Tron Legacy: Ultimate Clu by Spin Master

What? You thought you’d seen the last of Tron Legacy toys here? Not when there’s a Ross nearby. Yes, the Tron Legacy toys had their mediocre run. They lasted longer than some movie lines, but in the end I think it was mainly Tron fanatics like myself that gave this line the short modicum of staying power that it had. And possibly more attention and credit than it deserved. If you go back and look at my feature on the 1:6 Scale Ultimate Sam Flynn figure, than you’ll see that while it had some good points, I wasn’t all that impressed with it. I certainly had no intention of picking up Ultimate Clu, the only other figure produced in this scale… that is until I found it for $13.99 at Ross and decided I might as well complete the set.

The packaging is almost identical to the Ultimate Flynn package, only with the updated artwork for Clu. There’s even a sticker on the back blocking out the one accessory that came with Sam but doesn’t come with Clu. The package is a window box with a flip open panel and does a nice job of showing off the figure inside. Unfortunately, mine has the ubiquitous Ross price stickers on the window that are impossible to get off. The packaging is fairly collector friendly and a little patience with a razor can get the tray out of the box and the figure off of the tray without mangling anything too badly, although you have to be careful with the angled edges. Most of my toy packages just get tossed, but since I tend to return my 1:6 scale figures to their packages for storage, this is a big bonus for me.

I totally expected this figure to be just a slight retool of the Sam Flynn figure, especially since unless you really look closely, a lot of the Tron character designs look pretty similar. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised to find that Clu is a completely new sculpt and is even notably taller than the Sam figure. So Kudos to Spin Master for taking the high road. The texturing and detail on the suit is fairly intricate, and overall nicely done, and I like the bright orange paint that’s used to simulate the light lines, which aren’t part of the light up gimmick.

The electronics are similar to what we saw in the Sam Flynn figure. You get light up lines in the torso and the thighs, this time with a nice orange effect. The electronics are activated via a button on his torso. Pressing it once activates the lights, pressing it again activates the face. Unfortunately, the projected face has an issue, where a giant circular black spot appears on the right of his face during one frame of the animation. It only happens sometimes, maybe once out of three or four presses. I’m not sure if that’s in all the figures or just mine, but it’s damn annoying. Either way, the face projection seems to work better in my Deluxe Clu figure. Speaking of the Deluxe, Clu says the same lines as his smaller Deluxe counterpart:

  • Greetings, Programs!
  • Out there… Is our destiny!
  • So you like bikes?
  • Flynn lives!

Just like the Ultimate Sam figure, Clu’s articulation is somewhat limited by the electronics, but what’s here is still pretty good, and identical to Ultimate Sam. His arms feature ball joints in both the shoulders and the elbows, swivels in the wrists and biceps, and his fingers are sculpted together and hinged. Clu’s legs have ball joints in the hips, knees, and ankles and a hinge in the toe of the feet. There’s no torso articulation at all, and the head doesn’t turn. Yeah, it’s understandable, but it definitely hurts the poseability of the figure. And let’s face it, in 1:6 scale figures, articulation expectations run generally high.

Clu comes with a number of good accessories, although if you own Ultimate Sam, you’ve already seen them all. The diecast Katana is absent, which kind of sucks, as I don’t think it would have set Spin Master back to much to have kept it and it was included with the 4″ version. It would at least have saved them the trouble of covering up the word on the back of every package with a sticker. You get his Ident Disc, Light Nunchuks, Lightcycle/Lightjet Baton, and the Battle Staff. The Ident Disc is all diecast and clips onto the figure’s back. The Baton has a magnet that lets it clip onto Clu’s leg. The Staff and the Chucks don’t impress me that much, but I guess they’re nice extras. Naturally, all of the accessories feature the orange paint apps as opposed to the blue.

I never saw Clu at retail, and I was beginning to suspect that he never made it to the production run. As a result, I was surprised when I spotted a couple of these figures sitting in the Ross Toy Graveyard. I almost didn’t bother to look at them because I assumed they were just the Sam figure. Nonetheless, if there was ever a figure bound for the clearance scrapheap, it was this guy. No, not because he’s bad, because he really isn’t. The Ultimate Sam Flynn figure didn’t exactly fly off the shelves, so with Clu in the same assortment, it’s unlikely he ever made it out to the shelves in a lot of stores before hitting clearance. I think the biggest problem with this figure is that depsite the unique sculpt and electronics, Ultimate Clu still feels extremely similar to Ultimate Sam, so if you have one I’m not sure you really need the other. Plus, at the original $30 price point, I don’t think these guys do anything all that much better than the much less expensive Deluxe versions. But hey, if you’re a big Tron nut like me, and if you can find him at a good price, you could certainly do worse.

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