Review: 76105 The Hulkbuster: Ultron Edition

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Avengers: Age of Ultron introduced Tony Stark's famous Hulkbuster armoured suit to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the impressive Mark 44 armour has become a symbol of the film series. 76105 The Hulkbuster: Ultron Edition therefore seems like a fantastic celebration of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's tenth anniversary.

However, this model received a fairly lukewarm reception after its announcement at New York Toy Fair in February. The set costs £119.99 or $119.99 so feels reasonably expensive in certain countries and the Hulkbuster lacks articulation which may limit its display value. Even so, this set has numerous positive attributes in my opinion so is worthy of further discussion.

Minifigure

This set contains an exclusive Iron Man minifigure, wearing his Mark 43 armour from Avengers: Age of Ultron. The same armour has already appeared in three sets based upon the movie but this rendition is unique, taking inspiration from the suit's design after being integrated with the Hulkbuster suit. I like the updated torso printing and the legs also feature some exposed wiring which is new.

76105 The Hulkbuster: Ultron Edition

Iron Man's helmet features a metallic gold faceplate and some black streaks. It looks perfect in relation to the film and the faceplate opens up, as usual. Unfortunately, a plain trans-clear head has been used underneath which seems odd as the modern Tony Stark head, introduced in the Avengers: Infinity War range, would have been more suitable. Nevertheless, this is a good minifigure and it comes with a tiny display stand.

76105 The Hulkbuster: Ultron Edition

The Completed Model

Several smaller models accompany the Hulkbuster, the most interesting of which is probably Veronica. This satellite service module deploys the armour and is constructed at a small scale but I think it looks good, incorporating four rare light bluish grey panels. Tony Stark's hot rod is instantly recognisable but feels out of place here and the fire extinguisher, which is larger in scale to match the Hulkbuster, could have been excluded too. A simple display stand for the Mark 43 armour is also provided.

View image at flickr

Moreover, a black display base is included for the Hulkbuster. This does not provide structural support but it looks marvellous, featuring a lovely information plaque which resembles those from the Ultimate Collector Series. The plaque can fold down into the base or face forwards, as demonstrated below. A dark bluish grey platform and two robotic arms can also be attached on either side of the stand using Technic pins.

View image at flickr

These yellow arms are articulated and look impressive when interacting with the Hulkbuster, although their most important function is probably storing the mech's alternative arm while it is not in use. Even so, the entire stand feels unnecessary to me and I would rather it had been left out, perhaps allowing the designer to improve areas of the Hulkbuster armour.

View image at flickr

LEGO has produced three different versions of the Hulkbuster and this example is much larger than its minifigure-scale counterparts, measuring 25cm in height. Its proportions are reasonably accurate when compared with the source material but the arms and legs should have been bulkier, particularly around the shoulders. The model's dark red and pearl gold colour scheme looks fantastic though and many of the smaller details are excellent.

Unfortunately, the Hulkbuster's weight has increased in proportion to its size so some important points of articulation are excluded. Creating a dynamic pose is therefore rather difficult. The legs, for example, only include ankle joints and they can move sideways but there is no forward or backward motion. This ensures the stability of the model but I think LEGO should create some new hinges or ball joints which can tolerate more weight than the existing elements, thereby allowing larger mechs to move around.

View image at flickr

The head is formed using a 6x6 dome which is decorated with a metallic gold and silver faceplate. This nestles neatly between two sections of chest armour and looks superb, following the design of smaller Hulkbuster sets which feature 4x4 domes. However, the head is unable to turn which is disappointing for display. Presumably that was not possible as the head also needs to open up, revealing Iron Man inside.

A pair of trans-light blue control panels are found inside the chest and there is room to place Iron Man between them. The minifigure is not actually to scale with the model but I am pleased that this function is included and the interior looks great, despite being relatively sparsely furnished. Stickers are applied on either side of the cockpit, providing some additional golden accents.

View image at flickr

Dark red curved slopes form the chest armour which protects the front of the Hulkbuster. This design matches the source material reasonably closely but the space between the three armour segments is larger than would be ideal. The pearl gold details look magnificent though and they continue onto the sides of the torso, ensuring that the model looks complete when viewed from every angle.

View image at flickr

Pushing a button on the back of the Hulkbuster activates a light brick inside its chest, representing the primary Arc Reactor which provides power to the armoured suit in conjunction with ten smaller reactors. The orange glow looks brilliant but a pale blue light would have been more appropriate in relation to the source material and that should certainly have been included.

