It started with Wonder Woman and Catwoman; I was always going to buy those two first. I picked them up from Mighty Ape. Then the discovery of The Warehouse’s tiny-but-a-few-dollars-cheaper selection saw me collect another. Finally, a visit to Pop Fiction on Dominion Road sealed the deal, and I owned Captain Kirk and Mary Poppins.
I’m not ashamed to admit it: In the last two months, I have descended into a spiral of aggressive Pop! Vinyl collecting.
For the uninitiated, Pop! Vinyl is a type of collectible toy made by a company called Funko. Funko are responsible for a lot of collectibles, such as Fabrikations, Dorbz, and Wacky Wobblers – but my flavour of poison is the Vinyl range.
I first saw the square-headed dolls in, of all places, DJ Sir-vere‘s office. Dude has them stacked up forming a fort around two sides of his desk and right up one wall. Row after row of mint condition Pops; TV Vinyl, Movies, Sport, he seems to have them all.
He’s infected his staff, too. Just across from his office sits Sarah, who has all of the bespeckled versions of Disney princesses carefully lined up across the back of her desk, as well as Lumiere, Cogsworth, Mrs Potts and Chip. It was her collection that made me think about starting.
They’re collectibles, which means some grow in value while others diminish. Sometimes there’s rhyme and reason behind it, sometimes none at all. In the US, some runs are limited to certain comic cons or stores. Naturally any with faults are snapped up in a heartbeat.
Rainbow Batman: Where the value is made up and the price doesn’t matter
A prime example is the Rainbow Batman collection. Inspired by Detective Comics Volume 1 no. 241 (Where Batman is compelled to wear a different coloured costume every night), Funko released six new Pops.
They were all released at the same time, and are all readily available in New Zealand, and yet the pink and purple Bats are worth a little bit more than the rest, with poor orange Bats trailing behind.
Yes, I bought the purple one. And the pink one is on a wishlist. Luckily, I like those colours.
Meanwhile Modern Maleficent and Old School Maleficent will set you back around $22 a piece in New Zealand, yet the Modern version is valued at twice that of Old School, according to The Pop Price Guide.
To be honest, I don’t get it. Luckily, it’s mostly not about long-term value. It’s actually cool to own matching memorabilia, and make Edward Scissorhands and Katniss Everdeen have pashing sessions while Deadpool waits his turn for either of them.
To box or unbox?
That is the question. And I don’t know. I’ve watched YouTube clips of people unboxing even the priciest of Pop without a care in the world. They’re not sealed, so maybe it doesn’t matter?
All dem variants
At the moment I’m content to collect the core, easily recognisable Pops, but I think there will come a time when I add a Glow-In-The-Dark White Lantern Wonder Woman, or perhaps the Domo variant of Marshmallow Man to my collection. Once you go down that path though… I mean, I have the latest version of Daenerys Targaryen, but I think she’s rad, and may end up with all three versions of her.
At $20ish a pop, buying Pop doesn’t seem like a huge investment right now, but it could well become one.
Hey, I might end up forking out $200 so I can own She Ra, and never see that money back… But I’ll have a bloody good adventure tracking her down and battling other collectors in the meanwhile.