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The Best Animated Funko Pops to Add to Your Collection: A Digital Technology Expert‘s Perspective

In the realm of collectibles, few things have captured the zeitgeist quite like Funko Pops. These stylized vinyl figures have skyrocketed in popularity since their debut in 2010, with over 8,000 unique Pops now in existence and more than 100 million sold worldwide as of 2021 according to the company‘s financial reports. From a digital technology standpoint, Funko‘s success is a fascinating case study in how online communities, e-commerce, and social media have revolutionized the collectibles market.

While Funko Pops span every conceivable fandom, some of the most sought-after figures come from the world of animation. Translating beloved animated characters into the Funko Pop aesthetic adds an extra layer of charm and nostalgia. For tech-savvy collectors, hunting down these animated gems has become a favorite pastime.

Whether you‘re an avid collector or just embarking on your Funko journey, these are the 10 best animated Funko Pops to keep on your radar:

1. Naruto Uzumaki (#71)

Release Date: 2015
Series: Naruto Shippuden
Dimensions: 3.75 inches
Estimated Value: $80-100 in mint condition

As the title character of one of the best-selling manga series of all time, Naruto Uzumaki is a must-have Pop for anime aficionados. This figure depicts Naruto in his classic pose, arms crossed and ready for action. With Naruto‘s enduring global popularity, it‘s no surprise that this 2015 release remains highly coveted by collectors.

2. Monkey D. Luffy (#98)

Release Date: 2016
Series: One Piece
Dimensions: 3.75 inches
Estimated Value: $50-70 in mint condition

Monkey D. Luffy, the stretchy, starry-eyed captain of the Straw Hat Pirates, is the hero of the long-running manga and anime sensation One Piece. This Pop showcases Luffy in his iconic straw hat and original outfit. As One Piece continues to smash sales records and dominate online discussions, Luffy‘s Funko is sure to set sail into further demand.

3. Goku & Flying Nimbus (#109)

Release Date: 2015
Series: Dragon Ball Z
Dimensions: 3.75 inches
Estimated Value: $100-150 in mint condition

Son Goku, the Super Saiyan poster boy of Dragon Ball Z, is easily one of the most recognizable anime characters worldwide. Here he‘s paired with his magical cloud companion, the Flying Nimbus, from his early adventures. As a pillar of the anime canon, Goku on Nimbus is a centerpiece for serious collectors, reflected in its substantial market value.

4. Colossal Titan (#234)

Release Date: 2017
Series: Attack on Titan
Dimensions: 6 inches
Estimated Value: $40-50 in mint condition

Towering and terrifying, the Colossal Titan from Attack on Titan translates into an oversized 6-inch Pop with unsettlingly dead eyes. As Attack on Titan has exploded into mainstream popularity in recent years, this menacing figure has become a top target for collectors and casual fans alike, with online buzz boosting its profile.

5. Sailor Moon with Luna (#89)

Release Date: 2016
Series: Sailor Moon
Dimensions: 3.75 inches
Estimated Value: $55-70 in mint condition

Sailor Moon, the defining magical girl heroine of a generation, shines in this shimmery metallic Pop accompanied by her talking cat Luna. Sailor Moon‘s nostalgic appeal and influential status in the anime world make this figure an enduring favorite. Its steady value is a testament to the staying power of the pretty guardian‘s fandom.

6. Appa (#540)

Release Date: 2018
Series: Avatar: The Last Airbender
Dimensions: 6 inches
Estimated Value: $150-200 in mint condition

Straight out of the beloved Nickelodeon series flies Appa, the fluffy flying sky bison. At a hefty 6 inches, this flocked figure captures Appa‘s cuddly majesty. Even years after Avatar‘s conclusion, its loyal fan community keeps interest in the series‘ Pops soaring, as reflected in Appa‘s impressive price point.

7. Pikachu (#353)

Release Date: 2018
Series: Pokemon
Dimensions: 4 inches
Estimated Value: $50-70 in mint condition

The icon of all things Pokémon, Pikachu electrifies in this flocked Pop sporting fuzzy yellow fur. As the enduring mascot of a multi-billion dollar franchise, Pikachu‘s popularity shows no signs of diminishing. For collectors, that means this precious Pop is a safe bet to retain its value and charm.

