There are over 9,000 editions of Funko Pops, the vinyl figures with jumbo heads, jellybean black eyeballs, and tiny bodies that match their unique personas. Since then the Washington based company started in 1998, figurines ranging from Batman and Wonder Woman, Michael Scott and Eleven, Kool-Aid man and Colonel Sanders, and vaulted Funkos such as Disney’s Dumbo (currently bids for $1,600!) have been made. Funko Pop collectors are fierce group and one fan, in particular, Anthony Peeples, call himself a “Funko Funatic” which makes sense since he and his partner Raul combined have nearly 1,000 funks in their New York City apartment!
My collection is certainly not as large as Peeples’ but I am very proud of my 25 Funko Pops, thank you very much 😌 There is nothing like scrolling on Amazon on a chilly morning and plopping a Funko Pop right into your cart. Two days later I (carefully) open the Funko Pop and bask in the fresh new smell of my little figurine. Off to my desk, it goes.
But even in the 9,000 pool of Funkos, there are some iconic characters and celebrities that are missing in the pack. Of course, not everyone can become a Funko Pop but I have a few in mind that should be added on the waiting list!
But First Who Decides On What Gets to Be a Funko Pop ?
There is no sole person actually. An idea can spring from someone in the company, fans, or whoever. Funko VP of Creative Ben Butcher explains, “People who have been here for as little as two weeks can have an idea and get it going. We take the time to listen to the passion of our people. Even if leadership hasn’t heard about it, we’ll take the time to look into it.” Big-name production companies such as Disney or Warner Brothers might also bring ideas to Funko, seeing their figurines as another way to expand their brand. Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, and The Walking Dead are just a few of Funko’s licensing agreements. Funko also takes a lot of time to engage with their Funatics through social media, at Comic-Con / other conventions, and through their site. On Funko.com there is a page for Figure and Product Submission where anyone can request for a character to be made into a Pop!, Vinyl, Plush, etc. You can even submit an image as well for reference.
Now here are the ten celebrities and characters I adore that I think Funko should turn into Funko Pops already!
Born Christopher Edwin Breaux, Frank Ocean left his home town of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, to further pursue his music career and landed in the sunny town of Los Angles. In 2008, Ocean joined the LA Hip Hop collective, Odd Future, with Tyler, The creator who encouraged his songwriting and later landed a contract with Def Jam records. A year later Ocean legally changed his anime to Christopher Frank Ocean because according to him it would look better on magazines ;) Since then he released his debut mixtape, nostalgia, ULTRA (2011), two studio albums: Channel Orange (2012) and Blonde (2016) and has received international acclaim from NPR, Rolling Stones, BBC Radio and more.
Frank Ocean is genuinely an amazing person and there hasn’t been a night that goes by that I haven’t listened to Blonde. His soothing voice and cry your eyes out lyrics have paved the way for so many artists today. In an open letter posted on his Tumblr in 2012, Frank announced that he has feelings for both men and women, breaking out of the typical macho Hip-Hop / R & B box. There is so much homophobia/ biphobia in the Black community but I love Frank proving their aged ideals wrong by being who he truly is and singing about how “Sees both sides like Chanel.”Ugh, love him. He would make a perfect Funko Pop because he’s the perfect human <3
(edit : Ryan Breaux, Frank ocean's little brother passed away on Sunday. Wishing Frank and his family love and space at this time )
Pretty much everyone knows Drake from his hit songs, “Hotline bling”, “In My Feelings” and “Fake Love” or for his role as Jimmy Brooks on the Canadian teen drama Degrassi: The Next Generation. Anyone who knows me knows that I’ve been OBSESSED with Drake for years now, my most prized possession is this shirt I have with tiny Drake faces floating over it. I’ve seen him in concert, watched his SNL skits, and live for every time he posts on Instagram. Drake is an amazing rapper who loves to get into his feelings and I love that. His best songs are the ones that the radio never plays (listen to Can’t Take a Joke : ) and he is one of the most versatile celebrities of our time. I think his Funko Pop should be of him in his Hotline Bling outfit because it’s *chefs kiss* but they don’t have that option on Pop! Yourself so I choose this plain grey crewneck.
Born in Lorain, Ohio, Toni Morrison jumped leaps and bounds in the writing community displaying her immersive storytelling in strong-willed narratives with African Americans at the center who explored the darkly deep themes of living in America. Her debut novel was The Bluest Eye and other popular novels include Sula, Song of Solomon, Jazz, Love, and Beloved for which she won the 1988 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction for. As an aspiring African American writer myself, Toni Morrison is my inspiration to be unapologetically me in my work. Morrison paints a story like no other with cold icy words and gripping themes weaved in between. Morrison died just two years ago in 2018 and I’ve visited her breathtaking portrait at the National Portrait Gallery in D.C. A Funko Pop of such an inspirational woman is ever so important.
Lin Manuel Miranda
Washington Heights native, Lin Manuel Miranda is most known for writing and starring in the 2016 Tony Award-Winning musical, Hamilton. Miranda is a bit of an odd character … if you’ve been on Twitter or Tik Tok at all in these last weeks you’ve probably seen his *iconic*
biting the lips selfies or the weird videos he records on the train. Nonetheless, Lin Manuel Miranda shook Broadway with creating a space for People of Color to shine in his musical.
