Review: 76104 The Hulkbuster Smash-Up

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The Hulkbuster returns in Avengers: Infinity War and LEGO has accordingly produced an updated version of the famed armoured suit, 76104 The Hulkbuster Smash-Up. This 375-piece set looks much more detailed than its predecessor from 2015, 76031 The Hulk Buster Smash, so I have been looking forward to building it.

Furthermore, the price of £29.99 in the UK or $29.99 in the US seems remarkably reasonable for a Marvel Super Heroes set of this size, especially one which includes four such appealing minifigures!

Minifigures

Bruce Banner remains unchanged since making his first appearance in 76084 The Ultimate Battle for Asgard last year. This is somewhat disappointing as we have already seen him wearing different attire in the trailers for Avengers: Infinity War, although the change in his design was perhaps not significant enough to warrant an entirely new minifigure.

76104 The Hulkbuster Smash-Up

However, a better hair piece could probably have been found as this tousled style looks too long when compared with the character in Avengers: Infinity War. I love the double-sided head though, showing a mild expression on one side while the other features bright green eyes and gritted teeth as Bruce loses control of his anger and transforms into the Hulk!

76104 The Hulkbuster Smash-Up

While the Bruce Banner minifigure remains the same as it was last year, Falcon has been completely redesigned since 76050 Crossbones' Hazard Heist was released in 2016. The textured hair piece looks great in relation to the movie and I love the new double-sided head, featuring red-tinted goggles and a serious expression on one side while the other side is printed with a confident smile and some facial hair.

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Falcon's wings were represented by a single printed piece in 76050 Crossbones' Hazard Heist but are now constructed using a range of hinge plates. The original figure felt more streamlined but this design is a lot better in other respects, including a greater level of detail and excellent articulation. Moreover, a section of Falcon's backpack can be detached to depict Redwing which is fun, despite its simplicity.

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Removing the wings reveals a metallic silver pack on the back of the torso. The black, dark bluish grey and dark red colour scheme looks great and I am impressed with the intricacy of the design, although dual-moulded arms would have been a welcome addition to the figure as Falcon usually has short sleeves. It is also a shame that the hero's dual machine pistols are absent, particularly since an ideal element already exists.

76104 The Hulkbuster Smash-Up

The Marvel Super Heroes range has included many excellent minifigures since 2012 but a few have been disappointing. Unfortunately, Proxima Midnight falls into the latter category in my opinion as the figure looks very plain when compared with the source material. This is due primarily to the lack of leg printing but the pearl gold arm is also far too prominent so should perhaps been represented by some gold printing on a white arm instead.

76104 The Hulkbuster Smash-Up

On the other hand, I like the blue hair piece and the moulded horns, which are integrated with the hair, look fantastic. The black mask perhaps covers too much of Proxima Midnight's pale skin but the angry and smiling expressions feel appropriate for the character and her red eyes are perfect. A spear with blades at either end completes the minifigure which is fine, although a trident would probably have been more suitable.

76104 The Hulkbuster Smash-Up

During my earlier review of 76101 Outrider Dropship Attack I mentioned that the Outrider minifigures have too many arms in relation to the aliens in the movie. In fact, a recent poster for Avengers: Infinity War appears to show an Outrider with six arms so perhaps there are variants of these creatures, some of whom have more arms than others! That being the case, the minifigure looks tremendous and all six arms are articulated which is useful for display.

76104 The Hulkbuster Smash-Up

The metallic gold printing on both sides of the head and torso looks superb but it would be better still if this continued onto the legs. Nevertheless, I like the dark red mouth very much and appreciate the relative ease with which one can build an army of these warriors as I have no doubt that many Marvel fans will wish to do so, myself included.

76104 The Hulkbuster Smash-Up

The Completed Model

Wakandan technology has now appeared in several Marvel Super Heroes sets and its visual style has been established quite effectively across the range. I like the combination of black and trans-purple on this turret and the white highlights, represented by stickers, look good too. Squeezing the sides of the barrel will launch a black Zamor sphere to a distance of about 50cm but there is no rotation so the turret can only fire at targets directly ahead.

