Behind the Plastic: Legend of the Dog Faced Ultron
June 25, 2006

Marvel Legends Ultron- from Concept to Figure

 

Many posts and pages have been written on the topic of the Marvel Legends Ultron figure. From the first leaked pictures from Toy Fair 2005 to the "dog head" prototype pictures to the final product fans were wondering why this design was picked over a more classic streamlined look. Who was this new version? What was the design based on?

 

 

The Design

This new Ultron was designed by Toy Biz favorite Paul Komoda. Komoda also designed the cool Cyber-Spiderman figure in the Spiderman Classics line and he sculpted the unmasked "hamburger" head for the Marvel Legends Deadpool figure.

Since the story of Ultron involves him rebuilding or regenerating every time he is destroyed, each time coming back stronger than before, Komoda was allowed to let loose on the design and come up with a future incarnation of Hank Pym’s "son." Let’s face it, apart from the scary robot head with that weird signature mouth, classic Ultron is just a silver guy. Komoda came up with a new design that looked more like something that if it showed up in your front lawn you would want some Avengers to assemble!

Here, for the first time anywhere AFI is proud to bring you the original Komoda designs for the Marvel Legends Ultron figure:

 

There are some very insect elements to the design and a very bio-mechanical feel as opposed to just a robot. The body is almost a precursor to the new Cylon redesign on Sci-Fi Channels Battlestar Galactica with some very claw-like appendages.

 

The prototype

When pictures of the "dog head" prototype showed up on the Toy Biz image disk given out to press at Toy Fair, no one was more surprised than Jesse Falcon. The press photo session for this wave of figures happened while Jesse was overseas in China overseeing production. Normally he is at these shoots and helps set everything up. The Ultron prototype had changed to the more classic looking head several weeks earlier and this version was never going to be seen outside of the Toy Biz offices.

The Finished Product

The figure was sculpted by the Four Horsemen. It was one of the first Marvel Legends that they sculpted, and they continue to work on the line. I suspect their run on Marvel Legends may end now that the line has moved to Hasbro since that might be a conflict of interest to their Mattel projects. Time will tell if that is the case.

With the finished product it looks like there was some middle ground taken to smooth out Komoda’s design and still give some of the old robot feel to the figure. The double blades of the elbow extensions become single, the feet lose a lot of the spiky detail and the whole figure doesn’t feel quite as armor plated as the sketches.

Daniel Pickett
Daniel “Julius Marx” Pickett has been around toys his whole life. The first line he ever collected was Mego’s World’s Greatest Super Heroes line back in the 70s. He has been surrounded by collectables ever since. In 1999 he was confounded by a lack of information and news about some of his favorite toy lines he was collecting. Since he couldn’t find the information he decided to pursue it himself thinking other people might also be interested in the same news. He started writing a weekly column on the toy industry and action figure for a toy news site and in a years time he tripled the sites daily traffic with his updates, reviews and product features. He built relationships with every major toy manufacturer and many sculptors, painters and mold makers. He grew his hobby into a world wide expertise that the industry has embraced. In 2004 he teamed up with his toy buddy Jason “ToyOtter” Geyer and they created their own website www.ActionFigureInsider.com. Daniel has been quoted in both industry and mass media press outlets. Over the years Daniel and AFi have been sought out as experts in the field. Daniel was regularly featured on “Attack of the Show” on the G4 network as the primary contributor to their “Mint On Card” segment, and our front page has been linked to from USA Today’s “Pop Candy” Blog twice. Daniel’s content has also been featured on MSNBC.com, Time.com, The Wall Street Journal, The Saturday Evening Post, CNN.com, AssociatedPress.com Wired.com, Fark.com, Boing-Boing, Gizmodo.com, Ain’t It Cool News, the Official Star Wars blog, Geekologie, G4, CNet and Toy Fare magazine, among many others. He has consulted on toy lines, books, documentaries and TV shows. But all of that really just sounds snooty and “tootin’ his own horn” – the long and short of it is that Daniel loves toys and he LOVES talking about them.
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