Funko Buys Mondo From Alamo Drafthouse

·6-min read

Mondo, the Alamo Drafthouse arm focused on creating screen-printed posters, vinyl soundtracks and toy collectibles, has been sold to Funko, Inc. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The Austin-based Alamo Drafthouse theater chain made the announcement Monday morning that its fan-favorite Mondo shop will no longer be under the Alamo banner.

Drafthouse founder and executive chairman (and Mondo co-founder) Tim League said the Mondo team will remain intact as they move over to Funko. He also said that 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 harrowing at Alamo and Mondo,” League said in a statement. “We filed bankruptcy and thankfully emerged from COVID in fighting shape, ready to continue our mission of being the best damn cinema that has ever or will ever exist. While we were closed, however, Mondo was our saving grace, the only facet of our business that kept the lights on.”

As the theater business returned, League began looking for a new partner for Mondo. “As the company resources are focused on this growth, we realized that perhaps a bold and exciting new chapter is about to begin for Mondo,” he continued. “Over the past few months, we searched exhaustively to find a perfect partner who saw what was unique and special about Mondo and was in a position to meaningfully invest in Mondo, nurture the team, and further its reach and vision. Funko is exactly that unicorn.”

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During its 20-year existence, 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 elicit massive demand (not to mention sell for a pretty penny on eBay). Mondo became so popular that it began its own convention, MondoCon, in 2014.

Mondo released its own statement on the matter, drawing a “Jaws” reference (naturally). “We have always loved following our passions and doing things our own way, and we’ll be forever thankful to the Alamo Drafthouse for supporting those passions and helping us grow into what we are today,” the statement reads 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 last decade and a half or so has grown exponentially, with the Pop! brand seizing on any and all pop culture opportunities and expanding partnerships with various studios.

Read the full statements from Alamo Drafthouse and Mondo below.

Here’s the statement from Tim League:

When Mondo was first forming, back when it was a 25-square-foot retail space in the abandoned ticket booth of the original Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, we had one guiding principle: seek out amazing artists, let their imaginations run wild and unfettered, and together celebrate the movies we loved.

Driven by passion, Mondo’s core team of creatives transformed that small ticket booth into something none of us could have ever imagined. Nineteen years into the journey, I look back at the amazing body of work that Mondo has created in posters, soundtracks, and collectibles and am truly in awe. I couldn’t be more proud of the amazing team that has over and over again set a staggeringly high bar for imagination, quality, and beauty.

That said, the past two years have been brutal and harrowing at Alamo and Mondo. We filed bankruptcy and thankfully emerged from COVID in fighting shape, ready to continue our mission of being the best damn cinema that has ever or will ever exist. While we were closed, however, Mondo was our saving grace, the only facet of our business that kept the lights on.

Now, with the dark days behind us and each weekend bringing box office successes, Alamo is seizing opportunities to grow our cinema footprint with seven new locations across the country that have been announced recently and more to come. As the company resources are focused on this growth, we realized that perhaps a bold and exciting new chapter is about to begin for Mondo.

Over the past few months, we searched exhaustively to find a perfect partner who saw what was unique and special about Mondo and was in a position to meaningfully invest in Mondo, nurture the team, and further its reach and vision. Funko is exactly that unicorn.

The team that made Mondo amazing is staying together, making the transition to Funko, and will continue their same work with the same creative vision. I am super excited about the future plans I know about, and I’m sure I will soon marvel at the work that is not yet even a lightbulb spark.

I am very confident that in time folks will see this transition to Funko as nothing short of marvelous. I wish everyone on the Mondo team the absolute best and look forward to everything ahead, save the notable exception of the loss of my employee discount.

I offer my sincere thanks to the whole team for almost two decades of tireless dedication and craft. You have most certainly made my adult life a hell of a lot more beautiful.

Tim League

Alamo Drafthouse Founder & Executive Chairman and Mondo Co-Founder

Here’s the statement from Mondo:

By now you may have heard that Mondo has a new parent company: Funko. Let’s talk about it.

For 20 years, we have poured our heart and souls into this weird little thing that Rob Jones and Tim League started in a closet in the corner of an Alamo Drafthouse lobby… then out of a closet underneath the seats of a Drafthouse auditorium (seriously). Eventually, we opened our own gallery space, and even started our own convention.

We have always loved following our passions and doing things our own way, and we’ll be forever thankful to the Alamo Drafthouse for supporting those passions and helping us grow into what 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 might seem like it is changing… but on the inside much is staying the same. We remain the same team, and our goals remain unchanged. We are still the same bunch of weirdos who share an undying obsession with popular (and maybe less popular) culture, and a craving to make cool stuff with the best artists in the world.

We are 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.

- (Still) Your friends at Mondo.

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