#1235: Ultron

ULTRON

MARVEL AVENGERS PLAYMATION (HASBRO)

Hey, look, it’s another Playmation review!  If you don’t know what Playmation is, consult yesterday’s review, which I hope explained the concept well enough.  Anyway, I’ve got another one.  This one’s an Ultron, and I’m pretty much obligated to by Ultron figures, especially when they’re vaguely classic in design.  So, here he is.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Ultron was another of the later additions to the Marvel Avengers Playmation line.  This guy was a deluxe offering, so he’s a little larger in size than Super Adaptoid and the other basic-sized figures.  The figure stands about 6 1/2 inches tall and he has joints at his neck, shoulders, and mid-torso.  No hip movement for this guy, mostly due to both legs being affixed to the base.  Like the Adaptoid, Ultron isn’t really based on one singular design from anywhere in particular.  He’s probably the closest to the design Ultron had in the second season of Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, which wasn’t too far removed from his classic design.  As is fairly typical at this point, the head, and the antenna in particular, have changed in shape a bit.  Also, he’s got tendrils now because of reasons I guess.  Maybe he was jealous of Brainiac 13?  The general quality of the sculpt is pretty good.  I like the pose quite a bit, even if he did steal it from his son Vision’s first appearance cover.  Nevertheless, it’s appropriately menacing.  Ultron benefits from being mechanical in design, and thereby leaning into the curve of what this line was good at doing.  Some of the details feel a bit on the soft side, but he’s about on par with the rest of there figures in that regard.  The base piece is really the coolest part here, with a greatly battered Captain America shield, and even a little Mjolnir.  It paints a nice picture of Ultron’s assumed defeat of the Avengers.  In terms of paintwork, the base figure is mostly molded in a grey plastic, which is rather drab.  The head is painted silver, in order to help facilitate the light-up head feature exhibited when this guy is used with the game.  A lot of good that does me.  The base is the highlight again, featuring a great bit of weathering on Cap’s Shield.  Very cool.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Wanna guess where I got Ultron?  I’ll give you a hint, it was the same place where I got yesterday’s figure.  Yeah, I was picking up the Super Adaptoid from Ollie’s and they had this guy there too.  He was like a dollar more, but that’s not really a huge difference.  I’m always happy to see a new (vaguely) classic Ultron figure, so was a cool find.  He’s not the sort of thing I would have grabbed at full price, and he’s little more than a plastic statue, but he looks cool on the shelf.

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Flashback Friday Figure Addendum #0006: Ultron

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Alright, it’s time for another Flashback Friday Figure Addendum!  Today’s figure is another Toy Biz Marvel entry, though this one’s from a bit later in the reviews.  Let’s have a second look at Avengers: United They Stand’s Ultron!

Ah, yes, Avengers: United They Stand.  Poor A:UTS. it gets a lot of hate and I’m not certain it deserves it.  Perhaps it wasn’t the greatest depiction of the Avengers to grace the small screen(That honor goes to the more recent Earth’s Mightiest Heroes), but I didn’t think it was all that bad.  The designs and animation may be late 90s over complication at its finest, but I thought the characterization was actually nicely done, and I loved the fact that the focus was on the slightly lesser known Avengers instead of Cap, Iron Man, and Thor.  One of my other favorite things was the tie-in toyline, which is what I’ll look at today.  In particular, the toy counterpart of the shows recurring antagonist: Ultron!  This isn’t the first time Ultron’s been mentioned on this blog.  I previously mentioned him in passing in my Vision review, where I mentioned Ultron was the creator of Vision.  Ultron himself was the creation of Avengers founding member Hank Pym, aka Ant-Man, aka Giant-Man, aka Goliath, aka Yellow Jacket, aka Wasp, aka Dude with serious identity issues!  Ultron rebelled on his creator and became a powerful Avengers foe.  He’s also set to be the villain in the upcoming Avengers sequel.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Ultron was released as part of the first wave of Toy Biz’s Avengers:United They Stand tie-in line.  Ultron had several different looks over the course of the show, but this one seems to be a bit of an amalgam of the various looks, with the largest portion of influence coming from his appearance in the show’s first two episodes.   He stands just over 5 inches tall, and features 11 points of articulation (13 if you count the moving knee-pads).  Ultron is a completely new sculpt.  It’s well done, and quite detailed, especially for its time of release.  In particular, the head really captures the look of the character.  The paint is pretty well done, being mostly all one color; a nice bluish silver.  There’s a wash over the whole figure to help bring out the details.  The figure also features a light-up feature.  By pressing the button on Ultron’s waist, you could make the figure’s eyes and mouth light up.  It’s a neat feature that helps to further simulate the look of the character from the show and comics.  At one point, Ultron had a large cannon that hooked onto his right arm, but I’ve since lost that piece.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

My dad bought Ultron for me when he was initially released.  We happened to stop at a Toys R Us and there he was.  He was one of the last figures I acquired from the line.  It wasn’t because I didn’t want one, but because the A:UTS figures were quite difficult to find initially, so I kind of got them when I saw them.  Growing up, he was the closest thing I had to a classic Ultron.  Because of that, I have quite the soft spot for him.

Okay, now we’re getting somewhere!  This review is from my second month writing reviews, and you can start to see some of the regular review features coming into play.  Height, articulation and paint are all actually addressed this time.  And I even made it past 500 words!  Granted, most of it was the intro, but still.  Also, this is my first Flashback to a post-random review period. Cool.  Cool cool cool.