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A pair of Technic liftarms are fitted to the sides of the turret. These look out of place but are vital to the structure of the model and allow you to put the weapon out of operation by breaking it, as shown below. A container at the base of the turret opens to reveal the orange Soul Stone, suggesting that this elusive Infinity Stone has been hidden in Wakanda and that it will finally be revealed in Avengers: Infinity War.

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This rendition of the Hulkbuster armour is slightly larger than that in 76031 The Hulk Buster Smash and includes far more detail, although this is partly attributable to the use of stickers. I think the combination of dark red, pearl gold and black works well and the proportions of the model are perfect, matching the Hulkbuster's stocky design in the movie.

View image at flickr

In addition, the model includes ball joints at the shoulders, elbows, hips and ankles so you can create some really dynamic poses. The fingers and toes are also individually articulated which is brilliant but there is no rotation at the waist, unfortunately. That would have been very useful in allowing the figure to look from side to side as the head cannot turn, just as on both the 2015 Hulkbuster and even 76105 The Hulkbuster: Ultron Edition.

View image at flickr

The Hulkbuster's legs are rather short in relation to its torso, effectively conveying a sense of its stocky design. I like the fixed angle of the knees and the stickers add some nice detail without being intrusive. In fact, most of the mechanical detail in this area is depicted by exposed click hinge elements which looks marvellous and I like the individually articulated toes too, marking a significant departure from 76031 The Hulk Buster Smash.

View image at flickr

Trans-light blue bricks represent the repulsor emitters beneath the feet and two auxiliary repulsors are found on the back of each leg, just above the ankle joint. These are accurate to the film and disguise the awkward colours of the ball joints at the hips and ankles. Dark bluish grey dominates the back of the figure which is not accurate to the trailers, although many other products share this grey colour scheme so perhaps the Hulkbuster will be equipped with a backpack at some point in the film.

View image at flickr

Additional stickers form repulsor emitters on each palm. These look great in conjunction with the poseable fingers but it would have been even better if the fingers could splay to create a more realistic pose, as though the Hulkbuster is firing its repulsors. Swapping the tan gears on each shoulder for grey or black pieces might also have improved the model.

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A trans-light blue cylinder is fitted to the back of the Hulkbuster armour, loosely representing another repulsor emitter. Rotating the cylinder will cause the right arm to move up and down which works very smoothly but makes it slightly more difficult to pose the shoulder. Fortunately, the designer has taken this into consideration and the instructions show how removing a 2x2 round tile at the base of the cylinder will deactivate the function.

View image at flickr

The Avengers: Infinity War Hulkbuster looks a lot curvier than that from Avengers: Age of Ultron, featuring heavy armour plating that seems to flow over the shoulders and towards the Arc Reactor at the centre of the chest. This has not been recreated perfectly but I like the use of curved slopes and stickers as well as the domed helmet which is printed with exceptional detail so looks fantastic in relation to the movie.

View image at flickr

The helmet opens on a hinge along with three chest panels, revealing a space for a minifigure to stand inside. The interior is reasonably plain but I appreciate the glowing heads-up display formed by a trans-light blue 2x2 slider and the exposed tan gears do not interfere with the positioning of the figure at all.

View image at flickr

Overall

76031 The Hulk Buster Smash was one of my favourite sets from Avengers: Age of Ultron and I have therefore been somewhat sceptical about whether a new rendition of the armoured suit would be able to significantly improve upon the original. Thankfully, those concerns have proven to be unfounded as this set far surpasses that from 2015 in my opinion, including a much higher level of detail and greater poseability.

View image at flickr

The minifigure selection is also very impressive on the whole, with Falcon standing out as being among the best figures from the entire Infinity War range. Proxima Midnight, on the other hand, is a little disappointing. Nevertheless, this is an excellent set and its price of £29.99 or $29.99 feels quite reasonable so I have no hesitation in recommending it.

I hope you have found this review informative. Let us know by liking this article and share your thoughts on the set in the comments below.

 

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19 comments on this article

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By in Canada,

Love the set and surprisingly it’s the same price as last time!

