Between Marvel Legends and the 2″ mini figures and playsets, it seemed like Hasbro’s focus for Avengers: Age of Ultron was shifting away from the long established 3.75″ movie figures. Sure, there was a series of basic figures– updates to the top four heroes, Captain America, Iron Man, Hulk and Thor– but these figures seemed more like an afterthought than anything.
Which is why I was very surprised to discover a whole new wave of 3.75″ Age of Ultron figures, as well as a Target exclusive set, completely out of the blue! The new series adds movie versions of Scarlet Witch, Ultron, and an Iron Legion troop builder to the series, as well as new versions of War Machine and Loki. I’m not super into the limited 5 points of articulation with my Marvel movie figures, but one look at this Scarlet Witch figure was enough to convince me.
Wanda Maximoff may be lacking in articulation, but her all new sculpt is quite good. I sort of dig the proto costume she wears in Age of Ultron, a punky getup with a black dress, boots and a bright red jacket, and this figure captures the look quite well. Even better is the Elizabeth Olsen portrait, one of the nicer actor likenesses I’ve seen from Hasbro’s Marvel toys in this scale.
The sculpted details in this figure are well done, leaving her a perfect fit for the higher quality 3.75″ figures of years past. Yes, I would have liked to see a more articulated Wanda in this scale, but this one fits well enough alongside her fellow Avengers and looks great. As an added bonus, Scarlet Witch includes two energy effects, recast from the Marvel Legends figure. These pieces can be used for either this movie figure, thanks to the smaller clips I somehow overlooked when I first saw these accessories last winter… or they can be added to the Legends scale Wanda to double up on her magic energy.
I skipped the new single carded Ultron, instead opting for another surprise… an Iron Man vs Ultron three-pack, which is showing up now exclusively at Target. This set features Iron Man in his Mark 43 armor, an alternate colored Ultron Prime with translucent red hands, and an Ultron Mark 1, exclusive to this set. Ultron Prime is okay. Again, he only gets the basic 5 POA, and while there’s a lot going on in the mechanical texture of this sculpt, there’s a softness to it that leaves him a bit underwhelming. This is compounded by his scale. While the figure is tall (standing a few centimeters above the likes of Cap or Iron Man), he’s still not tall enough to represent his movie counterpart.
Thankfully, the Mark 1 Ultron is a way, way better figure, with a more refined sculpt and better realized detail and a more accurate sense of scale. This is the “junkpile” Ultron, which we’ve seen in the trailers, a shambling skeleton made up of Iron Man’s armor and robotics. As such, like Scarlet Witch, the limited articulation feels pretty much acceptable on this guy, and he’s certainly an eye catching figure.
I love the asymmetrical nature of this guy– he’s missing a hand, has entirely different armors on each leg, a broken chest plate and even different sized eye holes on his cracked mask. There’s a lot of personality in this sculpt– it’s clear this version of Ultron is a mess… but he’s also dangerous. I love the depth created thanks to the empty torso here, and the sense of heft that comes from the wires and tubes that drape down the robot’s back and limbs. This is a very cool figure, another great addition to the Avengers collection, even with his reduced articulation.
I’m still nowhere near sold on Hasbro’s low price point, 5 POA concept to action figure in this scale. But I will give them credit, the sculpting alone on Scarlet Witch and Ultron Mark 1 makes them feel on par with the more collector-oriented, better articulated figures of the past. To put it another way, these figures impressed me enough that now I’m kind of hoping we get a third series, so I can add Vision and Quicksilver to my Avengers toy team, as well. It’s cool to have well done versions of these characters to join the 3.75″ Marvel movie universe… especially when they snuck out to retail with no advance notice. I always appreciate a nice surprise.