Funko

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Funko Inc.
Public
Traded asNASDAQFNKO (Class A)
Russell 2000 Index component
IndustryToys
Founded1998; 22 years ago (1998)
FounderMike Becker
HeadquartersEverett, Washington, U.S.
Key people
Brian Mariotti (CEO)
Andrew Perlmutter (President)
ProductsBobbleheads, vinyl figures
RevenueIncrease US$516 million
(2017)[1]
Decrease $42.1 million
(2017)[1]
Decrease $3.7 million
(2017)[1]
OwnerACON Investments
Websitewww.funko.com/ Edit this on Wikidata

Funko Inc. is an American company that manufactures licensed pop culture collectibles, best known for its licensed vinyl figurines and bobbleheads. In addition, the company produces licensed plush, action figures, and electronic items such as USB drives, lamps, and headphones.

Founded in 1998 by Mike Becker, Funko was originally conceived as a small project to create various low-tech, nostalgia-themed toys. The company's first manufactured bobblehead was of the well-known restaurant advertising icon, the Big Boy mascot.[2]

Sold in 2005, Funko, LLC, is now headed by CEO Brian Mariotti.[2] Since then, the company has increased the scope of its toy lines and signed licensing deals with major companies.

History[edit]

Funko headquarters in Everett, Washington

Funko was founded in 1998 by toy collector Mike Becker at his home in Snohomish, Washington.[3] He started the business after failing to find an affordable coin bank of the Big Boy Restaurants mascot, instead licensing the rights to make his own coin banks from a Big Boy franchise in Michigan. The coin banks failed to sell and the franchise filed for bankruptcy protection, but Funko remained in business after licensing the rights to bobbleheads for Austin Powers, which sold 80,000 units.[4] After this, some of the first characters that Funko sold were the Grinch, Tony the Tiger, and Cheerios mascot, the honeybee.[5] In 2005, Becker sold Funko to its current CEO, Brian Mariotti, who moved its offices to Lynnwood, Washington, and significantly expanded the company's licensed product lines. In 2011, Funko began selling their Pop! Vinyl line of figurines.[5] By 2012, the company had sold more than $20 million worth of merchandise.[6]

The company was sold to Fundamental Capital, a private equity firm, in 2013 to raise funds.[7] ACON Investments, LLC announced in late 2015 that it had acquired Funko from Fundamental Capital, LLC, but would keep current staff and the head of company.[8]

By 2016, it had outgrown its original headquarters in Everett and announced plans to move into a downtown building with more space and a retail store.[9][10] Funko acquired British toymaker Underground Toys, also its European distributor, in early 2017.[9] Funko opened its new headquarters and 17,000-square-foot (1,600 m2) flagship store in downtown Everett on August 19, 2017.[11] Funko was listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange on November 2, 2017, but suffered the worst initial public offering of the 21st century, with shares falling by 40 percent and only raising $125 million.[12]

The company opened its second storefront in November 2019, located in Hollywood, Los Angeles. It has 40,000 square feet (3,700 m2) of space and includes life-size statues and movie "sets".[13][14]

Production[edit]

Products are designed at the Funko headquarters.[15] New figures go through an extensive process involving brainstorming and social media feedback from the community.[16] After an idea for a new figure is agreed upon, the idea then goes to Senior Sculptor Nena Lijiomah and Creative Director Sean Wilkinson.[16]

Product lines[edit]

Marvel's Avengers: Infinity War exclusive Hulk busting out of Hulk Buster Pop!
Extensive Funko Pop collection

Funko has created 13,642 different products in dozens of different toy lines since its inception.[17][needs update] The first, Wacky Wobblers, is a line of bobbleheads depicting various characters, mainly from popular culture, such as Betty Boop, Cap'n Crunch, and The Cat in the Hat. The company's mascot, a recurring character in the Funko franchise, is Freddy Funko.[15]

Funko's Pop! Vinyl line are figures modeled in a style similar to the Japanese chibi style, typically depicting licensed characters from franchises such as Doctor Who, Marvel, DC, Disney, Star Wars, Wizarding World, and other pop culture entities. After a preview line of DC Comics characters were released at San Diego Comic-Con 2010, the Funko Pop! line of products was fully revealed in 2011 at the New York Toy Fair.[15]

Various other products have been released using the Pop! brand and its character stylization, such as plush toys, T-shirts,[18] keychains (miniaturized versions of the normal figures),[19] and ceramic mugs, the latter of which are enlarged, hollow copies of a figure's head, with a handle attached.[20]

Within the Funko Pop! product line, there is a series known as Pop! Rides, featuring the figure in a vehicle such as a car.[19] The Funko Pop! line also has figures that are larger than the standard figure, in 6-inch, 10-inch, 18-inch,[21] and the now-retired 9-inch size.[19] In addition, Funko produces Pop! Deluxes, where a character is seated on external set pieces, such as a throne, and occasionally a vehicle or creature (only for the Star Wars line). Funko has also begun creating Movie and Comic Moments, which feature posed Pop! figures interacting with each other and on display bases in ways that replicate moments from different movies and comic books.

