We finally made it! Next time it occurs to me do nine reviews in one week, three times the normal output that I’m already bad at hitting lately, somebody tell me to stop. Really. Just terrible. Rhino Week is so cancelled!!!
We’ve already reviewed Valkyrie, Vision, AoU War Machine, NOW! Iron Man, Thundra, Dr. Strange, & Blizzard (& Ant-Man for good measure), so we’re finally here!! We’ve arrived at the 9″ monster that is supposed to make every low-tooling figure, every painted costume detail, and every missing alternate hand worth it. Does it?
Now, I’m entirely biased. If you set me down on a desert aisle and said, “Daniel (cause that’s my real name), we’re going to strand you on a pacific atoll for an undisclosed amounted of time. You can only take one Iron Man toy with you, which one do you want?” Well, truthfully, I’d ask if I could have a Dr. Fate or Firestorm, but if I had to pick an Iron Man armor – there is only once choice: Hulkbuster.
Much like the Symbiote Spider-Man suit, the Hulkbuster armor was love at first sight. I already loved the Modular Armor, though I tend to call it Capcom Armor (I love that figure, never got the War Machine variant…) and so the idea that our armored avenger, with an already pretty cool suit, had to upgrade to a behemoth for specific tasks is cool enough. That’s it to fight the Hulk was just icing on the cake. I gobbled up that old Iron Man cartoon toy as a kid, lost all the add-on bits, and rubbed the chrome off what I didn’t lose. I was dismayed when my Marvel Legends comic-based Hulkbuster blew apart at the waist one random day – man, that was a cool figure and one I need to replace with the new Marvel select. But that’s all comic talk.
I think I loved Hulkbuster even more in Avengers: Age of Ultron. I was already fascinated by Igor in IM2, but he was only close. AoU delivered the Hulkbuster proper and made it cooler. The fact that Bruce Banner aided in the design is genius. The orbital platform idea is awesome. And, even the codename, Veronica, is great. This is the hard way to put Hulk down while Betty was the easy way. I loved it. I had to have a figure of it. Since the $800 Hot Toy is… irresponsible, it made more sense to spend $160 and get a set of figures to go with it. I knew I made the right choice right away because I couldn’t wait for the set to arrive.
And when it did? Well, let’s just say that I had to remind myself go back and free the individual figures well after I’d stole their BAF pieces. That’s not to say it’s perfect, but Hasbro did a really good job translating the movie version into a Marvel Legend.
The sculpt is easily the best part of the execution. Now, they didn’t go for movie realism here. The movie version, and you can see much of it on the $800+ Hot Toy, had a lot of fine details and paneling that just isn’t present here. And it’s totally okay because there is still a ton of detail. It’s probably best described as having a cutoff point. They got the broad strokes, they got the telling details, and they got some of the fine details – enough to get the look nailed down and, I think, make most of the folks happy. This is definitely a “toy” version and I think Hasbro knocked that goal out of the park. On the sculpt itself, the only thing that sticks out to me is that the head is raised a little further out from the shoulders than in the film, but it accommodates the articulation – which I would want, so I’m good there. Continue to Page 2…