My actual review was pretty on point for this guy.  The only thing missing was his big ol’ arm cannon, which was amongst the many items excavated during The Find.  It’s goofy, but also manages to match pretty well with the rest of the figure stylistically, and, amazingly, it doesn’t impede his movement when attached (of course, the shoulder’s still a bit restricted thanks to the wiring that allows it to light up).  Also, I neglected to mention in my original review that Ultra’s sculpt, was an early product of the fine folks at Art Asylum, who would later launch one of the best Trek lines ever put into plastic, as well as creating my favorite brand of all time, Minimates.

I’ve actually got a story about this one! As a kid, I lost this figure around Christmas time and couldn’t locate him for a whole year.  Come the next Christmas, I put on my robe I wore one a year on Christmas morning and found this guy in the pocket.  Seems I’d stowed him there for safekeeping the prior year and total forgotten.  To date, this figure remains my favorite figure of Ultron, so I’m happy he wasn’t missing for too long!

#0761: Ultron, Vision, & Hulk

ULTRON, VISION, & HULK

MARVEL LEGENDS INFINITE SERIES

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Last year, Hasbro partnered up with Target during the holiday season in order to offer a few exclusive items from a number of their lines. Among the lines included was Marvel Legends Infinite Series, which got a special three pack of figures, which included Captain America, Ms. Marvel, and Radioactive Man. It would seem Hasbro is looking to make this something of an annual thing, as another three pack was just released. Included this time around were Ultron, Vision, and the Hulk, all of whom received a nice popularity boost courtesy of Age of Ultron.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

These three are, as noted above, part of a Target exclusive set, arriving just in time for the holiday season.

ULTRON

UltVision&Hulk4Ultron’s had quite a few figures this year, but this is actually only the second Marvel Legend. This one gives us another shot at the comics design. Specifically, he seems to draw inspiration from Ultron’s comics appearances from the last several years, though he certainly amalgamates a few different designs. The figure is about 6 ½ inches tall and has 30 points of articulation. Part of why Ultron amalgamates a few designs is due to some necessary parts re-use. Ultron makes use of the body of last year’s Ultimate Beetle figure, along with a new set of forearms/hands, as well as yet another all-new Ultron head. Beetle’s body’s actually not a bad fit for Ultron, and it was pretty good sculpt to begin with, so it’s re-use is definitely a reasonable one. The new forearms and hands meld nicely with the rest of the body, and definitely work better for the character than the original Beetle hands would. The new head is definitely the star attraction here. It’s a fantastic sculpt, with lots of really sharp line work and some great symmetry, and it really captures the character well. Ultron’s mostly just molded in a dark silver plastic, which looks pretty decent, but he’s got a fair amount of red detailing throughout. In particular, I really like how the mouth has been handled; they managed to get that whole crackling energy thing down just right!

VISION

UltVision&Hulk2He’s had no new Marvel Legends for like 7 years (being dead can do that sort of thing to you) but Vision’s managed to get two whole new Marvel Legends figures. His first one hit just a few months ago, and was based on one of the character’s more recent designs. This figure opts for a slightly more oldschool look, offering Vision’s second design ever, from John Byrne’s run on West Coast Avengers. I respect Byrne a lot, but the less said about that run and why the Vision was suddenly mono-chromatic, the better. Regardless of the questionable rationale behind the why of the design, it’s actually not a bad look, and it’s certainly different enough to warrant a figure. The figure stands about 6 ¼ inches tall and has 32 points of articulation. He is, more or less, a repaint of the last Vision figure. He’s built on Hasbro’s favorite body, the Bucky Cap, and uses the same head as the previous Vision. Unfortunately, he’s back to the two-fisted look, which is a shame, since the outstretched hand of the last one (and this one’s prototype) made for a nice variety of poses. To make up for that, this guy gets a brand new pair of feet, sans shoes, which are very well sculpted. He’s also got that same cape piece, of which I am still not a huge fan, but it’s less offensive here. The paint is, of course, the main draw of this figure. Now, he could have been just solid white, since that’s how he was depicted in the comics. However, Hasbro decided to do something a bit more visually interesting, so he’s molded in clear plastic, with white painted over top, making him semi-translucent, which looks really cool. In general, this paint works a lot better for this sculpt than that on the Now! Costume. I do sort of wish the black costume lines went all the way around his torso, but he that’s relatively minor.

HULK

UltVision&Hulk3Last up, it’s the required heavy hitter of the set, Hulk. This Hulk, like Ultron before him, appears to be an amalgam of a few recent Hulk designs. Overall, he seems to take the most influence from the Indestructible Hulk book from the Marvel Now! relaunch, though he lacks that look’s armor. The figure is a little over 8 inches tall and has 31 points of articulation. The figure gets a new head sculpt, clearly based on the buzz-cut look from Indestructible. It’s a pretty nice sculpt, which is certainly expressive, so that’s cool. From the neck down, the figure is the same as the Age of Ultron version from earlier this year. It’s a decent enough sculpt, and it actually works a bit better for a comic design, than it did a film design. Hulk’s paint work is fairly straightforward, basic greens and purples. It’s not the most exciting look of all time, but it’s pretty solid work.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I, unsurprisingly, got this set from my local Target. My main interest in getting this set was definitely Vision. He’s definitely a solid figure, and an improvement over the Now! version. Hopefully a proper classic look (or maybe even his 90s look) is on the horizon. Regarding the other two figures in the set, Hulk is a well done space taker, but Ultron is actually a pleasant surprise. He’s the best figure in the set, and probably one of the best Ultron figures ever. Solid work!

