Investing in Pop! Vinyl toys could get you a 442% return
FUNKO's collectible figurines have exploded in value.
People are constantly searching for the most effective ways to invest their money and generate profitable returns, from dumping their cash into savings accounts or term deposits, trading currencies, or buying shares on the stock exchange. But have you ever thought of investing in miniature figurines?
Like me, your answer is probably "no".
However, there are opportunities to make thousands of dollars investing in unique, low-tech FUNKO Pop! Vinyls collectibles, and with an average profit margin of 442% per figurine, it may be worth exploring.
This isn't the first time I've been schooled on the investment fortuity of toys. Just last month we discovered Lego sets that were returning immense profits, significantly higher than investments favoured by savers on the Financial Times Stock Exchange (FTSE) 100 Index over the past 15 years.
What are FUNKO Pop! Vinyls?
FUNKO is an American company that began making bobbleheads in 1998 and now manufactures licensed pop culture collectibles, producing thousands of different vinyl figures.
When the company was sold in 2005 its new owners signed licensing deals with the Cartoon Network, CBS, DC Comics, Disney, DreamWorks, Fox, Hasbro, HBO, Lucasfilm, Marvel, NFL, Peanuts, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Warner Bros, WWE, 2K Games and many more.
The company currently holds hundreds of licenses and the rights to create tens of thousands of characters. Millions of these figurines have been distributed and sold worldwide.
The team at finder.com.au analysed data from Pop Price Guide, a website dedicated to providing estimate valuations of FUNKO figurines based on current sales activity. The site also allows users to track items in their collections to ascertain market values and platforms to engage in forum discussions.
Reviewing the price guide we found the average return on investment for Pop! Vinyl figures was 442%.
The recommended retail price (RRP) of these collectibles is around US$20 and none of the hundreds of figurines listed were released prior to 2010. In fact, most were produced and released between 2014 and 2015, meaning market values have skyrocketed over a very short period.
In November 2014, Rolling Stone interviewed FUNKO's current owner Brian Mariotti about the company's meteoric rise and quickfire success strategy.
"When licensors see that your products are getting into the marketplace and there is a coolness factor to them, they want to be a part of that," Mariotti said.
Super profitable returns
Many of the FUNKO Pop! Vinyl figurines sold via online marketplaces such as eBay are currently priced at values far exceeding their initial RRP.
For example, Stan Lee signature Pop! Vinyls released exclusively at New York Comic-Con 2014 are currently priced at US$65, returning a profit margin of US$45 - an effective return of 225%.
Some of the more astonishingly valuable figurines include hip-hop icon Jam Master Jay ($US140 ROI: 600%), a 2015 release of Batgirl in gold with black symbol (US$260 ROI: 1,200%) and an exclusive glow in the dark Beetlejuice released exclusively at San Diego Comic-Con 2012 (US$1,980 ROI: 9,800%).
Check out the top five FUNKO Pop! Vinyl figurines currently returning the greatest yields below:
|Title||Released||Edition Size||Current market value||ROI|
|Clockwork Orange (Glow in the Dark)||Not a true production piece||12||$13,000.00||64,900%|
|Buzz Lightyear (Glow in the Dark)||Exclusively at San Diego Comic-Con 2011||12||$3,050.00||15,150%|
|Clockwork Orange||Not a true production piece||12||$2,580.00||12,800%|
|Boba Fett (Red Hair)||Exclusively at San Diego Comic-Con 2014||24||$2,250.00||11,150%|
|Freddy Funko (Toy Fair)||Exclusively at Toy Fair 2013||12||$2,250.00||11,150%|
But investors beware! Buying up every figurine won't necessarily turn you a profit in the future. There are plenty of releases which are currently returning less now than their original retail price. Many are only released at single events, but with these returns, even the cost of your airline ticket might be covered.
There's a lot of time, money and research that needs to be invested... and plenty of luck too.
Pop! Vinyls and Lego aren't the only items to be considered potentially sound investments. In the last five years, Chanel's Classic Flap Bag has seen a 71.92% increase in value. These figures make the bag one of the highest returning investments, outperforming the US housing market and the S&P 500.