Just hitting toy shelves across the country right now are the brand new Wave 3 Marvel Universe Secret Wars packs. These third set of Secret Wars comic packs appear to be the best and over the next week or so I hope to spotlight all of them. I was lucky enough to find them on a recent excursion to Walmart.

Marvel Universe Secret Wars Comic Pack
“Mr. Fantastic” Reed Richards & Ultron
4 Inch Scale
By: Hasbro

Neither Reed nor Ultron got figures when Mattel gave Secret Wars the treatment 25 years ago, but they made it this time. In fact Reed Richards and Ultron are both brand new to the Marvel Universe line. While Mr. Fantastic has had a dozen or so figures through the years, Ultron to my knowledge has only had one true action figure. A pathetic attempt by often over hyped ToyBiz in their Marvel Legends line. So can Ultron finally deliver the knockout figure he should be?

These comic packs follow the same sort of trend as the previous Secret Wars comic packs and other comic packs such as GI Joe and Star Wars. The two figures are displayed nicely in the front, while the comic is also on display. It’s a decent package that is neither fancy or wonky, it’s just utilitarian.

Reed and Ultron are thankfully not dramatically posed. Hasbro does that with some of their figures, but not as often as Mattel. Since these figures are easily warped, I’m glad they don’t have any dynamic posing in package.

The back shows off the other figures in the wave, tells a little about the comic and shows the prototype figures. I’m happy to say the protos and the final product look identical. That’s a good thing, as some of the older packs actually showed off superior protos than the toys you actually got inside.

Ultron is undoubtedly the star of the show, so we’ll skip him for a moment and talk about poor Reed. I’ve always been a fan of Reed Richards, despite the fact that the Venture Brothers lampooned him to the point that even I had to realize he’s kind of a douche. Smartest man in the universe and all, but bit of an egomaniac.

Reed’s head sculpt is excellent, but his body isn’t. He’s using the “Daredevil” body, the bane of the Marvel Universe line. While other figures have managed to use this figure and get away with it, Reed can not. For starters, the body is still too squaty and short… But that’s the least of Reed’s issues.

Apparently all that stretching has given Reed arthritis. Which come to think of it, makes a lot of sense. I could see Reed having chronic arthritis from stretching his bones all the time. HOWEVER, it doesn’t make for a good figure. The problem with this body is that the neck joint is angled all bent over.

I’m not sure why it didn’t effect other figures so much, but it looks terrible on Reed. He can’t even look up straight. His head is a ball joint, but he can’t look up or straight forward. Sadly there’s also the color of his outfit. Hasbro released Johnny and the Thing in two color schemes. The first color schemes didn’t match this one. Which means if you’re one of those saps like me who bought the figures when they were first released, you’re going to have to rebuy Johnny and the Thing… OR you can do what a lot of people are doing and popping Reed’s excellent head off and putting it onto a spare Johnny body. I think I’ll do that.

Thankfully whatever shortcomings that Reed had, Ultron definitely makes up for. This Ultron blows the Marvel Legends Ultron out of the water. Granted, that’s not hard to do, but it’s a fact none the less. Ultron clearly uses a lot of parts that will also go to Doctor Doom.

One look at Ultron and you can see a lot of Doom in him. That said, he doesn’t seem like a Doctor Doom painted to look like Ultron. He definitely seems like his own man. What an impressive man too. This unstoppable robot looks crisp and perfect.

The sculpting and paint work on the mouth are especially excellent. That’s actually sculpted on his mouth to be open, it’s not just a cheap paint job. Hasbro did excellent work here with Ultron. He even has sculpted details on the bottom of his feet.

Both Reed and Ultron have a lot of articulation. It’s the standard Marvel Universe fare with ball jointed heads, shoulders, hinge elbows, a torso ball, t-bar hips, double knees and ankle peg/post ball joints. They also have cut wrists.

That’s plenty of articulation for each guy. Reed for the life of me, I can’t get to stand very well and he’s even harder to make look like he’s staring straight ahead.

Erstwhile I found Ultron very incredible to pose and can already see he’s going to be great for Doom. Once again Ultron is a star and Reed kinda sucks.

The only accessory that you get in these comic packs is the comic. I doubt any collectors are buying these for the Secret Wars comic, but you get issue #6 if you’re keeping score at home. I do think kids are likely to be buying these and enjoying the comics.

It’s a good way to get to know a bit about the characters. Say what you will about some of Hasbro’s practices with Marvel, the comic packs are brilliant and serve as an introduction to obscure characters. Mattel should think about doing this with DC, because even I don’t know half the people coming out in DCUC these days and I’m not alone in that sentiment.

Buying all three of these comic packs set me back a hefty sum of cash. Marvel Universe is a great figure line, in a lot of ways already better than Marvel Legends… But the price stinks. These comic packs are a little better value, but at $14 a pop they still aren’t as good of a value as they could be. Reed is a pretty hefty dud, which is a shame because now I’m basically forced to buy a Johnny Storm figure just to fix Reed Richards.

Score Recap:
Packaging – 7
Sculpting – 7
Articulation – 7
Accessories – SW #6
Value – 7
Overall – 7 out of 10

Sevens all around on this pack. Let’s be fair here, Ultron is probably a 9 and Reed’s probably a 5, so they split the difference and pack rounds out to a 7. That’s perfectly average and a pretty decent value but could obviously be better. Reed has all the workings that could make him a great figure, but that body sculpt just kills it. Hasbro, PLEASE, PLEASE stop using that body. It sucks.

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