#0752: Age of Ultron Minimates Boxed Set

FINAL FORM ULTRON, IRON LEGION 01, TONY STARK, MARK 45, & NICK FURY

MARVEL MINIMATES

AoUMatesBox1

So, Series 61 and 63 of Marvel Minimates, plus the two TRU exclusive sets and the blind bagged figures, did a pretty reasonable job of getting us just about every important character from Age of Ultron. We got the whole Avengers team, plus several Ultrons, a few Iron Legion drones, two minor villains, and the Hulkbuster. However, DST felt that wasn’t quite enough, so we’ve gotten an extra, special five figure (that’s a whole extra figure!) boxed set to fill a few holes in the collection.  Without further ado, let’s have a look at Final Form Ultron, Iron Legion 01, Tony Stark, Iron Man Mark 45, and Nick Fury!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

This set was one of the SDCC-exclusive sets offered by DST this year. The sets were then available at various retailers following the show.

FINAL FORM ULTRON

AoUMatesBox3Ultron looks a little….I don’t want to say puffy…  Yeah, so this is Ultron in his Vibranium infused body from the film’s big climactic battle, which is ever so slightly different from his main look for the rest of the movie. The figure is about 2 ½ inches tall and has 14 points of articulation. Ultron uses the base Minimate body, with non-standard pieces for the head, hands, and feet, as well as add-ons for the shoulders and torso extension. All of these pieces are re-used from prior figures; the head is from Ultron Prime, the hands originated on DC Minimates’ Cheetah, the feet are from Nightcrawler, and the add-ons are pieces we’ve seen on numerous prior ‘mates. It’s definitely a hodge-podge of pieces, but the end result actually looks pretty sleek. Also, he amends the issue of size that plagued Ultron Prime; he’s not huge, but he’s certainly got a level of imposing-ness to him. The paintwork on this figure is superb. The silver is nice and cleanly applied, the detail lines are nice and sharp, and he does a pretty great job of replicating the film design. Everything looks really great, and he’s even got a full set of detail lines on the normal arms under the bulked up shoulders. Ultron includes a spare set of normal hands and feet painted silver, for those that don’t want the more unique pieces, as well as a clear display stand.

IRON LEGION 01

AoUMatesBox6Okay, so if there’s one thing this set might have been okay without, it’s another Iron Legion drone. The blind bags ran into a bit of an issue by seriously over-packing drones 02 and 04, which kind of got us all down on the drones in general. That said, there are actually supposed to be five of these guys, and we only had two (three if you count the Ultron Mk 1 as drone 03), so I guess getting another of them isn’t the worst thing. Of course, if I were choosing one more, I’d probably go with 05, since you could include the scepter the drone steals, but DST went with 01. I guess having 01, 02, 03, and 04 is better than having 02, 03, 04, and 05. This figure is virtually identical to the other two drones we got (reviewed here). He’s a vanilla ‘mate, with a fair amount of painted details. Obviously, he’s got “01” in place of the preceding “02” and “04,” and he’s also got grey accents as opposed to the blue and black, respectively, of the other two.

TONY STARK

AoUMatesBox2Hey, it wouldn’t be the Avengers without another Tony Stark, right? The “trying to lift the hammer” sequence from AoU was definitely one of the more popular scenes from the movie, so it’s not a huge surprise to see Tony in his look from that scene. Tony has 5 sculpted add-on pieces for his hair, vest, tie, and rolled up sleeves. These are all pieces we’ve seen numerous times before, and they do a good job of capturing his look from the scene. His paint is pretty simple, with mostly base color work. The facial likeness somewhat resembles RDJ, though I don’t think it’s as good as some of DST’s other versions of the guy. It’s also a little bit too high set. Tony includes one of his Iron Man gauntlets (taken from the Mark 43), which is kind of key to the scene, as well as a spare set of arms and a jacket piece, and a clear display stand. It would have been cool to include Mjolnir here, but I can’t say this guy’s lacking for extras.

MARK 45

AoUMatesBox5We got the Mark 43, we got the Hulkbuster, and we got a basic Tony. What’s left? The Mark 45, Tony’s armor from the last fight scene. It’s only a little bit different from the Mark 43, but it’s still its own armor, and it continues the trend of each model streamlining the basic design just a bit more. Structurally, he’s just a basic ‘mate, with the helmet from the Mark 42/43. It’s not 100% accurate, but at this scale, it’s close enough. The paint is the important part here, and it’s handled quite nicely. The red and gold are distinctly different from each other, and they’re both nice and bright. The details of the suit are rendered pretty nicely on the body, and look pretty accurate to the source material. Under the helmet, there’s another Tony face, which is much angrier looking than the regular Tony. It looks even less like RDJ, but I much prefer a different expression that looks less like the actor than the same expression over and over again. The figure includes the same hairpiece included with the other Tony, as well as a flight stand, and a clear display stand.

