Austin-based Alamo Drafthouse sells art and collectibles arm Mondo to Funko
The past two years have seen big shake-ups at Alamo Drafthouse, and here's another: The Austin-based movie theater chain on Monday announced that it has sold its Mondo brand to collectibles company Funko.
But according to representatives for Mondo ad Drafthouse, the team behind the collectibles house is sticking together.
Mondo was founded in 2001 by Tim League and Rob Jones. With origins as a T-shirt shop in the original downtown Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, Mondo now sells special-edition screen-printed posters, vinyl soundtracks and other toys and collectibles geared toward cinephiles and fostering the creative work of artists. Over the years, it grew into a cult-favorite phenomenon with its own Austin gallery and a convention.
Alamo Drafthouse co-founder and executive chairman League said in a statement Monday that "Mondo was our saving grace, the only facet of our business that kept the lights on" during a turbulent pandemic, which saw an extended closure of cinemas and the company filing for bankruptcy.
League said that with Alamo Drafthouse now focusing its resources on expansion of its cinema locations, the company took a look at the future of Mondo.
"Over the past few months, we searched exhaustively to find a perfect partner who saw what was unique and special about Mondo and was in a position to meaningfully invest in Mondo, nurture the team, and further its reach and vision. Funko is exactly that unicorn," League said in the statement.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
"From the outside, Mondo might seem like it is changing... but on the inside much is staying the same," reads a separate statement attributed to "Your friends at Mondo." "We remain the same team, and our goals remain unchanged."
A representative for Alamo Drafthouse confirmed that Mondo's employees will continue to be based in Austin.
“Mondo’s devoted fan base and high-end pop culture collectibles make it the perfect complement to Funko’s current portfolio of brands. By leveraging our international distribution and licensing network, we feel well-positioned to expedite the growth of the Mondo brand,” said Funko CEO Andrew Perlmutter. “It’s an exciting opportunity to couple Mondo’s already stellar product assortment and aesthetic with Funko’s massive property library.”
Washington-based Funko is a pop culture collectibles and apparel brand best known for its Funko Pop line of figures that depict everything from Darth Vader to Superman to Whitney Houston.