Funko Founder Mike Becker on Designing Funkoville, Going Big for D23 Expo, NYCC, and SDCC 2023

Courtesy of Funko

Funko went big this year during San Diego Comic-Con 2022 with the neighborhood of Funkoville and a Pop! Talk panel featuring Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings‘ Simu Liu (he even did a backflip) and Ahsoka’s Rosario Dawson. The streets of Funkoville had booths lined up designed as storefronts, and attendees could get merchandise from Funko along with its daughter companies, Mondo and Loungefly.

Photo by Nerd Reactor

It’s a pop-culture haven, and Pop! vinyl figures and merchandise from movies and shows like The Squid Game, Ted Lasso, Star Wars, Stranger Things, He-Man, Batman, Dragon Ball Z, and more were out in full force.

Courtesy of Funko

If fans couldn’t get their hands on the collectible items during San Diego Comic-Con, they still have a chance thanks to retail stores participating in the Shared Retail Exclusives. The retailers include GameStop, Toy Tokyo, Target, Hot Topic, BoxLunch, For You Entertainment, Walmart, Amazon, and Entertainment Earth.

SDCC attendees did get the chance to take it all inside the convention halls. If walking the streets of Funkoville feels a lot like walking down Main Street at Disneyland, don’t be surprised. Funko founder Mike Becker was intent on building a magical place for Funko fans right in the heart of San Diego Comic-Con.

“I actually was going a lot to Disney, and I looked at Main Street Disney,” Becker tells Nerd Reactor. “There’s something about this. It feels like coming home. So to me, it had a feeling of coming home. And I thought, ‘Man! We’ve been almost out of Comic-Con for three years. Why can’t I do something that feels good? Tie in all of our partners: Loungefly and Mondo.’ It’s something that almost feels like home again – like you’re coming home to Comic-Con. You’re coming home to your Funko family. So that was what I was thinking – it’s a coming home feeling. And what better way than a small-town America kind of vibe.”

Image Credit: Nerd Reactor

There was a lot of engineering that happened to make Funkoville a reality with hurdles including having the fire marshall sign off on things like creating a second story and creating a Funkoville sign that stretches across an entire hall.

“Remember, these aren’t real structures,” Becker revealed. “These are facades. So we have this aluminum system that was built, and how are we going to integrate real windows? Luckily, we have a lot of great engineers and artists and people that are able to figure this all out. I usually start with the concept, then I work with some of the artists and conceptualize it all out, and then it goes from there.”

Becker has big plans for Funko and upcoming conventions like D23 Expo in Anaheim and New York Comic Con. With the latter, it’s going to be a wonderland for horror fans.

“We’re going to announce some things at Hall H,” he said. “One of those things is our presence at D23. I can just tell you this. We have some nice plans for D23. I can tell you one thing: it is going to be amazing. Okay, we’ve never done this at this level before. But if you like this, wait until you see what we got planned for New York City Comic Con. We have Frightmare on Fun Street. So if this is Funkoville [points to the huge exhibit], wait ’till you see Frightmare on Fun Street.”

Aside from New York Comic Con, the East Coast will be getting some more love from the company in the form of Fright Night Part 2. It will be held at the Javits Center, just like New York Comic Con, and it will be for a couple of thousands of people.

Funkoville is a big undertaking, and next year, the company will step it up to excite the fans.

“I can’t just go, ‘Hey, we’ll just do everything the same next year. We’ll do the same booth,'” Becker explained. “No. There’s no way. I still like the idea of Funkoville for next year. Yeah, maybe the storefronts change, maybe it’s a different vibe, or maybe it’s a different time period. I like the idea of Funkoville, but there’s no way we don’t plus. We have to always keep improving. We always live by that. We got to. We want to keep the fans guessing. ‘What are they going to do next?’ It’s important for us… to everything all the way down the line from the posters to the buttons, the stickers, the bag you get. It all works within the same theme.”

Funko Entering the Video Games Market

Funko announced during the Hall H-Pop! Talk panel at SDCC that it has teamed up with 10:10 Games to make a triple-A video game. The action platformer will be led by developer Jon Burton. The companies will be working on AAA content for consoles and PC. The upcoming game will be rated T for Teens, and it will have major third-party studio integration. No other news has been revealed, but there is the trailer featuring Freddy.

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