Earlier this month, the pop culture collectible company Funko announced it was going to throw $30 million worth of Pop! figures in the garbage because its warehouses were overflowing with excess stock. Now images are beginning to emerge of unopened boxes full of Harry Potter-themed Funkos and more at dumps and landfills.
“Okay so holy shit I’m dumping things at like the trash and these are all Funko Pops,” one person said in a video sighting that popped up on Reddit a few weeks ago. “Funko pops of all different types. What the fuck?” The person in the video and their friend who shared the brief clip declined to give their names, but said the boxes of unopened Funkos were found at a landfill in Washington state.
Most of them appeared to be from the company’s Funkoverse boardgames, which include packages of four figures inspired by everything from Jurassic Park to the Netflix animated comedy Aggretsuko. A lot of the ones in the video are from Harry Potter.
“It was just ‘a right place, right time’ situation,” the Reddit user who posted the video told Kotaku. “Our main reason for releasing this video is to showcase corporate wastefulness and greed at the expense of the consumers.”
What happens to the boxes once they get to the dump? Before they actually get dumped in a landfill, they have to get shredded first. And someone who actually works at one of the sites says they’ve been inundated with old Funko shipments. “Been at this for weeks,” wrote one of the workers on Reddit above a picture of one of the drop-offs. “Funko is having pops shredded and destroyed by the truck load.”
They told Kotaku the pallets are brought in on trucks one after another and then dumped into giant shredding machines. The debris that’s left over is then sorted either to be recycled or sent into the landfill. The boxes in the one image they shared are all Jack Skellington Santas from The Nightmare Before Christmas, possibly left over from the holidays.
Trashing them and making more later is apparently cheaper than finding places to store them over the next eight months. Funko told investors in its most recent earnings call that its warehouses, particularly a new facility in Arizona, were already overstocked. As a result, it’s been paying exorbitant rental fees to keep additional Funkos in their shipping containers until it can find space for them. The landfill is now one of those places.
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