|Traded as||NASDAQ: FNKO (Class A)|
Russell 2000 Index component
|Founded||October 23, 1998|
|Headquarters||Everett, Washington, U.S.|
|Brian Mariotti (CEO)|
Andrew Perlmutter (President)
|Products||Bobbleheads, vinyl figures|
| $42.1 million|
| $3.7 million|
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.
Funko was founded in 1998 by Mike Becker at his home in Snohomish, Washington. He started the business after looking for a collectible coin bank shaped after Bob's Boy Mascot. Selling the coin banks became a failure, so Becker licensed the Austin Powers movie and sold more than 80,000 toys. After this, some of the first characters that Funko sold were the Grinch, Tony the Tiger, and Cheerios mascot, the honeybee. 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. By 2012, the company had sold more than $20 million worth of merchandise.
The company was sold to Fundamental Capital, a private equity firm, in 2013 to raise funds. 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.
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. Funko acquired British toymaker Underground Toys, also its European distributor, in early 2017. Funko opened its new headquarters and 17,000-square-foot (1,600 m2) flagship store in downtown Everett on August 19, 2017. 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.
Products are designed at the Funko headquarters. New figures go through an extensive process involving brainstorming and social media feedback from the community. After an idea for a new figure is agreed upon, the idea then goes to Senior Sculptor Nena Lijiomah and Creative Director Sean Wilkinson.
Funko has created 13,642 different products in dozens of different toy lines since its inception. 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.
Funko's Pop! Vinyl line are figures modeled in a style similar to the Japanese super deformed 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.
Various other products have been released using the Pop! brand and its character stylization, such as plush toys, T-shirts, keychains (miniaturized versions of the normal figures), and ceramic mugs, the latter of which are enlarged, hollow copies of a figure's head, with a handle attached.
Within the Funko Pop! product line, there is a series known as Pop! Rides, featuring the figure in a vehicle such as a car. The Funko Pop! line also has figures that are larger than the standard figure, in 6-inch, 10-inch, and the now-retired 9-inch size. 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 to 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.
In March 2018, Funko announced Funko Cereal, including mini-Pop! characters inside each box. The first line was released in June 2018, and featured pop culture characters Freddy Krueger, Elvira: Mistress of the Dark, and Beetlejuice, among others.
At Toy Fair 2019, Funko announced a new line of Pop! Vinyl figures; Pop! Town, initially including Ghost Busters, Scooby-Doo, Spongebob Squarepants, and The Nightmare Before Christmas. This line includes a Pop! Vinyl figure alongside a stylised version of a landmark building from the source material.
Other current product lines include Hikari, Legacy Collection, Fabrikations, Mopeez, and Rock Candy. Former product lines include Spastik Plastik, Blox, FunkoVision, Funko Plushies, Funko Force, Reaction Figures, and Wacky Wobblers.
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 dropped to 1/6. This variance can be as simple as a colour 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.
The Mystery Mini series consists of a group of blind boxes that have a random character within, from a variety of series. 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. The figures are styled differently than the other Funko products. 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.
Funko has over 1,100 licenses with different companies. 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. CEO Mariotti, believes that the companies 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.
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. 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.
As of 2018, Funko no longer offers these boxes through a subscription. The Disney Treasures box, which focuses on Disney collectibles, is available at Hot Topic. Collector Corps, which focuses on Marvel collectibles, and the Star Wars Smugglers Bounty box are now available through Amazon.
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. This started in 2006 at the San Diego Comic-Con.
A film based on the Funko toys is in development at Warner Animation Group. 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.