When I saw my first Funko Pop!, I was like, “Oh, a bobblehead! What an interesting, unattractive, silly looking bobblehead.” I had gone to a lot of comic book conventions, so when Funkos began to appear and evolve, I thought they were cute but looked cheaply made. I didn’t start buying them until I found some characters of color that I liked. The purchases were mostly sparked by the success of the MCU’s Black Panther movie.
Currently, I find them cute, cool, and addictive. I own quite a few now. I won’t bore you with what I have, but you can see my collection on GEMR by clicking here.
As much as I like the little fellas, I refuse to give in to the fad aspect of the figures. I rebel by purchasing only what I like, and not buying based off of what I think may be worth something later. Looking back at a few of the figures in the Funko vault, I find quite a few of those Funko Pop!s to be cool & I do wish I had bought them! But I probably won’t spend more than $50 on one — even a rare one. That is, unless there is something out there that is just unbelievable and I have to have it — you know, that “holy grail” item.
Some people are gonna cringe when I say this, but Funko Pops make for cute, inexpensive gifts. I bought most of the Incredibles 2 Funko Pops and a shiny Minnie Mouse Funko Pop for my 6-year-old daughter to play with. I purchased the Royal Family, Meghan Markle & Prince Harry 2-Pack for my wife, a Super Troopers: Ramathorn for my oldest son and a Firefly: Zoe Washburne figure for a very good friend of mine. I am certain I will buy more in the future for others and myself. But I don’t think I will be chasing the proverbial the “pot of gold” item…which, ironically, is the inspiration for this blog.
I became curious after buying the 10th anniversary MCU gold Black Panther. What was the first gold Funko Pop!? What was the history of the gold & metallic Funko Pop!s? When I have questions, I usually go to three sources: people I know, people who know, and the Internet. The first person I hit up was 1000thGhost, a Gemr elite collector. A conversation with him opened the floodgates — and my eyes. Then I hit the Internet. I was a kid raised with encyclopedias, so I view the Internet as one big encyclopedia, not just a cat video resource (wink, wink). I even attempted to contact someone at Funko, as well.
As most of you know, in 1998 Funko was founded as a bobblehead company by Mike Becker. In 2005, Becker sold Funko to its current CEO, Brian Mariotti. Brian significantly expanded the company’s licensed product lines. Now, every Pop is categorized by genre or even their franchise. In 2011 three Funko Force 2.0s were introduced at San Diego Comic-Con. The characters were Batman, Batgirl, and Green Lantern — & a metallic blue and grey Batman from the DC Universe. Only 480 figures were made. There were only a few cases of each made in clamshells, while the rest were in the standard box. Fast forward to 2018, the 10th Anniversary of the MCU — Funko released the first complete line of characters in metallic gold Pop!s to commemorate it.
1000Ghost advised me to download the Funko app and go to the metallic section, and I followed his advice. I diligently looked through it, and found some interesting things. From the Funko app list and what I have surmised from all the other sources, the first metallic Funko toys were the 2005 Secret Squirrel Metallic Purple & Gold and Hong Kong Phooey Purple & Gold. But technically, the first Funko Force 2.0/Funko Pop! to go metallic was the 2010 Metallic Blue and Grey Batman! There were many Funkos with gold on them or in combination with other colors (like the 2012 “V” Metallic Gold Face), but the official winner is the SDCC 2013 Golden Dumbo — of which only 48 were made.
Amazing, huh? And unlike my last blog, all those mentioned above are worth a ton! As of this writing (according to the Funko app), the Secret Squirrel Metallic Purple & Gold and Hong Kong Phooey Purple & Gold are trending around $50 each. The Metallic Blue and Grey Batman is trending at about $1,340, but I saw one on eBay for $2,700! The “V” Metallic Gold Face is trending for around $490. The Dumbo Gold is trending at about $2,780, but I have seen it for sale as high as $8,600 on other specialty websites.
There is no denying what Funko has become. Shoot, they were even featured in Rolling Stone magazine in a 2014 article titled, ‘Pop’ Culture: The Incredible Rise of Funko Pop!
How could I not share this fascinating phenomenon that has been taking collectors by their wallets since 2010? I would venture to guess that this might be bigger than Beanie Babies. To be honest, I hope the Funko brand lasts. I hope they become a mainstay in our popular culture. I kinda like the cute little bobble-headed fellas.