At its 2016 San Diego Comic-Con convention, Funko gave away a limited number of Golden Tickets Funko Pop 2-Packs which makes it a holy grail of Funko Pops! Each box contains a golden Willy Wonka and an Oompa Loompa. One was sold in July for a whopping $210,000, more than double the original price. Some see it as a sign that the hobby of collecting rare Funko toys has come of age.
Holy Grail of Funko Pops:
For others, it’s a flashy stunt that exemplifies how detached from reality the hobby’s upper echelons have become. “This weekend, my beloved Golden Ticket 2-Pack sold for $210,000 to EvendHQ/Grail Game,” Frank “GrailMonster” Giaramita wrote on Instagram on July 10. He said it was a record for Funko Pops. They were worth much more than the original $100,000 he paid for the golden figurines in May 2022. The amount he was willing to pay shocked onlookers at the time.
It looks like a steal now that we know the full cost. HobbyDB, a collectibles database, estimated its worth at around $165,000 before the sale, a significant increase from the first recorded resale price of $10,000 in 2018. However, this time, the Golden Ticket Funko 2-Pack will be included in a mystery box lottery rather than going straight to another collector. Grail Game appears to sell repackaged Funkos, each of which has a chance of including the Golden Wonka.
One could say that the gambler is taking advantage of the rarity of the collectible. In another sense, it’s like being given a second chance to make something as special as it was the first time. According to Christian Braun, who created HobbyDB, the “lore” is as follows. There were probably never more than 10 Golden Wonka 2-Packs made. Four were distributed at the 2016 San Diego Comic-Con Funko Fundays event, and six were likely given to company employees.
Attendees received chocolate bars, but only the four Wonka 2-Packs with golden tickets were given out. “It has a rarity and a decent franchise,” Braun told Kotaku over the phone. Furthermore, there is a great deal of history and legend. Since the market for high-end Funko collectibles is so small, intimate, and distinctive, it is impossible to boil that down to a specific number. Still, he believes the convergence of these qualities makes it one of the most valuable Funko artifacts.
Most collectors simply purchase Funko figures based on their favorite characters. These toys are mass-produced to the point where the manufacturer decided to destroy millions rather than pay storage fees. They have no interest in or means to purchase extremely scarce “grail” Funkos. However, a reported six Venom Freddy Funkos sold for $150,000 earlier this year.
That’s why some collectors scoff when huge deals like this happen and briefcases full of cash change hands; they see it as a sign that the hobby is being corrupted. Over a thousand people have upvoted a post in the Funko subreddit documenting the latest Wonka deal, and the comments range from shock and skepticism to outrage. The one that read, “Bro brought cash to the deal as a PR stunt instead of just doing a wire transfer,” was a joke. According to GrailMonster’s comments to Kotaku, hard currency facilitates independent verification of the sale.