Funko FunKlub Asia (not affiliated with Funko) is a community of Funko collectors in the Asian region.
FFA Collector is a series that interviews a member collector and how the hobby is doing at his or her location. Our very first interview is with Caryn, better known as Funko Kyana online. She lives in Johor Bahru, Malaysia.
FFA: So what kind of town is Johor Bahru?
Kyana: Mmmm, it’s the southernmost state in the Malaysian peninsula. I’d say we’re like all other simple Malaysians.
FFA: What’s the main industry there?
Kyana : I would say services and manufacturing? But I’m not too sure. I know the hotel industry is growing, with a lot of international brands coming into Johor.
FFA: And is toy collecting a “thing” in general there?
Kyana: Actually no, not in Johor. The toy collectors in Johor are very few and far between. There is one shop that sells Lego which is doing quite well though. They have quite a following.
FFA: So how’d you get into it?
Kyana : Haha, I’m weird? Actually I’m a Transformers collector. Have been for about six years now.
FFA: How’d you start with Funko?
Kyana: I just came across Funko Pops, and it seemed like a good idea because they were a fraction of the price. Before long it became my main hobby.
FFA: I’m assuming you have all the Transformers Pops?
Kyana : I actually don’t! I only have the Hot Topic exclusive Optimus Prime.
FFA: Around how many Pops do you have right now?
Kyana: Mmm I’m a very “disciplined” collector so I don’t just buy everything Funko puts out. I would say around 120 Pops?
FFA: What was your first Pop, and what’s your favorite?
Kyana: That’s easy! My first Pops were gifts, Wall-E and Eve. At that time, I didn’t even know what Funko Pops were, and I didn’t start seriously collecting them until about nine months later. My favourite…. hmm now that’s difficult…I’d have to say the Monkey King series. Yes, there’s a mistake with the head bands Monk Sha and Monkey King are wearing, but I think Mindstyle did a good job in designing the series.
FFA: Are you a big fan of the Pop Asia line in general?
Kyana: I would say so. Hey, I’m Asian right? Gotta stick to my roots!
FFA: Is there a Funko community at all to speak of in Malaysia?
Kyana: Nope. None that I know of. There’s not much awareness about Funko right now in Malaysia. People buy Pops because they accidentally see a character they know or a series they like. Most of them are one-off buyers. Definitely not as committed as Lego or Hot Toys collectors.
FFA: Lego and Hot Toys have a big following there?
Kyana: Yes, those brands are very recognizable. When you mention Fnnko, you generally get blank looks.
FFA: Where do people “accidentally” stumble upon Funko in Malaysia?
Kyana: Hahahha in one of my many Facebook posts! In order to raise awareness I keep sharing photos of Pops on Facebook.
FFA: Do you ever hang out with fellow Funko collectors in Malaysia?
Kyana: Nope. In the Johor area, I only know of one other Funko collector.
FFA: What do you think the hobby needs to get jump-started there?
Kyana: I’d say all it takes is time. In Johor, for anything to be successful, time is needed. For example, it wasn’t until very recently that themed cafes became popular. So yeah, time.