There are many ways a Funko Pop collector can tell if a Funko Pop is a fake, unbranded, counterfeit item. Each Funko Pop has a production number stamped on the bottom of the foot and a Funko LLC logo stamped somewhere on either the feet or the actual body of the pop. The box itself has copyright information as well.
When purchasing a Funko Pop online from any reseller site, always ask for a photo of the box, the bottom of the feet, and all sides of the Funko Pop to compare important authenticity details before purchasing. At the bottom of this article, I will list some Funko Pop Collector forums and sites in case you want to run what you’ve found past some more, possibly sharper eyes.
What to Look for in Counterfeit Funko Pop
Let’s take a moment to walk through what you DON’T want to see when purchasing an authentic Funko Pop.
On the Funko Pop Box
Look at the bordering lines on the box and compare them with an original image online from the Funko Pop site
Some of the borders around the edge of the box may be off-center a bit, lines could be thicker or thinner than you will see on an authentic box, and you may also see the ink lighter or darker than what it should be.
Counterfeiters are extremely good now, but you can always see flaws somewhere on the packaging and the Funko Pop figure.
Look at the production number and country of origin at the bottom of the box
Many fake Funko Pops will be easy to spot based on the country of origin. True Funko Pops are made in Vietnam and China.
Funko Pop does not put serial numbers on the box or the pop but does use production numbers that will differ from box to what’s on the pop inside. So if you have a pop in question with a production number on what looks like a label from a home label maker on the bottom of the box, and that number matches what’s on the bottom of the foot on the pop, that’s your telltale sign the Funko Pop is a counterfeit.
On an authentic pop, the production number will be listed above the “Made in Vietnam” wording. It will likely contain three letters followed by a dash, six digits, another dash, and a final five numbers. Remember to pay attention to the font, color, and size.
Look at the ink color on the box
A true Funko Pop can be complicated to spot when you don’t have an opposing counterfeit Funko Pop to use for comparison. I suggest knowing exactly how the original Funko Pop box should appear. Save images found online to a file for easy access to use when you are surfing the web looking for that super rare pop.
It could be something as simple as the tint of a color, or it could be altogether incorrect.
Unfortunately, counterfeiters have upped their game, and what was once easy to spot might get brushed off as an error in Funko Pop’s printer or manufacturing. A slightly lighter color and some fading or imperfect lines seem like a standard production error, but I can promise you that you won’t see either of these examples on an authentic box.
Nothing and no one is perfect, and there have indeed been manufacturing errors for just about anything. You want to note the discrepancy but don’t use it as the one for all decision-making point to conclude whether or not a Funko Pop box is authentic. If it’s a fake, a variation of tint will be one of many errors you can catch if you look carefully. Proceed with caution.
Pay close attention to any stickers on the box
I know that many of the super duper sought-after Funko Pops are that way because of how rare they are and because they came from (cue the fancy chimes) COMIC-CON! This alone makes them worth admiration and money in the eyes of any Funko Pop collector.
If you compare these stickers to the authentic box’s stickers, you might see a noticeable difference jump out at you. The wording may be different; the year might be missing, there could be a misspelling, or many other slightly off variations could happen. It could be something as slight as lettering spaced too close together or in a somewhat off tint.
About the Seller
Do Your Research on the Seller
If you are an experienced buyer on reseller sites, I’m sure you’re familiar with doing your own background check on a seller of an item you are hoping to purchase.
A few red flags to look for would be: the seller’s location vs. where the item is shipping out of, a brand new profile without any purchases or sales, lots of typos in the item’s name or description, negative reviews from other buyers and sellers doing business with this person, a stock photo as opposed to an actual image of the Funko Pop in their possession.
Another trick sellers of counterfeit pops like to pull is to list the pop at a massively discounted price. You need to ask yourself why a seller would ever sell a rare or vaulted Funko Pop for a fraction of the cost if they could easily get more money.
If you see a seller trying to sell a pop from China or any other country than the USA, there’s a good chance the pop is counterfeit. Funko Pop is only licensed to be sold in the USA.
On the Funko Pop Figure
Pay attention to the details on the Funko Pop figure
Details are important when it comes to spotting a counterfeit pop. Some will be easy to spot when put side by side with an authentic pop, and some might be more difficult. Make sure what you are looking at isn’t a chase variant of the Funko Pop in question. Instead, look at the details like freckles, splatters, mouth, uniform paint jobs, the shade of paint used, and accessories on the pop.
You might find the actual shape of the pop itself may be a bit off from the original or that there is leftover plastic still attached to the figure.
If you still need clarification, post the question with photos on a Funko forum. It can undoubtedly be tricky when faced with an authentic-looking fake pop. However, on a forum, you can poll the other members’ answers and base your knowledge on what your intuition tells you and what the experts chime in to say.
A Few Good Sites for Comparison & Questions
- Funko Pop
- The Fake Pop Database
- Reddit’s Community for Funko Pop Enthusiasts
- Funko Forum – Counterfeit Funko Pops
- Rebel Scum Forum: Vintage to Modern Star Wars Collecting – Fake Funko Pop
- Nerd Life: How to Spot a Fake Funko Pop
- Funko Pop Legit Check: Real vs. Fake Facebook Forum
How to Spot Fake Funko Pops: FAQs
Question: Are all Funko Pops made in China counterfeit?
Answer: No, Funko Pops are made in China and Vietnam.
Question: What does “vaulted” mean for Funko Pops?
Answer: Vaulted means no longer in production.
Question: What happens if you scan a fake Funko Pop on the Funko App?
Answer: If you scan the barcode on the Funko Pop’s box and it doesn’t authenticate, it will let you know, and you should further your investigation. Sometimes production numbers will not authenticate, which may not mean the pop scanned is counterfeit—complicated, right?
Authenticate your Funko Pop & Lower your Anxiety
There are many ways to authenticate the Funko Pop you want to purchase. If you are ever in doubt, ask a friend online. There are plenty of great forums out there for asking that exact question. Those forums are generally filled with “professional” Funko Pop inspectors, so post your desired pop’s photos and let the experts go to work.
As always, follow your intuition. If the price is too good to be true, it probably is; if the availability of this impossible-to-find pop seems a little weird, it probably is; if the seller appears foreign and their seller profile is brand new, avoid them and save yourself some time and headache.
You do have several legit vendors of resold Funko Pops online. I highly recommend staying within those lines while shopping to avoid the anxiety of possibly buying a counterfeit Funko Pop altogether. The less work you have to do to prove the authenticity of a pop, the better.