By design, Funko Pops! stand out. They’re carefully wrapped in details meant to make them pop from the shelves. In fact, as Funko packaging designer Dustin Wagner observes, “Packaging is the first thing our fans see when they approach a shelf of Funko items.” So we’re celebrating National Packaging Design Day by taking a closer look at the boxes that keep our collectibles fresh and fun. Then, we’ll take you behind the scenes to meet some of our Funko packaging design experts. 

Pop! Box Basics

We’ve got your number! One of the first things collectors might notice about Pop! boxes is the number in the circle. The number corresponds to the category or line that a collectible belongs to in a series, and this number matters for those who want to complete a special collection—or continue a series.

For example, this Grogu™ Star Wars™ Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade® Pop! box displays the number 474, which means that it’s number 474 in this Star Wars™ series. 

Boxes, such as this one, also include a window, a “blister” to hold the collectible in place, an insert that can be decorated with art, the official UPC code on the bottom, and a sticker, if applicable, to indicate an exclusive seller, event, or special features such as glow, Diamond Glitter, or a chase.

Our package designers also help create all the artwork and special die cuts to make images on the boxes more dynamic and appealing.

Unboxing: Pop! Boxes Through the Years

As we celebrate our 25th Funniversary, let's look back at some of the designs we’ve featured over the years. When Mike Becker started Funko in 1998, the first collectible he made was a Wacky Wobbler bobblehead of Big Boy. 

Robert Schwartz, a Funko founder and current creative art director, recalls making the boxes: "The black line work was shot on film using a stat camera, and the red overlay was hand-cut using an Exacto on Rubylith®. All these technologies were wiped out by the computer. The black of the artwork (Big Boy, text, etc.) would be cut from printouts or photocopies, spray mounted or glued to a piece of art board, then filmed with a large-scale camera. The camera could scale the size of the art with its built-in range finder.”

Flash forward to 2008 when Funko Force was introduced. As you can see, the figures start to take on the present-day Pop! form, and the packaging is a clear "dome" design. 

For the 2010 San Diego Comic-Con, Funko Force 2.0 popped onto the scene, and the boxes resemble the present design we see today.

To commemorate our 25th anniversary, Funko is bringing back some of the first Pops! ever made, and they’re newly minted in special silver-tone boxes. These Pop! Classics come with a certificate, a pin, and a collectible coin.  


Funko Packaging Design Artists Share Their Favorite Designs

Victoria Silcox

Sr. Packaging Designer

What are some things you keep in mind in general when working on Funko Pop! boxes?

We usually start by asking the project manager for a packaging style guide. If there is no style guide, then we make our own artwork for the box. Some special items can get treatments like foiling, varnish, or a backer card. 

For newer in-development products, the artist will work with our packaging engineer to come up with a solution and identify which materials we can use. Some special things we can sometimes consider are adding foil, varnish, or creating a custom blister. Once this has been narrowed down, and the dieline is made, we can create packaging. 

What’s your favorite design you’ve ever made and why?

Hands down for me would be the Dark Crystal action figures in 2016-2017. I worked with Reis O'Brien (former director) and Nnenna Ijiomah (sculptor) to re-create the nostalgia of the original series. It was challenging, but so fun to re-create the packaging for this series with so little that I had. Dark Crystal holds a big place in my heart. 

Do you collect the boxes for your collection, or do you take them out of the box?

I take a lot of my favorite figures out of the box to display and keep the boxes in storage in case I want to put them back in. I usually keep the higher-end items in the boxes. 

Jessica Nañez

Packaging Designer Lead

What are some things you keep in mind when designing a Funko Pop! box?

I consider the best colors, graphics, fonts, and other components that can represent the figure or complement it. A lot of our packaging utilizes assets from the licensor, so configuring those together onto our templates helps a lot. Also, how we utilize those assets can be really creative, especially through patterns or textures. We can also have the figure in a scene on the render-side of the box. It all depends on how the artist wants to approach the design. A lot of our artists like to push the designs farther using assets provided, but of course, sticking to style guide requirements. 

When assets aren’t provided by the licensor, the artists will create those themselves. I prefer creating my own assets. It’s a lot of fun. I’m a big fan of patterns but also love to illustrate some background settings for the characters. Usually, we are assigned things we love, so we put that little extra touch into the designs that I think fellow fans appreciate. My favorite thing to add to packaging is Easter eggs, like maybe a quote from the character on the flap; or sometimes, if the quote isn’t allowed, an icon can be placed instead. 

I created the illustration for the insert card of this Maleficent Box. 

Also, I created all the assets for our Snapsies™ lines, including the patterns, Snapsies™ Gems logos, and all other graphic packaging elements.

What’s your favorite design you’ve ever made and why? 

I was lucky enough to design all of our Disney-Pixar “shorts” packaging. Each box was designed with custom packaging, including a snow globe, a steam basket, a top hat, and a clamshell. This was one of my favorite projects to work on, and I hope maybe later down the road we can revisit this again and expand. There are so many Disney-Pixar shorts we can really play around with and create some amazing storytelling.

Do you collect the boxes for your collection, or do you take them out of the box? 

I have to say it depends on the figure. Sometimes I love the packaging design and want to keep it in-box, or sometimes the figure itself is just too awesome to keep inside the box, and I need to take it out for display. So it’s kind of a toss-up. I’m not that strict of a collector. Either way, in or out of the box, the figure and the packaging are awesome. 

