What happened

Shares of pop culture toy maker Funko (FNKO -0.10%) -- of "Funko Pop" fame -- popped indeed on Thursday, closing the day up 9%.

Curiously, this pop happened before -- not after -- investment banker DA Davidson announced it is initiating  the stock with a "buy" rating and a $29 price target.

Funko Pop Batman pop figure

Image source: Funko.

So what

Seeing a stock pop in response to an analyst's buy rating isn't exactly a new thing. But seeing Funko stock pop, and only then get its rating, seems a bit strange. So what might explain this curious phenomenon?

Best guess: Yesterday, Funko participated in an analyst "fireside chat " at the Jefferies 2019 Consumer Conference in Nantucket, Mass . During the course of this half-hour-or-so talk, Funko President Andrew Perlmutter and CFO Russell Nickel struck an optimistic tone, saying the company is enjoying "strong growth."

Now what

Perhaps the most informative tidbit Funko's execs mentioned during their talk was this: To develop a new "SKU" or toy for sale costs Funko only between $5,000 and $7,500. As the CFO pointed out, this means that once Funko has sold 2,500 units of any given product, it's already broken even and begun turning a profit -- definitely a positive aspect of the company's business.

Another bit of information revealed at the "chat" -- and perhaps the real reason the stock spiked today --  was the execs' observation that Funko products tend to enjoy a "massive" spike in sales in the month of July, around the time of the San Diego Comic-Con. July's just around the corner, some investors might have been thinking -- maybe it's time to go out and buy some Funko stock!