Funko announces collab with Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 team

Funko has announced a collaboration with the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team. Pop! vinyls of seven-time World Drivers’ Champion Lewis Hamilton and his former teammate, ten-time Grand Prix winner Valtteri Bottas, have been launched to coincide with the start of the 2022 F1 season, and come decked out in their 2021 custom race overalls and detailed caps displaying the Mercedes logo. 

Hamilton and Bottas were teammates for five seasons from 2017 to 2021, winning the World Constructors’ Championship during each of those seasons. For four of those five seasons, Hamilton also won the World Drivers’ Championship.

The new Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Botas Funko Pop! figures retail at £12/€15.



Funko announces collab with Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 team

Funko has announced a collaboration with the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team. Pop! vinyls of seven-time World Drivers’ Champion Lewis Hamilton and his former teammate, ten-time Grand Prix winner Valtteri Bottas, have been launched to coincide with the start of the 2022 F1 season, and come decked out in their 2021 custom race overalls and detailed caps displaying the Mercedes logo. 

Hamilton and Bottas were teammates for five seasons from 2017 to 2021, winning the World Constructors’ Championship during each of those seasons. For four of those five seasons, Hamilton also won the World Drivers’ Championship.

The new Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Botas Funko Pop! figures retail at £12/€15.



Pokémon’s 25th birthday celebrations continue with Selfridges toy-space takeovers

The Pokémon Company International has taken over part of Selfridges’ toy space in three UK stores.

The pop-up activation, which launched on December 13 and will run until the end of January, forms part of the final celebrations of the yearlong celebration of the brand’s 25th anniversary.

Special branded areas have been created at the Selfridges stores on Oxford Street in London, in Birmingham’s Bullring and in the Trafford Centre in Manchester, to promote the Pokémon range in-store and provide a fun and immersive experience for fans of all ages. In addition to a wide selection of Pokémon products, the activation also offers great photo opportunities, including costume character visits to the Oxford Street store

The Pokémon spaces have a Pikachu motif — the iconic Pokémon has been the face of the 25th anniversary. Its bright yellow image can be seen on displays and shelving, as well as digital screens that share promotional content from the different Pokémon brand pillars.

Winner of Best Gaming Licensed Property at the 2021 Licensing Awards, Pokémon is offering a wide range of product across the pop-ups, including special 25th anniversary items.

On display are toys from Jazwares (distributed by Character Options), including an exciting relaunch of the volcano-themed backpack playset, as well as new silver figurines and Pokémon plush. Construction sets from Mattel, collectibles from the Wand Company and Funko Pop! exclusives are also available. The Wand Company’s new Poké Balls feature their latest release, the Dusk Ball replica, while new Funko Pop! Pokémon include silver metallic anniversary figurines.

The new launch from the market-leading Pokémon Trading Card Game is also available. Pokémon TCG: Celebrations commemorates 25 years of the brand and includes remakes of classic TCG cards. Jointly featured is the newly released Sword & Shield—Fusion Strike expansion.

“We are delighted to team up once more with Selfridges for this exciting activity,” says Mathieu Galante, Licensing Director (EMEA) forThe Pokémon Company International. “We have had an amazing year as we’ve celebrated our 25th anniversary and there could be no better way to conclude the festivities than with this takeover in such a prestigious store. We’re sure fans old and new will be thrilled with what’s on offer when they visit these fun and vibrant Pokémon pop-ups.”

The takeover follows a successful collaboration with Selfridges in 2018, at its flagship Oxford Street store, which featured a branded wall, exclusive merchandise and a special event.

Yahoo Ryot Lab, Charli Cohen and Selfridges create virtual 3D experience for limited edition Charli Cohen x Pokémon collection

Disguise Inc partners with Funko to launch new Disguise Pop! masks range

The dress up and costume specialist, Disguise Inc has detailed a global agreement with Funko to design, market, manufacture and distribute Pop! masks across North America, Europe, the Middle East, Oceania, South America, and Asia.

Initial designs for 2021 will feature iconic characters from major licensing partners like Warner Bros and Sony Pictures Entertainment.

