Funko buys Mondo from Alamo Drafthouse
Mondo, the Alamo Drafthouse arm focused on creating screen-printed posters, vinyl soundtracks and collectibles, has been sold to Funko, Inc. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Austin-based theater chain Alamo Drafthouse announced Monday morning that its fan-favorite Mondo store will no longer be under the Alamo banner.
Drafthouse Founder and Executive Chairman (and Mondo Co-Founder) Tim League said Mondo’s team would remain intact during its move to Funko. He also said the pandemic — and its decimation of the movie theater business — factored into the decision to sell Mondo.
“The past two years have been brutal and heartbreaking at Alamo and Mondo,” League said in a statement. “We have filed for bankruptcy and thankfully emerged from COVID in fighting shape, ready to continue our mission to be the best cinema that has ever existed or will ever exist. While we were closed, however, Mondo was our saving grace, the one facet of our business that kept the lights on.
As the theatrical activity returned, League began looking for a new partner for Mondo. “As the company’s resources are focused on this growth, we have realized that a bold and exciting new chapter may be about to begin for Mondo,” he continued. “Over the past few months, we have searched extensively to find a perfect partner who saw what was unique and special about Mondo and was able to make a significant investment in Mondo, nurture the team and expand its scope and vision.Funko is exactly that unicorn.
Over its 20-year history, Mondo has become a destination for film and TV fans, as their partnerships with various artists have resulted in limited-edition custom screen prints that are in massive demand (not to mention selling for a pretty penny on eBay). Mondo became so popular that it launched its own convention, MondoCon, in 2014.
Mondo released his own statement on the matter, drawing a “Jaws” reference (naturally). “We have always enjoyed following our passions and doing things our own way, and we will be forever grateful to the Alamo Drafthouse for supporting those passions and helping us become who we are today,” the statement read in part. . “But we needed a bigger boat…and that’s where Funko comes in. They understand what Mondo is today and are eager to help us become the company we want to be. .”
Funko was founded in 1998, but over the past decade and a half or so has grown exponentially, with Pop! brand seizing every opportunity in pop culture and developing partnerships with various studios.
Read the full statements from Alamo Drafthouse and Mondo below.
Here is the statement from Tim League:
When Mondo first formed, back when it was a 25 square foot retail space in the abandoned box office of the original Alamo Drafthouse cinema, we had one guiding principle: seek out amazing artists, let their imaginations run wild and celebrate the movies we loved together.
Driven by passion, Mondo’s core creative team transformed this little box office into something none of us could have ever imagined. Nineteen years into the journey, I look back on the incredible work Mondo has created in posters, soundtracks and collectibles and I am truly impressed. I couldn’t be more proud of the incredible team that has time and again set the bar for imagination, quality and beauty.
That said, the past two years have been brutal and heartbreaking at Alamo and Mondo. We have filed for bankruptcy and thankfully emerged from COVID in fighting shape, ready to continue our mission to be the best cinema that has ever existed or will ever exist. While we were closed, however, Mondo was our saving grace, the one facet of our business that kept the lights on.
Now, with the dark days behind us and each weekend bringing box office hits, Alamo is seizing opportunities to expand our cinematic footprint with seven new locations across the country recently announced and more to come. As the company’s resources are focused on this growth, we have realized that a bold and exciting new chapter may be about to begin for Mondo.
Over the past few months, we have done extensive research to find an ideal partner who saw what was unique and special about Mondo and was able to invest significantly in Mondo, nurture the team and expand its scope and vision. Funko is exactly that unicorn.
The team that made Mondo amazing is staying together, transitioning to Funko, and will continue their same work with the same creative vision. I’m super excited about the future plans I know of, and I’m sure I’ll soon marvel at the work that isn’t even a spark of a light bulb yet.
I’m very confident that over time people will see this transition to Funko as just wonderful. I wish everyone on the Mondo team the best and look forward to all that lies ahead, with the notable exception of losing my employee discount.
I offer my sincere thanks to the entire team for nearly two decades of tireless dedication and craftsmanship. You have certainly made my adult life so much better.
Founder and Executive Chairman of Alamo Drafthouse and Co-Founder of Mondo
Here is Mondo’s statement:
You may have already heard that Mondo has a new parent company: Funko. Let’s talk about it.
For 20 years we’ve invested our hearts and souls in this weird little thing that Rob Jones and Tim League started in a closet in the corner of an Alamo Drafthouse lobby…then in a closet under the seats of a Drafthouse auditorium (seriously). Eventually, we opened our own gallery space and even launched our own convention.
We’ve always loved following our passions and doing things our way, and we’ll be forever grateful to Alamo Drafthouse for supporting those passions and helping us become who we are today. But we needed a bigger boat… and that’s where Funko comes in. They understand what Mondo is today and are eager to help us become the company we want to be.
From the outside, Mondo may look different…but inside, a lot of things stay the same. We remain the same team and our objectives remain unchanged. We’re still the same bunch of weirdos who share an undying obsession with popular (and maybe less popular) culture and a desire to do cool stuff with the best artists in the world.
We’re still the same company that started in the theater lobby…only now with even more resources to support our vision. We can’t wait to show you what’s next.
– (Always) Your friends from Mondo.