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.
Mondo, based in Austin, Texas, was founded in 2001 by Rob Jones and Tim League and was previously a subsidiary of Alamo Drafthouse. Mondo has become best known for its limited-edition vinyl records and screen-printed posters, which focus on bringing art back to music and cinema through collaborations with acclaimed artists.
Mondo’s comparatively niche-y offerings complement Funko’s vinyl figures, action toys and other products that it produces under licensing agreements with companies including Disney, Marvel, Lucasfilm, Warner Bros., NBCUniversal, Netflix, Epic Games, Blizzard Entertainment, the NFL and the NBA.
Funko CEO Andrew Perlmutter told Variety the deal for Mondo was finalized the week after Memorial Day.
“Mondo’s devoted fanbase and high-end pop culture collectibles make it the perfect complement to Funko’s current portfolio of brands,” he said. “By leveraging our international distribution and licensing network, we feel well positioned to expedite the growth of the Mondo brand.”
Recent and upcoming Mondo releases include a “Rick and Morty” deluxe figure set ($150), Hans Zimmer’s “Dune” soundtrack on vinyl ($40), a “Wizard of Oz” three-LP soundtrack ($80), a “Hulk: Grand Design” poster ($60) and a two-LP “Fight Club” soundtrack by The Dust Brothers ($35; sold out).
The deal comes after Funko last month picked up a new bunch of shareholders: Peter Chernin’s Chernin Group led a consortium of investors — including former Disney CEO Bob Iger — that paid $263 million to acquire a 25% stake in Funko.
Tim League, Alamo Drafthouse founder and executive chairman, said in a statement, “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.” He added, “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.”
Mondo, for its part, commented, “We are still the same company that started in the theater lobby… only now with even more resources to support our vision. We can’t wait to show you what’s next.”
Funko intends to run Mondo the way it has managed Loungefly, the apparel and accessories brand it acquired in 2017, according to Perlmutter: “Mondo will operate as a unique brand in the portfolio, gradually integrating into common back-end functions where it increases efficiency or makes sense.”
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