2008 Hulkbuster Squad

2008 Hulkbuster Squad

The late 2000‘s Hulk movie and it’s accompanying toy line was a curious and seemingly low-effort endeavor for Hasbro. You saw the return of several popular toys from years past, like the sensational Hulk-glove roleplay toy from the last forgettable Hulk movie, and several GI Joe sculpts making an appearance, such as this Hulk Buster.

He came sold in a two-pack with Emil Blonsky, though the figure’s not named in this ambiguous “Hulkbuster Sqaud.” set. The focus of this post is on the generic Hulkbuster, who was made from Valor vs Venom Bazooka, with a glued-on helmet from the Spy Troops Sand Viper. It’s actually an interesting looking figure, and I used to use him interchangeably as a faceless mook and disposable individual character who worked with Lowlight.

These figures came out to relatively little fanfare, as by the time they were released collectors were firmly obsessed with the 25th Anniversary figures. Of course, because these are made from New-Sculpt molds, they also don’t provide anything for ARAH purists, either. As such, it’s become a rather overlooked release in the Joe world, as it doesn’t provide much of interest to either of the major collecting demographics. Still, I find releases like this to be very interesting, especially for the fact that it’s part of a pattern of GI Joe tooling reusage in licensed brands that goes back to things like the Street Fighter Movie toys from the 90‘s.

It’s based on a good sculpt, so nicely this Hulkbuster is also a pretty good figure. Given, I think it’s a waste they glued his helmet on, which is the biggest flaw of this figure. Because he has a permanently attached night-vision helmet, the figure is much more limited in usage than he would be if the helmet were removable. For the past few weeks I’ve contemplated some pictures I could take of him, but then I realized you can really only use him in the dark.

The two-pack included a ton of parts that seem to be ambiguously intended for either this guy or Emil. Given, most of these parts besides the M4 carbine aren’t very good, and at that, the M4 mine included was somewhat warped out of package. Of the random mishmash of parts, you get things like 25th Roadblock’s 50. Cal (without the tripod), the uzi from 25th Snake Eyes, an M240 SAW (without a magazine!), the sniper rifle from DTC Lowlight, ‘91 Dusty’s pistol, DTC Footloose’s M4, and lastly, a very bad missile launcher. It’s a fair amount of guns, but really the only usable parts are the pistol and M4.

Hasbro pushed a few more GI Joe cameos into the 2008 Hulk line, including a set of Steel-Brigades in a TRU exclusive pack with a Hulk figure. Additionally, the exploding Hulk-Attack Humvee was heavily based on the Valor vs Venom Jungle Strike Humvee, although it’s extensively retooled. To my memory, this set marked the last time you’d see GI Joe molds being used outside of the GI Joe brand until Hasbro’s Jurassic Park line from 2013. At that, most of those figures went unreleased or were ridiculously hard to find.

You don’t see these two often, but the last one I saw sold carded for $16. These days, something like this is a pretty cool novelty to have around, and I personally find it fun to collect these oddball releases of Joe molds that showed up under different brands. With that said, this figure’s only okay at face value. The glued-on helmet kills a lot of his potential, and the accessories are pretty bad too. Can’t objectively say he’s worth getting unless you really just like obscure and oddball stuff as much as I do.

gi joe hasbro the hulk marvel 2008gi joe hasbro the hulk marvel 2008

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3 Responses to 2008 Hulkbuster Squad

  1. Mike T. says:

    On one level, it’s awesome that Joe molds got reused in other lines since it gives you more to collect. On another level, it’s maddening as you have to follow these obscure, short lived lines to find randomly repainted Joes. But, in general, I’m for it as more figures are better than less…even if they are JvC or anniversary parts.

  2. A-Man says:

    I somehow never got any despite the line hitting clearance. I did get the Humvee which I never opened. I assumed the helmet was molded on, not glued on. The Tunnel Battle steel brigade guys had glued on helmets with unpainted grey VvsV shipwreck heads.

    For a while the Hulkbusters were in lots from China, cheap army builders from what I recall, But that supply dried up years ago, though Blonsky himself still shows up.

  3. R.T.G. says:

    These sure came out at a weird time. I think they’re kinda cool and charming, but there’s definitely not much out there on them.

    The collapse of the New Sculpt era is interesting to me. It was a style that had a lot of overnight converts, who’d consistently post smart ass comments like “CAN YOUR ’85 SNAKE EYES DO THIS!” and a poorly posed Kamakura figure. Then all of a sudden the 25th line appeared, and the New Sculpts were a distant memory. People who are ARAH first and foremost stuck with it, but the New Sculpts didn’t have any diehards.

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