Hot Topic Funko Review
Table of Contents
About Hot Topic
Intended for emerging goths, rebellious teens, and the My Chemical Romance crowd, Hot Topic is the go-to destination for alternative fashion. Rising in popularity during the late 2000s, this youth-centric brand is best known for its pop-culture aesthetic, including apparel, accessories, and collectibles.
Over the years, Hot Topic has been considered a shopping staple throughout several malls—which is indicated in its large Instagram fan base of 3.2 million followers. On top of that, it’s also affiliated with multiple celebrities, including Joan Jett and the members of BTS.
For a brand this big, does it live up to the hype? There’s only one way to find out.
This Hot Topic Funko review will go down the virtual rabbit hole—which includes looking at its products, customer ratings, promotions, and more to help you decide if it’s worth checking out.
Overview of Hot Topic
Let’s set back our clocks to the cusp of the early ‘90s. MTV was big, music defined our personalities, and Google wasn’t around yet. Alternative rock, punk, and pop dominated the radio. With a movement this big, you’d think that fashion would follow naturally.
Contrary to popular belief, malls were filled with dull clothing that didn’t speak to the emerging generation. This is where Hot Topic steps in.
Founded by Orv Madden in 1989, Hot Topic quickly became a hotspot for stylish band tees and alternative fashion. From Nine Inch Nails to SlipKnot, young teens didn’t have to search far to find unique pieces for their style.
Today, with its headquarters located in Southern California, Hot Topic merchandise is now sold in over 600 stores. It also caters to other pop cultural icons, such as Hello Kitty, Rick and Morty, and South Park.
Before we get into this Hot Topic Funko review, let’s go over some initial pros and cons:
- Offers a wide selection of stylish apparel, accessories, and collectibles on its website
- Home to hundreds of collaborations such as BTS, Billie Eilish, and Disney
- Reasonable prices
- Inclusive size range of XS-XL
- Has Klarna as an alternative payment option
- Free shipping on orders $60 or more
- Limited international shipping due to Covid-19
When I think of Hot Topic, I get a sudden whiplash of childhood memories. Coupled with a few teenage interests like Twilight and Gorillaz, this online shop serves as a giant reminder of our ‘alternative phase.’ For some, it was a pivotal moment of self-discovery. For most, it was an awkward phase of outgrown bangs and eye-rolling—but we tend to look back at it fondly.
Hot Topic offers a wide assortment of themed apparel on its website, ranging from a Studio Ghibli-inspired hoodie to a pair of Harley Quinn boots from Birds of Prey. It also sells accessories and Funko Pops.
Overwhelmed in what to buy? Let this Hot Topic Funko review be your leading guide, as we will provide a few of its hottest picks for readers to compare.
Hot Topic Funko Pop! Review
Fandoms and Funko Pops are an unbreakable marriage. Once a show has been released, you can expect a new collectible to be made within a month’s time. With that in mind, shall we take a look at what Hot Topic has to offer within this section?
Hot Topic Funko Pop! Hot Topic Girl Vinyl Figure Review
At age 15, your mother hands you a $20 bill to spend at the mall with your friends. Amid Claire’s and Sears, there is one store that is considered the go-to place for fandom paraphernalia. Designed as a homage to those teenage days, the Hot Topic Girl Vinyl Figure can help you remember those pubescent years.
Designed as a typical store employee, this model features Amanda—who is sporting an excellent Zoe Deschanel haircut (though teal), tattoo sleeves, and a pink and black ensemble. Fortunately, this $13 Hot Topic Funko Pop! is currently on sale for only $6.
On a side note, we recommend looking at the Hot Topic Disney Funko Pop! collection—which can help you expand your ever-growing stash.
Hot Topic Funko Marvel X-Men Pop! Rogue Vinyl Figure Review
If you prefer power absorption over Wolverine claws, the Hot Topic Funko X-Men Pop! Rogue Vinyl Figure can help you express your love for this butt-kicking character. Considered an important character in the Brotherhood of Mutants universe, this courageous heroine can temporarily own one’s personality traits, skills, and powers through skin-to-skin contact.
Suited in her famous green and yellow armor, this model is poised in a flying pose, ready for battle. For a collectible that’ll make you hum the X-Men theme in your head, the $13 Funko Marvel Rogue Figure only costs $10.
For those in love with fictional heroes, we suggest taking a look at the Hot Topic Harry Potter toys as well.
Hot Topic Shirts Review
There are multiple ways to express your love for a tv show, anime, movie, or band. Aside from collectibles, apparel is usually the way forward. Offered in multiple styles and prints, this Hot Topic Funko review will gloss over a few of its hottest collaborations down below.
