Sometimes it’s hard to remember that the things we collect often start out as simple toys. Gary Sethi is a Funko Pop! seller who likes to keep that in perspective. “Holding a toy like this makes me feel like a kid,” he said. “Some kids don’t have the same opportunities to just enjoy something like this.”
Gary, of PopGeek Pop Asia deals in Funko products, specifically Pop! stuff, more specifically Pop! Asia figures. If that last category sounds unusual, you may not be aware that Funko produces some designs strictly for Asian markets. “Think of it like the items available exclusively at GameStop or Barnes & Noble,” he said. “Except these are only available in Asian markets.”
Many of the Pop! Asia figures are based on characters and creatures who are well known primarily in Asia. The Legendary Creatures and Myths series includes the Tossakan, the demonic representation of bad karma in different tones. Others are recognized worldwide, such as Master Po from Kung Fu Panda, but have unique designs for that market.
Despite dealing in rare exports, he remains keenly aware of how much these figures can mean to someone who might not be able to spend big bucks on collectibles. To that end, he donates a considerable number of these figures to charities to be distributed to kids. “I don’t want to work with charities who resell collectibles, I want these things to end up in the hands of kids who need them.” Ten percent of his profits are set aside for such good work. Many of them are distributed as birthday presents. “Everyone needs food, but kids need toys and dolls, too.”
“SEWA Food Bank in Toronto is where I focus my efforts right now,” he said. As the owner of a bakery, he donates a fair amount of bread to the food bank every year.“But kids just need to feel like kids,” so he also donates a lot of Pop! figures to the cause as well. He estimates he and his cohorts distributed some 400 characters to families last year.
He also tries to keep his prices fair to be foster the hobby. “It’s unfortunate when prices keep climbing on collectibles.”Speaking of which, his new store on PopPriceGuide.com is currently offering discounts on all of his items. for the next week.
Another idea of his to make an honest buck from this hobby are Mystery Boxes. “We plan to try it out at the Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle. Each box will be worth the price,” he said, “ but one will have a rare emerald green Hanuman, (the Hindu commander of the Monkey Army).”
Above all, PopGeekCollectibles tries to make the hobby of collecting fun again. “I like to give people a chance to own some rare and unusual Pops at reasonable prices.”