‘NSync is getting back together — at least in figurine form. The boyband is joining fellow groups BTS, Migos and Backstreet Boys as the newest releases from pop culture collectibles site, Funko. Rock icons Kiss, and the singer/rapper Post Malone are also getting immortalized with collectible figures of their own.
The releases lead a slate of announcements from Washington state-based Funko, whose popular Funko Pop! line of vinyl figures continues to expand with artist collaborations both nostalgic and new.
For ‘NSync, the chance to celebrate their legacy — and their memorable looks — with fans was enough of a reason to collaborate with Funko on the release of this collection. “Funko figures are a centerpiece in pop culture today,” the band says in a statement, “and having an ‘NSync set out there is fun, knowing we share the experience with so many legends.”
The band’s card deck-sized figures feature members Lance Bass, Chris Kirkpatrick, JC Chasez, Justin Timberlake and Joey Fatone in looks from a photoshoot they did back in 1999. The Backstreet Boys’ Funko Pop! collection, meantime, depicts the boyband in the all-white, coordinating ensembles they donned in the “I Want It That Way” video.
While Funko has found success with movie franchises, notably a Black Panther series last year, CEO Brian Mariotti says the time was right to get back into music. “Music is resonating right now,” he says. “We did music when the Pop! series first came out in 2011 and it did OK, but when we went back and started doing music again a year and a half ago, every music line we did just took off.”
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Among the best-sellers for Funko: a set of Metallica collectibles ($7.99+), and an Amy Winehouse action figure, which features the late songstress standing behind a microphone with her trademark bouffant ($9.99). Mariotti also cites the excitement and buzz for Funko’s upcoming line of BTS collectibles, which re-imagines the popular K-pop group as colorful 3 3/4-inch vinyl figures. Like most of the company’s offerings, the BTS Funko Pop! figures all come in an equally-collectible box.
“Music is part of pop culture and I think people love our look and feel,” Mariotti says, adding that it’s been a boon for business as well. “Revenue per SKU is on-par or exceeding our other licenses,” he shares, “so it’s worth the investment to sign new bands and musicians to our roster. Categorically,” he adds, “I think we can grow the music business to what we’re doing with anime — which represents a sizable area of investment for the company.”
Funko isn’t the only player in the music toys and collectibles space. Virginia-based ThinkGeek may be better known for their movie, TV and gaming franchise offerings, but they also feature products like a limited-edition Stranger Things vinyl ($59.99), which includes a locker-sized poster and five 4″ x 6″ character cards inspired by the Stranger Things kids. This playable guitar tee ($24.99) (yes, there’s a mini amp and electric guitar built into the shirt) is also a best-seller on the ThinkGeek site.
And then there’s Amazon, which offers tens of thousands of music collectibles that range from vintage concert posters, to rare photographs, to autographed memorabilia. Because the site allows third-party sellers to list products (similar to how people list things on eBay), music geeks and treasure hunters alike can often turn up unique merch, like a vintage Grateful Dead handbill ($45.00) or a Prodigy promo poster, signed by the late Keith Flint himself ($19.99). While Funko and ThinkGeek work directly with artists to release officially-licensed pieces, you’ll want to do your research on sites like Amazon and eBay to make sure you are buying from reputable vendors who can authenticate their merchandise.
An interesting note: with more than 50 million listings, eBay says Art & Collectibles was a top, multibillion-dollar category on their site in 2017, and they’re expecting sales to continue to climb this year.
As for Funko, the BTS collection is set to launch in May, followed by ‘NSync and Post Malone in June. Migos, BSB and Kiss will roll out through the summer and into early fall.
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