Hot Topic Jujutsu Kaisen Poster T-Shirt Review
The Jujutsu Kaisen Poster T-Shirt is one of several anime collaborations done by Hot Topic. This graphic tee showcases an intricate design of Yuji and the Cursed Spirit, Sukuna in a fantasy-esque shrine. Compared to the live-action version, this print seems to be taken from the manga itself—as indicated by the fine pen detailing and the washed-out colors.
On the topic of anime, we suggest adding the Hot Topic my hero academia tee along with your purchase. Best tucked into some denim jeans and casual sneakers, the Jujutsu Kaisen Poster T-Shirt costs $23 for extra small. It’s also offered in different sizes such as:
- Hot Topic plus size 2X: $25
- 3X: $27
Hot Topic The Nightmare Before Christmas Neon Poster T-Shirt Review
What’s this? What’s this? There’s color everywhere. What’s This? The Nightmare Before Christmas Neon Poster T-Shirt has no spirit left to spare. This Tim Burton tee features a vintage-inspired ad on the front, which showcases our one and only pumpkin king in his glory.
Offered in bright, Halloween colors of gourd orange and ectoplasm green, this top makes for an excellent throwback to your favorite stop-motion character.
In terms of styling, the Hot Topic Nightmare Before Christmas tee works best with a striped long sleeve underneath, ripped black jeans, and some converse. For a top that’ll scare Santa Claus for sure, this spooky slip-on costs $14. This is compared to its original price of $23.
Hot Topic Hoodies Review
Don’t let the Winter chill stop you from expressing your love for pop culture. Sold in various designs, styles, and collaborations, this Hot Topic Funko review will spotlight a few of the brand’s hottest hoodies to date.
Hot Topic Twenty One Pilots Scaled And Icy Album Cover Hoodie Review
The Hot Topic Twenty One Pilots Scaled And Icy Album Cover Hoodie enables you to sport your love for alternative music. This skater-chic number features the main art for the band’s sixth studio album.
Thought to embody the isolation and loneliness felt by the pandemic, fans can rep this deep-seated metaphor without looking too sad. In other words, pedestrians will just assume that you have a love for mythical sea creatures.
Part of the Hot Topic hoodies collection, this design also features the band and album name on the sleeves. Fortunately, the price for Twenty One Pilots Scaled And Icy Album Cover Hoodie is nothing to get ‘stressed out’ about. We’ll include the costs for this sweatshirt down below:
- 3X: $49 (originally priced at $61)
- MD: $46 (originally priced at $57)
Hot Topic Lore Olympus Underworld Con ’96 Hoodie Review
Can’t get enough of Greek mythology? The Hot Topic Lore Olympus Underworld Con ‘96 Hoodie is certifiably Hades approved.
Done in collaboration with Webtoon classic Lore Olympus, this basic number showcases a simple phrase that only fans will get. Just watch as you’ll earn some smiles and approving nods from a few kindred spirits out in public.
As part of the Hot Topic clothes collection, multiple sizes are offered for the Lore Olympus Underworld Con ‘96 Hoodie. For example:
- XS: $45
- 2X: $47
Hot Topic Harry Potter Review
Considered the most popular series for young adult fiction, the Harry Potter fandom is still going strong as of today. Whether you’re a Hufflepuff or a Slytherin, there’s bound to be something that speaks to your house within Hot Topic’s selection.
To keep things short, this Hot Topic Funko review will only include a few within this category.
Hot Topic Harry Potter Gryffindor Cardigan Review
Designed for aspiring Hermoine Grangers, the Hot Topic Harry Potter Gryffindor Cardigan embodies the “dare, nerve, and chivalry” as showcased in this house. This wizarding school uniform features the brand logo on the chest, with matching striped details on the cuffs and hem.
Made out of a fabric blend of polyester, rayon, and spandex, this pullover will undoubtedly keep you warm during the yule ball. To pair with this throw-over, we suggest wearing the matching pleated skirt and Deathly Hallows top from the Hot Top shirts collection.
Unfortunately, the $40 Harry Potter Gryffindor Cardigan is currently sold out on the website. But once it’s available to purchase again, you can snatch it for 5 galleons (or $32).
Hot Topic Loungefly Harry Potter Deathly Hallows Floral Slouch Backpack Review
Slytherin some spice into your wardrobe with the Loungefly Harry Potter Deathly Hallows Floral Slouch Backpack. The adorable knapsack features a flurry of garden roses and peonies decorating the opening flap and the front pocket.
