Marvel Collector Corps April Box Review: Truth In Advertising


Geek subscription boxes are where it’s at. Fans and collectors can’t seem to get enough of them, which has led to a market that gets more and more crowded all the time. Since so many of these services rely on Marvel and Funko products — and in many cases, Funko products of Marvel characters – the two companies joining forces to create the Marvel Collector Corps was among the most logical moves one could imagine.

More from Collectibles

The idea behind the Marvel Collector Corps is that it would zero in on people who really want Funko items without the uncertainty that comes in most other subscription boxes. The debut box was advertised as having $50 of value for $25 (plus shipping and handling), including a Hulkbuster Iron Man 6″ Pop Vinyl figure, one additional stylized vinyl collectible, one of four different t-shirt designs, and two premium accessories.

Unlike most of its competitors, Collector Corps is bi-monthly, which helps ease pain on the old pocketbook. Every box will have a theme, and Marvel already revealed that the debut April box would be Avengers: Age of Ultron while the next box will be focused on Ant-Man. Despite what it may seem, not every shipment can be timed with a Marvel movie release, so the real intrigue will come later this year.

So how did the “April” (I’ll explain those quotation marks later) turn out? Here’s what we found after spending our $25 plus S&H and waiting patiently for it to arrive.

The Box and Accessories

The actual box wears its Avengers theme proudly, with Captain America’s face on top and “Avengers” displayed in bold print on the long sides. The inside of the lid has panels from old comics, which is a cool touch, and the packing job is pretty nice. Before you even get to the good stuff, you see the two accessories: a Collectors Corps patch with Ultron’s unmistakable mug, and a small Collector Corps pin.

One thing I really appreciate about this service is the way its honest about smaller goodies like these. Some competitors advertise “6-8 items,” for example, and would count a pin and a patch the same toward that total as the Pop Vinyl figure. That’s somewhat misleading in certain cases, so for Collector Corps to level with you about including two accessories in the box, it makes your expectations realistic and lessens the chance you’ll feel disappointed. That’s important with so many subscription boxes vying for your disposable income.

The Vinyl

As Marvel and Funko were up front about the fact that the first box would include the Hulkbuster Pop Vinyl figure, it was the one item that wasn’t a surprise. It’s extremely impressive, a hefty vinyl bobblehead that is the same size as other larger Pops like Thanos, but possibly even broader and heavier. If you already have a collection started, this will no doubt become one of the gems, especially if Funko sticks to its guns and doesn’t make it available any other way.

Pop Vinyl fanatics might be disappointed that the other item is something different, but again, all that was promised was other vinyl collectible. In this case, it’s the first of the Dorbz, super cute vinyl figures that were first shown off this year at Toy Fair. I’m assuming this movie Ultron is exclusive to Collector Corps, and it cam blind boxed, suggesting that the rest will too. Dorbz aren’t bobbleheads, but this guy can turn his head. Both regular Marvel and Guardians of the Galaxy movie assortments are coming soon.

The Shirt

Since I like both Marvel and combat sports, I love my shirt, which has a slightly faded retro-style print and is made to look like an old time boxing or wrestling poster promoting a “No Strings Match” between Ultron and Iron Man. As mentioned before, there are four different shirt designs, so your mileage may vary here.

The Bonus

There’s an extra item in the debut box, and it’s also pretty cool: a special exclusive variant version of Guardians Team-Up #1 which emphasizes the fact that the Avengers are the ones teaming up with the space-faring team. I already have the issue, which came out several weeks before my box shipped, but I do like the cover, and it would have been even cooler if it had been a book I hadn’t read yet.

The Verdict

Not only does the first Marvel Collector Corps box deliver exactly what it promised, the comic tipped the scales even further. Just the Hulkbuster figure and the shirt would probably be worth the $25 price, so value is no issue.

Going forward, there are three things I’ll be watching for to see if the service stays at the same level or even improves. The first is to see if Marvel and Funko keep throwing in cool extras or if they back off a bit after the first box. It’ll also be interesting to see if they always give away the centerpiece item, as some people may enjoy a bit more of a surprise.

Last but certainly not least, it would be great if the service actually nails down its cutoff and approximate shipping dates like other subscriptions boxes do. The Collector Corps FAQ says that anticipated delivery is between the 20th and 28th of each shipping month, but these first boxes ended up being shipped in waves, and I didn’t get mine until early May. It’s not a huge deal to me personally since I really wanted the Hulkbuster and figured the rest of the contents would be worth it, and it could be a hiccup due to this being the service’s debut. My guess is that fans won’t be so kind if this continues for subsequent boxes, though, so it’s something to keep in mind if you’re planning on jumping in.

Next: More subscription boxes: our review of the first Power Up Box

More from Bam Smack Pow