Ironman: Green – LEGO Super Heroes, Captain Carter & The Hydra Stomper (76201)

The weird times we live in have some odd consequences for my LEGO consumption as well. When you go to the same shop week after week and the stock on the shelves just won’t change much simply because they are hopelessly backlogged on orders due to such short supply, you really begin to ponder picking up sets you otherwise might not have considered. The Captain Carter & The Hydra Stomper (76201) is such a set, even though at heart I’m still far from a Marvel fan.

LEGO Super Heroes, Captain Carter & The Hydra Stomper (76201), Box

Pricing and Contents

The purchase of this set came about as a dare challenge to my brother, who likes to poke fun at my LEGO obsession. I won’t go into the details of this weird dynamic, but suffice it to say that he sprang the money for it and that afternoon I was a happy boy when we left the drugstore with the package that had been lying there all those weeks already.

This set is semi-exclusive here in Germany, meaning you can only get it from LEGO directly and a few select retail partners. That makes any discussion of price moot on some level and with 30 Euro for 343 pieces it’s really not that much different than what you’re used to with most regular sets. We got lucky that week we bought it and only paid 25 Euro, which certainly helped to commit to this even if i didn’t have it on my radar before.

LEGO Super Heroes, Captain Carter & The Hydra Stomper (76201), Overview

I’m sure that with more widespread distribution we’d see even better discounts. While the price-to-value ratio overall feels okay and on paper the usual metrics of price per piece and such add up, at the end of the day my impression is that 25 Euro is closer to what the set really should cost to begin with. The mech ultimately turns out pretty small and it doesn’t feel like there is enough volume to justify a higher price.

The Minifigures

No doubt the minifigures will be attractive to Marvel collectors and they appear all to be exclusive to this set and judging from Bricklink, their price can only go up from an already high base price. If you want all three, simply buying the whole set might be more cost effective. Since I still couldn’t get myself to sign up for at least a month or two to Disney+ to watch all the stuff, I’m still completely ignorant of the actual story threads. Based on the figure designs there seem to be a few things reversed, but not in a completely bonkers way. I’ll leave the details to the geeks that have actual knowledge of the comics and series.

LEGO Super Heroes, Captain Carter & The Hydra Stomper (76201), Minifigures

The details are well-executed with some fine prints and in particular Steve Rogers in his regular army uniform before his Captain America days will be highly desirable. Red Skull has been done a number of times, but apparently this is the first time he also has prints on his feet. It’s also interesting that the Tesseract has been represented with a transparent Minecraft figure head. Some people have taken issue with this particular version of Captain Carter only being in this set and not the recent Collectible Minifigure series, but that’s life, I guess (and LEGO‘s usual sneaky tactics of scattering stuff across multiple sets so you have to buy them).

The Mech

The mech follows the mold established by the many smaller Ironman Hulkbuster models we got over the years. Now that blanket statement doesn’t do you much good since I haven’t reviewed any of them , but if you ever owned one of those, you pretty much know where this is going. The individual sub-assemblies are based on standardized building methods you have seen a million times, and to get this out of the way, overall poseability therefore is limited. The main trunk for instance is a solid piece with no turntable separating the hips and the upper abdomen/ thorax, so he can only ever stare forward.

LEGO Super Heroes, Captain Carter & The Hydra Stomper (76201), Front Left View

The arms are more moveable on a theoretical level at least, but the massive armor plates easily get in the way. The shoulders are okay, but the elbows never allow to stretch the arms out fully. The legs have rigid knees, so they are always at an angle. This is not the end of the world, but has a noticeable impact on the model’s posture as it always leans forward ever so slightly. This basically can’t be changed as otherwise the mech loses balance and tips over backward. It’s not that its jet backpack would be particularly heavy or any of that, but more the combination of all the appendages somehow interacting unfavorably.

LEGO Super Heroes, Captain Carter & The Hydra Stomper (76201), Aft Left View

One thing that bothered me a bit from the outset was the color scheme. Initially I was under the impression that the model would come with Bright Green elements instead of the regular Green. Once I got to grips with that reality, I still wished it had at least a few such pieces and at the same time also a few other ones in Dark Tan or Olive Green. Since this is based on some sort of alternative timeline in which the bad guys from Hydra somehow have managed to assemble this Hulkbuster knock-off back in the 1940s, my theory would have to be that during wartime materials were in short supply and they had to scrape it together from different sources.

LEGO Super Heroes, Captain Carter & The Hydra Stomper (76201), Aft Right View

This doesn’t mean everything has to look like it was sourced from the scrapyard, but some color variations would certainly have enlivened the model and broken up the uniform green. It would also have helped to disguise the weak print on the face mask. It’s seriously lacking in opacity and neither the white areas nor the green looks correct. This is even more regrettable as somehow it would have been cool if the eyes would also be a Glow-in-the-Dark element. As it is, only a 1 x 2 plate hidden behind a Trans Light Blue tile on the chest plate is actually glowing. This kind of works, but only if you really have exposed it to a strong light source like a flashlight. Just letting it stand there in regular daylight will barely register.

LEGO Super Heroes, Captain Carter & The Hydra Stomper (76201), Front Right View

The cockpit does not have any extra details and can hold a minifigure in standing position. that’s where Steve Rogers‘ printed on belts and buckles come into play to make him appear strapped in. That’s okay, but I definitely would have preferred some more detailing. Sadly, though, even that would not raise the play value by much as the whole model is simply stiff like a stick and does not offer many ways to set up play scenarios

LEGO Super Heroes, Captain Carter & The Hydra Stomper (76201), Cockpit Interior

All that being the case, the one benefit of this mech being rigid like a frozen fish is that it is also quite robust. It’s easy enough to rip off the lower arms when moving them because they are only attached with ratcheted hinges, but the rest is quite massive and will not break at the first fall.

Concluding Thoughts

While I bought this (or my brother, to be exact) more or less just as a way to fill a gap when there were no other sets I wanted available at decent prices, this is still pretty decent, come to think of it. Compared to other Marvel sets the price isn’t inflated exorbitantly and while the model as a whole feels a bit small-ish, by that weird LEGO logic we have become accustomed to the value isn’t bad. Once you throw the very distinctly unique minifigures into the mix this gets even better. Splitting the investment with a friend who collects them should make this very viable.

On its own merits as in “a mech being a mech” this is not the best option, though. There’s still a ton of Ninjago mechs out there that offer much more complexity, are way larger and much better poseable plus they come with even more figures and better play value. This Hulkbuster wannabe really only works with the Marvel context in mind or if you are looking for a retro-themed, steampunk-ish model that fits into an alternate WW II scenario.