Funko Begins Layoffs, Mondo Co-Founders Gone From the Company

UPDATE: ComicBook.com has learned that while layoffs have occurred within Funko, the majority of the layoffs were not in Mondo and the poster business will continue. 

Mondo was founded in 2004 and has become a fan-favorite source for limited edition posters for films, shows, and comics. The company is also known for creating vinyl movie soundtracks and more pop culture merchandise. Last year, Funko acquired Mondo from Alamo Drafthouse. "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," Chief Executive Officer Andrew Perlmutter said in a press release. "It's an exciting opportunity to couple Mondo's already stellar product assortment and aesthetic with Funko's massive property library." Less than a year later, The Wrap is reporting Funko has laid off the founders of Mondo.

According to the initial report, Funko "unceremoniously" laid off much of the staff from the Austin-based company and scrapped the poster division. They also got rid of The Lab, a division created for cutting-edge experiences and products. The Lab was run by Mondo co-founder Rob Jones, who was laid off along with co-founder Mitch Putnam. 

While this news is surprising considering Funko only acquired Mondo last June, it's also coming shortly after Funko revealed that it suffered a loss in the fourth quarter of 2022. It was suggested earlier this month that Funko made more than they could sell last year, and that the company planned to dump nearly $35 work of Funkos in a landfill. 

"Inventory at year-end totaled $246.4 million, an increase of 48% compared to a year ago," the company said in a statement earlier this month. "This includes inventory that the Company intends to eliminate in the first half of 2023 to reduce fulfillment costs by managing inventory levels to align with the operating capacity of our distribution center. This is expected to result in a write down in the first half of 2023 of approximately $30 to $36 million."

"Do they not understand they just lost their entire artist base?" artist Daniel Danger, who has worked with Mondo since 2006, told Gizmodo. "I want to work with Rob, Mitch, and [senior creative director] Eric [Garza]," he said. "They're Mondo. If they're not there, it's just Funko." According to Gizmodo, Danger was just talking to the team about future Mondo projects, including the next San Diego Comic-Con. He told the outlet the news was unexpected and that his projects are now "dead in the water."

"To me, the heart of Mondo's artistic vision laid with the staff that was let go, and I'm nervous about ongoing and future planned projects continuing with the same enthusiasm and support," another anonymous artist told Gizmodo. "I'd love to continue working with Mondo but if they become a pale imitation of what they were, I'm sure many of us artists in the scene will migrate to wherever creative staff transitions to in the future."

Are you surprised by this Mondo news? Tell us in the comments. 

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