You might think to yourself, “no one is going to make a fake Funko Pocket Pop Keychain”… Why would they? They cost, what, £4.99 usual price, and sometimes in Tesco you might spot some for £3 or so? That’s very true, in fact I purchased what should be (we’ll get that that later) a genuine Thanos Funko Pocket Pop for £5.99 (although at the time I would have still had my 10% subscription discount) + postage and packaging from Pop in a Box.
However I also purchased one from a seller on eBay for £5.89 with free postage from Hong Kong, with the title; “Fashion creative jewelry new Marvel Keychain spider chivalry captain game“… Why have they put the word chivalry in there? Then I purchased another for £3.99 from eBay from China, again with free postage, this time specifically saying that they are Funko products; “Funko Pocket Pop Keychain Groot, Hulkbuster ,Thanos ,Rocked Vinyl Figure Keyring“
SO back to my original question… Would anyone actually bother faking these? Yes they do! They are sold openly and blatantly on some production websites in places like China who sometimes even say that they will make Funko products and have absolutely no shame about that! Look at those listings and suddenly you see that, buy enough of them, and you can get them as low as $0.05 each! If you’re in the UK and rubbing your hands together, don’t! You would then have a boat load of shipping and import taxes etc. However if you already live in China, where all these producers are based, then it suddenly appears to be a way to make some money. It’s a problem which is getting bigger and bigger!
But how can you tell the difference between a real and a fake Funko Pocket Pop?
If you don’t have a comparison piece the fake pocket pop could be seen as being the real thing, although you might be a little disappointed. Due to its size, it doesn’t need a lot of detail to look good, however if you compare the two there is a much lower level of detail in the sculpt of the clothes / accessories, especially the belt and also the face. The face has the same details, but each of these details just seems to be a little bit shallower in the fake item. This probably comes from them taking the cast of their fake product from the original, during which you will inevitably lose some of the finer details.
Fake number 1
Fake number 2
The packaging for real a Pocket Pop is nice and bright, with really crisp print. You shouldn’t have any problems with reading anything on that box, so even if you don’t have a comparison, you will often see a slightly fuzzy print for the fake items. Some times these are new boxes designed from scratch, whilst others are scanned copies of the original, which both result in them not always lining up quite right or mistakes creeping in.
Beyond just having a fuzzy, lower quality and poorly coloured Print (although the latter you often wouldn’t notice without a comparison), you can scan over the details printed to check for errors. One error which crops up on the Thanos Pocket Pop fake is that the address for the Australian distributors is ALWAYS written as “49-59 Seabreach Parade North Shore, VIC 3214”, notice the comma after North Shore. On the fake Funko Pocket Pop for Thanos from Infinity War it has a full stop instead.
One other thing which is different on the fake packages is that the black line at the top of the clear window is much thinner. On the real product this line is much thicker and far closer resembles the thickness of the rest of the black lines which make up part of the box design – this incidentally is also how the line looks in the stock photo. Finding a stock photo from Funko isn’t always perfect as its not necessarily an accurate representation of the final product as they may sometimes be prototype photos or still subject to license approval, but sometimes they can be of use.
In these packaging photos, the real one is the one in the middle:
This is where things for this particular item get a little bit messy! Most sources you find will tell you that a real pop will always have a serial number on the foot or the back lower part of the head, and the same applies to Pocket Pops so you need to look out for this. BUT it’s not always as cut and dry as that. These fake Pocket Pops also have a serial number, which is the same as the serial number on the box. If they can fake everything else, of course they can also fake a serial number!
However what should be the real Thanos Infinity Way Funko Pocket Pop, purchased from a trusted and approved source (as recommended by Funko to avoid fake products), in the form of Pop in a Box UK, doesn’t have matching serial numbers! Yes it has a serial number on the underside of the head, and yes it does have a serial number on the bottom of the box. BUT these numbers are both different! In the photo below the box of interest (if you zoom in and open the image up) is the one in the middle.
What we have here is a problem if we follow the advice of most articles which would claims that the fake ones tick all the boxes for serial numbers and are real, whilst the real one doesn’t tick those boxes and must be fake. What I am trying to find out at the moment from Funko, through Pop in a Box is what is going on, as one of the following must be true, and I want to let you know which it is:
- Funko Pocket Pops are different to normal Funko Pops and the serial numbers on the boxes and figures don’t need to match
- Funko messed up printed the wrong serial number on either the boxes or figures in this case
- Pop in a Box got a bad batch of figures from a supplier other than Funko and have ended up with fake merchandise
- Serial numbers mean absolutely nothing when it comes to seeing if a Funko product is real or not
As of yet, sadly we’ve not heard back from Funko and it has been a few months now, so I’m not too hopeful that we’ll get an answer to this question just yet. Although of course if I do, I’ll add it to this post.
How to Avoid Fake Funko Products
I would usually start this by giving you the advice which Funko give you if you flag such a fake product to them. Tell people your findings and encourage them to buy their Funko products from a verified vendor. The problems with this is that the only verified vendors which Funko list are those in the USA, and judging by the above it’s not 100% clear as to whether we can trust all verified vendors either, whether through their own fault or not.
Your absolute best way to ensure a real Funko products is to go to one of their stores (in Everett or Hollywood), buy from their website (but of course only if you live in the States as they still for some reason don’t ship internationally – that’s another question I’d love to have an answer for one day) or see them at a convention. But of course this sometimes doesn’t help you when you live outside the USA or are looking for things like exclusives or vaulted items. In this cases you do need to take the plunge and go through places like Amazon 3rd party sellers, eBay or private vendors at comic cons / independent comic stores etc.
I don’t want to step on these either… There are plenty of great private sellers, and I am sure there are even plenty of good sellers in Asia, as I know of some big collectors there, but I would say, if buying online it is generally safest to stay away from sellers in Asia – especially if they are only using stock images as well!