Funko creates a brick-and-mortar home for Pop figures
Licensed entertainment properties are big business these days. One of the most popular forms in which fans are finding their favorite characters from across the pop culture landscape is in Funko’s Pop vinyl dolls. The rapid rise to popularity of the stylized, big-headed collectibles over the past few years has inspired Funko to launch its own brick-and-mortar flagship store.
The store is on the ground floor of the company’s new headquarters, and is meant to be a destination for its loyal fan base, according to an article on Forbes. Pop collectors reportedly traveled from across the country to attend the store’s launch, lining up outside before the open. While Pop figures are generally based on licensed properties, the company occasionally releases its own limited edition original figures which will now be available exclusively at the store. Funko is also planning other features for the store, including a “Funko Factory,” where customers will create their own customized Pop figures.
Though the company asserts it has no plans to open more locations nationwide and compete with retailers that sell Pop figures, Funko’s CEO told Forbes that he has learned to “never say never.”
The experiential tactics used at Funko’s flagship are reminiscent of stores in other areas of retail. Nike, for instance, has made its Soho flagship store in Manhattan a destination for store-exclusive sneakers and offers customers advanced personalization options.
The licensed property niche has been growing rapidly, with both major toy chains and specialty shops stocking swag related to all types of TV and pop-culture phenomena. One need look no further than the success of GameStop-owned ThinkGeek. Once an online-only purveyor of the branded pop culture items they call “loot,” ThinkGeek found enough success in its 2015 brick-and-mortar pilot to pursue a nationwide expansion.
- Funko’s New Retail Store Has Toy Collectors Lining Up Overnight – Forbes
- One e-tail only, ThinkGeek expands brick-and-mortar presence – RetailWire
- Nike goes big with an experiential concept in Soho – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What can mainstream toy retailers – think Toys”R”Us – learn from Funko’s experiential approach to retailing? Should Funko seriously consider opening more multiple brick-and-mortar locations throughout the country?