This set, the biggest from the Avengers 2012 line, is most definitely the set worthy of the most recognition. With al of it's features, and an okay line of minifigures, it has a lot going for it.
The box depicts a scene that actually never happened in the movie. (SPOILER ALERT) By the time Loki was riding the chariot, the Quinjet had been blown up. All the same, the box shows pretty much all of the functions in the ship, along with outer playability features, and the minifigure lineup.
The set, which is a pretty big model for a non-UCS set, comes with a lot of pieces that are measurably larger than others. There are big plate pieces, large underside rounded pieces, and two large windshield pieces, along with wing pieces, 6x6 plate pieces and wingtip/tail fin pieces. Most bricks are in a light grey color, though there are some in navy blue, and others in a light transparent blue. The Chatauri chariot features gold, purple, and a dark sand color, and also has a couple purple transparent pieces thrown in for an alienated outer space look. There are a great 700+ pieces included in the set! and they make for a great variety of different pieces to add to your collection.
Three minifigures included with 6869 can be found in other sets from the theme, which are Thor, Loki, and the Chatauri Footsoldier. However, the set does include two exclusive characters, the infamous Black Widow, and a second variant of Iron Man, the Matk VII suit.
Black Widow: The figure of the S.H.I.E.L.D supersPay, sadly, comes with a pretty generic hair mould, although it does come in her orange hair color. (Although she's a redhead in the comics, and the movie) She doesn't come with any weapons, which kind of leaves her out for this round, hence why she is seen piloting the ship on the box. She has a double sides face, one smiling with a lipstick smirk, and the other with an angry battle face. Her torso piece is covered in an assortment of spy tech and goodies, along with band oilers, a belt, and a bl ck jumpsuit underneath it all. She has regular black legs, although they do have multiple....er, straps on them to hold who knows what. Overall, she's a great minifgure. Sagely, this is a bigger set, and the only one to date that she comes with.
Iron Man, Mark 7: Like the mark 6 iron man from 6867, this version of Iron Man has an opening hot rod red and gold mask. He has the same hot rod red legs and torso, with various gold printings of metal everywhere for detail. The big difference the separates the two is the arc reactor. This version, unlike the 6867 triangle piece, has a circular arc reactor piece in the center, making it exclusive. The face of Tony Stark underneath is double sided, and has a normal face on one side, and an angry face on the other. Also, the minifigure comes with two light blue transparent studs for the repulsors on the hands, and two other light blue transparentieces for jets under the feet.
Thor: This minifgure, who is also included in 6868, is based on the film version of the god of thunder. He has a long blonde hairpiece, also seen in dark brown on Aaragorn in Lord of the Rings sets, and has a double sided face. One side has an orange yellow beard, and has a stern but normal look. The other side has an angry face, mouth opened as if yelling. The torso depicts his armor, with circles in the two top corners as if to hold up his red cape, and is made to look like Asgardian battle armor. His legs are just basic dark blue legs, and included with him is his mighty hammer.
Loki: This character is also include in both 6867 and 6868, up to the usual mischief in both. In this set, just like the others, he has his Asgardian crown helmet with two long golden curves, and a green cape behind him. His face is shared with the 2012 variant of Bruce Wayne, and is single sided. His torso is basically grey and green robes, as are his dark grey legs. He is holding his classic staff in the set, composed of a gold staff and dagger.
Chatauri Footsoldier: Looking his best to pilot Loki, he is one mean alien. The detail on this year's aliens from the theme is fantastic, and is mainly dark grey and gold. They have an alien mask, and many other metallic looking objects in his armor. He is also included in set 6865.
The build took me just under an hour and a half, and is distributed through 5 or 6 bags. The set is pretty easy, aside from the technic innards, and contains a lot of rotating and moving piece to create a sleeker, detailed look. The outside uses a couple stickers, as does the chariot. The build is amusing, and not too hard, but don't be mistaken: for younger builders, it may be slightly frustrating at times.
