Funko Fusion just became my most anticipated game of 2024

Funko Fusion is shaping up to be a funny and self-referential love letter to the pop culture whirlpool.
funko fusion preview

I have a confession to make: I’m a Funko Pop Vinyl collector. I’ve collected those lovely, big-eyed bobbleheads and figures since they were available in Australia – and for a good portion of my working career, it was my job to sell them. They have their detractors – I’m very aware of this every time I talk about my collection – but I’m firmly in Camp Funko.

Get me talking, and I’ll spend hours chatting about my favourite parts of my collection – specifically, my signed NJPW Cody Rhodes Pop Vinyl, and my forbidden Funko Pop Vinyl of Nick Morton from The Mummy (2017) that was supposed to be cancelled, and is therefore incredibly rare (and expensive).

Given these facts, Funko Fusion seems right up my alley. And after a gameplay-focused preview, I’m convinced the game was made specifically for me. Of all the major game releases set for the later half of 2024, it’s Funko Fusion that has me glued to my screen.

In my preview, Arthur Parsons, Head of Publishing at 10:10 Games and veteran of TT Games (Lego Batman, Harry Potter, and the like) showed off a range of levels from Funko Fusion, while detailing its main gameplay mechanics and quirks.

Funko Fusion features a “light-touch” story

As revealed, Funko Fusion is a collection of stages themed after pop culture properties, with a “light-touch” narrative guiding the action.

Levels can be played in any order, and with any character – so you can jump into the game’s Masters of the Universe level as Owen Grady from Jurassic World, if you wish. Or you can stomp through the world of Jaws as Prince Adam, and so on. Certain levels will have unlockables if you find particular characters, but it sounds like you’ll largely be left alone to make your own choices.

funko fusion gameplay
Image: 10:10 Games

Each stage is segmented into multiple chapter-based quests, with large locales to explore across a main story that should last around 12-16 hours (if you only experience the story, and ignore extra collectibles like Chase Pop Vinyls and Chrome Pop Vinyls). In the Masters of the Universe stage, for example, you’ll be completing quests in Castle Grayskull, and then heading to Snake Mountain for villain face-offs against Trap Jaw, Evil-Lyn, and other classic He-Man villains.

Part of this journey was shown off in our gameplay preview – and it’s worth noting that Snake Mountain looked stunning, even through a bobble-headed lens. Colours in Funko Fusion are bright and vibrant, and each of the stages shown off looked grand. There’s a vast scope in this game that feels unexpected, for a pop culture tie-in. While it would be easy to dismiss it as thinly-veiled marketing for Funko Pop Vinyl figures, 10:10 Games has belied that label.

There’s a clear sense of love and dedication in the design of each of Funko Fusion‘s world. In our preview session, Parsons spoke openly about being terrified of Jaws as a child, and how he used that fear to define gameplay mechanics in the Jaws level (which is smaller, and requires the use of a crime scene camera to track the victims of Jaws).

Read: Funko Fusion preview – Reimagining pop culture movie moments in gloriously weird fashion

Every stage shown off in our preview was packed with tiny little details and references to pop culture clearly placed with care. Explore widely, and you’ll be able to find easter eggs everywhere, and even unlock hidden stages and characters that bring new quests and in-game collectibles.

Menus are even done in the style of giant walls of Funko Pop Vinyls – exactly like the kind you’d see in your local Zing Pop Culture or EB Games. You browse through the giant wall, select your chosen combatant, and head to whichever level you’d like to conquer first.

It’s apt to compare Funko Fusion to the Lego games, and their devotion to celebrating pop culture franchises with little nods, and funny moments. 10:10 Games is formed of TT Games veterans, so you can expect a purposefully similar tone – the game seems like it’ll be a love letter for older adults, and an equally rewarding, discovery-based experience for kids.

A love letter to pop culture

funko fusion game the mummy
Image: 10:10 Games

I will note there appeared to be quite a bit of cartoon gore in the game, as the Jaws level features Funko Pops being chomped and dismembered, and there is ample representation from The Thing here – but given how abstracted this gore is, Funko Fusion should be fine for older kids. It may even give them a taste for classic films in the process.

That appears to be part of the intention behind the game – sharing a love for pop culture, and allowing players to discover new properties. To that end, 10:10 Games worked with Funko and its partners (Universal, Skybound, and others) to include a vast range of popular franchises in the game – including some that hadn’t previously been turned into Funko Pops.

“Our partnership with Funko is incredibly open,” Parsons explained, in response to a GamesHub question. “Characters that were already existing in Funko Pop form were obviously a lot easier to get into the game, but part and parcel of what we’re trying to do is bring in new characters. We don’t want to limit ourselves.”

“When we started on this journey, we were going through the IP – it’s things like Nicholas Angel from Hot FuzzShaun of the Dead. Funko had never made those characters. So, it’s a really fun process. Our character art team concepts these characters in Pop form, we engage the art team and the art director at Funko, and make sure if they’re going to be made in Pop form, they’re exactly as they would be.”

“That process eventually evolved so that some of the Pop line that Funko are going to bring to people, they’re actually designs that we’ve made … The two art teams are almost like a Borg mind – they’ve sort of become one.”

Funko Fusion has already spawned a few new Funko Pop Vinyl releases, including for M3GAN, and R.J. MacReady from The Thing. That synergy will likely continue, as 10:10 Games is working alongside Funko in a “long-term” capacity, and it seems likely that Funko Fusion will expand in future.

Having had a taste of the game, it’s a future I’m looking forward to. So far, Funko Fusion has proved itself to be incredibly charming and well-meaning in approach (it’s also worth nothing there’s no microtransactions in the game – just good, clean fun), and there should be plenty of reasons to jump in and explore its many worlds when it arrives later this year.

Funko Fusion launches for PC and consoles on 13 September 2024.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.