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Everything you always wanted to know about Funko: its strange origin, how much they earn and more

What was the strange origin of the company

Mike Becker, founder of Funko

The reason Funko exists is downright quirky. The company was created in 1998 by a collector named Mike Becker. The reason? She couldn’t find a collectible figure that she wanted, so she decided to make her own. (cart-away.com)

And that figure is not precisely that of Batman or Spider-Man, but the mascot of a hamburger chain famous in America Bob’s Big Boy. Specifically, Becker wanted a piggy bank figure that had been taken from him.

Dressed in red and white checkered bib overalls with his nickname written on it (big boy), and carrying a hamburger in his hand, for many Americans, it is a matter of nostalgia to get a figure of said mascot.

But he soon discovered that the ones being sold on eBay were too expensive. It was then that realized that he could license the Bob’s brand and produce his own figureswhich is exactly what he started doing in 1998.

Thus the Funko company was created and the rest is history.

Oh by the way. As she always happens with mothers, this one she didn’t show too much enthusiasm and told his son that no one would want something like thatbut that was the spark and look where we are now.

His story

Funko company history

What started as a small company founded in Becker’s house grew to become one of the largest companies in the industry.

In 2005, Becker sold the company to Brian Marotti, his golf partner, who extended the lines of dolls. On 2011 they marketed their first line of figures Pop! Vinyl and began to grow rapidly.

Since then, the company has been sold twice more and is now owned by an investment company, ACON Investments.

funko has license agreements with a large number of companies, such as Disney or the NBA. That has made it one of the most famous brands when it comes to merchandise of figures based on characters from popular culture, or even real and historical.

Where does the name Funko come from?

The brand name is a play on words which combines the English term of fun (fun) with the company (company usually abbreviated as co).

Thus, the meaning of Funko would be, literally, that of: “the company of fun”.

What were the first funkos?

The first funko in history

The first figure, as you may have guessed from the origin story, was a funko of that mascot of Bob’s Burgerhis BigBoy. You can see it in the image above and Becker’s mother was right, it was a failure and it was not sold.

In fact, the company went bankrupt, but they gambled by licensing the rights to make figures bobble head (that is to say, of those whose bobblehead moves when you move it) of Austin Powers.

That was the second funko in history, but the first one that was sold, and quite well by the way.

The line based on characters from the film allowed him to continue with figures from the grinchTiger Tony of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes and the pet bee of other cereals, Cheerios.

Where is the company located?

Funko's headquarters in Everett

Although it has offices all over the world, as well as artist studios and branches spread throughout many places, if you are a fan of Funko and want to make a pilgrimage to the true mecca, go to their headquarters in Everett, Washington.

Part office, part tourist attraction, it’s a collector’s paradise. The store on the ground floor, with more than 5,000 square meters, has a multitude of Pop figures! Large size, personalized toys and themed zones based on popular licenses like starwarsMarvel and Harry Potter.

In fact, until there is a 1:1 scale Batmobile based on the 1960s TV series he even has a replica of Adam West in the driver’s seat. Ideal for posturing on Instagram.

In addition, Funko also organizes free workshops there on weekends for those who want to learn more about art, sculpture and illustration.

How much does the company invoice?

The truth is that Funko’s latest results have been quite successful, driven by a demand that seems to have no end.

In fact, the figures for 2021, according to the NASDAQ, exceeded analyst forecasts and are estimated at over $913 million in revenue.

Almost nothing for some big-headed figures.

Funko product lines

funko products

Although here in Spain the Pop! Vynil, your lines merchandise and collectibles they are almost endless. Currently, they have the following.

  • The figures POP! Vinyl. The most famous, recognizable by its big head and about 10 centimeters high.
  • Vinyl figures, more promotional, like that of his pet, Freddy Funko, also about 10 centimeters.
  • The line of strategy and board games Funkoverse.
  • The kawaii figures of animals and cats inspired by iconic soft drinks.
  • keychain figures from the Pocket Pop line!
  • Books of Wetmore Forest.
  • Candies FISH Pop! With a bobblehead figure crowning these mythical dispensers.
  • The Vynl line of figure pairs, focused on the relationships between characters. It debuted at Comic-Con 2017.
  • The 5 star figureslaunched in 2018 and with three points of articulation to put in the position you want.
  • The dorbz figuresrounded, smiling and about 7 and a half centimeters.
  • The Funko Plushvery soft stuffed animals of popular culture characters.
  • The hikari figureswhich means “light” and are translucent.
  • The rock candy line of female figures that represent some of the most powerful women and 13 centimeters high.
  • The line of funko clothesfor adults and children.
  • The line of cups and bottles.
  • The Pop! Rides, or vehicle figures famous with their funko included, such as the Batmobile.
  • The funk o’s line of cartoon characters, with a series of cereal boxes with a collectible toy inside. You don’t know which one will come out of each box.
  • The line DC Primal Age of superheroes and villains of the 80s within that brand of comics.
  • The mystery mini bags with miniature versions of your favorite characters (scales vary from 1/6 to 1/72).
  • your line of action figures to play.
  • Their refreshments Vinyl.

And of course… Funko tHe has also gotten into the NFTs issue recently, because it could not be otherwise.

Some curiosities that, surely, you do not know

Funko Tom Cruise in the mummy

In addition to the fact that the founder’s mother was right (at least at first), there are other curious facts in the history of Funko.

  • There’s a tom cruise funko for his (lousy) movie The Mummy. The agreement was signed and the figure made and announced, but was never marketed, although you can see it in the image above. Gossips have it that it was because Cruise didn’t like the resemblance.
  • Funko makes toys and figures for other famous brands, such as Hasbro or Mattel.
  • funko has rejected many they wanted to make figures. Especially in Becker’s early days, he said no to major league baseball, adult movie stars and even Disney. Obviously, the new owners have not been so scrupulous.

As you can see, the history of the Funko company gives much more than you thought, and the number of products with which it invades the shelves is tremendous. Especially in America, where you can eat their cereal and help pass it down with their soda.

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