The completed model
The model. To quote the Lego Movie: "Oh my G-O-S-H!" It is big, and absolutely amazing. It has a prison bay in back, and opening door and cockpit, interior seating, a drop down Quinjet drone, and of course, a fire extinguisher. (Now a running joke) The set has a ton of playability, including rotating wingtips and drop down drones and missiles, along with an elevating cockpit. The front wheel turns around to steer, and the back two just roll. The inside back features a prison bed in back, and room for a couple minifigures, but not a bigfig like the Hulk. The dissection has seats for two and a control panel, and the fire extinguisher, and by pressing down the circle on top, the drone released, and does slide easily back in. The model is great for playing with, and also looks fantastic on display. Also the chariot included elevates for playability, although it itself does not have a missile.
My verdict: Get it. It is the best set in the 2012 and 2014 line, and is only rivaled in my opinion by the 2014 Milano. It will go great with the rest of the lineup, especially 6868, and is needed to complete the Avengers too. It is well worth the initial US $70, although I got it on sale for $50. The set has a great piece for price value, less than 10 cents a piece, and is just a great jewel for any collection. And with that note, I'll stop. And just a bit of advice: If you weren't able to pick this one up, there is another rumored one for the 2015 Age of Ultron line. I'm keeping my hopes up anyway.
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The Quinjet Aerial Battle is the largest of the Marvel Super Heroes sets released to date and despite playing a reasonably minor role in the movie it is an interesting vehicle and one which I was delighted to see in Lego. However having seen the film there are one or two aspects of this recreation that disappoint me sadly which I will mention in further detail later on in the review. While the vehicle itself is excellent, albeit occasionally inaccurate, the Minifigures are not bad at all making for an all round great set, but read on and see what you think...
The box cover features a fairly epic shot of the Quinjet in action as it pursues Loki in his chariot like vehicle, which is in fact an Alien Gunship. A couple of flick fire missiles have been launched, as has the spy drone which can be released from the belly of the jet. Black Widow is visible piloting the ship from the forward cockpit, Thor is attempting to jump from the top of the Quinjet on to Loki's Gunship while Iron Man flies alongside the jet. All of the action occurs on an urban background with various explosions spread around the scene. Along the top edge of the box is a dark red border with a shot of the Lego Avengers in action and the Lego Marvel Super Heroes logo. At the bottom is a gallery view of the five Minifigures included in the set and an advertisement for the comic included.
On the reverse of the box are some images of the various features of the model including the launching spy drone, flick fire missiles, and adjustable ailerons. At the bottom of the back cover is a picture of the Avengers as they appear in the movie.
The three instruction manuals share the exact same shot of the set as the box. There were no mistakes that I could find and I had no missing pieces. A short comic book is included as the box states which might be interesting for young children and provide some inspiration for play.
There are some great parts in this set including plenty of gold pieces which are mostly used for Loki's Alien Gunship and also some dark tan slopes which contribute to that vehicle as well. There are a great deal of light and dark grey plates which could be useful for your own creations and a good helping of dark blue as well. A couple of nice big cockpit pieces are included and there are several nice translucent light blue grille tiles which are just about exclusive and very attractive pieces which there may be some creative uses for. There are a whole host of wonderful parts used for the Minifigures including a light grey hammer piece wielded by Thor, an elaborate metallic gold helmet for Loki to wear and a lovely staff for him to carry. This is the first time we have seen the hair piece used for Black Widow in dark orange like this and it looks fantastic in my opinion. Best of all however is Iron Man's wonderful helmet which I am a great advocate of and looks absolutely fantastic I think. All in all, a very nice parts selection indeed!
I will begin with the heroes of the set, the first of which is the completely exclusive Black Widow. She features a wonderful hair piece as I already mentioned with some outstanding texture and detail on here which is accentuated to the best effect in this dark orange colour. It is fairly well suited to her but is perhaps a little bit too long. Nevertheless, without creating a brand new mould this is as good as one is going to get I think. The head is excellent with printing on both sides. On one face her dark orange eyebrows, eyelashes, and a mischievous smirk are printed, and one the other side is a much more determined expression. Both sides have some cheek definition on them which is nice detail.