The over-sized masks will take on the iconic aesthetic of Funko’s hit Pop! brand, each designed to be wearable and displayable, with limited runs of each style to drive collectability. Next year will see Disguise expand the line with additional licensors and more than 30 styles.

“Disguise is thrilled to be partnering with Funko on a truly break-frame product like our wearable Pop! Masks. The iconic Funko’s Pop! style translates to a really fun wearable product for cosplay and dress up occasions,” said Tara Hefter, president and GM of Disguise Inc.

“We know Funko fans and Halloween lovers will jump at the opportunity to wear, collect and display our new Pop! Masks.”

Jason Bischoff, director of global licensing at Funko, added: “We’ve spent years building up our business around fan-first collectability, community, and affordability. Pop! Masks are born from that same tradition, and just like our other products, Pop! Masks can be celebrated year round.

“It’s another massive opportunity for fans to wear or display their fandom and connect with their fellow pop culture enthusiasts.”

Disguise is a recognised world leader in design and development of inventive and cutting edge costumes and accessories with distribution across the world. Funko provides an array of exciting new and classic characters to create an amazing line of products.

Disguise’s Pop! Masks are now available for pre-order on Amazon in North America and Europe and will be available later this year on They will also be available in Australia, New Zealand and LATAM this fall.

Stateside | Panini America and Funko to launch Funko Pop! Trading Cards

Collectables giants Funko and Panini America are witnessing their worlds collide, as the pair come together to launch a new Pop! product line, Funko Pop! Trading Card collection that will span multiple sports.

Launching later this year, the initial series will feature six NBA players and six NFL players, hitting retailers across the US in time for the Christmas shopping season.

The introduction of Funko Pop! Trading Card will incorporate Panini’s popular Prizm trading card brand for both the NBA and NFL. Similar to the popular Pop! Albums and Pop! Comic Covers, Pop! Trading Card will feature the Panini Prizm trading card art packaged together in a protective case that can be hung on a wall.

The Pop! Vinyl figure will replicate the poses from the player imagery from their respective Prizm trading cards.

“We are excited to enter into this collaboration with Funko, the success of our Panini trading cards in the collectible space along with the success that Funko is experiencing in the vinyl figure collectibles space, makes this the ideal collaboration for sports fans and consumers,” said Jason Howarth, vice president of marketing of Panini America.

Funko’s manager of brand licensing, Matt Lattier, added: “This is the perfect union of two amazing collector bases. The strength of what Panini is doing in the trading card space and Funko’s passionate fan base provides trading card and Pop! collectors the opportunity to display their fandom in a unique way.”

Direct to consumer and expanded toy offering helps Funko to strong Q4 2020 finish

A bolstered direct to consumer platform, the launch of new games and toys, and an expanded presence across its key retail partners have helped Funko to strong fourth quarters results for 2020.

The pop culture specialist has reported a six per cent sales growth to $226.5 million, reflecting what CEO Brian Mariotti has described as a “better than expected performance across brands, products, channels, and geographies.”

Net sales for the firm grew in the fourth quarter 2020 from the $213.6 million in the same period the year prior. The increase is reflective of the business’ strength in its domestic market in the US, which was partially off-set by the impact of Covid-19, particularly within Europe.

Funko grew its number of active properties to 724 from 667 in the fourth quarter of 2019. On a geographical basis, net sales in the United States increased 18 per cent to $171.5 million, while net sales in Europe decreased 24 per cent to $40.3 million.

Net sales in other international regions decreased seven per cent to $14.7 million, both primarily driven by continued impacts from COVID-19.

“We are pleased to finish the year with strong fourth quarter results, including six per cent sales growth, which reflects better than expected performance across our brands, products, channels and geographies,” said Mariotti.

“Against a challenging environment in 2020, our teams were resilient, quickly adapted to the dynamic environment and remained focused on executing our strategic growth priorities. During the year, we successfully strengthened our direct-to-consumer platform, launched new games and toys that extended our reach, expanded our presence among key retail partners in mass and digital, and drove robust fan engagement through global virtual events.

