Funko Shuts Down Mondo Poster Shop and Fires Co-Founder – Variety
Funko has shut down Mondo’s current movie poster business less than a year after acquiring high-end collectible brand Mondo, laying off several employees – including Mondo co-founders Mitch Putnam and Rob Jones, Variety has confirmed.
Based in Austin, Texas, Mondo was founded in 2004 and was previously a subsidiary of indie theater chain Alamo Drafthouse before Funko signed a $14 million purchase deal last year. Mondo had garnered a large following for its limited-edition screen-printed movie posters. Notable artists who have worked with Mondo have included Olly Moss, Shepard Fairey, Ken Taylor and Kevin Tong. Sources said Mondo’s record and collectors business is intact.
Along with Putnam and Jones, Eric Garza, senior creative director at Mondo, has also been fired. At the moment it seems that Mondo’s poster department no longer exists; However, a source familiar with the situation said Funko expects Mondo to continue producing posters going forward.
In response to the news, actor Elijah Wood tweeted, “This is truly awful news. I am shocked. What have you done @OriginalFunko?”
Artist Daniel Danger said in a tweet: “That Funko effectively decimated MONDO by firing the creative old guard of Rob Jones, Mitch Putnam and Eric Garza, among others, is a bloody travesty and sheer idiocracy. The end of an era, but I’m with them on whatever they choose to do next, and I think every Mondo artist will follow.”
Funko declined to comment on the news, which was first reported by TheWrap.
Earlier this month, Funko CEO Brian Mariotti told investors in its announced fourth-quarter 2022 results that the company plans to cut its headcount by about 10% overall. At the end of last year, Funko had 1,466 full-time employees.
Mondo had about 30 full-time employees when Funko took over the company. According to Funko’s regulatory filings, it paid $14 million in cash for Mondo. Funko had announced it would run Mondo the way Loungefly, the apparel and accessories brand it acquired in 2017, managed it, with the idea of integrating Mondo into common backend functions where appropriate.
“Mondo’s devoted fanbase and high-end pop culture collectibles make it the perfect addition to Funko’s current portfolio of brands,” said Andrew Perlmutter, Funko’s former CEO and now President, when the deal was announced. “By leveraging our international distribution and licensing network, we feel well positioned to accelerate the growth of the Mondo brand.”
In 2022, Peter Chernin’s Chernin Group led a consortium of investors, including Bob Iger, who paid $263 million to acquire a 25 percent stake in Funko.