the rarity of the items but also on the broad and inclusive appeal to collectors across numerous fandoms. The initial years have shown that scarcity and desirability go hand in hand, creating a lucrative market for certain collectibles. The continuing affection for Funko Pops, regardless of price, underscores a community that values connection to culture just as much as the monetary value of their collection.

Enjoyed this article? Don't forget to subscribe to our newsletter to receive more like it in your inbox weekly!

Disclaimer: You understand that by reading Altan Insights, you are not receiving financial advice. No content published here constitutes a recommendation that any particular security, transaction, or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. You further understand that the author(s) are not advising you personally concerning the nature, potential, value or suitability of any particular security, transaction, or investment strategy. You alone are solely responsible for determining whether an investment, security or strategy, or any other product or service, is appropriate or suitable for you based on your investment objectives and personal financial situation. Please speak with a financial advisor to understand if the risks inherent in trading are appropriate for you. Trade at your own risk.

Altanin post bacgraund

Latest News