NICK FURY

AoUMatesBox7At last! A character who wasn’t released in any of the other AoU assortments! Fury was originally slated to be one of the figures in the blind bagged assortment before being pulled from the lineup, so it’s not a huge shock to see him turn up here. The figure depicts Fury in his somewhat more distinct look from his earlier appearances in the film. He gets two add-on pieces for his hat and coat. The hat comes from the Amazing Spider-Man Vigilante Spider-Man, and the coat is from Punisher War-Zone’s Frank Castle. These parts match up pretty closely with the look from the film, and their well-sculpted in general, so that’s good. Fury’s paint is fairly simple. He’s got a fairly drab color scheme, with a bit of detailing for the belt, shirt, and face. The face doesn’t really look much like SLJ, but he’s a decent looking Fury. Also, I really like that the eye patch’s strap goes all the way around the head, even under the hat, though it’s a little frustrating that the head has a peg hole at the top for the hat. Fury includes a spare head with the eye patch removed, a handgun, and a clear display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Since I didn’t go to SDCC, I picked this set after the fact, courtesy of Luke’s Toy Store. This set doesn’t cover a whole lot of new ground, but it’s still a solid addition. Ultron is a significant improvement to Ultron Prime, Fury and Stark are both valid variants, and the Mark 45 and the Legion drone are decent enough. The final AoU line-up is pretty impressive!

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#0637: Ultron

ULTRON

MARVEL LEGENDS INFINITE SERIES

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Well, it’s a little late, but here’s my Ultron Build-A-Figure review!  I actually had most of this review ready to go a few days ago, but, as I mention in my Orion and Onigumo review, computer issues left me without access to the lovely photos I’d shot for this.  So, I had to shelf it for just a little bit and work with figures of which I did have pictures.  Fortunately, I was able to get my computer issues mostly sorted out, so we’re back in business!  Yay!  So, he’s my review of yet another Ultron.  I know, it’s a real change of pace.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

UltronBAF2Ultron is the Build-A-Figure for the Ant-Man Marvel Legends Infinite Series.  At face value, that might seem a little odd.  I mean, this is the movie version of Ultron, who’s in no way related to Ant-Man.  Wouldn’t he have made more sense as the BAF for the last series of Avengers Marvel Legends?  Well, yeah, he would, but I can kinda see why Hasbro went the way they did.  First of all, it gave them more time to get the details on Ultron accurate to what was seen on screen.  It also gave the Ant-Man series, which had to be something of a hard sell to retailers, more of a hook.  And, seeing as Hank Pym, the original Ant-Man, created Ultron in the comics, there’s at least a little bit of a link.  So, as I noted above, this is the movie version of Ultron; specifically, it’s his Ultron Prime look, which was his main body for the majority of the film.  It’s kind of an important look.  The figure is 8 inches tall and has 30 points of articulation.  This is the first of the Ultron figures from the movie not to feel horribly undersized next to his fellow figures, and that’s actually a pretty big deal.  Ultron also gets a sculpt all his own, though, to be totally upfront, it’s not quite as good as it could be.  A lot of that has to do with how the articulation has been worked in, which is to say very clumsily.  It’s forgivable on the arms and legs, but the fact that the ab-joint doesn’t follow the sculpted detail lines feels inexcusable. Also, the  hands are kinda weirdly posed, which is annoying.  In fact, the hands in general feel less detailed than the rest of the figure, almost as if their unfinished.  He’s got webbed fingers for crying out loud!  However, complaints aside, there’s more than a few things to like about this sculpt.  The head is very well detailed and captures Ultron’s distinctive movie look very well.  They’ve chosen a more pondering expression, which some people don’t like, but I think it works for the character.  Ultron’s sculpt is also a fair bit closer to the on screen design than prior attempts, and manages to get pretty darn close.  Like the sculpt, paintwork is something of a mixed bag here.  Not in the usual sloppy Hasbro paint apps way, either.  No, everything’s clean here, it’s just…inconsistent?  I don’t know how to put it.  The figure is molded in a dark-ish grey, with silver painted over it.  The thing is, the silver is rather heavy in some areas and completely absent in others, with no real area between.  It’s jarring to say the least.  Also, many of the red sections feel like they were tacked on at the last minute, and don’t line up with the sculpt at all.  As an accessory himself, Ultron includes no pack-ins.  I can’t really think of anything to give him, so I guess that’s fair.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

If you’ve been following the Ant-Man Legends reviews, you can probably figure out where this guy came from.  I picked up all but Giant-Man from my local TRU, and then ordered Giant-Man online, thereby getting myself an Ultron.  How about that?  This is the movie Ultron I was most looking forward to, and it’s not wrong to say he’s the best we’ve gotten.  That said, he still has more than a few flaws, which prevent him from being quite as cool as he could have been, which is certainly a letdown.

