US pop-culture products firm snaps up Bath animators Evilcorp for $4m

Award-winning Bath animation and design studio A Large Evil Corporation has been taken over by major US pop-culture products firm Funko in a $4m (£2.98m) deal.

A Large Evil Corporation – also known as Evilcorp – was launched in 2006 and has created animated commercials for brands such as Gu, Greenpeace, Now TV and Kia Motors, working with blue-chip industry clients including Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO and WCRS. 

It also designs ‘vinyls’ – collectable figures based on characters licensed from cult movies such as Batman, Back to the Future, Napoleon Dynamite, Ghostbusters and The Big Lebowski, pictured.

The Vinyl Idolz range is sold in high street retailers such as HMV and Forbidden Planet and online via sites such as Amazon.

These are manufactured by Funko, which has its own top-selling lines of licensed vinyl characters, action figures and other products. Since 2014 Evilcorp has produced animations for Funko.

Evilcorp will now be rebranded as Funko Animation Studios. Founders Guy Thomson and Seth Watkins will stay on as general managers.

Funko, which floated on the US NASDAQ stock market last month, made a profit of $8.3m on net sales of $142.8m in the three months to September 30.

Funko CEO Brian Mariotti said: “Since 2014 we have produced the majority of our animated product videos with this innovative and fantastically creative studio and we are excited to move this function in house.

“We have seen first-hand how well received these shorts are from our fans and we look forward to continuing to produce these high-calibre product videos while also creating original Funko content.

“As video becomes an increasingly important medium of communication, this will allow us to better create content to support and promote our brand and our products globally.” 

Last year Funko collaborated with Marvel Animation to create a series of Marvel Funko shorts, with story and animation by Evilcorp.

The first collaboration, Spellbound featured Iron Man, Spider-Man and Loki and has had more than 1.1m views since its launch in November last year and subsequent releases have achieved well over 5m views.

Funko, headquartered in Washington State, recently opened a European head office in Hammersmith, London, with a collaborative working space for the Funko team and a showroom exhibiting many of its new and upcoming products, including its Pop! and Dorbz, pictured, ranges as the centre piece.

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