Counterfeits have always been an issue in certain markets (as you'll see with our first example, Saw). Besides the usual flea market knock offs, the toy market has been roughly safe. However, the rise of counterfeit Funko POP! Vinyls has started to grow like a virus. After selling a nice chunk of Funko POP! Vinyls recently, I wanted to try and knock off one of my grail Funkos from my list. The issue was that the more I searched for a classic, the more I got wary of my soon to be purchased grail.
There are 3 specific Funko POP! Vinyls I want to discuss. One has been consumed by counterfeits, another that has recently fallen and the last one is on the verge to have succumbed to the couterfeit darkness. First, upon the counterfeit chopping block is Billy the Puppet from Saw. Billy the Puppet was a bloody glow in the dark 2014 SDCC Exclusive. Since his release, the counterfeit market swiped him up. The figure himself has been mass-produced by counterfeit sellers on eBay mainly sold from China. Not only have these fakes driven down the price, but a lot of collectors also don't even want to buy him because of his high rate of fakes.
These counterfeits have destroyed Billy, and he isn't the only one. Next up is one that caught me by surprise. The 2015 SDCC Unmasked Jason from Friday the 13th has been the next victim of the counterfeiters. Two years ago Unmasked Jason was pushing nearly $800 and was on track to becoming a $1000 grail Funko. Through some further digging, I found a new mass production of fake counterfeit Jason's being sold on eBay and Mercari. He is currently down to $300 and can continue to drop the rest of the year. Some "newer" collector might be thinking they are getting a deal of a lifetime but it's only ruining the rarity of what was someone's prized collector piece.
The next Funko POP! Vinyl classic that could be affected by counterfeits is the man himself… King Leonidas from 300. Leonidas is one of the figures that has always been on my dream sheet. On my search for him, I only came to find out his counterfeit versions are all over eBay. The more I wanted to buy; the more I kept thinking what if someone bought the fake only to sell it for his value which is still between $450-550.
A counterfeit awareness needs to start being made for a lot of the newer collectors. When looking for your next grail purchase be wary of where it is coming from. For starters, eBay sellers with low feedback aren't good to buy from. A lot of counterfeits are shipping from overseas markets, mainly China. A lot of the suckers who buy them and find out they are fake sell them for cheap on places like Mercari. Billy and Jason are already lost to the counterfeit markets. Leonidas fakes have already started, the real question is who will be next?!