The Basics Of Funko Pop Collecting + How Trading Cards Are Funko’s Latest Big Hit

October 26, 2022

Panini America and Funko announced their new collectible for sports enthusiasts, Funko Pop Trading Cards, and left collectors panting in anticipation. They were merging two globally popular collectibles to create one merchandise.

Panini’s top-rated Prizm trading card, and Funko with the hottest collectible in pop culture, Funko Pop. Interest in Funko immediately soared, with everyone looking to know what exactly to expect from this alliance.

With the very first Funko Pop! Trading Card set released last summer, we’ve put together this intro to the world of Funko.

Shop for Funko trading cards on eBay.

Brief history of Funko

Funko Inc. was founded in 1998 by Mike Becker. The story goes that Becker, who wanted a coin bank (they used to be the rave back then) of the Big Boy restaurants’ mascot, couldn’t get it as they were not affordable.

Rather than whining, he obtained the licensing rights to produce his own coin banks. While that wasn’t a grand success, he moved on to creating bobbleheads known as Wacky Wobblers, and Funko has skyrocketed to incredible heights very few could imagine.

In 2005, Becker was becoming uninterested in the company and was about to fold it. An avid collector and former nightclub owner Brain Mariotti bought it from his hands.

Today, Funko, Inc. is a leading American pop culture consumer products company. Funko Inc. is so successful it has dominated the pop culture merchandising market over the last decade. Funko designs, sources, and distributes licensed pop culture products across multiple categories.

These include vinyl figures, action toys, plush, apparel, board games, housewares, and accessories for consumers who seek tangible ways to connect with their favorite pop culture brands and characters. It was created as a tangible way for consumers to show their fandom, and no one can say that hasn’t been achieved.

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funko pop freddy funko

Funko’s role in the world of collectibles

Over the last two decades, few companies have been influential in the collector communities like Funko. Their Funko Pop toys unveiled in 2010 have pretty much dominated the collectibles figurines market over the last decade.

With an expansive array of licensing deals ranging from the WWE to Elvis Presley to Game Of Thrones, Funko caters to everyone. Funko’s Pop! Vinyl is the number one stylized vinyl collectible in the world.

While Funko Pop is the staple of every collector’s collection and is insanely popular, that’s not all Funko makes. They also produce other collectibles such as Funko Soda, Funko Toys, action toys, plush, apparel, housewares, and accessories.

The majority of people collection Funko Pops are genuine collectors and not in it for the money. However, several Funko Pops have become extremely valuable. Some owners have been known to sell off their Pops for over $9,000.

The beauty of Funko Pops is that it ties into several franchises, some of which have millions of followers. The value of a figurine might soar depending on several factors. For this reason, there can be value found in collecting Funko Pops. We shall talk about the value in a later chapter.

What are the Top Funko releases?

Funko Inc. designs, sources, and distributes highly collectible products across multiple categories, including vinyl figures, board games, action toys, calendars, key chains, apparel, housewares, and other accessories. This is in a bid to achieve their aim of providing consumers with affordable and tangible ways to express their fandom.

Funko Inc. dabbles in all sorts of collectibles. We, however, shall consider three of their top releases here. Funko Pop, Funko Games, and the yet-to-be-released Funko Pop! Trading Card. Click here for a list of other Funko Inc. releases.

Funko Pop

Over the past decade, Funko Pop figures have dominated the pop culture collectible market. There are the hottest and most popular figurines available to collectors. Funko Pops are “adorable,” mostly-emotionless-faced figures that beautifully recreate famous pop culture moments from whichever show the character appears.

Funko Pop Collection

Each Funko Pop is based on a popular pop culture character, and the Funkos’ official App puts the number of figures available over an astonishing 8,300. Apart from the regular superheroes figurines, Funko Pop creates figurines of other characters such as Tupac Shakur, the Iron Throne from Game of Thrones, Michael Jordan, SpongeBob SquarePants, Prince Harry, Abraham Lincoln, Dumbo, etc.

