Ultimate Collectors Guide to Must-Have Walking Dead & Horror TV Funko Pops

As an entertainment memorabilia collector and avid fan of horror media, few things bring me more joy than displaying a shelf of cool horror Funko Pops. And The Walking Dead figures rank among the best.

In 2021 alone, Funko grossed over $1 billion in global licensed pop culture sales. This collectibles juggernaut sits atop an exponentially growing market, one I‘ve participated in for over a decade.

Through firsthand experience and research, I‘ve become well-versed in the hobby. And if you‘re a fellow horror buff looking to showcase characters from The Walking Dead, American Horror Story, or your other favorite scary shows, you‘ve come to the right place!

Below I break down the must-own Walking Dead Funko Pop vinyls any superfan should snatch up. I‘ve also profiled terrifying figures from hit shows beyond just TWD worth including in your collection.

Let‘s dive in horror hounds!

Why The Walking Dead and Funko Pops Pair Perfectly

Before analyzing specific figures, it‘s important to understand why The Walking Dead makes such killer subject material for Funko.

Zombie Phenomenon Resonates More Than Ever

The Walking Dead first shambled onto TV screens in 2010, riding the zombie craze permeating pop culture. But over a decade later, the horror sub-genre stands just as strong.

Zombie-related media grossed nearly $5 billion in the 2010s, proving public appetite never waned.

Far from just B-movie schlock these days, zombies increasingly tap into cultural anxieties over contagions, authoritarianism, and societal decay – prime fodder for scary storytelling.

Of course it helps that artifacts letting fans proudly rep their favorite zombie slayers make great interior decor!

Massive & Devoted Fan Community

Even excluding companion series, The Walking Dead proper birthed an immense fandom over 11 seasons of AMC‘s hit adaptation. Despite viewership declines in later seasons, TWD maintained enviable numbers throughout its run:

  • Peak viewership: 17.3 million (Season 5)
  • Average viewership: Over 10 million
  • Total viewers: Over 1 billion globally

Beyond raw eyeballs, The Walking Dead boasts an invested fan community the world over. Diehard devotees fondly reflecting on favorite seasons and characters even years later.

These millions of lifelong fans represent built-in customers for Funko. They crave tangible connections to beloved shows through collectibles.

Funko Fortuitously Times First TWD Wave

Capitalizing on the IP‘s soaring popularity after Season 2, Funko unleashed its first wave of The Walking Dead Pop vinyl figures in 2012 to much fanfare.

Since this initial rollout, over 90 unique TWD molds joined the Funko family – from iconic survivors like Michonne to more obscure zombies like the infamous Well Walker. Even niche supporting characters earned plastic immortality.

Through impeccable market timing and consistently catering to fans‘ desires for newly rendered grails over the ensuing decade, Funko cemented itself as the go-to source for Walking Dead keepsakes.

Let‘s explore the ultimate must-own figures for diehard collectors!

Top Shelf: Must-Own Walking Dead Funko Pop List

With 94 (and counting) Walking Dead Pop vinyls available, narrowing down to the absolute essentials is no easy task. Nevertheless, a few objectively crucial selections emerge when considering historical significance, display appeal, and valuation growth.

FigureDebut YearCurrent Market Value
#13 Rick Grimes2012$205
#08 Daryl‘s Chopper2015$170
#547 Well Walker2020$195
#390 Bloody Negan2017$ 130

Market value estimates provided by hobbydb.com as of March 2023

While subjective preference obviously factors into one‘s "must-own" list, certain Walking Dead Funko Pops objectively qualify based on historical significance, display appeal, and valuation growth.

#13 Rick Grimes – The Sheriff Rides Again

No TWD Funko collection would be complete without lead protagonist and sherriff Rick Grimes.

Debuting in 2012 alongside the toy line‘s launch, #13 Rick Grimes wears his iconic uniform while brandishing a Colt Python revolver.

As the first-ever Walking Dead Pop and foremost representation of the series hero, this figure holds major historical clout. Despite numerous later Rick editions getting released, the OG still reigns supreme based on cultural impact and scarcity.

Beyond significance as Funko‘s debut TWD mold, Rick Grimes #13 makes an awesome display piece. Clean lawman uniform contrasted against the weathered box and zombie grime contacting the plastic encapsulates the show‘s overarching theme of fighting to retain humanity amidst apocalyptic horror.

Also consider its skyrocketing value, with mint boxes now fetching $200+ given scarce supply and hardcore fan demand.

#08 Daryl Dixon‘s Chopper – Fan Fave Rides in Style

What began as a minor character exclusive to the TV series soon became one of fans‘ absolute favorites. The ever-present Daryl Dixon stands out as a universally beloved personality.

No surprise then that Daryl was among the first characters immortalized by Funko outside the main cast. But rather than another static mold, designers got creative with 2015‘s Daryl Dixon‘s Chopper from the Pop Rides sub-line.

This deluxe vinyl pairs Daryl‘s immense popularity with Funko‘s novel vehicle pairing concept. Daryl sporting his sleeveless biker vest broods atop the chopper motorcycle crossbow in tow, ready to strike.

Beyond looking fantastic on a shelf, the figure captures beloved Daryl at his coolest while also demonstrating Funko‘s ingenuity. Combined with high relative scarcity for a more premium piece, Daryl‘s Chopper earns a spot among choice Walking Dead grabs.

#547 Well Walker – Quintessential Obscure Horror

Funko Pop has taken some wonderfully odd risks with Walking Dead selections beyond the main cast. Case in point: the gnarly Well Walker exclusively available at 2020‘s Virtual Con.

