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Ultron

Ant-Man
by yo go re

A lot of people refused to accept that Ultron, in the movie, was going to be created by Tony Stark rather than Hank Pym. You know, because it makes more sense that a guy who knows how to shrink things would invent an autonomous AI before the roboticist whose house runs on an AI and who has three (semi-)intelligent robot assistants he built when he was in college.

First discovered as a simple computer program hidden among the ruins of the Chitauri invasion of New York, the being known as Ultron soon completed its development into a sophisticated artificial intelligence after some experimentation by Tony Stark. Ultron's first shocking ultimatum upon gaining consciousness was to declare the human race its enemy. Setting out to exterminate all life on the planet, the unstable and emotional Ultron seeks to upgrade its mechanical body to an ultimate, unstoppable form. With an army of robotic drones and the ability to enter and corrupt any computer network, Ultron will stop at nothing to see humanity wiped out.

Ultron comes in six pieces: head, torso, arms and legs. Buy all six figures in the Ant-Man-movie themed series of Marvel Legends, and you can build the big guy. Or heck, just buy some of them, and pretend he's severely battle-damaged, we won't judge. As always, once you snap the BAF pieces together, they're staying together; assembling Ultron is a one-way street.

Ultron was played by James Spader - not just voiced by him, like Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel, but actually motion-captured, as well. He was there on set, playing Ultron, just like Robert Downey Jr. was playing Iron Man. Movie Ultron had a much more human face than comic Ultron, but this toy duplicates it well. Do you think the sunken round bits in his cheeks are speakers? They look like it. And he's got beady little eyes.

Ultron had three main bodies in the movie: the initial "Iron Legion" reject, the one he built in Strucker's lab, and the vibranium version. This figure represents the middle one, dubbed "Ultron Prime" (as opposed to the one with the vibranium, which is "Ultimate Ultron"). Despite being built without any Stark technology, you can still see the influences - Ultron's thighs look exactly like something Tony would design. Other parallels include the shape of the shoulders and the plate of armor on the chest. For all Ultron's insistence that he's nothing like his "father," the endoskeletal apple doesn't fall far from the poisonous tree.

The paint on this figure is pretty crummy. He's molded in a dull grey, then given the most half-assed silver spray imaginable. It covers his chest, shoulders, biceps, thighs and shins. I thought maybe it was supposed to represent his vibranium upgrade, but again: wrong sculpt. Plus, it only exists on the front of the figure - his back is flat grey. There are a few red accents on the torso, too, but still nothing on his back. Clearly, this is the corner Hasbro has chosen to cut.

Well, that, and anyone checking the articulation before the toy goes into production. Like Thanos, his hips don't move sideways at all. Now, we realize that the scene where Ultron does the splits was cut from the final film, but still, if you're designing a toy, why would you not make sure the joints have a full range of motion? These are the dangers of a digital sculpt. Other than that, though, he's okay: swivel/hinge ankles, wrists and shoulders; double-hinged knees and elbows; swivel thighs, waist and biceps; hinged torso and neck; and a balljointed head.

Age of Ultron was not without its problems, but a "bad" Joss Whedon film is still one of the smartest, most entertaining things you're ever going to watch. Ultron was a terrific villain, and this is a decent toy of him (even if he's the BAF for an Ant-Man series of figures, and not for Avengers 2).

Ant-Man | Wasp | Bulldozer | Tiger Shark | Grim Reaper | Giant-Man

-- 09/07/15


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