An exclusive Funko Star Wars Stormtrooper stands guard at 2019’s Star Wars Celebration. Photo: Funko

As expected, the spread of COVID-19 is starting to hit some of the biggest players in the toy and collectibles space.

Funko, which has been bracing for such impact since early April, reported an 18% decline in sales for the first quarter of 2020. It’s not surprising, given the retail closures and event cancellations that have been increasing since March.

Looking ahead, Funko CEO Brian Mariotti echoes the words of caution previously shared by Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner earlier this month: the biggest challenges are yet to come in the second quarter. Funko is preparing for a 60% sales decrease in the second quarter, which will reflect a greater number of store closures and other business disruptions. According to Mariotti, Funko expects to emerge on the other side of COVID-19 as “a leaner organization,” but one that “can pick up right where it left off” in providing content to a fanbase that is hungry for merchandise based on content that families have been binge-watching.

“We’ve proven in 16 years that we can handle tough times,” Mariotti stated on a Thursday afternoon call with investors and analysts. “It took a global pandemic for Funko not to grow.”

Looking ahead, Funko says that it will be back with an even stronger content lineup when things open up again, and that it will hold back merchandise that is tied to theatrical release dates that have since changed. The company is also relaunching its website this summer with additional functionality and product offerings and an increased focus on selling direct to fans.

We join Funko in looking forward to the days when we can all meet in person at conventions again.