Funko is getting into the board game business. The company behind the very popular line of Pop! figurines has officially acquired the Seattle-based board game studio Forrest-Pruzan Creative (FPC). Funko already makes various toys and apparel that net them millions upon millions in annual revenue, but if they hope to truly assert themselves as a top competitor in this space and take on giants like Hasbro, they need to evolve and this is an important step in that evolution.
This deal officially brings Funko into the board game world, a space that they hadn't dabbled in previously. Forrest-Pruzan Creative is behind such board games as Disney's Villainous, Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle, Bob Ross: Art of Chill and Choose Your Own Adventure: House of Danger. FPC was founded in 2000 and now staffs over 20 designers. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. It isn't clear if Funko will retain those employees, or if they will do some reshuffling. Funko President Andrew Perlmutter had this to say about the acquisition in a statement.
"As we expand our product portfolio, we believe this acquisition is in line with what we are doing with apparel, accessories and Funko Animation Studios. The games category is another avenue to deliver pop culture to our ever-growing fan base. FPC's nearly two decades of experience in developing high quality games will provide us added expertise as we leverage our existing IP and licensor portfolio into this category."
As is, Funko brings in annual revenue in excess of $500 million. And the board game market is growing rapidly, as it has been seeing 9 percent annual growth which, by some estimates, is a trend that is expected to continue through 2023, spurred on by millennials who are starting to have kids and want more family style activities at home. It's a good space to get into and with Funko already having a well-liked brand with a built-in audience, not to mention relationships with tons of other companies for licensed IP, this could be a home run for them.
While not specifically stated in their announcement, this undoubtedly has to do with them wanting to compete with companies like Hasbro. Thanks to their legacy of hit games like Monopoly, the company's gaming division alone brought in $787 million in 2018. Not to mention their expanding movie and TV business. That is another space that Funko would undoubtedly like to break into and board games could be a way to help them get there.
Hasbro has been leveraging their toy lines like Transformers into movie and TV franchises for years, with other projects like a Monopoly movie in development. There are rumors of a Funko animated movie being in the works, but they still have a long way to go to catch up overall. But breaking into the board game market it a solid place to start. It hasn't been announced what titles are in the works or when they will hit shelves, but Funko will surely let us know more on that front when the time is right.