How to Tell if a Funko POP! is Real or Fake?: 7 Key Factors

Nerdacity Jan 15, 2024
3433 People Read
Funko POP! Real or Fake Cover Image
Table of Contents
  1. How to Spot a Fake / Real Funko POP!:
  2. Examine the Look and Feel of the Box and Packaging
  3. Examine the Information on the Box and Packaging (Official Licensing, Serial Number, and Exclusive Stickers)
  4. Check the Figure's Paintwork
  5. Compare the Figure to Known Genuine Images
  6. Feel the Weight and Texture
  7. Pay Attention to the Price
  8. Buy From Authorised or Reputable Retailers
  9. Summary: How to Spot a Real / Fake Funko POP!
    1. Signs a Funko POP! Could Be Fake / Counterfeit
    2. Signs a Funko POP! Could Be Real / Authentic
  10. Final Thoughts
  11. Related Articles

Funko POP! vinyl figures are the incredibly popular and instantly recognisable collectibles aimed at fans of almost any franchise, ranging from movies and TV shows (such as Loki and Stranger Things), to video games and comics.

With their distinctive design and vast array of characters, these vinyl figures have taken collectibles market by storm in recent years - but, owing to this immense popularity, counterfeit Funko POP! figures have also flooded the market, making it difficult for collectors to be 100% sure they've found an authentic item.

As a collector, it's essential to be able to distinguish between genuine and fake figures to ensure that you're getting exactly what you paid for.

In this article, we'll explore in detail, 7 of the various methods you can use to help you determine if a Funko POP! figure is indeed authentic or fake.

In a rush? Skip down to the summary for a brief round up of key points in the article.

How to Spot a Fake / Real Funko POP!:

Note: At present, the Funko POP! pictures within this article are all of genuine figures, to be used as a guide. We didn't want to contribute to the counterfeiting industry by purchasing fakes advertised as real. If you have any examples of a counterfeit figure, we'd love to hear from you!

Examine the Look and Feel of the Box and Packaging

One of the first things you should do when assessing the authenticity of a Funko POP! figure is to carefully inspect the box and packaging. Counterfeit POP!s often have boxes that are visibly different from genuine ones.

Genuine Funko POP! figures come in boxes that are sturdy and well-made, with high-quality printing, crisp images and vibrant colours. Look for any signs of poor quality, such as faded or blurry images, misspelled words, or flimsy packaging.

Pay close attention to detail, including the font used, any spelling/grammatical errors, the placement of logos, and the overall design.

Funko POP! Doctor Who Tenth Doctor Box and Packaging

Examine the Information on the Box and Packaging (Official Licensing, Serial Number, and Exclusive Stickers)

Funko POP! figures are officially licensed products, meaning they have obtained legal permission from the respective franchise owners to produce merchandise based on their intellectual properties. Look for the licensing information on the packaging, such as logos and copyright symbols. Counterfeit figures may have generic or altered logos, or lack any licensing information altogether.

Funko POP! Doctor Who Tenth Doctor Licensing Information

A serial number should also be pressed or printed into the box (not just applied as a sticker). You can use the Funko app to determine authenticity. Ordinarily this would seem like the simplest and most effective way to check if a POP! is real, but there have been cases of counterfeiters getting around this check, as well as reviews suggesting not all figures are listed.

 Funko POP! Doctor Who Tenth Doctor Serial Number

Additionally, if a POP! is supposed to be a 'stickered' special edition, event/retailer exclusive or Chase, ensure the sticker is present, in the right location, of high-quality, not peeling and glossy.

Funko POP! Thumper Box Lunch Exclusive

Check the Figure's Paintwork

Authentic Funko POP! figures should have clean and precise paintwork, with clean lines and vibrant colours. Take a close look at the figure and inspect its details, such as its eyes, mouth, and any intricate patterns or designs.

Look for any signs of sloppy paint application, smudges, streaks, and bleeding/uneven colouring. Genuine figures are known for their attention to detail, while counterfeit ones may have noticeable flaws in the paintwork and/or lack the finer details seen on genuine products.

Funko POP! Doctor Who Tenth Doctor Paintwork

Compare the Figure to Known Genuine Images

Before purchasing a specific Funko POP!, it is always a good idea to familiarise yourself with genuine images of the figure in question. Visit the official Funko website or reputable retailers to see exactly how the figure (and its box/packaging) should look.

Compare the figure to these genuine images, paying close attention to details such as the pose, facial expression, and any unique features or accessories. If there are significant differences or discrepancies, it could be a sign that the figure is fake.

Funko POP! Doctor Who Tenth Doctor Official Image

Feel the Weight and Texture

Genuine Funko POP! figures are made from high-quality vinyl and have a solid weight to them. Counterfeit figures, on the other hand, are often made from cheaper materials and may feel lighter or flimsier. Authentic figures will have a substantial feel, while fake ones may feel hollow or less sturdy.

Genuine Funko POP! figures also have a copyright and trademark symbol stamped on the bottom of the figure, as well as a serial number matching the one on the box.