An average Funko Pop is 3.75 inches tall and has a LARGE square-shaped head with rounded edges. The head is so large that it makes up half of the piece’s height. There are pupil-free black button-like eyes, no mouth, and a small nose. Some Funko Pop figures such as The Hulk and Hagrid from Harry Potter are slightly bigger since there are big characters.

Funko Inc.’s goal is to provide something for LITERALLY everybody. With an official motto of “Everyone is a fan of something,” there’s a Funko Pop of almost every character that’s appeared on the big screen. This wide range of coverage – along with a modest $9.99 price has made Funko Pop one of the most popular collectibles, and several Pops have been known to sell for insane sums.

Funko Pops, at their release, sells for $9.99 to $12. This value may increase depending on several factors, such as exclusivity status and scarcity. Several Funko Pops have been known to sell for above $5,000 as the popularity and demand for these figurines increase. That is a pretty massive return for a $12 investment.

Especially valuable are complete sets of older figures and limited version Pops of popular characters. However, like all things in the collection world, we cannot always predict why a Funko Pop explodes in value. An excellent example of this is Stan Lee Pops which has become extremely popular, going for over $8,000 since his passing.

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Funkoverse Strategy Game – Funko Games

One thing we can expect from Funko Inc. is new fun releases that get fans all the more hooked. It wasn’t much of a surprise when they announced the first Funko Pop board games in 2019. The Funkoverse strategy game lets players mix and match characters from various product lines in a single game to create a unique experience for gamers.

Funkoverse strategy game

While Funkoverse isn’t as popular as Funko Pop (few products can match that popularity), it’s an excellent strategy game with impressive followership. Funko Games put an interactive twist on pop culture collectibles.

There are six Funkoverse games that feature characters and storylines from Golden Girls, the DC Universe, Harry Potter, and Rick and Morty. Each game is accompanied by memorable locations from the movie and four possible scenarios. There are also several accessories such as cards, dice, tokens, and maps.

There are full base set versions of the DC and Harry Potter game that comes with four distinct Funko Pops and can be played with three friends. The expandable editions come with two Funko Pops, which are different from those with the Base Set.

Expandalones are expansion packs and can be played alone or as a part of the full version. These games are extremely popular, especially amongst Funko Pop collectors. Does that sound like something you’d love to try? Here’s a link that explains the rules and how to play the game.

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Funko Something Wild Card Games

When Funko bought the Seattle-based game design studio Forrest-Pruzan Creative in February 2019, Funko Games were born. Funko Inc. took another step in its journey into the games market by releasing the Funko Something Wild card game.

This card game shares Funkoverse’s idea. However, it requires a simpler setup so kids can enjoy playing it. Something Wild Funko Game is played in similar ways as classic ‘parlor card games.’

There are various Something Wild Card Games which feature characters from shows such as The Little Mermaid, Woody, Mickey Mouse, Maleficent and Aladdin, to name a few. Each game pack contains 55 cards and a two inches Funko Pop.

Every package contains 45 Character Cards (numbered 1-9 in five colors) featuring adorable pictures of Funko Pop-styled Disney characters. It also comes with 10 Power Cards with the same five colors and an instruction sheet.

To win this game, you have to score three power cards first. You can gain these cards by making a run or a set of cards. Something Wild Funko Game is a fun, enjoyable, and approachable game that everyone can play.

If you’d love to learn how to play Something Wild Funko Card Game, here’s a Youtube video that explains the steps in detail.

Check out Funko Something Wild Game on eBay

Funko Pop trading cards

I’d say 80% of you reading this no doubt have several sport trading cards, and about half of that number also own some Funko Pop figurines. Before now, those two collection communities were a world apart and had no reason to intertwine. However, these two iconic collectible giants are coming together to create a whole new collecting experience.

Described as the ultimate union of two gigantic collectors’ fan bases, Panini America and Funko, Inc. unveiled Funko Pop! Trading cards last summer.

The very first figures of this new release would be based on Panini’s Prizm line. These cards feature Prizm artwork and a Funko Pop figure replicating the image on the Prizm trading card.