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#0623: Ultron 2.0

ULTRON 2.0

AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON

Ultron2c

It’s hard to believe it’s been two months since Avengers: Age of Ultron hit theatres. Time’s just flown by, and we’ve all moved onto other movies (such as another evil robot movie…), so it’s a little surprising that so much of the film’s merchandise is still slowly making its way to stores. The second set of the 3 ¾ inch figures made their way out about a month ago, but I’m still playing a little bit of catch-up. I’ve managed to piece together a pretty decent set of figures, including the first single release of the titular antagonist, Ultron.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Ultron2bUltron 2.0 was released in the second assortment of 3 ¾ inch Avengers: Age of Ultron figures. As the name denotes, this figure is based on Ultron’s second main appearance, more commonly referred to as Ultron Prime. I guess Hasbro just haaaaaad to be different. So, in an effort to be upfront, it should be noted that this figure is a repaint of the Ultron Prime included in the Ultron vs. Iron Man set. As such, it inherits all of that sculpts various flaws, the most pressing being that the figure stands just shy of 4 inches tall when it really should be over 5. So, he’s still really tiny. I will say that, for whatever reason, the sculpted details seem a little sharper on this figure than they did on the other. I don’t know if that’s just the lighter plastic allowing a better view or if the figure actually went through a better casting process. While I thought the sculpt was fairly accurate on first examination, another look at it shows that it’s got more than a few deviations from the source material. The head lacks the human flare of Ultron Prime, and a lot of the finer details of the armor are incorrect. Also, he has the sort of goofy, almost clown shoe like feet, instead of the toed feet from the movie. Some of it’s rather forgivable, but it’s annoying to see it be so off. Paint, or coloring at least, is what differentiates this figure from the last one. Fortunately, he’s much better overall than what we saw before. The lighter, more metallic plastic he’s been molded in looks a lot cleaner and makes the figure look more finished. He lacks the odd translucent arms, which is good for those wanting a more basic Ultron. The actual painted details aren’t much different, though he does have some extra red detailing on his torso, which is certainly nice. He includes the same accessory as his predecessor: a blast piece molded in red.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Hey, remember when I found the Iron Legion and Scarlet Witch and decided to give the Scarlet Witch to my Dad? Yeah, this guy’s from the same purchase. Like the Iron Legion, this guy was more bought to hold me over until I could get my own Scarlet Witch. He’s really not the most thrilling figure, but at the very least he’s an improvement over the one from the three pack. Yay for me.

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#0570: Age of Ultron Minimates Single Packs

BARON STRUCKER, ULTRON MK 1, SUB-ULTON – BLUE, SUB-ULTRON – RED, IRON LEGION 02, & 04

MARVEL MINIMATES

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Okay, today wraps up my reviews of the first “assortment” of Avengers: Age of Ultron-themed Marvel Minimates. For a while now, Diamond Select Toys has been doing “army dump” cases, where you have the chance to buy a few army builder figures in single packs, as well as one or two single-packed non-army builders. Just a few months ago, I looked at the army dump case for the Aliens line. They’ve also shown up a few times in the Marvel Minimates line, to tie-in with several of the movies. They’ve done it once more for Age of Ultron, albeit with a few differences. Technically, these are each single releases, but I received them all as one, and they sort of work as one entity. Also, there are some minor spoilers for Age of Ultron below. Nothing that would ruin your movie-going experience, but if you haven’t seen it yet, you might want to hold off.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

These figures are all part of the first series of Marvel Minimates Age of Ultron blind-bagged figures. They ship in a case of 18 blind bagged figures. Previous army dump cases have not been blind-bagged and they have generally been cases of 12, so these are both changes. The ratio of the figures is 1x Strucker, 1x Ultron Mk 1, 3x Sub-Ultron – Blue, 3x Sub-Ultron – Red, 5x Iron Legion 02, 5x Iron Legion 04.

BARON STRUCKER

AoUSingles2Strucker, Strucker, Strucker. This guy was pushed pretty hard as being really important in AoU, and, truth-be-told, his part in the film is rather small. I mean, the guy still has an impact on the story, but I was sort of expecting more, given all the lead-up. His figure is roughly 2 ½ inches tall and has 14 points of articulation. While the line is based upon Age of Ultron, Strucker’s design here is actually the one he had in the post-credits scene of The Winter Soldier. Of the two, the chosen look is definitely the more distinctive, and it means he also goes pretty well with the various Hydra soldiers we’ve gotten. As far as structure, Strucker’s actually almost identical to Black Widow. Obviously, he doesn’t have the hair piece, but he has the same belt and holster. Seeing as they’re both pretty standard paramilitary pieces, they work just as well here as on Widow. The figure’s paint is generally pretty good. His uniform is done with two different tones of green, which adds some fairly nice depth to the design. The line work is also all pretty clean, and rather detailed. The uniform has some great detailing and texturing, and it looks like the one from the movie. I can’t say that the face looks a whole lot like the actor, but it’s not like it doesn’t look like the actor. Also, it seems like the hair may be a)too low set, and b) too dark. Strucker is packed with a handgun and a clear display stand.

ULTRON MK 1

AoUSingles3Hey, another Ultron Mk 1! Cool! It seems more than one toy company was influenced by that distinctive appearance. The fact that it played such a central role in the first trailer probably helped up the popularity of the design. Ultimately, it ended up with a little less screen time than I expected, but what screen time it did have was well-used. The figure is the same height as Strucker, but it only has 13 points of articulation, due to being down a hand. He’s built on the standard Minimate body with the damaged lower arm of the Battle-Damaged T-800 in place of his own lower left arm. The arm’s a good piece. It’s nothing fancy, but it gets the job done. The paint is this figure’s real shining point. The torso and waist are molded in clear plastic, with the actually body painted on. This allows for a more proper robotic appearance for the figure, and it works quite well. The detail lines are superbly handled, and this thing is just covered in texture. The only real drawback is that my figure has some paint rub on the back of the torso, presumable from being packed in with the stand. The stand, for the record, is this figure’s only accessory. That’s pretty much on par with the rest of the assortment, but I wouldn’t have minded getting an extra drone head or something to simulate the partial drone he crushes.

SUB-ULTRON – BLUE

AoUSingles6If you feel like you’ve seen this figure before, it’s because you have…essentially. This figure is effectively the same as the Sub-Ultron included with Winter Ops Hawkeye. If you really want my feelings about the figure, I’d recommend reading the review here. There is one notable difference between this version and that one: the blues of the single release are much paler than the two pack version. Oddly, I actually find myself liking this look a little bit more, for whatever reason. My only real fault with this figure is that there aren’t more of him! Seriously, there are like hundreds of these guys in the final battle, and all we get is three? That’s a little weak.

