Kyle McMahon invades New York Toy Fair 2020 to interview Funko CEO Brian Mariotti and check out all of the great collectibles and toys coming in 2020 for the latest episode of Pop Culture Weekly.
It was clear from the size of their booth to the constant barrage of people, Funko ruled NYTF. This is for good reason: The company has an unbelievable knack for releasing pop culture products that people want to buy! The company is made up of pop culture nerds like me (& probably you if you're reading this) that lovingly create products that we want to have. Funko products may make us feel good. They may bring a smile to our day. They may remind us of a certain period in our lives. Plus, they're just cool!
In my interview with Funko CEO Brian Mariotti, he jokingly likened his job to a "poor persons version of Willy Wonka". Launching a brand new Funko Soda line of collectibles, we discussed new products, classic products and why they are so good at what they do. Mariotti responded:
"What are we going to make? What are we going to create? The idea that down deep, I'm about as geeky as it gets, and I managed to turn this into a career - is utterly shocking to me. But to be able to make things that I grew up with....and then also things that younger people are growing up on....It's cool to be able to connect people to things they absolutely love...and find a way to make products to connect them to that is really rewarding."
I also spoke with Funko Games Community Manager Stephanie Straw about the exciting things they're doing. They have a line of strategy games called Funkoverse which features various popular properties including (my fav) Harry Potter, Golden Girls (ayyye!) Jaws, Jurassic Park, Rick and Morty, DC characters and more! Best of all, you can mix and match the characters from each of the Funkoverse products to make an ultimate pop culture battle.
Besides the Funkoverse line of games, Funko Games offers numerous games that are self contained and either totally original or are based on existing properties. Back To The Future: Back In Time allows 2 - 4 players to become the beloved characters from the films and recreate the exciting events, allowing the players to live the movies. It costs just $30 and is a fun way to spend an hour for game night with your family or friends.
Funko Games is just one part of the exciting things Funko is doing as they continue to grow and expand their pop culture reach. You could see the excitement of their new Funko Soda line at NYTF. Funko Soda houses a 4.25" inch vinyl figure in a collectible branded soda can - and of course, the rare chase figures you may get. Launch lines of Funko Soda include He-Man and Skeletor, Batman and Robin, Count Chocula and Frankenberry (totally getting these), among others and there's a whole slew more coming.
It's as exciting as ever to be a Funko fan - or even a pop culture fan! Funko has been giving pop culture lovers like me exactly what we want since they went in business years ago. Their care for the products, attention to detail and obsession with pop culture make them an incredible partner for pop culture junkies like myself.
Listen to Pop Culture Weekly #37 where I invade New York Toy Fair 2020 and spoke with all of the big brands and their upcoming products.