You can click here to read a short piece of mine I submitted to the New York Times Summer Reading challenge and won an Honorable Mention for, about how empowered I felt when watching Hamilton. Miranda has been a performer all his life: he starred in the 2008 Best Musical Award Winning In the Heights, appeared in The Sopranos, Modern Family, and recently wrote/composed the lyrics for Disney’s Moana and starred in Mary Poppins Returns (2018). Lin is a lil cray cray but he’s a musical genius who I know would love a Funko of himself :) And his Funko has to be bitting his lip duh.
I mean she’s Beyoncé! I’m surprised Funko hasn’t made Queen B into a Pop! yet. I know the Beyhive would have her Funko Pop sold out in seconds. Teaming up with her cousin, Kelly Rowland, and eventually, Michelle Williams to form R&B girl group Destiny’s Child after the group split in 2005 Beyoncé had already begun blossoming her solo career. Since then all of her albums have been on the top of the charts from, Dangerously in Love, I am Sasha Fierce, 4, Lemonade and more. Marrying hubby Jay Z in 2008, the two have done several collaborations together including their most recent album Everything Is Love.
Beyoncé also has quite the acting career. Her start was in Broadway adapted film Dreamgirls in 2006, Homecoming, a Netflix Documentary about her Coachella performance released in 2019, she starred as Nala in Disney’s live-action The Lion King, and just last month the visual album that she directed, wrote and executive produced, Black is King, came out. It doesn’t get more iconic than Bey. I think her Funko Pop should star Queen B in her yellow Coachella outfit, but to be fair just like in real life her Funko Pop would look good in anything.
Elena Richardson and Mia Warren from Little Fires Everywhere
There doesn’t seem to be a lot of Funko Pops based off of Hulu tv show hits, but it’s never too late to start. Little Fires Everywhere was one of the first shows I binged watched during quarantine and Reese Witherspoon (Elena) and Kerry Washington (Mia) played the heck out of their roles. Based on the novel by Celeste Ng, this miniseries’ first shot is of the Richardson’s house in flames and backtracks to figure out “whodunnit.” Set in Shaker Heights, Ohio in the 1990s mom of the year Elena befriends mother and daughter, Mia and Pearl Warren, and as a landlord offers them an apartment since they seem to be financially struggling. As the two families become closer it seems like the wedge of difference starts to grow as well. Elena and Mia show a very interesting dynamic of white privilege vs. black struggle, wealth vs. poverty, traditional vs. unorthodox and the power white woman in America had over Black women then and now. These roles were extremely dynamic and powerful and I’d love to see them as Funko Pops!
Virtually any of Timothée Chalamet’s Movie Characters
While Timothée himself is currently on probation because of his problematic girlfriend Eiza (we don’t even know if they're dating or not 😔), that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy his characters. From sweet and sensitive Elio in Call Me By Your Name, edgy and ominous Kyle from LadyBird, caring Laurie in Little Women, fierce Hal In Netflix’s The King, Timothée can do no wrong. Timothée’s range is amazing for such a young age at only 24, and he’s basically the Leonardo DiCaprio of our time! But if I had to choose what character of Timothée’s I would want to be turned into a Funko Pop first it would have to be Elio Perlman from CMBYN.
Funko already has some Historical themed Pops! and I think Bessie Coleman would make a great addition to the pack. In 1921, Coleman broke racial and gender barriers by becoming the first Black woman in the world with a pilot’s license! Flying schools in the United States denied her entry so Coleman taught herself French, and moved to France to attend the prestigious Caudron Brother's School of Aviation. In just seven months she received her license and returned to the States. Coleman wanted to start a flying school for African Americans but she specialized in stunt flying and aerial tricks, and nothing sprung out of that dream, In 1922, she became the first Black woman in America to make a public flight. Just four years later, Coleman was tragically killed when an accident during the rehearsal for her aerial show sent her plumping to her death. Bessie Coleman is not recognized enough for her bravery and contributions to the aerial world and a Funko Pop of such a legendary Black woman would be amazing.
Naill, Zayn, Liam. Harry and Louis of One Direction
Similar to the Beyhive, the Directioners would have these Funko Pops sold out in a day if Funko released them. Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, and Louis Tomlinson did not know each other before auditioning for The UK’s X Factor in 2010 and all auditioned as solo acts. They did not qualify for the "Boys" category but Simon Cowell saw potential in the five boys and recommended they form a group so they could enter in the “Groups” category. Simon Cowell continued to be their mentor for the duration fo the show and the boys ended up placing third that year. The rest is history ( get it 😉 ). Every member is so adorable and it’s not surprising they have millions of fans over the world, who still play their chart-topping singles as if they were released yesterday. Just imagine the cutest boy band on your shelf ?! Funko please grant us this wish :)
Jonathan and Drew Scott from The Property Brothers
Now, this is a bit of an odd one but I’d be interested to see it! My Saturdays growing up were watching The Property Brothers and other HGTV home improvement shows with my Ummi on her lying room couch. I always loved watching Drew renovate a couple’s home to make it sell well on the market while Jonathan found the perfect properties for the couple to move into. These twin brothers are the classic opposites and have no problem displaying their brotherly arguments and love on the show. I think Funko would be surprised at how many middles aged women would start buying their products if they released these two.
That's it for now ! Log in and leave me a comment on which characters or celebrities you would want to see as Funko Pops !