Fans swarm its booths in search of tiny toys. Inside the Funko phenomenon

Funko, the toy collectible brand, is an annual force at San Diego Comic-Con. Go inside Funkoville with The Times to see why it has fans obsessed.

What do Cthulhu, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the shark from “Sharknado” have in common? They’re all immortalized as plastic, tiny-bodied, big-headed Funko Pops.

Avid collectors will wait hours in line to get one, or all, of the exclusive San Diego Comic-Con Funko Pops being released during this year’s convention. For 2022, the company has built “Funkoville” within the San Diego Convention Center, featuring the tiny plastic figurines as well as Mondo and Loungefly exclusives. Want a miniature Ted Lasso? How about a “Stranger Things”-inspired Demogorgon backpack? Good luck getting your hands on such high-demand novelties.

Though much of the discussion around Comic-Con is about what big superhero films might be announced at Hall H panels, the floor is still consistently packed and lively — and Funko has been part of the activity for decades. “It’s the epicenter of pop culture,” said Funko Chief Creative Officer Brian Mariotti. “We are always about celebrating fans.”

With more than 100,000 annual attendees, “epicenter” is right — and as the first in-person summer get-together since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, organizers are expecting that many, and more.

“This is our biggest event of the year,” said Funko CEO Andrew Perlmutter. “You can’t replace the type of energy with any other event.”