MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)
“Robot. Maniacal genius. Science experiment gone wrong. Ultron is the supreme weapon of mass destruction and a mortal threat to the Avengers— and all humankind.”
Ultron is no stranger to action figures, and that extended to even before he was the title antagonist in a multi-billion dollar movie. That being said, it’s been a bit of up and down in terms of quality of those figures. Ultron’s classic comics design is pretty, well, classic, but it’s had a difficult time actually making it into proper toy form. While we’ve managed to finally get it in Minimates, Marvel Universe, and Marvel Select form, Marvel Legends has just sort of been batting around a true classic Ultron figure, many times coming close (though also starting off pretty darn far…), but never quite being there. Things are finally about to change!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Ultron is the final single-packed figure in the Ursa Major Series of Marvel Legends. It’s an Iron Man-themed assortment, and while Ultron wasn’t classically an Iron Man villain, the adjustment to the character in the MCU, plus some shifts in more recent story telling have made him a decent fit for such a theme. It’s also not the first time he’s been lumped in with such a set, since he was also included in the Iron Man 3 tie-in assortment. So, there’s certainly precedent. The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation. Facilitating the proper classic design means an all-new sculpt, rather than saddling him with yet another re-used body. In terms of articulation, this Ultron’s layout is quite similar to that of the MU release, but with a few improvements allowed by the upscaling and the decade’s worth of advancement since that figure’s release. He gets an improved range of motion on the limbs in particular, and is just generally pretty mobile. There are also some definite improvements to how the movement is worked in as well, since he gets the pinless construction for the arms and legs. Also, the shoulder pauldrons are much like those on the recent Classified Joes, so they can easily move out of the way for posing the shoulders, while also avoiding popping off too easily, which was a problem with the MU version. The actual quality of the sculpt is pretty impressive as well. He’s quite similar in styling to the MU figure, but again a bit more refined. Things like the antenna aren’t as clunky, and the detailing of the body is really sleek. In general, they just really get that classic Ultron feel, and it’s by far Hasbro’s best version, if perhaps even the best version of him in figure form in general. It’s so clean, slick, sharp, and just efficiently laid out. Boy is this a nice sculpt. The paint work is generally rather basic on this guy, but it is worth noting that he’s fully painted, rather than being molded in silver plastic. This makes him look quite a bit better, and really keeps with that slick appearance. Otherwise, the only change-up is the red for the eyes, and black for his mouth. He just gets a solid color on the mouth, rather than getting the crackling detailing of the last few figures. Seems like a letdown, right? Not quite. Rather than painting that detail, Hasbro elected to actually make it a separate sculpted element. It makes it a bit more dynamic. In addition to the effect piece, he’s also got five different hands (two fists, two gripping, and a left open gesture), and the right arm to Ursa Major.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Ultron was the first figure from this set to be shown off, and him being a villain and all, I initially thought he’d be in that series. His absence from that line-up bummed me out, but then I found out he was instead part of this much cooler line-up (not that I minded the villains line-up; they just didn’t excite me quite as much). He’s got some solid competition, but he was still the very first figure I opened when I got my set, and he’s probably my favorite figure in-hand. He’s the Ultron I’ve been waiting for, and any future versions will be hard-pressed to beat this one. We’ve certainly come a long way from the Toy Biz days.