For nearly 10 years a barrage of superheroes adorned my desk at Future and Capcom. While these action figures ranged from the 80s Secret War line all the way to modern movie tie-ins, most of them came from the 2000s “Marvel Legends” line. This line was known for its detail, articulation and high price point, but damn were they nice!
Since leaving Capcom, however, I am without a desk. I had to jettison most of these figures, sending them to loving homes instead of my Toy Story-like purgatory. However, before abandoning them, I took pics to share with everyone! Up first… an all-Ultron edition!
Years before they were a household name, The Avengers brand was a distant third to Spider-Man and the X-Men. The prior two had successful cartoon and toy runs via Fox Kids and Toy Biz, but Avengers animated efforts never quite caught on. Maybe it was the odd lineup (no Thor, Iron Man and Cap barely appear) or a case of superhero cartoons petering out, but even I barely caught a single episode in its original run.
What I did pay attention to, however, were the toys – and specifically Ultron, my favorite villain. The iconic Jack O’ Lantern face is well represented and I love the cables extending out from his neck. However, I’m not wild about his weird slanted stance…
It’s possible this is unique to my figure, possibly due to years of leaning or even errant sun damage. Who can say? Anyway, I’m also not a big fan of the Batman-style antenna poking upward from his head. His classic look is a little less ‘50s sci-fi IMO.
But of course these ‘90s toys need a gimmick, so Ultron here has a hole in his arm that accepts a giant laser cannon… which I lost more than a decade ago, naturally. Once the gun is inserted, it actually lights up via connector pins inside the hole. It’s fiiiine but even as a child I didn’t care about extra features – I wanted a good sculpt with proper articulation.
The Vault is a recurring super-prison within the Marvel universe, used to contain all the baddies a typical prison couldn’t possibly keep within their walls. In 1998 we saw an entire toy line devoted to the Vault, complete with “jail bars” style packaging and a truly bizarre lineup of villains. How Ultron – one of the most powerful foes in all of Marvel – gets lumped with Typhoid Mary and fuggin’ Stegron is beyond me!
At the time I was so starved for Ultron toys that I believed this was a good figure. In some ways, it is – articulation is 1998-era appropriate, the face looks fine and there’s no unnecessary spring-loaded gimmick to interfere with play (and yes, 18-year-old me DID play with these). The back detail is actually pretty cool too!
Butttt I have never liked this weird robo-hoof look, especially in conjunction with the TV antenna. I don’t even recall a comic that featured this version of Ultron! I do understand the appeal as a toy manufacturer though, to iterate on a cool robot design and release a new version every so often, but at this point there wasn’t a solid, “classic” Ultron figure so why do all this?
The spiked shoulders are a nice callback to that classic design, at least, and I loooove the extra cables jutting out from his back. All in all this is a cool toy, I just can’t deal with those feet. And he’s blue, rather than silver but w/e.
Good god. This awful, awful thing. The Marvel Legends series was pretty amazing, and when I read Ultron was getting the ML treatment all I could envision was a badass, classic take on the character. That’s what the series was for, after all – the best takes on legendary costumes. NOTTTTTT goofball gimmicky BS like “wheeee people who ride things!”
Needless to say, I either lost or outright tossed the glider thing within a few days. But then the real drama began, as this robo-goon can barely even stand with those piddly insect feet. He’s top heavy as hell, to the point where even if you can get him to stand, the weight will slowly bend the legs over time.
And wtf is with these turbines in his chest? Again I’m all for iterating on a design for the sake of a cool one-off toy, but – also again – we still didn’t have a regular Ultron in the Legends line, so why put this thing out? Did he ever appear in the comics like this? EVENNNNN if he did wtffffff I am real glad to be rid of this thing.
While I did jettison most of my Ultrons, I did keep this Diamond Select one (arguably the best Ultron figure to date) and one of the 2014 “build an Iron Monger” models.
If you happen to like this article, good news – I can do more! I have so many more photos of old toys to share. Shall I??
SHOP ON AMAZON, SUPPORT LT!!