My Toy Fair Blog – Funko
- Please introduce yourself and your company:
Karen Athill, Regional Director for Funko EMEA – UK, France & Iberia – Funko is a leading pop culture lifestyle brand than spans everything from our world-famous Pop! collectibles to Funko Games, Vinyl Soda, Vinyl Gold, Paka Paka, Pop! & Tees and Mystery Minis, Apparel along with our fast-growing fashion brand, Loungefly. The home of Funko EMEA can be found at: funkoeurope.com
- What products are you launching at Toy Fair?
This London Toy Fair is an incredibly exciting year for Funko. Along with showcasing our incredible breadth of products and licences, we will also be giving our retail partners and media the chance to see the all-new range of Star Wars Valentines Pop! along with our latest collection of VHS Tees. Also launching at the fair are four exciting additions to Funko Games. I can’t talk about them just yet but keep an eye out closer to the Fair launch!
- How did you get into the toy industry?
I was working in Home Entertainment for a large film Studio when I saw an advert for an account manager position with Mega Bloks – I was familiar with the brand as I had a pre-school child. I met Sue Barratt, secured the job and I absolutely loved it. I have been in the industry ever since, that was 24 years ago! Gosh, time flies!
- What was your favourite toy growing up?
When I was little I had a rag doll with green hair called Snotrag who I took everywhere with me but as I got older I became a huge Barbie fan – as an ex MGA employee, and super fan all things L.O.L. this is a difficult confession 😊
- What is the one “special ingredient” that makes a great toy?
I think the ‘special ingredient’ is different for each child. Anything that provides happiness and creates good memories is a winner.
- Other than your own, what toy brand really stands out to you today?
Obviously Funko is my No 1 and consumers must agree looking at the phenomenal demand we are seeing across our ranges. Sales have grown significantly in 2021. 2022 will be even more exciting with the plethora of new Movies, Games, TV shows, Sports and Anime products we have lined up. Our company message of ‘Everyone is a fan of something’ has never been truer and we can’t wait to present our ranges to our retail partners.
- What was your best memory of Toy Fair?
The most memorable moment (but not the best) was walking round the Mega Bloks stand with no shoes or socks because I had horrific friction burns on my ankles so couldn’t wear anything on my feet. This injury was caused by entering a toy fair dinner via a giant slide into a ball pit with one of my Tesco buyers sitting on my lap! My ankles were swollen like balloons, they were weeping, and the first aid team had to bandage them up! My lovely retailers were all popping on to the stand just to look at the horror show! Don’t do this at home kids!
- What’s your top tip for surviving Toy Fair?
Flat shoes, coffee, lip gloss and a sense of humour!