The Vexation of Zur En Arrh Batman (and its effect at PPG)

To many, the four words “Zur En Arrh Batman” have incited frustration and agony over the last month. “Hey, it’s a Target exclusive, and those are generally easy to find, right?” WRONG. While many Target exclusives are as readily available as anything, this esoteric little number showed up very briefly, and in extremely limited quantities. Word has it from the mouth of Funko themselves that this Pop had a very short production run. Once that news hit, it was like the Loch Ness Monster divided by zero and created a universe-shifting need for this figure. Almost overnight, this Pop went from averaging around $40 a sale to nearly $100, and within another couple of weeks was steadily hitting $200. This created quite an issue here at PPG, as 1) the first few days had a boatload of sales in the lower range ($25-50), 2) the quantity of sales rapidly decreased, the combination of this resulting in the median rates, and in turn our Estimated Value, staying pretty low.

This was a bizarre situation and we’ve been fighting with the best way to handle it. We think our valuation process works really well, but in this case the figure was selling for $200+ and we still had it valued at $60…then up a bit more and a bit more, but never reaching higher than $90. To help accommodate for this and any future anomalies such as this, we’ve made a slight adjustment to the process that takes into consideration any large jumps occurring in recent history. Because this is a new process, we’ll be keeping a close eye on it for a while to ensure it’s producing the best possible information we can give you.

Thanks to those of you who inquired about the valuation differences on this Pop and getting the gears turning a little faster.


The founder of PPG, I am a long-time action figure collector who started collecting Pops in 2012. I am fan of Star Wars, DC Comics, Alien, music, Royals baseball, KU basketball, and geek culture in general.

40 thoughts on “The Vexation of Zur En Arrh Batman (and its effect at PPG)

  • July 17, 2016 at 10:50 pm

    Oh this pop… it really makes me reconsider collecting the way I do. At 85 and counting (3/4 dc or batman related) knowing they made one so completely unobtainable really makes me sad. They should have made non really. Between the SDCC, convention exclusives, subscription box… and don’t get me started on the Dr. Harleen fiasco… its all so off putting. Im losing my funko love fast. #sigh

    • July 18, 2016 at 7:35 am

      Yup, this really makes me reconsider collecting. Full stop.

      I’ve been collecting for over 5 years and have over 350 POPs, Dorbz and Mystery Minis (Mostly POPs). I’ve really felt an attitude shift from Funko in the last 7 months. I honestly don’t think they have any idea how much they’ve alienated a lot of their fans lately.

    • July 18, 2016 at 7:51 am


    • July 18, 2016 at 7:51 am

      Been struggling with this too!

    • July 18, 2016 at 6:55 pm

      I agree the Exclusive is becoming very off putting and has almost gotten me to the point of not wanting to collect anymore. I have greatly cut the number of Pops I was down because of it already. I now am only focusing on DC and Marvel Pops that I really want. I never started this collection for any resale value, I just want to get the Pops of the characters that I love and Funko is starting to make it damn near impossible to do so, unless you want to give up your soul for Pops.

    • July 19, 2016 at 1:27 pm

      I am in complete agreement that the exclusives, subscriptions and the fast rate that Funko produces their products is off putting and expensive. I have had a few pops for several years and then one day wanted more. From April to July I accumulated
      another 100+ but because of how they are manipulating the marketplace and not every person has access to the vast majority of items (i.e. the local Toys R Us never had any of the exclusives or no Barnes & Noble) we have to reply upon the secondary market. I am currently in the process of dumping all these Pops.

    • July 19, 2016 at 7:44 pm

      I totally agree. I’m all but done with collecting. I have a little over 80 Pops and I’m really considering selling them all. Between the exclusives, SDCC and so on, I’m not in a geographical region to get the ones I want and it’s like do I want to continue? Probably not.

    • July 26, 2016 at 7:54 am

      I understand being frustrated with not being able to find exclusives, but the whole point of even making an exclusive Pop or any other collectible is rarity. If it’s not rare, then exclusivity is pointless. Up till now, I have been astounded at how easy most exclusives are to obtain. As far as I’m concerned, this only adds to the thrill of getting your hands on those hard to find figures. Half the fun is the hunt, and if you don’t have to really try to get these things, then it’s not nearly as enjoyable to finally find it.

  • July 18, 2016 at 12:09 am

    what i do not understand is that Funko said there were 4 per store average. With 1800 Targets in the US, thats 7200 Zur En Arrh Batmans, that is not that low.

    • July 18, 2016 at 1:05 am

      That number was incorrect.

