We've missed being able to feature Funatics in the Funko Family, and we're thrilled to endcap the first month of 2024 with a renewed Funatic of the Month post!

For January 2024, we're spotlighting Cristian Hernandez Sabellona and Lee May. They teamed up and spearheaded a community-wide Photo-A-Day challenge that was refreshing and fun. We're so grateful that they stepped up and helped rally the community together. Their good-natured, community-focused efforts do not go unnoticed, and we are so grateful and appreciative that they're part of the Funko Family.

Cristian Hernandez Sabellona

Cristian Hernandez Sabellona

When and how did you first learn about Funko? Did you start collecting right away or did it develop over time?

"I learned about Funko in 2013 when my friends gave me my first Funko as a Christmas gift, and to this day, if it hadn’t been for him, I don’t think I would have ever known about Funko. However, it wasn’t until 2017 that my collecting really started, and I don’t think it will ever stop; in my latest count, I was up to 1,500 Pops!!"

Were you a collector before you encountered Funko?

"Yes, I’m a big pin collector, especially Disney ones. My family usually takes trips to Disney, where most of my collection comes from."

When would you say you switched from being a collector to becoming a Funatic? What does Funko Family mean to you? 

"Oh boy, I think it was back at the beginning of the pandemic. Being home gave me the time to begin connections with a lot of the fanatics, and I became more active on my social media channels. The Funko Family means a lot to me, and I have made some of the best friends I could ever ask for. I have met some of the most extraordinary people who are kind, down-to-earth, and welcoming. Some of them even traveled from so many other states for my wedding, and we are in constant communication, always looking forward to meeting up at the next convention. This Fandom is one of the most incredible things that I have discovered, and it’s all thanks to Funko."

What Funko lines and fandoms do you collect?

"I try to stay mostly within Marvel, Disney, and Star Wars, but since my husband is also a collector, we pretty much have lots of different fandoms in the house, his favorite being Scooby-Doo and all sorts of Anime."

Do you have favorite fandom that hold special meaning to you?

"Yes! The Knights of the Zodiac (I hope Funko makes more ) was one of my favorite TV shows ever, and when Funko announced that the Pops! were coming out, it made my day."

Is there anyone you share your fandoms with?

"Yes, my husband. We love Funko, and we even had a Funko Theme Wedding! We got to share our love of Funko with our guests they loved it. I’m glad we got to not only celebrate our wedding, but also share our passion as well. We even recently bought a house and even dedicated a room just for Funko collectibles. Even our family is getting into collecting because of us."

What was the first Funko piece in your collection?

"It was Batman DC Universe 01."

Is there a particular Funko art or figure style that you enjoy?

"I love black light Pops!. For me, they bring out something different in each Pop! and are so unique and cool looking. I can’t wait to see what black lights come out this year."

How do you display your collection? Inbox, out of box, shelves, cases?

"I do both. Some Pops! are always in the box, but I have some of them on display, and I love taking them out for the photo-a-day challenge. Most of my Funko figures are on shelves around my house, but I also keep some in my office."

Is there anything that you love to collect that is not made by Funko?

"Oh boy, where do I begin? Lol. I collect Tokidoki figures, Legos, wall art, Favorite Pieces by Patrick Ballesteros, Sonnay figures (and pins) by Priscilla Wilson, and Pokémon Cards."

What show/album are you currently watching/listening to?

"Currently, I’m watching Percy Jackson and the Olympians, listening to Igual que un angel by Peso Pluma & Kali Uchis."

What do you love about Funko?

"I love the way it has created a fantastic Fandom that brings people together!"

What are two of your favorite Funko memories?

"1.   My first Fundays in 2022. For years, I had tried to score tickets to this amazing party, but they have sold out on me every time. 2022 was the year, and it was one of the best experiences of my life. The party atmosphere and all the Funko fanatics coming together were just awesome; and there are no words to describe how incredible that night was. I attended Fundays last year and hope to attend this year if possible !!!

2.   Funmaker Mike Tattoo. Last year I decided to get Mike’s Autograph Tattoo. I saw him at NYCC, and he drew his signature on my arm; two weeks later, I got that tattoo on my right arm as my 36th birthday gift. I can’t wait to show him the next time that I see him!! "

What motivated you to start photographing your collection and sharing the photos on social media? 

"The Funko A Day challenges made me realize how amazing some of the Pops! are and all the details that each Pop! has."

Can you share a little bit about your thought process going into staging and taking photos of your collectibles?

"Since I'm busy with work and life, I usually set up a date in the week to stage, take, and edit all the pictures to schedule my post. I usually take 3 different shots of the Pop! and decide which one looks the best for the post."

What advice do you have for other Funatics taking photos of their collection?

"Just have fun with it; don’t stress yourself out because it will take away the fun part. As you continue taking pictures, you will evolve and see what techniques work better for you.

If licensing rights weren’t a factor, what would be a Pop! collection you’d like to see made?

"I think it will have to say Mario Bros. I think that would be a great addition, and there will be so many happy Funatics everywhere."

Lee May

Lee May

When and how did you first learn about Funko? Did you start collecting right away or did it develop over time?

"I discovered Funko around 2017. First found a Bob Ross Funko Pop! and thought it was awesome. I also collected Arno Funko Pop! from Assassin Creed. Soon that I discovered Funko made all my favorite childhood nostalgia as small figures I knew then I had to collect my favorite ones! Yet my Funko collecting grew stronger in 2021 when I started a new job and met Funko collectors like me at the office. And the rest is history!"