Her torso is printed with lots of detail. She is wearing a skin tight black outfit with plenty of pockets and zips. Some bare skin is visible around her neck and the standard feminine curves are printed as well. She is also wearing a dark grey utility belt and there are some tiny blue stripes which help to break up the mostly black uniform. The back is also printed with some more of the outfit and the rest of her belt is printed on her too. The arms and hands are plain black to match the rest of her. The legs are cast in black and are printed with more dark grey pockets and a continuation of the blue striping which looks absolutely brilliant. Unfortunately (and inexplicably) there is no accessory included for Black Widow, she really should come with a handgun of some kind as she frequently makes use of one during the movie which is a minor issue I have with the figure.
Next up is the legendary demi-god Thor. This Minifigure is identical to the one included in the Hulk's Helicarrier Breakout set and is a great figure in my opinion. He features a blonde hair piece which is nice. This is the same piece as was used on Dastan in the Prince of Persia theme and Doctor Octopus in the upcoming Spiderman set. It is a nice mould with some great detail moulded in to it, but I think that this piece does not suit the blonde colour quite as well as the brown colour. It is however ideal for Thor and much like the hairstyle sported by Chris Hemsworth in the film. The head piece is great too with a dark tan beard, eyebrows, and a serious expression. The head is printed on the other side as well to yield an alternative expression. Everything is the same on this other face, except for his expression which is now an angry grimace for while he is fighting! Thor wears a red cape which is very nice and just like the one in both the Avengers (or Avengers Assemble) film from this year and the Thor film released a couple of years ago.
His torso is very highly detailed on both the front and back. On the front is some dark grey armour plating over a dark blue shirt with the six silver spheres which adorn the movie costume. This is an incredibly accurate design when compared to the actual film appearance and I am delighted with the figure in this respect. The back is printed with more of the dark blue garment and the rest of his armour plating. I was pleased to see some back printing although it is covered by the cape so just in case you wish to take the cape off the figure still looks good from every angle. The arms are light grey and the hands are the standard flesh colour. The legs are very simple indeed, cast in dark blue with no printing whatsoever. It would have been nice to see a bit of printing but in fact if you look at the costume for Thor you will notice that the trousers are in fact just plain blue other than his heavy boots. Thor comes with his famous hammer which is a nice piece. It is cast in light grey but sadly features no printing on it. However the mould features plenty of detail and the shape is just right so I am pleased with this component overall and it could have some other applications no doubt for those among you who enjoy using parts in new ways throughout your creations.
The final hero included is my favourite of all, Iron Man. This Minifigure is exclusive and unlike in set 6867, Loki's Cosmic Cube Escape, here Iron Man is in his Mark VII armour. Beginning at the top, the helmet, which has received some criticism, is fantastic in my opinion. It consists of two parts, the faceplate section, which is mostly gold from the front although it is cast in dark red like the other portion of the helmet, which forms the sides and back of this armour section. There is some moulded detail on the completely dark red rear section which is totally accurate to the film and the mask section looks great too, it is just about all metallic gold from the front with a small area of red on the chin like in the film and some white printing in his eyes. I think it looks great and best of all you can raise the faceplate to reveal Tony Stark's face just like in the films! The head too is very accurate to Robert Downey Jr. in the films and features his small moustache and beard. The head is printed on both sides with alternate faces, one with a confident smile, perfect for this character, and the other has a determined expression for fighting his enemies.
The torso is massively detailed with armour plating of both dark red and gold, and the central circular power core, which is printed in glowing white on the chest. The design is incredibly accurate to the actual suit and this accuracy is carried on to the reverse side of the torso where there is yet more armour panelling of dark red and gold. The arms and hands are both plain dark red. The legs are mostly dark red as well with some golden knee pads printed on them which looks wonderful and some other armour too. He comes with no accessories as such, but does include two translucent blue one by one round plates, and two translucent blue cylinder parts which form his blue repulsors so he can fly. I prefer the Mark VI armour myself but this Minifigure too is sublime and in my opinion cannot realistically be improved upon!