“We believe the Company is strongly positioned to deliver solid top line growth and improved profitability in 2021. We are remaining focused on our strategies to maximize Funko’s core pop culture platform, drive further category diversification, expand internationally and accelerate our direct-to-consumer business.

“For the full year, we expect to achieve revenue growth of 25 per cent to 30 per cent versus 2020, which also reflects growth from pre-pandemic levels in 2019.”

On a product category basis, net sales of figures were flat at $170.2 million reflecting strength within the domestic market which was offset by international performance.

Net sales of other products increased 30 per cent to $56.3 million versus the fourth quarter of 2019, primarily reflecting strong growth in the company’s Loungefly branded products, as well as strength within our games, plush and accessory categories.

Pop! branded products grew one per cent to $169.4 million, while Loungefly branded products grew 51 per cent to $31.6 million in the quarter reflecting strength in both its wholesale and direct-to-consumer channels.

Net sales of other branded products increased five per cent to $25.5 million, reflecting a strengthening board game, toy and figure offering from the firm.

primarily reflecting strength in Funko’s expanded board game, toy and figure offerings.

“We feel confident about the trajectory of the business and believe we are well-positioned from a strategic, operational and financial perspective,” said Jennifer Fall Jung, CFO.

“We expect to continue investing for growth in 2021 while also driving strong Adjusted EBITDA margins and improvement on the bottom line.”

Funko names former Hasbro senior director Malcolm Ottley its new VP of sales for EMEA

Funko has appointed the former Hasbro senior director, Malcolm Ottley to the role of vice president of sales for its EMEA business, where he will take on a major strategic role heading up the outfit’s sales department.

A toy sales veteran, Ottley joins the unit from Hasbro, where he spent a ten year stint, most notably as sales director, where he lead and coached a large sales team across the UK, Ireland, Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. His role saw him lead and re-shape the channel and commercial strategies for specialty retailers across the European business.

Speaking of his new position, Ottley, said: “I am really excited to have joined Funko and look forward to helping build upon their excellent achievements in recent years, as well as help to shape the future direction of the business across EMEA.”

Andy Oddie, managing director of Funko (EMEA), added: “I am pleased to welcome Malcolm to the Funko family. His extensive knowledge and experience in both sales and leadership will no doubt enrich our company further.”

Funko, the pop culture lifestyle, and why 2020 is going to be a game changer for its European business

It’s likely the fact that Funko – in one form or another – can be found in most toy shops on the high street or otherwise today, that the firm’s insistence that ‘it is not a toy company,’ takes some time to comprehend.

As the pop culture explosion that Funko found itself at the centre of mid-way through the last decade continues to surge across the UK, it stands to reason that the purveyor of Pop! has found itself an almost omnipresent figurehead of the trend.

It wouldn’t have escaped many people’s attention that year on year, the Funko brand has been gaining shelf space inch by inch across the retail landscape; most recently it compounded its growth within the toy space with the launch of its ‘revolutionary’ Paka Paka platform into The Entertainer’s boundary-pushing Westfield store – a concept that went on to launch in Forbidden Planet’s Glasgow store, and will be followed with launches in Primark and Smyths Toys.

Nevertheless, Funko’s mantra remains. This is more than a toy company, and for the past number of years it has been actively positioning itself as a lifestyle brand, with a portfolio that spans all manner of categories from its vinyl figures, to softlines, bags, purses, wallets and homewares, developed in conjunction with its Loungefly brand.

There aren’t many toy companies, after all, that can lay claim to presence in such a diverse line-up of retailers; and it’s this, diversification, that has just helped Funko’s EMEA operation to one of its better financial years to date.

“We grew significantly in EMEA, it was the strongest growing of the regions internationally,” Andy Oddie, Funko’s managing director of EMEA, tells “And it is being a lifestyle company with the lifestyle businesses that we have got, that has helped us in the face of the challenges in the industry.

Funko EMEA managing director, Andy Oddie, says 2020 will be a game changing year

“We are in a broader channel, and that’s allowed us to tap into many different opportunities at retail and through e-commerce. One of the biggest initiatives for us at the moment is with Primark.

