Do you have a favorite fictional character from TV, movies, video games or pop culture? A cherished sports hero, celebrity or musical artist who occupies a special place in your heart? Odds are, that special someone has been captured in the form of a Funko Pop vinyl figure. And I‘m willing to bet serious money that if your favorite pop culture icon exists as a Funko Pop, it can be found in the Guinness World Record-holding collection of Funkos amassed by David Mebane of Knoxville, Tennessee.
Hi, my name is Steve and I‘m a fellow Funko Pop fanatic. Let‘s explore the fascinating world of Funko Pop collecting through the lens of David Mebane, the world record holder for the largest Funko Pop collection on the planet! Grab your favorite collectible figurine and come along for the ride.
First, a quick history lesson for the uninitiated. Funko is a company based out of Everett, Washington that specializes in licensed pop culture collectibles. They were founded in 1998 and originally focused on bobbleheads before creating the iconic, large-headed Funko Pop vinyl figures in 2010.
The very first Funko Pops centered on DC Comics characters like Batman and Watchmen heroes. Funko scored major licenses for Disney, Marvel and Star Wars characters shortly after launching the Funko Pop brand. Throughout the 2010s, Funko Pop took the collectibles world by storm, amassing billions in sales:
- In 2016, Funko did $425 million in sales
- By 2020, Funko‘s sales had skyrocketed to nearly $1 billion!
Today, Funko holds over 200 licenses covering TV shows, films, books, anime, video games and more. They produce tens of thousands of different Funko Pops capturing every corner of pop culture and entertainment. It‘s hard to go anywhere these days without seeing Funko‘s adorable big-headed figures.
Funko Pop collecting has become a massive hobby with thousands of devoted fans. But perhaps no collector has dedicated themselves to amassing Funkos quite like David Mebane. His passion for Funko Pops began in 2014 when he purchased his very first Pop – none other than Jason Voorhees from his favorite horror movie franchise Friday the 13th.
Mebane had always loved toys and collectibles. But when he discovered Funko Pops, something simply clicked. The figures combined his childhood nostalgia for toys with his adult interests like horror films and pop culture. He was hooked immediately!
From that fateful first Funko, Mebane began rapidly expanding his budding collection. At the height of his collecting powers, he was acquiring 20 to 30 new Funko Pops every single week! Let‘s take a look at just how massive Mebane‘s world record Funko Pop hoard has grown since 2014:
- Over 7,000 different Funko Pops and counting
- 500+ 10" and 18" super-sized Funko Pops
- 126 signed Funko Pops featuring signatures from actors, creators and celebrities
- Countless limited edition, vaulted and exclusive Funko Pops
As a fellow Funko enthusiast, I‘m jealous of Mebane‘s endless collection budget! He clearly has the time, space and resources to feed his Funko habit. Now let‘s dive into the different types of Funkos you can find in Mebane‘s unparalleled assemblage of vinyl figures.
In addition to the standard 3.75 inch Funko Pop editions, Mebane has stockpiled over 500 of the 10 and 18 inch jumbo pops in his collection. These huge versions of iconic characters are must-have centerpieces for serious Funko collectors:
- 10" "Babu Frik" Pop from Star Wars – $54.99
- 18" "Harry Potter" Pop riding Hedwig – $89.99
Mebane also owns the coveted "Pop Rides" series – Funkos featuring characters alongside their famous vehicles:
- James Bond with Aston Martin – $90
- Harry Potter trio riding a dragon – $34.99
Beyond the traditional Pop figures, Mebane‘s collection contains Funko‘s block-headed "Dorbz" figurines, super-stylized "Hikari" vinyls and pixelated "Pixel Pops". He is truly dedicated to gathering every Funko format!
Now let‘s discuss the ultra rare Grail Pops that make Mebane‘s assemblage truly drool-worthy. Any Funko Pop collector will tell you certain Pops are more coveted than others. Hard-to-find exclusives, limited runs and vaulted editions can sell for outrageous prices.
Mebane‘s collection has some of the rarest Pops on the planet, like:
- Bank Robber Joker – $500+ (vaulted)
- White Lady Asia exclusive – $2000+
- Signed "Jason Voorhees" figure – Priceless!
As a devoted collector myself, I was floored seeing Mebane‘s shrine to rare Funko Pop Grails. He has dedicated endless hours tracking down and acquiring the most elusive Pops to complete his unparalleled collection.
In 2021, all of Mebane‘s hard work paid off when his Funko collection was officially certified by Guinness World Records as the largest in the world! It‘s estimated Mebane possesses over 7% of every Funko Pop ever produced. That‘s true dedication from a supreme Funko devotee.
When asked about his milestone achievement, Mebane responded: "I‘ve always considered myself a collector…and I‘ve really seen Funko explode into this huge phenomenon…To me, outside of my family, collecting Funkos is what I love to do."
I couldn‘t relate more to Mebane‘s passion. Funko Pops bring tremendous joy to fans through their simplicity and creativity. At their hearts, they are miniature works of art immortalizing the stories and characters we love.
So for fellow collectors, here are some of Mebane‘s tips for starting your own Funko Pop collection:
- Focus on your favorite fandoms and characters at first.
- Research rare and limited edition Pops to watch for.
- Utilize tools like Pop Price Guide to track your collection.
- Protect your Pops with protective cases.
- Display your Funkos proudly on shelves!
While most of us will never achieve Mebane‘s Guinness record, his supreme collection serves as inspiration to collectors everywhere. We all have those special characters that shaped our lives and mean the world to us. And Funko Pops allow us to honor them forever.
So if your passion is Star Wars or Hello Kitty, sports stars or TV shows, never stop embracing the childlike joy of collecting Funkos. They keep our favorite stories alive and bring us together in pop culture community. Who knows – maybe your collection will be record-breaking one day too! Thanks for letting me ramble about Funko Pops. Now go check out your collection and enjoy the memories.