EVERETT — Funko is throwing another party.
The toys and collectibles maker, which opened its flagship store in downtown Everett last year, is celebrating its first birthday, along with the city of Everett’s 125th anniversary, with a Wetmore Block Party on Saturday.
Funko held a party for the grand opening a year ago attracting celebrities and thousands of people from all over the world.
Funko CEO Brian Mariotti and Everett Mayor Cassie Franklin will kick off this year’s block party by unveiling a newly expanded Wetmore Forest, one of Funko’s product lines, inside the firm’s headquarters store on Wetmore Avenue. Fans will get to play a Wetmore Forest-themed game and see their favorite monsters in their natural habitat.
Other festivities on the street include DJs, food trucks, inflatables, giveaways, face painting, balloon twisting and a bubble machine. Funko CEO Mariotto and mascots Freddy Funko and Tumblebee will be on hand for photos and autographs.
“When Funko arrived to downtown Everett about a year ago, they brought some colorful fun to the area,” the Everett mayor said in an email to The Daily Herald. “Everett has become a sort of mecca for collectors of Funko (toys) and employs hundreds of very talented artists.
“Funko’s (Wetmore Forest) expansion … brings with it fun and exciting new experiences for visitors and residents alike. We are proud to have Funko in Everett and look forward to our future together as they continue to grow.”
Last year, Funko opened its flagship toy store — a destination attraction devoted to the best and geekiest of pop culture. Think Batman, “Frozen” and Harry Potter. The 17,000-square-foot store is housed in the former Bon Marche building on Wetmore Avenue.
On the outside are giant-size figures of pop culture characters, such as Marvel’s Spider-Man, Disney’s Malificient of “Sleeping Beauty” and Chewbacca of “Star Wars.” On the inside are thousands of toys and other collectibles in a whimsical space divided into worlds inspired by fan favorites like Marvel Comics, DC Comics and Disney.
Funko is meant to be an experience, not just a place to pick up the latest merchandise.
“Funko fans can frequently be seen lining up outside the store several hours, and sometimes even days, in advance of an exclusive release or special event,” Mariotti said in an email to The Herald. “Customers from around the world make the trip to Everett to experience our store.
“We truly believe that we have built a space that far exceeds a retail experience — communicating our passion for pop culture and storytelling with our fans.”
In time for its birthday, Funko expanded its original line of Pop! Monsters that live in the Wetmore Forest. The collection now has more monsters available as vinyl figurines, stuffed animals or keychains.
In conjunction with the new line, Funko is making short videos and books that star the characters of the Wetmore Forest world. Each monster has its own story line that helps tell a part of the Wetmore Forest story.
Funko is also unveiling its Wetmore Forest world at the Everett store. Hardcore fans — who call themselves Funatics — will want to see this.
The new 1,500-foot space is an enchanted forest modeled after the Hoh River rain forest in the Olympic National Park. Funko’s “forest” has fallen trees and stream beds blanketed with mosses and ferns. “Wildlife” roam freely among babbling creeks and what the company calls “hidden elements.”
If you go
What: Wetmore Block Party
Where: Funko, 2802 Wetmore Ave., Everett
When: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday
More: 425-783-3616 or www.funko.com