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Is the Naruto Funko Pop Worth Collecting? An Expert‘s Perspective

As a digital technology expert and avid collector, I‘ve seen firsthand how Funko Pops have revolutionized the collectibles industry over the past decade. By acquiring licenses to create figures based on the most popular entertainment franchises, Funko has made collecting more accessible and appealing to casual fans and die-hard enthusiasts alike.

One of the most extensive and popular Funko lineups is based on the Naruto franchise. With over 60 Pops and counting, there‘s a lot to consider if you‘re thinking about starting or expanding a Naruto Funko collection. In this guide, I‘ll dive deep into the data, trends, and expert insights you need to determine if Naruto Funkos are worth your time and investment.

The Enduring Popularity of Naruto

First, let‘s establish just how massive the Naruto franchise has become. Created by Masashi Kishimoto, the Naruto manga ran from 1999 to 2014, spanning 72 volumes which have collectively sold over 250 million copies worldwide as of 2022. This makes Naruto the 4th best-selling manga series of all time.

The anime adaptation, Naruto and Naruto: Shippuden, aired for a combined 15 years from 2002-2017. The series has been broadcast in over 90 countries and amassed a global fanbase in the tens of millions. In the US, Naruto is the most watched anime on Hulu and Crunchyroll. The franchise has also spawned 11 animated films which have grossed over $160 million at the box office.

With such a huge established fanbase and multi-generational appeal, it‘s clear to see why collectibles based on Naruto are in high demand. Fans naturally want tangible representations of their favorite characters to display their passion. In the mid-2010s, Funko stepped up to meet this demand.

The Rise of Funko Pops

Funko Pops first hit the scene in 2011 and have since grown into the most popular vinyl collectible figure on the market, outpacing former stalwarts like Hasbro and Mattel. As of 2022, over 1000 different licensed properties have been turned into Pops, with more than 13,000 unique figures produced. On average, 200 new Funko Pops are released each month.

Pops have become a global phenomenon, with collectors in over 100 countries driving roughly $1 billion in sales for Funko each year. The combination of affordable price point (most common Pops have a $12 retail price), consistent 3.75" stylized design, and availability at myriad retailers has made the figures accessible to collectors of all commitment levels.

Funko‘s business model is built on securing licensing rights from the biggest names in film, television, video games, sports, anime, and more. In 2015, they announced a deal to produce figures for Naruto Shippuden, sending ripples of excitement through the fandom.

The History of Naruto Funko Pops

The first wave of Naruto Pops hit stores in December 2015, consisting of five figures:

  1. Naruto Uzumaki
  2. Sasuke Uchiha
  3. Sakura Haruno
  4. Kakashi Hatake
  5. Kurama 6" Super Sized Pop (Hot Topic Exclusive)

This was soon followed by the first exclusive, a glow-in-the-dark version of Kurama in early 2016. As the anime series reached its climax, Funko ramped up production and introduced a slew of new Naruto Pops in 2016-2017 including standouts like:

  • Naruto Sage Mode (Hot Topic Exclusive)
  • Cursed Mark Sasuke GitD (Hot Topic Exclusive)
  • Tobi with Chains (GameStop Exclusive)
  • Pain Almighty Push GitD (AAA Anime Exclusive)
  • Naruto Six Path Sage Mode GitD (Hot Topic Exclusive)
  • Minato Namikaze (Chase GitD variant)
  • Madara Reanimation (Hot Topic Exclusive)

2018 saw the release of the highly sought after Minato Namikaze vs Tobi Movie Moment (AAA Anime Exclusive, limited to 5000pcs) along with a wave dedicated to the Akatsuki members. The Naruto line slowed down in 2019-2020 before picking back up in 2021 with a focus on the Boruto era.

At the time of writing, there have been 63 Naruto Funko Pops released. The line‘s growth underscores its sustained popularity with both Naruto fans and Funko collectors in general. With dozens of fan favorite characters still not made, there‘s plenty of room for further expansion.

