It’s #HorrorFridays and I am losing my cool over all these insane horror releases!
The past few years have been a blessing in terms of new stuff, including the 2017 reboot of It, much-needed franchise refreshers such as The Purge 4 and Cult of Chucky, and a whole coffin full of impressive originals like Get Out, Raw, A Cure for Wellness, The Blackcoat’s Daughter, and Tragedy Girls.
Of course, the quality of some of these releases (cough, Split and Slenderman) is still up for debate. 2018 looked promising for horror, too, with much anticipated releases such as another (more promising) Halloween remake, and The Nun, which gives fans of The Conjuring a chance to better get to know their favourite demon, Valek. This will no doubt mean a tonne of new Funko Pop! Vinyl releases as certain franchises are renewed in their popularity among fans, as well as a whole bunch of other collectable goodies becoming available, such as action figures, comic books, plushies… there is just way too much out there to keep up to date with as a dedicated fan of horror!
That said, let’s get into the 7 things we think you should know as an aspiring— or seasoned— horror collector.
#1: Fakes. Fakes everywhere.
One thing you need to be wary of as a collector is fake collectable items. There have been numerous dramas among Pop! Vinyl communities regarding fan-made Pop! Vinyls masquerading as the real thing. To be fair, the custom Pop! market is a very real— and very cool— thing. There just needs to be a certain level of vigilance when it comes to buying these exclusive items.
One thing to be on the lookout for is boxes that have obviously been tampered with, including broken holographic seals, factory paint that comes off with a bit of a smudge, and items sold privately with Funko exclusive stickers which have odd colouration or lettering. One way to ensure that you’re always buying the real thing when it comes to horror is to shop exclusively with retailers or trusted Buy Sell Trade groups, rather than with private sellers found in the depths of Gumtree and the random fan groups, but that’s not to say that your experience here will be wholly unsatisfying, either! It’s all a learning curve.
#2: Stay up-to-date.
In a growing society that just doesn’t seem to be scared of anything anymore, horror creators are constantly upping the ante on new releases in terms of reinvention within the genre, added gore, and countless unneeded (or, in the case of gems like It, definitely needed) reboots. This means a load of new releases in horror every year! It can be daunting trying to keep up with all the hype, but if you keep a careful eye and learn to differentiate between which characters will become instant cult classics (like Skarsgård’s Pennywise) and which may tend to fade into the background in terms of fan favouritism (see: What’s-her-name from Happy Death Day) then you’re sure to be on the ready for new releases before they even hit the shelves!
#3: Funko love variants
Blue Batman, Glitter Batman, Batman making heart eyes at the Joker, Batman in every manner of costume: there is definitely a variant for that, and Funko love to cash in on a character whose design varies from scene to scene within movies.
This can be a blessing or a curse for horror fans, as the countless variants of Pennywise rolling in can seem like a lot to keep up with if you’re just starting out and want a complete set! Bundle deals like this one on Ozzie can help to ease the strain on your wallet if you’re looking to complete a collection, but there’s also no faulting a good ol’ use of judgement. Once you’ve been at the gig for a while, differentiating between which characters will have the most variants, and even which variants may go up in value, becomes pretty simple. Like anything, practise makes perfect.
#4: The original is always better than the remake… or is it?
One of the many merits that horror collectors find in adding to their growing collections is to grab an original design at any given opportunity. This is great when you take into consideration things like vaulted Pop! Vinyls and classic horror films which, if we’re being honest, shouldn’t be messed with in terms of reboots. That being said, there are a lot of really awesome remakes, too. It’s definitely worth keeping an eye on both original and re-adapted designs if you want to have the best looking and most diverse horror collection.
#5: They say diamonds are forever, but a good comic book never goes out of style.
Yes, comics! Nature’s solution to books. A saucy love child between film and novel, comics are a fan-favourite amongst collectors for their easy storage and preservation techniques, variety, and rarity. Whilst it is true that super heroes tend to dominate, the horror genre gets a pretty good rap within the comic world, too.
#6: A good villain isn’t always a relatable one.
Yes, we all felt for Jack Torrance’s slow decline from family man to mass murderer in The Shining, and he has definitely become a classic in terms of collectable items. (See: this badass Funko Pop! Vinyl of our fave classic Scream Queen.) But when it comes to horror, it goes unsaid that there is something super appealing about a good, scary movie monster.
Characters like Pennywise, Chucky, Jason Voorhees, and Freddy Krueger are all examples of classic horror villains beloved by fans despite having very few redeemable qualities. Lord knows why, but we always seem to root for the demonic little trouble makers nowadays, and maybe it’s because their merchandise makes such a cool looking addition to any horror collector’s stash. Worth a thought.
Finally, #7: Blogs. Are. Your. Friend.
Blogs (like this one!) are a great example of a resource you can use if you want to keep up to date with everything in the horror collectables world. Whether you’re an old hand or just starting out, let’s face it: horror is huge, and keeping up with it is a fulltime job. Fear not, mortal nerd, for there are writers everywhere who literally get paid to ramble about this stuff. All you have to do is check back and leave us comments to keep the conversation flowing, and we’ll do all the heavy lifting in terms of keeping you up to date with what’s happening in the horror world and how you can grow the best collection possible.
What’s your favourite horror franchise to collect from? Let us know in the comments below, or alternatively let us know what #HorrorFriday topic you want to read about next!
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Gruesome collecting, everyone!