Not all sellers offer legit Funko Pops. Some fans have even bought fake Funkos at conventions. If it’s valuable and collectible, counterfeiters are on it. Sometimes the most avid collectors have unknowingly bought one, later to find they’d been bamboozled. You need to know how to spot a fake Funko, and you’re in the right place to learn how.
Buyer Sword and Shield
The fake Funko’s out there are strikingly similar to the real thing. On where to begin, some of the most effective weapons against being duped are Funko Pop community networks and available apps. I listened to a Pop Collectors Alliance podcast about the problem and they said the best communities to find help are on Facebook and Reddit. If they haven’t already had a FAQ, make a post if you can or message an admin. Even a little help there could make a big difference.
The free Funko app is useful for confirming general information about specific Pops. It has a barcode scan feature where you can see if scanning the one you’re looking at comes up as part of Funko’s product line. In my research, I saw people scan barcodes on fakes and the correct product actually displayed in the Funko app. Others scanned and nothing came up. So, some fakers are managing to fool it, but the app is still a very sound method to verify general info.
If it’s online, try scanning the barcode if the seller has a photo of it. Hopefully they do. If they don’t, ask them if they’ll do two things: 1. Show a photo of the barcode and 2. If they can include a written timestamp note in the photo. If they respond and refuse, it could be a red flag, especially if they’re selling a high value Pop. While this ultimately may not make or break a potential buy, it’s another verification method worth trying.
That said, wherever you’re looking online, look for other indicators related to the seller. Like, where is the seller located? Do they have reviews? How many or how good are they? Is there anything that just seems weird about their profile? This is standard online vetting and important to consider.
Big Indicators: Logo, Font, Colors, Cut Line, Material Weight and Quality
You need to understand what is easier to fake than what isn’t for these frauds. They’re getting better at deception. Understand that the cut of the packaging is a little easier to fake, but pay attention to the overall quality of the box. The packaging on a fake Funko is lower quality most of the time. YouTubers confirm that if you have one in your hands, it can be easy to tell if it’s fake: they’re lighter in weight, different paper used (check the paper color inside the box), etc.
The harder thing to replicate for fraudsters is the color print on the box itself. Look at character graphics, coloring and fonts. It’s in the details — design, position on the box and displayed information. Some examples of fakes show the number at the top right is sized very differently than genuine Funko Pop boxes. These little details make it more clear to veteran collectors they’re looking at a fake. Perhaps the Funko app could help with an example photo of what the official box looks like.
I watched a ton of videos. Most of them agree that the “Pop!” logo on the top left, above the character graphic, is a big indicator. There’s a color gradient (one color changes to another) that’s clearly visible on any authentic box. The top of the “POP!” letters are golden yellow and fade to lighter yellow at the bottom. The middle of the “POP!” logo is where the fade between these two colors really starts to occur. Also, there are tiny dots within the “POP!” color gradient. For the fakes, there is less of a color change. The golden yellow can often be darker and doesn’t fade as much to lighter yellow at the bottom. Sometimes, the little dots aren’t even there.
Magnifying Glass and Microscope
Simply said: the more details fakers have to fake, the harder it is for them to deceive. And they’ve been known to use lower quality material. It’s economical to make fakes with the lowest amount of material cost. They’re not trying to make a better Funko Pop, they’re trying to sell you the lie that it’s genuine! Keep this in mind.
If the Pop isn’t in front of you but posted for sale online, analyze again the seller profile. YouTuber SkittleRampage says he believes Ebay is one of the biggest marketplaces for fake Funko Pops. Again, try to get some more photos that would help you verify what you’re seeing is authentic. Ideally, sellers will post a photo of the bottom side of the box that shows all the info: barcode, factory sticker, even the way a warning label looks can be a big tell they’re fake.
Another thing to keep in mind, Funko has different product lines with different ways of printing their serial numbers. They can be printed on the box, stickered on the box, or even stamped on the box. It’s helpful to find a genuine example to compare with here. Also, while it’s not always a 1 to 1 match, all boxes and figures should match their serial numbers on the bottom of the box to the bottom of the Funko Pop’s foot. If you can verify both, that’s good.
The best rule of thumb would be to always avoid overseas shipping. A lot of counterfeit products are shipped internationally from countries such as China. Avoiding international sellers keeps you safe from fraudulent issues down the road after you’ve already paid. Some buyers have lost money this way.
I know I failed to mention price as an indicator, but it’s only because everyone should understand if it’s too good to be true, it probably is. Googling the first three words, “If it’s too,” auto-completes the rest of that old adage. Don’t get Wish’d. Poppriceguide.com is a useful site displaying prices you’d expect to find elsewhere. If there’s anything else I missed, what you have here is solid enough to keep you in a safe direction, and below you’ll find a small list of videos I watched in my research.
I want you to find genuine Funko Pop and never have to worry. As a loyal fan-built and operated company, Cooledtured feels the same way. Cooledtured is dedicated and vigilant to provide you authentic brand name collectibles, always listed at fair market retail price. Supporting Cooledtured supports fan communities at large. Search their vast catalog and have a safe and happy hunt for your grails, friends!
JEFFREY WELLS | Writer
cooledtured.com | GROW YOUR COLLECTION