8. Hatsune Miku (#39)

Release Date: 2016
Series: Vocaloid
Dimensions: 3.75 inches
Estimated Value: $70-100 in mint condition

Virtual idol Hatsune Miku sings her way into the spotlight as a metallic Pop with her signature blue pigtails. Miku‘s massive digital following has propelled her to international stardom, complete with holographic live concerts. That cutting-edge appeal keeps Miku in high demand among collectors.

9. Deku Full Cowl (#596)

Release Date: 2019
Series: My Hero Academia
Dimensions: 4 inches
Estimated Value: $30-40 in mint condition

Up-and-coming hero Deku strikes a dynamic pose channeling his One For All Quirk in this crackling Pop. As My Hero Academia has rapidly risen to the top of the anime pack, Deku‘s Funko has become a fan-favorite for its spot-on representation of the character‘s signature attack. Online hype keeps this Pop flying off shelves.

10. Cheshire Cat GITD (#178)

Release Date: 2016
Series: Alice in Wonderland (Disney)
Dimensions: 3.75 inches
Estimated Value: $200+ in mint condition

Disney‘s mischievous Cheshire Cat materializes as a trippy translucent Pop with an eerie glow-in-the-dark grin. As a limited edition exclusive, this figure is highly prized by both Disney devotees and hardcore Funko fanatics. Its scarcity and special features have driven aftermarket prices to the upper echelons of Pop collecting.

The Digital Funko Frontier

In many ways, Funko‘s meteoric rise is a direct result of our hyper-connected digital age. E-commerce platforms like Amazon and eBay have made it easier than ever for collectors to hunt down their most-wanted Pops from the comfort of home. Online communities on Reddit, Facebook, and Discord provide spaces for fans to share finds, discuss values, and geek out over their favorite figures.

Digital technology has also changed the way Funko engages with its audience. The Funko app allows users to catalog their collections, receive notifications about new releases, and even earn rewards points. During the pandemic, Funko has leaned into livestreamed events and online conventions to build hype for upcoming drops.

Perhaps the most intriguing development is Funko‘s foray into the world of NFTs, or non-fungible tokens. In 2021, Funko announced plans to launch its own NFT platform where fans can buy, sell, and trade digital Funko collectibles. This bold move shows Funko‘s willingness to embrace cutting-edge tech to stay relevant in an increasingly virtual world.

Tips for the Modern Funko Collector

With so many Pops to choose from and an ever-fluctuating market, collecting in the digital age can be daunting. Here are some expert insights to help you build your collection strategically:

  • Condition is Key: Serious collectors prize mint condition boxes and flawless figures above all else. In the digital marketplace, condition heavily dictates value. Inspect potential purchases carefully and store your Pops safely to maintain their worth.

  • Knowledge is Power: Do your homework before pulling the trigger on a big purchase. Check the Funko app and reputable online price guides like Pop Price Guide to assess a figure‘s value. Read online forums and reviews to gauge buzz and spot potential future grails.

  • Stay in the Loop: Follow your favorite retailers and fan channels on social media to get alerts about upcoming releases, restocks, and sales. Some Pops can sell out in seconds, so timely info is critical. Sign up for email newsletters to get the inside scoop.

  • Network and Negotiate: Don‘t be afraid to reach out to other collectors online. Your dream Pop could be gathering dust on someone‘s shelf. Many collectors are willing to trade or negotiate prices, especially if you have something tempting to offer in return.

  • Collect What You Love: At the end of the day, your collection should reflect your genuine interests. Don‘t just chase value or hype. Funko Pops are made to be enjoyed, so fill your shelves with the characters and franchises that speak to you, regardless of the market.

The Future is Funko

From modest beginnings as a niche collectible to a international phenomenon, Funko Pops have certainly made their mark on popular culture. For animation fans, these stylized figures provide a fun and accessible way to celebrate the characters and stories that inspire us.

As the world grows increasingly digital, it‘s clear that Funko is poised to evolve with the times. With forays into NFTs, virtual events, and online exclusives, Funko continues to find innovative ways to engage its tech-savvy collector base. At the same time, the core appeal of Funko Pops remains timeless: the thrill of the hunt, the joy of displaying a beloved character, and the camaraderie of sharing your passion with fellow fans.

In the end, the best animated Funko Pops are the ones that speak to you personally. Whether you‘re a die-hard otaku or a casual cartoon fan, there‘s a Pop out there waiting to steal your heart and claim a spot on your shelf. So dive into the digital collecting sphere, stay savvy, and most importantly, have fun!

What animated Funko Pops are you hoping to add to your collection? Share your most-wanted figures and collecting tips in the comments below. Happy hunting!