It seems like everyone has at least one Pop! figure. Whether it’s the cast of Star Wars sitting on a desk, a tiny Batman dangling from some keys, or collections taking up too much space in a spare room, Funko’s Pops are everywhere. They’re a full-blown phenomenon and — though it’s likely they’ll someday fill the same storage units that once held small fortunes of Pogs — it's hard to resist their geeky allure.
It’s hard to say what makes Funko’s Pop! figures so nearly universally liked. Is it their adorable blank-faced expressions? Their bobblehead proportions? Sure, but a big driver of their popularity is undoubtedly the frankly astonishing number of licenses that the company has managed to produce figures for. They've included so many characters in their lineup that they've transcended the typical geek audience for these types of collectibles and spilled out into the mainstream, with at least one figure that will appeal to pretty much anyone. The figures seem to have move passed collectibility and right into universal appeal. No one will have them all, but everyone needs their favorites.
There seem to be Pop! toys of seemingly every IP and character under the sun, but believe it or not, there are still some franchises and famous faces they’ve yet to get their stubby arms on.
So what are the most glaring omissions from the dead-eyed vinyl legions? It took some digging, but I came up with 12 new themes and properties that Funko should add to their juggernaut toy line. The list includes a little bit of everything, ranging from comic book characters and cartoons to comedians and chiefs of state. The possibilities are truly endless, so it’s possible there’s even more that I missed. Pop into the comments below to add your ideas.
What?! There isn’t already a King Kong Pop? I know, I was shocked too, but with the new movie coming up, Funko has a perfect opportunity to rectify the mistake. There was an extra-sized six-inch figure made for Godzilla, and the King is deserving of the same glorious treatment, hopefully with a tiny blonde woman Pop to put in his hand as well. He may not have a huge cast of characters to make figures of, but the Pop line won’t seem complete without the biggest ape in the world.
The biggest superhero universe not called DC or Marvel is a no-brainer. Superheroes seem to be the core of the toy line, and who doesn’t want to get their hands on a little Faith, Bloodshot, Rai, X-O Manowar or Ninjak? The characters are about to be a lot more recognizable to the general public with the upcoming Valiant film projects, so this one is probably only a matter of time. I eagerly await my Archer and Armstrong, and Quantum and Woody two-packs.
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE
Maybe not the geekiest inclusion on this list, but definitely the funniest. There are many generations of fans that a collection of Saturday Night Live alumni would appeal to, adding to the already broad appeal the figures have. Plus, it would be a lot of fun seeing which characters from the show particular cast members would be portrayed as. Pops of Mike Meyers and Dana Carvey from Wayne’s World, Chris Farley as motivational speaker Matt Foley, or a cowbell-wielding Will Ferrell would be shoe-ins, but some of the lesser-known cast-members could be just as nostalgic. Plus, this may be the only way to get David S. Pumpkins —and skeletons — as Pops.
CODENAME: KIDS NEXT DOOR
This entry is entirely selfish, but also one that I think would work wonderfully. Sure, this is one of my all-time favorite cartoons, and was my obsession as a child, but also, come on … just look at them. They already all have big, wide heads, teen bodies and nondescript limbs, they’re nearly Pops already! Numbuh One through Five would be the brightly-colored and iconic first wave, but if the line were to continue, there are plenty of memorable Kids Next Door agents and villains to draw from. A Toiletnator Pop? I’d take a plunge on that. There have been plenty of Cartoon Network characters given the vinyl treatment already, so this may not be as far outside the realm of the possibility as it seems.
I mostly just want to see how they’d pull this off. How weird would it be to see a pop of a Lego Minifigure? How would that even work? I don’t know, but I want to find out.
There is no head in all of fiction more ready to be Pop’d than Saitama’s. The bald, round, and often expressionless face of the protagonist of the hit manga and anime series One-Punch Man needs to be made into a Pop yesterday. The superhero satire is a massively successful series, and is overflowing with ridiculous side-characters that would make great additions. This series single-handedly (punchedly?) renewed my interest in anime, and I know I’m not the only one, so Funko needs to hurry up and bring us a One-Pop Man.
I was really surprised there wasn’t a Hellboy Pop already. There are plenty of great looking custom ones floating about the internet though, so clearly there’s a demand Funko has yet to meet here. Hellboy is one of the most iconic non-Marvel/DC characters in comics, and he comes with a whole universe of supernatural characters to get Pops of their own. Abe Sapien, Johann Kraus, Liz Sherman, and Roger would all be great inclusions, but me? I need that Lobster Johnson Pop, stat.
Game of Thrones already has a line of wildly Pop-ular figures, so it’s probably not going to be too long before some figures come riding into town for Westworld as well. HBO’s newest smash-hit was just renewed for a second season and is full of memorable characters to immortalize in vinyl. Dolores and the Man in Black are obviously both begging for toys, but I’d love to have a crazy little Anthony Hopkins sitting on my shelf as well. I like to imagine that the production process for a Pop is pretty much the opening credits sequence for the show anyway.
My most off-the-wall suggestion is a non-fictional one. How about Pops of every United States President? It’s easy to envision the icons like George Washington, Abe Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt, but the lesser known Presidents would be just as entertaining. Who doesn’t want to see the mutton-chops of Chester A. Arthur preserved for the ages in Pop? It’d be fun to collect your favorites, or even to buy a few of your less preferred recent additions to use as tiny-handed voodoo dolls. Educational and collectible, you can’t go wrong with this idea, Funko.
Pokémon may be the only thing more shamelessly collectible than Pops. Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, there will be somewhere close to 800 of the super-powered critters once Pokémon Sun and Moon release this week. So Funko will have a bit of catching-up to do, but that just means they have a lot to work with that would keep fans craving more. Obviously the pocket monsters themselves would get figures, but it would also be fun to see figures made of the videogame series’ characters, like the various professors, gym leaders and evil team members. My bank account weeps at this possible goldmine for Funko.
Funko has wrangled all of the biggest names in animation sitcoms: The Simpsons, Bob’s Burgers, Family Guy, Futurama. The next one to add to that lineup ought to be FX’s Archer. The show is one of the funniest shows on TV, and the staff of the world’s most violently dysfunctional spy agency are all begging to be made into vinyl. Plus, a Pam, Cyril, or Krieger Pop! would be the perfect passive aggressive gift to give to the special H.R., accounting, or I.T. person in your life.
AVATAR/LEGEND OF KORRA
Aang’s big blue-arrowed noggin is just so Po-able that it seems almost criminal that there haven’t been Avatar: The Last Airbender or The Legend of Korra figures from Funko yet. The cartoons have deep and memorable casts and a huge fan base, so it seems like an easy sell. I’d be most excited for a General Iro figure, but would also be pulling for a Pop! Rides of Korra riding Naga, or Aang riding Appa. Funko should immediately employ their best vinyl benders for this one.