By Jim Davis Herald Business Journal Editor
EVERETT — Bobblehead- and collectibles-maker Funko is moving its operations from Lynnwood to a warehouse in Everett.
The growing company will take over the 200,500-square-feet former JanSport distribution center at 1202 Shuksan Way, said Brian Mariotti, Funko’s CEO.
All 60 employees — including 17 artists — will be moved to the new site.
“We just have outgrown this facility both in office space and, more importantly, in warehouse space,” Mariotti said.
Funko has seen a rapid expansion in the past few years for it’s popular lines of bobbleheads and other collectibles. The company is on pace to make $43 million in total revenue this year, up from $24 million in 2012, Mariotti said.
It had just moved into a 62,000-square-foot warehouse in Lynnwood last year.
The company has licensing contracts to create bobbleheads with Marvel and DC comics, Disney and Star Wars. Some of their most popular bobbleheads at the moment come from hit television shows including “The Big Bang Theory,” “The Game of Thrones” and “The Walking Dead.”
The company also produces POP! Vinyls, smaller, more stylized figures that don’t bobble or have a base. Next year, the company plans to expand into action figures, Mariotti said.
The company was founded in 1998 in Snohomish. The early product lines included bobbleheads and coin banks based on cereal advertising characters and other retro figures like Popeye and Evel Knievel.
Funko’s artists design the bobbleheads and collectibles and the final products are made in China, shipped back to Funko and then distributed and sold online and in stores around the world.
Funko’s biggest customers include Target, Walmart and Toys ‘R’ Us, Mariotti said.
The warehouse that Funko is taking over has been empty since March 2012 when backpack maker JanSport decided to leave Everett. The building is owned by the state’s Department of Natural Resources.
DNR started a program in the 1980s selling land that could no longer be logged in urban areas and acquiring “income properties,” including agriculture and commercial real estate.
The state has owned the warehouse near Paine Field since 2003, said Rodney Rennie, DNR’s commercial property manager. It’s been empty since JanSport vacated it. “Over the course of the vacancy, we did have some interest from groups tied to Boeing but nothing materialized,” Rennie said. “We’re happy with this group and we hope for a long-term mutually beneficial relationship.”
Funko has a 12-year lease for the building with an initial rent of $96,352 per month. The state is expected to generate $15 million in rent over the life of the lease.
Mariotti said that his company is seeking to sublease the 62,000-square-foot property that they are currently leasing at 6306 202nd SW, Lynnwood.
When the company decided to move into larger digs, Mariotti said they were reluctant to move outside of Snohomish County. And they wanted a warehouse where they could grow for several years.
“Everett was one of the few locations that provided a building large enough for us,” Mariotti said.