EVERETT, Wash.–(January 23, 2017)–Funko, one of the leading creators and innovators of licensed pop culture products, announced today that it has completed an agreement to acquire substantially all of the assets of Underground Toys Limited (UTL), a leading creator, manufacturer and distributor of licensed products. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Founded in 2001 and based in London, UTL is a provider of award winning toys and entertainment products under licensed brands that include Star Wars, Doctor Who, Marvel, WWE and DC Comics. In January 2014, Funko and UTL entered into a European distribution agreement whereby UTL exclusively distributed Funko products along with its own range of licensed merchandise to a network of European retailers, including Toys “R” Us, Tesco, ASDA, Carrefour, and FNAC.
“Over the last two years our relationship with Underground Toys Limited has resulted in an extensive increase in the distribution of our products throughout Europe,” said Brian Mariotti, CEO of Funko. “This transaction will expand upon our already successful relationship and fully unite Funko with the Underground Toys Limited team to support and advance our international growth strategy. We are excited to apply our unparalleled creative design and speed-to-market capabilities to drive continued growth in the business and position ourselves to capitalize on the tremendous opportunities ahead.”
Funko’s operation of the EMEA business will be led by Andy Oddie, who will assume the position of Managing Director–EMEA. “We have been Funko’s European distributor for some time now and are excited to join the world’s leader in pop culture licensing,” Oddie said. “Funko and Underground Toys Limited are a natural fit given our shared commitment to high-quality, stylized pop culture products and we see great opportunities to create compelling cross-category pop culture offerings by leveraging our combined skills and experience.”
Headquartered in Everett, WA, Funko is one of the leading creators and innovators of licensed pop culture products to a diverse range of connected consumers. Funko designs, sources and distributes high-velocity collectible products across multiple categories including vinyl figures, action toys, plush, apparel, housewares and accessories for consumers who seek tangible ways to connect with their favorite pop culture brands and characters. In 2015, Funko received a majority investment from ACON Investments, L.L.C, a diversified international private equity firm. As a leader in the large and growing $15 billion global licensed pop culture products market, Funko currently holds one of the largest portfolios of licenses and the rights to create tens of thousands of characters. Funko’s Pop! Vinyl is one of the most popular stylized vinyl collectibles on the market, selling millions of figures to collectors around the world. Learn more at https://funko.com/, and follow us on Twitter (@OriginalFunko) and Instagram (@OriginalFunko).
About Underground Toys Limited
Formed in 2001, UTL is an originator and manufacturer of award winning toys and entertainment products with offices in London and Hong Kong. UTL’s creative department works with many of the world’s top entertainment companies to merchandise their brands across many product categories including gift items, girls’ and boys’ toys, and adult collectibles. The company’s licensed plush and homewares products are sold in 27 territories including Australia, France, Germany and the United Kingdom. UTL produces an exciting range of products under the Star Wars, Doctor Who, Marvel, WWE and DC Comics brands.