How Do You Know if a Funko Pop Vinyl is Rare?
It's one of the first question many collectors ask themselves when they're starting off: are any of my Pops rare? If you're only just starting out, you're probably already aware whether one or a few of your items are considered 'rare'. The world of Funko is both an exciting and complicated one, with prices and values constantly skyrocketing - as well as crashing - based on product demand. Since there are so many products on the market these days, it can be tricky to tell at a glance of the shelf whether something is really rare or worth collecting.
Read on to find out how you can identify which items in your collection have the best resell value or are considered 'rare'!
It may seem like a no-brainer, but for a lot of really new collectors, it might not seem as obvious. Stickers are often a way of determining both rarity and retailer exclusive statuses for certain items. These stickers can be found on the front window of the box and vary in size and shape. For example, glow-in-the-dark items will feature a small, yellow sticker identifying it as such, DGL exclusives will feature a silver diamond sticker, Target exclusives will feature a red sticker, etc. Glow-in-the-dark, glitter, flocked, and chrome items, as well as overseas releases of 'US exclusives' (which tend to be produced in countries like Australia with a round silver 'special edition' sticker) are not typically considered rare just for featuring a sticker. Comic Con products, which are produced with a special convention sticker, tend to be rarer, as less are produced by Funko, as well as items with the classic blue and white 'Funko shop' sticker - especially those from 2017 and earlier.
Be on the lookout for stickers which specifically mention the rarity, as well as the year the product was released. For example, a sticker reading '2013 NYCC, 1 in 32' is considered more rare than a sticker reading '2020 SDCC' with no numeric rarity.
You can't always identify a vaulted item by sight alone. Especially in today's collectable community, where Funko can vault a product at the drop of a hat, it can be tricky to stay up to date with what's in stock and what's not. Here's where your social circle comes in handy. Following groups on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit can open up conversations about which products have recently become vaulted, often before retailers themselves are aware. We also recommend checking the going rate for older, second-hand items within online markets like eBay and Pop Price Guide, AKA HobbyDB. Look for higher-than-retail prices, sudden spikes in popularity, or disappearing stock from online retailers like Ozzie Collectables. That way, if you happen to run into the product on the shelf, you'll know exactly which Pops are about to spike in value.
3. Special Releases
Not every exclusive is released for Comic Con. Right now, this is more true than ever, with special Funko release campaigns supporting social and global issues such as breast cancer, the 2020 Australian bushfires, Coronavirus, and more. A lot of the time, these releases aren't available to everyone, and only certain retailers will carry the products. These can be especially rare for your collection. Look out for words like 'limited' over 'exclusive', as well as special announcements from Funko themselves about partnering with certain retailers. You may have to get up early to make the drop if you want to avoid the dreaded flipper re-sale prices, but it can be worth it.
How do you identify rare items? Do you have many in your collection? Let us know in the comments below!