The Ultimate Funko Pop Vinyl Beginners Guide F.A.Q is the best place for Newbs to get up to speed on everything they will need to know about collecting, trading, buying and selling Funko Pop Vinyl figures.
If you have any questions or answers you would like to contribute to the F.A.Q, please let us know in the forum on Popvinylfaq.com.
THIS FAQ WILL NO LONGER BE UPDATED!
What Is A Funko Pop Vinyl?
A Funko Pop Vinyl is a stylized vinyl collectible figurine manufactured by the Funko company in Everett Washington USA. They are identifiable by the uniquely embellished oversize heads on springs which bobble about when shaken, hence the term Bobble-Head. Although the majority of Pop Vinyls have bobbling heads, this is not possible with all characters. Some heads are fixed firmly in place with glue. Funko has licenses to produce 1000’s of different characters from Popular Culture like Star Wars and The Avengers. You can view them HERE. The best way to stay up to date is by following Funko’s official blog.
Display In Box or Out Of Box?
This is one of the most frequently asked questions, and there really is no definitive answer. It is a matter of personal preference. Some things to consider when making your decision:
Do you intend to keep your Pops forever or is it possible you might trade or sell them? If you intend to keep all of your Pops, it is fun to take them out of the boxes because they look so cool. If you think you might be interested in trading and selling, a MIB (Mint In Box) Pop will always be more valuable as it is clean and never touched or played with.
Do you have a lot of space to display your collection? If you find yourself heavily into collecting Pops, they will eventually take up a LOT of space if you wish to display them. A lot of people will take them out of their boxes so the collection can be displayed in a smaller area, and store or fold the boxes away carefully so they can be put back into action if required.
Leave Price Tags On?
Again, this is a matter of personal preference. Some people like to leave them on so they can see how much they paid, compared to current market value. Others think they look ugly, and like to take them off as they feel it spoils the aesthetics of the box. But be careful if you do decide to remove them, they can tear and damage the box reducing its value.
How Can I Clean Off Price Tag Residue?
Some price tags leave a sticky residue behind once they have been removed.
Price Tag Residue On Cardboard – The general consensus in the Pop communities is that a small amount of rubbing alcohol or eucalyptus oil on a cotton swab will do the trick. Make sure to test your solution on an old spare box first, or if you don’t have one, try a discreet part of the box like the bottom first to avoid major mishaps. Another solution I have heard of but not tried is to use a hair dryer to soften the glue. Again, proceed with caution.
Price Tag Residue On Clear Plastic – Remove everything from inside the box, then flatten it out. A small drop of cooking oil on a soft rag has been reported as working very well. DO NOT use alcohol or acetone on the clear plastic as it will melt!
What Are The Stickers – Should I Take Them Off?
The stickers on the clear plastic part of the box indicate that the item is some sort of exclusive or rarity (IE – From Comic-Con). You definitely DO NOT want to remove them even if they obstruct the view of the Pop, as these are part of what makes it exclusive and valuable.
Should I Keep The Boxes?
If you decide to display your Pops out of the box, it is well worth keeping the boxes because you never know, one day you might want to sell one, and it is way more valuable in the box. If you are certain you don’t want to keep the boxes, they are worth money, and there is a demand for them. Try selling them on Ebay or trading/selling them in your favorite Pop forum.
How Much Is This One Worth?
Pops are all worth different amounts due to their exclusivity. Some are produced by the thousands, while others are produced in very limited numbers. The best ways to figure out what a particular pop is worth to look for it on Ebay, filter the search to Australia only, look at completed sales and see what it has been selling for lately.
Pop Price Guide is not really relevant for us in Australia, as many pops considered exclusive in the U.S are regulars here, and vice versa.
For our friends in the U.S, poppriceguide.com is the way to go.
What Is An Exclusive?
An Exclusive is a Pop that has been produced in a limited amount of numbers, usually for a special events like Comic Conventions. They are identifiable by a sticker placed on the clear plastic part of the box. The Pop itself is usually different from the mass produced common version, featuring variations like different colors, metallic paints, and glow in the dark capabilities
What Is A Prototype?
Before a Pop is mass produced and released into stores for you to buy, several original prototypes of the character are made. These are used for testing and assessment of the new idea. Sometimes they are painted, sometimes they are not. These are considered Highly collectible and very valuable.
What Is A Chase Piece or Chaser?
When Funko ships box lots to retailers, they are sent in lots of 36. One of the pops in the case is called a Chase. Whilst it is the same character, it is slightly varied from the rest, making it rare and more collectible. Usually, Chase Pops have different colors or paint, and have a unique sticker on the clear plastic. Unfortunately, these are usually separated out by the retailers and sold at a premium price. They are rarely seen in the wild, and usually found on Ebay.
What Is A Flocked Pop?
A flocked Pop is covered with a fur like material which gives them a soft feeling when touched, and makes characters feel more realistic than the regular smooth painted vinyl surface. Flocked Pops are usually exclusives and harder to find.
What Are Dorbz, Vinyl Vixens, Mystery Minis, Hikari etc…?
They are other kinds of collectible figurines made by the Funko company. They are parallel product lines similar to Pop Vinyls. They too have very active and vibrant communities you can check out.
What Should I Collect?