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The initial set features six players from the NFL and six players from the NBA. The release from Panini and Funko doesn’t just offer traditional cards with a Funko Pop in place of the photo. It’s a display piece and a Funko Pop figurine. All in a beautifully designed protective case that we can mount on the walls as trophies.

Funko has several existing Pop line that does something similar and can give collectors a taste of what to expect. However, that is without the appeal of Panini’s legendary Prizm design. Funko recreates comic, and album covers using their trademark Pop figurines. An example is The Notorious Big design from the Funko Pop Album line.

funko pop notorious big

Funko Pop Trading Card Checklist

Here’s a look at the Funko Pop Trading Cards released:

1 LaMelo Ball
2 Lebron James
3 Luka Doncic
4 Stephan Curry
5 Zion Williamson
6 Giannis Antetokounmpo

Panini Gold versions available for each player.

8 Justin Herbert
9 Lamar Jackson
10 Patrick Mahomes
11 Tom Brady

Gold versions of each player also available from Panini

13 Anthony Davis
14 Kawhi Leonard
15 Stephen Curry
16 Luka Doncic
17 Ja Morant
18 Zion Williamson

Gold versions from Panini also available.

Overview of Funko Pops Trading Card value

The Funko Pops trading cards retailed for $19.99 for the common figure, with Gold Exclusive costing anything from $125 to $25. Panini used the Dutch Auction to sell these exclusive cards. Depending on the player, you’ll have to spend between $38 and $20 for the common Funko Pop trading card.

Stephen Curry Funko Pop trading card is especially valuable and valued at $38, with several sales on eBay above $45. You’ll have to pay more for an exclusive Gold card. Depending on the player, they’re worth anything between $150 to $40. The Lebron James Funko Pop trading card exclusive Gold is particularly valuable. It’s maintained an average of $85 per sale on eBay.

Funko Pop Trading Card LaMelo Ball$19.89
Funko Pop Trading Card Lebron James$22.97
Funko Pop Trading Card Luka Doncic$19.99
Funko Pop Trading Card Stephan Curry$35
Funko Pop Trading Card Zion Williamson$19.99
Funko Pop Trading Card Giannis Antetokounmpo$17.99
Funko Pop Trading Card Anthony Davis$19.88
Funko Pop Trading Card Kawhi Leonard$13.33
Funko Pop Trading Card Ja Morant$12.06
Funko Pop Trading Card Lamar Jackson$24.12
Funko Pop Trading Card Patrick Mahomes$34.99
Funko Pop Trading Card Tom Brady$24.99*
*Out of stock at Walmart. I had to use eBay prices.

Funko Pop Grading

PSA announced on the 5th of October, 2022, that they would begin grading Funko Pop figurines to meet collectors’ demand.

“We’ve been grading autographs on Pop! boxes since early 2021 and we couldn’t wait to build and train a top-notch team that can also authenticate and grade the Pop! box themselves,” said Nat Turner, CEO of PSA’s parent company, Collectors. “The growth and enthusiasm for these and other collectible toys over the past decade has been astounding. We can’t wait to help collectors encapsulate and display their Pops!”

Funko Pops are the first toy line for which the largest authenticator of sports cards and memorabilia is offering grading services. Highly trained graders will verify the Funko Pops and analyze the quality of the figurine and the Pop box before encapsulating it in a special protective case. Collectors sending in their Pops to be graded must pay a fee of $39 per Pop.

Grades are a big thing in trading cards, with higher grades selling for more than 20x the value of raw cards. We’re yet to see how this would play out regarding Funko Pops.

How to collect Funko

While Funko Pop may look like a simple toy, they are fantastic collectibles with vast followership. If you would love to start a Funko Pop collection, here is how you can get started.

First off, I’d like to say that if your goal for collecting Funko is because you want a Pop figurine of your favorite character, you can go and get it right away.

Funko, Inc. produces figures from an extensive list of different shows that cater to all fandoms. No matter what game, show, movie, or person you love most, you’ll find a Pop version of them to collect.

