The company famous for its vast line of vinyl pop culture figurines is venturing into a new area — food. If you've ever been anywhere near a toy store or a comics convention in the recent past, you've seen Funko's famous Pop! line, those three-and-three-quarter-inch vinyl collectibles shaped to resemble characters from every stream of pop culture, including Marvel, DC, Star Trek, The Walking Dead, The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Game of Thrones and dozens of other brands (even Stan Lee himself).
According to a story in the Coronado Eagle & Journal, Funko — which creates other toys and figures besides the flagship Pop! line — is starting a new line of breakfast cereals that will be based around horror icons such as Freddy Krueger and Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, as well as action or comics staples like Wonder Woman and He-Man (see photo above by Eagle & Journal reporter David Axelson).
Funko founder (and currently its Vice President of Apparel) Michael Becker told the newspaper that each box of cereal, which begin shipping in June, will come with a mini-Pop! inside. He added:
"It’s just one more of those feel-good Funko items. I used to watch cartoons on Saturday mornings while I was eating cereal. There are prizes in the cereal and it will sell for $7.99 a box. When you add milk to the Freddy Krueger cereal, it looks blood red. With the Beetlejuice cereal, when you add milk it looks like slime. The idea is to sell the cereal to retailers who carry collectibles. We can’t compete with Kellogg’s at Ralph's. We think people will buy one box to stock and one to rock. They’ll probably open one box and enjoy it and never touch the other one, because it’s a collectible.”
Whether fans will buy and eat Funko cereal — let alone keep unopened boxes as collectibles — remains to be seen, but there's no doubt that the appetite for Funko products is powerful.
Becker started the company 20 years ago in Redmond, Washington (his first Pop! was a Bob's Big Boy figurine) and eventually sold it to a group of investors led by his friend, now Funko CEO, Brian Mariotti, while he temporarily retired for a year. In the meantime, Funko expanded into a major business with more than 500 employees at its new headquarters in Everett, Washington. Becker eventually returned to the company but runs a satellite office in Coronado, California, where he's lived for five years.
Does the idea of a Funko cereal have you reaching for a bowl and spoon or should a toy manufacturer stay out of the breakfast business? Do you collect or own any Funko Pop figures?