In the Box
There a few new parts that are either exclusive to this set or included in just one other set so far. This list includes the Plate W. Bow 3X4X2/3 W. Knobs which appears for the first time in Dark Bluish Grey (Design ID 93604), the Plate 2X3 W/ Hor. 3,2 Shaft in Dark Red (Design ID 30166) and the Shell W/ 3.2 Shaft in Light Bluish Grey (Design ID 28220). In addition, there is a nice collection of new or rarely seen Dark Red parts including the 1×3 ‘double jumpers‘. This is a very nice Dark Red parts pack!
Another interesting 2018 part is the 1×2 plate with rounded ends. This particular colour has been appearing in more and more 2018 sets, and there are five supplied in this set, used to build two of the accessories that sit on the base.
While not all the Pearl Gold parts are pictured here, there are over 100 parts, distributed across 15 different types.
Although we have already discovered the presence of a sticker sheet, fear not! This is like a UCS set, right? There will be loads of awesome printed parts! …well actually no. Apart from the minifigure body parts and helment, there is only one printed part, the large dome head.
I was going to say that this set also comes with an exclusive Iron Man Mk43 minifigure—but it’s more of a suit than a minifigure, as Tony Stark’s head has been replaced by a transparent one. I thought I should warn you before you look at the image and think Mr. Invisible has taken over the suit!
The Mk43 suit has appeared before in minifigure form. Back in 2015 when Avengers: Age of Ultron was released, LEGO released 76301 The Hulkbuster Smash. There are two main differences in the suits: first, the newer torso has waves of shaded grey expanding from the Arc Reactor area, and second, the newer legs show some increased detailing on the lateral aspect of the knee area.
The first part of the Hulkbuster to be built is the torso. It includes space for a minifigure to sit, along with the light brick which allows the Arc Reactor to glow. Although a transparent light blue brick is in front of the light brick, the overwhelming colour of the glow is an amber orange — not quite a match to the movie. The torso is also more elongated and lacks the classic ‘muscular V’ shape of the movie version
Next come the lower limbs, starting with the feet. The feet are well designed to be solid and easily ensure the final figure is well-balanced in a standing position. Personally, I can’t help but see a pair of sturdy orthopedic shoes, but I can’t deny that the shaping looks about right from the front. And there are a few nice little touches like the pearl gold straps and the little pistol.
The lower leg and thigh fit together with an axle, which means that the knee joint is not a functional joint in this model and the lower leg is just a direct extension of the upper leg.
The advantage of no knee joints means that the model is very stable in a standing position, but the disadvantage is immediately clear with its lack of poseability. The hip joint is also especially limited in its movement, as it is not able to flex or extend (i.e. only a side-step outwards motion is possible) which leaves the Hulkbuster’s lower half as mobile as an arthritic granny.
The upper limbs are a much more mobile, with shoulder, elbow and hand movements all possible at those joints. The Pearl Gold portion of the armour is actually very flat in shaping rather than the bulkier gold portions seen on the actual Hulkbuster in the movie. There are some stickers, but the majority of the gold highlights are 2×2 jumper plates and gold ingots giving a rather contourless shape.
You can see a hint of blue in the angles of the upper limb photographs above, but from the front there’s a blue cross clearly visible on each shoulder where the Technic pin is used to hold the arched bricks on that give the shoulder armour its shape. Unfortunately, they remain just as obvious in the final model as in this in-progress image.
Although the blue pin is a friction pin, I compared the look of the blue pin with a white friction pin and a tan frictionless pin from my collection. Both worked better than the blue, and the tan pin is not only more subtle but actually works much better with the overall colour scheme. The switch from friction to frictionless pin didn’t significantly alter the model’s strength, either.
There are two alternate lower limbs for the left arm. A standard arm as per the right arm, or a jackhammer arm with a lever that moves the end joint in a short, sharp rotation motion, described as a jackhammer.
The base is constructed last, with a few little ‘side builds’ to decorate it. The base itself is a fairly solid build with one of the 8×16 Black tiles connected to allow it to act as a display. Cleverly, there are also six tyres fitted on the underside to prevent the base from slipping on smooth or shiny surfaces.
There are two mobile robot arms — one for each side of the platform — which can be moved between 8 alternate attachment points. They are flexible, as two ball joints allow a good range of movement to provide alternative angles.
To add some interest around the base, there’s an Ultron Rollerskate (I’m told this is a ‘hot rod’ but really it looks more like a rollerskate to me), an unusually large fire extinguisher, and a buildable Veronica satellite.
It seems the fire extinguisher must belong to the Hulkbuster as it is huge and really only in scale with him.
Although the Hulkbuster has hands with digits, they are actually not very good at grasping items because the digits are very short at just a 1×2 slope in length. As you can see, even the fire extinguisher has to be balanced onto the fingers rather than actually being grasped.
The Veronica satellite is a cute little build, although I was pleased it was included mainly because of the parts. Those Light Blue Grey unprinted shields are only in one other, now-retired set at the moment – 75525 Baze Malus. There are also four of the newBlack 1×2 plates with rounded ends under the shields to hold them in position.
I have to admit that I preferred the satellite without the stickers applied.
When all these components come together, the display base appears sturdy with the added details for interest, should it simply be placed on a shelf. Alternatively, there are is a bit of play with this part of the set as the robot arms can be manipulated into positions and the little accessories can be enjoyed.
The Hulkbuster: Ultron Edition is trying hard to be both a UCS-style display set and a mecha with play features, but sadly it has not managed to excel at either of these styles. If it had been designed as a UCS display set, then we’d really expect the proportions and shaping to be more accurate to the model it depicts. The main areas of improvement would be around the chest, deltoids and especially the hips and the outer thighs, as the LEGO version is really very slim and lacks some bulk in comparison to the movie version.
Then again, moving on to the play features, the most important aspect of a set like this would be poseability. While the upper limbs are fine in terms of posing, the lower limbs are very restricted with just that one outward ‘side-step’ motion for the hips and then some ankle movements. Hulkbuster can’t actually take a step forward and he has no knees. On the other hand, he can get into a very deep splits position!
He also has a tendency to lean when in a standing position, due to those flexible ankles and lack of knees. He leans either backwards (below left) or forwards (below right) but doesn’t like to stay perfectly upright.
Hulkbuster’s mobility and play features can be seen in this video, including the light-up arc reactor.
Overall, this is not a perfect rendition of the Hulkbuster: Ultron Edition for display, and neither is it a set full of play features. I think by trying to do a ‘little bit of both’ the set suffers by doing neither very well, especially for the price. The positives are that it is a lovely Dark Red parts pack for someone who wants to modify the shaping and joints to make their own, more accurate Hulkbuster: Ultron Edition, and the display base is very sturdy and functional. The negatives are his lack of mobility below the waist and the inaccuracy of the figure as a display item that is scaled to be big and beautiful on your shelf.
LEGO 76105 Hulkbuster: Ultron Edition is available now from the LEGO Shop Online for $119.99 USD.