Now on to the villains of the set, starting with the main antagonist of the Avengers film, Loki. He appears in two another sets from this wave and is a nice figure, but perhaps could do with a little more exclusivity as that would somehow make him a little more special. Nevertheless, the figure itself is great with a huge elaborate helmet piece. This is cast in a golden rubbery plastic and is just like the one he wears in the movie. The long horns look excellent and it fits nicely over his head. Due to being made of this rubbery plastic though, it fits a little more loosely than most head attachments, but it will still not fall off unless you pull it off so it is a very minor issue. The head is very simply printed but it looks fine in my opinion. Some cheek definition is printed on the face, as are his black eyebrows and a serious expression. He wears a standard green cape which is accurate to the film, however I think a dark green cape might look a little better for the Minifigure.
The torso is highly detailed with plenty of alien patterning and his long trench coat. The most prominent colour is dark grey but there are several areas of silver and gold highlighting and some straps crossing his chest which look great. His arms are dark grey and his hands are flesh coloured. There is no back printing which is a little disappointing but it would be obscured by the cape anyway so this is forgivable. The legs have the tails of his coat printed on them with some more silver and gold details, but they are mostly dark grey like the rest of his outfit. Loki carries his staff which consists of a metallic gold staff piece which has also appeared in the Pharaoh's Quest theme and a small dagger which has appeared in the Ninjago theme previously. This is about as accurate as one is going to achieve without Lego making a brand new piece and it looks decent, but a new mould would have been welcome of course.
Last of all is the Alien Foot Soldier which is a nice figure. The exact same Minifigure also appears in set 6865, Captain America's Avenging Cycle, but that is fine as this is a figure which could be very desirable in multiples as there were thousands of them in the film! The head is cast in pearl gold and is printed on the front and back. The front is printed with an alien battle mask with his eyes poking out and the back has some more of the helmet armour. This is a good design and one which is quite similar to the sort of thing worn by these troops in the film. The light grey torso is printed with lots of complicated armour plating of various colours, and some bizarre alien patterns, which is also much like what is seen in the film. His back is printed with some more armour and patterns which is nice to see and his arms are plain light grey. The hands are purple which is a bit odd but with all of the crazy patterns on the rest of the figure they match up quite well! The hips and legs are printed with a continuation of the torso printing and he carries no accessories.
The build is reasonably long, about one and a half hours in total and is quite entertaining. The construction of the chair which is found in the front cockpit is interesting, as is the way in which the spy drone launcher is formed, albeit more complicated than it needs to be it seems to me. The formation of the smooth and flowing bodywork which runs along the top of the Quinjet is fantastic and the designer has made use of plenty of curved slopes to create this unique appearance which is lovely. There is a good mix of Technic and System construction techniques which always makes for a fun build I find.
The completed model
The small Alien Gunship ridden by Loki is a nice little vehicle and it goes well with the other alien ships which are included in set 6865, Captain America's Avenging Cycle. This one features some blasters on either side of the cockpit area and three stickers are used to add some more detail. The ship looks fine with or without the stickers so if you do not wish to apply them, that does not take anything away from the look of the ship. The colour scheme of the vehicle looks good and it is in fact quite similar to the vehicle that Loki rides on during the final battle of the Avengers movie thankfully.
The Quinjet itself is a wonderful vehicle in my opinion. At the front is a large, angled cockpit in which you can seat one Minifigure on a lovely blue chair which is a great micro build. There are some control consoles in here and the glass section of the cockpit can be hinged open for easy access to this area. Behind that is another windowed section beneath which are two more seats and another huge control panel. There is a fire extinguisher clipped on to the wall in here and the glass cover can be removed easily. Unfortunately both of these consoles are stickers which is a shame. In the main fuselage to the rear of this seating area is the bay where the spy drone is stored and the mechanism for releasing it. This feature is a little strange really as no such drone appears in the film and the mechanism is far more complicated than it needs to be. A red button can be pushed on the top of the ship to push down the rack for the drone beneath the fuselage, allowing it to be flown off once its wings have unfolded. The detail seen on the spy drone is also created using a sticker (in case you are still wondering, I would not really recommend this set for sticker haters as there are an awful lot!)
