14 March 2015

REVIEW: LEGO Marvel Super Heroes: The Hulk Buster Smash

Hulk smash!

We were hoping that our first LEGO set review of 2015 was going to be a good one, and boy are we happy. With the forthcoming release of Avengers: Age of Ultron, LEGO are unleashing a slew of new sets, the most anticipated being this little baby. It's The Hulk Buster Smash!

This set, which in the UK will weigh in around the £30 mark, contains 248 pieces and four minifigures (sort of). As the name suggests the set is all about building The Hulk Buster, a mechanised suit of armour created by Tony Stark to battle the big man himself, The Hulk. But aside from the main part of the set, the box suggests you also get a bit more to play around with; all of which teases plots points of the as yet unreleased movie. Lets crack it open, shall we?

First up, we're surprised at the number of minifigures in the set, expecting just Iron Man and the new larger version of The Hulk. But here we also get Scarlet Witch and Ultron Prime, both being very welcome and adding a lot of justification to your thirty quid.

The first part of the build focuses on what we can only assume is some sort of trap for The Hulk. Consisting of just a couple dozen parts, it features the set's only stickers and flaps which close to keep The Hulk figure contained. On the back is a transparent rod piece which sits on a very loose hinge. On the top of this, so details the instruction manual, Scarlet Witch can be attached, making the character hover over the trapped Hulk with her lightning power thingies.

This section of the build is clearly just to add a bit more playability (and a few more bricks), but it works well to give The Hulk figure a base. Speaking of which, we're really impressed with The Hulk minifigure (if indeed it can be called that), and we were happy to see that he wasn't made of just a single moulded piece. In fact you have to actually build him, as the arms require small blue Technic pins, and the hand are also moulded with the same Technic pins. 

There is no articulation on the hips and legs unfortunately, but his feet do fit onto normal LEGO studs. Oh, and those hands can accommodate a regular-sized minifigure's legs, allowing dear Dr Banner to pick someone up and give them a vicious shake.

Next up is the main event; The Hulk Buster itself. This is where the majority of your 248 parts are going, many of which are very small two-studded bricks and moulded pieces. Constructing it is very much like putting together one of LEGO's Bioncle characters, albeit with more conventional parts. Although the thing itself is pretty much symmetrical, with the builder required to assemble nearly everything twice, we really enjoyed the experience and never felt it was a chore. Nor was it a tricky build, and as everything is fairly small and detailed, the instruction book consists mainly of close-up diagrams.

We love the helmet piece, with some great Iron Man printing, and the whole thing is made up of deep crimson and gold parts - fans of Gryffindor take note. There are two blasters on the right hand which are made up of a part we've never before seen - like one of the new flick-fire pistols has been moulded onto a brick. The front section of the chest also drops forward to accommodate a minifigure, in this case Iron Man himself. The figure fits in well, and once sealed in is completely contained thanks to some clever use of plate pieces. Once complete The Hulk Buster is extremely well articulated and can be set in a number of dramatic (or funny) poses.

The Iron Man MK43 figure is very nice; the first one we've ever seen. As is Ultron Prime, with both featuring transparent studs on the feet and hands to simulate their rocket boots and gauntlet blasters. We absolutely adore the fact that Iron Man's helmet mask can lift up, revealing a minifigure face that looks uncanningly like Robert Downey Jr. 

Also included with the super hero is one of the new LEGO Super Jumpers, a curved transparent plastic piece that allows you to flick a minifigure into the air. Why? Well, apparently in the Age of Ultron film there must be lots of jumping around, as the last few pages of the instructions told us that we had to try and flick Iron Man at Scarlet Witch on the end of her weird pole thing. Fair enough, and it does add a bit more playability - although it took us about an hour to get right. Still, it's for the kids.

We really  do love this set and are very glad to have had a look at it. Fans of both the Avengers franchise and of LEGO Mecha will get a lot out of this, and there are some greats parts in there for your own robotic creations. Check it out.

Around £30

© The Test Pit

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