By Past Nastification
Sometimes Hasbro does fun things with GI Joe molds. For its Incredible Hulk movie line, it used recolored GI Joe figures as part of the Hulkbuster team. Hulk, schmulk. To my eye, this is just a disguised GI Joe figure.
This Hulkbuster utilized the 2004 Shipwreck mold, done in slate-colored plastic, topped off with a helmet. There were three identical Hulkbusters in this set, the “Epic Tunnel Clash”. Apparently I’m missing one and some weapons. But you get the idea. (Other Hulkbusters utilized different molds.)
The coolest thing about this figure is the head. It’s an Easter egg found under the glued-on helmet. It’s Shipwreck! This probably shouldn’t be a surprise, given that the rest of the figure is Shipwreck. Hasbro molded the head in the same color, assuming that no one would be curious enough to pry off the helmet. Hasbro could have easily used a Beachhead sculpt, but keeping the entire figure together was probably just easier.
There’s just something about that all-slate, no-painted-details Shipwreck head that makes this figure infinitely amusing. Maybe it’s because it’s supposed to stay hidden under the helmet. Forbidden fruit and such. Maybe the lack of paint allows one to really appreciate the sculpting that went into the head. The determined facial expression, the subtle strands of hair, the delicate shaping in the ear. These are details that disappear to some extent under paint. Seeing them in crisp pristine form is a nerdy treat.
The figure is from the NS era and has the obligatory stumpy torso and overly broad shoulders. Otherwise it’s pretty decent.
If you’re a Shipwreck completeist and weren’t aware of it, here’s a figure you may want to track down.