The climate is changing, which is (partly) due to humans, but unfortunately we can’t do much about it. Western Europe and North America (= small minority) may want that, but in China, India and Vietnam a billion people live below the poverty line and they all want to go to middle-class evolu-bulbasaurs and that costs energy. And so, in Asia, they go 600 (six hundred!) Building coal-fired power stations, while Germany is shutting down its (clean) nuclear power plants. So if you feel the urge to cling to the A12 or The Potato Eaters with your purple or pink or black hair, do so in Wuhan or Jakarta.
But still, fossil fuels are finite and it doesn’t hurt the world at all to (voluntarily!) drive electrically, (voluntarily!) eat less meat and (voluntarily!) buy something from the thrift store every now and then. Do that outside of Amsterdam, because thrift store is called “vintage” and before you know it you pay twice as much as at H&M, because it is “a pair of pants with a story”.
Anyway, Funko Pops. In the beginning it was charming, but when the company started making a chibi version of every B-C-D pop figure, the excitement of collecting was soon gone. Because if you have a little bit of everything, then you might as well collect everything, yes I know a lot!
And the company notices that, because no one buys those things anymore. Bad news for shareholders (via ICv2):
“Inventory at year-end totaled $246.4 million, an increase of 48% compared to a year ago. 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.”
Translation: storing those trash in a warehouse is more expensive than destroying them. And that’s what they’re going to do, for a value of about $30 million. For the sake of simplicity, let’s say that one Funko costs $5 to produce and a quick calculation shows that six million go through the shredder. Purely because the company was so stupid to think that the corona period would never end and they just kept producing as if we were still locked up, longing for (stupid or not) indoor hobbies.
Well, luckily those things are made from biodegradable raw materials and are made in a fair people-friendly way… In one of those “fair and people-friendly” factories in Vietnam and China. Gosh, the same countries where people don’t want to live in poverty anymore, while we don’t like their lovingly made dolls in the blast furnaces, because the storage is too expensive! Biomass!
Finally, the beautiful, American polished story from Funko. Nice company, isn’t it?