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Marvel Select
by yo go re

Watch out, Doctor! It's a Cyberman!

Built by scientist and Avenger Hank "Ant-Man" Pym to be the ultimate android, Ultron quickly became self-aware thanks to the gift of Pym's own brain patterns, but he also fell in love with Pym's girlfriend, the Wasp. After he was rejected by his "father," Ultron directed his ire at the Avengers, first through pawns like the Masters of Evil and the Vision, then face-to-face in his newly indestructible adamantium body. Ultron is effectively immortal, thanks to virtual storage of his personality files, and he is constantly upgrading his systems, which means the Avengers must remain ever-vigilant for his return.

Ultron is one of the major Avengers villains, which is why it was so frustrating that the best figure of him that money could buy was from way back in 1999. We needed a modern version, and that's why everyone was so excited when DST announced a Marvel Select version. But is he good enough to blend with your Marvel Legends? Let's find out!

We'll start with the most important thing: the head. Unlike some Ultrons, this one retains the classic look: triangular eyes, a huge, gaping mouth, and antennae that run down the sides of his head instead of poking up off the top. This is what Ultron is supposed to look like - he's even got tiny little nostrils!

Below the neck, the sculpt is simple and smooth. This is another Gentle Giant digital sculpt, but they went with the classic comic version of Ultron, which means there's no superfluous "tech" details: just a smooth, humanoid form with a few embellishments, such as the tiny spikes on the shoulders and the inset black lines that break up the silver mass of his body. There are raised pieces around his forearms to suggest gloves, and similar pieces around his knees that come straight from the books. The soles of his feet have jet turbines - can he fly? He can if you want him to! The toy is flat silver, without any crummy blue highlights, and the insides of his face are red; the only thing that might make him better would be some Kirby dots in his mouth.

Standing upright, Ultron is just about 7½" tall, and while that would normally mean he was too big to integrate with Marvel Legends, but remember: robot. He can be whatever size he built himself to be. And his mind is patterned on Hank Pym, a guy who spent half his time growing big, so this size works perfectly with a 6" collection.

Marvel Select has come a long way since their early days, when the toys could barely move, and Ultron is just loaded with articulation. He has a swivel head, hinged neck, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, swivel/hinge elbows, swivel wrists, a balljointed chest, swivel waist, swivel/hinge hips, swivel thighs, double-hinged knees, swivel ankles, and swivel/hinge feet for that side-to-side motion. Basically, this guy moves like a Marvel Legend, and most of the joints can't be seen because of the way they fit in with his robotic design.

The last few Marvel Select figures we reviewed didn't come with bases, because they were so huge. Ultron's a more manageable size, so he gets a very nice display to call his own. Remember how the recent MS Hawkeye and Black Widow figures came with defeated Ultron bodies on their bases? Well, this one returns the favor, by letting Ultron walk over the defeated forms on Ant-Man and Wasp. There's a crumbling brick wall in the back, and a few broken arrows littering the ground, too. Very cool.

We weren't sure how this Ultron would do filling the gap in Marvel's 6" action figure lineup, but he turned out wonderfully! This is the Ultron everybody's been waiting for, and even being an inch and a half bigger than everyone else isn't a flaw that can hold him back. You want an evil robot to fight your Avengers? Marvel Select delivers!

-- 09/24/12

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