You can get regular Pops, Chase Pops, and even Event Exclusive Pops from retail stores. You can also purchase them from various online stores. Another option is buying directly from Funko on their online store or any retail stores if you prefer shopping in person.

You can attend the Funko Fundays, where exclusive Pops are available along with the chance to win good prizes. Lastly, as is the case with all collection communities, various groups trade Funko Pops. They set up fairs where they display, trade, and sell their Funko Pop.

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Tips on collecting Funko

If you want to collect Funko Pop as an investment, here are some tips on which Funko Pops to collect that makes a solid investment.

It would be best to chase Limited edition Funko Pops and Pops with a few pieces released. Purchase these limited Edited Funko Pops as soon as they get released, as they are more likely to hold value.

Most Funko Pop boxes come with a Chase sticker on the box’s lower right-hand side. This signifies that the Pop is different from the regular ones and has a smaller number produced. While the rarity is a good indicator of a good Funko Pop, ultimately, what matters most is the demand. If collectors are not excited about a particular Pop, the value won’t increase no matter its rarity.

There are Funko Pop sold exclusively at events such as a Comic-Con. These are almost always exclusives and come with the special Comic-Con sticker. They are produced in limited quantity, sold exclusively at events, and thus have great demand. These factors combine to ensure that Funko Pops purchased at exclusive events are almost always rare and command a reasonable price when reselling.

Lastly, while you can take out your Pop figure from its box, you should keep it safe in the box if you’re collecting to make a profit. This keeps your collection safe and helps it hold its value.

Largest collection of Funko Pops - Guinness World Records

Funko value

Funko Pops are already immensely popular amongst collectors. While some people collect for nostalgic reasons, Funko Pops can also be valuable if you’re deliberate in collecting them. If you’re collecting because you love the characters, you can collect commons and hope they become vaulted one day.

Vaulted means Funko Inc. has stopped producing that line, which should increase its value, especially if it’s a character with great demand.

However, to get the most value for your Pops, focus on collecting only rare and Con-exclusive Funko Pops. Funko caps off the quantity produced to generate a sense of rarity, which drives the value up, especially for popular series. The fewer Funko Pops made, the more difficult it is to obtain, and collectors are ready to pay premium sums for these highly sought-after figures.

The Funko Pop price guide tracks the sales and value of Funko Pops. It estimates hundreds of Pops at above $1000 and several at above $5,000. Some Pops even go for as much as $9,000. What this means is simple; Funko Pops are valuable IF you collect the right ones.

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Are Funko Pops worth collecting?

While Funko’s success can be seen everywhere and its products are precious, you shouldn’t collect them wholly because of their potential ROI. It would be best if you collect Funko Pops as a way to take your fandom offline. It’s not wise to collect solely because you’re hoping to sell it off for a profit. Without a doubt, there are times when Funko Pops have made their owners surprisingly wealthy. However, they weren’t in it for the money.

If you absolutely must collect Funko Pops for anything but genuine fanship, Funko Pop Vinyls and Chase Pops should be worth collecting. You could also purchase only Limited Edition Pops. These have a limited number produced (anything from 5 to 1000) and cannot be found after being sold. This exclusivity almost guarantees that they will increase in value.

For the newly-released Funko Pop Trading cards, everything points to the fact that they would be a hit with collectors and, therefore, worth collecting. We expect Panini and Funko to merge the multitudes of their respective followership to create an insanely popular product. If anything, they’ll hold value as the inaugural release from this merger.

Final thoughts on Funko collectibles

Funko is everywhere, literally. From an impressive array of releases across several series, everyone is sure to find something he’s a fan of. It’s surprisingly affordable, fun to collect, and a beauty to display. However, it’ll be best to collect any Funko releases because you’re a fan of them and not for profits.

Admittedly, the Exclusive and Limited Edition releases only get a few copies produced and hold value as a result. However, it can be pretty challenging to get these products. Other better and more reliable collectibles exist that offer a must-assured ROI, such as sport memorabilia, trading cards or stamps.

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