SUB-ULTRON – RED

AoUSingles7Remember all the stuff I just said about the Blue Sub-Ultron? Well, this is the exact same figure, aside from the blue accents being swapped out for red. Same head, same body, same basic detailing, same display stand. The red, of course, means that Ultron is directly controlling the drone. Thing is, we only see him control them one at a time, so having three seems excessive. Still, I like the red detailing, and this works as pretty decent classic Ultron.

IRON LEGION 02

AoUSingles4Oh boy, the Iron Legion. These guys. Look, I don’t hate them, but I do sort of resent them. See, it’s really their fault that I don’t have more Sub-Ultrons. Because, instead of more Ultron figures, we were subjected to five each (ten total) of these guys. There are a few issues with that. First off, the Iron Legion play kind of a small role in the movie. Secondly, there are only actually 5 Iron Legion drones in the film. How might I know this, you ask? Because, thirdly, the Iron Legion are NUMBERED! As in there is one 01, one 02, one 03, one 04, and one 05. You’ll notice that the figures here are labeled as “02” and “04.” That’s because they represent those numbers of the Iron Legion. So, not only do I have TEN of these guys, but they’re also evenly split between 02 and 04, so they actually aren’t army builders. So, I just have a bunch of extras of two rather specific figures. All that aside, how are the actual figures? Well, 02 is built on the standard body, with no add-ons. Just a vanilla ‘mate. This isn’t bad, because the Iron Legion are depicted as being rather sleek, and since they aren’t actual armor, they aren’t sized to fit a person. Now, being a plain Minimate, 02 relies on paint to convey the design. The paintwork isn’t perfect, but it’s still pretty good. The colors are nicely chosen, and the detail lines are clean and plentiful. The real issue here is that the colors tend to stray outside of the lines.  The 02 has a lighter blue as its accent color, which offers a little more brightness to the design. Iron Legion 02 includes a clear display stand as its only accessory.

IRON LEGION 04

Iron Legion 04 is essentially the same figure as Iron Legion 02. It too uses just the basic Minimate body, has the usual articulation, and includes a clear display stand as its sole accessory. The difference between the two is paint. Now, obviously, this one has a “04” in place of the “02” of the last one, but it also swaps out the light blue accents for black. It doesn’t look bad, but it does result in a slightly duller figure, color-wise.

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THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I purchased these figures as a full case from my favorite Minimate retailer, Luke’s Toy Store. Ultimately, I’m torn on these guys. Strucker is technically well handled, but isn’t the most exciting Minimate. I do like Ultron Mk 1 quite a bit, and he was certainly a well-chosen figure for this assortment. The additional Sub-Ultrons are certainly appreciated, but I really wish there were more of them, specifically the blue ones. The Iron Legion? Well, I like the figures well enough, but I really have a difficult time getting past how many of them were included in the case. They aren’t army builders, and even if they were, I really don’t see how anyone could see them being in greater demand than the Sub-Ultrons. It just feels like very poor planning.

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#0569: Hawkeye – Winter Ops & Sub-Ultron

HAWKEYE – WINTER OPS & SUB-ULTRON

MARVEL MINIMATES

HawkeyeWO&SubUltron1Alright, yesterday’s review did turn out quite as up-beat as I’d hoped. Not every set of Minimates can be a total winner, I suppose. Today’s review isn’t too far removed from yesterday’s. the same two characters are covered here, but I think this one might turn out a bit better. Let’s see if I’m right!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

These two are part of Marvel Minimates Series 61. This set is the last piece of the first assortment of Age of Ultron-themed Minimates.  It’s one of the two specialty exclusive sets, and it’s the short-pack of the two.

HAWKEYE – WINTER OPS

HawkeyeWO&SubUltron2It’s Hawkeye again! Yay Hawkeye! The figure is roughly 2 ½ inches tall and features 14 points of articulation, although the hip articulation is a little restricted by the waist piece. Hawkeye is depicted here in his coated look from the film, which he wears during the opening and closing battles of the film. Since both of those battles take place in the more frigid Sokovia, I guess “Winter Ops” is a reasonable enough name. It’s actually a pretty nice design, and it works in a few more of the classic Hawkeye elements that were absent from the first movie’s design. While the majority of the figures in this series are complete re-use, this Hawkeye’s only re-used part is his hair, which is the same as the regular Hawkeye’s hair. The figure also has new add-ons for his collar/quiver and his belt/lower jacket. Both pieces are well sculpted and match up nicely to the design of the costume from the movie. The only real issue I ran into is that the quiver on my figure wasn’t very well affixed to the collar, so it fell out almost as soon as I took the figure out of the packaging. It was a quick fix, but it was still a little annoying. Hawkeyes’s paintwork is quite well handled.  From the waist down, it’s the same as the regular Hawkeye, which, given that the jacket of this version is just supposed to go over the regular version, adds a nice bit of consistency. The upper half of the figure is sharply and cleanly detailed, and it does a great job of capturing the jacket’s look. The face on this figure has a more intense expression than the regular, and I think it actually results in a stronger likeness of Jeremy Renner. Guess I just associate the guy with looking pissed off. Hawkeye features the same selection of accessories as his regular counterpart: a bow, three arrows, and a clear display stand.

