It isn’t unusual to lust after a house in your neighborhood.
But most people aren’t able to buy that house—and the property next door—when neither are for sale, and spend four years, and what contractors estimate was well over $20 million, including the purchase price, to recreate the home’s past—turning it from an aged, Moorish castle into a still-authentic but more opulent, enhanced version, with hand-painted beams, forged iron chandeliers, and the addition of a 7,000 square foot basement, a putting green and a “Star Wars”-theme 26-seat home theater.
Most people are not Brian Mariotti.
“I’m obsessive,” says the 53-year-old, who turned toy company Funko into the entity responsible for many of the large-headed, collectible pop vinyl characters sold around the world today.
Mr. Mariotti and his wife Shannon Mariotti, 53, first spotted the house on the jewel box island of Coronado, Calif., in 2016 during one of the weekend bike rides they’d take around their vacation home. Known as the W.A. Gunn House, and just a block from the famed Coronado beach, it was built for a Michigan furniture maker in 1925, designed by renowned San Diego architect Richard Requa and designated a historic residence in 2004.