The Ultimate Funko Pop Vinyl FAQ

 

Darth Vader Pop

Pop Vinyl FAQ is the place to learn everything you need to know about collecting, trading, buying, selling, repairing and customising Funko Pop Vinyl figures.

If you have any questions or answers you would like to contribute to the F.A.Q,
please let us know in The Forum.

JUMP TO ANSWERS BY CLICKING THE QUESTIONS:

What Is A Funko Pop Vinyl?
Display In Box Or Out Of Box?
Leave Price Tags On?
How Can I Clean Off Price Tag Residue?
What Are The Stickers – Should I Take Them Off?
Should I Keep The Boxes?
How Much Is This One Worth?
What Is An Exclusive?
What Is A Prototype?
What Is A Chase Piece Or Chaser?
What Is A Flocked Pop?
What Are Dorbz, Vinyl Vixens, Mystery Minis, Hikari etc…?
What Should I Collect?
Where Can I Find Lists/Checklists?
What Is Collectors Corps/Loot Crate/Smugglers Bounty Etc…?
What Does PC Mean In Pop Forums?
What Is Hot Topic?
What Is A Grail?
Where Can I Trade/Buy/Sell?
What Is A Flipper?
What Is A Waffle?
How Can I Protect My Pops?
Where Can I Get A Replacement Box – Mine Is Damaged?
How Can I Repair Damage?
How Can I Clean Marks Off?
How Can I Charge Up Glow In The Dark Pops?
My Pop Keeps Falling Over/Wont Stand Up?
How Can I Find Someone To Make A Custom For Me?
Where Can I Get More Info On Customisation?
Where Can I Get A Blank Box Template So I Can Make My Own Box?
What Is The Font Used For The Character Names?
What Is The Font On The Star Wars Boxes?
How Does The Head Come Off?
Who Is Freddy Funko?
How Can I Keep Track Of My Collection?
What Does The Code On The Bottom Of The Box Mean?
What Does It Mean When A Pop Is Vaulted?
What Is A Vault Edition Pop?
What Is A Pop Asia Re-Release? Do I Want Them?
What Do All The Acronyms And Lingo Mean?
How Can I Build My Own Display Cabinet?

The Ultimate Funko Pop Vinyl FAQ

What Is A Funko Pop Vinyl?

A Funko Pop Vinyl is a stylized vinyl collectible figurine manufactured by the Funko company in Everett Washington USA. They are identifiable by the uniquely embellished oversize heads on springs which bobble about when shaken, hence the term Bobble-Head. Although the majority of Pop Vinyls have bobbling heads, this is not possible with all characters. Some heads are fixed firmly in place with glue. Funko has licenses to produce 1000’s of different characters from Popular Culture like Star Wars and The Avengers. You can view them HERE. The best way to stay up to date is by following Funko’s official blog.

Display In Box Or Out Of Box?

This is one of the most frequently asked questions, and there really is no definitive answer. It is a matter of personal preference. Some things to consider when making your decision:
Do you intend to keep your Pops forever or is it possible you might trade or sell them? If you intend to keep all of your Pops, it is fun to take them out of the boxes because they look so cool. If you think you might be interested in trading and selling, a MIB (Mint In Box) Pop will always be more valuable as it is clean and never touched or played with.
Do you have a lot of space to display your collection? If you find yourself heavily into collecting Pops, they will eventually take up a LOT of space if you wish to display them. A lot of people will take them out of their boxes so the collection can be displayed in a smaller area, and store or fold the boxes away carefully so they can be put back into action if required.

Leave Price Tags On?

Again, this is a matter of personal preference. Some people like to leave them on so they can see how much they paid, compared to current market value. Others think they look ugly, and like to take them off as they feel it spoils the aesthetics of the box. But be careful if you do decide to remove them, they can tear and damage the box reducing its value.

How Can I Clean Off Price Tag Residue?

Some price tags leave a sticky residue behind once they have been removed.

Price Tag Residue On Cardboard – The general consensus in the Pop communities is that a small amount of rubbing alcohol or eucalyptus oil on a cotton swab will do the trick. Make sure to test your solution on an old spare box first, or if you don’t have one, try a discreet part of the box like the bottom first to avoid major mishaps. Another solution I have heard of but not tried is to use a hair dryer to soften the glue. Again, proceed with caution.

