Almost everyone imaginable at the top level of fame will have had a Funko Pop made of them – but some are certainly a lot more popular than others!
This is based on a number of factors though, as you can imagine, current relevance is the main reason some are more popular than others. Examples include football teams doing well, movies that have just been renewed through a sequel, or a politician who has recently made the news – for better or worse!
But which are the most important and sought-after when it comes to pops?
The very first Funko Pop character was that of US chain restaurant mascot Big Boy, before they later moved into film with Austin Powers. Since then, producing bobbleheads of advertising figures has been a key part of the company’s success.
Funko pop ad icons have a number of licenses to use the images of companies’ mascots and icons. One of the most prominent is Ronald McDonald – the happy face of US fast food franchise chain McDonalds – whilst others include Coca Cola cans, Cap’n Crunch from Quaker Oats, Spam cans, the Slush Puppie dog, among many others.
Most are designed with the purpose of subtle advertisement – but, on the flip side of the coin, many see them as great collector’s items with such characters playing such a huge rule within today’s consumer and pop culture. Always a great find, nevertheless.
In the UK, the Harry Potter series – eight films, seven books – is one of the more sought after, owing to its important to British culture and having played such a key role in general popular culture over past decades. Though the Harry Potter franchise doesn’t stop at its own national border – across the globe, collectors are on the lookout for Potters and Weasleys to add to their arsenal.
But it doesn’t stop there. A host of other franchises, both new and old, also find their characters portrayed within pops. Examples include Stranger Things, Marvel, DC, Disney, Game of Thrones, and many, many more.
Musicians are another of the many groups that find themselves portrayed in pops, contemporary and old.
One of the most popular musical pops is that of Freddie Mercury – the lead singer of London-based hit band Queen during the 70s, 80s, and 90s – whose vinyl pop retails for around £10 in the UK brand new. Other classics, such as My Chemical Romance, Guns N’ Roses, and Elvis Presley are all available.
It is also possible to get moments of specific bands – featuring all band members on one stage as part of the scene – as a special collector’s item. These can tend to be of a higher value, both due to their increased size – but also their rarity, as many will be specific limited edition models. There are also some pops to recognise and celebrate certain concerts, such as Mercury’s Wembley performance with Queen.
Some of the most sought-after Funko Pops are those of sport people, particularly football players – both the American and European types. Funko Pop football characters can be a lot cheaper than their film and TV counterparts due to their high demand and competing with other competitor collector items, such as Match Attax and Panini in the UK among other sticker and collector card brands.
Key figures in soccer include the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Leo Messi, Marcus Rashford, and Gabriel Jesus. In US football, there are then characters available for players such as Dalvin Cook, Steve Young, Melvin Gordon and many others, subject to availability.
Political Funko Pops perhaps aren’t quite as popular – and can certainly prove harder to find – but are produced.
Donald Trump has his own pop available for purchase; Boris Johnson, though yet to have one made, has been recreated by many ‘custom’, unofficial designers as his stock rises in terms of fame – though maybe not popularity. There is a whole subreddit dedicated to ‘popcultcha’ in which users discuss and share their own pops they have creatively made themselves, many of which being current political figures due to the current climate.
Some of the unofficial ‘pops’ can be very creative and often very mocking of such people. In one, Boris Johnson is pictured in one holding both an EU and British flag, depicting the scene of him on a zipwire prior to the 2016 European referendum.
More historical political figures – such as Ronald Reagan, Winston Churchill, and others – have had pops made of them and can be found online. These do tend to be a bit more sought after than current figures, dependent on a variety of factors.
What makes a certain Funko Pop more popular than others?
Current relevance plays a huge role. For example, many of the Liverpool FC Funko Pops saw a huge boost at the end of the 2019/20 campaign – the one that saw the Merseyside outfit lift their first Premier League title in thirty years – due to their interest rising. As a consequence, due to simple supply and demand economics as more people were searching for them, their prices also rose suddenly.
This always works exactly the same with political figures, actors, and characters in films/TV shows. When they become relevant, their Funk Pops become very sought after.
Special convention figures – specific to certain events, and typically limited edition – are also more sought after than their traditional counterparts due to their rarity. Convention exclusives can have huge value, such as those pops made for Comic Cons, regular events held every year around the globe for fans of comic series such as Marvel and DC to which many will go in full dress/cosplay.
Many figures will also come set in scenes – called moments - as well, depicting a key moment within a film, such as Harry Potter and Voldemort doing battle, or a key sporting moment – such as Sergio Agüero’s dramatic last minute winner vs QPR in 2013 that gifted Manchester City their first English Premier League title. These are obviously far more interesting than just a character on their own, and therefore carry more worth on the market.