It's time for the Funko Pop bobbleheads thread. Oft promised, but never delivered, it is finally here to grace your screens
Longterm followers will know that back in the mists of late 2018, this account began as an anti-Funko Pop bobblehead account.
The "Moldbugman" moniker was a pun on my twin interests of Moldbug's writing and bugman behaviour.
I've always been half-fascinated, half-disgusted by the rise of the Funko Pop bobblehead. Though the figures, their fans, and the company behind them fill me with revulsion, it is one of the most entrancing phenomena of our modern age with so many layers to its grotesqueness.
There have always been "collectibles". I remember as a child swapping stickers with my schoolmates to fill up meaningless branded sticker albums with images of footballers and Thundercats. But these were playground things, and they remained in the playground.
Hummel figurines have also been pointed to as prototype Boomer Funko Pops. While there is some truth to this there are some key differences in that there's at least a level of craftsmanship and beauty in a Hummel, and they do not interbreed with other brands or cross generations.
The closest product to the Funko Pop are Pokemon merchandise and Beanie Babies in that they are childish things obsessed over by adults, and can reach overinflated levels of monetary worth. Yet they never reached the heights of Funko success. We will discuss why later.
Funko Pops were lucky to emerge at the right time and the right place: the post-modern, irony-poisoned bugworld of the 2000s where aimless and childless over-grown children could waste their money in a society where nerd-chic had been made cool by global mega-corporations.
Funko was vomited into the world in 1998 as a company to manufacture vinyl nostalgic tat that you could decorate your office desk or car dashboard with. Originally these were cheap little coin banks of the Big Boy fast food chain mascot.

Here was their first abomination.
The company was founded Everett, Washington. Here is a photo of their cursed headquarters. I have a pet bullshit theory on why Funkos emerged from Everett of all places.
The 1916 Everett Massacre saw a group of socialists known as "wobblies" get stomped on by the police. 5 wobblies died and 27 were injured. I believe the spirits of these wobblies take their revenge against the world in the form of their new wobbly bobble headed incarnations.
I digress. The coin banks failed to sell which is when the founder got the idea to sell bobbleheads instead. The masterstroke though was acquiring the licenses to manufacture bobbleheads of other mascots like Tony the Tiger and the Cheerios Bee in addition to Big Boy.
And success has followed ever since. Now the ubiquitous dead-eyed bobbleheads of the Funko corporation litter almost every corner of the globe. Aside from a weak NASDAQ IPO listing in 2017 the company has gone from success to success.
Don't wrongly assume that Funko Pops are just some fringe nerd hobby. Funko made $517 million in revenue in 2017 at the time of their IPO listing. The bobbleheads themselves pass hands for ludicrous and indecent amounts of money. A Funko movie is in development - it's everywhere.
A glow-in-the-dark bobblehead of the character Alex DeLarge from the film A Clockwork Orange goes for an eye-watering $13,300.


I would rather be battered to death with an overly large fibre glass penis by Alex himself than pay $13,300 for a fucking wobbly toy.
Reading the characters that make up the Top 10 most expensive Funko Pop characters reads like a Who's Who of retarded bugman nostalgia.

Boo Berry - $3,540
Holographic Darth Maul - $7,000
Clown Dumbo - $7,430
Jaime Lannister from Game of Thrones - $11,680
In an extra meta-layer of shit, you can even pay a premium to buy the mascot of Funko - Freddy Funko - in the style of other characters. Freddy looks like how you would imagine. If you wish to buy him dressed up as a glow-in-the-dark Count Chocula that will cost you $10,000.

Why have these accursed little small-souled plastic nuggets of irony and virginity become so popular and so ubiquitous?

I believe there are several reasons that interlink and strengthen each other like muh epic Marvel/Funko/Disney crossover.
Let's go for the low-hanging fruit first. Several commentators, including myself, have made the comparison that Funko bobbleheads fill a religious void in the empty hearts of their collectors. There is a striking visual similarity between Orthodox Icons and Funko collections.
I mean no offence to my Orthobros with the above tweet. The aim is purely directed towards the Funko collectors who showcase their big-headed Marvel miniatures with a reverence that should only be given to saints and angels as a minimum.
In some ways, the Funko cult bears striking similarities to the strange Orphic Mystery cults that sprang up in the ancient classical world. The little figures are like the idols of lesser household deities, or Lares, that would decorate homes in Greece and Rome.
Like the Orphic Mysteries, the true Funko devotee must prove his allegiance to the cult by memorising a litany of obscure terms and names central to his religion.

Here are some key Funko terms. If you hear any of these spoken in real life, leave the room immediately.
Chase Pops: A rare variant of a common Funko Pop figure, whereby its design differs slightly to the original figure it’s based upon. A Chase Pop is recognised by the golden sticker on the front of the box and the difference in appearance when compared to the regular Pop.
Vaulted: A Funko Pop that is no longer sold.
Grail or Holy Grail: A very rare Funko Pop.

Chase. Vaulted. Grail. Chase the Vaulted Grail... a never-ending religious quest to try to attain something of worth, but never succeeding...
The Bugmen fills their life with these worthless trinkets, hoping like the fabled Holy Grail that the Pops will bring meaning to their life, and feel part of a greater whole as they immerse themselves into mysterious incomprehensible jargon.