Price Tag Residue On Clear Plastic – Remove everything from inside the box, then flatten it out. A small drop of cooking oil on a soft rag has been reported as working very well. DO NOT use alcohol or acetone on the clear plastic as it will melt!

What Are The Stickers – Should I Take Them Off?

Comic-Con-Pop-Sticker

The stickers on the clear plastic part of the box indicate that the item is some sort of exclusive or rarity (IE – From Comic-Con). You definitely DO NOT want to remove them even if they obstruct the view of the Pop, as these are part of what makes it exclusive and valuable.

Should I Keep The Boxes?

If you decide to display your Pops out of the box, it is well worth keeping the boxes because you never know, one day you might want to sell one, and it is way more valuable in the box. If you are certain you don’t want to keep the boxes, they are worth money, and there is a demand for them. Try selling them on Ebay or trading/selling them in your favorite Pop forum.

How Much Is This One Worth?

For Australians:

Pops are all worth different amounts due to their exclusivity. Some are produced by the thousands, while others are produced in very limited numbers. The best ways to figure out what a particular pop is worth to look for it on Ebay, filter the search to Australia only, look at completed sales and see what it has been selling for lately.

Pop Price Guide is not really relevant for us in Australia, as many pops considered exclusive in the U.S are regulars here, and vice versa.

For Americans:

For our friends in the U.S, poppriceguide.com is the way to go.

What Is An Exclusive?

Exclusive-Pop-vs-Regular-Common-Pop

An Exclusive is a Pop that has been produced in a limited amount of numbers, usually for a special events like Comic Conventions. They are identifiable by a sticker placed on the clear plastic part of the box. The Pop itself is usually different from the mass produced common version, featuring variations like different colors, metallic paints, and glow in the dark capabilities

What Is A Prototype?

Before a Pop is mass produced and released into stores for you to buy, several original prototypes of the character are made. These are used for testing and assessment of the new idea. Sometimes they are painted, sometimes they are not. These are considered Highly collectible and very valuable.

prototype-pops

What Is A Chase Piece Or Chaser?

When Funko ships box lots to retailers, they are sent in lots of 36. One of the pops in the case is called a Chase. Whilst it is the same character, it is slightly varied from the rest, making it rare and more collectible. Usually, Chase Pops have different colors or paint, and have a unique sticker on the clear plastic. Unfortunately, these are usually separated out by the retailers and sold at a premium price. They are rarely seen in the wild, and usually found on Ebay.

Chase-pop

What Is A Flocked Pop?

A flocked Pop is covered with a fur like material which gives them a soft feeling when touched, and makes characters feel more realistic than the regular smooth painted vinyl surface. Flocked Pops are usually exclusives and harder to find.

Flocked-Snuff

What Are Dorbz, Vinyl Vixens, Mystery Minis, Hikari etc…?

They are other kinds of collectible figurines made by the Funko company. They are parallel product lines similar to Pop Vinyls. They too have very active and vibrant communities you can check out.

dorbz

What Should I Collect?

There are so many Pops available now, it is very easy to be overwhelmed. The best approach is to start simple. Identify a genre or franchise that appeals to you, and start collecting in that sub-group. It’s also a good idea to start with current regulars/commons that are readily available and easy to find. For example, the new Star Wars set. There are roughly 15 Pops in the set, they are all current and readily available. When you have enough spare change you can buy one from time to time and gradually build your collection, with the goal of completing the set. Once you have completed the set, move on to another sub-set. Be warned, collecting Pops is VERY addictive. If you decide you want to start by collecting all of the characters from the Big Bang Theory for example, you are going to get disappointed pretty quickly, as they have been vaulted, are expensive, and are very hard to find.

Where Can I Find Lists/Checklists?

Popvinyls.com has some really good printable checklists – check them out HERE.

What Is Collectors Corps/Loot Crate/Smugglers Bounty Etc…?

They are limited edition subscription collectors boxes that are released monthly, and contain exclusive items that cant be purchased anywhere else. These exclusive items do sometimes turn up for sale on Ebay.

collectors-corps

What Does PC Mean In Pop Forums?

