Every now and then (too now – not enough then), someone posts their Top 10 Pops according to the PPG. Since I’ve been fairly clear in how I feel about people who live and die by the Pop Price Guide, I beg you…enough already. I get that you’re proud of what you have and that it has value, but why share just your 10 most ‘expensive’ Pops? How about you do something like this from time to time, you know, to show that you have taste and are not in it for the money.
MY 10 FAVORITE FUNKOS
1. Cocktail Man – Peek-a-Boo Pop Ups
Never seen this one? Doesn’t surprise me. It’s old and the line didn’t last very long, only 10 designs released. Pop Ups were meant to be used like greeting cards. They were sold without a box, and came on a base you could write ‘To’ and ‘From’ on. If you pushed their bodies down, cute sayings popped out of their heads. Well, sort of. I think most of the blurbs are trite and cheesy, like a Grim Reaper saying ‘See You Soon’. Overall, the line was well designed and solidly made with an appealing retro-cool feel to them. I’ve made The Cocktail Man my favorite Funko because his saying don’t suck (‘Here’s To You’ and ‘I Drink To That’) and he wears the swanky, retro-cool well. And let’s be honest, we all want to be swanky, retro-cool. Kinda like a young Hugh Hefner (look him up, he was once relevant).
2. Wobblebots! – Mini Wobblers
‘Now the time is near, for Wobblebot to spread his fear.’ Says so right on the box.
I’ve always loved toy robots. I really dig Wobblers. Match made in Heaven. Wobblebots were a Scooter’s (think an early version of Gemini or Fugitive Toys) exclusive from 2003-ish. There are two Wobblebots, a Red and Silver. Actually there are three. There’s a gold colorway that never made it past a couple of test pieces. Several years ago, someone held a contest for one of the gold ones. My entry contained the line ‘Spock. Spock. Spock. Sounds the hammer on Vulcan’s forge.’
I should have won.
3. Original Mickey – Hikari
Yep. I’m one of the few people who like Hikari and who’s never divided the price of an Hikari by the price of a Pop and snootily posted the results. It’s called a ‘splurge’, sparky. Everything about this Hikari was done right: it was fairly on model, the paint ap is perfect, and it’s freaking Mickey Mouse. This is how Hikari should have been done from the very beginning. No crazy proportions, no weird colorways (although I like them), no minor league characters. Start with the good stuff and get better. Probably should have shot for a lower price point, too. 40-80 bucks is a lot for your average Pop collector to wrap their heads around. I think the line would sell (would have sold) better if they were smaller and in the 20-30 range. I still like them, but I feel like the line is dying a slow death.
4. Rocketeer – Sci-Fi Mystery Minis, Series 1
I don’t always like the big, empty eye look of the Sci-Fi and Horror mini lines, but it fits this piece perfectly. And that’s this mini in a nutshell. Perfect. Great pose and great detail, including a blob of gum on the rocket pack. Bam! No need to buy anymore minis. Funko nailed it with this one. Everyone can go home.
5. Creature From the Black Lagoon – Horror Mystery Mini, Series 2
Okay…one more. This one is also perfection. Now I’m done.
6. Vader – Journeys/Vans Exclusive
Buy some shoes, win a Sith. Such a cool promotion. A couple years back, to promote Star Wars themed Vans, Journeys (the shoe store, not the band), gave you a free Funko vinyl figure to go with your Star Wars shoes. There were two figures available, Boba Fett and Vader. Both were cool, Vader was cooler. Figures stand about six inches tall, ready to skate in a pair of checkered Vans. I’ve seen preliminary sketches for a Chewie. It would have been cool, no doubt, but I don’t think it’s going to happen. BTW – if you’ve ever taken an art history class, you should be able to see some early examples of the styling cues that now grace the new line of Wobblers. Blocky feet, drawn out bodies. That might only be interesting to me.
7. Gill – Spastik Plastiks
Another dead line (although they’re starting to come back in Pop form). Spastik Plastik were great, and pretty much my gateway vinyl. I’ve collected Gill twice. Once when I stared out, and again after I sold all my Spastiks because, I don’t know, I was stupid. He’s inspired by the Creature from the Black Lagoon and looks best in SDCC Exclusive Purple. The glow Gill is pretty awesome as well.
8. Monkey Assassin – Spastik Plastik/Monkey vs. Robot
Sometimes listed in the Spastik Line, sometimes broken out by themselves, there is very little in this world cooler than a monkey with a gun (#dicksoutforharambe). Originally, there were two painted versions of the Monkey Assassin, color and black and white, and also an all-white glow. Several years after their original release, Vinny from Less Than Jake, issued a ‘Redux’ version of the Monkey Assassins. He then went on to release a multi-colored Pop version, an all-black ‘Shadow Assassin’ and a ‘Blood Splattered’ edition featuring the color and black and white monkeys splattered in red paint in a numbered tin. Yes, I had them all. Yes, I sold most of them during my ‘stupid’ phase. At least my remaining monkeys are from the original release.
9. Bowling Freddy – SDCC 2006
Not everyone ‘gets’ Freddy. I understand that. I myself only like a handful of them and this would be my favorite. To me, this is the essence of Freddy. Just a guy hanging out, throwin’ rocks with his buds, enjoying a couple of oat sodas. Think ‘Freddy’ Lebowski, only on Shabbos. Four colorways with an edition size of 48 each. They really tie a room together.
10. Some New Pop or Dorbz
The real problem with picking favorites of anything is that by the time you make your picks, something new comes along to jack with your list. You might have noticed that 1-9 are older Funko items and several are from lines that have long since expired. There won’t be any more old-school Wobblers or Spastiks or Pop-Ups, so it is very easy for me to make those pieces my favorites. I’ll never have to consider any others. Same goes for the Van’s figures. There won’t be more so who do I like best, Vader or Fett? With Pop and Dorbz, there are always new figures that just blow me away. I loved Glow Green Lantern until Ghost Rider came along. Then he was replaced by Dude, who was replaced by Bizarro, who was replaced by the Klingons, who were replaced by Levitating Doctor Strange and the Monkey Bomb from GameStop. You get the point. I don’t have a favorite because I’m going to like something else in a matter of months. It’s a vicious circle that won’t ever stop until Pops pass into the great vinyl beyond.
Your PPG Top Ten is a snapshot of your most valuable pieces at any given time. Chances are they aren’t your favorites because your favorites should mean more to you than money. Share those next time someone ask for your list. They’ll probably call you a dick (they did me), but so what. You’re a collector of character(s).
PS: Sorry, couldn’t resist the ‘Funkos’ thing. Maybe some of you will read this and realize there is more to Funko than pop.
PPS: I wrote most of this before the release of the latest Smuggler's Bounty box. Wouldn't you know...mini Hikari and people seem genuinely excited. Goddamn. Who'd a thunk it?