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Freddy Funko is Jollibee’s Champ for Funko Funatic PH’s Toycon exclusive

Mascots have a colorful history of their own; put two different mascots from two different franchises together, and you have two different fandoms celebrated.

This is what happens when Funko Funatic Philippines (FFP) unveils its limited-edition Freddy Funko as Jollibee’s Champ Pop! vinyl figure as its exclusive release for Toycon PH 2023 on July 7-9.

Why do this particular convergence of licences? “Because I think not many collectors are familiar with Freddy Funko,” FFP founder Nikko Lim explains. “So this would be a great opportunity to introduce him to everyone.” Introduced in 2002, Freddy Funko is the Everett, Washington-based company’s official mascot, and is portrayed as a 1950s-style cartoon boy with freckles and a crown. He represents the history and variety of Funko itself, which was founded in 1998 and made world-famous for their Pop! vinyl bobblehead figures based on pop culture franchises.

As far as Philippine pop culture (and fast food) is concerned, Jollibee is the big red machine. Several Jollibee-flavored Funo Pops! have been released, included several varieties of the namesake bee and Hettie. Jollibee’s heavy-hitter burger, the Champ was introduced in 1984; it made with a 1/3-pound, 100-percent pure beef patty, cheese, lettuce and tomato. It had actually been discontinued in January 2020, but returned to the menu in October of the same year.

Also introduced in 1984, the Champ mascot is also one of the most distinctive of all the Jollibee mascots; he has the body of a boxer–robe, championship belt and gloves–but a smiling Champ burger for a head. This is not the first time that Freddy Funko has come in a Filipino flavor, as FFP had previously released a Freddy figure in a barong.

But that rare Pop! was an attendee giveaway for the 1,000 members who attended the FFP Christmas party in 2022: FFP has a membership of over 50,000.

Just the eighth exclusive product FFP has helped produced, this new Pop! is going to be available to the general public–but may not be as easy to cop as you think. Only 3,000 pieces of Freddy Funko as Champ will be available for P1,500 each, with an allotment of 1,000 pieces a day. It is first-come, first-served, with FFP distributing color-coded wristbands to the con-goers outside that indicate what time they can visit the booth–and theoretically buy the limited-edition merchandise. “We did a lottery before where they would get the entry time via an email,” Lim says. This year, he says they want fans to enjoy the amazing FFP booth as there is literally a boxing ring in it which will serve as a stage for featuring games and appearances throughout the by celebrities who are Funko fans such as Jed Madela and Louise de los Reyes.

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The idea of the Freddy Funko as Champ Pop! finds its inception in 2022 when the FFP braintrust were thinking of future exclusives. Jollibee had just released a Champ Funko Pop!–available for a price with a requisite fast-food purchase. “So I told them why not do a Freddy as Funko Pop!? Maganda din naman and many Filipinos are also boxing fans,” Lim recalls.
A proposal was drawn up, with Jollibee’s support. “Jollibee has always been very passionate and they really are fans of Funk,” he says. They are happy with the partnership between Funko and Jollibee. So they want to continue. Actually, they want to release something every year.” The proposal was sent to Funko HQ in Everett, and was quickly approved. The designers at Funko got to work. “Each step of the way, Jollibee will approve, from the the drawing and 3D Sculpt to the packaging,” says Lim, who finally received a finished sample in March.

‘Those collectors who will be able to grab a Freddy as Champ Pop! should consider themselves extremely lucky: “Actually, with the things going on Funko, the lead time is really long,” Lim reveals. “So sometimes we just get projects approved and, then they get done, we try to put them in one of our events. Sakto, Toycon was coming up. So we talked to the Toycon organizers and they are very happy to give us a space where we can release the item.” ‘Those collectors who will be able to grab a Freddy as Champ Pop! should consider themselves extremely lucky: “Actually, with the things going on Funko, the lead time is really long,” Lim reveals. “So sometimes we just get projects approved and, then they get done, we try to put them in one of our events. Sakto, Toycon was coming up. So we talked to the Toycon organizers and they are very happy to give us a space where we can release the item.”

Freddy Funko and Jollibee’s Champ? Sounds like a winning 1-2 combination.

Toycon PH 2023 happens July 7-9 at the SMX Convention Center, MOA Complex, Pasay City.

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