PC is short for popcultcha.com.au. It is a VERY popular online store in Australia that often has Exclusive and Hard to find Pops at regular prices. Check them out HERE. Whilst they do ship internationally, some items have restricted shipping due to arrangements between Ikon (Australian distributor of Pops) and Funko. These items have the letters RS in there description.

What Is Hot Topic?

Hot Topic is a U.S based store chain which has lots of exclusives and is very popular amongst collectors – Check out their online store HERE.

What Is A Grail?

Grail is short for “Holy Grail”. In other words, A very special, rare, desirable, and usually expensive pop.

Where Can I Trade/Buy/Sell?

There are numerous places online to buy, sell and trade pops. If you are looking to buy brand new Pops at regular retail prices, you cant go past Popcultcha.com.au. If you want to find something rare or retired quickly, Ebay.com is your best bet, but you will probably pay a premium for it. If you are looking to trade or swap, as well as buy and sell, there are a lot of Facebook Groups dedicated to this. Check out our Link List for more info.

What Is A Flipper?

A Flipper is someone who acquires an exclusive or rare Pop (usually Chase pieces) very cheaply or at retail price, and immediately offers that item for sale on Ebay or in a Facebook Group for many times more than they paid for it. This practice is strictly frowned upon by serious collectors in the Pop Community.

Flipper Graphic

A satirical graphic Pop collectors place in the comments of online auctions or sales to call out the seller for the practice of flipping.

What Is A Waffle?

Waffles are like Raffles, and they seem to be conducted mainly on Facebook Groups. It is a great way to sell Pops, and if you are lucky, get Pops. The seller has a Pop that they would like to get say $100, they make 10 spots available for purchase (think of them as raffle tickets). The 10 spots are available to purchase at $10 each (Usually paid via Paypal). You might buy one spot, or five etc…, and once all of the spots are sold the seller draws a winner. If you are drawn, you get a $100 Pop for $10 (assuming you purchased one spot/ticket). If you don’t win, well, that’s the luck of the draw.

Some Waffle Groups (Like IHOW) are secret, you need to be invited, and a current member has to vouch for you. Other groups like M.V.P. Waffles are easier to find and join. Check out M.V.P. Waffles HERE.

How Can I Protect My Pops?

A number of companies make plastic sleeves and cases to keep dust away, and prevent discoloration. Called Pop Protectors, they usually sell for around $2-$3 each

Where Can I Get A Replacement Box – Mine Is Damaged?

Funko doesn’t seem to make replacement boxes available, but there is a Facebook Group devoted completely to Pop Box Buying, Selling and Swapping – Check out Replacement Pop Box HERE.

How Can I Repair Damage?

See our FAQ page on Pop Vinyl Repairs HERE.

How Can I Clean Marks Off?

Magic Erasers seem to be the most popular solution in the Pop community. It is a block of Melamine Foam, and is sold under many different brand names. For Australians, it is a Chux product, available in stores like Coles.

How Can I Charge Up Glow In The Dark Pops?

Glow In The Dark Pops generally don’t just glow in the dark. They need to be charged. Some methods for charging them include placing them under U.V. lights, Taking them out into the sun, or placing them in front of a high powered flashlight for a few minutes. I have also heard of people using car headlights.

The most popular method seems to be purchasing a cheap UV Torch/Flashlight of Ebay. They usually sell for about $2-$3.

UV-Torch-300x255

 

My Pop Keeps Falling Over/Wont Stand Up?

A small amount of museum putty (In Australia, we call it BluTak) on the base will do the trick, and gently secure it to your shelf.

How Can I Find Someone To Make A Custom For Me?

Pop Vinyl related Facebook Groups and Discussion Boards are the best place to find customisers. They will usually post many photos of their work, and you can check their feedback from customers in the comments to see if they may be right for your job.You can also check our Link List HERE.

Where Can I Get More Info On Customisation?

Check out The Funkustomizer Files website. There are a lot of tips and tricks, and examples of customs he has created.

Where Can I Get A Blank Box Template So I Can Make My Own Box?

