For many people, Funko brings to mind the cute vinyl figurines that celebrate all things pop culture. Kids, though, think of them as a toy company. Now, the company is straddling those two worlds with the introduction of a new product line called Snaps!
The launch will be accompanied by one of the largest marketing campaigns in the company’s history, as well as the second commercial in its history. And it’s leaning on Five Nights at Freddy’s, one of its most popular product lines, to drive consumer interest.
The Five Nights at Freddy’s Snaps! collection will feature characters including Freddy, Foxy, Baby, and Bonnie. The vinyl figures are made up of dozens of pieces that snap into place and are interchangeable, including a torso, legs, a unique accessory, and a headpiece with two faces to choose from—the cheery animatronic restaurant character or a downright horrifying face of fury.
The collection will be sold at Walmart and GameStop stores, along with Amazon and Funko’s website. Prices will average $9 for the figures and up to $35 for play sets.
“With most of our products, we’re not a toy company,” Funko CEO Andrew Perlmutter tells Fast Company. “Pop! Vinyl is a static product that people collect to celebrate their favorite IP. This is different. This is an interactive toy, where kids can take it apart and rebuild it, so it needs that sort of explanation that a traditional toy would need in a TV commercial.”
The Snaps! Line is recommended for ages eight and above, but Perlmutter notes that kids as young as five have been devouring all of the company’s Five Nights at Freddy’s products, including plush versions of the characters and action figures.
“We’ve always had a presence in the toy aisle,” he says. “This is a way to grow and support that presence.”
Still, the Funko name, for many people, is tied to collectibles. And because customers are so focused on the company’s Pop Vinyl characters, traditional advertising has never really been a priority, since those products don’t require any explanation, and the company rolls out so many new SKUs over the course of a year.
Instead, Funko has focused on other channels, including social media and digital marketing. The strategy has worked. Last year, Funko hit $1 billion in sales, largely on the back of its pop-culture-influenced figurines. The company’s stock is up 15% in the past year.
Those numbers are likely to continue growing with the recent acquisition of Mondo, a fan-favorite brand in the high-end collectibles space.
“The Mondo brand is a cherished brand,” says Perlmutter. “It has a cult following much like Loungefly did when we acquired them. Our key initiative there is to help grow that business, but not change the Mondo brand. . . . They’re known as a leading consumer-products collectibles company. We want to help them expand, whether it be globally or direct to consumers. All of the stuff we have down pat, we want to plug them into their engine, so we can accelerate their growth.”
It’s an acquisition Perlmutter admits he’s personally excited about, with a particular affinity for the recently unveiled “He-Man” line.
“I’m a kid of the ’80s, so He-Man has a special place in my heart,” he says. “I’m [also] a toy nerd. I’m the guy who doesn’t take the toys out of the package.”