There are so many Pops available now, it is very easy to be overwhelmed. The best approach is to start simple. Identify a genre or franchise that appeals to you, and start collecting in that sub-group. It’s also a good idea to start with current regulars/commons that are readily available and easy to find. For example, the new Star Wars set. There are roughly 15 Pops in the set, they are all current and readily available. When you have enough spare change you can buy one from time to time and gradually build your collection, with the goal of completing the set. Once you have completed the set, move on to another sub-set. Be warned, collecting Pops is VERY addictive. If you decide you want to start by collecting all of the characters from the Big Bang Theory for example, you are going to get disappointed pretty quickly, as some of them have been retired and are very hard to find.
Where Can I Find Lists/Checklists?
The Nerd Store has some good printable checklists, but they are not always up to date. Chek them out HERE. Cardboard connection has the best Star Wars lists – Check them out HERE.
What Is Collectors Corps/Loot Crate Etc…?
They are limited edition subscription collectors boxes that are released monthly, and contain exclusive items that cant be purchased anywhere else. These exclusive items do sometimes turn up for sale on Ebay.
What Does PC Mean In Pop Forums?
PC is short for popcultcha.com.au. It is a VERY popular online store in Australia that often has Exclusive and Hard to find Pops at regular prices. – http://www.popcultcha.com.au/
What Is Hot Topic?
Hot Topic is an online store which has lots of exclusives and is very popular amongst collectors – http://www.hottopic.com/pop-culture/collectibles/figures-and-toys/
What is a Grail?
Grail is short for “Holy Grail”. In other words, A very special, rare, desirable, and usually expensive pop.
Where Can I Trade/Buy/Sell?
There are numerous places online to buy, sell and trade pops. If you are looking to buy brand new Pops at regular retail prices, you cant go past Popcultcha.com.au. If you want to find something rare or retired quickly, Ebay.com is your best bet. If you are looking to trade or swap, as well as buy and sell, I recommend the Australian Funko Pop Vinyl Collectors Club group on Facebook.
Some retail outlets in Australia include:
How Can I Protect My Pops?
A number of companies make plastic sleeves and cases to keep dust away, and prevent discoloration. Called Pop Protectors, they usually sell for around $2-$3 each
How Can I Repair Damage?
See our page on Pop Vinyl Repairs HERE.
How Can I Clean Marks Off?
Magic Erasers seem to be the most popular solution in the Pop community. It is a block of Melamine Foam, and is sold under many different brand names. For Australians, it is a Chux product, available in stores like Coles.
How Can I Charge Up Glow In The Dark Pops?
Glow In The Dark Pops generally don’t just glow in the dark. They need to be charged. Some methods for charging them include placing them under U.V. lights, Taking them out into the sun, or placing them in front of a high powered flashlight for a few minutes. I have also heard of people using car headlights.
The most popular method seems to be purchasing a cheap UV Torch/Flashlight of Ebay. They usually sell for about $2-$3.
My Pop Keeps Falling Over/Wont Stand Up?
A small amount of museum putty (In Australia, we call it BluTak) on the base will do the trick, and gently secure it to your shelf.
How Can I Find Someone To Make A Custom For Me?
Pop Vinyl Facebook Groups and Discussion Boards are the best place to find customisers. They will usually post many photos of their work, and you can check their feedback from customers in the comments to see if they may be right for your job.
Where can I get more info on Customisation?
Check out The Funkustomizer Files website. There are a lot of tips and tricks, and examples of customs he has created.
How Does The Head Come Off?
For the Bobble Head style pops, the head screws off the body (more detailed info and an instructional video coming soon). For the non bobbles, submerge the head in hot water for 30-40 seconds to soften the glue.
Who Is Freddy Funko?
Freddy Funko is the Funko Companies mascot. There is even a blog page on Funko’s blog where Freddy gives a tour of Funko Headquarters.
How Can I Keep Track Of My Collection?
The best way I have found so far is with an iPhone app called Toy Collector 2.
If you have a better method, please let us know about it on the forum.
What does the code on the bottom of the box mean?
The Letters of the code (eg. JJL) denotes which factory the pop was manufactured at, and the numbers (eg. 150820) is the date the pop was manufactured backwards (eg. 20th August 2015)
What is a Pop Asia Re-Release? Do I Want Them?
A number of pops (mostly original run Star Wars pops) have been re-released in Asia, and look almost identical to the original release. Whilst they are not as valuable as the original versions, they are still nice to have. It is also the only way some of us will ever get that blue box Luke or Slave Leia in our collection. There is an easy way to tell the difference between an original and a re-release. An original first run will not have an age bubble in the front bottom right hand corner of the box. In later batches a “3+” bubble was introduced. In the Pop Asia re-releases the age bubble is “15+”.
Original Release without Age Bubble
Original Release with “3+” Age Bubble
Pop Asia Re Release with “15+” Age Bubble
Another give away can be the manufacture date on the bottom of the box. Originals seem to be around 2010-12 and the re release pops are dated 2015 and above
An Original date stamp VS a Re Release Date Stamp
What Do All The Acronyms and Lingo Mean?
MIB = Mint In Box
NFS = Not For Sale
NFT = Not For Trade
ISO = In Search Of
GOT = Game Of Thrones
GITD = Glow In The Dark
OOB = Out Of Box
PC = Popcultcha
SDCC – San Diego Comic Con
If you have any questions or answers you would like to contribute to the F.A.Q, please let us know in the forum at Popvinylfaq.com.