Funko Pop: The Rise of the Modern Bobble Head

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A traditional bobble head on a car deskBobbleheads were extremely popular in the 60s – these small, plastic figures had tiny bodies and oversized heads, which wobble and nod with every movement. Attached to some kind of spring, they were the preferred toy that graces office desks and car dashboards.

Today, a new type of bobblehead is on the market – Pop vinyls, more popularly known as Funko Pops, are taking the world by storm. Though their heads do not wobble, the toys have impressive variety. Just take a look at pop vinyl stores such as Global Gear and you will find over 200 different versions of the toys. This is not even the complete inventory, as the company that makes Pop vinyls have over 1,000 licensed characters registered to their name.

From Humble Beginnings

Funko began as a small toy company in the U.S. In 1996, founder Mike Becker decided to sell his own bobbleheads, coin banks, and hand puppets. He wanted to create toys that bring about a sense of nostalgia – he found modern toys too complex, with too many features, and just wanted to make something that is straight-to-the-point and simple.

He started creating toys out of licensed characters such as Popeye, Count Chocula, and the Big Boy mascot. His company kept growing, and eventually, he decided to introduce the Funko Force line, which debuted at the San Diego Comic Con of 2010. It was initially met with a lukewarm response – people complained that the heads did not bobble.

Eventually, he managed to gain the license of several more figures, including DC comic characters like Green Lantern and Batgirl. These more up-to-date characters proved to be more popular among toy lovers.

Every Fandom Ever

Funko Pops are popular because of their pop culture appeal – with hundreds of characters to choose from, it encompasses many fandoms, from comic fans to sports fans. People love collecting familiar characters, especially if they are rendered in such an adorable form.

As more characters are added to the Vinyl Pop collection, more people will buy the toys – they simply love seeing their fandoms represented in merchandise.

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