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Has The Funko POP! Collecting Bubble Finally Popped? - Company Prepares To Send Over $30 Million In Unsold Inventory To Landill


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Funko this week during their earnings call revealed some fairly shocking news announcing that they would be sending approximately $30 to $36 million worth of unsold inventory of their POP! figures to a landfill. This is because they have so much unsold inventory that the company has run out of room in their warehouses and has had to pay to rent storage containers to hold the excess product. In other words it's more cost effective for them to just throw the stuff away than try hold on to it any longer.

Funko reported that it's inventory totaled $246 million worth of product at the end of 2023 which was a 48% percent increase over 2022. The over-production of product combined with decreased demand has caused serious problems for the company. They reported a $47 million loss in Q4 of last year which is a stark contrast to the $17 million profit they reported for the same time period the previous year.

Besides dumping all the inventory, Funko also announced it would be cutting 10% of its workforce as a cost cutting measure.

This news in my opinion is only going to make things worse for Funko which appears to be a sinking ship at the moment. Based on my observations, many collectors who buy Funko POP! figures in great numbers do so with the idea that the figures will increase in value, not decrease. So as the perception sinks in that these figures are completely worthless from a monetary perspective, that is only going to cause even more people to loose interest in wanting to purchase them. As more and more small retailers find themselves stuck with inventory they can no longer move, that will only put increased financial strain on them possible even causing some small business to go under.

Since this news broke I have seen many asking why Funko is throwing these figures away instead of donating them to either charities or even the small retailers that have supported to company over the years. It's hard to say for sure why they are opting to junk them instead of donate or try selling them at a significantly reduced cost. As I understand it, It's often common with licensed based products like these, that the manufacturer has to pay a certain percentage fee to the license holder for any inventory not destroyed in cases like this. So again it's cheaper for the company to just throw them away. It also would likely kill any remote secondary market value these things have left if you flooded the market with so much unsold inventory all at once.

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  • JayC changed the title to Has The Funko POP! Collecting Bubble Finally Popped? - Company Prepares To Send Over $30 Million In Unsold Inventory To Landill

Is this a funko problem or a licensor problem I wonder??  By that I mean, how many of these are characters that keep getting pushed that NO ONE WANTS?  Star Wars, Lightyear, Eternals, wakanda…. Mostly Disney.  They make these items with expectation Disney is going to make characters and stories that people are going to connect with and want.    

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The market was definitely oversaturated with Pops. If a large percentage of the buyers were speculators, well see the comic book boom (and bust) of the 90s. 

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4 hours ago, Jaros said:

Is this a funko problem or a licensor problem I wonder??  By that I mean, how many of these are characters that keep getting pushed that NO ONE WANTS?  Star Wars, Lightyear, Eternals, wakanda…. Mostly Disney.  They make these items with expectation Disney is going to make characters and stories that people are going to connect with and want.    

from the video that this image comes from all the boxes, that i could read, were of the Funko Harry Potter game, and those games don't sell well, so seeing this image isn't a big shock to me or a "they're ending" sign, i think it's just a product that didn't sell well

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5 hours ago, SleeplessKnight said:

It's Beanie Babies all over again. This was inevitable. I could have told you this the year these started hitting store shelves.

From what I can remember, unlike Ty Beanie Babies, Funko POP's was a about a good 10 years before it looks like it's really starting to loose stream, while Beanie Babies maybe was only about a year or 2 before people got sick and tired of them.  

 

16 hours ago, RickytheRockstar said:

from the video that this image comes from all the boxes, that i could read, were of the Funko Harry Potter game, and those games don't sell well, so seeing this image isn't a big shock to me or a "they're ending" sign, i think it's just a product that didn't sell well

 

Can't rule that out as well.  From what I see, I don't think there is a major demand for the Funko POP theme board games.  

 

Still, for all this, it's disappointing that Funko thinks it's best for them to go to a landfill instead of just donating the unsold stock, or offering lower prices for discount stores.  "Save The Planet" and all that jazz.  Honestly, I'm surprised we haven't got the mainstream media and various types of orginizations on their rears on this.  Maybe it just hasn't hit them yet, it's not a slow news day, or that Funko isn't seen as "1 of the Big Boys" like Hasbro and Mattel, regardless of how well they've sold product in the past compaired to them. 

 

I just remember years ago when Hasbro made the announcement of Plastic Free Packaging, most media at least stated it, with some even praising it like no tomorrow.  Meanwhile this, this might fly under the radar.  Honestly, these POP's going to landfill to me are a more environmental concern than the plastic free packaging.  

 

For those who love and legitimately collect POP's, I feel sorry if this gives you a bit of uncertiantly.  Me, I never had any major issues with the fact that they existence.  My issue is how popular they seem to really have gotten(Which I can see why, but that doesn't mean I have to like it), as when many stores decided to give POP's so much focus, that some smaller stores decided to only sell these in their toy areas and nothing else. 

 

1 example in my city is a place call 401 Games.  While their focus is always have been various types or games(Board, Table Top, Card, etc.), over a decade ago, they also sold a decent small variety of action figures and toys, mostly focused on collectors and some kids stuff.  But sometime around or after 2015, they decide to pretty much more or less just have Funko POP's as the only toys they sell, and nothing else.

 

Having said all that, I'll admit that I've at least got 1 POP myself, which is the HERBIE The Robot for Fantastic 4, only because I think I can fudge it in as a different type/robot body for HERBIE(If they ever do a Franklain and Valeria Richards as a little kids for 6" Marvel Legends, this will be the Babysitting HERBIE that looks after them).  And I have to be honest, I think the POP Keychains are really neat and work better in that format for me(Been tempted to get a Spider-man or 2 from time to time, but usually say no.  If HERBIE appears in Keychain format, will admit, I'll get that at least).

 

And while it's too soon to say doom and gloom for Funko, I will take this time to say for any Scalpers(For the record, not decent Resellers who don't hoard all of them and don't do major jack-up on prices) who end up suffering from this down the road, well, got no sympathy for any of you.

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1 hour ago, A_Spidey_Fan said:

 

Still, for all this, it's disappointing that Funko thinks it's best for them to go to a landfill instead of just donating the unsold stock, or offering lower prices for discount stores.

 

right? i mean it makes sense when Jay said that if they sold or gave them away they would have to pay the license holder a percentage, but there should be a better way to unload these things

it reminds me of the food situation, once i was at Target cafe late and saw them throwing away 10 boxes of pizza hut pizza because they had been sitting there for a couple hours, and i asked them why they can't give it away to the poor/homeless or whatever, and they said they legally cannot do that. it's just terrible how things have to be wasted/thrown away instead of given away

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