The rise of the Lootcrate-style service for nerdy merch has just gotten big with announcement that Marvel and Funko are teaming up on a Bi-monthly subscription service to deliver toys and merchandise to your doorstep. But if you're a regularly collector of Funko's Pop! Vinyls, you might not want to get too excited.
The loot deal is called the Marvel 'Collector Corps', and each $25 box, themed around a particular upcoming Marvel movie or comic event, will feature a T-Shirt (one of 4 designs), 2 'premium accessories', and one Funko vinyl toy. The allure of Marvel's subscription is that, unlike other subscription services of this ilk, every item in the box is 100% exclusive to the service. Not a variant of a widely accessible product - in fact, Funko themselves have offered such 'exclusive variants' to other subscription services, like Lootcrate - but a product that is straight up exclusive.
This is where it gets problematic.
The first box, due to ship in April, is themed around Avengers: Age of Ultron, and the revealed exclusive Funko Pop toy is... that Hulkbuster Iron Man that was revealed on Monday. Wondered why you perhaps couldn't find preorder links for it when it was announced? Well, now you know why. The Collector Corps website advertises the Hulkbuster toy as a 'sneak peak', the implication being that subscribers merely get the toy ahead of it going on wider release:
But on Twitter, Marvel's own Ryan 'Agent M' Penagos confirmed that no, the only place you can get the Hulkbuster is now in this Collector Corps package:
First of all, it's kind of a dick move to reveal a product and then later announce that it's exclusive to some other thing - but also, now what otherwise would've been $15 is bundled into this $25 box that you might not really want the rest of. You can't just go out and buy the Hulkbuster - which arguably was one of the popular ones people were looking forward to - alongside the rest of the Age of Ultron Funko Pops like you thought you could. It's even worse if you're outside the US, as so far it does not seem like the service is available anywhere but America at the moment (and even if the US version can be shipped worldwide, you're going to end up paying a lot more in terms of shipping). It just makes you wonder what people who don't sign up will miss out on in the future. The package after the AoU one, for example, is based on Ant-Man - who's to say that suddenly someone like Yellowjacket or Hank Pym is suddenly only available in this service, and nowhere else? I mean, if something like the Hulkbuster is worth locking away as an exclusive, no one else is really 'safe'.
It's a cool idea if you're more in it for the Marvel paraphernalia and haven't really gotten into collecting Funko's toys, but if you've been collecting Funko's Marvel products for a while, it seems like this Collector Corps service might start to leave some annoying holes in your collection.
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