Easily, the best Funko Pop Box Template is by Jake Cordova. It is a 25Mb Photoshop PSD file (in a zip file of course) download which includes fonts, and is highly detailed. Download it from Jakes web site HERE.

If you are using a regular A4 size home or small office printer, we have adjusted and optimised Jake’s template to suit, and you can download it for FREE HERE!

What Is The Font Used For The Character Names?

The font used for the character names on the boxes seems to be Bebes Neue – It is a free font and can be downloaded from DaFont HERE.

What Is The Font On The Star Wars Boxes?

Maqui FontMaqui Font

Maqui Font

The font is called Maqui Heavy, and unfortunately it is not a free font. You can check it out on MyFont HERE.

How Does The Head Come Off?

For the Bobble Head style pops, the head screws off the body (more detailed info and an instructional video coming soon). For the non bobbles, submerge the head in hot water for 30-40 seconds to soften the glue.

Who Is Freddy Funko?

Freddy Funko is the Funko Companies mascot. There is even a blog page on Funko’s blog where Freddy gives a tour of Funko Headquarters.

How Can I Keep Track Of My Collection?

The best way I have found so far is with an iPhone app called Toy Collector.

toy-collector-2-app-169x300

 

If you have a better method, please let us know about it in The Forums.

What Does The Code On The Bottom Of The Box Mean?

The Letters of the code (eg. JJL) denotes which factory the pop was manufactured at, and the numbers (eg. 150820) is the date the pop was manufactured backwards (eg. 20th August 2015)

What Does It Mean When A Pop Is Vaulted?

A vaulted Pop simply means that it is not being produced by Funko anymore for one reason or another. Funko’s web site describes it as:

Vaulted items are figures and characters that are soon to join the ranks of hard to find collector’s items! These figures are headed into the Vault, rarely ever to emerge again. Funko will not be creating more of these in the same way, so grab them while you can!

You can view all of the Pops that have been Vaulted on Funko’s web site HERE. There is a much easier to navigate Vault List on Confused Public, Check it out HERE.

What Is A Vault Edition Pop?

A Vault Edition Pop means that Funko has decided to resume manufacture of a Pop that has previously been vaulted. These are usually Pops from the Star Wars franchise, and can be identified by the black artwork of the box, instead of the original blue coloring.

Original vs vault edition

What Is A Pop Asia Re-Release? Do I Want Them?

A number of pops (mostly original run Star Wars pops) have been re-released in Asia, and look almost identical to the original release. Whilst they are not as valuable as the original versions, they are still nice to have. It is also the only way some of us will ever get that blue box Luke or Slave Leia in our collection. There is an easy way to tell the difference between an original and a re-release. An original first run will not have an age bubble in the front bottom right hand corner of the box. In later batches a “3+” bubble was introduced. In the Pop Asia re-releases the age bubble is “15+”.

blue box slave leia pop

Original Release without Age Bubble

original guard pop

Original Release with “3+” Age Bubble

Pop Asia Re Release

Pop Asia Re Release with “15+” Age Bubble

 

Another give away can be the manufacture date on the bottom of the box. Originals seem to be around 2010-12 and the re release pops are dated 2015 and above

 

An Original date stamp VS a Re Release Date Stamp

An Original date stamp VS a Re Release Date Stamp

 

What Do All The Acronyms And Lingo Mean?

GOT = Game Of Thrones
GOTG = Guardians Of The Galaxy
GITD = Glow In The Dark
GT = Galactic Toys
HT = Hot Topic
ISO = In Search Of
MIB = Mint In Box
NFS = Not For Sale
NFT = Not For Trade
OOB = Out Of Box
PC = Popcultcha
RS = Restricted Shipping
SDCC = San Diego Comic Con

BUMP = When lots of new posts are added, it pushes your post further down the page, so people will type “Bump” in the comments to make their posts go back to the top of the page again. If someone else “Bumps” your post, don’t worry, you are not in trouble. It just means they think your post is important, everyone should see it, so they have sent it back to the top for you.

How Can I Build My Own Display Cabinet?

See our article on constructing a display cabinet for 96 Pops HERE.

If you have any questions or answers you would like to contribute to the F.A.Q,
please let us know in The Forums.

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