In our ongoing effort to acknowledge and thank our Funko Family for their support, we bring you a new Funatic of the Month. Please give a warm welcome to the Guinness World Record holding collector, Paul Scardino!
Paul, thank you for taking the time to do this interview with Funko. Would you please start by sharing when and how you first learned about Funko?
"A co-worker gifted me the Pop! Spider-Man/Hawkeye Civil War pack for my birthday in 2015 and I absolutely fell in love with the bobblehead Pops! (I had not heard of Funko Pops! prior to that)."
Did you start collecting right away or did it develop over time?
"After receiving that gift, I went to a local store and picked up a Pop! Doctor Strange and Pop! Black Panther that same evening. From there, I started collecting all the Marvel and DC Pops!, and happened to run across several local sales that I couldn't pass up, which started the collection of other Funko Pop! lines, and the completionist in me took hold. I started collecting all the Funko Pop! lines at that time and displaying them in my work office for others to see."
Do you collect other items as well, or only Pop! figures?
"I've always collected comic books, and once I began collecting Funko Pops!, I ended up collecting other Funko lines, such as Vinyl Idolz, Dorbz, Hikari, Bloks, Mopeez, Pint Size Heroes, Mystery Minis, etc. I also collect Poptaters (Mr. Potato Head as various pop culture characters)."
Are you part of the online Funko community, and would you consider yourself a Funatic? What does Funko Family mean to you?
"I'm a part of several Facebook groups and am involved in my local Funko collectors community. Funko Family to me means a sharing of passions (stories/characters) which connect us on a deeper level than we may realize. I also enjoy finding out what others enjoy and my Funko collection has been a great conversation starter."
What Funko lines and fandoms do you collect?
"Currently just Funko Pops! (most fandoms except Anime and most Games). I have almost all of the Dorbz collection, and most of the Vinyl Idolz, Mopeez, Bloks, along with several keychains, Wacky Wobblers, T-shirts, Pint Size Heroes, Mystery Minis, some Pez, etc."
Do you have favorite fandoms that hold special meaning to you?
"Masters of the Universe as it was my favorite cartoon as a child growing up in the 80s, but it's a difficult choice to make with so many awesome fandoms to choose from!!"
Is there anyone you share your fandom with?
"My wife has her favorite Pops! (Pretty Woman, 5th Element, Lion King, etc.), and my daughter loves the Disney Pops! There's an active community of collectors in my area that I connect with frequently as well."
What about pop culture do you love?
"We all love stories and certain characters from those stories we can relate to in some way, and it leaves an impact on us more than we realize. I love how pop culture provides us with common ground and connects us on a deep level."
Was your collection organized and ‘cataloged' from the start or was there a point in collection where you pushed to organize and track all of your figures?
"Yes, right from the start it was displayed out of box by category and I tracked the collection in both a spreadsheet and the Pop Price Guide site."
What was your first Funko piece in your collection?
"The Pop! Spider-Man & Hawkeye Civil War pack."
What do you love about Funko?
"I love how Funko is able to capture the essence of a character in a cute collectable form, and has produced so many licenses and characters that don't usually get that type of attention. Funko also is focused on the fans and works to connect people to what they love."
How has Funko changed the way to engage/interact with the fandoms you love?
"It has rekindled a passion for some of the more nostalgic licenses from my past, and provided a means to display them for others to see."
How do you display your collection? In box, out of box, shelves?
"Mostly out of box on shelves, as I prefer to see all of them and be able to view the impressive details of the molds. I keep most of my sports Pops! in the box along with more valuable ones."
Do you rotate displays in your collection? If so, how do you choose which collection to display next?
"I've recently moved so had to pack up and set them all up again. They are all displayed so I haven't needed to rotate for the moment."
How many pieces total do you have in your collection?
"Currently I hold the Guinness World Record for the Largest Funko Pop! Collection at 5,306 pops. Since the record count I've downsized some Pops! but have continued to add more as well, so I don't have an exact count at the moment. Most likely over 5,500."
What's your favorite Funko memory?
"My favorite memory is when I had the Pops! displayed at my work office (a Mental health counseling agency) and many individuals would come by to view the collection. On one occasion an individual who was struggling with significant depression came to view the collection and after talking about some of the characters from his childhood, he expressed feeling the best he's ever felt in a long time!!"
What inspired you to apply for the Guinness World Records title?
"When I had around 3,000 Pops!, a friend asked me if I had thought about seeing if I had the world record, which I had not thought about. When I looked it up, I saw the record existed and that I had 3 times the current recorded amount, so I decided to apply."
Have you shared photographs of your collection online? If not do you plan to share more pictures of your figures and displays?
"Yes, after the Guinness World Records video came out earlier this year I started a YouTube channel called The POPthusiast where I've showcased my collection, in addition to other pop culture topics. I frequently post pictures of my collection on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as well."
What advice do you have for other Funatics taking photos of their collection?
"I've learned a lot about lighting recently, which has significantly helped how the pictures have turned out. But mainly just have fun with it."
What movie/show/video game/album/podcast are you currently watching/playing/listening to that you'd recommend to fellow fans?
"I listen to the IFanBoy podcast which reviews comic books every week, and have been watching The Boys and Umbrella Academy. We just watched the new Borat movie as well (the first Borat is one of my all time favorite movies)."
If licensing wasn't a limiting factor, what would be a Pop! collection you'd like to see made?
"A Guinness World Records line, with me as the first Pop! (for the Largest Funko Pop! Collection). In the Guinness World Record Funko video, Guinness pinned a comment stating 'Official petition for Funko to create a Pop! of Paul, it's the least he deserves...', which I thought was amazing!! Several thousand individuals have commented their support on this idea. I also think many other record holders would make interesting Pop! figures.
Regarding a licensed property, I would like to see a Neil Diamond Pop! join the Pop! Rocks line (as it's my mom's favorite singer and she asks me frequently if they've made a Pop! of him yet)."
Thank you again Paul, for taking the time to share details about your Funko experience and collection with the Funko Family.
For those who are interested in adding to their Funko Marvel and Masters of the Universe collections as well click through to check out Funko Shop's selection. If you are interested in possibly being a featured Funatic, you can tag @OriginalFunko on Instagram or Twitter along with a picture of you with your collection with #FunaticOfTheMonth.