Funko would not be the same without all of the wonderful Funatics that come together to help make up the Funko Family. To show our appreciation, we're taking some time to introduce you to other Funatics in the community, and with that, please say hello to Jason Howard.
Thank you for taking the time to share your Funko experience with us, Jason. Let's start by learning when and how you first discovered Funko. Did you start collecting right away or did it develop over time?
"My first exposure to Funko goes back to the old Wacky Wobblers around 2007/2008. I received my first couple as gifts back then. I absolutely loved them right away but was a casual collector at the time. RIP to the first few Wobbler boxes."
What was the first Funko product you remember encountering?
"My very first was the Sleestak Wacky Wobbler. Sid and Marty Krofft productions were a big part of my childhood, so the Sleestak was an instant favorite."
What was the first Funko Pop! piece added into your collection?
"My venture into Funko Pops! started with Pop! Jason Vorhees and Pop! Howard the Duck. Being my namesakes, I have been drawn to these two characters since I was young. I took them into work with me and set them up with my nameplate in my cubicle. One slow morning Pop! Jason ventured off into the cubicle next to mine, where a Pop! Tom Brady lived. Lucky for me, I was there to catch a picture of Pop! Tom's demise at the hands of Pop! Jason Vorhees. From that point the collection took off. I started buying Pops! to put into a running cartoon series I would throw together every few weeks and put on my Facebook page. Each "episode" consisted of a new Pop! teaming up with Pop! Jason and Pop! Howard to battle the evils of Pop! Tom Brady as he inexplicably continued coming back from the dead in various ways. As my Pop! obsession began to grow from there, so did the fun I experienced in photographing them."
When did you consider yourself a "Funatic"? Why are you a Funatic?
"I think the moment I considered myself a "Funatic" may be similar to many others out there. It would have been early one cold morning, standing out in line, looking at the time, wondering 'What the heck am I doing here?' Despite being cold, tired, sore, and hungry I'd still think, 'Yeah, it'll be worth it!'
Close second was when one of those same mornings waiting in line at the HQ store for Steve Largent's autograph session, I saw a City of Everett Traffic Officer across the street writing a ticket and placing it on my windshield. My reaction was, 'Oh well.' ...the life of a Funatic."
What does Funko Family mean to you?
"There's the obvious comradery that people get making friends with other collectors and groups. Funatics helping each other out, even trading with each other for what we all need and want. The family is a very important and unique part of the Funko experience.
However, taking it deeper than that, there has always been splits between fandoms. Star Wars vs Star Trek, Marvel vs DC, etc. When a Star Wars fan and a Star Trek fan realize that they both love Bob Ross and the Golden Girls it shows that there is more we have in common. It's getting to share those same memories of Saturday morning cartoons or G.I. Joe after school with other who cherish them too."
Do you have favorite fandoms that hold special meaning to you?
"Like many here my first fandoms started off with the first movie memory I have, Star Wars. From there while growing up working in the family video store my love of horror films grew. The old British Hammer Films, Universal Monsters, and 80s slasher movies are among my favorite fandoms. I have a distinct love of "drive-in" and B-rated movie genres. In recent times it has been 'The Walking Dead' and "Supernatural". Also, like many people, I'm a big fan of anything Tim Burton. The visuals in his movies like 'The Nightmare Before Christmas' are absolutely stunning.
Among the comic genres I am a DC man. Batman, Batgirl, and Wonder Woman have been my go-to."
What Funko lines and fandoms do you collect?
"The Funko lines I collect include: Pop!, Rock Candy, Spastik Plastik, Hikari, Wacky Wobblers, and prototypes.
My Funko fandoms start off with horror, Elvira, Rock Candy (especially the DC and DC Bombshell series),Spastik Plastik characters, Rat Fink, and Freddy Funko."
What drew you to collecting Rock Candy figures as well as Pops!?
"The Pop! line benefited from the cute kawaii culture in the early days. Since then new molds have added to the cuteness, and incorporating much more detail. While in my opinion it was the Rock Candy line that offered a greater platform for a more stylized look. Characters looked more like they were taken directly from the pages or screens and given the unique Funko twist. The canvas the Rock Candy line gave us was perfect for a more "pin-up" look, which just added to the style and the coolness factor. Of course, this was perfect for the DC Bombshell line. While posting my pictures of Rock Candy figures I have found that there is still a strong "cult" following for Rock Candy."
Do you use your figures to add to your Halloween decorations?
"In my home there are no "Halloween" decorations. There are only decorations! We have 2 kinds of days in my household. You have Halloween and every other day of the year which are pre-Halloween. And yes, there is always a candy bowl available."
What drew you to love pop culture and engage with it outside of watching the movies/TV shows/etc.?
