Wakanda has quickly become a vital location within the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the trailers for Avengers: Infinity War demonstrate its continuing significance. 76103 Corvus Glaive Thresher Attack is set in the African nation and includes several vital characters from the film, some of whom are only available here.
This should therefore prove to be a popular set, particularly given its price of £34.99 or $39.99 which seems remarkably reasonable for a set containing 416 pieces and five minifigures! I have definitely been looking forward to it so approach this review with high expectations.
Please note that this review is spoiler free.
This version of Black Panther has previously appeared in 76100 Royal Talon Fighter Attack and looks pretty good on the whole. I like the separate ear component which fits to the top of T'Challa's head and the metallic silver highlights on his suit are marvellous, although it is a shame that they do not continue onto the legs as the black element appears rather plain.
Black Panther's mask features retractable lenses and a sliver of reddish brown flesh is therefore visible around each eye. I appreciate this attempt to recreate the design from the movie but it looks somewhat awkward on the minifigure and I would have preferred intact lenses. However, the subtle fabric pattern printed on both sides of the torso is very impressive, only becoming clearly visible under certain light conditions.
New minifigures are usually welcome but I am glad to see that Vision remains unchanged since 76067 Tanker Truck Takedown was released in 2016. This is a perfect rendition of the character in my opinion, featuring an appropriate combination of magenta and sand green which covers both the front and back of the head while the yellow Mind Stone is fitted to the forehead, just above Vision's piercing eyes.
The torso and legs are also predominantly sand green and magenta, with some metallic gold, so match the source material very closely. Vision's pale yellow cape looks superb too. In fact, this is my favourite aspect of the entire minifigure as it is made from a soft fabric which lets a little light pass through and the material appears shiny, much like in the films.
Shuri emerged as one of the most popular new characters in Black Panther so it is brilliant to see her in minifigure form for the first time. The character wears her hair in many different styles and on that basis I think this is a suitable hair piece. It includes an exceptional amount of textured detail and is exceedingly rare, having only been used before in 75828 Ecto-1 & 2.
Promotional images for Avengers: Infinity War have shown Shuri wearing an orange jacket which looks great, featuring a metallic silver zip down the front of the torso along with some realistic creasing. The new double-sided head is nicely detailed too and the figure comes with two pearl dark grey gauntlets, representing her favoured weapons in both Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War.
Every member of Thanos' Black Order presents an enormous threat but I think Corvus Glaive looks especially intimidating, appearing almost skeletal in the film. It is difficult to recreate that design given a minifigure's fixed proportions but the villain looks excellent on the whole, sporting a tattered black cloak with a hood. The horn-like structures on either side of his hood are absent but I think the standard component works well in this instance.
Yellowed teeth and vivid red eyes are visible on both sides of the head alongside smiling and angry expressions. The pearl dark grey torso is intricately decorated with metallic gold and light bluish grey details as well as some more of the ragged cape. Unfortunately, the legs are not printed though which is disappointing as the character wears a prominent tabard on screen. Corvus Glaive is equipped with a large double-bladed weapon.
Glaive is accompanied by a lone Outrider. Hordes of these creatures are seen attacking Wakanda in the trailers for Avengers: Infinity War so I am pleased to see them in a few different sets, allowing you to assemble a small army relatively easily. The head and torso feature metallic gold armour plating which looks brilliant and I like the dark red mouth too.
Four additional arms are fitted to the back of the Outrider using a new bracket element. They are individually articulated which is useful for display and look quite accurate to the movie, although some of these creatures only have four arms rather than six. Fortunately, you can easily remove a couple of the arms if you wish and I think the minifigure looks good in either configuration.
The Completed Model
Terrifying though the Outriders and Corvus Glaive are, even they might not be sufficient to overwhelm the Wakandan defences. The villains have therefore brought an enormous threshing machine which may be more effective against structures and can be launched by pressing a red button on top of the model. This is a simple mechanism but it functions perfectly, sending the dark bluish grey saw blades tumbling towards any given target.
I was initially concerned that the thresher would tip over as it rolls along but this only occurs on uneven surfaces or when it collides with another object, fortunately. The launcher is creatively disguised as part of the landscape and features a nice mixture of green slopes in varying shades as well as some foliage which partially conceals the Technic elements. The red button does look out of place which is a shame but the threshing machine is a lot of fun.
Wakandan architecture is unique within the Marvel Cinematic Universe and this section of wall does not particularly resemble what we have seen in the movies. However, its design is consistent with that of the turret in 76104 The Hulkbuster Smash-up and I love the black, white, pearl gold and trans-purple colour scheme. The wall measures 25cm in length so is fairly substantial and Technic pins at either end provide potential for expansion.
The gateway consists of a trans-purple 1x6x5 panel with a sticker applied on the inward-facing surface. I like the hexagonal pattern and matching designs adorn the windows, each of which is flanked by two pearl gold 6L bars. Bar holders with clips are used at the base of the supports and these are new in sand blue so only appear in this set at the moment.
A Technic liftarm protrudes from the side of the wall and can be used to raise and lower the gate. It slides very smoothly and exposed studs on either side of the gate appear to form a rudimentary locking mechanism, although no such feature is shown in official images and there are no obvious pieces included for the purpose. The red 1x1 round brick shown in the image below is from my own collection.
There is space for a few minifigures on a platform above the gate and they are protected by two rotating turrets, both of which incorporate stud shooters. You can adjust the trajectory of the turrets but they are primarily intended to point towards the ground, raining fire upon any minifigure who strays too close. The area below the stud shooters is left open and looks a bit awkward so it would have been nice to see another window here.
Dark tan plates form another walkway along the lower wall, with a dark bluish grey railing at the edge. I like the white window frames and stickered designs, although those stickers are clear-backed so will show any air bubbles or dust that may become trapped underneath. A disc launcher is hidden at the base of the wall alongside a large plunger which looks rather strange but activates a function inside.
The model is fairly shallow so there is little room for interior detail. Nevertheless, I like the white pillars supporting the walkways above and the continuing purple accent colour looks fantastic. Two computer monitors are attached to the wall, one of which displays an Outrider craft from 76101 Outrider Dropship Attack while the other features a line of Wakandan text. A few of the letters correspond with those introduced in Black Panther but others have presumably been created by the graphic designer.
A reddish brown bed is situated beside the computers. Vision is shown lying here in official images of the set while the yellow Mind Stone rests next to him. Pushing the button on the other side of the wall will cause the bed to rise so you can either stand its occupant or eject them entirely, depending upon how hard the button is pressed. A larger lab area would be more interesting but I think the designer has filled this limited space very well.
76103 Corvus Glaive Thresher Attack did not immediately capture my attention when the six Avengers: Infinity War sets were revealed but it has proven to be another superb entry in the range. The presence of five minifigures seems remarkably generous for a set of this size and I am delighted with Shuri in particular, although all five figures are great.
The Wakandan wall is modest in scale but contains numerous features and looks pretty impressive on display, due in part to the garish trans-purple pieces which really stand out. Corvus Glaive's thresher is equally well designed and I would therefore recommend this set, especially if you already own 76104 The Hulkbuster Smash-up as they complement one another very effectively.
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Please remember to keep your comments free of spoilers as a courtesy to those who have not yet seen Avengers: Infinity War.