Bayville Pops With Some Of Today’s Hottest Collectibles
If you're not a comic book fan looking for a place to beef up your collection, you might pass right by Bayville's Conquest Comics without even noticing it.
The comic shop has been quietly sitting at the intersection of Route 9 and Station Road for just over a decade.
But if you do pass by, you'll also be missing out on the fact that behind that door is one of the biggest (if not the biggest) collections of one of the absolute hottest trends to hit the comics and toy industry in years, jam packed with Funko Pop figures.
You've probably seen Funko Pop figures around. The pop culture influenced vinyl figures with oversized heads enjoy shelf space at big retailers like Target, Walgreens, FYE, Hot Topic, and Barnes & Noble, to name just a few.
There are Funko Pop figures that touch on the worlds of comics, TV, movies, music, and even professional sports.
I can't even begin to try to list all of the brands that have gotten the Funko Pop treatment, but just to give you an idea; there are Star Wars Pops, there are Game of Thrones Pops, there are Pops of The Munsters, The Brady Bunch, just about every superhero you can think of, musicians like Queen and Kiss, and even pop culture icons like Cap'n Crunch and Bob's Big Boy.
Some people might come across a Funko Pop figure of a favorite character or celebrity and pick up one or two here and there.
But for others, collecting is a serious business, like Conquest's co-owner Pete Pereira.
When I say that Conquest Comics is Ocean County Funko Pop ground zero, packed with Pops from the floor to the ceiling, I'm not exaggerating:
Pete told me that he estimates that at any given time they're carrying somewhere in the neighborhood of 3,000 individual Funko Pop figures.
Among the rows of colorful boxes, he made a point to call my attention to the fact that for the most part, you're not going to see any duplicates on the floor.
In other words, every single one of those boxes is a different figure.
While you can grab a figure at FYE or Barnes & Noble for around $12, in addition to those, Conquest is also trading in the world of high-end Pops.
We're not talking "take them out of the box and play with them" figures, we're talking highly sought-after collectibles reaching into the hundreds, and even sometimes thousands, of dollars.
Pete told me that they've had collectors come from as far as New York City and Pittsburgh looking to score a hard-to-find figure, and if you want an idea of just how hot the Pop market is right now, his display cases don't disappoint.
A $550 Star Wars Han Solo figure here, an $800 Batman there, the prices for prize Pops can reach some pretty mind-boggling numbers.
I asked Pete what the most expensive Pop is that they've sold, and he told me that recently they sold a pair of gold colored figures depicting Willy Wonka and an Oompa Loompa, one of only 10 known to have been produced, for a jaw-dropping sum.
I respect his request that I not divulge the specific price paid, but I'll tell you this much, it's more than your monthly mortgage or rent payment (plus your car payment and your monthly utilities thrown in for good measure).
Whether you're looking to grab a tribute to your favorite comic book hero, classic TV character, or your chosen politician (yes, there are even Pops for Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, and Hilary Clinton), or you're looking to fill a hole in your existing collection, I can promise you that even if you don't walk out of Conquest Comics with your personal Funko Pop Holy Grail, you'll have fun checking out the towering rows of colorful boxes right in the heart of Ocean County.
If you want another excuse to check out Conquest Comics for yourself, Pete told me that they'll be participating in Free Comic Book Day 2019 on May 4th, which is exactly what it sounds like, you can stop in, grab a few free comic books, and check out one of Ocean County's most unique collectible hot spots.
Conquest Comics is located at 657 Atlantic City Blvd in Bayville.