Pop Culture

Pop Culture: How Funko Pops became the king of collectibles?

Childhood has been quite amazing for most of us and we had an intimate relationship with
various characters on TV-Shows, Sports, Games, Disney Shows, and Movies. Whether it’s from
Star Trek or a wrestler from WWE, Cartoon characters like Tom and Jerry, people will amass
cards of these characters. Get collectible toys and keep them wrapped forever. It’s the
excitement and happiness that many kids feel looking at a collectible. Now times have changed
and the world of collectibles has become synonymous with ‘Funko Pop’.

Funko Pops are an array of characters depicted through a well-made solid structure with a head
attached that also boggles. The edges of the face are round but the shape of the face
resembles a square. The rather cute replication of the Funko Pop which is a Vinyl Collectible of
Funko Company is what gets public attention.

Funko Pops penetrated everywhere and it has managed to acquire the nostalgic sentiment of
the millennials and Gen Zs. They have collectibles of shows that are mainly watched by the
Youth from 'Game of Thrones' to 'The Big Bang Theory.' You name it, you will get it right beside you. This huge integration of characters by getting licenses from Parent Production Houses has made Funko Pop a hit.

Where did it all start?

Funko Pop's history is interesting, Mariotti who is the current owner of the Company is not  the one that started Funko. A guy named Mike Becker started it. Mike worked at an old coin shop,
the coins out there had a Big Boy Mascot drawn on them. When he came to know that antiques
like these can be sold for as high as $1000. He started thinking of making a replica and selling it
in China. After gaining success, he then started Funko from his own home which is in Snohomish, Washington. His first licensed items were Dick Tracy, Popeye, and Count Chocula. He made puppets of all sorts of niche properties.

Mariotti’s Takeover

But Becker soon became estranged from the company. Mariotti at that time was a nightclub
owner. Mariotti tried convincing Becker to budge and sell. Becker was more interested in
reviving the other brands that he worked on, hence he went through with the deal but he made
Mariotti keep his workers employed. After the takeover, at the Comicon of 2010, Mariotti
showcased the first collectibles of Funko and it had two Batman, Batgirl, and Green Lantern.
These collectibles were from the product line called Funko Force 2.0. Initially, it did not bode well with the public but Mariotti says Woman and Comicon lovers liked the collectibles. They initially had licenses to make collectibles of DC, Marvel, and Star Wars characters.  Their fate changed when they got 25 additional licenses. They tried to put the product at many big retail stores, not just toy shops, and collectible stores. These collectibles then started appearing online. In comic forums, people talked about Funko. Licensors also could see that the Funko Pop rage is catching up to people and they are benefiting more from it. More companies roped in. Game of Thrones characters posed with their respective Vinyl Collectibles and the company jumped off the charts, so much so that they are a leading name in collectibles worldwide now.


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