When Mondo first launched, movie nerds like yours truly instantly fell in love. The company, born out of Austin-based indie theater chain Alamo Drafthouse, became widely known for their beautifully-designed alternate movie posters, which let contemporary artists design unique graphics for their favorite films. Over time, Mondo expanded into vinyl soundtracks, collectible toys, and tiki mugs honoring cinema’s finest movies and protagonists. But now, it appears that popular figurine company Funko is officially acquiring Mondo from Alamo Drafthouse after the company suffered a severe beating during COVID.
Here’s an official statement from Alamo Drafthouse founder & Executive Chairman and Mondo co-founder Tim League, via Bloody Disgusting:
“When Mondo was first forming, back when it was a 25-square-foot retail space in the abandoned ticket booth of the original Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, we had one guiding principle: seek out amazing artists, let their imaginations run wild and unfettered, and together celebrate the movies we loved. Driven by passion, Mondo’s core team of creatives transformed that small ticket booth into something none of us could have ever imagined. Nineteen years into the journey, I look back at the amazing body of work that Mondo has created in posters, soundtracks, and collectibles and am truly in awe. I couldn’t be more proud of the amazing team that has over and over again set a staggeringly high bar for imagination, quality, and beauty.“That said, the past two years have been brutal and harrowing at Alamo and Mondo. We filed bankruptcy and thankfully emerged from COVID in fighting shape, ready to continue our mission of being the best damn cinema that has ever or will ever exist. While we were closed, however, Mondo was our saving grace, the only facet of our business that kept the lights on.“Now, with the dark days behind us and each weekend bringing box office successes, Alamo is seizing opportunities to grow our cinema footprint with seven new locations across the country that have been announced recently and more to come. As the company resources are focused on this growth, we realized that perhaps a bold and exciting new chapter is about to begin for 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.“The team that made Mondo amazing is staying together, making the transition to Funko, and will continue their same work with the same creative vision. I am super excited about the future plans I know about, and I’m sure I will soon marvel at the work that is not yet even a lightbulb spark.”
This makes sense, in a lot of ways. Funko’s Pop! figure line is massive, and they have the means of production to get behind Mondo in a big way. Meanwhile, Mondo aren’t exactly as scrappy as they used to be, doing deals with Disney and Nintendo left and right. That said, as someone who doesn’t really like Funko’s toys, I can understand why some nerdy-ass collectors like myself might find this dubious.
Anyway, we hope the best for all involved.