"The interesting thing has always been the idea that 'pop culture' being just what's popular. I think we are all drawn to people of similar interests, while trying to define ourselves as being unique. It's the fluidity of 'pop culture' that makes it interesting and fun. It changes and evolves. It becomes more than just what is "popular" and has become our culture itself."
Is there anyone you share your fandom with?
"I share all of my fandoms with my two sons. Luckily they were raised right! I love sharing my pictures with anybody who enjoys them."
How many pieces would you estimate you have in your collections?
"My collection the last few years has started becoming more refined. Less 'buy everything' and more sticking to my fandoms. A lot of what I buy day to day is bought for pictures and creating customs.
The overall collection is somewhere in the 700s range. With 21 prototypes, 40 autographed pieces, and just shy of 200 chase pieces. Side note, only 3 chases have been bought or traded for, the fun is in finding them. It's about the "chase"."
How do you display your collection? In box, out of box?
"Due to limited space, the majority of the collection has been boxed away, but cataloged for easy access when needed for pictures. The portion that is on display are mostly in box, however there are a growing number that have managed to find their way out of their boxes. I don't do the massive, 'Pop! wall' that many do. Mine are located in various places throughout the home."
What is your favorite Funko memory?
"My absolute favorite Funko memory took place at the HQ store. It was the most random chance encounter on the most random chance of days. On that day I was visiting the headquarters, it was just a typical stop to see what's there and what's new. Surprisingly during my visit I saw a remarkably familiar face. I was in such shock to see such an A-list horror icon in Everett, WA and wondering why I am the only person that seemed to be recognizing her. Also internally freaking out at that moment. I gathered up the courage to approach and ask the question which seemed to have an obvious answer to me. 'Excuse me, but aren't you Cassan-' She put her finger to her lips, and breathed, "Shhhhh," shook her head yes and whispered, "Don"t tell.'I felt as if I wanted to scream like a 12-year-old girl at a New Kids on the Block concert! But I kept it bottled in and kept my cool, knowing this was a great moment for the kid who grew up watching Elvira's show. In the Bat Cave I got her autograph and promised not to mention she was there. To this day I am looking forward to the chance to meet her again in person at a convention and finally get a picture with her. I still shake my head in wonder and disbelief that I was so lucky that day."
What motivated you to start photographing your collection and share the photos on Instagram?
"Photographing my Funko Pops! started with my Facebook cartoons of Pop! Jason and Pop! Howard, but ended up moving to pictures on my Instagram (Ducktor_Strange) a few years back with an October edition of the Funko Photo A Day contest."
What advice do you give fellow Funatics when it comes to experimenting with shadows and lighting in their photographs?
"I experiment with a lot of different ideas with my pictures, but the main thing is I keep it simple. Everything is shot and any editing is done on my phone. I do try to get outside and take a few shots from time to time, but that is often difficult here with the limited time after work and limited sunny Seattle skies most of the year. I also sometimes do a little minor editing, cutting and pasting. The bulk of my pictures though I do try and use simple lighting effects and play with the shadows. I'm not trying to capture beautiful landscapes, but focus on the sculpts and details of the figure. This is brought out most with contrasting light and darkness. These pictures come across as the most dramatic and are often my favorite. Also they're easier to pull off at 11 o'clock at night! I experiment with different lights of varying sizes and strengths, and sometimes it takes multiple light sources. Maybe one day I will decide to make these pictures easier and take the DSLR out of storage, but until then it's all fun."
What advice do you have for other Funatics taking photos of their collection?
"The best advice I have to give is remember: lighting, composition, and cropping. The interesting thing I have found is that with the Funko Photo A Day challenge there are a lot of great photos that come out specifically during the December/Winter/Holiday time. I think the reason for that is the lights! Everybody starts getting out the lights for the pictures and this is a great start. Take the extra time to look at what your taking a picture of, and don't be afraid to fill a void space. Take advantage of the background and foreground. Lastly it's totally cool to crop your pictures. You can completely change the picture just by cropping it a little bit.
Of course, I am not a professional so the best advice of all is to have fun and experiment!"
If licensing wasn't an issue, what would be a Pop! collection you'd like to see made?
"This question has been near and dear to my heart as of late, especially given the time of the year. We have Pops! of all the Queens of Horror except one. We have Morticia Addams, Lily Munster, the Bride of Frankenstein, and of course (the biggest name of them all) Elvira. We are missing the old school goth queen who started it all, Vampira!!
I would love to finally see a Pop! of Vampira. Truthfully, bringing back Rock Candy for a one time Funko Shop limited edition Vampira Rock Candy would be perfect for her style and the 'most unpleasant dreams'."
Thank you again Jason, for taking the time to share details about your Funko experience with the community.
For those who are interested in adding to their horror collections as well check out the Funko Shop Horror 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.