LEGO recently released two new versions of the Hulkbuster in the #76014 LEGO Marvel Super Heroes Hulkbuster Smash-Up and the #76105 LEGO Marvel Super Heroes The Hulkbuster: Ultron Edition. In addition, LEGO also released a Hulkbuster back in 2015 in the #76031 LEGO Marvel Super Heroes The Hulk Buster Smash. With three brick-built Hulkbusters in the LEGO Super Heroes line, this would be a good time to compare them. 🙂
According to the Iron Man Wiki, “The The Mark 44 (XLIV), also known as the “Hulkbuster”, is an Extra Heavy-Duty Modular Armor created by Tony Stark and Bruce Banner as a security safeguard in the event of an uncontrollable Hulk rampage. The armor works by attaching itself around the base armor of the Mark 43. The Mark 44 is eleven feet high, which makes it the tallest armor to date. Its height is 3 feet taller than the Hulk. Aside from its height, it is also the heaviest armor existing in the MCU. The Hulkbuster is a Modular Armor wherein armor pieces are attached to a base armor making it much bigger.” In other words, the Hulkbuster is big, chunky, and powerful, but also very agile and dynamic with parts and weapons that can be changed out on the fly. So, let’s take a look at how LEGO designers translated the Hulkbuster into LEGO form.
The #76031 LEGO Marvel Super Heroes The Hulk Buster Smash includes the smallest of the three Hulkbusters. Compared to the later releases, it looks simple and plain, but it does have very good articulation. This is achieved by using LEGO Technic pieces and large LEGO Constraction Figure pieces (introduced in the LEGO Bionicle line) for the mech’s skeleton. The bulk of the mech is then built up using standard LEGO elements. The result is a sturdy mech with great flexibility ready for dynamic poses and lots of play. The head, shoulders, chest, and arms are fairly accurate to the real Hulkbuster, and the legs are also pretty well done. Where the shaping of the model lacks is at the hips; the joints are exposed, and the transition between the torso and legs is crude. This gives the Hulkbuster more of a robot-like appearance, rather than an armored suit.
The #76014 LEGO Marvel Super Heroes Hulkbuster Smash-Up is a second attempt at making a Hulkbuster for a LEGO playset. It is about the same size as the first Hulkbuster, but with more rounded shapes, taking advantage of a number of recently introduced pieces. This solves some of the problems of the previous Hulkbuster looking too square and robot-like. The attachment of the legs to the torso is also done better, although it is still far from being accurate. The arms and legs are fully articulated and work very well. From the two playset versions of the Hulkbuster, the newer one is a nicely done upgrade. The only thing I don’t like so much is the feet. I feel like in the earlier set the shaping of the feet was done better, although I do appreciate the articulated toes on the new one.
The #76105 LEGO Marvel Super Heroes The Hulkbuster: Ultron Edition is a much larger and pricier model, primarily aimed at collectors who are looking for accuracy and display-value rather than playability. As you can see, this is a big Hulkbuster; more than twice as tall as the two playset versions. This means that LEGO designers could put in a lot more detail. You can see that each body part is shaped more carefully to look good from different angles, and the entire model looks great from all sides. LEGO designers did a particularly excellent job with the shaping of the feet, the lower legs, and the upper legs. The transition from the legs to the torso is also done much better than on the smaller models. However, there is something wrong with the shaping of the torso – especially the shoulders. The whole upper part of the body appears to be out of proportion compared to the legs. Also, the head seems to be too big. I think bulking up the shoulders would significantly improve the look of this model, although that may also limit the posability.
Speaking of posability, the arms and fingers have a good range of motion, and the waist can also turn. However, the legs are not posable at all, besides some basic back and forth movement at the hips. This is quite strange for such large and detailed models that suppose to replicate an agile mech. I understand that LEGO designers had to focus on making the model stable to make sure it doesn’t fall over or collapse on itself, but at least some limited movement at the knees and ankles should have been achievable.
The Ultron Edition Hulkbuster includes two interchangeable left arms; a regular one, and a jackhammer arm with punching function. This feature of the set is really well done. Another nice feature is the light-brick in the chest, although it would have been great if it actually glows blue instead of yellow. The glow-in-the-dark pieces are a nice touch as well.
In summary, I would say that each of the three sets has plusses and minuses, and surprisingly, the largest set is not necessarily the best in every way. Both of the small sets are sturdy with great playability and articulation, with the newer set looking better overall. The Ultron Edition Hulkbuster has some nice details, but it lacks posability, and the upper body needs rework. None of the three sets replicate the look of the real Hulkbuster faithfully, although they each have some sections that are very well done.
Above is a very helpful comparison picture of the three versions of the Hulkbuster by LEGO fan Mookiewook, so you can see them side by side. And below, I have included video-reviews of all three sets by JANGBRiCKS, so you can see them in more detail.
I’m looking forward seeing how LEGO fans improve on the designs, and perhaps combine some of the best features of each set to create the ultimate Hulkbuster. I have already seen one great solution to the unsightly legs to torso connection for the two smaller Hulkbusters by LEGO fan Gzu Bricks. He angled the legs instead of having them straight, which results in a much more natural look. You can see more pictures and details in his flickr gallery (just click on his name to get there).
To fix the shoulders of the Ultron Edition Hulkbuster, LEGO fan CX52J created more rounded brick-built pauldrons that improve the look of the model greatly. He also provided LEGO Digital Designer files and instructions (just click on his name to get them).
If I would have to choose one Hulkbuster, I would recommend the one in the #76014 LEGO Marvel Super Heroes Hulkbuster Smash-Up. In some ways, it looks closest to the real Hulkbuster, and it also has great playability. However, if you want to spend time improving and customizing the Hulkbuster, the #76105 LEGO Marvel Super Heroes The Hulkbuster: Ultron Edition may be a better option simply because of the number of parts you get in the right colors. You can find both sets at the LEGO Marvel Super Heroes section of the Online LEGO Shop.
What do you think? Which LEGO version of the Hulkbuster do you like the most? Feel free to share your thoughts and own reviews in the comment section below! 😉
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