At Toy Fair 2015, Funko announced a new offshoot brand called Vinyl Sugar, with lines including Dorbz, Vinyl Idolz, Vinyl Vixens, and Super Deluxe Vinyls.[22]

In March 2018, Funko announced Funko Cereal, including mini-Pop! characters inside each box.[23] The first line was released in June 2018, and featured pop culture characters Freddy Krueger, Elvira: Mistress of the Dark, and Beetlejuice, among others.[24]

At Toy Fair 2019, Funko announced a new line of Pop! Vinyl figures; Pop! Town, initially including Ghostbusters, Scooby-Doo, SpongeBob SquarePants, and The Nightmare Before Christmas. This line includes a Pop! Vinyl figure alongside a stylized version of a landmark building from the source material.

Other current product lines include Hikari, Legacy Collection, FunkO’s, Fabrikations, Mopeez, and Rock Candy. Former product lines include Spastik Plastik, Blox, FunkoVision, Funko Plushies, Funko Force, Reaction Figures, and Wacky Wobblers.

Chase variants[edit]

A chase variant is any Funko product within a series that is a rare variation on the original mold, originally at a ratio of 1/36 that has since increased to 1/6. This variance can be as simple as a color change, or as complex as a totally new mold. Common variances include different molds or character poses, a flocked (fuzzy) finish, metallic paint, glitter, and translucence. They are randomly inserted into shipments, and are highly sought after by collectors, often reselling for much higher prices. Some of these variables are not worth much if the chase has been around long enough for a lot of people to get it. [25]

Dorbz[edit]

Dorbz typically have a round smiling head and cylindrical body.[15] Dorbz are smaller than the normal Funko Pop! figure.[19]

Mystery Minis[edit]

The Mystery Mini series consists of a group of blind boxes that have a random character within, from a variety of series.[15] Examples of Mystery Mini series themes include Five Nights at Freddy's, Blizzard Entertainment's Cute but Deadly, Disney Heroes and Villains, Horror Classics, Steven Universe, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Avengers: Infinity War, and Anime Heroes.[19] The figures are styled differently than the other Funko products.[15] Unlike the other Funko products, there are not usually convention exclusives (the last ones were from 2014), but some stores, such as Hot Topic and FYE, have been known to carry exclusives.[26]

Convention exclusives[edit]

Funko booth at San Diego Comic-Con

Funko has been offering convention or "con" exclusive versions of their products at various conventions such as San Diego Comic-Con, Emerald City Comic Con, New York Comic Con, Fan Expo, Star Wars Celebration, and E3.[26] This started in 2006 at the San Diego Comic-Con.[19]

Business model[edit]

Funko has over 1,100 licenses with different companies.[27][needs update] Another aspect of their business model is tracking the popularity of a certain item and knowing when to move on to a different character. Funko does not view themselves as just a company making toys for children. They create items that appeal to children and adults. This can be noted by their range of figures from Golden Girls to superheroes. Funko comes up with an initial design in 24 hours and can have a product from concept to shelf in 70 days.[27] CEO Mariotti believes that the company's eagerness to gain so many licenses and have a range in products from music icons, video game characters, to action heroes is what has made them succeed.[27]

Collector box subscriptions[edit]

In 2015, Funko and Marvel partnered to launch Marvel Collector Corps, a subscription box service featuring exclusive collectibles, apparel, and accessories. Boxes shipped every two months.[28] It subsequently launched a subscription box service for Star Wars items called Smuggler's Bounty, a DC subscription box called Legion of Collectors, and a Disney subscription box called Disney Treasures. Also, the subscription box known as Loot Crate occasionally contains an exclusive Funko Pop! vinyl figure which aligns with each monthly box theme. Loot Crate has offered an exclusive Funko Pop! figure with its other products as well.[29]

As of 2018, Funko no longer offers these boxes through a subscription. The Collector Corps, which focuses on Marvel collectibles, is now available through Amazon. The Disney Treasures box, which focused on Disney collectibles, was available at Hot Topic, but ended in October 2019. Star Wars Smuggler's Bounty boxes were available through Amazon, but ended in December 2019.

