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Chernin’s Funko investment displays push into toy-based entertainment


Chernin’s Funko investment displays push into toy-based entertainment


Future. Funko, the lifestyle brand known for its pop-culture bobbleheads and other collectibles, recently scored a major investment from The Chernin Group and influential advisors such as Peter Chernin and Bob Iger. As future-focused entertainment companies look to grow content, community, and commerce simultaneously, having strategic partnerships with toy-based personalities like Funko, Superplastic, and Qai Qai could be instrumental in building Disney-like legacies.

Big heads
Funko has attracted some big names for a large investment.

  • According to Deadline, Peter Chernin’s The Chernin Group (TCG) led a $263 million investment into the big-head collectibles brand, accounting for a 25% stake in the company.
  • It also brought in investors such as former Disney CEO Bob Iger, Klutch Sports CEO and UTA heads of sports Rich Paul, and even eBay into the mix.
  • Chernin and Iger will become advisors to the board, Paul will help the company expand into the sports and music industry, while eBay will become the “preferred second marketplace for Funko.”

Wall Street liked the news, sending Funko’s stock up 27% last week. That follows an already-stellar year for Funko, which reported over a billion dollars in annual revenue in 2021 for the first time ever — and a 58% increase from the previous year.

TCG wasn’t coy about the investment, saying that “there are many areas of identifiable growth across content, commerce, marketplaces, consumer products, and technology that should drive substantial increases to Funko’s performance.” That includes:

  • Expanding its IP (maybe adding some original characters?)
  • Building out both physical (Funko activations?) and digital offerings (NFTs? Avatars in the metaverse?)
  • Growing its DTC business (community-focused subscriptions?)

While the investment makes sense for TCG’s expansion plans, bringing in Bob Iger is also a coup. Funko has worked with Disney in the past, and Iger’s post-Mouse House plans have included investing in and joining the board of metaverse company Genies. The man has an affinity for people using avatars (both physical and digital) to express themselves.

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