MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)
Though initially an anthology of stories from unrelated universes within the MCU’s multiverse, Marvel’s What If…?‘s final two episodes were dedicated to tying a bunch of those prior stories (and one that didn’t actually make the cut for the first season) together into one inter-connecting narrative, as the Watcher assembled a team to take down a multiversal threat in the form of an alternate Ultron, from a reality where he successfully placed his consciousness into the Vision’s body, and was able to conquer Earth and eventually gather all of the Infinity Stones for his own use. While a common complaint of Age of Ultron was how it generally removed a lot of the menace from Ultron when compared to the comics, this alternate version brought a good deal of that menace back, and made him a truly imposing villain. And, hey, it’s also an excuse for more Ultron toy coverage. I’m certainly not one to balk at that!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Infinty Ultron is the Build-A-Figure for the third Disney+ themed assortment of Marvel Legends. In a bit of a shuffling around, he’s actually the only What If…? figure for this assortment, wedged in between two assortments that actually have quite a bit of What If…? coverage. This guy is based on Ultron’s fully armored up, multiverse conquering attire, which gives him back that classic Ultron look, while still having him in the Vision body. It’s a pretty strong look, mixing elements of his MCU and a few of a his comics looks, into one sort of cohesive design. The figure stands 6 3/4 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation. In terms of articulation, Ultron’s rather a bit restricted. There’s definitely an aspect of it that’s brought on from adapting the show design, but it also just doesn’t quite land in a few spots. The shoulders are particularly confined; I feel like they might have worked out a bit better id the shoulder pads were mounted to the arms, rather than the torso. The mid-torso joint doesn’t get much motion either, and coupled with the lack of a waist joint, and the general lack of mobility on the hips, makes his whole middle quite stiff. His elbows also don’t quite bend all the way back, which feels a little odd. All of it just feels like it was designed independently, so there’s just a general lack of flow to the movement. His sculpt is an all-new one. It’s not bad, but it’s not amazing either. Generally, it looks okay, and it’s rather accurate to the source material. I do feel it’s a little soft on some of the detailing, and I was certainly bummed by his face plate being sculpted in place. Beyond that, though, I do like its overall look, and I do feel like it captures the general feeling of the character pretty well. In particular, I actually quite like how the cape turned out. The slight swept look gives it just a little bit of flair, without being too crazy. Ultron’s color work is passable; again, nothing amazing. The bulk of him is molded in silver plastic, swirls and all. It’s okay, but it doesn’t really help with bringing out the sculpt’s details. The little bit of painting he gets is generally pretty nice. The most curious application is definitely the shading on the inside of the cape; there’s no other dynamic or cel shading present on the figure, which makes this stand out. It’s not bad, but it’s certainly odd. Ultron gets his big javelin/spear thing as an accessory. It’s impressively sized, and gives him his most basic extra. I’d have liked to maybe get an extra set of hands, or an alternate head, but I suppose you can’t expect too much out of a Build-A-Figure; he’s kind of already an accessory himself.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
After being kind of let down by a good portion of What If…?‘s run, the last two episodes and they’re further building on Ultron actually really salvaged the show for me. Ultron’s new design was a lot of fun, and I was hoping we’d see it in figure form sooner than later. I was very much looking forward to this one, and, while I didn’t purely buy any of the figures just to finish him, I certainly was given a bit more of a push on a couple of them. Ultimately, he’s okay. Not great, just okay. He gets the general job done, but he lacks some of the real oomph of some of the other releases. Still, he’s far from the worst Ultron figure out there.
In general, this assortment is a real mix of “exactly what I expected” and “not quite what I’d envisioned.” Moon Knight was my projected favorite, and he absolutely stuck that landing. She-Hulk sneaks in on the secondary spot, after being a figure I had no real expectations on. Kate’s a solid figure, if perhaps one without the pop of the first two. Clint and Sharon are both decent mid-range figures, held back only by some minor design stuff. Mr. Knight and Ms. Marvel are figures that I don’t dislike, but that I feel don’t quite live up to what I was hoping for. And ultimately, I find Ultron to be the weakest in the set. No one’s really a bad figure here, though, so perhaps he’s just undermined by how strong the solo figures are this time around.