Film[edit]

A film based on the Funko toys is in development at Warner Animation Group.[30][31] If produced, it may also be the first theatrically released film to crossover Marvel and DC Comics characters; given that characters to be included will be Deadpool, Harley Quinn, and Wonder Woman.[32] The film was announced in active development on September 16, 2019, with directors Mark Dindal and Teddy Newton attached to the project.[33]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "FNKO Company Financials". Nasdaq. Retrieved July 6, 2018.
  2. ^ a b Ali, Reyan (November 12, 2014). "'Pop' Culture: The Incredible Rise of Funko Pop!". Rolling Stone. Retrieved February 12, 2015.
  3. ^ Tu, Janet I. (December 10, 2016). "Funko is growing by leaps and bounds, thanks to Spider-Man, Maleficent and friends". The Seattle Times. Retrieved December 12, 2016.
  4. ^ Chavez, Jesus (November 29, 2010). "'Toy geeks' at Funko are bubbly over bobbleheads". The Seattle Times. Retrieved December 22, 2019.
  5. ^ a b Modrow, William M. (July 2003). "Business & Company Resource Center". Reference Reviews. 17 (7): 28–29. doi:10.1108/09504120310497915. ISSN 0950-4125.
  6. ^ Daybert, Amy (October 25, 2012). "Lynnwood's Funko turns bobbleheads into big bucks". The Everett Herald. Retrieved December 12, 2016.
  7. ^ Miller, Ben (June 4, 2013). "Funko raises capital in acquisition deal". Puget Sound Business Journal. Retrieved May 31, 2019.
  8. ^ Bunge, Nicole (November 9, 2015). "Funko Sold". ICv2. Retrieved May 13, 2016.
  9. ^ a b Tu, Janet I. (December 10, 2016). "Funko is growing by leaps and bounds, thanks to Spider-Man, Maleficent and friends". The Seattle Times. Retrieved May 31, 2019.
  10. ^ Catchpole, Dan; Winters, Chris (September 9, 2016). "Toymaker Funko moving to downtown Everett". The Everett Herald. Retrieved December 12, 2016.
  11. ^ Hefley, Diana (August 20, 2017). "'Funatics' pour into downtown Everett for Funko grand opening". The Everett Herald. Retrieved May 31, 2019.
  12. ^ "Funko stock plunges in 'worst first-day return for an IPO in 17 years'". The Seattle Times. November 2, 2017. Retrieved May 31, 2019.
  13. ^ Podsada, Janice (November 18, 2019). "Funko, the Everett-based toymaker, opens a Hollywood store". The Everett Herald. Retrieved February 5, 2020.
  14. ^ "Grand Opening of Funko Hollywood Set For November 18, 2019" (Press release). Funko. October 4, 2019. Retrieved February 5, 2020.
  15. ^ a b c d e f "About us". Funko. Retrieved March 30, 2018.
  16. ^ a b Bennett, Tara (December 22, 2017). "Watch: Here's how Funko POP! figures get made". Syfy. Retrieved March 30, 2018.
  17. ^ "Funko product database query". HobbyDB. Retrieved May 2, 2018.
  18. ^ "Funko's POP! Vinyl T-Shirts debut at San Diego Comic Con 2015". Retrieved June 30, 2015.
  19. ^ a b c d e f "From Batman to Vader: How Funko Pop! became your new favorite collectible". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 30, 2018.
  20. ^ Coopee, Todd. "Star Wars Pop! Ceramic Mugs by Funko". ToyTales.
  21. ^ Schwellenbach, Ashley (September 3, 2019). "Coming Soon: Pop! Heroes—DC—18" Batman". Funko. Retrieved March 28, 2020.
  22. ^ DesJardins, Jordan. "Toy Fair 2015: Get Addicted to Vinyl Sugar". ScienceFiction.com.
  23. ^ "Pop Culture Firm Funko Has Strong Ties To Coronado". Coronado Eagle and Journal. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
  24. ^ "First Wave of Funko Cereal to Include Horror Icons; Freddy Krueger, Elvira, Beetlejuice, & More! | Nightmare on Film Street - Horror Movie Podcast, News and Reviews". Nightmare on Film Street. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
  25. ^ "What is a Chase Pop?". Popcultcha. July 1, 2018.
  26. ^ a b "2018 Emerald City Comic Con Photo Recap!". funko.com. Retrieved March 30, 2018.
  27. ^ a b c Latham, Bethany (2008-10-24). "EBSCOhost 2.0". Reference Reviews. 22 (8). doi:10.1108/rr.2008.09922hag.001. ISSN 0950-4125.
  28. ^ "Funko Launches Marvel Collector Corps". Marvel. Archived from the original on February 3, 2015.
  29. ^ "How Did One Toy Company Take Over 'Pop' Culture?". Rolling Stone. Retrieved March 30, 2018.
  30. ^ Nolan, L.D. (January 27, 2019). "REPORT: Funko Movie in Development at Warner Bros". ComicBook.com.
  31. ^ "Hybrid Funko! Flick Reportedly in the Works at Warner". Animation Magazine. January 28, 2019.
  32. ^ "Possible Funko Movie May Feature First Theatrical Marvel/DC Crossover". Screen Rant. January 28, 2019.
  33. ^ Fleming, Mike (September 16, 2019). "Warner Bros Animation Plans Funko Film Based On Collectible Figures". Deadline.

External links[edit]