Hasbro is not producing an action figure line for the upcoming Venom movie. After the Amazing Spider-Man reboot crashed and burned, Sony is once again trying their hand at developing a franchise based on their plethora of Marvel Comics characters. With Spider-Man now playing in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Sony is turning their attention to key members of the Web Head's rogues' gallery. First out of the gates is Venom, which stars Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock. If successful, it could open the floodgates for several other adaptations.
A week ago, it was revealed Venom is rated PG-13, which in large part is a business decision. Not only does Sony want this film to break box office records in October, they're also leaving the door open for a possible crossover with the MCU at a later date. However, it doesn't look like the studio is going all-in on Venom just yet, as those looking for tie-in toys will come up short in their search.
In an interview with ScreenGeek, Hasbro's senior product design manager Dwight Stall discussed the company's plans for Venom action figures, saying while that there's currently nothing in the works, that could change down the line:
Right now, we don’t have any product in the works based off the upcoming Sony Venom movie. We would have to wait with how it does, see what the fan response is and if it’s something that they want, then we would look and try and figure on doing some. But right now, there’s no plans other than Classic Venom for this year.
This explanation is quite curious, as frequently studio licensing partners produce different types of merchandise well in advance of a film's release. In some cases (like Force Friday), the unveiling of such materials becomes an unofficial holiday, with collectors flocking to stores so they can pick up the latest items. The only new Venom action figure coming out this year is the Marvel Legends version, which is based on the character's comics appearance (note the white Spider-Man emblem). However, even this is an odd development, seeing that just about every MCU hero gets their own Marvel Legends figure at some point. Given Venom's popularity, there would surely be interest in a new line.
On the other hand, perhaps it's the responsible thing for Sony to hold off on developing a bunch of action figures. There's always a chance the film fails to resonate with audiences and doesn't get its planned shared universe off the ground. The last thing Sony and Hasbro want are for unwanted toys to be stocked up on shelves as Venom fades from the consciousness. But if the film's a hit, then all parties involved know there will be a demand for their product, and they can confidently move forward with a wave of figures. Stall didn't shut the door completely on Venom movie toys, they just want to be sure it's successful.
- Venom (2018) release date: Oct 05, 2018