Towards the rear of the ship is an open area which is empty to allow the Super Heroes to make sky drops in to the chaos below. On the top is an opening flap which is excellent and the very back can open up. The wings have flick fire missiles slung beneath them and have plenty of adjustable ailerons and flaps which are fun to play with. However perhaps my biggest gripe with the model is how loose the wing tips are on this model, they swing around freely in flight but this can be fixed easily using a couple of fairly common pieces to stiffen up the joint. One major inaccuracy of the vehicle is the fact that the rotors which are seen on the jet from the film in the wings to allow VTOL (vertical take off and landing) are not present on this model, replaced instead by large S.H.I.E.L.D. logos. I am surprised by this exclusion as these rotors would not be too hard to have created it seems to me, however, one can always adapt the model to house these propellers if need be. The two huge engines which are on the actual vehicle are here on this model however and look marvellous with a mixture of dark blue and light grey. Last of all there is some landing gear found underneath the Quinjet which allows it to land just like it does in the film.
This is another wonderful offering from these Marvel Super Heroes sets, but is perhaps a little underwhelming in the Minifigure department as only two of the figures are exclusive, and one of those is just in an alternate outfit. The vehicles are both fantastic however and the features are brilliant. Possibly my favourite aspect of the entire set however is the swooshability of the Quinjet. This is possibly the most swooshable model in relation to its size I have ever had which can provide hours of fun if you intend to play with the set. This is a kit I would recommend, however one must take in to consideration the numerous stickers which for many people are a major issue. If you number yourself among this group, this might be a set to steer clear of as there are a lot and one or two of them can be quite tricky to apply I have found.
Overall - 9/10
11 out of 14 people thought this review was helpful.
this is a Marvelous set. pun (and misspelling) intended. it is sleek, the figs are awesome, and it has room for about six people in it. to start i want to say that i built this set with a friend (energyarrow) so i didn't build the WHOLE thing.
i will start my review with the figs:
to start, Iron Man, he is different than the other set he comes in, he has a circular chest piece and his overall printing is better. Thor is also cool, he comes in one other set and, if i am not mistaken, is the same in both sets. his hammer is a nice piece and his printing is amazing. Black widow is cool but her hair is a bit longer than it is in the movie. her printing is good as well but her belt buckle isn't a red hourglass simbolising her as the Black Widow. loki is the same as the in the other two sets but is quite good ether way. his helm is rubber but is nice. his printing is good too. his "minion" is good and has a gold head and printing. now on to the set:
it is AMAZING! it looks great. i like how it has two cockpits. the front one has a GREAT! brick-built chair that looks REALLY comfy and has an attached control panel. the rear cockpit has two chairs facing each-other with a control panel next to them. i made an upgrade so that they are next to each-other but they are both facing the controls. there is a cargo area in the back that has a flip-up door in the top and a flip-down door that turns into a ramp in the back of it. it can hold up to (i think) three figs but they are EXTREMELY hard to put in. the best play function is the drone drop function. you push a button on the top and a platform holding a small drone thing. the wing tips can fold and twist kind of and there are fold down flick missiles on the underside of the wings as well. that is all for the play functions.
over all it is a great set that is definatly worth the money and it was a fun build. if you have an extra $75 than you should totaly get it.
9 out of 9 people thought this review was helpful.
It should first be stated for the record that I am a Marvel Comics fan, although I’m far from being a “long timer” as I’m sure some reviewers are. I got into comics around 2006 or so, and it was a couple of years later that I decided to get back into LEGO as well. And now, here we are in 2012 when all of our nerd fantasies have finally coalesced and come to fruition, with LEGO making the bold decision to capitalise on the extensive library of characters, vehicles, storylines, and settings of the Marvel Universe in conjunction with the upcoming (as of writing this review) Avengers film. With Star Wars being the head of the back in terms of longevity of a licensed theme and Harry Potter following as a distant second, I can only hope that the Superhero line proves to be as enduring, because I certainly feel that the possibilities here are limitless. The Fantastic Four? More X-Men? The Inhumans? Atlantis? Daredevil? Spider-Woman? Dr. Strange? Devil Dinosaur and Moonboy? Bring them all on.
