Greetings and jamutations, CHUsters!
I wanted to go ahead and create this thread of Funko POPs that can be flipped for mad money! I saw a few other posts talking about Funko, but I wanted this to specifically be about POPs that have heated up and/or are heating up. I swear that CHU used to have Funko articles a few times a year before (I want to say Alana would write them). I’ll keep updating this thread with POPs that are heating up plus POPs that I think are a surefire bet.
Right off the bat, Funko has its fair share of criticisms. Many of them are overproduced, most become peg warmers, and they are usually compared to Beanie Babies. My retort is always that Funko has been around for a while going back to the “Wacky Wobblers”, and the POP line has outlived Beanie Babies. I feel that POPs had their peak a few years ago, but the community is as strong as ever, and many Funko enthusiasts continue to drop bills on their personal grails.
Funko is certainly not a quick flip. A lot of times, you have to sit on them for a year or two before they start moving. A good example is the Miraculous Ladybug POPs. I was picking up the Ladybug left and right every time I saw her. The POP hit a high of $40 at one point. Then, a restock happened, and it killed the value. No worries, I bought a few more, and continued to sit on them. I think overall, it took 4 years, but then it slowly started climbing again. Before you know it, I was selling them for $200 each on eBay. (Hint: If they ever make a Paw Patrol line, get all of them!)
Now, this doesn’t mean that Funko is future-proof. Here today, gone tomorrow, right? But for those that have always been interested in Funko for flipping purposes, and don’t mind sitting on a product for a year or two, this could be the thread for you.
A recent example that I’ll use is the It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia line. Funko released POPs based on the famous Dayman musical episode, and they also released one Funko Shop exclusive. You probably saw these POPs at Wal-Marts and Gamestops; they weren’t hard to get.
They pretty much sat at retail price until recently. Looking at PopPriceGuide, they are currently at:
Charlie (Funko Shop exclusive) - $35
Charlie as Dayman - $14
Frank as Troll - $24
Mac as Nightman - $21
Dee as the Princess - $19
Dennis as Dayman - $19
Some of it is due to the new season premiering in December 2021 and being fresh in people’s minds, but once people realize that these POPs are “Vaulted”, they start to scramble to buy them all. After all, you need to collect the whole set! Only one was an exclusive, but it didn’t even sell out right away. It sat on the Funko website for a few months. Now, almost all of them are above retail in value, with a couple hitting double in value.
Now, here’s the big question: Why would you spend $12-$15 retail on a vinyl figure that takes up space and have to wait years to be worth something when you could buy a $5 comic and flip it for $20 the same day? Well, I don’t have a good counter for that because that is a very good point. Funkos take up space, a lot more compared to a comic book. You can make 4x your money on a hot book right away while you have to wait a year to make 4x time your money on a POP.
However, what I’ve learned at local shows is that POPs are your garnish. They make children ooh and ahh, they allow families to collect together because the figures are cute, and of course, everyone always has to collect them all. More importantly, they move fairly quick. When I go to shows, it takes a while for a comic collector to drop $100 on a key book, and they usually always want a deal. When a family comes to my booth and sees the POPs that they are missing, they don’t think twice about buying 3 POPs for $30 each. Go figure! Comic books will always have a better profit margin, but Funkos can make your weekend show go from, “I did good,” to, “I did great!”
To finish off, here are some important Funko takeaways:
Stickers are important! Collectors will pay a premium for retail stickers (Gamestop exclusive, Walgreen’s exclusive, etc.) than the generic “Special Edition” gray sticker (these are used abroad). Likewise, convention stickers (ECCC, NYCC, SDCC) are worth more than the shared stickers (Summer Convention, Fall Convention). It’s the same POP! But the difference could be $100 in value.
Hot Topic and Gamestop exclusives are notorious for restocks. A POP that has slowly climbed to $100 can be shot down overnight when a restock or warehouse find happens. Fret not, as this is always a good buying opportunity. It will always climb back up!
Anime has the best turnaround. Anime POPs always heat up the fastest. Dragonball Z, Naruto, One Piece, My Hero Academia, and Demon Slayer are some current hot ones. Just ask your kids about them!
Whenever someone gets out of the POP game, 2 people take their place. I’ve been selling Funko for a few years, and I’ll always come across the one person that’s getting out of the POP game. “It’s too much.” “They take up too much space.” “I hate what Funko is doing.” “It’s nothing but scalpers.” Then, I’ll run into 2 people that same day that have just started collecting, and they want to drop $500 to catch up to everyone else.
Like #1, box condition is important, too! PPG is a good guide, but it doesn’t separate between NM or damaged conditions. When listing online, always take pictures of all sides of the box. It’s not uncommon to see a Mint condition POP sell for $100 higher than PPG. A lot of the old ones have damaged boxes, so PPG sees those sales and might undervalue a minty box.
Always put your POPs on POP protectors. Stores usually sell them at $2 a piece, and you can find bulks for a better discount. Before a show, I always buy a pack of 20 protectors off of Amazon. It comes out to $1 and change for each, but collectors react better when they see POPs inside a protector. You can even price them $5 above PPG, and people will be ok since it comes inside a protector.
Speaking of PPG, always have your POPs priced! You do not want to be that one vendor that doesn’t have prices on purpose, so you can look them up on eBay or PPG. I’ve seen plenty of vendors lose customers because when they ask for the price, the first thing they do is look it up online to see what it’s going for. I’ve had people tell me that they like buying from me because I always have everything priced. Hell, the other vendors might quote them the same price I have it after going to PPG, but because I did my homework ahead of time, mine will sell first (also, free protector).
Yes, some Funko exclusives sell out fast because of bots, and during convention releases, the Funko website can go down and make you lose out on that one POP that will jump to $100. It happens. However, more often than not, what ends up happening is a race to the bottom. People will start selling the exclusive as a presale online, and as more people join in, they start undercutting each other. By the time the POP ships out and is in people’s hands, the price might be a few dollars above what you would pay after shipping and taxes. This is when you buy! Once the undercutters die out, the POP will go back up. It’s rare that an exclusive POP maintains its high value quickly out of the gate.
Until next time!