We're excited to be able to interact more with our Funko Family and to introduce Joshua to fellow Funatics. Everyone, please give a warm welcome to September's featured Funatic, Joshua Gyovai.
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 by simply spotting products "pop" up at local hobby shops, comic stores, and retail locations… must have been 2015ish… and I immediately started collecting Star Wars Pops! Quickly, Star Wars turned to Breaking Bad which turned to Stranger Things and so on!"
Were you a collector before you encountered Funko?
"Yes! I have always collected something. As a kid, I would spend every $5 I earned on pack of sports cards. As I got older, I began collecting autographs, then comics, then vinyl records, and of course toys! Now, due to limited space, I primarily stick to Funko Pops!"
When would you say you switched from being a collector to becoming a Funatic? What does Funko Family mean to you?
"I switched from being a collector to a Funatic when I realized how invested my 6th grade students became with my personal collection and Funko products in general. I used Funko products as rewards for my students each and every week and they were just as hooked as I was! Eventually, my students convinced me to start a YouTube Channel which provided an opportunity to meet fellow collectors whom were so generous to donate my students Funko Pops! throughout the year!"
What Funko lines and fandom(s) do you collect?
"If I had to pick just a few … my top five include: Lord of the Rings, Breaking Bad, Star Wars, The Office, and Stranger Things. Of course, the list could go on and on."
Do you have favorite fandom(s) that hold special meaning to you?
"I enjoy the fandom(s) that help me connect with my students! Not many 10-11 year olds watch The Office or Breaking Bad (Ha!) so I enjoy collecting fandom(s) that are right up their alley… products from Marvel, DC, Anime, etc."
Is there anyone you share your fandom(s) with?
"As mentioned above, my students for sure! Last school year (2020-21), I had 29 6th graders in my classroom all year long despite COVID-19! We became a really tight-nit family and I loved that our connection grew from Funko! Once I began showcasing my collection, I've made a ton of friends in the community!"
What was the first Funko piece in your collection?
"The very first Funko Pop! I purchased was the Walter White #158 (green shirt and whitey tighties)… I remember visiting a comic store with my dad and he bought it for me… and I ripped that box to shreds to get the toy out!"
Is there a particular Funko art or figure style that you enjoy?
"Recently, the black light Pops! are my favorite! I love that they look great under natural light or a black light. Historically, I love the Funko Hikari figures! They're beautifully hand crafted toys that are all very limited!"
How do you display your collection? In box, out of box, shelves, cases?
"95% of my collection is displayed in box, in armor or protectors, and on shelves. The other 5% is displayed out of box! I'm always torn between taking the figures out of their box(es)! I love to see the intricate design of the characters but I also love how they're displayed within the box."
Is there anything not made by Funko that you collect?
"My collecting is primarily focused on Funko products now, although I do still enjoy collecting vinyl records and hockey memorabilia!"
What movie/show/game/album/podcast are you currently watching/playing/listening to?
"I still consider myself to be that Emo/Hardcore kid that you all knew back in high school. I've been jamming Drain, Knocked Loose,
Magnitude, and Pain of Truth just to name a few artists.
As far as television goes, I'm always watching and re-watching Friends and The Office!"
What do you love about Funko?
"I love that Funko is for EVERYONE … too cliché?... oh well! It's as true of a statement as a statement can be. Funko allowed me to connect with 29 unique middle school aged students … a task that might seem impossible to most! There's something for everyone to enjoy/connect/love. Funko doesn't play favorites, doesn't pick sides, and doesn't pass judgment. These are all qualities I try to instill in my classroom each and every year!"
What's your favorite Funko memory?
"My favorite Funko memory is my end of the year Comic-Con party I threw for my classroom in May! After receiving donations throughout the year (which I am forever grateful for), we had a full on Funko day full of Funko bingo, Funko trivia, Mystery Grail Boxes, costumes, and two special guests who zoomed in. Students worked so hard to earn the party and every single kiddo walked away with at least 3 Funko Pops! to start their collections!"
What motivated you to start photographing your collection and sharing the photos on social media?
"I've always had a passion for media. Whether it be photography, videography, or traditional written word! I've learned to combine all of these by showcasing my collection!"
Can you share a little bit about your thought process going into staging and taking photos of your collectibles?
"My idea when photographing my Pops! is to share my passion for collecting in the photos. I want the viewer to get the same 'heart emoji eyes' that I do when looking at my Pops! I also love to have my collection featured in the background which is kind of like a "tease" to fellow collectors."
What advice do you have for other Funatics taking photos of their collection?
"Take pictures that mean something to you. Find a friend to hold a Pop!, take a picture of a family member admiring your collection … it's all about memories!"
If licensing wasn't a limiting factor, what would be a Pop! collection you'd like to see made?
"Although a few already exist, I definitely want to see more Pops! from The Princess Bride! It's the greatest movie of all time!"
Anything else you'd like to add?
"Sure! Make sure to subscribe to Mr. G's Pop Stop on YouTube."
Joshua, thank you for taking the time to share details about your Funko experience with the larger Funko Family.
For those who are interested in adding to their Funko Heroes & Villains collection and/or Funko Movies & TV collection as well, click through to check out Funko's current online 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.