Well, this is a hell of a thing to dig into first thing Monday morning.
Enough that I had to dust off the blog.
Let’s get into the key snippets…
Funko is popping cult-fave pop-culture brand Mondo into its merch mix.
Under a deal with indie theater chain Alamo Drafthouse, Funko acquired Mondo, which creates and sells vinyl records and soundtracks, posters, toys, apparel, books, games and other collectibles. About 30 Mondo employees are joining Funko.
Financial terms of the deal are not being disclosed, but it’s obviously not massive. Funko says it does not expect the Mondo acquisition to have a material impact on its financial performance in 2022.
Driven by passion, Mondo’s core team of creatives transformed that small ticket booth into something none of us could have ever imagined. Nineteen years into the journey, I look back at the amazing body of work that Mondo has created in posters, soundtracks, and collectibles and am truly in awe. I couldn’t be more proud of the amazing team that has over and over again set a staggeringly high bar for imagination, quality, and beauty.
That said, the past two years have been brutal and harrowing at Alamo and Mondo. We filed bankruptcy and thankfully emerged from COVID in fighting shape, ready to continue our mission of being the best damn cinema that has ever or will ever exist. While we were closed, however, Mondo was our saving grace, the only facet of our business that kept the lights on.
Now, with the dark days behind us and each weekend bringing box office successes, Alamo is seizing opportunities to grow our cinema footprint with seven new locations across the country that have been announced recently and more to come. As the company resources are focused on this growth, we realized that perhaps a bold and exciting new chapter is about to begin for Mondo.
Over the past few months, we searched exhaustively to find a perfect partner who saw what was unique and special about Mondo and was in a position to meaningfully invest in Mondo, nurture the team, and further its reach and vision. Funko is exactly that unicorn.
The team that made Mondo amazing is staying together, making the transition to Funko, and will continue their same work with the same creative vision. I am super excited about the future plans I know about, and I’m sure I will soon marvel at the work that is not yet even a lightbulb spark.
For 20 years, we have poured our heart and souls into this weird little thing that Rob Jones and Tim League started in a closet in the corner of an Alamo Drafthouse lobby… then out of a closet underneath the seats of a Drafthouse auditorium (seriously). Eventually, we opened our own gallery space, and even started our own convention.
We have always loved following our passions and doing things our own way, and we’ll be forever thankful to the Alamo Drafthouse for supporting those passions and helping us grow into what we are today. But we needed a bigger boat… and that’s where Funko comes in. They understand what Mondo is today and are eager to help us become the company we want to be.
From the outside, Mondo might seem like it is changing… but on the inside much is staying the same. We remain the same team, and our goals remain unchanged. We are still the same bunch of weirdos who share an undying obsession with popular (and maybe less popular) culture, and a craving to make cool stuff with the best artists in the world.
Lord knows I’ve spent enough of the past 14 years on this site worshiping the creations of the team at Mondo, so I had to dig in.
At its core, this isn’t a horrible pairing. Mondo lives and dies by their ability to get licenses, Funko has all the licenses.
The bigger concern is one of quality control. Funko is a very mass produced product. Mondo is not. Mondo is an artisan celebration of pop culture, with each artist selected and chosen specifically as a pairing.
Will this be able to remain the status quo with this purchase? My cynical side says no, but I’m very willing (if not wanting) to be wrong.
Let’s see how this plays out.