Geek Culture

Comic Odyssey LIVE: MMA champ as Funko Pop fan

ONE Heavyweight Champion Brandon “The Truth” Vera will talk about his love for Funko Pops on Comic Odyssey LIVE.
ONE Heavyweight Champion Brandon “The Truth” Vera will talk about his love for Funko Pops on Comic Odyssey LIVE.

Mixed martial arts (MMA) fans are very familiar with Filipino-American MMA fighter Brandon “The Truth” Vera, who is the reigning ONE Heavyweight Champion. Vera, however, will guest on Comic Odyssey LIVE on Aug. 14 at 3 PM (Philippine time) to share a different side of himself: his passion for Funko Pops.

Comic Odyssey launched its newest store officially on Aug. 10 on the Shopee e-commerce platform. Kicking off with a weeklong Grand Launch Sale featuring up to 60 percent off on selected items, Comic Odyssey surprised fans by announcing that Vera will guest on its official livestream show.

The champ as collector

Vera will appear on Comic Odyssey LIVE with regular hosts Aise Solis and Paul Chuapoco as the featured guest in a segment highlighting collectors from all walks of life. Currently in Guam for the birth of his first child, the reigning ONE Heavyweight Champion will join the program via video call to discuss his passion for Funko Pops, the vinyl figures that have taken the collecting world by storm.

When asked how his emotions compared between winning the World Heavyweight title and the birth of his son, an ecstatic Vera said, “It is the exact same and indescribable — something that you have to experience and go through to understand.”

Of course, Vera said he would be happy to share his hobby
with his son (and any future siblings) when the time comes.

“Everything I have is his or theirs. This is their stuff! If they are into it, then it is theirs. I will take him to all the shows, take him to all the cons… we are doing all of the nerdy stuff!”

Instantly recognizable for his high-impact style and intimidating ring presence, Vera’s hobby often surprises people outside of the collecting community. Pre-pandemic, however, it wasn’t unusual to spot Vera at collector shops (such as Comic Odyssey’s own Eastwood branch) or toy and comic conventions.

Comic Odyssey Q&A

To hype the live guest spot, Vera did a quick Q&A for the Comic Odyssey newsletter.

COMIC ODYSSEY: What’s the craziest thing you’ve done to get Funko Pops?

VERA: I couldn’t get in line, despite working at the event and an event the next day for Funko. I never want to ask for anything, so I went to social media. I put a feeler post out there and told someone I would buy all of their Pops if they grabbed all my Pops at the same time, no limits! (But) everyone that responded was either there for the next day or already finished in line — I was stuck! (Funko founder) Mr. Mike Becker and the dirty dozen made sure I got in line and got taken care of. Thank you beautiful people!

COMIC ODYSSEY: What’s the last Pop anybody would ever think you have in your collection?

VERA: Rainbow Bright or the I Love Lucy set!

Comic Odyssey LIVE will stream on Comic Odyssey YouTube, Facebook, and Shopee Live on Aug. 14 at 3pm. The Comic Odyssey Grand Launch Sale on Shopee runs from August 10-16.