Quinjet Aerial Battle is the flagship (in more ways than one) of the first wave of the Marvel Universe sets, and you will not be disappointed. I have to confess that my first impressions of the jet were not positive, and I wasn’t exactly sure of what to make of Loki’s chariot thingy, but after assembling the model completely and putting it on display, I can tell you with confidence that the detail on the Quinjet is astounding, so much so that, to me, it ranks on par with the huge 10xxx sets that usually only come out at the end of the line. Because of perspective, the official render is deceptive: the Quinjet is very large, comparing favourably with the jet liner from Airport (3182), with a ton of features and moving parts to keep everyone happy. This is a very AFOL friendly set, and kids might even have fun with it too; who knows, right?
The Minifigs offer no surprises. You get five: two bad guys, and three superheroes to nail the bad guys. On the evil side, we have the god of mischief, Loki, who sports an extremely cool helmet but is unfortunately no different from the Loki that comes with Cosmic Cube Escape (6867) or Helicarrier Breakout (6868). I don’t know what you intend to do with your spare Lokis, but I know that at least one of mine is going to rule over a Troll kingdom (7097), a la Asgard. The other bad guy is a generic alien goon who is the same as the one antagonising Captain America and his Avenging (???) Cycle (6865), who has nice details on him and is faceless enough to be beaten up without remorse. The three superheroes are Iron Man (Tony Stark), Thor, and Black Widow (Natasha Romanoff). Tony probably deserves the most comment here: I think a lot of us were concerned about the infamous helmet, but I will add to the chorus now and say that it looks great. It is no bulkier than any of the more recent Space helmets (such as those appearing on the ADU in Alien Conquest) and the flip-down faceplate is absolutely fantastic. The Iron Man suit here is also slightly different compared to the one showing up in Cosmic Cube Escape, and unfortunately the same cannot be said for Thor, who is identical to his appearance in Helicarrier Breakout. The super-special Minifig here is Black Widow, who, in a sexist turn, has been relegated to piloting the Quinjet as opposed to being out stomping bad guys. A generic SHIELD pilot would have been a nice addition, although even nicer than that would have been NICK FURY, AGENT OF SHIELD, but I suppose he’s being saved for a later time. I substituted in an Agents Minifig to be the pilot so that Black Widow can go out and about. (In fact, the Agents Minifigs are fortuitously coloured dark blue, so making MOC SHIELD agents is a cinch; Maria Hill was an easy start for me.)
Onto the set itself. There’s two basic components here: Loki’s “war chariot” that is being pursued by the unfairly large Quinjet. I assume that Loki’s ride is something from the movie, because I can’t quite think of an accurate comic book analogue (although it’s true that I generally don’t read Thor comics). The colours are interesting, but overall I don’t find that it’s much to crow about, especially considering what it’s being pitted against. I can only hope that future iterations of the superhero line involve more things for the bad guys (I love Lex Luthor’s Power Armor (6862), for example).
And the Quinjet is, of course, what you came for. On a whim, I went to Google to check out some pictures of other Quinjet toys and merchandise that have been released this year in conjunction with the Avengers film, and I came away even more amazed at how faithfully the LEGO Quinjet recreates the experience of other full-sized, non-modular models. As I’ve already mentioned, the Quinjet is large, and it took me a good two hours or so to complete. The build is broken into several components: the cockpit, the body, the wings, and finishing odds and ends such as landing gear. The exterior of the model uses a plethora of specialised pieces that not only give the finished Quinjet a very sleek look, but also pack into it a ton of moving parts that make it highly interactive.
We’ll start with the cockpit, which fits exactly one pilot to helm the ship. Behind this is a sort of secondary control room fits two other Minifigs; I guess this is an ideal place to put Captain America and Hawkeye if you have their respective sets. There’s not a whole lot of room in the body because it houses a complicated piece of machinery that lowers a sort of drone-type thing at the push of a button, which is a pretty cool if not slightly odd feature of the Quinjet.