As a finishing touch, the Deathly Hallows logo is printed on top. Held together with a drawstring and a magnetic clasp, this black and white satchel is big enough to fit your laptop, water bottle, and any wizarding books.
For those looking to complete their Comic-Con outfit, we suggest picking up the Hogwarts tee from the Hot Topic shirts section. In terms of price, the Loungefly Harry Potter Deathly Hallows Floral Slouch Backpack costs a magical $53.
Hot Topic Plus Size Review
It doesn’t matter what dress size you are. Fandoms are one of the most inclusive groups out there. From hoodies to Hot Topic t-shirts, we’ll look over two of the brand’s top-selling picks within the plus-size category.
Hot Topic Skull Rose Lace Midi Bustier Plus Size Review
I’m getting some serious Morticia Adams vibes from the Skull Rose Lace Midi Bustier Plus Size duster. Designed for lovers of the dark and macabre, this Halloween-inspired cardigan features a gorgeous array of skeleton heads and flowers for the material. It’s cut in a waterfall hem, which helps to add a bit of drama to the whole look.
If scare is your new style, the Amigara Fault t-shirt from the Junji Ito collection will look excellent paired with this overcoat. Just as a side note, you can find this tee on the Hot Topic anime section.
Ideal for the spooky season, the Hot Topic Skull Rose Lace Midi Bustier Plus Size duster costs $26 instead of its $37 markup.
Hot Topic DC Comics The Suicide Squad Harley Quinn Girls Bustier Top Plus Size Review
“You know what they say: behind every successful man is a badass broad.” I’m also sure that all butt-kicking heroines are dressed to kill. Made to pair with pigtails, booty shorts, and a set of fishnets, the Hot Topic DC Comics The Suicide Squad Harley Quinn Girls Bustier Top Plus Size corset adds that final rebellious touch.
Designed in contrasting colors of red and black, this top comes decorated with spades, stars, and a series of interlocking belts. Ideally paired with spiked danglers offered in the Hot Topic earrings section, the DC Comics The Suicide Squad Harley Quinn Bustier Top Plus Size corset costs $38.
Who Is Hot Topic For?
Let me channel my inner teenage angst. *Ahem* Hot Topic is for misfits, rebels, and those misunderstood. Generally speaking, this online shop is open to everyone, no matter their age, gender, or dress size.
In terms of aesthetics, its merchandise is usually catered to fanbases and those who love alternative fashion. You certainly won’t find any basic garments here, as most skirts and hoodies are designed as big statement pieces.
Comparison: Hot Topic vs. Spencer’s
It’s only natural that we compare Hot Topic to Spencer’s, as both shops offer fan-related paraphernalia and sub-culture products. To keep things easy to read, we’ll provide a list of similarities and differences between these two brands, varying from product variation, cost, and other company perks. Let’s dive in.
- Offers merchandise for various fandoms such as books, tv shows, anime, cartoons, and more
- Has apparel, accessories, and Funko Pops on its website
- Oftentimes reasonably priced
- Donates to mental health programs through the Hot Topic Foundation
- Best known to sell merchandise for adult-rated pop culture such as hentai and Friday the 13th
- Aside from apparel and jewelry, it also sells lingerie, sex toys, and shot glasses
- Reasonably priced
- Involved with cancer-fighting organizations
So, which brand is crowned the winner? To be quite honest, it mainly depends on the type of item you’re looking for. For instance, Hot Topic has the most extensive collection of fan merchandise. From BTS to My Hero Academia, customers have better luck finding items for their favorite anime or boy band.
On the other hand, Spencer’s is the place to go if you’re looking for adult-rated content, such as sex toys and hentai t-shirts.
Hot Topic Reviews: What Do Customers Think?
In the early ‘90s, Hot Topic was the go-to place for fan merch and subculture do-dads. But is that the case anymore? With brands like Spencer’s and Rock Rebel out there, is Hot Topic still the hottest brand out there? There’s only one way to find out—and that’s through common customer feedback.
To kick things off, let’s take a look at the ratings of some of its best-selling products:
- Nirvana Smile T-Shirt: 275 reviews with 5/5 stars
- Funko X-Men Pop! Rogue Vinyl Figure: 272 reviews with 5/5 stars
- The Nightmare Before Christmas Neon Poster T-Shirt: 93 reviews with 5/5 stars
From what we gathered so far, it seems that Hot Topic excels in the apparel category. Its t-shirts and hoodies are reportedly high-quality, beautifully made, true to fit, and comfortable for daily use.
