Funko, known for their playful and brilliant take on all things pop culture, have opened a massive new headquarters and flagship store in downtown Everett, Washington. Located in the historic Port Gardner Building, now adorned by a collection of oversized characters from Batman to Guardians of The Galaxy’s Groot, this once subdued urban corner is a fantasy world made real.
Visitors entering the front door are instantly whisked away into the Marvel and DC Comics universe, the legendary Star Wars mythos, adventures in Manga, Disney, and countless other rabbit holes of endless enchantment. Funko’s in-house art team created every aspect of this ultra-detailed built environment from scratch with a group of highly-skilled and select craft persons working with a dedicated vision and decidedly nostalgic hand-drawn plans.
One can migrate between each interconnected space, quickly traversing from Arkham Asylum to a re-creation of the ice planet Hoth from Star Wars: Episode 5 – The Empire Strikes Back, while taking in the plethora of innovative toys, memorabilia, and ephemera sourced from each one of these franchises. As joyful and astounding as this experience is, nothing is more impressive than where it all started.
Like the Pacific Northwest-based and globally impactful companies Microsoft and Amazon, Funko began in a garage. The founder, Mike Becker, started the company in 1998 as a mere side-project to generate low-tech toys with a focus on nostalgic themes.
Becker’s small project was a runaway success, and in 2005 he sold his burgeoning company. Now headed by Brian Mariotti, Funko has expanded its yearly multi-million dollar revenue reach by signing licensing deals with these iconic groups among many others: Sony Entertainment Group, Paramount Pictures, Dreamworks, Nickelodeon, BBC and the NFL as well as high-profile gaming companies 2K and Bethesda.
Western Neon had the opportunity to help create an over 20′ tall, multi-color interior neon sign with Sensitile detailing for a classic movie theatre set located in the Marvel Universe area of Funko’s largest complex. Positioned among a battle between the Green Goblin and Spiderman and an epic, oversized Ironman sculpture, this throwback marquee places the viewer in a miniature version of Peter Parker’s (the real identity of Spiderman if you’re not a geek like us) New York while simultaneously announcing special guests who visit Funko. We were lucky enough to earn a spot on the backlit sign when we took the tour – thank you Funko!
Whether you’re a dedicated collector of pop culture collectibles, have children, or there’s a child in you looking for a chance to play, a visit to Funko’s new headquarters will be a journey filled with guiltless joy. To think this all started with a bobblehead figurine and a dream is mind-blowing. Make a plan to visit Funko today!