Funko

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  (Redirected from Funko Pop)
Funko Inc.
TypePublic
NasdaqFNKO (Class A)
Russell 2000 Index component
IndustryToys
FoundedMarch 6, 1998; 23 years ago (March 6, 1998)
FounderMike Becker
HeadquartersEverett, Washington, U.S.
Key people
Andrew Perlmutter (CEO)
ProductsVinyl figures, bobbleheads
RevenueIncrease US$653 million
(2020)[1]
Decrease $42.1 million
(2017)[1]
Decrease $3.7 million
(2017)[1]
OwnerACON Investments
Websitefunko.com

Funko Inc. is an American company that manufactures licensed and limited pop culture collectibles, best known for its licensed vinyl figurines and bobbleheads. In addition, the company produces licensed plush, action figures, apparel, accessories, games and NFTs.

Founded in 1998 by Mike Becker[2] and Claudia 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.[3]

Sold in 2005, Funko, LLC, is now headed by CEO Andrew Perlmutter.[3] Since then, the company has increased the scope of its toy lines and signed licensing deals with major companies such as Disney, Marvel Entertainment and Major League Baseball.

History

Funko headquarters in Everett, Washington

Funko was founded in 1998 by toy collector Mike Becker at his home in Snohomish, Washington.[4] 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.[5] After this, some of the first characters that Funko sold were the Grinch, Tony the Tiger, and Cheerios mascot, the honeybee.[6] In 2005, Becker sold Funko to its current Chief Creative Officer, 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.[6] By 2012, the company had sold more than $20 million worth of merchandise.[7]

The company was sold to Fundamental Capital, a private equity firm, in 2013 to raise funds.[8] 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.[9]

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.[10][11] Funko acquired British toymaker Underground Toys, also its European distributor, in early 2017.[10] Funko opened its new headquarters and 17,000-square-foot (1,600 m2) flagship store in downtown Everett on August 19, 2017.[12] 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.[13]

Funko: Hollywood in Hollywood, California

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".[14][15]


Production

Products are designed at the Funko headquarter in Downtown Everett,[16] WA, United States and in many locations throughout the U.S. as well. New figures are designed with input from licensors, in-studio artists, and fans through social media. Funko artists use ZBrush to create digital models that are revised before being made into prototype sculptures, which are sent for approval from manufacturers and licensors. The completed figures are manufactured at factories in China and Vietnam.[17][18]

Product lines

Funko has created thousands of different products in dozens of different toy lines since its inception.[19] 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,[20] who was introduced in the year of 2002.[21] The lucky ones who got their hands on this Freddy Funko, were the ones who joined the Funko Funklub.[22]

Funko's Pop! Vinyl line are figures modelled in a style similar to the Japanese chibi style.[23] The figures have large squarish heads, disproportionately small bodies, and large, circular black eyes.[24] The figures typically depict licensed characters from franchises such as Doctor Who, Marvel, DC, Disney, Star Wars, Wizarding World, Dragon Ball, My Hero Academia 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.[20]

The exaggerated body proportions of Pop! figures have invited comparisons with Good Smile’s Nendoroid figures, which are similarly described as "chibi". Both product lines depict characters from many different franchises.[25]

Most Funko Pop! figures are not bobbleheads, as their heads do not move. However, all Star Wars figures in the line are bobbleheads, as well as most Marvel figures. This is to avoid licensing conflicts with Hasbro, the company which holds the license to make ordinary (non-bobblehead) figures of characters from these franchises.[26]

Various other products have been released using the Pop! brand and its character stylization, such as plush toys, T-shirts,[27] keychains (miniaturized versions of the normal figures),[28] and ceramic mugs, the latter of which are enlarged, hollow copies of a figure's head, with a handle attached.[29]

Within the Funko Pop! product line, there is a series known as Pop! Rides, featuring the Funko Pop figure in a vehicle.[28] The Funko Pop! line also has figures that are larger than the standard figure, in 6-inch, 10-inch, 18-inch,[30] and the now-retired 9-inch size.[28] 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. Funko has also created a line featuring artists with their album covers, this line can be found as Pop! Albums.

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, Rock Candy, Vinyl Soda, and Ad Icons. Former product lines include Spastik Plastik, Blox, FunkoVision, Funko Plushies, Funko Force, Reaction Figures, and Wacky Wobblers.

Chase variants

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. Also, some chase variants have the character without their suits or with their suits if they are a superhero. Some of these variables are not worth much if the chase has been around long enough for a lot of people to get it.[31]

Mystery Minis

The Mystery Mini series consists of a group of blind boxes that have a random character within, from a variety of series.[20] Examples of Mystery Mini series themes include Five Nights at Freddy's, Blizzard Entertainment's Cute but Deadly, Disney Heroes and Villains, Horror Classics, Asphalt 9: Legends, Steven Universe, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Avengers: Infinity War, and Anime Heroes And Vehicles.[28] The figures are styled differently than the other Funko products.[20] 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.[32]

Convention exclusives

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.[32] This started in 2006 at the San Diego Comic-Con.[28]

Loungefly

In May 2019, Funko acquired the fashion accessories line, Loungefly.

