What are Pop Vinyl Figures? And why have they become one of the most sought after collectables? Two questions that have come up time and time again when going to a comic con, Toys R Us, or most toy and media stores. Simply put, they are a little toy that are modeled after a film character, a game, a musician, or pretty much anything that someone can be a fan of, and although this sounds simple enough and to some, a little childish and odd, it’s so much more.
I first became aware of this new obsession 2 years ago when someone bought me a Jason Pop (From Friday 13th) for my birthday. It was different to anything I’d seen before because as a collector of geeky things, I had models of all sorts of characters but they were all built in a similar way to an action figure, everything to scale and as accurate to the character as possible, but this was odd. Like a bobble head, his head was oversized and although it was as if someone had done a caricature of the character, it didn’t look silly like most caricatures do. Don’t let that throw you at all though, they’re very professionally made and highly detailed. And I think this is also one of the reasons people love them so much, you can own a toy, collectable or however you wish to describe them and not feel that you’ve got something cheap on the shelf.
Over the years as the obsession has grown, so has the variants available. Like I stated earlier, you can find them for anything, literally… My collection alone has characters from my favourite TV shows, blockbuster films (Even some smaller cult films have them), WWE, and the odd Disney character too. Everyone has their own personal collection and whether the purpose of them is to expand your collection of Marvel or Star Wars for example, or it’s that little piece of nostalgia to add to your room, each piece seems to have a personal connection to the owner.
Another reason I feel these have grown in popularity is because they can be seen as a good investment for the future because the cost for an individual Pop isn’t too bad. The standard price you seem to find is around the £10 mark but this can grow depending on the store or variant you find, and that moves me onto the exclusives too. With the growing number of comic cons available around the world, the more popular ones (New York, San Diego, etc) try and make some exclusive Pops which instantly adds a little more value to the price if you manage to get hold of them because these tend to be made in limited numbers. And then you also get store exclusives, glow in the dark, oversized, or even one that they decided to simply give eyebrows to. It sounds like a cheap way to get more money out of us, but like the catchphrase from Pokemon goes, “Gotta Catch Em All” and that is exactly what draws us into it more, we want to show how much we like these characters and how big of a fan we are. And although we are now swamped with over 1000 different types, that doesn’t stop the value going up as some get discontinued and placed into the Pop Vault, which then adds more value again to them (For example, I bought a Red Power Ranger and White Power Ranger Pop last year for £10 each and now since being discontinued, I have found them listed on eBay for values of £80 up for each).
I must admit, I look at the prices that some of my Pops go for now on eBay and think it would be good to have my bank account £800 higher, but then I wouldn’t have these little pieces sitting on my shelf displayed in all their glory. To help understand the obsession I have and why we collect them, I went looking on the forums to get some opinions.
“It’s an addiction that no-one quite knows why they’re addicted to. I find myself collecting from collections that have no real affinity with, just because they look awesome.
There’s something about all those little colourful buggers displayed around my room that I just can’t quit. And I have no real idea why” – Craig Martyn
“I myself collect the Star Wars pops. 1 Because I love the look of them and 2 because they went into my main Star Wars collection” – Rob Buchanan
“They’re an easy thing to collect. They’re an inexpensive way to start a collection and show your love for a particular franchise or whatever. They’re detailed enough to be cool without being too kiddified” – Jonny Stewart
With this growing trend, so does the demand and they are now stocked all over the UK, whether it’s in HMV, Game, Forbidden Planet, or online on so many different sites. So luckily for many others, and me it’s so much easier to get our hands on the latest addition to our collection. There’s even a website where you can register to keep track of what you have and what you want. They have a thumbs up/thumbs down system in place where I have sat for hours clicking which I have, and which I want and every month for quite a low price (As low as £8.49 per month) they will send you a pop from your thumbs up list to add to your collection and these can be anything from a standard pop or to an exclusive one worth a lot more than what you’ve paid. As an extra incentive, you can also get an extra 5% off when using the link below.
If you also love these little things, I urge you to sign up following the banner below and as a thank you, I am also giving away a Pop Figure of Groot from Guardians Of The Galaxy to 1 lucky winner, so please sign up and answer the question below correctly and we’ll pick a winner at random.
Q.Who voiced the character Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy?
Closing date 30th November