The trailer for "Making Fun -- The Story of Funko"

A documentary film chronicles Funko’s big year (video)

The Everett toys and collectibles maker sees it as “a love letter to the fans who made this company.”

EVERETT — Forget about “Star Wars.”

The next movie you’ll want to see is “Making Fun — The Story of Funko.”

A documentary film crew traveled the world to tell the story of the Everett toys and collectibles company and, most importantly, its fans who call themselves Funatics.

A trailer for the film was released last week.

“This is really a two-year exploration into two things — the business culture of Funko and everything they’ve accomplished in the past 20 years,” said David Romero, the producer-director of Eddie Grace Arts & Film. “On the flip side, I’d say it’s more about the fans and how they use Funko to connect with each other worldwide.”

The film is scheduled for its premiere at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood on Jan. 22. It will be shown to Funko employees in a special screening in Everett on Jan. 26.

Romero said they’re still determining the best way to distribute the film widely — whether that will be on film festival circuits or through a streaming service such as Netflix.

Funko marketing director Mark Robben said Romero became a familiar face at Funko’s headquarters as he interviewed employees for the documentary. He’s seen the trailer and he’s excited to see the movie.

“I think the large part of what he did was traveling around the country talking to Funko fans and collectors,” Robben said. “I think it’s a love letter to the fans, it’s not a love letter to the company. It’s a love letter to the fans who made this company.”

For the documentary, Romero went from New York to Vietnam and from the Philippines to San Diego, to tell the story of Funko and the Funatics.

He found a wide group of fans who have bonded over Funko’s products. Funko makes figurines of pop culture characters such as Superman, Batman and Spider-Man and also makes apparel, home decor and stuffed animals.

“After a while it’s not about these toys, these are people who are going to each other’s weddings, and I’m talking about traveling across the world,” Romero said. “This is about people connecting in a different way. It’s a very cool story. It makes you happy that people are out there connecting in this way.”

Everett is center stage for the film — it’s where Funko is headquartered and where the company opened its flagship store earlier this year.

Romero, who is based in San Diego, overheard people talking about Funko in a coffee shop. He approached Funko CEO Brian Mariotti before San Diego Comicon 2016 about doing a documentary. Mariotti agreed to it immediately and suggested they start filming the next day.

“When I did talk to Brian, from day one I told him I’m not interested in doing a two-hour Funko commercial,” Romero said. “To his credit, he wasn’t interested in that, either.”

The timing turned out to be excellent.

It’s been an eventful couple of years for Funko, which has grown from a $40 million-a-year-year company in 2014 to one that made more than $425 million in revenue last year. Funko also moved its headquarters from a south Everett warehouse to the former Bon Marche in downtown Everett at 2802 Wetmore Ave.

And company CEO Mariotti took the business public, trading on the Nasdaq stock market under the ticker symbol FNKO. Next year, the company will celebrate its 20th anniversary.

Romero said he expected the film would take only about six months, but they kept pushing the completion date to tell the whole story.

“None of that was on my radar at the time,” Romero said. “I didn’t know the store was opening or any of that was on the horizon.”

Jim Davis: 425-339-3097;; @HBJnews

More in Herald Business Journal

Debris found in fuel tanks of 70% of inspected 737 Max jets

Boeing said there’s no way to know how many planes have the same problem until they’re all inspected.

Delays in 737 Max certification flights may slow jet’s return

The ungrounding of the Boeing aircraft could be pushed to late June at the earliest, one source said.

Alaska Airlines will buy 200 new jets over the coming decade

The purchase includes many Boeing 737 Maxs, and maybe some Airbus A321 jets.

Wells Fargo to pay $3B to resolve probes into fake accounts

The company’s reputation has never fully recovered from the sales scandal, even four years later.

No flashing lights planned for giant Port of Everett cranes

The Port sought public input on making them blue and adding lights or keeping them as they were.

Community leadership in an election year

Leadership is not a spectator sport, nor is citizenship. Let’s lead the way. Connect. Listen. Act.

Boeing finds debris in wing fuel tanks of several 737 Maxs

The company did not say what the objects were found, but one report said they included tools and rags.

Boeing asks that its big state tax break be suspended

The company hopes the move will resolve a trade dispute involving European rival Airbus.

Charge: Lynnwood tobacco smuggler dodged $1 million in taxes

The man, 57, reportedly dealt in illicit cigarettes. Tax returns claimed he sold hats and T-shirts.

Most Read