Who's buying all these Funko Pops?

Including anime, manga and comics films.
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Skyquake87
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Who's buying all these Funko Pops?

Post by Skyquake87 » Sun Mar 10, 2019 11:56 am

I was in my local branch of The Entertainer, and they've gutted their action figure ranges in favour of these dead eyed ghouls, which now take up the third of the floor space that was previously held by your Star Wars/Turltes/Power Rangers/Transformers/Marvel/DC/WWE figures.

A few doors down, MenKind (which sells drones and that to men) is also rammed with the buggers and HMV also has a sizeable amount of floor space given over to them. Forbidden Planet also has more of these per square foot than any other collectible.

It's really interesting to see the stuff that captures the public's spare cash and I'm constantly boggled at the insane popularity of these things. Yet, I've never seen anyone buying them! Where are they all going?!

More widely, it seems to mark a turning point in toy retail; these and small, blind box pocket money toys (my local Asda Living is a revaltion - everyone from Lego to Tonka is at the bling bag thing with £2- £3 small Kinder-Egg style toys) seem to be marking the end of the line for action figures and dolls, which is a sad sign of the times.

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Denyer
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Re: Who's buying all these Funko Pops?

Post by Denyer » Sun Mar 10, 2019 2:35 pm

Always seem to be marked down in Tesco and other places. And wherever they're stocked a lot of the range is obscure characters or variants (eg Chase from Runaways) -- as you say it seems unfathomable. Even in a big Forbidden Planet in London they're rammed in but didn't seem to actually have many people picking them over.

Maybe they're very cheap wholesale?

Maybe it's a live-action Doctor Who alien invasion art installation?

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Re: Who's buying all these Funko Pops?

Post by Tantrum » Sun Mar 10, 2019 10:26 pm

Skyquake87 wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 11:56 am
It's really interesting to see the stuff that captures the public's spare cash and I'm constantly boggled at the insane popularity of these things. Yet, I've never seen anyone buying them! Where are they all going?!
inflatable dalek and Dead Man Wade have each bought some, and one of my coworkers has a few in her cubicle. So, that's three people supporting this industry.

I'd guess Denyer is right about them being very cheap wholesale, since they don't seem to have any articulation. So, they're probably one mold per figure with minimal design and safety testing requirements.

Further guessing: the small square packages mean they can be displayed more densly than similarly priced figures like TF Deluxes or Marvel Legends that go on pegs. High density, high margin products mean stores don't have to sell as high a percentage of their stock to justify the floor space.

That also means obscure characters and variants are feasible, since you don't need to sell many to recoup development costs, and they don't take up all the display space. So, Pop figures may be the only way for some characters/variants to get toys at all. And once you've got the only figure of your favorite D-list DC villian, you might as well get the Pop Batman to go with him.

Basically, Funko Pops are to actual toys what frozen yogurt is to ice cream. People took something and ruined it a little so we could have more of it.

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Re: Who's buying all these Funko Pops?

Post by Warcry » Mon Mar 11, 2019 5:29 am

Anecdotally, I've heard that the margin on these is really good. And the small footprint must be really attractive to smaller boutique shops, vs. full-sized action figures.

But even though they're being stocked basically everywhere around here, I don't think I've ever seen anyone browsing through them, let alone buying one. They must be selling well for so many outlets to stock them in such numbers, right? But it really doesn't feel like it.

Are they really similarly priced to Marvel Legends/Deluxe Transformers? That's ghastly. I've never been inclined to look at the price but I'd always assumed they were maybe $10 at the very most.

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Re: Who's buying all these Funko Pops?

Post by Skyquake87 » Mon Mar 11, 2019 7:21 am

I've never paid attention to the RRP, as they always seem to be on a 3 for 2 or heavily reduced. I guess for the reasons Tantrum's outlined, they're easy to sell at a discount and still make a profit. Curious things.

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Re: Who's buying all these Funko Pops?

Post by Tantrum » Tue Mar 12, 2019 1:00 am

I've never paid attention to RRP, either, since I dislike them, and was just guessing. I checked Amazon, and they seem to retail for US$11 normally, with special editions going for more. So, probably more comparable to TF Legends than Deluxes. Still, I'd say that Legends TF has got to cost more to produce, so a higher wholesale price and lower margin.