The wings are fantastic, mostly because of how surprisingly interactive they are. A person more well-versed in aerospace engineering might have better terminology for this, but, it any case, one can see from the picture that there are basically front flaps that tilt up and down and “wingtips” that not only rotate but can be folded up and down as well. It’s this level of detail that really puts the LEGO Quinjet on par with other Quinjet models out there, and kids and grown-ups alike will doubtlessly find themselves surprised at how flexible this behemoth is. The only downside here is that the SHIELD logo is one huge sticker, but a bit of surgical precision and you’ll be fine (please be sober when you attempt this).
In the rear is an empty chamber that is accessible by a hatch and, indeed, Captain America's motorcycle (sorry, "Avenging Cycle") is sadly to bulky to fit in there, although it will fit in a healthy number of Avengers. Adorning the back is a pair of engines that sit at adjustable angles as well, presumably to modulate speed somehow.
At a suggested retail price of $70 in the US, this bad boy ain't cheap, but you do get a fair amount of bang for your buck, all the more so if you happen to be a fan of Black Widow since this is the only set among the first wave that she appears in. The sheer size and functionality of the Quinjet itself is unlikely to disappoint you, and the inclusion of a decent selection of Avengers is sure to keep the Marvel fan inside you happy. Get this set, stop the bad guys, and call it a day.
17 out of 18 people thought this review was helpful.
The title quote is spoken in the movie trailer by this set's most exclusive character - Black Widow. And while she may be describing the Helicarrier ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FswvtkJX4js), she might as well have been describing this set, an elaborate and fun model with more than enough neat features.
The box is extremely large, the same size as those of sets twice its piece count and size. The front features a bright, kinetic aerial action scene framed in the line's dark Marvel red, and it certainly stands out on a shelf, especially next to the comparatively more somber DC sets.
The instructions are packaged in the new premium standard first observed in the POTC sets, with sturdy cardboard backing and a plastic sleeve keeping them unsullied. The instructions are divided up into three books - the first one is tiny, and takes you through building the first bag. The second and third books are both standard large size, with the second being longer than the third. Color differentiation is strong and if there were any misprints I didn't notice them. Cap, Thor, and Loki pop up in the top right corner of the page to say hello every so often.
In addition to the instructions we have a large comic, which is rather nicer than the tiny ones I've gotten in my (smaller) DC sets. Still no words, though, and don't expect a riveting story. The back cover and a spread on the inside showcase all of the marvel figures, including Spider-man, Doc Ock, and Iron Fist (!). No Nick Fury to be found anywhere, though.
Pouring out the contents of the box, it seems surprisingly full for its large size. There just aren't too many small parts in this construction, and a lot of big ones. Pieces of note include a wide variety of extremely useful new brackets, a ton of neat trans-blue grille plates, some useful fuselage parts, and a lot of curved slopes. With 735 parts it's well above the 10 cents/piece mark, and a significant number of the pieces are large and useful too. It's not often that a licensed set can be viewed as a good parts pack, but I think this set will be great for plane-builders.
We get five. In the order we're supposed to build them...
Loki: Neat, but you can get an identical figure in Cosmic Cube Escape, and with the cosmic cube to boot. Because The Avengers focuses on one villain and not a rogue's gallery the designers were sort of forced to overuse him.
Alien General: Identical to the one in Captain America's Avenger Cycle, but good for army-building. I got Cap at the same time, and putting the three aliens together with their vehicles/turret makes for a nice little phalanx.
Black Widow: Lego has consistently had trouble making female minifigures that don't look like Rosie O'Donnell, and Natasha here is no exception. Her black catsuit has the traditional printed curves, and some lines were added on her face to try to make it look thinner, but they just make her look old. Still, the resemblance is there, and the orange hair is neat. It's a laudable effort, but I would have preferred Nick Fury to be the exclusive figure in this set.
Iron Man: Undoubtedly the best figure of the set. Also unique, though only on a technicality (check out the arc reactor in Cosmic Cube and this), Tony just looks great in real life. The helmet's size isn't distracting at all, and the shininess of the pearl gold printing and mask look phenomenal. The Tony-face underneath could use a little work, but it's recognizable. And why would you want to have the mask up anyway? The helmet looks excellent down, and I intend to keep it that way. The figure is interesting in that it's assembled with repulsor beams built right in - two trans-light-blue-studs on the hands and cylinders on the feet. They look pretty good as repulsors, but really I can take them or leave them. The figure look fine either way.
