LEGO MARVEL: The Hulk Buster Smash 76031 REVIEW

 

LEGO box

LEGO MARVEL: The Hulk Buster Smash 76031 REVIEW
Set number 76031, $49 from Big W at roughly .19 cents a brick.

Items Included:
248 pieces
4 mini figures
1 instruction booklet
3 numbered bags
1 page of stickers

Like always, let’s kick off this review by mentioning the above information. Not everyone cares, but for those that do, it can make a big difference. For better image quality, click on the photos to zoom in.

Hulk, Ultron Prime, Scarlet Which, Iron Man Mk43

Hulk, Ultron Prime, Scarlet Which, Iron Man Mk43

Mini Figures
3 mini figures and a larger figure in the form of Hulk are included in the set. Ultron Prime, Scarlet Witch and Iron Man Mk43 round out the rest. I’ll begin with Hulk. He’s big, green and comes with new colouring on the pants to go along with Avengers: Age of Ultron look. The model is changed from the Hulk Lab Smash build of 2014, and that’s never a bad thing. The green colouring is more muted here with a different look to the pants also. An added ‘A’ is present which goes along with the fact he’s now part of the Avengers. For the facial expression, Hulk has a similar, but slightly different look. His hair is completely different here. Hulk is sporting a messed up look with a bit of spiky hair thrown in. Looks much better than previous design.

I’m a fan of these bigger figures, but do wish they had more movement. Although we are given shoulder and wrist rotation, nothing else on the figure is moveable. Thats a shame too because it really limits its playability with the Hulk Buster build. It’s always a waste when that happens, but I guess considering the mould of the figures, it’s to be expected. Just wish LEGO would put a little more effort into the bigger figures.

Next up, is Ultron Prime. With a very dark grey (gun metal) colour, the mini figure has printing on the legs and body pieces that are very much silver. Because of this, all the printing really stands out. The detail alone looks fantastic with red colours subtly used throughout. It is all very intricate and seems like armour pieces and pistons. All fun details. The head is put over another brick piece which emphasis the mouth Ultron sports in the movie and comics. Here its achieved via this extra piece. It looks good, but has a major issue though.

You can clear see the body printing on the back which looks fantastic. However the rear of the head ruins it because his eyes are completely visible.

You can clear see the body printing on the back which looks fantastic. However the rear of the head ruins it because his eyes are completely visible.

Usually when a mini figure comes with front and back face printing, a mask or hair piece is used to hide the back expression. Unfortunately here, LEGO hasn’t given us that ability. The mouth piece provided sits low enough to look visually pleasing, but it fails to hide the back printing. This means that when looking from the back, you can clearly see a second head. Seems like an oversight by LEGO and something that could’ve easily been fixed. Maybe it is only an issue with this Ultron Prime mini figure. Still, the colour scheme looks really good, so I’m happy with that. The open mouth and red glow showing is creepy and highly detailed. Red studs on the hands and feet are used here as thrusters which borrows heavily from Iron Man mini figures. They look good, and the red suits Ultron to a T. Good figure all round.

Scarlet Witch makes her first mini figure appearance here. With the look lifted straight from the film, she has her black dress and scarlet coat. Her black boots a present as is her necklace from the movie. Printing is used to give a slim figure but apart from that, I really just like how its used to add plenty of detail to the figure. Scarlet Witch comes with two facial expressions. A normal resting face found in most female mini figures, but the reverse side is her evil look. Red eyes with an angry look. I much prefer this look especially considering she comes with two LEGO pieces to connect to her hands. Her hex powers obviously in use, it just seems natural to have those eyes on display. The hair piece is one we’ve seen numerous times before. Hey LEGO, can you change it up every so often? Not a bad mini figure, though I am glad to have her added to my extensive collection. Looks good, and love that her hex powers aren’t reused force lightening pieces.

Finally we have Iron Man Mk43. We get the very familiar printing on the legs and body pieces. The new armour look is shown in great detail with a lot more red on display here. Mk42 had a lot more gold, and thankfully that’s kept to a minimum here.The body piece looks perfect with the arc reactor front and centre. It stands out like always but nothing beats the mask piece. LEGO outdone themselves when creating the mask and I wish they would use this design more often. With the now classic open and close feature, you can place it over the head and have it set to your liking. The head piece has front and back printing with a relaxed and angry look. The whole thing comes together nicely with blue studs on the hands and feet doubling as thrusters. A classic design for an excellent mini figure. The helmet alone is fantastic.

CHEERS!

CHEERS!

Main Build
Why is it that LEGO has decided to charge $49AUS for what is essentially a mech suit and tiny prison play set?

Prison(?) and Hulk Buster armour

Prison(?) and Hulk Buster armour

3 bags make up the entire Hulk Buster Smash set, with all of bag 1 dedicated to building the prison which contains the Hulk. Large enough to have the figure stand inside it, the prison is made up of mostly the same bricks repeated over and over. Unfortunately, nothing stands out here. To be honest, it is a rather forgettable build. A few longer LEGO bricks connect together forming the base of the prison in a cross section. Some larger slope pieces make up the front and sides, with two big fin pieces rounding out the design. The only stickers here, go onto the fins which thankfully have some playability. They can be moved when the Hulk figure is inside the prison, by moving his hands up and down, you’re able to SMASH the fins down.

