Funko collectors are smiling: they played the collecting game right. They bought them when they were hot. To those who waited to collect: too bad. You lose.
Funko, best known for games and figurines depicting a wide range of pop-culture icons from Marty McFly to Count Chocula, announced its decision to eliminate inventory valued at over $30 million. In a press release dated March 1, 2023, the company cited ballooning inventory and limited warehouse capacity.
Good for Fans, Good for the Company
The decision, though severe in its implications, was more practical than it seemed. In the end, the move may have helped the company’s fan base while also keeping the company profitable. Destroying excess inventory helps manufacturers support product prices by limiting supply. An overabundant supply of Funko drives prices down and dilutes collector interest in Funko. We’ve seen this scenario repeatedly in past decades. Some once-valuable collectibles, like Beanie Babies, Longaberger baskets, and Hummels, to name a few, flooded the market and aren’t worth collecting anymore. The situation speaks to a more significant trend in the industry—companies overproducing items and then attempting to control the aftermarket prices.
A Unique Moment in Funko History
At the same time, Funko’s decision to eliminate its inventory created a unique moment in the company’s history—one in which it wasn’t just selling toys but protecting its brand’s core values. The manufacturer kept prices from bottoming out by limiting supply and curating the collector experience. It reminded long-time Funko fans why they fell in love with these collectibles in the first place.
Online sellers who bought Funko collectibles to flip on the secondary market may be disappointed to learn that the company mismanaged its supply. Although flooding eBay with Funko goods would cause prices to plummet, press reports about the company dumping inventory won’t support prices, either.
Aside from affecting resellers in the secondary market, an important consideration is how this move will ultimately affect the collector community at large. Will new collectors be put off by hearing stories of mass destruction? Or will they wait until items become rarer before investing?
It remains unknown how this will impact the community. Still, one thing is certain: Funko’s actions demonstrate their commitment to preserving their brand’s quality and ensuring their products remain valuable collectibles by limiting supply. I applaud their effort.
Will Seippel is the CEO and founder of WorthPoint®, the world’s largest provider of information about art, antiques, and collectibles. An Inc. 500 Company, WorthPoint is used by individuals and organizations seeking credible valuations on everything from cameras to coins. WorthPoint counts the Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, and the IRS among its clients.