      Our store had 2, many stores had none. My guess is the piece count is closer to less than 3000

      • July 18, 2016 at 5:13 am

        Thats why it is an average. some stores got 2 some 4 some 6 and some 8 or 0

    • July 18, 2016 at 4:18 am

      I agree….its not that low. Target AND funko boasted EVERY target will be getting a limited quantity. We still haven’t seen one in the wild in florida……0. Thanks for f-ing florida funko. And thanks to all those a-holes who keep buying these outrageously priced pops. If you want to cry about inflation, stop spending 200 dollars on a pop that was just released. WE set the standard…..not funko. Your just making a-holes rich, and collectors sad and frustrated.

      • July 19, 2016 at 2:09 pm

        The employees are buying them as well.

      • July 19, 2016 at 10:51 pm

        Florida did get them tho. A guy I follow and watch got one

    • July 19, 2016 at 2:07 pm

      I think it is probably around 5,000 in circulation. Some stores got other shipments in like in NY and other places and they got around 8.

  • July 18, 2016 at 2:09 am

    Great story. Also Go Royals and Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

  • July 18, 2016 at 3:55 am

    My area never even got these. But I see I am not the only one annoyed and frustrated by it.

    • July 18, 2016 at 8:44 pm

      Never seen ANY FUNKO @ any targets in my area, only maybe 4 at a Walmart once. It’s a real bummer.

      • July 19, 2016 at 8:25 am

        Check the electronics dept, sounds strange but that’s where the Targets in my area have them.

      • July 22, 2016 at 5:04 am

        Check the video game section, mine keeps their game-based pops there, maybe yours has some there.
        Check behind electronics, too, ones local to me have a wall behind there with all kinds of Star Wars/comic stuff, including the pops.

  • July 18, 2016 at 5:35 am

    Why not just have a separate tally for a live average but still use the same system for estimated. Just put it in the 90, 60, 30 day chart. Make it line 4.

  • July 18, 2016 at 8:08 am

    People need to quit crying so much. It’s called collecting. You aren’t meant to get to have every single pop ever made. Entitlement is strong within some people. No one cares how long you’ve been collecting, how many pops you have, etc. That doesn’t mean you get to have everything you want. If you want to quit collecting then quit. Funko won’t miss you. Business will still boom. I want the white, red, and pink Rangers. I probably will never get them. Doesn’t mean I go on the Internet and bitch about it and say how it’s not fair, I’m gonna quit collecting now, they should re release these for people who couldnt get them the first time. Get over yourselves.

    • July 18, 2016 at 10:00 am

      I agree wholeheartedly. I searched forever for the Zur En, but eventually gave up when I heard they were extremely limited. I didn’t cry or complain when I didn’t find it. I went about my day. Then I found out my comic shop had him about 3 weeks ago, and picked him up for $117.

    • July 18, 2016 at 7:02 pm

      Your attitude is one of the reason people don’t like collecting. Most people aren’t getting Pops for the monetary value and if you are then you are a sad little person because that value is not going to last and anythings real value is only what another person will pay for it. If you have a $200 Pop it is only worth $200 if someone is willing to give you $200 for it. If not then it’s not worth anymore than you paid for it. I have seen this happen over and over again with action figures, comics, and various other collectibles. Funko makes zero dollars off the secondary market but right now thats the market they are catering towards. Every company ever that has made collectibles does this and ultimately it is what kills the interest in collecting. Beanie Babies is great example, they were a cute little novelty item much like Pops that people went nuts for, they started making crazy exclusives, and making them harder to get so they would be “worth” more and the bottom fell out of the craze and it crashed like a ton of bricks. Now you see these same things that were worth so much money selling for a quarter a piece a flea market and yard sales. They same thing is gonna happen with Pops one day and all of us will be stuck with a bunch of little plastic figures that aren’t worth shit.

      • July 19, 2016 at 1:30 pm

        You are so r i g h t…pops and beanie babies at the flea market. It’s in the near future.

      • July 19, 2016 at 10:56 pm

        I hate the Beanie Babies comparison it’s not even close to the same. Beanies were stuffed animals these are iconic characters. 2 the reason it fell out TY said they wouldn’t make another Beanie after the end bear, then they did and no one cared. Even if Funko loses popularity it won’t lose it completely lots of figures and toys fluctuate but keep value. I don’t collect for value but this is my 2 sense. If the market ever did fall I’d just want to get a complete DC and Star Wars set it all

    • July 19, 2016 at 5:51 pm

      Grow up, son, people have strong opinions. If you are offended by people “crying” then go find something else to do.

