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.
|NASDAQ: FNKO (Class A)|
Russell 2000 Index component
|Founded||March 6, 1998|
|Headquarters||Everett, Washington, U.S.|
|Brian Mariotti (CEO)|
Andrew Perlmutter (President)
|Products||Bobbleheads, vinyl figures|
|Revenue|| US$516 million|
| $42.1 million|
| $3.7 million|
Founded in 1998 by Mike 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.
Funko was founded in 1998 by toy collector Mike Becker at his home in Snohomish, Washington. 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. 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 in the United States. 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.
Funko has created approximately 20 thousand (19,913) 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 chibi style, similar to Good Smile’s Nendoroid figures. The figures typically depict 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, 18-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 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 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.
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.
Dorbz typically have a round smiling head and cylindrical body. Dorbz are smaller than the normal Funko Pop! figure. They are not as popular as the Funko Pop! and are smaller than the normal Funko Pop! figures. The line has been discontinued.
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, Asphalt 9: Legends, Steven Universe, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Avengers: Infinity War, and Anime Heroes And Vehicles. 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 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.
In February 2019, Funko acquired award winning board game development studio Forrest-Pruzan Creative forming Funko Games. Funko games has begun publishing strategy games across different licences, including their flagship game Funkoverse.
Funko has over 1,100 licenses with different companies.[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. 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.
Collector box subscriptionsEdit
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[update], 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.
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. The film was announced in active development on September 16, 2019, with directors Mark Dindal and Teddy Newton attached to the project.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Funko.|
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