Damon Johnson

Sr. Packaging Designer

What’s your favorite design you've ever done and why?

I have worked on so many different boxes over the years, it’s hard to keep track. I have always loved working on the Freddy Funko packaging and Fantastic Plastic. It’s really enjoyable working on them, as I have pretty much free rein on my designs. I enjoy any project where I get a chance to create assets, backgrounds, and logos. I also like working on music licenses that I’m passionate about. I really loved the James Brown Pop! I did several years back as the licensors were very open to my ideas. I think it turned out really great. The same was true for Janis Joplin and AC/DC.

Do you collect the boxes for your collection, or do you take them out of the box? 

I do both. Almost all of my Game of Thrones collectibles are out of the box. Most of the rest, however, are still in the box . . . as they should be.

Elise Walters


What is your favorite design that you’ve ever created and why?

One of my favorites is actually one of the first I ever designed, and that was the A League of Their Own series! I love the movie and am already heavily inspired by vintage styles in my own work. I was able to really take my time on those designs and put a lot of love into it! I did a bunch of research into previous graphics made for it, like posters, DVD covers, etc., and enjoyed recreating some of those fun elements, like the vintage-style baseball cards! I was also able to recreate the cloud background using one of my own photos I took when I moved to Washington to accept this job at Funko, making it even more special for me. Another thing I'll say about this packaging is that there is a fun secret hidden on the top flap. If you haven't opened yours before, take a peek!

Do you collect the boxes for your collection, or do you take them out of the box?

Both! It's all about display and shelf space! I think displaying with the box is my preference, but I'll take the figures out if needed. I always hang on to my boxes, though. Sometimes I display them with the figure (I especially love to use the left side as a backdrop), or I put the figure back in the box for display if my shelf situations change.

Kari Leavitt

Packaging Designer

What’s your favorite design you’ve ever created and why?

I really enjoy being able to go wild and create my own assets for Pop! packaging. This happens when the licensor does not provide us with specific packaging assets/artwork/background patterns, and instead gives us creative license to make up our own designs. I Dream of Jeannie, Guy Fieri, Shania Twain, Mad Men, Who Framed Roger Rabbit ?, Veep, Chatterer, Bad Boys, and Chester Cheetah are some packaging examples where I was given the freedom to design my own assets, and I had a great deal of fun.

Do you collect the boxes for your collection, or do you take them out of the box?

Yes! I always keep the packaging for all my favorite Pop! figures that I have in my collection! I feel that the Pop! box is an important and beautiful part of the Pop! collecting experience, and it helps to further inform and tell the full story associated with the figure itself. I like to think of the figure’s packaging as the “home” that it lives in, and that home has been thoughtfully custom designed to complement that specific figure.

Dustin Wagner

Packaging Designer

What is your favorite design you’ve ever created and why?

Absolutely the D100 series. It was the first real big project I had to undertake when I came to Funko, and I was not only honored but also extremely excited to be a part of the Disney 100th Anniversary Celebration through this work! I’m proud of the cohesiveness, as well as the overall “pop factor” that the D100 foiled packaging has on the shelves! But most importantly, I’m excited for our fans to see the photo callouts on the back that pay homage to each character, person, movie, or scene that these Pops! represent.

Do you collect the boxes for your collection, or do you take them out of the box?

I think every packaging artist would love to say, “I keep everything in the boxes” simply because we know how much work goes into them. For me, it’s 50/50. It depends on the way I’m displaying them. Some are in boxes; some are not. However, I do save some of the packaging because some of them are just too amazing to not keep!

Kelsy Rasmussen

Packaging Designer

What’s your favorite design you’ve ever made and why?

The Hot Topic Disney’s The Lion King Retail Box is one of my favorites. The Lion King is one of my all-time favorite Disney movies (and Broadway shows), so I was excited and honored to be able to design this box. We were given a lot of creative freedom for this one, which is pretty rare when working with licenses. Being able to use Disney's pre-made graphics and some of my original designs to create a wooden jungle-style box was so much fun.

I also loved creating the boxes for the Pop! Retro Toys line, Clue. Again, it's most fun to make your own designs, and I decided to make some special moments for these boxes honoring the board game I spent many hours playing as a kid. This line was really fun to design because the colors on each box correspond to the characters’ colors and game pieces. Plus, there's a thumbprint Easter egg on the opening flap of the box. Hidden gems like these are just as much fun for us designers as they are for fans to find.

Do you collect the boxes for your collection, or do you take them out of the box?

A little bit of both. I wouldn't call myself a devoted collector, so I'm not super concerned about keeping my figures and boxes pristine. I do like seeing the figures out of their boxes and on a shelf somewhere next to my other home decor. But on the other hand, there are some boxes that are just too pretty to not display as well. I love that our packaging has been standardized in size and style so that collectors can stack them floor to ceiling, creating a seamless wall of their fandoms.

Celebrate National Packaging Design Day 2023

Show off your Pop! in-box collection on social media, or visit one of our Funko stores in Everett, Washington or Hollywood, California to find unique and interesting designs. You might even create a scavenger hunt with friends and family to locate Pop! packaging designs in every color for various lines of Funko collectibles. Be sure to tag @OriginalFunko on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook when you’ve got your collection together, inside or out of the box.