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Our Journey to becoming a collectables store

Posted by Shane Birdsall on

On the 24th August 2019, Prolectables launched a range of plastic protectors to the collecting community with a mission to protect what we all collect. We are so grateful to all those who are using our brand and validating that our products are wanted in this community. We are also really grateful for the honest feedback on our glow in the dark protectors which we recalled - that was a scary thing to do as a small business but we learned a lot from it and spent a lot of time investigating how this happened.

We want to keep hearing your feedback so that we know what we are doing right, and if needed what we need to change. If you’re an existing customer, what do you want to see from us next? If you’re not, then what can we do to provide you value? 

I started this business to address a problem I personally had which was the cost, range, and quality of protectors available to me. At the time I had to pay between $3-$12 for a protector per pop, but I had more than 400 pops. There were some cheaper options but they did not give me the confidence I needed. I also wanted to protect my pocket pops, dorbz, and other Funko products but no protectors were available on the NZ market for these.

I decided to dive into a journey of creating a line of protectors that would be of good quality, can be sold at an affordable price point, and would fit the various items I and many others collect. We sampled a bunch of protectors from Australia and the US, prototyped different designs, and ended up with what you see today. 

August was terrifying because I had no idea how the community would respond, or if enough people were having the same issues that I was. I had gotten some early feedback to help validate our 0.8mm flagship product but beyond that I didn't know if we would survive. I was honestly worried that manufacturing a brand new product for our NZ population, rather than bringing an existing Australian or US brand to our shores would bankrupt me. 

It wasn't until enough people started to try our products that I realised that we did have something that was in fact adding value to the community as I envisioned. I started to see the mission of protecting people's collections playing out, and in hindsight loved that we had created our own product. Being our own meant that the NZ community would have control over improving and tweaking it, and we got to feature the letters ‘NZ’ on our 4” protectors which I think is awesome!

Beyond our products, we identified a service that we can offer that also aligns with our mission of protecting what others collect. Traditionally we buy a pop, then go out and spend extra money for a protector. At $2 a protector, this is increasing the cost per 4" pop to about $27. Before you even place the pop in that protector it has probably been sitting on a retail shelf, been moved around, been handled when packing your order, and sometimes tossed around by couriers. All of these are potential possibilities for a damaged box, which some of us really really care about - and is why we pay extra for the protector.

But what if pops just came with a free protector? So you’re not paying any more than standard retail and the protection for the item is added BEFORE the handling and shipment of your order. This is exactly the service we want to provide - brand new items shipped out securely in protectors at no extra charge. But to do this Prolectables would need to up their game in becoming a fully stocked collectables store. 

So that's what we did, and now we have hundreds of in-stock Funko products and lots of new items available for pre-order. 4” pops, 6” pops, standard 2 pack, dorbz, pocket pop keychains, and some of the ridez, pop towns, movie moments, etc will ship in a protector.

Thanks for reading a little about our journey so far, and feel free to get in touch via email or through our facebook page if you have any questions. 

Happy collecting team ✌️

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