Naruto Funko Pop Value and Collectibility

As with all collectibles, a Naruto Pop‘s value is ultimately determined by the market forces of supply and demand. Figures that were produced in more limited quantities and/or feature popular characters tend to appreciate in value over time as collector demand increases while supply stays the same or decreases.

By analyzing sales data from the Funko app, PPG, and eBay, we can spot some clear trends in the Naruto line‘s value:

  • Exclusive variants have appreciated the most over time. For example, the GITD Kurama released in 2016 had a retail price around $15 but now routinely sells for $500-600. The Minato vs Tobi Movie Moment, limited to 5000pcs, has a PPG value of $285, up from the $25 retail price.

  • Pops of popular characters in their most recognizable forms hold value better than lesser known characters/outfits. The original commons of Naruto, Sasuke and Kakashi from 2015 have doubled or tripled in value as a set whereas minor characters like Orochimaru and Jiraiya have mostly stayed flat around retail price.

  • Pops that depict iconic moments/techniques are more desirable than static poses. Pops of Naruto‘s Rasengan, Sasuke‘s Susanoo, Minato‘s Flying Raijin, etc. all carry a premium.

  • Older Pops appreciate more than recent releases. Most Naruto Pops from 2015-2017 have increased in value by 50-100% on average while the majority of releases from 2019-present have not moved much if at all.

  • Condition is key, especially box quality. Most collectors consider near-mint boxes essential for securing top dollar value. Damage free corners, minimal shelf wear, and clean window panes all impact saleability.

Of course, value can fluctuate frequently in the Funko market based on current trends. A figure‘s surge in value could prove temporary based on short-term hype. It‘s crucial for collectors to focus on characters they have a genuine passion for vs chasing perceived value.

Risks and Downsides of Funko Collecting

It‘s also important to acknowledge the potential risks and pitfalls of Funko investing. As more and more people have caught onto the craze in recent years, there‘s growing concern of an unsustainable collectibles bubble.

The Funko market has already shown volatility, with previously hot figures dropping in value and some collectors having a harder time recouping their investment. While marquee Naruto Pops are likely safer in this regard, it‘s still prudent for collectors to follow smart buying practices and know their personal risk tolerance.

Another issue to be mindful of is the prevalence of counterfeits and bootlegs, especially of high value Pops like GITD Kurama. Scammers try to pass off fakes as authentic through platforms like eBay or Facebook Marketplace. Examining pictures closely, comparing to official Funko glams, and buying from reputable collectors are all wise steps to avoid being duped.

Displaying and Protecting Your Naruto Funko Collection

For serious Naruto Funko collectors, proper storage and display is essential to preserving both value and aesthetic appeal. If you are keeping your Funkos in box, investing in protective cases is highly recommended, especially for more expensive pieces. Look for acid-free, UV resistant options designed specifically for Pops.

As for display, there are myriad creative options but some popular choices include:

  • Wall mounted shelves
  • Acrylic risers
  • Baseball bat display cases
  • Ikea Detolf glass door cabinet

Regardless of your setup, try to avoid displaying in areas with direct sunlight or high humidity which can cause box fading and warping over time. A cool, dark space is ideal if possible.

Out of box collectors have even more posing options but the figures themselves are of course more vulnerable. Consider getting a glass door display to keep dust at bay.


Circling back to our main question – are Naruto Funko Pops worth collecting? For fans of the series, I believe the answer is a resounding yes. The extensive character selection, inspired design choices, and potential for financial upside make them a great blend of fandom expression and calculated investing.

At the end of the day though, your Naruto Funko collection should be an extension of your passion for the franchise first and foremost. Approach it as a fun, interactive way to engage with a story and characters you love. The joy of the hunt for new additions and the pride of displaying your favorites will always be the most rewarding aspect.

By keeping the tips and market context I‘ve outlined in mind, you can build the Naruto roster that‘s right for you. Whether you choose to laser focus on a few high value grails or catch ‘em all, enjoy the process and the amazing global community you‘re now a part of.

I think Masashi Kishimoto himself would admire the artistry and enthusiasm Funko has brought to immortalizing his creations. Funko Pops are a great medium for carrying the Naruto saga forward for generations to come. Believe it!