  • July 18, 2016 at 8:24 am

    All areas got some, but because it was leaked 4 days prior to the release, every Target Employee knew it was coming, thus it went from being a surprise Pop! for Suicide Squad Pop! Hunters to a Target Employee Exclusive. I actually saw one Target employee take it out of the hands of another when she grabbed it from back storeroom and was walking it to us, then she walked up and told us it was sold already. I ran home and bought one on Ebay for 25.00 Best Offer(The woman selling had 6). It brings a smile to my face to think that flipper sold all six for 150.00-200.00 and now she could have had 1200-1500 #Silverlining

  • July 18, 2016 at 8:27 am

    I’m a new collector, but my frustration with this is the same as the rest of you. I’m EXTREMELY disappointed in the handling of all of this. I was beyond excited to hear about this Pop! Batman of Zur En Arrh is a weird corner of the Batman mythos. I wanted it for that connection and it’s use by writer Grant Morrison. Like the rest of you, I’m sad I’ll probably never own it

  • July 18, 2016 at 10:02 am

    I fell in love with this pop when I first saw the pictures of it. So for a few days it was driving me nuts going to different targets. I eventually gave up and went about my day. Then about 3 weeks ago, my local comic shop had one for $117. I picked him up and couldn’t be happier.

  • July 18, 2016 at 10:17 am

    When my husband went to Target to get one on release day, an employee was hiding it in a stock cart underneath items in the wrong section (far from the Pops). He later went back the next day to see if they would get another shipment of them in, and when he talked to an employee they told him they never got any in stock. That was obviously not the case because he had picked one up the day before.

  • July 18, 2016 at 12:13 pm

    Wasnt there an update months ago where ppg was gonna take just the last 5 sales and average it out from those sales. Because a sale from 6 months ago really doesnt reflect its current state.

  • July 18, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    Just my luck never ever gonna find anything this rare and I wouldn’t even sell it I just like to get super rare things to feel good about myself!

  • July 18, 2016 at 1:34 pm

    Well I am from Europe so I don’t have any chances to get that one. Sad.

    • July 20, 2016 at 2:43 am

      Same, from the EU, if I want this, I have to pay roughly 20% (thanks customs!) or more on top of the price of the pop (over 200 – 300 dollars) and shipping, around 20 – 30 dollars.

  • July 19, 2016 at 6:28 am

    The real question is what do they use to track. Most people are selling and trading threw Facebook now. So with that in mind people are getting around what ppg says a pop is worth. See it all the time it’s like anything in the end funko makes what they sell them for. After they sell them to the company’s and v enders I’m sure funko dosent give two shits what stupid people spend there own money on. So ya

  • July 19, 2016 at 10:26 pm

    I guess I’m very lucky I got to my Target when I did. I had a very helpful employee grab it from the back. He then told me they had 5 more of them and would hold me another. I come back the next day and he acted like I had never spoke with him before and refused to check in back…
    I should have never talked with him about the rarity of ZEA because I get home, get on eBay and found a brand new seller, that just happened to live in my hometown, with 5 he had posted in the morning.
    Guess it’s karma though as he didn’t make nearly what he could have if he had held onto them for a bit. Haha

  • July 20, 2016 at 1:35 am

    Unfortunately this is what comes with a collecting craze, a toy company is offering you toys to collect only to MAKE MONEY!.. They only operate for profit and aren’t going to care less if most people can’t own a certain piece, why would they ever make sure that every single collector can own every single piece as easily as a click of the fingers??. Partly why they release rare limited versions is due to getting people talking about it and it creates self advertising, and it gets collectors ‘out there’ actively hunting, and it works perfectly because we’re all here now talking about it and other people then hear about it too.

    This tactic goes way back, they’ve done this with many other toys and trading cards and it gets collectors talking about the rare ones and creates a social buzz and keeps the collecting frenzy going. It’s obviously frustrating if you want to collect them all, but at the end of the day it’s just a toy and your life won’t be any worse off if you don’t grab that rare piece. There will always be ones that you can’t find or afford because it’s too rare, so maybe it’s best to realize this will happen with ANYTHING you will ever collect and just enjoy the ones you can get.

    For someone to say they want to sell everything they have because they can’t get a certain variant ( of which they probably already have about 5 variants of ) I think is a bit childish. Maybe that’s just me, I don’t know.

  • July 22, 2016 at 10:50 am

    I have been on the Walgreen’s website for the past 3 hours and keep refreshing
    with the following keyed in search “SDCC Funko Green Goblin”…. nothing. Then just
    an few minutes ago (12:48 pm) I see that Walgreen’s SDCC Pop was up. I clicked on
    that and it came up right away but preorders sold out. What am i doing wrong?
    I tried different combinations such as just Funko, Green Goblin, etc but could not
    get the SDCC or Green Goblin to come up. Any suggestions??


    • July 22, 2016 at 8:30 pm

      The same thing happened to me. The only thing that would pop up was a sku for marvel excl. Then out of know where green goblin shows up out of stock. I don’t think you did anything wrong i just think walgreens has no idea what there doing and has no business in the exclusive toy department. I keep hearing Aug 1 a second wave well be released but im not sure if that’s the Walgreens site or popcultcha that well restock.

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