I wonder what a case of Funko Pops contains. When stores want to stock up on TFs for whatever reason, say a movie release, they order a bunch of TFs and just get more copies of the same 4 figures that are out in that wave. If those figures are duds, the stores are stuck with them and have no room to stock later waves. If Funkos ship in a wider variety, then even if a few are duds, the rest will sell, and can be replaced with the next order.

I don't think I've ever seen anyone browsing through them. But, I don't really pay much attention to other people or Funkos when I'm shopping. Given how they're usually displayed, if someone has bought one that day, there should be a gap.

Most of us have noticed Hasbro's distribution problems. I think we discussed them in the armchair brand management thread, and others. Maybe Funko just has their shit together more than other companies, and are easier for managers who have non-toy department prioritites to deal with.

TFs in particular have got to be a pain to deal with. There's 1-Steps on pegs in landscape orientation, Seige Legends (targetmaster and micromaster) and Cyberverse warriors on pegs in portrait orientation, Seige Deluxes (trapezoidal boxes) and SS Deluxes (rectangular boxes) that may or may not go on pegs, large Cyberverse and Bee movie toys in open-top boxes, and size classes that Hasbro rejiggers every year or two. All at different price points.

If these aren't moving really well, it might make sense for a manager to switch to Funko Pops. Even if they don't bring in more profit, the consistent size and price make them less of a hassle.

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Re: Who's buying all these Funko Pops?

Post by Hound » Tue Mar 12, 2019 3:36 am

I've got a couple of them, but mostly because they popped up at the grocery store I work at and they were like $6 but most importantly because it was Iron Man in the classic 70s armour and Sub Zero from MK10.

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Re: Who's buying all these Funko Pops?

Post by Sades » Tue Mar 12, 2019 3:44 am

I've never been a fan of them until the GOT/Overwatch stuff came about. Then, I saw the appeal; low cost, kind of cute. You can splurge on three things and not feel guilty about it. You can take them to work and put them around your workspace and it's not a huge deal if one pitches to the floor a few times or goes missing. That said, I've heard the plastic in them is on the softer side, so anything that has weight to it (like this) will eventually warp the legs.

I don't own any yet, but at some point I'll probably buy this. It's adorbs.

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Re: Who's buying all these Funko Pops?

Post by inflatable dalek » Fri Apr 05, 2019 4:56 pm

I've gotten the Bond ones because Bond collectables start at two foot dolls wearing real clothes with skin scraped from Sean Conerry's foot and priced at $500.

On the other hand, I picked up the Bond From Dr. No (which seems to have been a rare exclusive?) Pop for £8 this week. Bang.

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Re: Who's buying all these Funko Pops?

Post by Skyquake87 » Sun Apr 07, 2019 9:32 am

Good gravy, that's a lot for a doll! I can see the Pop being preferable at a fraction of the price.

I'm quite impressed by the range of licences these things cover - I saw a Stinkor off of He-Man one that looked a little less ghoulish than normal - so I'm starting to see why they've got such appeal.

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Re: Who's buying all these Funko Pops?

Post by elverimp » Mon Nov 04, 2019 12:10 pm

Never got interested in them. My brother is a huge collector, though.

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Re: Who's buying all these Funko Pops?

Post by Hound » Tue Nov 05, 2019 2:27 am

I have an Iron Man, but not one of the movie versions. It's the Iron Man armor from the 60s and 70s era. I also have a Mortal Kombat X version of Sub-Zero and the D.Va Mech from Overwatch. I'd like to get all the Overwatch Funko but Sades won't let me... Because she's awful.

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Re: Who's buying all these Funko Pops?

Post by Sades » Thu Nov 07, 2019 9:32 pm

Hound wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 2:27 am
I have an Iron Man, but not one of the movie versions. It's the Iron Man armor from the 60s and 70s era. I also have a Mortal Kombat X version of Sub-Zero and the D.Va Mech from Overwatch. I'd like to get all the Overwatch Funko but Sades won't let me... Because she's awful.
Sades does not recall saying you can't have Funko :o And asides, Sades saying you can't have stuff hasn't stopped you in the past :p

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