SUB-ULTRON

HawkeyeWO&SubUltron3So, when you need Ultron, but the regular one calls in sick, you get a Sub-Ultron, right? Nah, not really. The Sub-Ultron is really just the name of the generic Ultron Drones from the movie. Interestingly enough, while Hawkeye never has much interaction with Ultron Prime, he does have a ton of interaction with the Sub-Ultrons, so this packing makes a lot more sense than the last one did. The figure has the same basic height as Hawkeye and he has 14 points of articulation, unimpeded this time. Design-wise, there was really only one real Ultron drone design in the film. I kind of like this one a little bit more, because it’s a more classically styled take on the character. Like Ultron Prime, the Sub-Ultron features a newly sculpted head on the basic Minimate body. It works better here, though, since the Sub-Ultrons aren’t meant to be big and imposing. The head is a fairly straight forward piece. It’s well-sculpted and it looks like the heads from the movie. Paint is really where the strong suit lies on this figure. All of the many pieces of the Ultron body are clearly outlined, and there’s plenty of great texture work. The lines are also all crisp and dark, which hasn’t really been the case with the AoU-mates I’ve looked at so far. The figure also has a few spots of nice, bright blue, which works as a great accent and (in-movie) indicates that Ultron is not in direct control of this drone body. The Sub-Ultron’s only accessory is a clear display stand, but I can’t really think of anything else that could have been included.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like yesterday’s set, I got this one as part of a complete set of Series 61, which I ordered through Big Bad Toy Store. This was actually the set I was looking forward to the most in this series, and I’m happy to say it didn’t disappoint. This Hawkeye design is a little stronger than the last one, and the figure translates it very well. I also like the more intense expression, and it was nice to get a few new parts for this one. The Sub-Ultron is a much more solid figure compared to Ultron Prime. It maintains the same level of paint detail, but without the issues with size. This set is a great addition to the line.

#0568: Hawkeye & Ultron Prime

HAWKEYE & ULTRON PRIME

MARVEL MINIMATES

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Alright, now we get into the good stuff. I mean, sure, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch were fun , and Iron Man, Widow, Thor, and Cap weren’t bad, but the movie was called Age of ULTRON. Dude’s in the title. That makes him a little important. Add in Hawkeye who got short changed by the first Avengers movie, both in Minimate form and in the film itself, and you’ve got what makes for quite a winning combination. So, let’s look at the basic Hawkeye and Ultron Prime.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Hawkeye and Ultron are part of Marvel Minimates Series 61, which is the specialty store portion of the first assortment of Age of Ultron Minimates. This set is one of two specialty-exclusive sets from the first assortment, and it is the heavier packed of the two.

HAWKEYE

Hawkeye&UltronPr3Hawkeye’s the requisite Avenger here, though I guess he’s the least “heavy-hitter” of the main six. The figure is about 2 ½ inches tall and he has the usual 14 points of articulation. This figure is based on Hawkeye’s no-sleeve appearance, which is pretty much the same as his main appearance in the first Avengers film. The figure shares his collar and quiver with the Hawkeye from the last movie, but this time around he’s got the Series 27 Ultimate Cap hair, which had been popping up with increasing frequency. It’s actually a better fit for Jeremy Renner’s hair than the previous piece, and a better sculpt in general. At first glance, Hawkeye’s paint isn’t much different than the last Avengers film version. However, a closer look shows that his paint is actually a fair bit more detailed, cleaner, and better aligned to the body. Hawkeye’s face is probably the biggest departure from the last one. I’m not sure that they’ve necessarily captured the Renner likeness any better, but I personally like this face a little more than the last. To be fair, the hair also plays a large part in how the face looks. Hawkeye is armed with his bow and three arrows, and he’s also packed with a clear display stand.

ULTRON PRIME

Hawkeye&UltronPr2And now we finally get to the titular villain, Ultron. It’s taken a little time, but here we are. The figure has 14 points of articulation and stands about 2 ½ inches tall. That last bit is sort of an issue. Like the Hasbro figure before him, this Ultron Prime is simply too small. Now, it’s not unheard of for a Minimate to be slightly out of scale (just ask the Sentinels) but for a character like Ultron, who only needs to be a little bigger than the rest of the line, Diamond usually uses a few add-ons to bulk the character up just a tad. Characters like Groot have received a few pieces here and there to bring them to a more proper height. Ultron’s only additional sculpted piece is his head. Aside from that, he just uses the basic body. This makes him feel rather… unintimidating, especially when supposedly compact designs like the Mark 43 are so much bulkier than he is. The figure really would have benefited from at the very least a waist extender and a bulker torso piece. As is, he feels far too puny for the film’s version of the character. Now, moving past the issues with scale and sculpt, it should be noted that the paintwork on this particular figure is tremendously handled. All of his detail lines are nice and crisp, and his many textural details extend around almost the entirety of the figure. At the very least, on his own, he looks like Ultron. Ultron Prime’s only accessory is a clear display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

While I got the last two sets from my local comicbook store, they sadly had already sold out of both of the Hawkeye and Ultron sets by the time I got there. To make matters worse, my other go-to retailer for Minimates purchases, Luke’s Toy Store, ended up not getting adequate supplies of Series 61 due to a mix-up with Diamond. So, I ended up having to order a complete set of Series 61 (extras of Iron Man, Black Widow, Cap, and Thor included) from Big Bad Toy Store. I don’t dislike this set. I can’t say it wowed me as much as I’d hoped it would, though. Hawkeye is a great update on the original Avenegrs design. From top to bottom, he is a superior figure to his predecessor. Sadly, Ultron ends up being the disappointing piece here. He isn’t terrible, but he’s been horribly undercut by the lack of any sort of add-ons. His head piece is the first new part we’ve seen so far in this assortment, which leads me to believe that DST were trying to get as much as they could out of re-used parts. Perhaps Ultron’s additional pieces just didn’t cost out. Or it could even be possible that DST was unaware of Ultron’s final scale until it was too late to change. I don’t really know, but the end result is a somewhat lackluster take on the movie’s primary villain. That’s unfortunate.

