When Noble Morris and Jazzaree Munoz started dating three years ago, they discovered that they shared a common passion for collecting Funko Pop! speak up.
Morris, 26, and Munoz, 22, both of Victorville, spent some of their first dates grabbing boba bubble tea drinks and tracing the approximately four-inch-tall cartoon-like figures modeled after television, movies and comics. characters, musicians, sports icons, and historical figures, in stores throughout Southern California.
During their relationship, they have given each other rare and hard to get hold of Pop! figures for birthdays and Valentine’s Day. So Morris decided that the perfect place to propose to Munoz on their third anniversary last November would be in the Funko Hollywood store, a 40,000-square-foot pop culture and collectible located just a block east of the Pantages Theater on Hollywood Boulevard.
“She had actually surprised me on my birthday in 2020 and took me to the Funko Hollywood store for the first time,” Morris said during a recent phone interview. While Morris created the proposal with the help of store manager Jen Ryan, he learned that Funko had also launched his new Pop! People Factory, where fans and collectors could create official pop! figures of themselves on the spot.
“We went with a traditional bride and groom this time,” Morris said, noting that he had visited the store before the surprise proposal to build the figures with the idea that they would be used as the couple’s wedding cake.
He had a feeling that this approach would go well. Morris said that before he had proposed, and before any of them were aware of the possibility of custom characters, he had once asked Munoz if she thought Funko versions of themselves would be too nerdy for a wedding cake. He remembers his response: “She said, ‘No, that’s my dream, and it would be the coolest thing I’ve ever seen.'”
Although they have not set a date yet, Morris said that some of their Funko Pop! collection will be incorporated into their enchanted forest theme and that the couple will definitely return to the store to create another Pop! versions of themselves.
“This is a whole new experience,” he said. “This way you can do something special and you can make yourself or make one for someone you love.”
Funko recently updated their Pop! Folk kiosks, so visitors in about 30 minutes can digitally create their very own custom Pop! figure and have it collected by an employee and placed in a personal box. Every pop! People cost $ 25 (additional accessories are extra), and they can only be made in person at the two stores, one of which is the Hollywood location and the other is in the state of Washington.
This approach is different than when the store opened back in November 2019, and customers dug through containers with parts to assemble the figures themselves. Just four months after opening, the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the store for several months and they were forced to recreate the experience, which included the digital kiosks and hand disinfection stations.
“When COVID happened, we had to figure out a safe way for people to pose Pop! Themselves without having to physically touch everything,” Ryan said during a recent visit to the store. “We came up with the idea of doing it’s like an iPad and an app-based app, and that’s what we’ve created here. It’s pretty effective, but we’re still learning about what our people’s interests are and what they want, and how we can do that. In the past year, we’ve updated this three or four times to be more inclusive. “
The Funko Hollywood store is required to wear face clothing at all times while inside the store, and all persons 12 years of age and older must show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination to enter. Pop! People is open from 11.00-17.00 Wednesday-Friday and 10.00-17.00 Saturday and Sunday. It’s all on a first-come, first-served basis, and the queue takes place in the same way as in a restaurant, where the customer provides their name and phone number, and they will receive an SMS when it’s their turn to build a Pop! character.
There is also plenty to look at and experience while you wait. The store is filled with bigger than life Pop! props and photo ops; it is set up much like a permanent version of the wildly popular pop-up experiences – Candytopia, Happy Place, Museum of Ice Cream, I Like Scary Movies – that took over Los Angeles before the pandemic. Guests can get in the jeep from “Jurassic Park” along with a Pop! Jeff Goldblum, hop on a dragon from “Game of Thrones”, help Eleven fight a Demogorgon, walk through a haunted house overlooked by an oversized pop! Elvira or sitting on a throne surrounded by Disney villains.
There’s a massive Wakanda display with a working waterfall featuring characters from “Black Panther” at the entrance and spaces dedicated to other Marvel superhero movies, as well as “Harry Potter”, “Star Wars” and genre-specific theme areas like horror, sci-fi, anime, Disney and the store have a huge collection of fun and colorful cereal and candy brand products.
For more store information and its latest COVID-19 health and safety protocol, visit funko.com/hollywood before visiting.