You Can’t Spell Funko Without Fun

Guest Author: Isabella, The SnoCo Kid

On a cold and wet day, you know, the kind we have all the time around here, my mom and I entered through the doors of one of Downtown Everett’s many historic buildings. Since the 1920’s it has held department stores, including The Bon Marche, and more recently, Trinity Lutheran College. Today it is home to something quite different and awesome.

In the summer of 2017, it became the new headquarters for Everett based Funko. Inside the 90,000 square foot building you will find offices for hundreds of employees, with important jobs like designing the company’s well known Pop! Vinyl figures. More importantly, though, the building is home to a 17,000 square foot retail shop that is larger than life.

Before we get to that though, how about a little history. It all started back in 1998, when Mike Becker of Snohomish founded the company. The figures looked much different back then. Mike’s creations were bobble heads known as Whacky Wobblers. It wasn’t until the company was sold to a collector by the name of Brian Mariotti in 2005, that the company really took off and became the Funko we all know and love today.

Pop! Vinyl figures made their debut at the New York Toy Fair in 2011. The figures still had the company’s trademark oversized heads and small bodies, they just longer wobbled. The average figure stands just under four inches tall, with the head making up almost half of its height. Talk about a big head! Other recognizable features are the figures black eyes, tiny noses, and mysteriously missing mouths.

Today, over 2,500 of these big headed little guys have been created including characters from Marvel, DC Comics, Star Wars, Disney, Harry Potter and more from movies and TV. My brother is a fan of The Walking Dead figures, while my sister likes the Supernatural Ones.

After our Funko visit, my mom has gotten in on the action too. She now has a Dancing Groot and Mad Hatter figure, as well as a larger figure of Ludo, a character from her favorite movie, Labyrinth. If you are kid, you should probably ask your parents what that movie is. I’ve watched it, and it’s pretty cool for a movie made way before I was born.

As for me, my want list includes Disney’s Stitch and Cheshire Cat, the Bob’s Burgers characters, and the Five Nights at Freddy’s characters. I’m also eyeing the Fraggle Rock figures. If you have no idea what a Fraggle is, they are from a show my mom watched when she was a kid. She’s recently got me watching it and, again, its pretty cool for something made before I was born.

There are just so many to choose from. Anyone’s wish list could go on and on forever. Enough about that though, lets get back to Funko’s awesome new store where all of these figures can be found.

When I said it was larger than life, I meant that, literally. The Pop! Figures come out of the box, standing as tall as me and some as tall as giants throughout the store’s many sections, each containing different themes. Here is a breakdown of each.

Our first stop is the Anime room. It is full of not only popular anime characters from Dragonball Z, Pokemon, and beyond. You will also find old school cartoon characters including Huckleberry Hound, who can be found falling victim to a giant Godzilla at the back of the room.

Next up is the Gotham room, home to not only the characters who call the city home, but to TV’s adult cartoon characters, and characters from various TV shows. The best parts of this room have to be the giant Batmobile and life size Joker, locked safely away behind bars.

As you make your way across the main room to the other side you will find Wetmore Forest, home of Funko’s very own monsters and Freddy Funko exclusive figures. Beyond them is the magical world of Disney. Within it, you will find a giant castle with life size figures of not only Princess Tiana and Elsa, but Belle looking down from a balcony.

Passing through the castles gate you will find yourself in the best room of all, dedicated to the characters of Marvel. Why is it the best? Because it is packed with life size and giant figures of various marvel comics who are literally climbing and breaking through the walls.

In it Spider Man faces off against Green Lantern and Hulk against Iron Man, all with Deadpool lying around eating a chimichanga and watching the whole thing. How awesome is that? There’s also lots of Pop! Vinyl figures from all of the Marvel movies of course.

Moving on, you will find yourself in the Star Wars area. Other than the Family Guy version, I don’t know much about the movies. The life size characters from the movies, like all of the others throughout the store, are pretty cool though.

Before moving on to the last room, a pit stop is required at the Funko factory. Here you can build your very own figure from a set of rotating options. I decided on building a monster, picking out a head, torso, legs, hair, ears, mouth, tail, and hand accessories of my choice, then putting them all together.

The end result was a pink, chicken leg eating, dragon. I don’t know what was funner, building it, or checking out the conveyer belt of Freddy Funko figures as it rolled by. Once your creation is safely in its box, you can make your way back to the final room.

Moving on, you will find yourself in the Star Wars area. Other than the Family Guy version, I don’t know much about the movies. The life size characters from the movies, like all of the others throughout the store, are pretty cool though.

Before moving on to the last room, a pit stop is required at the Funko factory. Here you can build your very own figure from a set of rotating options. I decided on building a monster, picking out a head, torso, legs, hair, ears, mouth, tail, and hand accessories of my choice, then putting them all together.

The end result was a pink, chicken leg eating, dragon. I don’t know what was funner, building it, or checking out the conveyer belt of Freddy Funko figures as it rolled by. Once your creation is safely in its box, you can make your way back to the final room.

Purchases in hand, we made our way out of the store, and stopped for awhile to take in the lights and life size figures scattered around the outside of the building, along the connecting sky bridge, and beyond. It is uniquely Funko and Everett, a sight to be seen no matter what time of day it is.

Funko’s HQ and shop are definitely an experience, whether you are a kid or an adult. Not only can I not wait to go back and have more fun, I can’t wait to see what new figures and changes come to the shop in the future. Will there be new room themes? Are you listening folks at Funko, I really want to know.

Something else that I can’t wait to come back and check out is Funko University. It is an area which teaches kids like me all about drawing and sculpting figures. That sounds like another article for me, what do you think? I do love to draw and paint after all. It would be so fun to use those skills to create characters.

Time for this tour to come to an end, and for me to get back to my other job, doing homework. I hope you enjoyed exploring Funko with me and that you will take the time to stop by and check it out for yourself.

It is an awesome business that has kept it local despite its growing popularity and sales. They’ve got some serious love for SnoCo and deserve some right back.

Did you know that this article, as well as all of the others featured on our website are part of a monthly magazine. It is all about shopping, eating, drinking, and playing local in Snohomish County. More importantly, it is about the ways that local choices can make your life better.

Our monthly magazine is available in both electronic and print form (yes, you read right, print!). As if that wasn’t awesome enough, each issue contains exclusive content that can’t be found on our website or social media accounts. So if you aren’t getting a copy each month you are missing out.

Single issues can be bought HERE. Monthly and annual subscriptions, which include exclusive giveaways and discounts, can be signed up for HERE. Finally, a limited number of printed copies are available at The Chic Boatique and Artisans Mercantile in Snohomish and Reclaimed Heart in Arlington, Vintage Company No. 7 in Bothell, and Dahlia’s Vintage Marketplace on Camano Island.

Let us know what you think! Share your comments and experiences below and don’t forget to spread the love on social media at the bottom of the page.

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