Thor: Not unique, but still nice, Thor creates a sort of ying-yang with his brother. Green and red, helmet and no helmet, clean shaven and bearded - they are truly opposite in every way! Of all the figures in this set, Thor is probably the one who most resembles his movie counterpart. My only complaint is that Mjolnir is a little underwhelming, but at least it's approximately to scale, which is more than can be said about a lot of Lego weapons.
It took a little under two hours for me, with breaks. In Bag 1, you start with Loki's chariot, a fun, quick little warmup build, then go on to create the Quinjet's cockpit. After that it's nonstop work on the model. With Bag 2 you build up the fuselage, then once that's up to a high enough level you put on the wings (Bag 3 and most of Bag 4). Bag 5 builds you the roof and puts on the finishing touches, and you're done! Even when building the symmetrical parts, the build is never boring, and it keeps you intrigued with how its features are going to work in the end and how the curves are going to contour into each other. However, I didn't really feel like it taught me at any point (as I did with the upside-down building in the new X-wing, the last big set I built), so I don't quite give it full marks. It's a solid, fun construction, but with no real innovation.
The completed model
The model is a sight to behold, looking like a flying tank (no, not like in the A-team movie). Even though it's an airplane and not a mech, it's very poseable. The wingtips, wing fronts, jet engines, and cockpit can be moved around on their hinges to convey different types of flight, from fast and predatory to slow and cautious It rolls quite easily on old-school landing gear (unfortunately non-retractable, but you can't have everything). The model pulls off the balance between bulky and sleek quite well. It's very beefy for an airplane, but it looks aerodynamic enough that it looks as though it could fly. The very large jet engines on the back bolster that impression.
The cockpit and upper deck open up smoothly, with the upper deck revealing a nice sitting area with room for two heroes (Cap and Iron Man are best, as Thor's cape gets rumpled). Moving further back along the plane, each wing has fold-out missile racks that, even if you aren't in the mood for flickfires, still look pretty cool. Pushing a red landing light on top of the plane unleashes the neatest play feature - a pop-down rack that holds some sort of remote-controlled S.H.I.E.L.D. drone which can slide out and open its wings. (Neat detail: The sticker on the control panel in the sitting area shows sensor readouts and controls for the drone, including a profile shot of it in flight). It seems likely that with some minor modding this area could be converted into a drop zone for various Avengers instead of just a drone. Even further back, there's a trap door on top of the jet, which might cause some problems for those who like their planes to do fancy aerobatics, as it's not clamped down in any way and frequently flaps open. This door opens into a storage area that also has an exit in the very back of the plane, via a click-hinge doorway. This storage area is odd. It's difficult to get into with your fingers, and isn't quite big enough to hold anything useful - Cap's motorcycle is just a bit too wide to fit into it, for example, as is Hulk. It seems like a missed opportunity that a more substantial play feature wasn't added in this area, but then again it's better to have a hard-to-use storage area than a more expensive set.
In all this concentration on the Jet, I nearly forgot about Loki's Chariot, but you don't when the model's on your table. It doesn't seem like an afterthought as many opposition vehicles do. It's actually a fairly substantial model on its own, and it shares the same striking aesthetic as the vehicles from the Cap set, which make it stand out from the military look of the Quinjet. The splash of green that Loki's outfit adds only serves to make it pop more.
When I first saw this set I was a bit hesitant about it. It looked odd and chunky, and what was up with Iron Man's head, and could I maybe get these minifigures elsewhere, and... I didn't really want to spend that much money on it. But then more and more trailers came out, and I realize just how movie-accurate the set looked, and how integral the Quinjet would be to the plot. And then Iron Man's head got smaller, and the figures started looking better and better - I talked myself into buying it, and now I'm glad that I did. It's got a couple of great exclusive figures, some really fun play features, and even if I don't keep it intact forever like I intend to do with my other iconic Superhero vehicle, the old Batwing (six years and still going strong!) its parts will be a welcome addition to my collection. Who knows? I might be able to use them to help build the F-16s that Tony accidentally destroys in Iron Man.
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