View image at flickr

The back of the torso is even more detailed than the front, including six glow-in-the-dark 1x1 round tiles which form additional Arc Reactors. These stand out against the surrounding armour and the pearl gold highlights look wonderful too. Unfortunately, a blue Technic pin is visible above the central reactors and the same elements appear on the shoulders which is disappointing as I believe those could have been concealed quite easily.

View image at flickr

These glow-in-the-dark tiles are reasonably effective and they are situated correctly when compared with the source material, featuring repulsor units on each palm and thrusters on the back of the legs. Two further glowing pieces are found on the front of the legs but are now shown in the image below.

View image at flickr

Numerous smaller pieces adorn the arms, creating some attractive mechanical detail. Their proportions could be improved though as the upper arms appear too narrow in relation to the Hulkbuster's design in the movie. However, that has allowed the designer to include extensive articulation which is very useful. The individual finger articulation is particularly impressive and you can adjust several smaller panels around the elbow joints.

View image at flickr

An alternative jackhammer arm is also included, replicating a memorable moment from Avengers: Age of Ultron as Iron Man attempts to subdue the Hulk. These rectilinear fingers are individually articulated and the entire forearm can move back and forth using a simple rubber band mechanism. A method of remotely activating this jackhammer function would have been ideal but that may have compromised the articulation.

View image at flickr

The legs are fairly stocky and the layered armour looks absolutely spectacular, especially around the knees where some pearl gold robot arms form linear actuators. The knees are not actually articulated though which is disappointing. Moreover, the space between the legs should be considerably narrower and it looks somewhat awkward in its present form, although such a wide stance does provide stability.

View image at flickr

Mechanical details continues onto the sides of each leg but they look comparatively plain from the rear. There a couple of two hinged panels though which conceal additional thrusters. These are represented by glow-in-the-dark 1x1 round plates rather than 1x1 round tiles and spares of both elements are found in this set.

View image at flickr

The ankles include ball joints and rubber tyres are placed inside the feet, ensuring that the Hulkbuster will remain completely steady on flat surfaces. The articulated stabilisers on the back of each foot are equally useful in this respect and the display base also features rubber tyres underneath.

View image at flickr

Overall

I have mixed feelings about 76105 The Hulkbuster: Ultron Edition. The level of detail is impressive and there are certain areas of the model which look perfect when compared with the source material. I love the glow-in-the-dark parts too but the Hulkbuster's proportions could probably be improved, especially around the upper arms which seem rather narrow.
View image at flickr

View image at flickr

Furthermore, the articulation is limited which is an inevitable result of the Hulkbuster's impressive size but makes it quite difficult to create dynamic poses. Its cost in Europe also seem expensive but the US price of $119.99 is reasonable in my opinion. I would therefore only recommend this set to those who are particularly interested in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

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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24 comments on this article

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By in Ireland,

I would have preferred a ucs Milano from gotg

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By in United States,

What a great review!
It's incredible how much detail they were able to fit into it.

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By in United States,

I wish lego had covered those blue bits in the shoulders too.

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By in Canada,

This set's existence never made sense to me. The most common fan complaint was that the initial build offered was too large, and wildly out of scale with Lego's Hulk fig. Lego's response was... to offer a larger model? Who was the intended customer for this?

At any rate, this is a fantastic review. It's not often that I'm genuinely impressed with the craft on display in a product review, but the level of objective reporting present here is perfectly on balance. I'm left entirely uncertain if the reviewer actually likes or loathes the model, but I am now privy to all of it's highlights and shortcomings. Thank you!

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By in United States,

With regard to the weight capacity of LEGO ball joints, Mark Stafford made a comment about why they haven't made stronger joints here: https://www.reddit.com/r/lego/comments/6rchz9/third_2016_lego_ideas_review_results/dl4740h/?context=3

Basically, unless you have a Technic/Bionicle-based skeleton or extensive SNOT-based locking, then there's a limit to the amount of friction a joint can have before the amount of force needed to reposition the joints exceeds the amount of force that will begin to pull apart the System-based sections of the model.

And even if LEGO introduced new, tighter hinge elements for models that were designed to withstand those kinds of forces, those parts would probably be too difficult for buyers to use in their own MOCs unless they had mastered those same kinds of advanced locking techniques.

