Funko Pop! collecting is quickly becoming an online-only hobby

Brick and mortar retailers appear to be moving on from selling Funko Pop! Figures. The amount of floor space these retailers set aside for the collectible vinyl figures is drastically shrinking. Walmart, Target, FYE, Hot Topic, Books-A-Million, Barnes & Noble, and GameSpot all have a much smaller footprint dedicated to Funko Pop! figures than they had before.

The figures these retailers still have are increasingly mostly the store exclusives they committed to some time ago. If it wasn’t for store exclusives, many of these brick and mortal retailers might be out of the Funko Pop! business altogether.

Here’s a photo I took Saturday at the Hot Topic in the Valley Mall, located in Hagerstown, Maryland:

Funko Pop! collecting is quickly becoming an online-only hobby - Bent Corner

Funko Pop! figures and t-shirts at my local Hot Topic appear to be engaged in a war over real estate. It’s a war the t-shirts appear to be winning.

I’m not sure why this drastic decrease is happening. It might be that the profit margin for Funko Pops! is not as large as it is for other products. Major retailers like Walmart keep track of sales and earnings per square foot of store space. Not just overall floor space, but for each department. It could be that the section containing Funko Pop! figures is not earning as much profit per square foot that other products earn. Funko Pop! figures at Walmart cost $8.78. At Target, they cost $8.99. At these prices, just how much profit are they making by selling Funko Pop! figures?

Oddly enough, even though the area dedicated to Funko products at major retailers appear to be shrinking, the company itself is doing very well financially. Funko just released their third quarter sales for 2021 and sales were up 40% compared to last year.

The increase in company revenue is coming from somewhere. I’ve got to think online retailers are stepping up and selling the Funko Pop! Figures collectors want.

Funko Pop! collecting is quickly becoming an online-only hobby - Bent Corner
Justin Herbert of the Los Angeles Chargers

As far as collecting goes, the fact that Funko Pop! figures are harder to find in person doesn’t necessarily spell doom for the hobby. Granted, some might grow frustrated that they can’t fill their cart at Target or Walmart with figures like they could before. This might lead some people to stop collecting altogether. Others will just get their Funko fix online.

The only drawback I can see with in-person retailers moving away from selling Funko Pop! figures is it will be difficult to attract new people to the hobby. I think most collectors bought their very first Funko Pop! figure at the same place they buy their laundry detergent.

I know I did.

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