The craziness of San Diego Comic Con has finally passed, and Funko collectors are starting to receive their online orders finally. With everything in hand, it is time to go back a look at the hot mess Funko gave to fans. To start things off, we have to go back two weeks before the release of The Office Dwight Shrute Princess Unicorn Funko Pop. This Funko-Shop exclusive was one of the biggest Pop to be featured on Funko's newest "upgraded" site. When the figure went live, it was chaos; collectors were stuck in an endless loop of a loading shipping rates bar. The bar would hold fans in the checkout, and by the time it finished, the figure was halted. With the massive influx for one Funko Pop, Funko decided to take down the Pop and planned on relisting it. Right here his when Funko should have known there site had an issue, but they seemly did not fix it.
Two weeks later, SDCC 2020 kicks off with every Exclusive Pop hitting the online shop. This included all retailer exclusives, Funko-Shop exclusives, and the 3000LE Black Lighting Pop. At 8 pm, everything went live, it seemed smooth and straightforward until fans were greeted with yet another shipping rates loading screen. Fans were then held into this spinning ring (including myself) for 30-40 minutes. By the time the rates loaded and fans were able to move on checking out, individual Pops already sold out. The first three Pops to sell out were Black Lightning, Bakugo, and Goku. This mess led to Funko giving out a formal video apology and stating that they plan on fixing the issue.
With the Funko Shop failing to meet collectors' demands, Funko helped out fans with retailer links with prep time for a midnight launch. This launch was for stores like Target, Hot Topic, GameStop, and others who got Summer Convention exclusives. The plan was simple; each site goes live at 12:01 am with their exclusives, too bad for Funko; no one wants to communicate this message. This allowed for multiple sites to launch their exclusives early like Hot Topic, making their exclusive secretly go live and sell out instantly 15 mins prior to launch. By the time official announcements went out, all exclusives were already sold out with no mention of restocks. This was a huge bummer for fans, and it makes it come down to buying from third parties for 3 to 4 times the original cost.
The online release will seemingly always be a thing now, and with the way that everything is going in the world you would expect companies to know their fan backing by now. Communication is key, and in this COVID world, online releases are way safer than in-store runs, but at what cost if online bots and the sites crash. Of my purchases, I was only able to get 3 of mine and then jumped onto the lowest flipper price before prices rose. SDCC 2020 was a hot mess, and I continue to expect the collectible from other upcoming conventions to be the same way if they stay virtual. I think the best way Funko has to solve the bot and customer problems is the same way they handled the ECCC 2020 ticket holder preview day. This gave ticket holders a whole day before release and is an easy solution. Selling tickets for an online shop seems quite ridiculous, but it would be worth it to fight the hassle of the competition.