A brief history of Funko Pops

Dexter RoonaFunko Pop VinylsLeave a Comment

Last Updated on June 1, 2022 by Dexter Roona

If you haven’t of or know what Funko Pops are then you must have been on a desert island but don’t worry we are here to give you a brief history of Funko Pops, the company the products, and where it all began, and so on and so on.

NB: This article does contain some affiliate links. If you click a link and make a purchase then AFG may make a very small commission at no cost to you.

A brief history of Funko Pops – Where the phenomenon began

The Funko company began in 1998 when toy collector Mike Becker embraced his passion and founded a small company producing a nostalgia-themed bobblehead line called Wacky Wobblers.

The company’s first manufactured bobble head was of the well-known restaurant advertising icon, the Big Boy mascot.

Mike Becker sold the company in 2005 and Funko as we know it was born but it wasn’t until 2010 that Pop Vinyl figures made their debut and a new collection addiction started with fans.

After the sale of the business, Brian Mariotti became the company’s new CEO. Fantastik Plastik vinyl figures became the first new line to be released. The Fantastik Plastik figures series featured popular cartoon characters that included characters Wacky Racers, and Mad Monster Party.

These Fantastik Plastik vinyl figures differed from the bobblehead characters Funko was famous for. They were static in nature and much more like statues. Building on the success of the Fantastik Plastik line, Funko released its own original characters that consisted of pigs, frogs and clowns, and other weird and funny creations.

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Funkos’ next line of figures was the Mini Hikari line of figures

With the Mini Hikari series, Funko established another assembly of adorable collectibles. Mini Hikari are baby-sized figures that included the Star Wars Characters Darth Vader, and Greedo, as well as Mickey Mouse (shown below), and homegrown Freddy Funko.

Funko Mini Hikari Product image - Mickey Mouse - A brief history of Funko Pops

Mini Hikari – Mickey MouseImage source Funko

 

Funko Pops

The company’s most successful line, the Funko Pop Vinyl figure, officially debuted in 2010 (originally called Funko Force 2.0) and started a new addiction that fans that they never knew they were craving.

Funko Product images - Batman Funko Pop and Batman Funko Force 2.0 - A brief history of Funko Pops

As you can see the Batman Funko Pop and Batman Funko Force 2.0 are very similar in design the Funko Force figure is a bit smaller. It is the packaging where the big difference is – Image source Funko

One of the very first Funko Pops ever released was the Batman figure. The 01 Batman is still in circulation today though he is now a vaulted Pop. You would expect that the first Pop would now be the most valuable but this is not the case as lots were produced.

A mint 01 Batman will now cost you anywhere between $100-$150… not bad on a $10 item but the rarest Funko Pops were and are produced in very low numbers and sell for thousands and thousands of dollars.

It seems there are new waves of Pop! Vinyl figures coming out every day, but while Pops is the firm’s biggest collectible product range, it’s not Funko’s only collectible line.

You can now collect Funko Pop Pins, cool enamel badges designed to stand and be displayed on your shelf or desk etc. Funko Keychains are miniature Funko Pops on a keychain and Funko Sodas.

Funko Sodas are vinyl figures that come in soda cans (fizzy drinks cans) but instead of there being any sweet lemonade or cola there you get a very cool Funko Vinyl Soda Figure inside. The figures are produced in very limited numbers often between 5000-20000. They sell out very fast making them hugely collectible

Funko Soda Product image

Funko Soda Figures are produced in very low numbers, normally between 5000-20000 per figure

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Why is Funko so huge?

It is easy to see why Funko Pops are so huge. Whenever you walk into the shopping center or a comic bookstore Funko Pop figures are everywhere. They are relatively inexpensive to buy and make the perfect gift and become quite addictive when you buy them. Come on… you can’t just buy one of the Avengers, can you?

A nation’s addiction to Pop collecting has created a community of fans that spawns friendships spanning the entire globe.

Funko has created a friendly world of collectors who share their passion for their collections and unashamed fondness for being kids again and that is why Funko fans collect Funko Pops.

 

So there you have it, A brief history of Funko Pops!

Do you collect Funko Pops?

What are your favorite Pops?

We love the newE.T. 40th Anniversary Pops and the Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi Series Funko Pops.

Let us know what you like in the comments section below, we would love to hear from you.

Regards AFG

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