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By in United Kingdom,

I only currently own captain America and the drop ship attack set but this and Thors weopon quest would be buys two & three for me,
I love the minifigs included,
10/10 lego, These are Marvel-ous, lol...

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By in United Kingdom,

I loved this set and it was my first purchase from the range despite its flaws.

The Hulkbuster itself could have done with some addition shoulder work I feel, as well as the mechanism should have been made to move both arms rather then just the one to give it more of a rage smashing motion. It wouldn't have been hard to replicate the gears on the other side to make this possible for no additional cost. I think it could have benefited from a few more red pieces rather then grey on the back too.

As for Proxima, I'm guessing that CapnRex isn't familiar with the comic book version as the fig looks a lot closer to that then the movie version IMO. The weapon should have been gold reguardless of its configuration, and I think that the arm being so is a good compromise given that its armor... so having a white arm with printing to get it right would have covered up a lot of the base arm anyway. Even by the movie source though the other arm should be black, but I do agree that some leg printing would have help the figure overall even with the compromises. The gold arm hand should be gold too afterall.

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By in United Kingdom,

Nice review, Chris.

I'm generally not a fan of the Super Heroes sets - too much focus on minifigures and not enough on the actual builds for me - but I'll be picking this one up for sure.

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By in United States,

I actually like the look of this over the $120 one. So you save $100 after sales and get a better set.

Also like the grey background. I rather the background not be white, the glare and shadows are too distracting. These pictures are great.

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By in United States,

A little upset they still didn’t make a Wong minifigure, this would be a good set for a Iron Man minifigure and a Wong could go in the Sanctom set.

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By in United States,

At some point it would be nice to see a detailed side-by-side of all three Hulkbuster models.

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By in France,

I've barely recognized Proxima Midnight... I've even thought it was a guy... ;-)

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By in Germany,

Nice one. Agree with Capt about improvements, though thought Proxima was good as a unique minifig in itself.
Jolly Good,
Cannon goes to spares-box)

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By in United States,

@BrickHelix- We don't know if Iron Man makes it to Wakanda in the movie, so it wouldn't make much sense to throw him into a set based on a scene that he isn't in. I don't think we need a Wong figure in this line, as there are too many heroes that need to be covered and we still didn't get all of them (I'm still waiting for my White Wolf and Scarlet Witch updates). In my opinion, Wong is a figure that should be saved for a potential Doctor Strange sequel set.

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By in United States,

>> "Fortunately, the designer has taken this into consideration and the instructions show how removing a 2x2 round tile at the base of the cylinder will deactivate the function."

This was my favorite part of the set. I love play features, but I also love displaying sets, and this one accounts for both. While things like flick-fire missiles could often be removed with minimal impact, the extra effort here in design and documentation is worth praising.

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By in Denmark,

Do you have the other Hulk-buster? I’m curious to see them side by side :-D

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By in Australia,

Looking at the cockpit, does that mean this was built for one of the Friends girl to pilot?

Thanos invades Heartlake City for the soul stone. That'd make for an interesting movie.

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By in United States,

I preferred the aesthetic of 76031's armor more than this new one, but 76104 Hulkbuster is far sturdier. I think this is my favorite Falcon too. The wings are a little bulky but the clips allow so much flexibility.

The whole Infinity War range is aces.

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By in Puerto Rico,

Love it and thanks for the review.

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By in United Kingdom,

Interesting that this is the same price as 76031 but actually has a higher piece count. Having the first, I'm not sure I can justify purchasing the newer version, especially as I'm not fond of the turret.

Why has the suit been changed from a Hulk Buster to a Hulkbuster ? Can we get some comparison pics of the two suits side by side ?

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By in United States,

i know this isn't a review of the Hulkbuster: Ultron Edition, but the said Hulkbuster is labeled MK 44, and the Iron Man minifig that comes with it is MK 43. they are INCOMPATIBLE!

jk

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By in United States,

Just stop making hulk buster sets please LEGO.

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By in United States,

Looks friggin gorgeous. And will look even more so with some mods.

My local Walmart has it $25. I'm so tempted...

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