Oh my god! It was like walking into Hogsmeade. That’s if wizards were all cute animated characters immortalized as vinyl figurines. On Thursday I visited the Funko HQ store. You should be envious.
It’s a retail store. I shouldn’t have been excited. They sell branded merch. Again, not my thing (really, it’s not). But it’s Funko! I’ve been pretty good resisting the allure of Funko Pop figurines. I have a Luna Lovegood because Luna’s amazing. And I was gifted a Dumbledore for Christmas. But they are addictive.
The moment I saw photos from the opening resistance was lost. I had to visit the Funko HQ. It’s in Everett, so ordinarily close, except I’ve been mainly in Bellingham and Vancouver lately. We can blame it on marketing curiosity. Or blame it on my former life as a retail manager. Or just blame it on fandom life. I just had to visit.
It was magnificent.
From the Pop sculptures overlooking the street, to the different theme areas, it is beautifully put together. Walking in was like walking into each of the different stories (luckily Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones have shelves, not sections). There’s a Disney castle filled with princesses. Ice caves contain battling Storm Troopers. And then there was Hogsmeade.
Harry Potter Funko
I got teary seeing Hogwarts in Orlando the first time. This was similar. Maybe it was because Hedwig’s Theme started playing as I approached the gates. It has all the extras that add depth to the books. Dumbledore was looking down from an upstairs window. Voldemort was plotting in the shadows. Wizarding window displays were in the false shopfronts.
Yes, I am raving about the shop fit-out and not the products. I did buy eight Pops for others, get tempted by the Luna t-shirt, and forget to buy the only Pop for myself. But I think the store was designed that way. People were spending but I had more staff members ask if my photos were turning out OK than trying to sell me something. It’s all very much about the experience – more like a theme park or gallery does.
That’s enough about the business of the Funko HQ store. Here are the photos and I’m plotting a return visit to buy Moana.
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