“Shirt is brightly colored and just as pictured. The fit is great and my son loves the material. He is super happy about this tee,” one customer wrote for the NightMare Before Christmas top.
Aside from the Rogue figurine, a majority of Funko Pops garnered 5-star ratings. From Marvel fans to Disney devotees, customers love the quality of the toys—as they served as great collectibles for their favorite characters and shows.
“As an Xmen fan since childhood I can say this Pop is perfect in every way. The color style and detail is exactly what it should be,” one reviewer wrote for the Funko X-Men Pop! Rogue Vinyl Figure.
Independent blogs, like Mwctoys, also left a favorable review towards Hot Topic’s collection of Funko Pops. This is specifically towards the Invader Zim Series 2 collection.
“The paint ops on this series are generally better than what we saw with series 1, particularly when it comes to basic quality,” via a statement made by Mwctoys.
Sadly, the glowing reviews start to dim when it comes to outside sources. On the BBB, the brand has an F rating, though it is unaccredited, with a 1.03/5-star score from 32 reviews. In the past three years, there have been 177 complaints, which for such a large company, isn’t a lot.
Based on these complaints, some shoppers were unhappy with Hot Topic’s customer service and delivery standards—as some packages arrived quite late.
But, when we took a look at Influenster, we found the complete opposite—1,518 reviews with 4.2/5 stars. Here, customers love the store, citing high-quality products, good experiences with customer service, and a wide range of items.
As you’ll notice from the above stats, Influenster gave the brand a much higher score and holds a larger number of testimonials. So, we’re inclined to lean towards the positive sentiments here.
Before we conclude this section, we felt it necessary to include two discoveries. Hot Topic has been under fire in recent years, as in 2019, they reached a 3 million dollar lawsuit for unwanted text messages. We also uncovered some dismal reports about stolen artwork on Deviantart. So far, no credible media outlets have reported on this matter as of yet.
Still, our research shows us that the vast majority of shoppers are exceptionally pleased with Hot Topic’s collection. From hundreds of perfect ratings to the fact that this brand has been around for three decades, it’s safe to say that it’s doing something right.
Is Hot Topic Worth It?
Hot Topic is undeniably the primary source of all fan merch. Although I’m sure that you can find Marvel and Disney paraphernalia at your local Winners and Target, this store is usually the first place you think of when it comes to band tees and series collectibles. From Junji Ito to Tim Burton, customers can find many products suited for their favorite movie or comic strip.
Plus, this Hot Topic Funko review was happy to see how inclusive this brand is. With sizes ranging from XS to 4XL, as well as diverse models—it’s no wonder so many turn to this brand to feel included, whether looking for Hot Topic BT21 merch or Harry Potter trinkets.
If you haven’t visited this store before, online or in-person, it’s definitely worth checking out. For a brand that spoke to hundreds of emerging youths for years on end, you can’t deny that Hot Topic is a significant contributor to the teenage subculture.
Hot Topic Promotions & Discounts
This Hot Topic Funko review found a few ways for customers to save on their orders:
- Clearance section: find select items for a discounted price
- Rewards program: members can accumulate points to gain exclusive access to deals and perks
- BOGO promotion on body jewelry
As of lately, we haven’t come across a Hot Topic promo code that customers can use.
Where to Buy Hot Topic
Customers can head over to HotTopic.com to see what it has in store. Aside from its brick-and-mortar locations, you can find some products on Amazon and Walmart as well.
Where is Hot Topic Made?
Hot Topic doesn’t disclose where its products are made. According to a few sources online, some point to the USA, China, and Bangladesh as a few key locations.
Does Hot Topic Fit True to Size?
Based on multiple reviews online, it seems that most Hot Topic shirts fit true to size. We recommend visiting the measurement charts for additional details.
What is Hot Topic’s Shipping Policy?
This Hot Topic Funko review is happy to report that the brand offers free standard shipping on orders that total $60 or more. Anything below this amount is charged a flat fee of $6.
Hot Topic also provides other delivery options such as express and international. To help monitor the status of your order, the brand will issue a tracking number via a confirmation email.
What is Hot Topic’s Return Policy?
Hot Topic offers a 30-day window for customers to send back their orders. It’s worth noting that final sale items, beauty products, and body jewelry are ineligible for returns. To initiate this process, buyers can either visit their nearest store or fill out the request form online.
How to Contact Hot Topic
For inquiries unrelated to this Hot Topic Funko review, you can contact the company through:
- Phone: 1-800-892-8674
- Using the live chat function on the website
- Filling out the request form online
Looking for other collectables and toys? Check out Forever Collectibles.