HULK SMASH!!!

HULK SMASH!!!

Also comes with a clear brick which Scarlet Witch can attach to, and allows her to ‘hover’ above the Hulk figure, with her hex powers on display. By using the Super Jump brick piece, you’re able to make Iron Man jump up and reach her. Best part is, the clear piece is connected to the prison on a hinge, which makes it fall backward.

Now onto the main reason we’re all here, the Hulk Buster armour. LEGO devotes 2 entire bags to building the Buster armour. You begin with the body pieces. Mostly made out of small bricks, you create the cockpit area where eventually the Iron Man mini figure will stand (once complete). The entire build has many moving parts, including the large chest section where the arc reactor is housed. This is an effective way for the Iron Man mini figure to be placed in and out. Also allows for some extra playability which the Hulk Buster armour has lots of.

Rear of Hulk Buster, with the back thrusters on display.

Rear of Hulk Buster, with the back thrusters on display.

Once the body is made up, you flip it over to the back and even build a set of thrusters on hinge pieces. Allows to you angle the thrusters to your liking and looks really cool when posed up. Arms are connected via Bionicle bricks which allow for great 360 degree movement. You have shoulder and elbow hinges to really show off the design of the build, and fingers bricks are included also. Just big enough to grab the Ultron Prime mini figure and throw him around.

What I really like, are all the details on the build. In the palm of the hands, are flat clear blue brick used here has the palm thrusters on an Iron Man figure. On the right hand of the Hulk Buster, you get two firing missiles that cover a small distance. They look great and very much stand out.

Hulk Buster with Ultron Prime. Very flexible.

Hulk Buster with Ultron Prime. Very flexible.

The head piece is attached via two clear hinge bricks, and thankfully it is printed and not a sticker. The head looks amazing and can be lifted up and down. I’m sure they will be some very inventive people out their smart enough to really MOC this build up, but I’m not complaining, I like it so far.

Further on, we get to the legs. Again, thanks to Bionicle bricks, we get a great range of movement here with the ability to put him into most positions you can think of. They have a very interesting design choice, of the knee joint resembling an upright walking animal. Stubby legs mean the figure isn’t top heavy, which in turn means you can have the Hulk Buster standing on one leg. Not ideal, but something you can do.

Iron Man inside the Hulk Buster. Head raised and chest piece fully open.

Iron Man inside the Hulk Buster. Head raised and chest piece fully open.

When all is done with the Hulk Buster build, the next part really kicks in. By opening the front section, and raising the head piece, you can place Iron Man inside the build. Removing the blue studs on his hands and feet, Iron Man fits inside snuggly. You even have enough space to raise the mask piece if you wish to show off the build a bit more.

I really like the fact the Hulk Buster build is made of mostly red and gold piece. Lots of rounded bricks are used to angle the build, as well as flat bricks to smooth it all out. Its an insanely fun finished product and stands tall beside the Hulk himself. I would’ve loved a little more detail on the back of the Hulk Buster, but I can’t really complain. With the size of the build and the fact you can have hours of fun posing and playing around with it, its a win for me.

Not sure how the movie will play out, but here, Hulk Buster will prove the victor!

Not sure how the movie will play out, but here, Hulk Buster will prove the victor!

My main love for it though has to be that it’s a very solid build. So far, with a few hours of play time in, I’ve yet to break any pieces off it. Even the chest section which I feared would snap off while building, hasn’t broken off once. Thankfully, LEGO made the choice to have it snap into the main build for extra toughness. Everything about the build is solid. Right down to the moving arms and legs. A top notch build.

Final Thoughts

Hulk Buster towers over them all.

Hulk Buster towers over them all.

Apart from the price of the set, which I think is overpriced at almost .20 cents a brick, I’m in love with 95% of this build. The mini figures are great and the Hulk Buster looks fantastic all posed up. I’m loving the fact LEGO allows you to slot Iron Man inside and play around with the Hulk Buster even more.

I wouldn’t have complained if it had a higher brick count, but at the same time, its highly detailed with how we get it. People with wild imaginations will have a lot of fun with this set, as I’m sure they’ll make the Hulk Buster even bigger. A worthy purchase, but watch out for that price. If it weren’t for all the mini figures included, it would’ve been a tough sell.

6 comments

  1. I finally got to build this set myself and absolutely enjoyed it as well!

    I didn’t think that Ultron had back face printing though, I thought that the details at the back of his head were just regular design accents.

    Great review!

    1. That’s for the kind words.
      I still have this Hulkbuster set up with my other builds. I love it’s look and design and the fact it can support its own weight standing on one leg.
      I’ve gone back and recently had a look at the mini figure of Ultron. I can see how it could be a design choice on the back of the head piece, but to me, it looks like eye pieces. Call me crazy.
      Still, glad you had a blast building it!

  2. Great review! My son and I opened this and he loves the Hulk Buster. He could take or leave Ultron Prime, but he’s only five.

    1. Thanks very much. Yeah I really love the Hulk Buster. Have it sitting beside my other LEGO sets on display. Looks great packs a lot of moving parts.

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