Funko Games

In February 2019, Funko acquired award winning board game development studio Forrest-Pruzan Creative[33] forming Funko Games. Funko Games has begun publishing strategy games across different licenses, including their flagship game Funkoverse.

Business model

Funko has over 1,100 licenses with different companies.[34][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 creates 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.[34] CCO 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.[34]

Collector box subscriptions

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.[35] 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.[36]

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

A live action/animated hybrid film based on the Funko toys is in development at Warner Animation Group.[37][38] 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, Wonder Woman, Darth Vader, Hellboy, Hello Kitty, My Little Pony, Transformers (including Optimus Prime), Power Rangers, Masters of the Universe (including He-Man and She-Ra), and Care Bears, with the newest debuting Funko Pop!s featured in the movie being Spin Master Entertainment's PAW Patrol. [39] The film was announced in active development on September 16, 2019, with directors Mark Dindal and Teddy Newton attached to the project. The project will feature the companies's montage logos in the beginning of the movie, including Sega's from their 2020 Sonic film, Mattel's from the Max Steel film, Capcom's from their Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li film, Blizzard Entertainment's from their Warcraft movie, BOOM! Studios's from their The Empty Man, Nintendo's from their upcoming Untitled Mario film, Konami's from their possible Metal Gear Solid film, Valiant Comics's from either their upcoming Harbinger film or maybe Bloodshot 2, Playstation's from their Uncharted, DC Comics's logo which debuted at the Wonder Woman film, Spin Master Entertainment's logo which featured on PAW Patrol: The Movie, Marvel's iconic 2002 "flipping pages" logo which debuted in the Spider-Man film, Hasbro's unused cinematic logo, and other companies as well. [40]

See also

References

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  2. ^ "Funko! Pop - About". www.sfu.ca. Retrieved 2021-06-21.
  3. ^ a b Ali, Reyan (November 12, 2014). "'Pop' Culture: The Incredible Rise of [https://actionfiguregek,com Funko Pop]!". Rolling Stone. Retrieved February 12, 2015.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ Chavez, Jesus (November 29, 2010). "'Toy geeks' at Funko are bubbly over bobbleheads". The Seattle Times. Retrieved December 22, 2019.
  6. ^ a b Modrow, William M. (July 2003). "Business & Company Resource Center". Reference Reviews. 17 (7): 28–29. doi:10.1108/09504120310497915. ISSN 0950-4125.
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  8. ^ Miller, Ben (June 4, 2013). "Funko raises capital in acquisition deal". Puget Sound Business Journal. Retrieved May 31, 2019.
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  14. ^ Podsada, Janice (November 18, 2019). "Funko, the Everett-based toymaker, opens a Hollywood store". The Everett Herald. Retrieved February 5, 2020.
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  16. ^ www.funko.com https://www.funko.com/about-us/locations/headquarters. Retrieved 2021-06-21. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  17. ^ Rasmus, Daniel (March 25, 2018). "How Funko pops out a Pop! Inside the process of creating collectible figures, from idea to product". GeekWire. Retrieved July 20, 2020.
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  22. ^ www.funko.com https://www.funko.com/blog/article/funko-fan-club. Retrieved 2021-06-21. Missing or empty |title= (help)
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  24. ^ Amelia Tait (August 13, 2019). "How aggressively cute toys for adults became a $686 million business". Vox. Retrieved July 27, 2021.
  25. ^ Carlos Cadorniga (September 28, 2017). "Nendoroids are way cuter than Funko Pops, don't @ me". Mashable. Retrieved July 27, 2021.
  26. ^ "WHICH FUNKO POPS ARE BOBBLEHEADS?". Pop & Figures. May 4, 2021. Retrieved July 22, 2021.
  27. ^ "Funko's POP! Vinyl T-Shirts debut at San Diego Comic Con 2015". Retrieved June 30, 2015.
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  29. ^ Coopee, Todd. "Star Wars Pop! Ceramic Mugs by Funko". ToyTales.
  30. ^ Schwellenbach, Ashley (September 3, 2019). "Coming Soon: Pop! Heroes—DC—18" Batman". Funko. Retrieved March 28, 2020.
  31. ^ "What is a Chase Pop?". Popcultcha. July 1, 2018.
  32. ^ a b "2018 Emerald City Comic Con Photo Recap!". funko.com. Retrieved March 30, 2018.
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  35. ^ "Funko Launches Marvel Collector Corps". Marvel. Archived from the original on February 3, 2015.
  36. ^ "How Did One Toy Company Take Over 'Pop' Culture?". Rolling Stone. Retrieved March 30, 2018.
  37. ^ Nolan, L.D. (January 27, 2019). "REPORT: Funko Movie in Development at Warner Bros". ComicBook.com.
  38. ^ "Hybrid Funko! Flick Reportedly in the Works at Warner". Animation Magazine. January 28, 2019.
  39. ^ "Possible Funko Movie May Feature First Theatrical Marvel/DC Crossover". Screen Rant. January 28, 2019.
  40. ^ Fleming, Mike (September 16, 2019). "Warner Bros Animation Plans Funko Film Based On Collectible Figures". Deadline.

External links

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