Getting to the Bottom of the “Do Funko Pops Have Brains” Debate with the Creator of the Trend; Papifunko

A little while ago I wrote here about a trend which has been developing on the internet, especially in the social media circles, which involves chopping the heads of Funko pops in half to see if they have a brain or some other trinket or surprise inside. I discussed that there were other ways to see what was in your Funko pop rather than having to chop the head in half and that of course the whole thing is just one big prank… and I mean a REALLY big prank! Some of these pop brain videos are now reaching insane numbers… We’re talking in the millions, with Papifunko’s highest viewed video for example currently sitting at over 17 million views on TikTok!

Even with all of the information I have given and thinking about it logically, there are still a lot of people who seem unsure, so I have been able to catch up with Papifunko, the YouTuber who started this trend, to get the lowdown on how it all started and to confirm whether or not brains (and other stuff) inside Funko pop figures is a real thing or not!


F ‘n’ F – Thanks for joining me and for being willing to have a chat with me about what must be one of the hottest topics in Funko collecting at the moment… “Do Funko Pops have Brains?” and “What’s inside a Funko?” I have just realized that I’ve got a couple of different user names which pop up from your email… What do I call you!?! For the sake of argument for now I’m going with Funky Funkos unless you tell me otherwise!

PF – Thank you for giving me this opportunity to unfold the origin of this trend! I go by Papifunko. The Funky Funkos is the name I consider to belong to everyone within my built up community. It’s our cult if you will.

F ‘n’ F – Papifunko it is.

I do want to dive straight in with the elephant in the room because there is always such little information about where trends on the internet come from. From one second to the next they can just appear online out of nowhere and the big one at the moment for people who follow Funko content on social media is the practice of cutting open Funko Pop figures to find stuff in their heads! I’m of the understanding that you were the first to “find something in a Funko pop”; Can you tell us a bit more about where this came from and how you started it all?

PF – It started in April 2020. It’s funny how trends work. They never start out as trends and only explode when someone influential tries it out. Cutting open Funko Pops isn’t new. It’s been done before by a few creators on YouTube. Personally, I wanted to find out for myself when I cut open the SSG God Goku. When I found nothing was in there, I decided to change that as a sort of prank to the internet. I posted it on tiktok and it blew up.

F ‘n’ F – I covered this quite well in my article on the matter a few weeks ago and gave people a non-destructive way to check this for themselves. But just to clear it up once and for all from the person who started it all, is it safe to say that Funko Pops have absolutely nothing special inside their heads?

PF – I’ve learned a lot about the craftsmanship of these Funko Pops since doing this. There are most certainly “non-destructive” ways to check your pops. The most you will find naturally inside of a Funko Pop head is residual vinyl that had been left over during printing. Sometimes it presents a rattling sound.

F ‘n’ F – It ended up turning into a huge trend with hundreds of people, sometimes thousands, googling “Do Funko Pops Have Brains?” every single day. Was this your intention, and whether it was or wasn’t, how do you feel about how viral this concept has gone?

PF – My initial intention was just a silly prank. I was a nobody and didn’t think too much into it. With the first video going semi viral, I found the most common comment to be about how obvious it was that I had cut and glued it. I made another video where someone called me out for a video cut, but that video blew up even more. After the second video, I wanted to out do myself and give my viewers no reason at all to point out how it was done. I wanted them to know it was fake, but be puzzled on how it was done.

F ‘n’ F – One thing I do want to bring up as well is that your videos are very much tongue in cheek and I would hope that from most of yours (even though they are incredibly well done), because of your delivery that these are meant to just be fun videos. A lot of people have put their own spin on these and made them very serious, which has lead to a lot of people destroying their figures, it really has tricked a lot of people. What do you think of the videos which are really trying to make people believe that they can find something in their Funko pops?

PF – I try to make things obvious and ironic. For instance, I would put broccoli inside the head of Deku. The weeb community knows him as “Broccoli Boi”. There has to be a point in time where common sense tells you that fresh food wouldn’t be inside of a Funko Pop.

The first spinoff of my trend that took off was by my TikTok buddy named Funko_Freddie. He coined the “Brains” in funko pops. He had even 3d printed his own brains. This added a level of realism to the trend which was the first start of it going mega viral. It did sound plausible and he never denied that pops had brains. Now, much larger and more influential creators are finding success in “fooling” people who don’t know better. What’s worse is they are literally STEALING Funko_Freddies videos and using it as a hook into their videos. One particular creator gained over 50 million views from using his video without permission and following it up with the trend.

