Friday, November 10, 2017

The fall of Funko: What can cause the vinyl giant's demise?

 For years I've wondered and marveled at the success of a company like Funko: From humble beginnings, to the massive fan base it has now. But I finally can see where the danger lies in their new business model: The HEAVY reliance on exclusives.

But exclusives are fun aren't they? Well yes, they used to be. When there were only one or two.

The upcoming Black Panther movie wave for example, has FIVE exclusives, aside from the "regulars" and they will no be easy to find: The Blue-Glow version of the MAIN character will be a Target exclusive. A place where the employees themselves scalp the vinyls which never reach the floor.

TWO chases of the regulars, Black Panther and Killmonger (which could be randomly included on any online order you place, cause you are sure as hell not gonna find them in the wild) and of course, your Walmart exclusive find a glow version of Killmonger, and finally a Funko Store exclusive Okoye which if you don't live in Seattle, you will pretty much have to pay scalper prices on Ebay for her.

The worse part is that before, the chases were just color variants or alternate poses of some of the main characters which you may or may not care but now, the chases seem to be the most desirable designs in the whole wave. They are  the best versions of the main characters and /or villains with glow in the dark functions, poses etc. 

Black Panther is not even the final movie of the Marvel saga, but is the one that will bridge us to the Infinity War. Can you imagine how many chases, variants, mystery box exclusives, drugstore one of a kinds and Seattle one hit wonders they will shaft their fans with? I cringe in horror if you are a Funatic.

Luckily for me, I'm a cherry picker and never collected any wave in it's totality, but for the most part I feel like the entire year of 2017 I have been hunting their chases, which of course are the only ones I want or care for, not cause I'm an elitist, but because they are the best versions of the  characters I like.

The Funatics are a tough bunch. They love, live and breathe vinyl and they will be there for a long time to come, but in the circles I move around, there are winds of tiredness and annoyance and anyone who works in customer service will tell you: An unhappy customer is not a faithful customer.
reward their loyalty with elitism and you will alienate them  to the point of not caring anymore. 

Heed my words and take them to the bank Funko: No company sits  too high on his chair. And a chair made of vinyl could bend and fall if you sit on it for too long. Come down from it and make your fans happy. We all root for you. We all love you. 

What are your thoughts? Funko Funatic for life? or cherry pick and run?

Chris -Hunter- D.

Get the "regular" Funko Pop! for the masses at: (The ones in the picture below are NOT for you, you entitled Funatic! How DARE you!) 

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