HULKBUSTER IRON MAN & RAMPAGING HULK
Keeping the discussion about character pairings going, if Hulk and Klaue are a rather unlikely duo, then today’s pairing, Hulkbuster Iron Man and “Rampaging” Hulk, are kind of the flip side of the coin. Seriously, I can’t think of a more perfect pairing than these two, so kudos to DST for making such a thing happen. Now, let’s see how the figures actually turned out!
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
These two are the third set of figures from Marvel Minimates Series 63. They’re also available as part of the second TRU assortment of AoU Minimates, but mine in particular are from the specialty release.
HULKBUSTER IRON MAN
An Avengers series is kind of a hard sell without an Iron Man, so here one is. At least it’s a unique, story important variant, though. Plus it’s widely different from the Mark 43 variant of the preceding series. No minor paint difference variant here! *glares at Boarders Exclusive sunglasses wearing Mark 4* This figure marks the third time the Hulkbuster has graced the line, though it’s the first time it’s made it into a regular release series. He is, of course, based on “Veronica’s” one scene wonder appearance from AoU, which is kind of an amalgam of all the various Hulkbuster looks from over the years, with a dash of the movie armor style thrown in. Hulkbuster has got to be one of the most heavily sculpted figures of late, with a whopping 10 add-on pieces. These include a torso/helmet, bicep covers, hands, thigh covers, boots, and a torso extender. With the exception of the torso extender, all of these pieces are new to this figure. The pieces are loaded with detail, and do a pretty great job of translating the movie’s design to the Minimate aesthetic. Unsurprisingly, the parts restrict the articulation, but that kind of goes hand in hand with such a bulky look. The torso/helmet is the star piece here; its very nicely sculpted, and the helmet is on a hinge, so it can swing up to reveal the underlying smaller IM helmet. On the flip side, the thigh pieces are probably the weakest parts. They’re decently detailed, but they just kind of float around on the thighs. Hulkbuster’s paintwork is pretty great overall. The outer armor has pretty straightforward work. It’s a little messy around some of the edges, but looks pretty good overall. Under the armor, the arms and legs are solid silver and gold, respectively. The torso and head, however, are fully detailed, incredibly well I might add, depicting the Mark 43 under the Hulkbuster armor. The Mark 43 ‘mate was a touch on the bulky side, so the slightly sleeker pieces offered here are much appreciated. Hulkbuster Iron Man’s only accessory is a clear display stand, but the large quantity of new parts on the actual figure more than make for that.
Hey, remember the Hulk Minimate I looked at yesterday? Yeah, this one is really similar to that one. However, instead of just being a basic, run of the mill Hulk from the movie, this one is specifically based on the scene where Scarlet Witch messes with Banner’s head and causes him to transform into a more unsettled Hulk. He then does the rampaging bit, necessitating the use of the Hulkbuster armor. So, it’s a pretty good choice to go alongside the Hulkbuster Minimate, I suppose. He uses the same parts loadout as the regular version, which is at the very least consistent. These parts worked well there, and they work well here. The paint is where the differences occur. The basic detail lines and such are mostly the same, though the face has been tweaked to make him a little more rampage-y. Rather than the simple teeth-baring grimace of the regular Hulk, this guy’s got a full-on screaming look. The other main change is the color scheme. Hulk is noticeably much paler than his usual self. In fact, he was originally supposed to be grey Hulk during the rampage sequence, but it was changed at the last minute. It appears this figure is based on the original scheme, though perhaps with more of green tinge than an all-out Grey Hulk would have. He’s also got red around his eyes, indicating the Witch’s influence over him, which a subtle but nice touch. For some reason, his pants are also a different shade. I don’t think they were different in the movie, so it seems like an odd choice on DST’s part. Rampaging Hulk matches his regular-colored counterpart in the accessories department, only including a clear display stand.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
After the more balanced Hulk and Klaue set, this one feels much more weighted to one of the two figures. Hulkbuster Iron Man is this set’s clear star. He’s fantastically sculpted, and his paint is pretty great too. Add in the new, streamlined torso and head for the Mark 43, and he comes out a serious winner. Rampaging Hulk is well done from a technical standpoint, but a bit drab and unexciting. Being in the same series as the regular version doesn’t do him a whole lot of favors. He’s also hindered by the decision to negate the change in his coloring for the final film. I feel like this look would have been better served as an extra head for the main Hulk, so as to free up a slot for someone else from the movie.