Venom, an alien symbiote who burst onto the comics scene almost 40 years ago, has become a widely popular villain — and occasional hero. Often appearing battling against Spider-man, Venom has seen a pop culture resurgence in the last few years in tandem with a new, inspired film franchise.
For fans of Venom and their comic contemporaries, the ubiquitous Funko toys may prove an irresistible investment, as these collectibles are inexpensive, detailed and great for fans of all ages to put on display. The top pick, this Venom Eddie Brock vinyl, hauntingly captures the parasitic nature of Venom, but it's one of many options available from which to choose.
Funko toys first debuted in 2010 with a line featuring Batman along with some of his DC comics friends and foes. Today, these 4-inch vinyl figurines are modelled after a range of pop culture characters and real-life icons, with large heads, big eyes and incredible detail that makes almost all of them instantly recognizable. These figurines, made of durable and inexpensive PVC, do not move and instead are intended to be put on display.
While Venom is just a single character, over 80 Funko Pop toys feature the amorphous alien or one of his evil counterparts. Some are inspired by the comics, while others are derived from the two recent films that feature Venom.
Funko has embraced the fact that Venom's character is a formless parasite to its creative advantage, combining Venom with a variety of popular Marvel comics characters. These options are referred to as "Venomized," a sinister version of beloved heroes that takes on frightening, unique forms. Venomized vinyls include Black Panther, Ghost Rider, the Hulk and many more Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy and X-Men.
In some cases, when purchasing a Funko toy directly from the company or a partnered retailer, you won't get exactly the one you ordered. That's because chase editions, which feature slight variations on a design, are randomly shipped to consumers. These variants are rare and highly-coveted, with a one-in-six chance of acquisition upon purchase.
Variants can also be purchased directly from resellers, though a higher price should be expected.
Funko regularly drops new vinyls at expos and comics festivals with these Pop toys becoming "exclusive" to that event. In some cases, a limited amount is made specifically for the event. However, often others will be made available down the line, but they will be exclusively sold by a specific Funko retailer partner. Exclusivity will be noted by a sticker on the box.
Funko will often make more than one figurine from the same mold, changing the finish to appeal to a wider audience, including collectors. Finishes include gold and metallic; some Venom figurines boast a bright, neon-style coating that resembles a reaction from a dark light, while others include a coating that will glow in the dark.
Funko Pop toys generally run between $10-$20. Rarer content, including chase variants and exclusive models, can come at a high markup from resellers.
A. Not every vinyl is available from every retailer. In addition to exclusively selling Funko Pop toys directly from their website, Funko also works with retailers that sell specific models exclusively. Some options may be found only at Amazon, while others may be exclusively available at another popular retailer. Nevertheless, Funko's website offers a list of vinyls and where they can be found to aid in your search.
A. While most Funko Pop Vinyls are the same, uniform dimension, some specialty options break the figurative mold, including options that feature Venom. There is a super-sized Carnage figurine that stands at 10 inches as well as an equally imposing venomized Groot. As part of a Comics Moments series of POP! toys, one set includes two vinyls, featuring Venom closing in on his nemesis, Spider-Man.
What you need to know: An inventive vinyl that captures Venom taking over his common host Eddie Brock, this Pop is ideal for fans both new and old.
What you'll love: Instantly recognizable vinyl features Venom and Eddie in a partnership that caterers to both film and comics fans. Boldly showcased Venom's iconic logo. Matte black exterior is shiny and stunning.
What you should consider: This vinyl lacks color and is slightly more expensive than most.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
What you need to know: Modelled after Venom's powerful foe, this scary vinyl is inspired by the latest feature film that pits the two symbiotes against each other.
What you'll love: Stunning collectible vinyl for comic fans as well as those who want the latest offerings. Detailed appearance and textured coating make this a faithful and compelling recreation. Comes at an affordable price.
What you should consider: Dedicated Marvel fans may prefer a Carnage modeled after the comics instead of the film.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
What you need to know: A venomized Avenger, this Doctor-Strange and Venom mashup boasts a unique look that stands out on display.
What you'll love: Marvel fans will love this blend of the Sorcerer Supreme and the alien Venom. Features impressive detail including the time stone and a black, clawed cape. Come at a very affordable price.
What you should consider: It's tempting to pair this figurine with more venomized toys to complete the set.
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Anthony Marcusa writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.