Unpacking Funko’s Comics Subscription Boxes

Jessica Plummer

Contributing Editor

Jessica Plummer has lived her whole life in New York City, but she prefers to think of it as Metropolis. Her day job is in books, her side hustle is in books, and she writes books on the side (including a short story in Sword Stone Table from Vintage). She loves running, knitting, and thinking about superheroes, and knows an unnecessary amount of things about Donald Duck. Follow her on Twitter at @jess_plummer.

In the past couple years, Funko has completely dominated the geeky toy scene, releasing endless waves of collectible plastic versions of your pop culture faves. Like seemingly all of fandom, I’m totally smitten with these giant-headed cuties…and hey, what do you know, both DC and Marvel have bimonthly collector boxes for just $25!

Wondering if the boxes are worth it? Well, since DC and Marvel both happened to tease some of my very favorite characters in their most recent sets, I got a friend to agree to split the cost and divvy up the spoils with me, and placed my orders.

[Spoilers below for the May DC TV and June Marvel Women of Power boxes]

I’ll say this overall: the whole process is pretty seamless. The websites are easy to navigate, the boxes arrive relatively quickly, and they’re well designed to protect the contents (with one exception that I’ll get to in a sec). Plus, quite frankly, it’s a steal. Funko says the boxes are worth $50; I haven’t priced out the contents of mine but I’d guess all the items together would probably actually retail for more than that, even without accounting for the exclusivity factor. Split between you and a friend so that you only keep the items you want, it’s a very affordable way to get a bunch of fun swag.

Oooh. Ahhh.

Oooh. Ahhh.

However, I do have two major complaints about the overall process. One, the shirts only come in traditional men’s sizes, which means even the small is too big on me (and which is particularly annoying re: the Women of Power box). Two, each box comes with a comic; my Marvel one was bagged and boarded, but my DC one was only bagged. That seems like a pretty boneheaded way to ship comics!

Finally, buyer beware: it is very easy to miss the window to cancel the next shipment, which means I have a Suicide Squad box on its way to me that I can’t return. Anyone want to take it off my hands?

The Gwen is a lie. Well, misleading.

The Gwen is a lie. Well, misleading.

So! What do you get in each box?

  • Two (2) exclusive Funko Pops or the tiny plastic equivalent thereof
  • One (1) T-shirt
  • One (1) already-released comic with an exclusive variant cover
  • One (1) enamel pin
  • One (1) iron-on patch, perfect for applying to your denim jacket and time traveling back to 1996

Here’s how that broke down in mine:

May DC TV Box

  • Pops: a Supergirl Rock Candy and a Jay Garrick Pop, both in their TV costumes. Funko’s social media had aggressively teased these two characters, which was why I’d jumped on this particular box; y’all know how I feel about Supergirl by now. Both figures are adorable and I’m delighted to have Kara adorning my bookshelf. However, she was missing the stand she’s supposed to come with, and can’t stand unsupported. Luckily, their customer service department was great about sending me a replacement. Thanks, guys!
  • Shirt: A black and green Arrow shirt. Nice design but it didn’t come in my size and I’ve broken up with Arrow anyway, so I pawned it off on my brother.
  • Comic: A Flash #123 reprint, featuring the classic “Flash of Two Worlds” story and a variant cover with the TV actors.
  • Pin: The Atom! Who doesn’t love Ray?
  • Patch: A Supergirl Collector Corps logo! I literally have no idea what to do with this. Anyone have a Jansport backpack or Trapper-Keeper they can lend me?
    KARA IS SO CUTE. Also the other stuff is cool too, I guess.

    KARA IS SO CUTE. Also the other stuff is cool too, I guess.

    Verdict: I would’ve paid the price of my half of the box alone plus shipping for that Supergirl figure, so anything else is a bonus. Thumbs up for sure!

    June Marvel Women of Power Box

    • Pops: Okay, this was disappointing. The trailer featured Spider-Gwen and She-Hulk, with an acorn dropping at the end to tease Squirrel Girl as well, so I expected Gwen and Shulkie Pops, and maybe a Doreen pin or something. Instead, we got an admittedly fantastically adorable Squirrel Girl Pop, complete with Tippy-Toe, and two smaller, less high-quality bobbleheads: She-Hulk and Captain Marvel. I’d gotten the box specifically for Gwen, so this was a huge letdown for me.
    • Shirt: Here’s where Gwen came in. It’s a cute enough design and the shirt is very soft, but again, I’m swimming in a men’s small. It’s baffling to me that a company with such a large female following doesn’t offer women’s shirts, especially for a box specifically celebrating women.
    • Comic: Civil War II #1, with a variant cover featuring a bunch of Marvel superheroine Pops. I groaned out loud when I saw it; it makes sense to include it, but I know who you killed off in that issue, Marvel, and I don’t want this crap.
    • Pin: Jessica Drew Spider-Woman, inexplicably in her old costume instead of her rad new one.
    • Patch: Kamala Khan! I love Kamala, but again, what am I supposed to do with an iron-on patch in this day and age? Is this something the kids are into again? I’m not hip with the times, please help Auntie Jess out!
    Doreen is precious, but what is going ON with those bobbleheads?

    Doreen is precious, but what is going ON with those bobbleheads?

    Verdict: This one was a bummer for me. The characters I was really looking forward to – Gwen and Kamala – came on merchandise that wasn’t particularly useful to me, and the box included stuff I actively didn’t want (Civil War, the cheap-looking bobbleheads). More importantly, though, the contents were spoiled for me on Twitter about a week before my box arrived. A huge part of the enjoyment for me is the surprise of unboxing; I think I would’ve been way less disappointed in the contents if I’d had the fun of discovering them. And there’s no real way to avoid spoilers, short of just staying off the internet for two weeks while the boxes are shipping out. Thumbs down.

    So, should you sign up?

    Yes, if you…

    • love everything Funko touches
    • love everything DC/Marvel touches
    • love swag but aren’t picky about characters
    • need more flair for your JNCOs

    No, if you…

    • only want it if you can be assured of avoiding spoilers
    • want a carefully curated Funko collection
    • don’t wear traditionally designated “men’s” sizes
    • don’t care about variant covers

    As for me, I’ll be unsubscribing from both boxes, but bonus fun fact: members can totally order old boxes if there’s leftover stock! You’d best believe I’ll be keeping an eye on what comes in the next few rounds of boxes. If there’s ever a rad Kon-El Superboy patch for true 90s realness? That sucker is mine.

    (Seriously, what do I do with the patches???)