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Please forbid Funko Pop autographs from Japanese guests


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Scalpers ruin autograph sessions. Scalping of Funko Pop figures in particular is the number one source of the problem.

In 2023, Anime Expo's autographs were marred by a large group of organized scalpers (~30 people) who engaged in highly disruptive behavior in the waiting lines and when interacting with a certain Japanese guest. All of them brought Funko Pops to be signed. This year, AX banned Funko Pops from being signed by Japanese guests. As a result, scalpers lost their incentive to participate.

Other cons are learning from that. San Japan now also forbids Funko Pops from being signed by Japanese guests, for example.

I see Otakon this year has some big-name Japanese guests that may draw the attention of organized scalpers. I hope you can consider my suggestion.

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I've seen bans like this at small conventions as well. I've never owned a Funko Pop and have only gotten one autograph at a con before (on a CD), so I never really understood why there are so many problems involving the Funko Pop autographs. Like why Funko Pops specifically and are there problems like this with other items?

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6 hours ago, TomDent said:

I've seen bans like this at small conventions as well. I've never owned a Funko Pop and have only gotten one autograph at a con before (on a CD), so I never really understood why there are so many problems involving the Funko Pop autographs. Like why Funko Pops specifically and are there problems like this with other items?

I honestly don't know how Funko Pops wound up becoming so frequently scalped. I'm guessing it's because they are cheap to obtain (~$15 per figure) and there is a huge variety of them for every fandom, so a buyer exists for every figure. They are also uniform in size so they are easy to store and display.

Regarding autographs on Funko Pops, the big advantage that Funko Pops have for scalpers over other types of products is how easy it is to manipulate an autograph written on the packaging. When Japanese guests autograph an item, they will frequently personalize it by writing the recipient's name ("To John Doe") and also include the date. When a guest signs a Funko Pop, they write on the window of the box, which is made of plastic, using ink pens. Scalpers then take some rubbing alcohol and use it to wipe away the personalization and the date, leaving only the signature. Now the scalpers can sell the autographed Pops to anyone.

I've seen other types of autographed products get scalped, usually event-exclusive items like shikishi boards or posters. But it is not possible to manipulate those other types of autographed products to erase the personalization, at least not with the same level of ease. And attempting to sell a personalized item is obviously more difficult than selling a non-personalized item, so most scalpers generally won't bother.

I don't own any Funko Pops either. I have no complaints about the products themselves and I don't dislike them. My complaints are directed only toward people who use them to cause problems, like scalpers.

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That makes sense. I don't have any Funko Pops, but I don't dislike them either. I can see how scalpers can take advantage of them and it's sad for fans who can't afford a more expensive figure to get autographed.

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