MLB Mascots Funko Pop! Series
The Funko Pop! MLB series began distribution in August of 2014 with the MLB mascots line. Mariner Moose holds the coveted #01 position. The mascot series currently includes 20 mascots with the addition of 6 jersey color variants and 1 mold variant (Swinging Friar) for a total of 27 figures. Given 30 MLB teams and 3 teams without mascots, we’ve got 8 teams remaining without representation: San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs, Colorado Rockies, Tampa Bay Rays, St. Louis Cardinals, Cleveland Guardians and the Atlanta Braves. There are a few teams with multiple mascots as well for some potential future releases. Interestingly, there are also a number of retired mascots which may also serve as inspiration. However, some retired mascots have been retired for good reason.
MLB Players Funko Pop! Series
It wasn’t until September 23, 2017 with the release of the King Felix Hernandez figure in 3 variations that Funko offered figures modeled after players. Players and mascots maintain independent mold numbering. The Felix Hernandez flagship, explicitly labeled at #01 in the line, was distributed as an Oktoberfest giveaway to the first 20,000 ticket holders to arrive at Safeco field for the Mariners game that day as they faced the then Cleveland Indians.
The player series continues to be updated yearly with the changing of the MLB seasons. As of this writing, the players series is at 81 molds and counting. 26 of the 30 MLB teams have Funko representation. The 4 teams without players represented in the Funko Pop! MLB series are the Baltimore Orioles, the Chicago White Sox, the Miami Marlins, and the Detroit Tigers. You can also toss the Cleveland Guardians in that group considering that they changed their name in 2022 and their only represented player, Francisco Lindor, was released in 2018. Plus he went to the Mets in 2021. Notably, each of these missing teams does appear in the MLB Mascots series, with the exception of the Guardians. I dunno, maybe this makes their mascot Slider a prime prospect for the next round in the series.
It should be noted that it is not uncommon for the line to be nudged to match a players mold number to their jersey number. This can be seen in the case of Edgar Martinez at mold #11, Ken Griffey Jr. at #24, Ichiro Suzuki at #51 and others.
The teams with the most representation in the MLB Funko lineup are the Yankees and Red Sox with 5 molds each, the Dodgers and the Mets with 6 molds each, and the Seattle Mariners with the record of 7 molds. This makes sense considering that this covers 4 of the most popular and iconic teams in the league and the home team of the Funko HQ in Everett, Washington, just outside of Seattle.
Now, as variants go in the Funko Pop! MLB Players series, we mostly see color variants offered, most often corresponding to the home and away versions of team uniforms, a detail common with the mascots as well. There are 18 examples of this type of Home/Away color variation. There are also some special color variants, including 6 gold variants, 3 silver variants and 2 bronze variants.
It’s also relevant to note that many of these Pops fall under exclusive release. Most of these releases were produced as park giveaways for 7 different MLB Ballparks.
MLB Sports Legends Funko Pops
The Funko Pop! Sports Legends series also includes 3 MLB players: Babe Ruth, Derek Jeter and Jackie Robinson.
The Babe claims 3 different molds #2-#4. He wears a yankees uniform in all 3. Numbers 2 and 4 appear to be the same mold, depicting Ruth’s legendary home run called shot. A Walmart exclusive, #4 is painted in black and white. Ruth wore the #3 throughout his career with both the Braves and the Yankees, which may be part of the motivation in reserving the #3 mold as an exclusive release for the New York Comic Con in 2019. The #2 mold depicts a follow-through batting pose with a classic pinstripe uniform.
Jeter was released in 2022 and offered in clean and dirty pinstripe variants.
Robinson, released October 18th, 2022 comes in both a sliding and squatting pose. The squatting pose is offered in a gold variant to make for a total of 3 possible Robinson figures in the series. While the mold # of a Pop figure typically represents the mold # of the figure, both the squatting pose and the sliding pose fall under Robinson’s Dodgers jersey #42.
Additional MLB Funko Pop! Series
There are a handful of figures that fall outside of the proper Funko Pop! MLB Series, but still definitely fall under MLB branding.
One is a double-pack featuring Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani in his pitching and batting stance respectively. This Pop falls under the 2 Pack numbering as opposed to claiming a form number in the MLB series proper.
Another is a Special Edition Han Solo printing of Tampa Bay Rays Centerfielder Kevin Kiermayer. This Pop was distributed exclusively as a giveaway at Tropicana field on May 26, 2018 as the Rays faced the Baltimore Orioles.
It’s a fun figure, particularly if you’re a crossover Rays / Star Wars fan. This was certainly a limited addition, but I’ve been unable to find any specific production counts.
And there’s one more mold that stands out as an MLB adjacent printing. Appearing under the Funko Pop! Comedian Series is a mold commemorating a Gabriel Iglesias performance at Dodgers stadium on May 6th and 7th, 2022. The Pop was released March 24, 2022 and offered in the Dodgers home and away colors.
Collectible MLB Funko Pop! Figures
Certainly every one of these figures is collectible in some form, but of course a handful really stand out. Limited metallic printings occur relatively frequently in the series and these are the printings which tend to generate the most interest and the highest sales figures. Behind the metallics are the limited edition prints. Of course the appeal of the player themselves is also highly relevant to the collectibility of the figure in this case.
The most valuable Pop! in the series so far has gotta be the Ken Griffey Jr. Bronze chase. This figure saw a print run of only 24. It was offered as a limited special giveaway at Mariner’s Safeco Field on September 29, 2018. Sales are rare, but definitely enter into the range of several thousand dollars. The rookie variant of this Pop saw a run of 1,000 pieces and more frequent sales place that figure into the 1000$ range. Even the most common Ken Griffey Jr. Mariners Pop! with a run of 18,976 pieces regularly enters into the 100$ range on Ebay.
We’ve already mentioned the King Felix Hernandez exclusive earlier in this article. This one is important in the collection due to having been the first release and receiving the #01 mold model. But the figure came in 3 variants. The white uniform is the most common with 18,899 pieces having been produced. Even today you can get ahold of one of these pretty easily in the 20$ range. But there were 2 other printings. A cream colored uniform variant saw a run of only 1,000 pieces. This variant is known to see a 5x multiple on the open market. And in the rarest print, a gold King Felix saw a run of only 34 figures. This variant could probably 5x that again, but with a low print and a narrow interest, there just aren’t a lot of sales to go on.
The rarest print in the entire series is the Bronze Edgar Martinez with only 11 having been produced. Similar to the King Felix Gold, sales of this figure are rare enough that pricing is near impossible, but I have seen some indication that it can push near the 1000$ mark.
The New York Comic Con Babe Ruth mentioned earlier in the Sports Legends section also tends to be a high-demand figure with examples regularly going on Ebay in the 200-300$ range.
It’s nice to get a feel for the true appearance of some of these figures by watching some unboxing videos.
Here’s one that features the Ken Griffey Rookie, the most iconic of the MLB Pop! lineup.
This one shows a solid assortment of various MLB Funkos.
And here’s one that features a Pop! I’m kinda excited about, the Jackie Robinson #42. If I didn’t hate the Dodgers so much I might pick one up. It helps a little that his tenure was in the Brooklyn days. Still, too bad they don’t have a version from his original Kansas City Monarchs days.