Funko loves its fans. See, you type that and read it but you don't understand what it truly means. They completely get it. Without us, there is no them. Why else would they do something for fans as bat$&@! Insane as the experience I had Friday night at Funko Fundays at the Hyatt in San Diego?
This is not some small, dreary get-together where you sit in chairs while a company spews their information at you. Oh no, that is not the Funko way. Right away when my group of people met, they told me I was in for something I had never experienced before. I had no clue how right they would be.
When we got inside, as we checked in we were placed at tables and into sections. Because I am me, we got put into the Rebel Alliance section in honor of Star Wars. The other three were Hogwatts, Justice League, and Avengers. After figuring all that out, tons of food was set up at catering stations all over the lobby of the ballroom. Hat was all well and good, but before digging in we had games to play. Because inside out badges was a color coded ticket you took to an area to play three games for a chance at Funko prizes. I got to spin the giant wheel but alas, I landed on Pint Size Heroes. I love those things, but when you have a shot at things like a prototype, your priorities change.
After that was Plinko, which I was super jealous I did. It get to play and will forever loathe the teenager who did. He wins us a keychain and a Hikari of Freddy Funko. Lastly, we rolled dice and won another Hikari. No prototypes for us, it cool nevertheless. After grabbing food, we walked into an enormous ballroom, not knowing at all what to expect.
And let me tell you, NOTHING of what happened was expected. At all. The event started with a funny video telling us that we were setting course for a planet called Fun. When we originally sat down at the tables we were given light up bracelets and thunder sticks to bang together throughout the night, and boy did this crowd ever do that. This is the most enthusiastic 1200 people you could ever hope to be around, dancing and yelling and cheering every single moment the entire event. Rabid is the word that springs to mind, but I am pretty sure that doesn't cover it. I thought I bought a lot of Pops? Nope, I am small change compared to most of these people.
So the object through the night was to work together first as a section, then as a table to earn rewards. And it didn't take much for the Prize Team to swing through the crowd with limited edition Freddy Funko Pops, Dorbz, Conan Pops from the TBS shows taping here in town this week. At the beginning, during the first giveaway whoever was freaking out the hardest was elected team captain and handled the distribution of the prizes. Everyone got the same things as a table, except the prototypes that were given to us, those were blind-bagged.
From there, with all the 80's prog, space rocky music you can handled, the entertainment for the night got underway with a high-wire ribbon act by Harley Quinn. Yes, it went down exactly as I said.
We also got dance-offs between Star Lord and Deadpool, Tron-looking interpretive dancers, and Funko collectors awards. An award for collecting toys? Why don't I have one of these already???
To win more prizes for everyone, they had many games full of audience participation. Ball tosses, musical chairs, even the fabled eating of a can of creamed corn took place, while we shouted and went nuts to help our teammate win. First game: we won! Second and third, we almost pulled it out, but that's ok.
It was around the time Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes came out on stage that I slowly realized hat literally anything was possible at this shindig, and you beat be along for the ride. Because it was all just such a great time.
And hat was the theme of the night: fun. While a bunch of crazy stuff happened, and confetti, and Funko money, and free ultra-rare Funko products were nice to get, I saw everyone up on their feet and having a great time. Young kids, teens, moms, dads, grandparents, collectors. For those 6 hours we spent together, everyone smiled throughout and just let go of their inhibitions and had a blast. CEO Brian Mariotti said it right from the get go, and during his many appearances on stage throughout the night : everything they do is for us, and they just always feel the need to say thanks.
This was the most fun thing I have ever done at SDCC. Best rave/dance party/product reveals panel/party I have ever experienced. I hope I am lucky enough to attend again next year.