Review: Hasbro’s New Overwatch Ultimates
With the Marvel and Star Wars toy licenses coming up for renewal soon and thus the chance, however unlikely, that another toy company might swipe them, Hasbro has a few back-up plans going. (If you think they could never lose those properties, well, Mattel probably thought they’d never lose DC Comics figures to Spin Master and McFarlane either.) One of them is Power Rangers. Another is Overwatch, which is the biggest video game license they’ve ever seriously leaned into.
As it’s been three years since the game came out, we may wonder how much life is left in the license, but considering Hasbro has already revealed the beginnings of a second wave, the first one (hitting stores now) must be doing well in pre-orders. Full disclosure: I have never played the game, but Hasbro sent me the “Overwatch Ultimates” figures out of the blue to review anyway. And I do know what makes a good toy.
The Ultimates come in three varieties: singles, two-packs, and gigantic deluxe figure.
We may as well start with Tracer, who has become a familiar pop culture icon even to non-gamers. Blink and you might have missed her on the big screen in Ready Player One, alongside other heavy hitters like Mortal Kombat‘s Goro and Street Fighter‘s Chun-Li. To kids these days, Lara Croft might not be the most famous sexy English adventuress with two guns made entirely of pixels.
As the most visible character, Tracer will probably get more variants, but this first figure seems pretty perfect. In typical Hasbro style, the female figures have ball-jointed single-hinge elbows, while the men have double hinge elbows and mid-bicep cuts. Aside from that, it’s ab-crunch/ball torso, double knee, ball shoulders/wrist/neck/hips, upper thigh cut, and ankle twist-and-hinge.
A key additional flourish, taken from the recent Transformers Siege line, is what we might, scientifically, refer to as “pew pew pews.” That is to say, weapon firing effects. Some are as simple as muzzle flashes, while others, like the three missiles above, are fancier. All are removable, for play or display.
The surprising thing about the Overwatch line is that, uniquely among Hasbro collector lines, it doesn’t seem to be quite six-inch scale. Some of the figures are six inches, but it’s due to video game animation disproportion, so legs may be unduly long combined with a tiny head, for example. Really, these are more five-inch scale, like old-school Marvel. I suspect it’s to be compatible with more import figures like Revoltech and Figma.
Lucio has a unique effect, with energy trails on his rollerblades. Also his dreadlock ponytail can rotate.
One thing that’s important to note is that if you don’t know the game, some assembly might confuse you as there are no instructions. For example, Sombra comes with a purple energy effect that looks like a stand. Only with the aid of Google did I learn that it fits on her hand, and is some sort of energy-projected skull.
And with the Pharah and Mercy two-pack, the energy effects did not look made to fit into Pharah’s exhaust jets. They actually do, but it takes some care, and the knowledge that they are meant to go there.
It’s actually a great set even for non gamers: one flying soldier in a mech suit with a flight stand, and an angel with righteous energy weapon.
76 and Shrike are a less striking duo, though Shrike could make a decent alternate Ghost figure for your Ant-Man and the Wasp displays.
Then there’s Reinhardt, the massive deluxe figure who runs about $50, versus a $20 basic. In terms of weight, he earns it. The guy is hefty like a boss.
And his accessories are even bigger than he is. Packed in with the fully poseable armor giant is a huge energy shield that can clip to his wrists, or stand independently with the aid of two included discs.
That, and a gargantuan rocket-powered hammer. Because why not be godly?
Because he’s considerably bulkier than the rest, he makes a pretty good over-sized foe for any figures in similar scales. Let’s look at that scale again:
The figures sport striking paint jobs, seem solid and poseable, and have cool display effects. I wish they were slightly upscaled to match every other Hasbro line, but if you don’t mind that incompatibility, the company seems to have done Overwatch fans proud. I plan to hang on to at least a couple of these despite having no history with the characters at all. And given that I’m getting ruthless about conserving shelf space, by necessity, that means something.
But if you just want Tracer for a Ready Player One diorama, you should be happy too. Just be careful of those blast effects — they fall off easily on her.
What do you think about these Overwatch figures? Let us know in the comment section below!