People who know me – I mean truly know me – know I am a huge fan of "Breaking Bad." Much to my own amusement, I found small collectible figurines of Walter White and Jesse Pinkman while checking out the random vendor booths at Chicago Comic-Con last August.
These figurines are known as Pop! Vinyls, made by the Washington-based toy/collectibles company Funko. They're the company's signature line, depicting a wide range of icons, both real and fictitious, spanning licenses from movies, TV shows, comic books, video games, sports and other random pop culture facets.
Whether it's the characters of "Breaking Bad," Marvel and DC superheroes, characters from "Game of Thrones," "The Walking Dead," "The Big Bang Theory," "Arrested Development," "Star Wars," "Star Trek," "The Goonies," NFL and NBA players, musicians from The Ramones to The Sex Pistols and Tupac, and anything from Disney (yes – even "Frozen"), they have at least some, if not most, of what you can think of in Pop! Vinyl form. This diversity means that there's undoubtedly at least one that'd lure someone in to start collecting.
Are you a Packers fan? If you're from Wisconsin and you're reading this, there's a good chance that you are. Funko has got you covered because they made Pop! Vinyls of both Aaron Rodgers and Clay Matthews:
With all those mentioned above, I'm barely scratching the surface to how much Funko has so far in their inventory. Just to think, this is really only the beginning for the vastly-growing company. The inventory is going to keep getting larger and, ideally, becoming even more diversified than it already is with an abundance of more choices. To give you an idea of what they're releasing next, at some point later this year, they'll be releasing Pop! Vinyls for "Friends," "Orange is the New Black," "Gotham," "The Breakfast Club," "Superbad," "Shaun of the Dead," "Harry Potter," "Doctor Who" and more.
Have I mentioned that the Pop! Vinyls are becoming insanely collectible? Because they are at alarming speeds. While there are so-called "commons" you can find at stores like Barnes & Noble and Hot Topic and giant retailers like Walmart and Target with the affordable price tag of between $9 to $13 max a piece, there's an abundance of exclusives being scattered around that can cost a lot more than that.
I swear those lucky enough to snatch up an exclusive are either in the right place at the right time or willing to pay a pretty penny. These exclusives could be variants, an already existing Pop! Vinyl, but the character may be donning a different colored outfit or is splattered with blood. Another exclusive – the more difficult and frustrating to find – could be a character that either hasn't been released into stores or is an ultra rare store exclusive (I'm still trying to find those exclusives at Walgreens).
The exclusives, of course, can be found at conventions like Chicago Comic-Con, but expect to pay more – a lot more. Just to give you an idea of how much some exclusives go for, there's a blood-splattered Hershel Greene from "The Walking Dead" with a removable head to reference the character's grisly demise in the show. I have yet to see the price under $60. Trust me, there are other cool exclusives that are selling for a lot more than $60.
As far as my collection goes, I own a few exclusives – many of which are from "The Walking Dead" – but I haven't paid more than $30. I think paying anything more is a bit ludicrous at this point, but if I keep falling down this rabbit hole of collecting/newfound addiction, who knows what I'll end up paying.
As you can guess, my collection has grown since I bought those two "Breaking Bad" Pop! Vinyls back in August. As I aim to finish my collection of "The Walking Dead" and "Breaking Bad," I'll next start a collection of "Game of Thrones" along with keeping up with random pick-ups of other movie and TV-related commons.
I've ran out of room on my desk, of course, as I'm even starting to become one of those hardcore collectors who is now keeping them in their box with the hopes that the values on a lot of them will keep increasing. I'm not the only slightly maniacal person who does this either. You should take notice of those more dedicated collectors online who care more about the condition of the box more than the figurine itself. They're a hot commodity and will probably be that way for a long time.
I'll keep picking up the Pop! Vinyls that I want to own because after all, these are being made for fans who appreciate and love popular culture. Some may see no point in them, but they represent a fandom, a hint of nerd that shouldn't be hidden or be ashamed of. I'll keep collecting until Funko decides to call it quits. With the company making tons of cash and expanding in terms of the products they're offering, I have a pretty good feeling that won't be anytime soon.
Colton Dunham's passion for movies began back as far as he can remember. Before he reached double digits in age, he stayed up on Saturday nights and watched numerous classic horror movies with his grandfather. Eventually, he branched out to other genres and the passion grew to what it is today.
Only this time, he's writing about his response to each movie he sees, whether it's a review for a website, or a short, 140-character review on Twitter. When he's not inside of a movie theater, at home binge watching a television show, or bragging that he's a published author, he's pursuing to keep movies a huge part of his life, whether it's as a journalist/critic or, ahem, a screenwriter.