To understand Funko NFT’s we need to touch on topics related to software engineering, economics, philosophy, collectibles markets, and more. This stuff can get really complicated, really fast. We’re gonna do our best to break it down into small chunks that are easy to understand.
We start with a basic overview of Funko’s line of digital collectibles. What are they? Where can you get them? Which ones are the most valuable? But then we’re going to go deeper and look at NFT’s in general, how they’re created, and what exactly it means when you acquire a digital token.
Plus, I’m going to fill you in on a very cool detail about these NFT’s that, well, if not for this tiny detail, I might dismiss these entirely as too risky to be worthy of your time and money.
Maybe it’s all too much. Do we really need to understand the inner workings of this stuff just to cop a .mp4 of Droopy Dog? Not really, but it is quite fascinating, and I would genuinely like for you to have a deep understanding of what you are purchasing as a collector.
So however you feel about crypto and NFT’s, they’re here, they exist, and people pay good money for them online every day. So let’s sit down, take a deep breath and unravel this king rat of digital concepts to build out a deeper understanding of Funko NFT’s.
What is a Funko Digital Pop!?
On August 3, 2021, Funko released their first series of digital artwork with a drop of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles NFT’s. This initial collection covers 15 TMNT characters.
Funko has continued to issue NFT drops regularly at a rate of 1-2 drops/month.
But a unique aspect of the Funko Digital Pop! line is that certain Digital Pop! NFT’s and collections of NFT’s are redeemable for physical Pop! Vinyls. Some of these Vinyls are quite rare.
This adds a fresh dimension to digital collectibles. Assemble the right collection of NFT’s and you get access to some pretty awesome Funko Pop! Vinyls.
So a Funko Digital Pop! is a token and associated artwork on a blockchain. But it can also be one of the physical Pop! Digital Vinyls for which one or several of these tokens can be redeemed. It’s really a pretty cool way to link virtual and real-world collectibles.
If you don’t like math or technology, or if the term ‘blockchain’ gets your blood pressure up, don’t worry. It’s not complicated, it’s just nerdy. We collect toys. We can do nerdy. But if you really want to just skip over the details and straight to the part about how Funko NFT’s use the Wax blockchain and why, click here. Otherwise, read on.
No, but seriously, what is a Funko NFT!?
So It’s not enough for you to just trust the machine and its corporate puppeteers? Well, you’ve come to the right place. I mean, the whole point of a blockchain is to dispense with trust in the outdated context of maintaining personal relationships, right?
Wait, what’s a Blockchain?
Ahhh, yes. The term has come up a lot in recent years. But maybe you haven’t looked into it too deeply. I can drum up a rough explanation.
A blockchain is a collection of information, something like an excel sheet or maybe even a grocery list in a way. The big special magic thing about a blockchain though, is that everyone who uses this information has access to all of it.
Yeah, imagine if instead of writing your own grocery list, you just added onto a collective list that is being used by thousands or millions of others. That seems silly, right? Well it is, but also it’s not…
See, in order to add information to this massive list, you need to agree with everyone else who is using the list that the info it contains has not been tampered with. And you need to provide some special secret pin codes to prove it’s you who’s adding the information. There’s a lot of math and number puzzles involved. If you want a step-by-step breakdown, this one is decent.
But the end result is that you have a database full of information that everyone trusts. As it happens, you can use that database to do some pretty cool stuff, like register sensitive transactions and store data, like your Funko NFT’s for instance.
Well, Then What’s an NFT?
Now we’re getting somewhere!
What if we use our special super mathematically trustworthy database (our blockchain) to store some information about Droopy Dog? Maybe we slip a URL in there where we’re keeping a video of Droopy Dog. Better yet, maybe we cram the video data itself in there.
This starts to look like an NFT, a Funko NFT even. The data we sneak in here is visible to anyone using the blockchain, but we can easily associate it with a specific account so that everyone knows who this data belongs to, and the owner can prove it with their special key. And what if we sneak in some info about who owns this Droopy Dog?
This is, very basically, what your Funko NFT token is. Obviously a massive oversimplification, but Funko creates some digital art, associates it with an entry in a blockchain, and lets you pay to get it labeled as yours.
Does That Mean Funko NFT’s are Bitcoin?
No! Definitely not.
There are a lot of Blockchains out there. Different blockchains are designed to do different things. Bitcoin is slow and expensive and doesn’t hold much data. This makes it very trustworthy and reliable. But it also makes it pretty impractical for consumer grade digital assets like Funko NFT’s.
Funko NFT’s need a blockchain that’s better optimized to store more data and register transactions more cheaply and easily. That’s where Wax comes in.
What in the World is Wax?
This is not the kind of wax you find in a beehive, or your ears. In this case, Wax stands for Worldwide Asset eXchange™.
From their website, they call themselves “The Most Proven Web3 Ecosystem for Gaming and NFT’s“. I think that’s a massive overstep, but we’ll get to that later. I do think we can broadly accept that Wax is a blockchain that is purpose-built for e-commerce.
So Wax makes it so that you can buy Funko NFT’s at a reasonable price and move them around quickly. And there are some other big games and brands that are dropping NFT’s on the Wax blockchain. But it does have the downside of not being anywhere near as trustworthy and reliable as some of the other, more established blockchains.
It’s kinda a bummer honestly, but I feel like this needs to be said. The probability that Wax is going to be around in 10-20 years is probably not super high. Wax is a relatively small blockchain. It’s not even anywhere near being the largest blockchain in its niche. And crypto is still an incredibly volatile scene.
If you purchase Funko NFT’s, you should be aware that there is a strong chance that they will not stick around in the same way that baseball cards or comic books or even Funko Pop! Vinyls will stick around. So seriously, please don’t think of these as an investment.