Funko POP! Doctor Who Tenth Doctor Foot Information

Pay Attention to the Price

Although the price alone is not a fool-proof indicator of authenticity, it can be a useful clue.

If a Funko POP! figure is being sold at a significantly lower price than other retailers or is part of a 'too good to be true' deal, it could be a fake.

Counterfeit figures are often sold at discounted prices to attract buyers looking for a bargain. Research the average market price for the figure you're interested in (using sites such as PopPriceGuide.com or FunkyPriceGuide.comand be wary of any suspiciously low offers.

Funko POP! Doctor Who Tenth Doctor Price Guide

Buy From Authorised or Reputable Retailers

When purchasing Funko POP! figures from online marketplaces or independent sellers, it is crucial to research the seller's reputation.

Check for reviews and ratings left by previous buyers, and look for any mentions of counterfeit products or scams. Reliable sellers will have a history of positive feedback and transparent business practices. Avoid sellers providing limited information or suspiciously low ratings.

Additionally, check the rarity and availability of the figure in question. If a particular figure is in high demand or sold out in most places, but readily available in quantity from an unknown seller, it's likely a fake.

Retailer Star Rating

Summary: How to Spot a Real / Fake Funko POP!

In the world of Funko POP! collecting, being able to distinguish between real and fake figures is essential, both to the authenticity of your collection, and your wallet.

Whilst each of these 7 factors may not necessarily guarantee an authentic or counterfeit POP! on their own (except for very obvious fakes), hitting multiple points should be cause for relief or concern respectively:

Signs a Funko POP! Could Be Fake / Counterfeit

Box and Packaging - Look / Feel: 

  • Font and logos look 'off', are misplaced, or are missing.

  • Spelling and/or grammatical errors are present

  • The box is poor in quality, with faded or blurry images, misspelled words, or flimsy packaging.

Box and Packaging - Information

  • The serial number is either missing or is a sticker

  • The serial number or barcode doesn't correlate to any figure, or the correct figure within the Funko app.

  • Licensing information for the franchise the POP! comes from is not present or is incorrect

  • Any Chase, special edition, event exclusive, or retailer exclusive stickers (if applicable) are not present or not glossy, in the wrong place, and/or of low quality

Paintwork:

  • Obvious flaws including sloppy paint application, smudges, streaks or uneven colouring

  • A lack of attention to detail

Genuine Images:

  • Discrepancies from genuine images of the product, such as facial expression, pose and unique features

Weight and Texture:

  • Figure is made from cheaper materials

  • Feels lighter or flimsier

  • Figure feels hollow

Price:

  • The price is inexplicably much cheaper than currently available elsewhere in the market

Retailer:

  • Unrated or has many negative reviews

  • Has a strangely large quantity of rare, exclusive or hard to find figures

Signs a Funko POP! Could Be Real / Authentic

Box and Packaging - Look / Feel:

  • Font and logos are present, correct and in the usual locations

  • There are no spelling or grammatical errors

  • The box is sturdy, well-made, having high-quality printing, crisp images and vibrant colours

Box and Packaging - Information:

  • A printed/stamped serial number is present

  • The printed/stamped serial number corresponds to the correct figure on the Funko app

  • Licensing information for the franchise the POP! comes from is present and correct

  • Any Chase, special edition, event exclusive, or retailer exclusive stickers (if applicable) are present, in the right place, glossy, and of high quality

Figure Paintwork:

  • Has precise paintwork, with clean lines and vibrant colours

  • Clear attention to even minor details

Genuine Images:

  • Looks exactly like images of the genuine product

Weight and Texture:

  • Figure is made from high-quality vinyl

  • Has a solid weight

  • Figure doesn't feel hollow

Price:

  • The price is around the current market average for the figure in question

Retailer:

  • Has many reviews with positive user experiences

  • Is an authorised seller and/or has an outstanding reputation in the community

  • If local, allows a face-to-face examination of the figure (against the other 6 factors)

Final Thoughts

As the popularity of Funko POP! figures continues to soar, so does the presence of counterfeit products in the market. By reviewing these 7 key factors, you can spot authentic Funko POP! figures and avoid falling prey to counterfeit goods.

Remember to stay vigilant to ensure that you are adding authentic pieces to your collection, which will retain their value (and hopefully appreciate) in the years to come.

Related Articles

Table of Contents
  1. How to Spot a Fake / Real Funko POP!:
  2. Examine the Look and Feel of the Box and Packaging
  3. Examine the Information on the Box and Packaging (Official Licensing, Serial Number, and Exclusive Stickers)
  4. Check the Figure's Paintwork
  5. Compare the Figure to Known Genuine Images
  6. Feel the Weight and Texture
  7. Pay Attention to the Price
  8. Buy From Authorised or Reputable Retailers
  9. Summary: How to Spot a Real / Fake Funko POP!
    1. Signs a Funko POP! Could Be Fake / Counterfeit
    2. Signs a Funko POP! Could Be Real / Authentic
  10. Final Thoughts
  11. Related Articles