The Bluewater shopping center in Kent is a mecca for people from Kent and Essex to shop for over priced clothes, expensive shoes, fancy chocolate and really pricey American sweets, but wouldn’t you know it’s actually also a pretty good place to hunt for pops!
House of Fraser
We parked at the car park which backs on to House of Fraser and just walked through, but as we got through the section where they had all the crap from Christmas which didn’t sell, I noticed a bunch of toys – spotting the Tubbz first, but then below were a few Funko pops too. They had a really weird mixed bag here with everything from Nightmare Before Christmas and games like Bordlerlands 3 & Apex through to football players and hockey mascots. BUT the problem with them was that they weren’t in great shape, and even with 25% off, had I seen one I wanted I doubt it would have been nice enough to actually part with cash for.
I don’t know if they usually stock them, as I said they were with the Christmas present rejects so it might have been a seasonal line. In which case it doesn’t look like it overly paid off for them.
This was a huge disappointment. Near me I have 2 of these shops, 1 of them in Canterbury and 1 in Westwood Cross and both actually have quite a lot of pops in stock all the time. They’re usually the likes of Frozen, Game of Thrones, other assorted Disney and that’s about it, but a good selection of those. In this one however… and it’s a big shop, they just had a handful of the first 2! And just a few designs in each range at that.
This was a different story and after seeing them in the shop window, you’d expect to see a load in the shop, and whilst it was better than the first 2 shops, the selection wasn’t quite for us. They only have about half of what they had when I was last there in October, at the most, but the variety is pretty good. There were a few Pop Rocks selections as well as television, movies and games, with a couple of decent special offers too.
They had a great selection of Simpsons pops here, and I must say that I do regret now going through the pictures and not having seen the Five Nights at Freddie’s black light cupcake as I’ve always thought that’s a pretty cool pop!
Game stores always hold a pretty good selection of pops, and as you’d expect, they’re usually quite heavily focused on games, but that wasn’t the case in this shop. They actually had 2 sections, with one being a double shelf in the middle of the shop and then a single shelf by the till with pops stacked on the floor under neath which looked a bit weird – not the greatest way to display your pops or keep them safe!
The variety was awesome though with a few games like Borderlands 3 (which has some really nice figures) and Spyro, but also loads of other licenses such as Dark Crystal, Simpsons, Suicide Squad, Catwoman, Jumanji, WWE and even some American football ones.
What was most interesting for me were the Birds of Prey ones though as I’d not seen them anywhere else in the flesh. Maybe I should have started this set today with one of the Harley Quinn’s (a lot of these were in the pile on the floor), but I’m still a bit undecided as to whether I’ll start it because of the number of exclusives which the States will get and therefore hiking up the online price for us. They are very cool though!
I would say that the Entertainer has the second largest number of pops, and they do usually have some cool large pops. It’s actually one of the UK companies who often has exclusives and they’re pretty good at stocking other special editions as well. Their online selection usually has a lot of these, but other than that they have a wide range of predominantly common and cheap pops. There is always a whole shelf of Star Wars (mixture of common & exclusive / special edition), a bunch of Disney ones, Avengers and Jurassic Park… And that’s every time without exception that I’ve seen so far.
If you’re new to collecting pops, want to buy presents for children to play with (I know but I see it all the time in my family) or collect quantities rather than specializing, then this is probably your best option here.
There used to be a big shelf in the back right corner of this shop, and then some more pops by the tills including special edition, over sized and exclusives, but this time they were just spread out around the shop in their respective sections… and even then there weren’t that many! There were a few Frozen ones and a handful of Star Wars ones, but beyond that we didn’t see much else. Strangely there was a big section of Avengers stuff, but not any pops.
Men Kind always has a pretty cool selection of items for sale, and not just pops either. AT the moment there are two shops of theirs in Bluewater and we checked them both out, but the photos are from their temporary Christmas shop which was still open today. In their upstairs location they had the same range of pops, just only about half as many on display.
This is where I got one of our pops from today which was the KFC Colonel Sanders one I’ve been after for some time. Sadly you don’t see that many ad icons pops here in the UK, which is a shame because many of them are really cool. They also had a lot of Star Wars and Game of Thrones, including some larger ones. The Deadpool large scale pop was probably the nicest of the big ones!
As well as a load of game ones and some pretty good movie ones (including Die Hard) these were some of the only anime ones we saw today. They had a bit of a sale on at the moment, but beyond that I must say that usually Men Kind is a bit on the expensive side for pops, which is why I rarely buy from them even though in Canterbury they have by far the best selection. For Bluewater I’d say this is the second best shop.
This shop used to have mainly traditional toys such as board games and wooden toys in it but in recent years they totally changed their strategy and now actually rank as one of the biggest retailers for Funko pops in the UK. As a result this is the best play in Bluewater to buy pops, although this time we only got 2. These were Maurice from War for the Planet of the Apes and Rob Zombie. Right off the bat you can see they have some cool variety including quite a few pop rocks and a lot of movie and television options.
If you’re an avid collector you’re not likely to find any grails here, and if you did they wouldn’t be super cheap… They know what they’re doing with their pops, but you will find some of the less common pops like Iggy Pop, Independence Day ones, Cheers and even the Strain.
Castle Fine Art
Finally there’s this art gallery which I always love to peek in to but also can never afford to buy anything from… But it deserves an honorable mention here. You’re not going to find any pops here but what you can find here is a bunch of paintings based on pops, so if you’ve got a spare £200 or so burning a hole in your pocket, stop in here!