EVERETT — Hundreds of funatics showed up to Funko town for the first anniversary of the downtown flagship store.
The Funko block party featured the grand reveal of the Wetmore Forest expansion — and the usual thousands of toy characters from movies, music, comics, sports, video games, British royalty and pop culture.
Workers in khaki Wetmore Forest park ranger shirts guided customers through the store. On the street, under the giant statues on the awnings, costumed characters mingled with the crowd. Food trucks, music, crafts, prizes and games rounded out the party.
Fans patiently waited their turn to get inside the building, chatting with others around them. The line snaked down Wetmore Avenue and beyond most of the day.
Weigon Yip was there when Funko opened a year ago and he came back Saturday — all the way from northern California.
“I arrived at 12 o’clock in the morning, and was standing across the street,” said Yip, 38, who by day works in billing for a forklift company. “Last year was kind of rushed. This year I get to soak in and see all the stuff.”
He wore a Funko Fiends Patch & Pin Club vest and carried a shopping bag with vinyl Pop! figures for himself and a plush toy for his son. “I fly back at 6,” Yip said.
The store is a giant souvenir shop that’s also a theme park. Entrance is free. Figures are about $15 a head.
Larry Geverink, of Everett, waited about 90 minutes to get inside.
“My son got a Batman (figure) for a gift a year ago, and it’s been all downhill from there. I have about 80,” said Geverink, 40, who works for a dental supply company. “It’s not an obsession, it’s a very fun hobby.”
His collection includes Marvel characters, a Care Bear and a Geoffrey the Giraffe. “The stuff from my childhood,” he said.
He has converted others to Funko fandom. “My mom, the ladies at work, people that will poo-poo my collection of stuff. I’ll find something they like and they go, ‘That’s cool.’”
He keeps most of the figures in original boxes and said some increased in value.
“I track it online on an app to see how much they are worth,” he said.
What has gone up is the company’s stock.
When Funko went public last November, the stock was trading at $7 a share at the end of the first day. On Friday, it was almost $20 a pop.
To 5-year-old J.J. Long of Arlington, the Funko figures are play toys.
“I like bobbleheads because they’re cute and funny,” he said. (Just like him.)
Funko is a destination a few times a year for the Fleming family from Vancouver, B.C.
Colleen Fleming, the mom, scored the last two boxes of Freddy Funko’s red cereal on the shelf, one of the few edible products among the menagerie of vinyl and plastic figures.
“I don’t know if we’re going to eat it,” she said of the $8 box of cereal.
“I’m going to eat it,” said her daughter, Jennifer, 12.
Her son, William, 15, had nine Pop! superhero action figures in his shopping basket. “I’m on a hunt,” he said.
It’s all about the hunt, said Joseph Henry, 34, of Bellevue.
“It’s like a modern-day Pokémon situation where people are trying to catch them all, but you don’t have to find all, just the ones you like,” he said.
He balanced an armload of 13 boxes of characters from Wetmore Forest, designed as a rainforest, similar to the Hoh Rainforest in the Olympic National Park.
“The Wetmore Forest is something different than their pop culture stuff. These are a Funko creation, so I think they’re neat,” he said.
His daughter’s room is decorated in Funko.
“She’s 9 months.”
Andrea Brown: firstname.lastname@example.org; 425-339-3443. Twitter @reporterbrown.
Talk to us
- You can tell us about news and ask us about our journalism by emailing email@example.com or by calling 425-339-3428.
- If you have an opinion you wish to share for publication, send a letter to the editor to firstname.lastname@example.org or by regular mail to The Daily Herald, Letters, P.O. Box 930, Everett, WA 98206.
- More contact information is here.