Believe it or not, there was a time when a certain craze/addiction/collectors item called “Funko” didn’t exit, but another Funco did. They called it FuncoLand, and, well…other stores of its type killed it.
The Story of FuncoLand
Minneapolis, Minnesota-based Funco, Inc. opened in 1989. Like GameStop after it (and Game Crazy during its time), FuncoLand sold consoles, games, and peripherals, but emphasized their used games. In 1999, the company was purchased by EB GameStop (EB Games is part of GameStop as well – remember them?), and by 2005, started selling lifestyle, accessories, and toys, marketing their products toward boys ages six to fourteen years old. By 2015, FuncoLand stopped selling video games altogether, and by 2017, the chain was sold to Dave-Spin Retail Group. Most stores are closed now, but some are now 77 Kids (the children’s brand of American Eagle).
For the uninformed, Dave-Spin Retail Group owned Blockbuster and Chi-Chi’s. I compel you to find one of those places these days.
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In 1998, FuncoLand released one of those “oh-so-entertaining-for-the-easily-amused” training videos that outlines the company’s sales process, featuring an employee who is having trouble (of his own design) learning the FuncoLand Sales Process, G.AM.E.S.
Adam, FuncoLand, and the G.A.M.E.S. Process
Our journey through learning the ins and outs of the G.A.M.E.S. process begins with Adam.
He’s a FuncoLand new hire, who’d rather play his Game Boy Pocket (because 1998!) than learn the policies and procedures. His manager (actually FuncoLand Director of Sales and Service, Chuck Simmons) gives him an hour to learn the G.A.M.E.S. process, and wouldn’t you know it, Adam falls asleep.
Because that’s what happens in training sessions, right?
Adam journeys into the terrible special effects-laden land of…The Game Master! Here, Adam must learn FuncoLand’s sales manual and apply it to his job, mastering the skills in one hour. Sounds easy, except Adam looks like a deer in the headlights.
If he doesn’t learn the G.A.M.E.S. Process, he’ll be doomed there forever. Or fired. We’re all rooting for Adam to lose his job. It isn’t our faults he fell asleep during his training. What happens in his “sucked into the instruction manual dream” is his disaster in the making.
And of course, he not only has to collect each letter, he has to apply them to his real world experience…
And his son, complete with mid-1990s Mariners baseball hat.
I kid you not. I have not seen a hat like that in years!
Dad here has this perpetually confused look, but then again, Adam just randomly shows up next to him while he shops. I’d make faces like this too, if I were him.
Speaking of which, what is this G.A.M.E.S. Process Adam must learn?
Encourage Add-On Sales
Saying Goodbye, and Thanks for Coming in!
Will Adam successfully learn the process?
You’ll find out when you watch…
That Crazy FuncoLand Training Video!
So go on, click play, The Game Master is waiting for YOU!
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And there you have it, another walk though employee training in its finest moments. They don’t make employee training videos like they used to. I’d say this was the end life of those “so great they’re terrible” training videos, but Game Crazy was a few years away from jumping into the waters FuncoLand was already swimming in. Barely. Because GameStop was ready to catch them in their net.
I hate when a business I write about is effectively not longer in existence. But I love the cheesiness of training videos!
Anyone else think Mr. Simmons enjoyed his role a little too much?
She can be found at allisonveneziowrites.com.You can follow her blog on Facebook (facebook.com/allisonswrittenwords) and on Twitter @AllisonGeeksOut.