With more and more major studios pulling away from San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) this year, it’s leaving the event with a lot of empty real estate. We’re talking big players like Marvel Studios, HBO, Netflix, and more pulling out entirely. But pop culture retailer Funko is seeing the silver lining. The company has announced Funkoville will be back, at double the size of last year. With the hope that the increased size will better accommodate its swarms of loyal fans.
Funkoville will house several branches of the company like Funko Games, Loungefly, and their poster company Mondo. One of the biggest additions will be their Blockbuster Rewind area. Which is designed to look like an old-school video store to promote the company’s new line of VHS-packaging-themed collectibles.
“For 25 years, Funko has been a fan-first company,” Brian Mariotti, CEO of Funko, said in a release. “This is why San Diego Comic-Con is a pinnacle moment for us every year, as it provides the opportunity to create memorable moments for our fans through larger-than-life activations. With the Funkoville booth being twice as big this year, we look forward to offering an even better way for fans to immerse themselves in their favorite fandoms.”
But this expansion is also being seen as a shiny distraction from some of the company’s recent and ongoing controversies. Funko is notorious for its chaos-inducing SDCC-exclusive vinyl toys. It’s believed this bigger space will only exacerbate these issues.
Environmentalists are also upset with Funko after they revealed a few months ago that over $30 million in unsold surplus stock was being sent to the landfill. Even with the company’s often inflated prices, that is A LOT of plastic waste. Later that same month, they fired the majority of the Mondo staff. Including Mondo co-founders Mitch Putnam and Rob Jones, as well as senior creative director Eric Garza.
Only time will tell if Funkoville at SDCC 2023 can provide the positive PR the company needs. Or if this will only further sully their reputation among fans of pop culture.