Toy manufacturer Funko has released hundreds of stylized vinyl figures based on hit movies, TV shows, books and even real people including Transformers, Game of Thrones, Star Wars, Disney characters, NBA Players and more. Funko has designated the name “POP!” to this particular line of figures due to the fact that they are recreations of pop culture icons.
Each POP! figure is unique in its own way, but all share the universal quality of an oversized head and a pair of circular, single-colored eyes. The majority of the figures are also without mouths and all of them share a cartoonish quality to their design. This series of figures have become very popular among toy collectors and fans of the individual franchises like Transformers or the Disney brand. Every standard figure is approximately 3.75 inches tall. The special edition figures can measure up to 9 inches tall and the miniature pop figures that usually come in a two or three-pack combo are about 2.5 inches tall.
The toys have experienced a rise in popularity over the past few years, branching out to other forms of merchandise and bearing images of the Funko POP! figures. Retail stores like Spencer’s and Hot Topic carry items such as clothing, lanyards and wallets that have replicas of brands like Marvel Super Heroes and certain reality TV shows printed on them. These stores also offer special exclusive editions of certain figures ranging from Uncle Si from Duck Dynasty to a glow-in-the-dark Maleficent from the new Disney film, Maleficent. Even rarer figures that are ideal for the ultimate toy collector can often be found at large conventions throughout the year such as the San Diego Comic Con.
The vinyl figures based on the new Transformers: Age of Extinction film as well as characters from the HBO series, Game of Thrones and from the Disney vault have proven to become more of a fan favorite as of late. The latest Transformers characters include very detailed recreations of robots like Optimus Prime and Bumblebee. Game of Thrones and Disney characters seem to be immensely popular as they are constantly displayed at local Barnes & Noble Booksellers stores. The Game of Thrones selection includes crowd favorites from the series such as Daenerys Targaryen, Jon Snow, Robb Stark, Arya Stark, Brienne of Tarth and many more. The Disney collection has, literally hundreds of characters to choose from including familiar faces from famous titles like Beauty and the Beast, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and the wildly favorable Frozen.
The company Funko was founded in 1998 with the intention of creating nostalgic versions of toys in an original way. The first line of toys created by the company were the “Wacky Wobblers” which were bobble-heads themed on various aspects of pop culture. Brian Mariotti took leadership of the company in 2005 and since then has acquired many licensing agreements from brands like Hasbro, Microsoft, HBO, Disney, Marvel, CBS, FOX and more. Funko now has its products distributed worldwide and has sold over 10 million bobble-head figures alone.
With the ever-growing success of recreating the faces of Disney, Game of Thrones, Transformers and more into vinyl figures, Funko appears to not be going anywhere anytime soon. The big-headed bug-eyed faces of POP! vinyl figures are likely to be seen in homes of toy collectors, franchise fanatics and children all over the nation.
By Cody Collier