Funko made its triumphant return to downtown Seattle, Washington this week for Emerald City Comic Con 2021. The purveyors of vinyl pop culture collectibles were on-hand with an all-new booth, new interactive elements for fans, and their typical array of exclusive items for lucky attendees to purchase.
ECCC ’21 is the second in-person convention that Funko has participated in in nearly two years, and the first that they’ve not put on solely on their own. Earlier this year the company held FunKon, a virtual event that they’ve put on for the past seven years, with an added in-person component hosted at the Funko Hollywood store. Funko’s Hilary Gray told The Beat how excited everyone is to be back to in-person events, and that for this year’s ECCC, given not only the increased safety protocols due to the pandemic but also the time of year the show is being held – early December as opposed to its usual March – the company had gone all-out to set up a booth that presented both a fun and unique experience for fans.
Gray acknowledged that, for better or worse, a big part of the Funko convention experience is standing in line, so they wanted to make that part of it as entertaining as possible. Fans who were lucky enough to win a ticket to purchase exclusives from Funko entered a queue that included cushioned carpeting (very nice compared to the hard concrete floor of the convention center), DJ Chino Iglesias on-hand to keep the crowd energized, and a ‘Fun-O-Meter’ in place to measure the excitement level of the attendees based on noise levels.
Funko reps also came out to greet the waiting fans, and to invite them to play a selection of three games, including shredding on an inflatable guitar, dancing to the DJ’s music, and answering trivia questions. Some players even participated in all three at once, and all players won at least one free item; most line attendees also received free items, whether they danced to the music or not.
Past the line and the exclusive-buying experience, the sprawling Funko booth, which was overall themed as a holiday wonderland, was also set up to be an interactive photo op all the way around. Specific features of the photo op included a human-sized Pop box and a snow globe that fans in the booth could enter to take pictures, and a giant half-statue of Buddy from Elf that anyone in or out of the booth could pose with.
Along with the photo ops, Funko had their in-house artists on-hand, drawing free sketches for attendees with no purchase necessary.
As for their typical line-up of exclusives, Gray said that the Festival of Fun items on-hand were originally intended for New York Comic Con, but were delayed as a result of the global supply chain issues. Even of those, Funko wasn’t immune from issues, as another Funko rep told me that one of the intended exclusives, the electric blue version of Superman, didn’t arrive in time for sale at the con (though the figure is available for preorder as a shared exclusive from Entertainment Earth).
Overall Funko’s return to ECCC was somewhat modest compared to previous showings in terms of the booth’s scale and the exclusives on offer, but as an interactive experience the company offered plenty of opportunities for fans both casual and hardcore to enjoy. Emerald City Comic Con ends tomorrow, Sunday, December 5th.
Miss any of our other ECCC ‘21 coverage? Find it all here!