Funko fires staff at Mondo and stops producing movie posters
Movie memorabilia fans might want to hurry up to grab some more as it could soon be too late. A new report from The Wrap says Funko, the company that owns commemorative brand Mondo, is laying off most of Mondo’s employees. The report also said that Mondo will halt all production of its signature movie posters.
The news is particularly shocking considering that Mondo’s movie posters first put the company on the map, with its distinctive and often limited-edition artworks becoming cherished treasures for movie collectors. Mondo also makes other types of memorabilia, notably movie soundtrack records and collectible toys. Aside from Funko gutting Mondo’s poster workshop, sources told The Wrap that the company is also eliminating a division called The Lab that creates “groundbreaking experiences and products.” The news wasn’t all doom and gloom, and Mondo’s vinyl and toy divisions still exist. But insiders made it clear that with this latest gutting of the poster department, it’s uncertain how long it will last. On the employee side, the total number of people made redundant is unclear; However, The Wrap reported that Mondo are co-founders Rob Jones And Mitch Putnam both got the axe.
Founded in 2004, Mondo has been owned by theater chain Alamo Drafthouse Cinema for most of its lifecycle. That all changed in 2022, however, when Funko, an entertainment company best known for making movie- and TV-centric vinyl figures and bobbleheads, bought Mondo after Alamo Drafthouse filed for and then emerged from bankruptcy. The acquisition seemed like a win-win for both parties, as Mondo was looking for a new home and Funko was looking to expand its merch line to be more than just their signature bobbleheads.
Mondo had its ups and downs
The bad news started for Mondo this year when Funko reported that it suffered undisclosed losses in the fourth quarter of 2022. As a result, Funko said it would liquidate between $30 million and $36 million in inventory and cut down to 10% of its employees. The announcement came after Funko brought back its founder, brian mariotti, to serve as CEO and former Walmart.com CEO Steve Nave to act as COO and CFO of Funko. The layoffs represent a sin for Mondo, which has a history of working with major entertainment companies like Lucasfilm and releasing exclusive Disney records. Mondo has garnered a cult following over the past two decades, and the company even had its own convention, MondoCon, in Austin, Texas when it was owned by the Alamo Drafthouse.
However, after Funko acquired the company, creative differences between the two brands began, with Funko disliking some of the new ideas brought up by Mondo executives. This includes elements like a dedicated show peanuts and limited special collections of merchandise that Funko just didn’t want. While these kinds of crazy concepts were once Mondo’s hallmarks, the company began to experience a transformation after it was acquired by Funko, culminating in the closure of the poster division and layoffs.