Today, a little honesty.
I’ve been collecting Funko for over 12 years now. I started with Wobblers and Spastiks, and have collected a little bit of just about every line since. I’ve been to the last six Fundays, the very first Fright Night, and one FDO (Funatics Day Out). Safe to say, I’ve put in my time.
I bring all this up because FDO (Funatics Day Out) parties were held this month in cities all over the United States, plus Canada and Singapore. Promoted and organized through the Funatics Forum and hosted by volunteers, events were held in restaurants, homes, and bowling alleys. I’ve seen the photos, attendees had a blast. I think SoCal had a bounce house and a photo booth. That or they commandeered a child’s birthday party.
If you haven’t been to an FDO, here’s what happens: food, alcohol, other collectors, games, prizes and just an overall good time. I went to Minnesota when I went to an FDO event because I knew everyone there and I really like the Twin Cities. Also bowling. But I’m not the only one who travels. I’ve seen people from California show up in Arizona, Missouri in Minnesota, Texas in Seattle, Texas in Arizona, Florida in New York.
While Funko has been very generous providing some door prizes in the past (protos, special event only wobblers/pops), and again this year (Pink T-Bone), very few people go just for the prizes. No, Funatics go mostly for one reason.
Ah..sorry...they go for fun.
When I started collecting, the Funatic Forum was pretty much the only way for Funko collectors to connect. There had been previous message boards and one concurrent forum, but for the most part (and until the advent of social media), there was the Funatic Forum
It was a smaller community back then. Everyone pretty much knew one another, or at least knew someone that did. The big personalities on the board busted balls like nobody’s business, but also bent over backwards to help people find their grails. There were very few issues with flippers because the only way to flip was the forum and nobody put up with that shit. Even if something was posted on Ebay, everyone knew who the seller was. There was no hiding behind Facebook.
It wasn’t perfect. Several Facebook pages (and the PPG) are the result of the cliquish attitude of the Forums; the belief that there is a right and wrong way to collect. A belief which, for better or worse, I share and promote - that it is better to collect for fun than for money.
I missed FDO this year and it makes me profoundly sad. Not like mopey, drink a bottle of liquor, slip in a bathtub kind of sad. But regretful. In every photo I saw of an FDO, there was at least one person that I knew and would consider a friend. Someone I could hang out with and just talk to. Not necessarily about Funko, but sports, art, music and mullets (KY Funko League of Awesome, only). All over the country, people that I like and enjoy just hanging out and having a good time. I missed that a lot.
The first Funatic that I ever really met was at SDCC 6 years ago. I recognized him from a photo on the board and introduced myself. He immediately shook my hand, threw on a wrestling mask and had me put him in a headlock for that year’s ‘theme’ photos. At my first Fundays, I met the nicest family and together we won loudest table. I think holding children in the air put us over the top. I’ve sat with them every year since, winning several more loudest table awards. Two of us were inducted into the Funko HOF together, and a third got in two years ago. (WOO HOOO!!) If you were at Fundays and saw the ban on airhorns….you’re welcome. Also standing on chairs. Together, along with all our friends in Deadpool, there’s an outside chance we might have had something to do with this year’s seating arrangements. Nothing specific, but I think they’re trying to break up the band.
You don’t get that kind of camaraderie from collecting Hot Wheels. Maybe Star Wars, but the costumes are so hot and cumbersome.
No. That’s the Funko spirit.
Even though I couldn’t make an event, I wish to thank all the FDO hosts for being so generous with their time, making sure each event was entertaining and fun. I hope that everyone who went to an FDO had a great time and met some new Funatics to share their passions with. Collecting Funko IS fun and the hobby is filled with kind and wonderful people. I feel very fortunate to call so many of them friends.
I also kind of hope that they all toasted my absence and in their grief rent their garments and gnashed their teeth at the skies.
Because that’s what I did.
See you in two years if I don’t catch you at Fundays.
PS: Thank you for the cow, you magnificent bastard.