Andrew Perlmutter President of Funko talks about reaching various demographics, impacts of the pandemic on the toy industry, and more in the Toy Book’s annual State of the Industry Q&A.
The Toy Book: How much of your product offerings are geared toward adults and why are they so popular with this demographic?
Andrew Prelmutter: Funko has always had an older audience. A lot of what we do is rooted in nostalgia from when we were kids. A friend of mine once said, “I see you’re still trying to relive your childhood,” to which I replied, “You bet I am!” So much of what we make comes from properties we loved when we were younger, so it resonates with an older audience. That being said, we are truly a four-quadrant business, made up of men, women, girls, and boys. I see more and more young fans stacking the shelves with our products than ever before, and that really excites us.
TB: Snapsies is Funko’s first line designed specifically for younger kids. How will Funko expand its Snapsies line this year and engage with that audience?
AP: We could not be more excited about our launch of Snapsies in December of last year. Because our fans tend to skew older, a lot of them have children of their own. We want to make sure the Funko brand speaks to our fans and their families. When parents bring their kids to the Funko section of a retailer, we need to make sure that there is something for everyone. Funko’s core business is pop culture collectibles and we do not plan to stray from that, but when there is an opportunity to expand that to hit a specific audience, we will always explore that. The growth we’ve seen with our Loungefly and games businesses is a great example of that approach. We are super excited about Snapsies and have a lot in the pipeline to support this brand for the years to come.
TB: What do you think will be the short- and long-term impacts of the global coronavirus pandemic on the toy industry?
AP: I think there are some obvious impacts around how this global pandemic has already affected the toy industry. The starkest impact is how many consumers are going online, some of whom rarely did prior to 2020. Being able to make purchases online and to have those goods arrive at your doorstep in two days is not only convenient, but also addictive for a lot of people.
Another impact that I’ve seen personally is the lack of kids running around the toy departments at my local stores. I am seeing fewer parents taking their kids into retail, likely because kids tend to touch everything. The toy industry hopes this is a short-term trend. It reminds me of when e-books came out and some people were convinced it was the end of physical books. I think a lot of this will stabilize in the years to come. Some of these trends are the new normal, but in the end, a lot of our old ways will creep back in once the world allows for it.
This State of the Industry Q&A response was originally published in the February 2021 edition of the Toy Book. Click here to read the full issue!