“But with our multi-channel and multi-category approach we can attack in certain areas and defend in other areas, and be in a multitude of places that others would maybe fail to reach.”

It came as a surprise to many in the business when Funko’s US division detailed an eight per cent dip in its Q4 2019 results last month, finishing up at $214 million compared to the $233 million the year prior. It was the challenging retail environment of the US that contributed to the majority of the dip.

The story for Funko’s EMEA operations, however, offers a stark contrast. 

“All categories grew and all markets within EMEA – that’s nearly all 116 markets in the EMEA region – grew, and all those sub-markets that look after and feed into them grew,” continues Oddie. 

“In fact, we grew the workforce by 25 per cent and we have opened a new distribution centre in Coventry, which is state of the art with logistics systems and hardware meaning that we can be even quicker to market with our product.

“We are famously quick to develop items, but we have been criticised in the past for being poor operationally. I think this will be a game-changer for us, our operational capabilities will be massively upgraded with this facility.”

The new facility sees Funko move its current operations unit out of Essex and into its new Coventry address, from where it will service the majority of its key customers. A portion will continue to be serviced from the Netherlands distribution centre it opened in 2018. Oddie summarises the past year and a half at Funko making preparations for 2020 to be a game-changing year for the firm.

“Suddenly we are not only going to be quick to the market with product, but able to fulfil it and get it to the customer quicker than before as well,” he says.

“We have got growth, growth, growth, and we have got the new distribution centre – so that all sounds fantastic.”

But Funko isn’t totally immune to the susceptibility that hounds the toy, entertainment, or licensing industry. It’s US business already placed blame for its Q4 dip at the door of a weaker movie slate through 2019 compared to the year prior, while many have already lamented a softer line up still for the year ahead.

“The Disney slate is lighter than it has been previously,” states Oddie. “Warner has a good film out with Birds of Prey, but net – we are in a weaker environment in terms of properties for 2020. I think fortunately we are in the multichannel and with multi-categories.

“We are somewhat guarded from the difficulties of a soft movie slate, simply because we have such a broad product slate which is tapping into every imaginable piece of IP and opportunity, but at some point or another you can’t directly replace something as large as Marvel End Game… you need a lot of bits to replace End Game or Fortnite.

“But we do have all of the armoury available to defend from any lack of content, and, by the way, the 2021 IP slate looks awesome.”

Funko EMEA’s new state of the art logistics centre in Coventry

Visitors to this year’s New York Toy Fair were offered a glimpse at that armoury that not only spanned the diversity of its lifestyle portfolio, but also witnesses Funko make a concerted step into the toy space with the launch of Snapsies: a toy line developed for the younger market that features snap and match technology that allows kids to collect a diverse line-up of characters.

In a move to offer a fully-branded experience, Funko has even launched the line with content created by its in-house team at Funko Animation Studios.

Funko’s lifestyle division Loungefly gives Disney’s Mulan the Funko feel

On top of this, of course, is Funko Games, the tabletop gaming arm to Funko’s pop culture-spanning entity, that brings the brand roaring into the ever growing market for IP-driven board games with a collection that includes the Back to the Future: Back in Time tabletop game, Godzilla: Tokyo Clash, and a left field title that uses the Pan Am license.

With this now all falling under the Funko brand name, it’s increasingly obvious as to how the pop culture specialist is gaining those inches at retail, while the larger – grand plan if you will – for Funko appears to shift into view.

“We will always say that we want more space,” says Oddie. “Space gives us the ability to trade on a linear basis, and we have the product to achieve that. If we have three bays in retailer X, we say if you give us six bays, we will always achieve double what we did in three bays due to the items we have in strength and breadth.

“What we are looking to do is create Funko dedicated experiences and experiential retail execution that is interesting to fans, people spend time looking at it, perhaps there is a TV screen in there and some Funko branding in there, which really supports a much more interesting kind of experience for the customer – which is what everyone is looking for right now.

“The customer needs to be kept in store and needs to be excited about what’s in store. They need to see something new every week, and we can give that. Very few others can put their hand on their heart and say that they are delivering on all of that,” Oddie concludes.