Should You Collect Pops?

Tekken Devil Jin Pop!
Tekken Devil Jin Pop!

Collecting Pops can be a fun little hobby or a full-blown obsession depending on the type of person you are. These little things are about in every store you go in nowadays. They have seeped into every nook and cranny they can make it almost impossible for you to miss. Many people may be thinking about getting into the pop craze or even buying someone a pop collection as a gift. Here, we are going to examine these collectibles to see just how worth it picking up a Pop is. Also, what exactly started this craze and how have they gotten so popular in just a few years?

The Invasion

I remember finding my first pop back in college before they got popular. It was a little figure of Master Chief that I thought looked kind of cute. Fast forward about 5 years and I am now looking at Master Chief wondering if he was really that cute in the first place. This is because since then there have been several renditions of the Chief released. In fact, just about everything I have ever enjoyed watching on TV has now been turned into a Pop vinyl. It’s like the beanie babies craze from back in the day only I swear beanie babies were in fewer stores than these figures.

If you’re looking for a Pop just walk into any store near you and there black eyes will be staring at you. The only place I haven’t seen these things pop up is everything for $1 stores. There are stores like Hot Topic and Gamestop that get exclusive versions of pops you can’t get anywhere else. In fact, you can even pre-order these things at select stores. Some stores will even have whole aisles dedicated to Pops. It’s like these things could take over the world if they came to life they have so much influence in our stores.

If that’s not bad enough these things have dug themselves into subscription boxes. If you buy any mystery crate pertaining to a show, movie, or game chances are high you may get some form of Pop. These Pops, of course, are branded as exclusives that can only be found in that one box for that one month. Basically, if you have ever had a sub box for more than a month you probably now have a Pop sitting somewhere in your house. Don’t even get me started on how often these things are given in Secret Santa exchanges or gifts from your friends.

The Pop Trap

Morty Pop!
Morty Pop!

Ok, so we know your friend bought you this Pop of the boss from Mass Effect. He kind of looks pretty lonely to you though and when you check the box you see there are more in the collection. You may have even sighed and walked by the rest of the collection a few time, but now your friend has infiltrated your home with one. You now end up heading over to your local Pop dealer and picking up the rest of the set. Upon your visit, though you see a Pop that your girlfriend would love. It’s from her favorite Disney movie so you pick it up with your set. You have now fed into the Pop cycle.

Basically, they have somehow managed to make a Pop of literally everything you can imagine. The worst part is that these things all come in sets. You are almost guaranteed to be brought one of these by someone in your life who knows your passions. It’s an easy gift that the Pop company feeds off of for basic consumers. Pops are easily accessible and cheap pick me ups to add to any gift making them one of the most bought items in culture today. Just like that Master Chief Pop I got these things slowly creep in and find their way to your wallet.

If you’re a collector of a certain series things can get hectic rather quick. Since there are exclusives thrown around everywhere some Pops are hard to find. As with any hard to find things these Pops will eventually make their way onto eBay for a much higher price than 12.99. This has collectors going on multi-city searches to add to their collection instead of funding eBay scalpers. Even worse series collectors may find it hard to keep up with the subscription crate prices because of the chance of rare pops appearing.

Buying a Pop may be an easy gift, but generally, ends up in the receiver trying to complete the set you gave them a piece of. It’s a smart and ingenious cycle to sell these little vinyl wonders. Even worse is when there’s a giant pop thrown in that costs $6–$8 more than the little figures. Also, remember that you can never tell what Pops will become rare and which ones will be thrown in the $5 bin at your local store.

Let’s Look at Their Worth

Well like with most popular things we will eventually see the Pop market crash. They have been doing a pretty good job of staying relevant so far. That being said something new always comes along to take the crowned spot on the collectibles chart.That means the collecting these to pay for your future college fund may not be the best option. This, of course, doesn’t account for the people who know how to play the Pop market now.

Pop’s are also an item that you may have trouble selling without using the internet. This means that they may be hard to get out of your house if you’re looking to make a little money back. Also, remember that collectibles really never do anything outside of look nice in your home. While this may be fine for people with no kids. Having collectibles with little ones running around can be a huge recipe for disaster.

Next, we look at the price you will pay for a set. Most Pop sets are between 4–6 figure at 12.99 each. While one figure may be nothing, half the set would be over $40. If you go for the full 6 figure set you will be paying more than for a brand new video game. I can honestly admit that I have quite a few Pops in my house that I don’t regret. That being said I only buy pops of the characters I like. I’d be spending over $100 easy if I wanted to finish the sets I currently own. That being said Pops aren’t horrible, but they are a nightmare for completionists.

Jessica has been working with the gaming industry for about two years now. She enjoys playing quirky Japanese games and learning about the newest trivia in the industry. When not working with games you may find her chilling with her naked cat Prince Noko... he's pretty cool we guess.