Were you a collector before you encountered Funko?

"I was a gamer and a techy way before I started collecting Funko. Really into the technology world and did a lot of illustrating and cartooning back in my days of social media. I still play video games when I have time. And I’m slowly getting back into cartooning and drawing."

When would you say you switched from being a collector to becoming a Funatic? What does Funko Family mean to you?

"2022 is probably the year I became a Funatic. I soon started displaying my collection at home and set up my shelves to keep them organized. I participated more in Funko’s social media posts and activities and started making new friends online. Discovering the Funko community became my new Funko Family; having a fun and impactful group of friends from all corners of the globe and sharing our passion in all things Funko!"

What Funko lines and fandoms do you collect?

"My current Funko lines are Avatar: The Last Air Bender, Demon Slayers, Thundercats, Spider-Man, The Witcher, Indiana Jones, Disney’s Encanto, Peanuts, Cowboy Bebop, and Freddy Funko!"

Do you have favorite fandoms that hold special meaning to you?

"Really want to collect all the Thundercats Funko Pops! because it was one of my first favorite cartoons when I was growing up on Mackinac Island, Michigan. The cartoon helped inspire me to draw and sketch action comics and characters. And Peanuts is so close to me since I loved reading the comics and copying the art style as a kid. It defined the simple things of life and shows how to have fun, just like Funko!"

Is there anyone you share your fandoms with?

"My kids love my collection and have their own Funko shelves in their room. And my wife has picked out some of my favorites in the past. My brother has the Dungeons & Dragons: Tiamat Funko Pop! since he’s a big card collector. And my sister is building her own Funko collection such as Elvis and Ted Lasso. So you can say my family is enjoying and loving the Funko popularity!"

What was the first Funko piece in your collection?

"The first Funko figures I owned were Bob Ross and Arno from Assassin Creed Funko Pops! I soon collected the original Voltron Metallic Funko Pop!, Woodsy the Own, Sphinx, Carmen San Diego, and T-51 Power Armor from Fallout."

Is there a particular Funko art or figure style that you enjoy?

"My favorite Funko art/figure styles at Glow-in-the-Dark and Flocked Funko figures!"

How do you display your collection? In box, out of box, shelves, cases?

"I really enjoy displaying my Funko Pops! and Funko SODA figures out of the boxes. There is so much detail on these figures that people will miss the awesome designs from the Funko artists and designers. For example, there are cool patterns and designs on figure shirts and jackets, backpacks and accessories, and the Funko box flap easter eggs such as fun quotes and little icon logos."

Is there anything that you love to collect that isn't made by Funko?

"I started collecting pins and stickers from Funko and my Funko friends. I collected Legos as a kid and now I collect them with my kids – of course, they have their own collection, while I now collect adult ones like the Van Gogh Starry Night and Back to the Future Delorian Time Machine."

What movie/show/game/album/podcast are you currently watching/playing/listening to?

"Just finished watching the first season of Halo and the last season of Ted Lasso recently. I recently got into watching One Piece and will resume watching Picard. Some podcasts I’m currently listening to include Twenty Thousand Hertz, That’s Absurd Please Elaborate, and 9to5Mac Happy Hour. And my current gaming schedule is Zelda Tears of the Kingdom, Halo: The Master Chief Collection, and Lethal Company with my coworkers."

What do you love about Funko?

"I really like Funko’s collection of nostalgic figures, especially from the 80s and 90s. Some old movies and TV show classics are also what makes these so enjoyable to collect. Funko also has enthused so many people in so many age groups that Funko has created a community where everyone can enjoy and share their passion – that’s what makes Funko so fun!"

What’s your favorite Funko memory?

"My recent favorite memory is attending my first Funko Fundays at San Diego, California last summer! My Funko friend Justin got me a ticket and I had the opportunity to meet my online Funko friends in real life! I got to see Mike Becker and Brian Mariotti in person and on stage, see some awesome celebrities, and dance with all of my Funko Family!"

What motivated you to start photographing your collection and sharing the photos on social media?

"Seeing Funko interact on social media got me motivated to start toy photography in 2022. Also my new Funko Family encouraged me to share my collection as well."

Can you share a little bit about your thought process going into staging and taking photos of your collectibles?

"I do several types of processes with my Funko photo shoots: if there’s a planned Funko Photo theme, I generally pick out the Funko figures I plan to use with that them on a list and write some ideas for each day. Yet I’ll have last-minute inspirations, and those tend to create some amazing shots. For the December 2023 Photo Challenges, I use a checklist of Pops! and SODA figures I can use and have the appropriate backdrop and props for them. Then I usually the photo with minor enhancements such as brightness, vibrance, and sharpness."

What advice do you have for other Funatics taking photos of their collection?

"I recommend the following for anyone who starts getting into Funko Photography:

1) Make a checklist of the Funko figures you want to use for photo challenges and themed days once you know what they are.

2) Take photos ahead of time when you can.

3) Always check your photos before posting on social media.

4) Use a watermark when possible."

If licensing rights weren't a limitation, what would be a Pop! collection you’d like to see made?

"Love to see more Thundercats, Robotech, and Nintendo Zelda Pops!"

Anything else you'd like to add?

"Collect what you like and love! You don’t have to collect all but be responsible in what you’re collecting! And share your love and passion: you’ll never know the people you meet can help inspire and blossom your creativity!"

Thank you both again, for taking the time to share details about your Funko experience and collection with the Funko Family.

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.