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?
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.
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.