Funko is dumping millions of dollars worth of Funko Pops in landfill

Funko is dumping millions of dollars worth of Funko Pops in landfill
Unsplash - Scott Gummerson | Unsplash - Collab Media

Written by 

Joseph Kime


3rd Mar 2023 10:02

Funko has dominated the collectable space for some time, and it's clear to see why. There's something about those figures with big, cutesy, eyes and vague enough design to suit any character under the Sun.

After acquiring some big merchandising licenses, the company began churning the figures out exponentially, and fans of nerdy properties lapped them up.

Representing a neverending supply of characters from major movies, video games, and even real people with its Pop! Rocks series, Funko Pops being relatively inexpensive made them the easiest thing in the world to collect.

Funkos have flooded store shelves and refused to budge from pop culture, but at the end of the day, they're just plastic. And that's exactly the problem that the company has just run into.

Funko is dumping millions of dollars worth of plastic figures in landfill

Funko is dumping millions of dollars worth of Funko Pops in landfill
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Unsplash - Anton Danilov

Well, we could have seen this coming from far away. Funko has revealed its full-year 2022 financial report, and boy is it rough. The company has made almost $50 million in losses, with CEO Brian Mariotti stating that "Macro factors and Funko-specific issues" have been the reason for it.

The report also reveals the problems this has led to, as Funko has been forced to dump between $30-$36 million of inventory due to poor storage. It's had to "write down" stock (which is fancy businessman talk for "throw to the landfill").

We guess some poor landfill workers are going to have to break down an extreme amount of Pops. Considering that each Funko Pop averages $15, that's at least 2 million figures. Good grief. Funko says (via ICV2), "Inventory at year-end totalled $246.4 million, an increase of 48% compared to a year ago.

"This includes inventory that the Company intends to eliminate in the first half of 2023 to reduce fulfilment costs by managing inventory levels to align with the operating capacity of our distribution center. This is expected to result in a write down in the first half of 2023 of approximately $30 to $36 million."

We should have seen this coming

There are a lot of gripes to have with Funko - what with a lot of people just thinking they're ugly - but this is a problem that has been a long time in the works.

After the stock price crashed in November 2022, Funko has admitted it's just dropped another 25% and 10% of its employees are now destined to be laid off. 

Printing Star Wars figures is all well and good, but to create figures of the most obscure characters from increasingly obscure series time and time again has led to store shelves being packed with unwanted figures. Still, it won't stop some of you from buying a Sharknado or Tupac Funko Pop - yes, they exist. 

After all, nobody buying collectables for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is choosing the Everett Ross figure. It's a bleak marker of what Funko has become, and it has sadly tipped it to become what it was possibly destined to be. A whopping great polluter.

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