Episode 3 – You Wanna Talk About Damaged Shipment, Hot Topic and More

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You Wanna Talk About Damaged Shipment, Hot Topic and More

This episode the Pop! Collectors Alliance team discusses their damaged shipments received from the Black Friday orders, what wrong with the new 10″ Hulk Pop!, some of their Black Friday finds and a special announcement for the first Live Cost Plus Shipping Event! Also this week, Finders Series Vol:2 Hot Topic / Box Lunch, The Collectors Story of the week and ending everything with the TONS of items available in this week’s Collectors Corner. Remember to follow us on Social Media:

Twitter: @popalliancepod

IG: @popcollectorsalliance

Facebook: Facebook.com/popcollectorsalliance

Website: Popcollectorsalliance.com

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Finder’s Series Vol 2 : Hot Topic  / Box Lunch

Overview and Rating

  • Hot Topic is an all-around great store to find Funko products. They attempt to meet customers’ demands while preventing as much flipping as possible. We know everyone’s not going to be perfect, but hey at least Hot Topic is listening. We’ve also decided to lump their sister store Box Lunch in here because, they tend to have a similar stock and layout.


  • Hot Topic has a LARGE variety of Pop! The larger volume stores can get up to 50 of one exclusive. Makes finding Pop! Easier and combats Flippers.
  • Location in store is easy to find, and since HT’s revenue is driven by Pop! sales they try and highlight newer / rarer items.
  • Employees are generally friendly and familiar with the product.
  • Deals are next level awesome. Whether it’s 3 for $30, BOGO 30%, online coupons, or Hot Cash you should always count on getting a deal on Pop!
  • Pop! is now individually packaged for online sales leaving a large portion of Pop! undamaged.


  • Damaged exclusives. UPS mainly handles the shipping of HT’s items and they don’t give a crap about a Funko….. Hey what’s a Funko? But newer employees can use the box cutter a little too strong
  • There is really no inventory checking at HT. No tools you can assist you in the hunt. This is a truly wild beast to try and tame.
  • Hot Topic can get flooded with exclusives sometimes and generally aren’t the best when it comes to their exclusive lineup.
  • Constantly changing policy, this can be both good and bad. Trying to meet collector’s needs is generally a good thing, however there is not one “Customer” type. New policies can alienate customers and put them at an unfair advantage also.


  • Since Funko first arrived in Hot Topic stores they tried to put and emphasis on the product. They always end up with good exclusives, however they can be flooded with them as well. Hot Topic strives to please its Funko customers with change policy to benefit the collect and have spearheaded efforts to fight flipping. Hot Topic is rated a 8/10 because of this.

Hot Topic: Where to Find Them

  • Store layouts vary but generally they are located in the same areas at the back of the store.
    • Some stores will place Pop! on the sales floor when running a promotion. For example, the Stranger Things items had a dedicated section.
    • Convention Exclusives are often place at the front of the store on release days with customers waiting outside.
    • Some newer items can be kept at or around the register area.
    • Mystery Mini’s / blind boxes are typically kept on a display on the sales floor typically adjacent to the register or at the front of the store on a shelf.

Hunting Tips

  • HUNTING TIP: Follow your Hot Topic stores on Facebook. They generally tell you when they get new products in stock and with the new policy they will release the items the following business day. Be sure to ask each Hot Topic Store to see which social media service they use to post updates.
  • HUNTING TIP: Shipments don’t typically fall on the same days for Hot Topic stores. If you notice items are arriving at stores in your area, it’s often easier to wait because your local store should get them within that same week.
  • HUNTING TIP: Follow the Hot Topic Nerdette on Twitter and Periscope. Each month she will give you a heads up on what will be arriving in stores. The first shoot a live video on Periscope at the beginning of each month and produce a YouTube video shortly after.
  • Expert Hunting Tip: – Get to know your Hot Topic store employees. They are the biggest ally when it comes to Pop! hunting. When they realize, you are a true collector they will typically help you out with getting items.
  • Expert Hunting Tip: – Never be afraid to ask when an exclusive hit the shelves. Or ask if an item has shipped. Sometimes employees can look things up for you and give you the inside information when to expect the next exclusive or item you are hunting for.
  • Expert Hunting Tip: – Always check online sales, when place holders come out, when items go live, or sell out. This typically happens before the store releases these items. This better serves to know when to expect them on the shelves.
  • Online Hunting Tip: – Hot Topic uses multiple warehouses so if an items sells out immediate keep reloading or stalking that item because they could release another lot from their other warehouse.

Hot Topic: Where are the Deals:

  • Hot Topic is probably one of the best stores when it comes to purchasing Pop! It also pays over the long run to be a repeat customer their because of these deals and Hot Cash.
    • They generally have a sale going at any given time. Whether it’s 3 for $30, BOGO 30%, online coupons, or Hot Cash you should always count on getting a deal on Pop!
    • Don’t forget about their loyalty program (Guest List) this offers you the opportunity to receive a $5 reward for every $100 spent in store.
    • Hot Topic also has a good clearance section and they can run deals to get extra discounts on clearance products.

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