EVERETT — Apparently, the Bat Cave is in Everett.
So is Diagon Alley with Harry Potter and Voldemort. And Malificient glowers from a balcony of a Disneyland castle.
These are parts of Funko’s new headquarters and flagship store in downtown at 2802 Wetmore Ave. The 17,000-square-foot store opens for the first time to the public Saturday.
The toy and collectible company sought to create a destination attraction in the heart of Everett with statues of pop-culture figures outside. Spider-Man and Batman tower over a skybridge to the former Bon Marche building and a massive Funko sign hangs off the side of the headquarters.
Now, the store will give Funko fans — they call themselves Funatics — as well as people from all over Western Washington a place to explore in Everett.
“This isn’t as special and fun if it’s stuck in the middle of Seattle or Bellevue,” said Brian Mariotti, Funko’s CEO and president. “I think it kind of fits with the vibe of Everett. It’s the perfect marriage.”
Funko plans a party Saturday the likes of which Everett likely has never seen. The city is closing several blocks around the company’s headquarters and Funko is bringing in food trucks, a beer garden, DJs, bands and face painting.
People will need to get tickets to get into the store. The tickets are available starting at 7 a.m. and the company will allow as many people as can be safely accommodated for hourlong sessions from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. A ribbon-cutting is planned for 9:30 a.m.
Funko isn’t sure how many people to expect. It could be 1,000 or it could be 5,000, said Mark Robben, Funko’s marketing director. Funatics were lining up for tickets Friday.
“I know there are some people from Brazil,” he said. “We know people have flown from all over the world.”
Funko also is inviting celebrities to participate in the opening-day ceremonies. Who exactly is coming is being kept secret.
Director Kevin Smith, who is filming a show for the television series “Supergirl” in Vancouver, B.C., has hinted that he might make the trip.
“Waitaminute!” Smith wrote on Twitter. “There’s an @OriginalFunko store opening Saturday in Washington, a mere drive from where I am in Vancouver? I might have to go!”
— KevinSmith (@ThatKevinSmith) August 15, 2017
The flagship store will be a place for Funko to host future events. The old headquarters at 1202 Shuksan Way in south Everett was in an office park with little to see outside the lobby. Now, Funko has a place to bring Seahawks players or WWE wrestlers or to hold events in conjunction with the Emerald City Comicon.
The store is divided into separate worlds. There’s Gotham from DC Comics, complete with Arkhum Asylum and the Joker and Killer Croc in jail cells. There’s the Bat Cave with a replica Batmobile where people can climb inside and take selfies with an Adam West-inspired Batman figure.
There’s New York-style street devoted to Marvel Comics with Spider-Man hanging from a building and comic creator Stan Lee inside a newsstand. The Hulk is bursting through a wall and Hulkbuster Iron Man is close behind.
Ice planet Hoth from the Star Wars genre is featured with Luke Skywalker hanging upside down next to a wampa and a tauntaun. Darth Vader and a cold assault stormtrooper are tucked behind ice walls.
Other sections include the Harry Potter world, Disney and anime with a giant-sized Godzilla. Sound effects bounce off the walls in each area.
“If you pay attention, as you walk through, you can hear Godzilla,” Robben said. “There are voices coming out of the cells in Arkham Asylum. You can hear birds chirping in the Disney windows. You can hear laser blasts in Star Wars. There are all kinds of hidden gems here.”
The store includes a section devoted to Wetmore Forest, a new venture for Funko. The company is releasing a line of figures named for the street outside of their headquarters. The first three Pop! figures released have been Snuggle-Tooth, Tumblebee and Butterhorn.
People will eventually be able to make Funko figures — even ones of themselves — at the Pop! Factory.
There’s also Funko University. Funko artists plan on the weekends to teach neighborhood children how to draw, sculpt and design toys. People can find out about sessions by following Funko on social media or visiting the company’s web page.
“I think it started with the fact that our artists who work their tails off wanted to volunteer their own time on the weekends to inspire kids,” Mariotti said. “Once I knew they wanted to do that, I’m like I will absolutely figure a spot out within the store concept for that. They’ve got big hearts.”
What people won’t see Saturday is the offices for Funko’s artists, sales people, marketing staff and IT departments. The building houses about 175 employees right now — and that can grow to include up to 300. Funko made its offices a “baby Google” with slides between office floors and a basement that includes a four-lane bowling alley, a bar, an arcade and a ping-pong table for employees.
The FUNKO bowling alley in Everett is real! pic.twitter.com/0kWJqOUXkp
— Randy Bolerjack (@RandyBolerjack) August 17, 2017
Funko’s seen a stratospheric rise in the past few years. It has grown from $40 million a year in revenue in 2014 to a $400 million company last year.
Pop culture has changed tremendously over the past six or seven years, Mariotti said. The company used to sell “95 percent to guys. Now the people who are buying our products is 50 percent men and 50 percent women,” he said.
“I think we want to feel like we’re that one company globally that has its finger on pop culture and the pulse of pop culture,” Mariotti said. “And we are making all of these whimsical, fun products that bring everybody together.”
Jim Davis: 425-339-3097; firstname.lastname@example.org; @HBJnews.