F ‘n’ F – I also looked back through your account and came across the 15 second clip called I started the Funko Pop Head Trend, and it sounds like the way your videos have been appropriated by others seems to be coming back on you and people are looking to you as if to say why did you make me destroy my pop?… Is this a problem you’re having because of these videos?

PF – The ship I had been building for over a year has finally set sail…but without me. Not only do I not get recognized for creating the viral trend, I get to watch other people get famous off of it. I have also become a villain to the community because of the deception from other creators. Cutting open Funko Pops and planting things in them has been my everyday content for over a year. Nobody had a problem with it in the past and thought it to be quite entertaining. Now that it has more exposure, I get called out for stealing the trend, for making people break their pops, and worse off…I get ridiculed for not being a “Real Collector”.

F ‘n’ F – You already briefly mentioned it to me before but what are you most proud of being able to fit inside a Funko pop and still make it look believable?

PF – I have spoken to quite a few people, including some of the successful influencers. Every one of them are completely mind blown on how I had put a Dragonball inside a Piccolo Funko Pop. This dragonball, mind you, is barely smaller than the head itself. The Pop Figure is also bald, so you can clearly see there are no cuts or glue marks. It is my masterpiece of mystery.

F ‘n’ F – These might be secrets of the trade but have you got any tips for people who want to make fun videos with their pops, either by putting fun stuff inside them or by doing anything else? I know that people can be very protective of their Funko figures.

PF – To be honest, the most successful videos on this trend… and this bugs me… are poorly edited videos that have jump cuts before the item(s) are extracted from the head. This is a lazy no effort way that undermines the creativity behind the trend, but it works. If you want to do it the right way, all you need is heat, a razor blade, super glue, and patience.

F ‘n’ F – Putting stuff in Funko heads of course also isn’t the only content you make, what’s your favourite sort of content to make if you have a favourite?

PF – I love creating satirical content with Funko pops. My main source of motivation is how pressed and triggered collectors can be by doing something as simple as opening up a box. Throughout the year and a half I have been creating this type of content I have learned how judgmental people can be. It is the mission of the funky funko’s to eliminate the elitism behind collecting things. I have adopted the motto “There Are No Rules To Collecting” to give people the permission to collect any way they like. Nobody should be telling anybody what to do with their collection.

The only exception to this would be the ongoing feud between in-box collectors and out-of-box collectors. I think this is a healthy topic to disagree on within the community. This is provided that the elitist mindset does not take over and people start getting harassed for their choice.

F ‘n’ F – Speaking of doing things with your pops, I believe you used to be an in-the-box collector (which I still am for the purpose of displaying my figures, although I will remove them for photos), what is your philosophy on collecting? I believe it is something that I feel just as strongly about.

PF – I did not start off as an in-box collector. Infact, if I could help it, I would have every one of my Funko pops unboxed. I do not have the shelving or the space just play them all outside of the box. My philosophy on collecting could be summarized by: “If you collect only for value, then you don’t have a collection. You have an inventory”.

F ‘n’ F – On the topic of collecting what and how you want – besides Funko pops, what else do you collect, if anything? Also, out of your Funko collection what are your favorites and perhaps ones you’re most proud to own?

PF – I don’t have much of a collection outside of my Funko Pops. I love Funko Pops because they fit any genre and are great sources of fuel for nostalgia. I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t even have that great of a collection. My collection is highly influenced by fan requests and my personal favorite genres: Dragonball and Pokemon. I do have a nice collection of Dragonball Super CCG though 🙂

The one’s I’m most proud to own are the Gifts from other collectors. I’ve built my daughter a nursery full of the Wetmore Forest Funko Pops. Some of those have been gifted and I treasure those. The most expensive Funko Pop I owned, Marty Mcfly 815 (Pop Blitz sticker), I gave away to a follower. The value in my pops is the sentiment they bring.

F ‘n’ F – Thank you for taking the time to have a chat with me and for helping clear up this Funko decapitating business for everyone because it really has got the community divided between believers and non believers!


If you want to see more from Papifunko / Funky Funkos here are those links!

YouTube

Tik Tok

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I'm a collector of pop culture items, with by far my biggest collection being in excess of 1,200 DVDs (yeah I still stay old school - can't wrap my head around the whole streaming thing yet), as well as various figures and Memorabilia (with most of these being McFarlane Walking Dead 5 inch figures, Funko Pop and Funko Pint Size Heroes, with a few other exceptions too). I'm a massive nerd and giant child at heart so feel free to have a chat about anything toy and movie related. My biggest movie passions are horror by far (especially slasher and zombie), sci fi and to a lesser extent action and comedy.

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