#0563: Ultron, Captain America, & Hulk

ULTRON, CAPTAIN AMERICA, & HULK

MARVEL SUPER HERO MASHERS

UltronCap&IM1So, it’s been almost a whole week since I took a look at anything Avengers-related. I don’t know about you guys, but that feels a little bit too long to me. Fortunately, I’ve got another set ready to go, and it’s even got an Ultron in it! Yay!

This review marks my second look at one of Hasbro’s newest ventures, Hero Mashers, a somewhat more kid-aimed line of figures whose whole gimmick is that you, well, mash them together. It’s not exactly the highest brow concept, but as long as it’s fun, who cares?

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Ultron, Captain America, and Hulk make up a three-pack that is part of the Marvel Super Hero Mashers line. The set is exclusive to Target and it was released to sort of coincide with the release of Age of Ultron. Hulk and Cap are re-decos of previous figures, but this is currently the only way to get Ultron. I’d like to address upfront that these figures are mostly made up of previous Mashers parts, but since I am not really familiar with the line, I don’t quite know the origins of each part.

ULTRON

UltronCap&IM2Clearly, this guy’s the selling point of the set, it being his introduction to the line and all. The figure is about 6 inches tall and has 24 points of articulation. Design-wise, he seems to be an amalgam of various Ultron looks, though he does seem to skew more towards the modern side of things. I’m fairly certain that the only piece on this figure that is actually a new sculpt is the head. It’s a rather nice piece, with some pretty decent detail work. Ultron’s head is less affected by the stylization of the Mashers line than others, which definitely works in his favor. The body is a mix of pieces from various other figures in the line. He seems to draw mostly from Iron Man and Dr. Doom, which isn’t a bad choice of parts. For the most part, everything meshes together pretty well, though it is worth noting that his right hand is noticeably larger than his left. It’s not really an issue on a robotic character such as Ultron, but it does leave me wondering if it was intentional. I’m not super keen on the red energy blade thingy, which isn’t removable. Regular release Mashers tend to have more standard parts to replace the wonkier ones like this one, but Ultron seems to have gotten the short end of the stick on that one, with no additional pieces. That’s a little annoying. Ultron is mostly just molded in silver, though he does feature some minimal red paintwork for his eyes and mouth, as well as some slight detailing on the torso (which, it has been noted, when coupled with the sculpt of the chest ends up looking not unlike a frowning face. Can’t unsee it…) and the aforementioned red energy blade thingy. What’s there is cleanly handled, if a bit sparse. As previously noted, Ultron includes no accessory.

CAPTAIN AMERICA

UltronCap&IM3Cap is the first of the two repaints in the set. He stands 6 inches tall and has 24 points of articulation, just like Ultron. Cap is generally built from the same pieces as the series 1 version of Cap, with the exception of the hands and feet, which come from elsewhere, though I couldn’t begin to say specifically where. Cap is definitely more stylized than Ultron, though not to an unreasonable degree. Generally, he’s more squared off at the edges than the average Captain America figure. The hands present a similar problem to Ultron’s left hand, in that they have the what appear to be sections of railroad track permanently affixed to them. It’s less annoying here, given that this isn’t the only Cap available, but it’s still a little annoying that there isn’t an alternative. From the standpoint of paint, this figure ends up having a little extra value to it. See, instead of the usual blue, he’s got black, which actually makes him a pretty decent stand-in for lesser known Marvel hero US Agent. It’s also worth noting that the paint is all cleanly handled, with no issues with bleed over or slop. Cap is the only figure in this set to get an accessory; he comes armed with his mighty shield, which can be plugged into either of his hands.

HULK

UltronCap&IM4Last, and sadly least, it’s the Hulk. He’s the second repaint in the set, and easily the weakest figure (spoilers). Hulk is about 6 ½ inches tall and he features the same 26 points of articulation (check out those spinning fists!). Like Cap, he’s mostly built from the last Hulk, with different hands and feet. Hulk doesn’t translate as well to this style, being a character who should be a bit more organic. He’s got a neck that is the same size as Cap’s, which looks really strange. And then there’re the hands and feet, which are mechanical in nature for some odd reason. In addition, his right hand has a cannon of some sort affixed to it, and, just like the other two, there isn’t an alternate piece. Hulk ends up with a rather straightforward Hulk style paint scheme, though it’s not without issue. The hands and feet are a metallic green, in contrast to the flatter green of the upper arms, head, and torso, suggesting that maybe it’s armor or something. Also, the greens of head and arms don’t match the torso, which really bugs me. Like Ultron, Hulk is without any accessories.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, I was at Target with my Dad a few weeks ago, and they had this set. I knew of its existence, but I hadn’t actually seen it. It being Ulton’s debut in the line, I kinda had to go for it. Ultron’s definitely the best piece of this set. He’s just shy of greatness; it would be really nice to have an alternate left hand. Cap isn’t bad, but he’s not the most exciting, and Hulk is really just filling space. I feel like this set would be best for a kid who doesn’t have Hulk and Cap yet, since they are at least fun to mess with. For a collector, you’re essentially paying the price of three figures for an Ultron. For me it was worth it, but your mileage may vary.

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