When and how did you first learn about Funko?
I first learned about Funko when I was gifted a few Pops! back in 2013 from my girlfriend and her sister.
Why are you a Funatic?
I'm such a huge Funatic for a multitude of reasons. First it was for the abundant variety of things that I'm a fan of being represented in the lines that Funko creates. But it's also the community around Funko that makes collecting so much fun. From the people I see regularly at the parties and dinners to the peeps I interact with on social media or the fellow Funatics at funkofunatic.com. These avenues for communication make it so easy to keep interacting with others just like me that love Funko. I'm especially thankful for the businesses like Fugitive Toys or Collector's Cave at Bellevue Beer (a local Funko shop here in Pittsburgh) that take the time and effort to plan events for collectors to gather and have a good time.
What are your favorite fandom(s) and why?
I've got what I consider my "Big 3" fandoms which are Marvel, DC and Star Wars. These three speak to me in particular because I've been such a longtime fan ever since I was a small kid. I had the toys, watched the movies, read the comics and with the advent of all the giant movies that have been coming out it is still present in my "adult" life.
Why do you love pop culture? Why do you think it means so much to so many people?
I think people love pop culture so much because it's an easy way to connect with other people. It's not too difficult to find something that you're a fan of that a stranger you've just met might be a fan of as well. And when two fans start geeking over something that they both love, that's how friendships begin.
How do you display your collection?
I like to do both in box and out of box for my collection. I cram as much as I can into my nerd cave so I go with whatever makes the most sense.
What movie/show/podcast/video game/music are you currently watching, playing or listening to?
I listen to a lot of podcasts during the work day; it helps to keep the day going along seamlessly. The Funko Funkast, Talk'n Pops, The STS Guys, Geek Together, Secondary Heroes and the Four Dorksmen are my weekly listens. All these podcasts are a great listen if you're into Funko talk, geeky things or pop culture.
What's your favorite Funko memory?
Where to start? There are really so many instances to choose from—from the great times I've had at Funko parties, performing in lip sync battles, to my very first Fundays at SDCC. These events have been the most fun I've probably ever had and I look forward to them every year. I suppose, though, that my absolute favorite memory is from when I became a fan of Funko for life.
I had just started really getting heavy into collecting Funko in 2015 and decided to attend my first major con, NYCC. This was before a lottery system was implemented as it was the first time Funko would have a booth there, so the only option was to line up extremely early or miss out. So, I stayed in line for hours and hours with the off chance of getting into the booth and my perseverance was finally rewarded late in the afternoon.
As I was approaching the booth line a person that was casually chatting with a group of us cut in front of me but I let it slide; it wasn't worth getting into an argument over. As we got to the front of the line to buy, to my dismay, said person ended up buying the last Chrome Metallic Tie Fighter Pilot! Mike Becker was ushering people to the counters and saw my bad luck, so he took it upon himself to gift me a badge for the next day so that I could skip the line. I was absolutely floored. He probably didn't realize it but he completely changed my awful day into a completely joyous one. In that exact instance, his unsolicited incredible act of kindness made me a forever fan of Funko.
What inspired you to start photographing your collection and sharing it on Instagram?
I started seeing other people posting their cool collections and I decided to also join in on the fun. I especially love it when Funko has the #Funkophotoaday challenge. My favorite day to post is Tuesday because that is for #PopTwinsTuesday, a day where twinning is the theme. One of my favorite people to follow, @the_pop_lady, then takes all the photos and makes a slideshow of everyone that participates. It's really fun to see everyone's photos from the day.
How did you choose your Instagram handle?
My last name is Ly and I always thought it'd be funny if I had been named Fug. It's just sort of stuck with me as a handle for a long time. It's also my handle for the Funatic boards.
Do you collect any Funko lines besides Pop!?
I collect Dorbz, T-shirts, mystery minis, some wobblers and a few Pop! PEZ. Not to mention my beloved 18" Freddy Batman Freddy Retro Vinyls that I've been lucky enough to win in lip sync contests from the aforementioned Fugitive Toys and Collector's Cave at Bellevue Beer. Seriously, I would never have dreamed I'd have these in my collection were it not for their generosity.
What was your first Funko piece in your collection?
My very first Pops! were Gandalf, Legolas with blue eyes and Zombie Merle which I got in 2013. My favorite piece in my collection is Alan and Baby Carlos, which is one of my earliest pieces as well. The look that the artist gave to Baby Carlos just absolutely kills me, it's too adorable. Technically though, my first Funko item was actually a Yoda Man Wacky Wobbler Wisecracks. I didn't realize it until I looked way back in my IG history that I received that one in 2012.
I saw that you'd been to the Funko headquarters store; what was that like? What was your favorite section or part of the store, and why?
My favorite part of Funko HQ was getting to make your own custom Pop! It's such a cool idea and was implemented so well, one can get really creative with the random accessories and parts.
The reason we were at Funko HQ though is because I had wanted to go to the store for a while now and my best friends were kind enough to oblige my request. They asked where I wanted to go for my bachelor party and I told them Seattle because that's where Funko HQ is. They agreed and we all had such a great time there. Even though they're not collectors themselves they said that Funko HQ was a really cool place.
The attention to details of all the displays is absolutely phenomenal. I have always enjoyed seeing the giant displays at the cons, but seeing so many in one place was on a whole other level. So yeah, basically I had my bachelor party at Funko HQ and it was a blast!
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