I am back with a very, very honest post on a pop-up museum called FunBox. It wasn’t fun at all; to be honest this place was horrible. From start to finish, it was just an utter flop. On one of our recent trips, we found FunBox via Instagram ads. My older sister was with me on this trip as well and this was her first visit to a pop-up museum. At the end of it, I was so utterly embarrassed that I showed her this pop-up.
Located inside Westfield Santa Anita Mall, FunBox is said to be a one-of-a-kind toy maze with over 24 installations and exhibits from artist worldwide. What appealed me to FunBox was the charity behind it. FunBox is supporting Friends of Foster Children San Gabriel Valley by providing financial services and goods for those children who are living in treatment centers. Creator Antonio Nieves actually got his inspiration from conversations with his 9-year old sibling as they were both in foster care. It was a very inspirational story and it made me excited to see what type of imagination they both had growing up despite the cards that they were dealt.
Guest are first welcomed to FunBox by entering a Teddy Bear Tunnel. This is where guests of all ages are more than welcome to take a photo with an individual bear while inside said tunnel. Very, very cute concept and was actually my favorite room.
As you start to go inside, there are other rooms where you can take a photo with a piggy bank, an illusion room that looks exactly like ‘The Simpsons’ living room, a neon wall that had random sayings, a pig, and lastly, a UFO was on display as well. I was a little confused on what they were trying to achieve with that, but yeah, it made for good photos.
The Rose tunnel served for a romantic background for those who were there on a date. There was also a pink, purplish rose wall that was also great to take photos with loved ones as well. Along the way, they had a disco room, 3 monkey emoji statues, a rainbow throne, a wooden swing surrounded by floating letters, a noodle tunnel, and 2 ball pits.
You think that this place wasn’t jam-packed because of the photos I took. WRONG! Here are my top 3 reasons why you might want to re-think about FunBox –
- The employees have zero motivation to be there. I mean, if there ever are employees around. There were 4 people checking in guest before entering FunBox, but 2 of them only had iPads to check in all the guest. Really no logic behind this if you legit have only 2 iPads. What are the other 2 doing at the check in? Maybe they’re assisting with giving information on how the pop-up works before entering? ABSOLUTELY NOT! If they didn’t have an iPad, they were just standing there talking to each other. There is absolutely no need for more than 2 people at the front. Maybe add another person for questions. But 4 is a bit over kill friends! At every pop-up I have been to, there was at least 1 or 2 employees standing at each installation to help with photos and crowd control. FunBox had a total of 2 employees within the maze that I saw assisting guest and that was just at the ball pit. One walked through the monkey emoji room and didn’t even talk to one guest or assist a guest for that matter. She just walked right through. On top of that, the 2 employees who were at the ball pit had horrible attitudes and seemed like they didn’t want to even be there. Umm…. Sisters, at least fake it to make it. It is called FunBox! Just make pretend that you’re at least having fun.
- The crowd control was UTTER RUBBISH! ABSOLUTELY RUBBISH!!!!! Why give people a time option when you can’t even control the crowds that walk into the maze itself?! For all the pictures I took, I could have honestly taken more. But because there was a lack of employees and a lack of any form of crowd control in the front, it just became VERY, VERY, VERY, VERY, VERY, VERY CONGESTED within most of the rooms. I understand that it is within a mall and malls are very busy at times. The number of visitors who were in FunBox were families of 4 to 6 people, all of which wanted individual and group photos. Those photos take about 10 to 15 minutes with the help of employees. But since none were around, families stayed in rooms for about 30 to 45 minutes at a time. Leaving for those who come during their time slot standing in a very, very long line. I really couldn’t appreciate any of the rooms because it was just so crowded.
- NOT ONCE DID I SEE THEM PROMOTING THEIR ADVOCATION FOR FOSTER CARE COMMUNITY! Not once! If I didn’t even stumble upon their ‘About’ section on the site, I wouldn’t really know what I was supporting! No one even mentioned it, and to me, that made me feel like no one is really proud of what they’re doing and what they’re standing up for. That’s so unfortunate because it is a good cause that gets overlooked. Yet, no one seemed as proud to even acknowledge the charity. And to be quite honest, it’s also really sad to say, I’m sure 90% of the guest who were there didn’t really know about the cause either. It was great to see someone’s imagination growing up and having just a glimmer of what their childhood was like despite all the circumstances that were presented to them. But the fact that there was zero appreciation from the staff and barely any acknowledgment of the cause that they’re advocating, made me question why I even purchased a ticket.
People who work at pop-ups like this should be proud and should be excited to be there. Share the stories that they’ve learned about the creator and the story behind it all. I’m sure there’s a reason why there’s a tunnel filled with bears, pink piggy banks, and a garden full of roses. This pop up is currently close and hopefully when they reopen more patrons will have a better experience than I did. If you do plan on visiting, try to have a fun experience. Hopefully one better than mine.
Until my next adventure! Toodles!