How to Get Your Funko POP! Graded: A Step-by-Step Guide

Nerdacity Feb 23, 2024
524 People Read
Graded Funko POP!
Table of Contents
  1. Why Grade Your Funko POP! Figures?
  2. How to Identify Funko POP! Figures Worth Grading?
  3. How to Prepare Your Funko POP! Figure for Grading?
  4. Choosing a Funko POP! Grading Service
    1. PSA
    2. The Sub Center
    3. UK Graders
  5. Submitting Your Figure for Grading
  6. Understanding the Grading Scale
  7. Receiving and Selling Your Graded Figures
  8. Final Thoughts
  9. Related Articles

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases... Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to us at no cost to you if you decide to purchase. 

Are you a Funko POP! collector looking to add even more value to your prized possessions? Much like card grading in the world of Pokémon and other trading cards, Funko POP! grading can significantly increase the value of your figures and give you an edge in the collector's market.

This comprehensive guide will walk you through the entire grading process, from identifying gradable figures to selecting a grading service and more.

Luffy Funko POP! Graded

Looking for some more information on Collecting and Investing in Funko POP! Figures before taking the leap into grading? Take a look at our 10 Essential Tips.

Why Grade Your Funko POP! Figures?

Added Value: Investing in professionally grading a Funko POP! figure can yield an overall higher market value. In some cases, graded figures sell for much more than their ungraded value; for example this Batman (Patina) #19 SDCC POP! sold on eBay for £1436/$1800, despite 'only' being listed as worth £630/$785 on the POP! Directory app, and on-sale on POPfigures.com for £599/$748.

Authentication: Grading authenticates the figure, proving to its owner, admirers and any future prospective buyers, that it's not a counterfeit. Many grading services (more below) also offer an autograph authentication and grading service for an extra fee, adding value to a signed POP! by removing any risk or doubt from owners or potential buyers around the authenticity of a signature.

Ease of Sale: Graded figures are generally easier to sell as they offer an assurance of quality, condition and authenticity to potential buyers. Each grading service also keeps a database of figures they've graded for added peace of mind against fraudulent gradings.

Protection: Graded POP! figures are encapsulated in a transparent hard plastic case with a tamper-evident seal, which effectively acts like a sealed hard-stack POP! protector, ensuring that the contained figure is protected from scratches, scuffs, tears, dents, low-height falls etc.

How to Identify Funko POP! Figures Worth Grading?

Rarity: Just like rare trading cards, Funko POP! figures that are older, vaulted (retired), limited edition (such as Chase variants), or event/convention exclusives (SDCC, NYCC, the Star Wars Celebration etc.) are often better candidates for grading in terms of added value, but not always!

Condition: Funko POP! figures cannot be graded unboxed, with the condition of the box and figure being paramount. Any scuffs, scratches, paint flaws, or other damage to the box/figure can affect the grade, which in turn affects the overall value of a graded figure. The higher the acquired grade the more likely it is that other collectors will pay a premium to own it. Carefully Examine you POP! figures under good lighting to assess its likely grade (more below in 'Understanding the Grading Scale'), as a low grade can make the figure's graded value not worth the cost of grading in the first place.

Investment Potential: POP! figures that are trending in value or a rare part of a popular series can gain additional value when graded. Keep an eye out for (pristine condition) figures that are making waves in the Funko POP! community.

Sentimental Value: Of course, grading doesn't have to be just about investment; it can also be about preserving a cherished part of your collection for the long term, especially if it evokes happy memories.

Research Research Research: To help decide which figure(s) to grade, research current graded and ungraded POP! prices; Platforms like eBay can provide an excellent insight into the market dynamics (select Sold/Completed listings for true, rather than optimistic values). POP! figures are more expensive to ship (to the grader and back) and grade than the likes of Pokémon cards, so if grading as an investment, ensure that the overall cost of grading would be less than the potential value added on to a POP! figure by it going through the grading process.

How to Prepare Your Funko POP! Figure for Grading?

Cleaning: Wear gloves and use a soft microfiber cloth to (very) carefully remove any surface dirt or fingerprints from the figure and its box. Do not use chemicals or water, as these may permanently damage your Funko POP!