But there is more to it than this.
The secret of Pops is that they are so easily interlinked with other franchises and brands. Funko's CEO has even stated that Funko's incessant hunger for new licenses is their recipe to success. The Pop can be an icon for other Bugman religions like Marvel, DC and Star Wars.
All of these franchises provide a false mythos for the small-souled to immerse themselves in and fill up their days with while waiting for death.

Of course, the demand is there for Pops to interlink with the main successor religion. Funko has Pride and black bobbleheads matter.
I have written extensively about modern bookshelves and how colour-coordinated bookshelves are attempts at "stolen wisdom" by using books as a mere background aesthetic. It is no coincidence that many of these bookshelves feature Funko Pops too.
The modern bookshelf is an altar to oneself (which is the true modern religion): a proclamation to the world that these pretty colours and Young Adult novels are WHO I AM and that the stolen wisdom is a part of one's identity. The Funko Pops are accompanying icons to the altar.
And now we are really getting down to why these things are popular. It's their meaninglessness. It's their interchangeability. It's that they are little plastic bits of different brands that can be glued together to create the semblance of a whole.

Modern people are bobbleheads.
It only takes Funko 24 hours to create an initial design ("black eyes, big head - we've got a winner here, Joe!") and a product goes from concept to shelf in 70 days. They reuse designs & moulds. They are interchangeable. Pop culture is interchangeable. You are interchangeable.
A reused Superman head here. A leftover Batman torso there. Glue them together and sell it as Jim Hopper from Stranger Things or something.

No different to the bugman who assembles his identity from a mishmash of LGBTQ, Marvel fandom, Shake Shack, Switch and Harry Potter books.
The Funko Pops are all different and based on different things, but they all look the same.

The people who buy Funko Pops are all proud individuals with different attributes... yet they too all strangely look the same.
And like anything modern, these composite identities are repackaged and sold back to the gullible "Funatics" who have unwittingly allowed a company that sells a literally endless array of collectibles that can never be completed into their lives like an insatiable blood demon.
Cheap easy money based on pop culture slavery. When Funko sells a rainbow-motif Batman bobblehead to a "Funatic" (as Funko fans call themselves), the Funatic is handing over their cash for 3 identity patches (Batman, Funko and LGBTQ). The variations are endless. It's a cash cow.
Combining several interchangeable cheap and easy-to-make products into one easily purchasable form is peak commercialism – and the iterations are endless.

And the bugmen can't get enough of it. They hand over their money, heads bobbing like the same Funko Pops they wish to buy.
That's why Funko Pops are much more insidious than Hummels or Beanie Babies. Those two product lines were limited by their own original concept, but like a leech Funko can attach itself to any other brand, franchise, cereal mascot or cause to ensure its longevity.
Worth is based on belief. The word credit comes from the latin word "credo" which means belief. Even though something is worthless, if people are assign worth to it then it does accrue in value. In a post-scarcity world, Funko Pops are up there with Bitcoin.
Walk into any mall in any town or city, big or small, and you will find whole floors devoted to stores selling Funkos. Walls of figures. The same figures. Beyond mindless consumption there is no business model behind these stores, but there is no other business model needed.
This mindless consumption can happen because there are no grown-ups left in the room to say no. Nobody is urging restraint or saying "maybe you shouldn't buy this crap".

Because we're all over-indulged children now. Raised by the teat of the state and fed by corporations.
Corporations are all too willing to indulge us and sell us ever more grotesque and irresponsible products. I have written about this before concerning Advent Calendars. You can see that Funko Pops made an appearance in that thread too.
And yet there is one more aspect of the Funko Pop that I would like to highlight and it is the one that is probably the most relevant to those most likely to be reading this thread.

The role of the Funko Pop as a cultural marker or boundary.
It is easy, oh so very easy, to point and laugh at Funko Pops and those that collect them. I should know - I've built 17,500 followers on Twitter who enjoy reading me write about such things (ok, probably only half follow me for that - the rest think I'm Curtis Yarvin).
It is easy to mock Funko Pops because they are so laughably "out there". They are so tacky and ridiculous - as are the people who obsess over them.

"Look at the guy buying his 47th glow-in-the-dark Deadpool bobblehead, honey. What a loser!" you say, slurping on your soda can.
Funko Pops are the outlier, but they provide a soothing relief and figure of fun while the average "conservative" still retains a Netflix account, buys their kids Disney toys at Christmas, and goes to watch the new Star Wars out of nostalgia or irony.
The REAL purpose of Funko Pops is to attract the geek extremists, the "Funatics", so that you can feel better while checking out The Avengers on Netflix and reassure yourself that at least you're not one of THOSE guys.
They are the Jihadis to the moderate muslim.
The predatory gay rapist to the Republican-voting homo.
Funko Pops exist to make you feel less guilty about the $50-$100 you still give to Disney every month. "There but for the grace of God go I." And yes, I am including myself here.
Let me end this thread with the image of Paul Scardino - currently the Guinness record holder for the highest number of Funko Pop bobbleheads owned.

He owns over 5,000 figurines and looks exactly like you would expect.
Don't be Paul. Don't own over 5000 Funko Pops. Don't give what is left of your soul to an interchangeable plastic religion selling interchangeable plastic identity.

But don't also assume you don't have some similarities to Paul. You do. Very few people take an honest stand.
We're all hypocrites. Perhaps I'm the biggest hypocrite of all. I'm here, on Twitter, crafting an identity around being anti-Funko Pop. Getting "likes" while I do nothing in real life. That's who I am. That's who we all are.

And maybe that is the real meaning behind this thread.
You can follow @moldbugman.
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