Virus-like particles (VLPs) are nanoscale structures that are mimics of virus particles themselves. They are stripped of any infection risk but can perform like viruses in some tasks although they are unable to spread. They are inherently safe and may offer additional advantages when compared to the viruses from which they derive. If they are produced by a recombinant route, as is very common, they can be modified by alteration of the sequences used to add functionality their parental versions did not possess, such as staying in a particular conformation, carrying different cargoes or targeting specific cells. It is probably true that VLPs are ascribed more promise than may ever be realized but their positive attributes are very real, they have already appeared as successful products and their potential is certainly far from exhausted.