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By in United States,

Cool! I'm not a superheroes collector or fan but those glow-in-the-dark pieces and light brick are cool. The stand came out perfectly.

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By in France,

I bought this when it came out in order to get the limited edition posters.
I really enjoyed building it and it looks great on display.
It does have its weaknesses as mentioned so well above However there are a couple of good mods available on the net which show how to articulate and proportion the model better.

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By in United States,

Looks awesome! Thanks for the review!

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By in United Kingdom,

I'm glad I held off on buying this for so long. It's good, don't get me wrong, but not something I'd want in the end. I'll stick to the smaller one.

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By in United States,

I was hugely disappointed by this set. For reference, I've bought every Marvel set that includes Iron Man (or another figure with one of his helmet molds). I found the articulation (or lack thereof) to be disappointing as it looks like it should be able to bend its knees - though from an aesthetic viewpoint, I will concede that it is well designed in that aspect. The rubber tires on the feet, I assume are to give it traction so it doesn't slide around, but at least for the one I put together, the tires make the whole thing difficult to stand up since the tires protrude from the bottom of the feet. If they're there for decoration, that's neat and all, but if the knees could have bent to perhaps have the suit on one knee with the opposite foot pointing backwards, that would provide for a way to see that detail and also to pose in the "hero landing." Also here in the States, it was quite expensive, and while still a good deal when viewing the price per piece ratio, The whole set felt lacking. Maybe due to the lack of articulation, what felt like a repetitive build, or the slightly-revamped Mk43 armor that was just different enough to force my hand in purchasing this set. If they made a large-scale hulk as a counter to this set, my opinion would likely instantaneously change to overwhelming praise.

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By in United Kingdom,

I would have preferred a MBS style set like an Avengers Tower or a Quinjet that is to scale with source material.

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By in United Kingdom,

Fantastic review, I'm thinking of pulling the trigger if I see a good offer.

Please could someone tell me the overall height including the base? - thanks

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By in United States,

This set doesn’t look like the suit from Age of Ultron. The arms and legs need to be much bulkier.

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By in United Kingdom,

This is nice for display not playability,
And it's quite similar to the Infinity war hulk buster rather than AOU one, cant wait for the captain Marvel sets..

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By in United States,

I really like the UCS-style D2C Marvel sets. I hope the next one is a minifigure-scale Milano for around $250.

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By in Germany,

@JordanMenace
On its base, the Hulkbuster reaches about 28.5 cm.

It is certainly no replica (search for Hot Toys Hulkbuster if you want to see how it ought to look) and even with the limited poseability it does not feel 100% stable (although it probably is). But it is still a very good looking display piece (and that is its only use in my opinion) that you really have to see in person. I do not regret that I directly bought it in spring.

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By in Australia,

This is definitely a display piece only and overpriced ($200 Australian) for what it is in my opinion, but it is a nice display piece in the end. I found the legs annoying too but the full articulation of the waist on a spinning plate (no idea of the name lol) means you can offset the legs and hips to the upper body, so you can get a good boxers type stance out of the model with the lower section turned at a 45-60 degree angle to the top and the arms posed like a boxer would, that makes the legs look more natural and less like the model has a carrot shoved in an uncomfortable place!!

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By in United Kingdom,

@deikoon very helpful, thank you

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By in United States,

Personally, I think this set is a bit of a disappointment. The proportions aren't quite right and the articulation is sorely lacking. A few more joints and a bit more bulk is needed.

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By in United States,

This is a fantastic model.
Very well done. The lack of articulation is due to size and weight.
You can do one with more articulation but it would've made it a much more expensive model.
This is WONDERFUL to build and play with. It's a sturdy swooshable brick built large action figure and works equally as well as a display model.
Check out chubbybots on flickr with the best MoD for this with articulated joints to take the weight and use of extra pieces for details. You're gonna' need the leg joints from the Ninjago Water Strider for this one.

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By in United Kingdom,

What a superb and balanced article CapnRex101!

Please can someone explain further why Iron Man's head had to be transparent clear? I'm sorry I'm not getting why.

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By in Germany,

@CamberbrickGreen
They needed something to put the mask of the suit on. ;-)

It is supposed to emphasize that we are getting another Iron Man suit and not another Iron Man.

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By in United States,

I need it. My wallet already hates me but could have a bit more excersize.

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