Appearing in Season 2‘s aptly titled episode "Save the Last One", this zombie plummeting down a dried-up well remains an iconic creation despite limited screen time.

Funko did horror fans a great service immortalizing this artfully disgusting walker in Pop form. The figure‘s uniquely revolting design truly encapsulates the macabre spirit of the franchise.

With only 3,000 pieces produced, the Well Walker qualifies as a rare grail piece especially appealing to collectors. Values exceed $250 these days – a 200% increase since release!

For horror hounds and shrewd flippers alike, this niche creation epitomizes The Walking Dead‘s signature ability to constantly surprise fans with novel ghastly imagery ripe for Funkoization.

Compelling Picks From Other Horror Series

While no media franchise quite compares to the cultural footprint left by AMC‘s The Walking Dead adaptation, the 2010s ushered in a horror TV renaissance ushering in fresh phenoms like American Horror Story and Stranger Things.

These contemporary classics also spawned awesome Funko interpretations well worth including in any horror-centric collection.

American Horror Story – Twisty the Killer Clown

The epitome of graphic shock horror, American Horror Story seized national attention from the jump in 2011. Each season centers around completely detached settings and storylines accented by trademark macabre camp.

Among scores of traumatizing characters introduced over 9+ twisted seasons, few left deeper scars on the audience psyche than Twisty the Clown.

FigureDebut YearCurrent Value
Twisty the Clown #2432015$225

Appearing in Freak Show‘s fourth season, this demonic clown terrorist torments victims from behind a duct-taped mask concealing hideous deformities. An already nightmarish image made more haunting by actor John Carroll Lynch‘s bloodcurdling portrayal.

Despite limited screen time, Twisty etched himself as an iconic AHS heavy warranting a frightening yet funky 2015 vinyl release that continues appreciating in value today. No AHS Funko collection would feel complete sans this trauma-inducing beast.

Stranger Things – Demogorgon

Despite a contemporary ‘80s setting, Netflix juggernaut Stranger Things leaning heavily into sci-fi and fantasy horror elements across two massively popular seasons (and counting) unleashed in 2016.

Among the literally otherworldly threats introduced is the utterly horrifying Demogorgon. This initial beast through the dimensional rift STILL disturbs viewers upon rewatches thanks to a viscerally unpleasant design.

Its cardiod flower-petal face unfurling into rows of razor fangs make for gruesome Funko fodder celebrated by 2016‘s Build-A-Scene diorama recreation letting collectors proudly display the nightmarish creature.

With the Demogorgon anchoring Stranger Things‘ inaugural creature roster, this big bad warrants shelf space beside Walking Dead favorites as quintessential 2010s horror TV icon.

Crystal Ball Gazing: The Future of Walking Dead Funko Pops

The Walking Dead TV series aired its last gut-wrenching episode on November 20th, 2022. But is this truly the end of new TWD Funko Pop releases? History suggests more plastic undead lie ahead.

Existing TV Franchise Branches Will Propagate More Figures

Despite wrapping the Rick Grimes anchored series, The Walking Dead remains very much a living IP thanks to the expanding TV franchise it birthed across AMC. And where there‘s fresh characters and stories, possibility exists for more niche Funko resurrections.

Current series like Fear The Walking Dead alongside newer anthology offshoots Tales and Walking Dead: Dead City offer glimmers of hope for obscure releases on par with the likes of the Well Walker. Even tertiary characters unique to these shows stand candidates for the exclusives treatment should popularity align.

Perennial Fan Favorites Ensure Ongoing Classics

Even if no new TWD shows managed to produce compelling personalities Funko deems worthy of plastic glory, the Funko/Walking Dead nexus already forged over years of catering to devoted fans won‘t fray anytime soon.

Backlist evergreen characters like Daryl, Carol, Negan, and Maggie aren‘t suddenly disappearing from licensed merch shelves. And their continued prevalence in collectibles ensures Funko has ample justification producing new sculpts.

Recent Convention exclusives like flocked Daryl & Dog, blood-soaked Maggie, and carousel Negan make abundantly clear collectors crave continual reimagining of beloved molds. As long as commercial appetite persists, Funko will keep tapping the hits.

So while The Walking Dead show won‘t churn out new storylines, its permanent place in horror TV canon ensures the IP will shamble indefinitely. And fans can almost certainly count on Funko following suit with cool vinyl releases for years yet!

Conclusion: Something For Every Horror Hunter Out There

As collectibles boasting mainstream crossover appeal that also cater to niche genre tastes, Funko Pops are essentially modern Pokemon cards for horror geeks. Only cuter…and covered in more viscera.

The Walking Dead franchise stands tall as arguably the defining horror achievement from the 2010s television era. Thankfully Funko aligned early with AMC to translate countless beloved – and little remembered – characters into amusing vinyl for eternal fandom glorification.

Those still searching for the perfect Daryl or Negan variant have their choice of options. But I especially recommend snatching up the iconic Rick Grimes, Daryl‘s Chopper, and ultra-rare Well Walker to anchor any self-respecting TWD Funko display.

Venturing beyond, grisly selections like American Horror Story‘s creeptastic Twisty the Clown Funko Pop or Stranger Things‘ Demogorgon diorama offer awesome mainstream horror diversity.

While shows and trends come and go, the wider horror genre never goes out of fashion. Much like the unyielding fandom for franchises like The Walking Dead. Luckily for collectors, Funko looks poised to continue catering to our scary side for years to come!

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