Protection: Always place valuable boxed figures in a protective case specifically designed for Funko POP! figures . For extra peace of mind, rigid hard-stack cases are also available, but work out to around 10 times the price of the regular POP! protectors. Remember to tape either option shut with some Scotch tape if storing or shipping them. For a more in-depth protection information visit 'The Ultimate Guide to Protecting Your Funko POP! Figures'.

Choosing a Funko POP! Grading Service

PSA

The most popular and trusted card grading service meets the Funko POP! world! PSA graded items often receive a premium price-tag just for the fact they've been graded by PSA. UK users will have to send their Funko POP! figures to the US however, making the grading process very protracted and expensive. Prices start at $39 with a 62 day turnaround, but this does not include signature authentication or signature grading for signed POP! figures. These services instead cost $64 for just authentication, or $74 for both (both prices are inclusive of figure grading). Remember, anyone sending from the UK or EU will have to factor in extra shipping costs and wait-times due to the location of the PSA.

The Sub Center

Formerly known as Dan's Pokestop, The Sub Center is a PSA official partner and dealer in the UK, indicating a trustworthy grading service which maintains its authority with the PSA brand and logo, without the hassle of having to send a POP! overseas yourself. Services start at £45 for unsigned figures to £67.50 for autographed POP!s, both with a 30 day turnaround.

UK Graders

A service based in the UK providing affordable POP! grading starting at £29.99, with lots of optional extras. Some of these available add-ons include a UV case upgrade (£15), a case material thickness upgrade (£15), a Certificate of Authentication (£25), and a 6-week turnaround (£35). The regular turnaround time is not listed, but the 6 week (42 days) turnaround upgrade indicates that the base grading time may be well in excess of this.

Submitting Your Figure for Grading

Online Form: Most services have an online submission form, where you'll list your figure's details, choose your grading package (e.g. adding signature authentication and signature grading), and provide return shipping information.

Shipping and Packaging: Secure packaging is crucial due to the innate fragility of a Funko POP!. Always ship in at least a protective case (see: 'How to Prepare Your Funko POP! Figure for Grading' - Protection, above), but a hard-stack (also above) is another option... please bear in mind that the protector will not be shipped back with your graded POP!. Use bubble wrap and a sturdy box to prevent any movement or damage during shipping. Don't forget to add 'fragile' stickers to the package and insure your shipment.

Understanding the Grading Scale

Funko POP! Figures are typically graded on a scale of 1 to 10, with a 1 being 'Poor' (box falling apart, tears, bleaching and/or paint flaws) and a 10 being 'Gem Mint' (virtually flawless).

Awarded grades are lowered base on a number of factors including damage or paint flaws on the figure, damage to the plastic insert or box, a present price sticker and/or sticker residue.

For a full PSA list of the requirements for each and every grade, visit PSAcard.com. Sending counterfeit or badly damaged figures which are unable to be graded, will still result in you being charged an assessment fee.

Receiving and Selling Your Graded Figures

Unbox and Review: Once you receive your graded figure, carefully unbox it and take the time to review the grade and grade comments. Don't forget to take the time to admire your new prized-item!

Selling, Displaying or Storing: Platforms like eBay and specialised forums are excellent places to sell your graded figure should you wish. If you're looking to display or store your figure, ensure it's in a place safe from moisture, direct sunlight, prying paws/fingers and damage. For a more information visit our article 'The Ultimate Guide to Protecting Your Funko POP! Figures', sections 4, 5 and 6.

Funko POP! Store

Final Thoughts

Grading your Funko POP! figures is an investment that can, with some very careful POP! selection and research, significantly pay off in the form of higher resale value, marketability and standing in the Funko POP! community.

By following this guide, you'll be better equipped to navigate the world of Funko POP! grading!

Related Articles

Table of Contents
  1. Why Grade Your Funko POP! Figures?
  2. How to Identify Funko POP! Figures Worth Grading?
  3. How to Prepare Your Funko POP! Figure for Grading?
  4. Choosing a Funko POP! Grading Service
    1. PSA
    2. The Sub Center
    3. UK Graders
  5. Submitting Your Figure for Grading
  6. Understanding the Grading Scale
  7. Receiving and Selling Your Graded Figures
  8. Final Thoughts
  9. Related Articles

Disclosure:  As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases... Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to us at no cost to you if you decide to purchase.