Funko is a company that has been around for quite some time, and their Funko POP! figurines have become very popular in recent years. But what is Funko, and where did they come from? In this article, we will take a look at the history of Funko and find out how it became one of the most popular toy companies in the world.
The history of Funko
Funko was founded in 1998 by Mike Becker, who had previously worked on the Funko Fun Time Machine. Funko is a company that produces collectible figurines known as Funkos (or Funkz). Funko POP! figurines are made from vinyl and have unique designs that make them stand out from other Funkos. Funko has since expanded its line to include a wide variety of other figures as well.
Funko’s first products were bobbleheads, which became popular due to the company’s ability to create well-detailed and accurate likenesses of athletes, celebrities, and other pop culture icons. Funko POP! figurines were introduced in 2010 and have since become one of the company’s most popular product lines. Funko has continued to grow in popularity and today produces a wide range of products, including action figures, plush toys, and clothing. Funko’s success can be attributed to its ability to produce high-quality products that appeal to fans of all ages.
Why are Funko POP! figures so popular?
Geeks of all ages enjoy collecting, and what’s more interesting than a collection with a focus on a single franchise? A collection that follows the same style but across franchises, games, books, movies, comics, and everything. Funko POPs have become the perfect vessel for this type of geekery, Funko’s first and most popular product line. Funko makes a POP for every character imaginable across all forms of media, and they don’t just make them in the standard action figure style. Funko has created an empire off the love of nostalgic characters by giving us different versions of each. In some cases, Funko has even created POPs for characters that have never had an action figure before.
There’s something about a Funko POP that just makes you happy. Maybe it’s the big head, or maybe it’s the simple style, but whatever it is, they’ve nailed it, and people can’t seem to get enough. Funko has branched out from their original POP line, and now Funko makes everything from pocket-sized key chain Funkos to oversized Funkos that tower over you at almost three feet tall.
The branches are branching out
That’s not all, though. Funko has also taken the nostalgia a step further by creating sub lines of Funko POPs. Funko has two lines that are dedicated to nothing but Funko’s own nostalgia, the first being Funko FUNKO and the second being ReAction Figures. Funko FUNKO is a line of figures that were designed by Funko for Funko. These figures are in scale with other Funko POPs, but they are not Funko POPs. Funko FUNKO is a line of super-deformed figures that have big heads and small bodies. ReAction Figures are Funko’s second line of nostalgia-based figures. These figures are in scale with other action figures, they have realistic proportions, and they are styled to look like the action figures from the ’70s and ’80s.
Funko has something for everyone, and with their ever-growing line of products, they show no signs of slowing down. Whether you’re a Funko fanatic or not, there’s no denying that Funko is one of the biggest names in collectibles today. If you’re looking to get into Funko, or if you’re just curious about what all the hype is about, then be sure to check out Funko’s website and see for yourself. Funko POP! figurines are a Funko fanatic’s dream come true. Not only do they have an ever-growing line of products, but their products are high quality and appeal to fans of all ages.
Geek fandom in the age of content creation and influencers
Another interesting vessel for Funko was YouTube and Twitch, amongst other video and streaming platforms. It simply became a good practice for streamers and YouTubers to include their favorite Funko POP! figurines in the background of a video. Sometimes even a full shelf of figures that reflect the personality of the creator or gamer in front of the camera. Funko POP! figurines created a sense of unity and fandom for the online community, as people could see Funko products not only in stores but also on their favorite creators. Funkos can also be really nice if you want to give someone a gift. A Funko collector is likely always going to be happy about a new addition and there’s not much you could do wrong here.
Funko POP! figurines have become a staple in the backgrounds of many streamers and YouTubers. There are several reasons for this, but the most prominent one is that Funko POPs simply make people happy. Funko POPs are collectibles that are meant to be displayed prominently and openly, so it makes sense for them to have a place in the background of streamers. Funkos allow viewers to see what their favorite creators enjoy doing outside of streaming. Funkos also allow people who share common interests with these creators a chance to talk about something besides the game that these creators are playing. Funkos have a way of making people feel like they’re part of the community, and there’s no better place to show off Funkos than on Twitch or YouTube.
The ultimate test: boxed or unboxed?
Funko POP! figurines have become a popular collector’s item, with many people displaying their Funkos in the original box. However, others believe that the Funko should be displayed unboxed in order to show off the figure and its detail. Funko collectors have begun to debate about which is the best way to display Funkos. Some believe that Funkos should be displayed in their original boxes, as this shows the Funko collector’s passion and love for Funkos. Others argue that unboxed figurines are more convenient and easy to store.
I personally own only a few Funko POP! figures, and they could never make up a whole shelf. I somewhat like to take them out of the box and be able to pick them up and move them around (not playing with them surely, I mean who does that), but I also have respect for people who say they want to keep them in the best possible condition and therefore not take them out of the box or even put them away from the sun to prevent them from depreciating over the years.
I think that unless you’re a trader or investor in Funko POP! figurines, you can just handle that the way you like. They are yours. You either bought them, or someone gave them to you as a gift. If you want to play with them, I mean carefully take them out of the box for regular inspections. You can do that without feeling bad about it. If you prefer to stack them and love them as collectible, then that’s also perfectly fine. The essence of Funko is to keep it fun, not to stress about it.
Of course there are Funko NFTs now
Funko is also working on NFTs, and that doesn’t seem like a big surprise. After all, a figurine is also somehow like an NFT in the real world. You can look at it, trade it, or love it. So while NFTs are strongly debated, it’s not that much different from selling figurines to geeks. Will that be a success? Who knows. It might be just a hype, and nobody might recall NFTs in 2023, but I see no issue in Funko trying out things and offering new products to the fans.
YouTube: Why are Funko POPs so popular? Popped Culture – A Funko POP! Documentary
Photo credit: The feature image has been done by Dimitris Chapsoulas.