Funko Collector Trades Rare Pops For Over $150k In Cadillacs

Funko Collector Trades Rare Pops For Over 0k In Cadillacs

Most Funko Pops are worthless and being shoveled into landfills right now. But some are extremely rare, commanding exorbitant prices for face-to-face meetings. A recent trade shows just how weird the market has become for some Funko Pops, with one collector apparently swapping half a dozen ‘Freddy Venom’ figures for two 2023 Cadillac Escalade diesels, each worth over $80,000 .

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The merch was designed by Funko collector Junot Ignacio back in February and revolved around some of the most sought after pops in the community. Freddy is the mascot of the skull-like toy line, and he often appears in various limited crossovers, ranging from Grease to Fallout. While there are many Marvel Venom Pops in general, Venom Freddy’s are some of the rarest, with only 24 ever made as part of an exclusive Funko Fundays throwback during San Diego Comic-Con 2019.

Ignacio set out on a mission to collect them all and eventually ended up with 18. Holding “holy grails” like this is largely frowned upon in the Funko community and hobby collecting in general because it affects supply and demand is one of the most direct ways of artificially raising prices. Ignacio managed to turn the market around and seemingly raise prices as a result because he was the only one setting the prices.

Image: Funko

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“Most Freddy 24 pieces sold for around $5-800 at the height of his antics,” Frank “GrailMonster” Giaramita, another high-end collector, told Kotaku in an email. “But by having almost total control of the market for this piece, he was able to offload a handful of them for $25,000-$30,000 each, which greatly impacted the entire Funko market.”

Read more: Here’s what $30 million worth of Funko Pops heading to the landfill actually looks like

Recently, Ignacio, who operates a limousine service, has been downloading “Frenom” Funkos in exchange for luxury cars. In December 2022 he posted about using the proceeds from the sale of “2.5 frenoms” to purchase a GMC Yukon for approximately $70,000. Earlier this year, Giaramita told Kotaku that Ignacio posted in a Facebook trading group that he was looking to unload six more for about $240,000 or two Cadillac Escalades, with a substantial reward for anyone who helped hook him up with a buyer (Ignacio did not respond to a request for comment).

“Shout out to Jesus for making the deal easier,” Ignacio posted on Instagram in February with a photo of himself, the buyers, six Freddy Venoms and two black SUVs. “Now I can say from cash, to paypal, to venmo, to crypto and now to 2 2023 Cadillac Escalade diesel. Super hot.”

Freddy Venom prices have more than doubled

However, not everyone else is. While some Funko enthusiasts found the hustle impressive, others see the speculative investment bubble as a blight. “I honestly think things like this are ruining the hobby in a really big way,” Chuck Rimel, a Disney fan who started collecting Pop in 2015, told Kotaku. “Funko as a whole hasn’t helped and hasn’t helped themselves in the last one to two years, but people and activities like the ones you talk about do a lot more to keep people from staying in the hobby.”

Sales tracked by show that the price of Freddy Venoms has increased in recent months. Screenshot: Hobby Database / Kotaku

Ignacio’s Escalade trade has been shared several times on the Funko subreddit now, each time eliciting the same mix of fear and criticism of the dollar sign-inspired spectacle as selfish pursuit. “Junot’s mission really pissed off the whole community and was an extremely divisive topic in the community,” said Giaramita, who spent a ridiculous amount on a Willy Wonka Funko golden ticket last year.

“He gets extremely mixed reviews and reactions every time he posts or every time his name comes up,” Giaramita added.

It’s unclear how much of Funko’s current bubble is part of a hangover from the pandemic years that saw prices skyrocket from vintage video games to Pokemon cards. Perhaps the Funko Prize phenomenon is isolated to a few big players hoping to ride the momentum into a big win down the road. Some low-level Funko collectors couldn’t believe that someone would trade brand new cars for a few little plastic boxes. Others couldn’t believe that someone would trade Funko’s rare grails for cars that would immediately begin depreciating in value the moment they left the lot.

“Hoarding is supposed to be about fun and passion, not money and market manipulation,” Giaramita said.

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