That being said, there is one more little detail that makes these NFT’s pretty cool. Redemptions…
What are Funko NFT Redemptions?
Alright, this is that little detail I mentioned in the intro. It’s kinda unique to Funko NFT’s, and it’s pretty awesome!
If you collect the right combination of Funko NFT tokens, you can redeem them for real-world Pop! Vinyl figures in a special Pop! Digital line. Some of these figures are pretty sweet. And most of them have limited production runs.
If you’re not aware, limited production Vinyls are the cream of the Funko crop. And normally, the only way to get ahold of these is to hit the comic cons religiously, do some serious diving at your local purveyors, or pay an arm and a leg on Ebay. Collecting Funko NFT’s is a chance at snagging some of the coolest limited edition Vinyls out there.
So Where Can I get Funko Pop! Digital NFT’s?
The best place to start hunting is right here…
But there’s a little more to the story. A lot more really. The Funko NFT market is a little confusing. Bare with me…
There’s this company called TokenWave, LLC. They built an app called TokenHead that interacts with NFT’s on the Wax blockchain. Funko worked with them to develop a platform called Droppp.io to manage the Funko NFT Drops. And in April of 2022, Funko announced a majority stake in Tokenwave. In essence, Tokenwave, LLC is now the digital collectible subsidiary of Funko proper.
You can buy Funko NFT’s anywhere that Wax NFT’s are bought or traded. For the most part, that will be one of 2 digital places marketplaces.
For new Funko NFT drops, go straight to Droppp.io. If you can catch a pack before the series is sold out, you can purchase it right there.
But once the series you’re interested in has sold out, you need to turn to the secondary market. The market that Droppp promotes most actively is called AtomicHub. Links on Droppp go straight to AtomicHub listings on any of the Funko NFT collections that have been sold out. AtomicHub is a marketplace for NFT’s on the Wax or EOS blockchains. Wax appears to be at least partially derivative of EOS btw.
There are some other marketplaces for Wax-based NFT’s, but they’re mostly the same and AtomicHub is the easiest to use. So in practicality, for now, all of your buying and trading of Funko NFT’s is going to be done through AtomicHub.
How Does Buying Funko NFT’s Work?
In order to take possession of an NFT, you need a digital wallet. Different blockchains will require different wallets. We are using the Wax blockchain, so we need a Wax wallet.
When you first sign in on AtomicHub, they ask you which wallet you want to use. There are currently 2 options for Wax wallets: Wax Cloud Wallet, and Anchor. The comparison is broken down on the site…
We only have 2 options currently. One option does not offer access to private keys. This essentially means that your NFT’s are not in your direct possession. This is a massive red flag for a cryptocurrency wallet. Instead of trusting the mathematical cryptographic protocol that governs Wax, you’re trusting the developers of Wax Cloud Wallet to protect your tokens.
The other option, Anchor wallet, doesn’t allow you to view the NFT’s in your wallet. I don’t know about you, but I kinda want to be able to look at my NFT’s.
I can’t tell you which wallet to chose. Neither is ideal. Again, I reiterate, the reason to buy these things is to get to the real-world Vinyls they can be redeemed for. So just operate with that in mind.
Once you chose your wallet, you have to fill it with some Wax. AtomicHub let’s you purchase wax with a credit card, or you can convert Bitcoin or Ethereum directly.
I can’t recommend the credit card route enough. There are just too many mistakes to be made when dealing with crypto directly. If you do want to use crypto, please only transfer a small enough denomination that you will not be disturbed if it is lost.
Once you’re loaded up on Wax, you can go ahead and bid on available tokens. If your bid is accepted, your token goes right to your wallet and you can check out your collection any time on AtomicHub, or on your wallet if you chose the Wax Cloud Wallet.
What are the Benefits of owning Funko NFT’s?
There’s the obvious downside here of not owning a tangible physical figure. You can’t easily display an NFT in the same way that you can place a Pop! vinyl on your desk. Even existing solutions for displaying NFT’s on other blockchains are not yet capable of displaying Wax-based NFT’s.
Still, there are some advantages to focusing on the digital collectibles market. One key benefit to collecting Funko Digitals is the transparency. When you purchase a Funko NFT, you take immediate delivery of a product. The product is mathematically authenticated. And you can easily reference its specific rarity. And every detail of that product is recorded in a very visible and accessible database. I have another article that walks you through exploring the Wax blockchain if you’re interested.
It is fantastic to know exactly what you’re getting. Sure, you’ll always need some kind of network connected digital aid to reference your NFT’s. But you never have to worry about forgeries, a new print run flooding the market, or shipping, should you ever chose to sell your collectible.
And of course, the opportunity to redeem these particular digital collectibles for real-world limited edition figures is a huge draw.
I’ve been interested in cryptocurrency for a long time now. So it’s super cool to start seeing these kinds of projects being taken up by serious companies in real applications.
But all of this stuff is still very early. It shouldn’t take the collapse of a major, VC-backed crypto exchange to tell you that this industry as a whole is way over its skis. I really appreciate the added feature with Funko NFT’s that you can redeem them for real-world goods. But I strongly believe that it is very important to understand that there is very little justification at this point for stacking away Funko NFT’s with any real hope of future appreciation.
But, you know, I stacked away a bunch of comic books in the 90’s. It never paid off financially, but I’m still glad I have them. So, just maybe ask yourself if you’re going to be happy to own an .mp4 of Droopy Dog in 20 years. And also, be sure to ask yourself if you’ll be sad if the Wax network collapses for whatever reason and all of your Droopy Dogs and Neos and Metallic Leonardos fade into digital oblivion.
Collect… But please collect responsibly.