Funko CEO: 'We're recession-proof'

The pop culture toy maker Funko ( FNKO) had a blowout second quarter. Strong sales of toys tied to “Avengers: Endgame,” Netflix’s “Stranger Things” and “Toy Story 4” helped sales rocket 38% compared to a year ago. The company also raised its outlook for the year.

CEO Brian Mariotti told Yahoo Finance’s “The First Trade” that he’s not concerned about an economic slowdown ruining the party for the Everett, Wash.-based company. “We’re recession-proof,” Mariotti said.

He said Funko, which makes pop-culture collectibles, figurines, bobbleheads and games, has experienced tremendous growth over the past 15 years, including during the Great Recession of 2008-09.

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“Our products bring happy joy to people for not a lot of money,” he said.

Bringing joy to investors

Funko has also brought plenty of joy to investors, who have seen a nearly 83% rise in the stock price so far this year, and a whopping 242% increase over the past five years.

“The majority of our products are under $10 and we believe that’s the kind of products that are recession-proof,” Mariotti said.

He believes when people are looking to tighten their belts and curb spending, they might pass on a $50 night out at the movies, but they’ll still spend on their pop-culture crush.

“Will they buy something for $5.99, $6.99, $7.99 that ties into their favorite movie, their favorite TV show, their favorite video game? That’s not going to stop,” Mariotti said.

You’ll have to pony up more, though, if you want one of Funko’s newly released board games. It just launched six Funkoverse Strategy Games, each featuring different story lines and characters from “Harry Potter,” “Rick and Morty,” the DC universe, and 1980s-90s TV show “Golden Girls.” Prices start at $39.99.

Funko releases its first-ever board games featuring characters from Harry Potter and DC Marvel.
Funko releases its first-ever board games featuring characters from Harry Potter and DC Marvel.

Funko bought board game company Forrest-Pruzan Creative in February for an undisclosed amount. Mariotti says the acquisition won’t have a material impact on earnings this year, but he’s hoping to take some market share away from board game king, Hasbro (HAS), on renewed interest in good old-fashioned board games.

Despite the interest in playing games on mobile devices, the board game market is expected to grow 9% annually through 2023.

Alexis Christoforous is co-anchor of Yahoo Finance’s “The First Trade.” Follow her on Twitter @AlexisTVNews.

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