Funko CEO Explains Future Mondo Strategy, and It’s Pretty Bad

Funko CEO Explains Future Mondo Strategy, and It’s Pretty Bad

Days after several core members behind the success of Mondo were fired by Funko, Funko’s CEO released a statement explaining what comes next. And it’s not great.

“The Mondo posters business will continue, period,” CEO Brian Mariotti said in a statement released via social media. “We feel that making extremely limited runs of posters, most of which are 150 pieces or under, limits access to fans unfairly. Many of these posters are bought with the sole purpose of flipping them at a much higher cost to fans that really want them. The posters are created by some of the most amazing artists working today. Our goal is to make larger edition size runs (limited but not ultra-limited) that allow more fans to participate in this world-class expression of pop culture art. We also believe that broadening the pop-culture scope to include TV properties, sports, anime and music will have an amazing appetite from Mondo fans and pop-culture fans alike.”

That’s just part of the statement, which you can read in full below.

Screenshot: Funko
Screenshot: Funko

There is obviously a lot to discuss here, with the biggest takeaway being that Mariotti seems to not just be missing the point of Mondo entirely, but lying about it. For starters, the posters being limited edition is what made them cool. Low supply equals high demand. Yes, that sometimes led to an unfair and greedy aftermarket, but the same can be said for limited edition Pops released by Funko. You have your mass-market Pops and then the super limited ones. Guess which ones fans want more?

Also, Mondo posters were very, very rarely in editions of 150 or under. There were certainly some, but those were almost always set at that number for a very specific reason, like that the property or artist wasn’t yet proven. To say “most” Mondo posters ran under 150 is just blatantly untrue, even if you go back to its earliest days. “Some” maybe. “Most?” No. In fact, under Funko, Mondo started doing even more timed editions, which allowed however many fans wanted the poster to buy it for a set amount of time.

Upping the runs on the posters also leads to some very important questions about quality. That’s another reason why Mondo runs are usually smaller than those of a traditional poster: because each one is screen-printed by hand. The screenprinting industry is already overworked with the current output of limited-edition posters. If Mondo wants to up the runs on these, you’d imagine it would either have to create its own screenprinting business or revert to a different quality of printing, which is not what fans want. A higher output will result in a lower quality.

There is one very, very true statement in here though: “The posters are created by some of the most amazing artists working today.” That is accurate. But Mariotti doesn’t dive into the fact many of those artists were brought up and nurtured by the exact people that were fired from the company. Plus several of them, io9 first reported, said they would not work for the company again without those employees.

That there’s going to be a bigger investment in the vinyl side is cool. And the big flex about working with “dream licenses that Mondo has wanted to work with for a long time but was unable to due to financial restrictions before we acquired them” sounds good. But, Mondo has already worked with Star Wars, Ghostbusters, Back to the Future, Jurassic Park, Studio Ghibli, DC, Marvel… what else could there be?

All in all, this is not the strong, reassuring statement Funko thinks it is. If anything, it shows a lack of understanding of what Mondo stood for in the first place.

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