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|Headquarters||Lynnwood, Washington, USA|
|Key people||Brian Mariotti|
Funko, or FunKo, is a company that manufactures and produces a wide array of licensed pop culture toys. Funko is most known for producing over 1000 different licensed bobbleheads. In addition Funko produces licensed plush, vinyl figures, action figures, and licensed electronic items such as USB drives, lamps and headphones.
Founded in 1998 by Mike Becker, the company was originally conceived by Becker as a small project to bring back various low-tech, nostalgia-themed toys in the high-tech world of today. Funko's first manufactured bobblehead was of the restaurant advertising icon known as Big Boy. With the success of this initial creation, a line of Wacky Wobblers was created.
Sold in 2005, Funko LLC is now headed by Brian Mariotti as president. Since 2005, the company has increased the scope of unique toy lines, and has signed major licensing deals with WWE, Lucasfilm, Marvel, Hasbro, Elvis Presley, CBS, FOX, Warner Bros, Disney, Microsoft, HBO, etc. Funko products now have worldwide distribution and the company has bobblehead sales in excess of 10 million units.
Funko has created several different toylines since its inception.
Wacky Wobblers is Funko's first toyline. It consists of characters such as Betty Boop, Cap'n Crunch, The Cat in the Hat, Garfield, Speed Racer, and Tony the Tiger, and franchises such as Star Trek, Star Wars, The Flintstones, The Simpsons, and more. The toyline was immensely popular and became Funko's signature creation.
Features vinyl toy figures, some of which are also bobble heads (in the Star Wars and Marvel Comics series), modeled in a Japanese chibi style. Over 300 different characters have been produced from franchises such as Game of Thrones, Adventure Time (Cartoon Network and Frederator), Mickey Mouse (Disney Pop!) and Bart Simpson (Pop! TV) to movie icons such as Michael Myers (Pop! Movies) and Darth Vader (Star Wars Pop!), Spider-Man (Marvel Pop!), Batman (DC Pop!), and musicians from Elvis to Tupac (Pop! Rocks). Pop! Vinyl figures are most commonly 3.75 inches tall, and Funko also produces limited quantities of "Giant" 9 inch figures, 6 inch figures, and 2 inch "mini" figures of the most popular characters.
In late 2013, Funko released a series of characters from the cult film The Big Lebowski, including John Goodman's character, Walter Sobchak. Fans of the film noted that whilst other characters, including Julianne Moore's avant-garde Maude Lebowski, were recognizable even when modeled in the Chibi style, Walter was not, mostly due to the longer length of the figure's shorts.
Goodman's status as a sex symbol rose after the film's release, in no small part to the length of his character's shorts, which some said were reminiscent of those worn by Daisy Duke in the television series, The Dukes of Hazzard.
Plush toys with the same themes as Pop! Vinyl, but made with fabric and standing 8 inches tall.
Vinyl characters packaged inside stylish plastic display containers in the shape of television sets. Figures, which are attached to plastic screws through the bottom of the case, can be viewed through the clear front screen or removed for play. Typically each product includes two characters in a popular scene related to them. This line was introduced as a platform for low-run pieces.
This product line is best described as "Vinyl with Attitude". With oversized heads, hands and feet these figures accent a more cartoonish character. Marvel Comic characters include Spider-Man, Captain America, and Iron Man. Star Wars characters include Darth Vader, Yoda, Boba Fett, and Stormtrooper. Hanna-Barbera and DC Comics characters are planned to be added to the line.
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