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Review: 76021 The Milano Spaceship Rescue

76021 - Full Set

Every generation has that one girl that guys (and some girls) identify with in popular culture… that girl that we watched grow up right along with us, the that we’ll remember for the rest of our days and associate those “strange” feelings we got as puberty was wrecking our young lives. The 50s / 60s had Annette Funicello, the 70s and 80s gave us Brooke Shields, and the generation today has Justin Beiber. But the 80s and 90s gave us Alyssa Milano, and those of us that grew up in that era probably remember her transition from a kid like us in Who’s the Boss to “oh, wow” on Melrose Place… a show I can tell you nothing about other than the fact she was on it.

whos-the-boss-cast

Maybe that’s why the MCU version of the Guardians of the Galaxy ship (which wasn’t named the Milano and didn’t look like this at all in the comics) resonates so much with me, and why it just screams 80s at me in a way that no amount of Breakfast Club jokes ever will. It’s colored like a jogging suit, it’s got the name, and there’s a boombox in the back… all it needs is a New Coke machine and we’re at maximum 80s saturation.

76021 The Milano Spaceship Rescue is a unique entry in the the Super Heroes lineup… the first Marvel set that’s crossed the $50 line since the Avenger’s QuinJet. It’s hard not to draw the comparisons between them, honestly, with their size, shape, and movie nature. The Milano comes in with less parts (665 vs. 735) and is $5 more, but I’ll be honest, if you put them next to each other, you wouldn’t feel those differences amounted to much.

This is obviously the big, eye-popping set of the Guardians of the Galaxies line. On the box, it just looks great, much like the QuinJet, and the kind of build you’d leave together on the shelf. It also includes a little bad-guy ship, and like the Avengers line, it looks very similar to the one included in the smaller set, The Starblaster Showdown. $75 isn’t cheap, even in Lego dollars, so the question is… does this set live up to the hype?

Unrelated to the set, but Alyssa Milano was in Commando, the “first R-Rated movie we ever watched.” Okay, that wasn’t the first R-Rated movie I ever saw was Predator, followed by Alien and Aliens. My dad thought it would be very funny to show me Alien when he made spaghetti for dinner one night… and presumably put up with the nightmares too. I can’t wait to see GotG to see if the reference is to Who’s the Boss, Commando, or her pop-hits that no one really remembers.

76021 - Minifigs

The biggest distinction between the Milano and the QuinJet has got to come with minifigure makeup. That was probably one of the biggest complaint’s I had with the Avenger’s set: only Black Widow was unique to the set (Iron Man was in Mark 7 form, so that was also “unique,” but there are a lot of IMs out there). The rest were all available in other sets.

Here, by contrast, only The Sakaaran, who is the same in every set, and Star-Lord, who has different torso and leg printing, are the same. Drax, Gamora, and Ronan are all unique to this set. Guardians of the Galaxy loves their titles, so it’s actually Drax the Destroyer, Ronan the Accuser (it’s a Kree thing), and Gamora, the deadliest woman in the whole galaxy.

76021 - The Sakaaran

I’ve got nothing more on this guy. Getting him in every set is kind of boring, but does make photographing him easier.

76021 - Ronan the Accuser

Ronan is an interesting minifig (and a fairly interesting character)… though I’m very curious how they’re taking him in the movie. In the comics, this guy is an unbendible wall of honor. I wouldn’t call him good or bad… more like “just.” He’s the enforcer of kree, incredibly dangerous… and that’s why it’s odd to see him as a henchmen of Thanos in this movie. I’m wondering if it’s more puppet than bad guy.

76021 - Ronan Back

The helmet is the most notable piece, along with a standard black cape. It fits on there nicely, and makes for a good little fig.

76021 - Ronan Helmet Off

I really, really, really, REALLY wish that his face was just plain blue. Don’t get me wrong, I like it, but you put some red eyes and plain blue on there and you have a Thrawn head. You think Revan as a minifig pushed sets to the AFOLs… imagine what a Thrawn one would do. I am somewhat curious about the pattern on the armor. The Sakaaran has a similar, lined, look, so I assume it’s some plot point we don’t know about yet.

76021 - Ronan Alt-Face

That or maybe he got shot. Ronan has an alt-face (like pretty much all of the figures except Drax), and that alt-face is angry. If you’ve read comics with Ronan… you want to see him angry even less than you want to see Hulk angry.

76021 - Star-Lord ComparisonI’m thinking this version of Star-Lord is more of a Nova Corps deputy version or something. Personally, I like the version in Starblaster a bit better, at least for the torso. The legs are probably better on this one, because they’re not poorly printed, but I tend to like the rebel captain look more than the galactic police man.

76021 - Star-Lord Back

The helmet is otherwise unchanged, and sadly, the problem of the alt-face sticking out under the hair isn’t resolved with either one. The one nice thing about this torso is that it could likely have some use outside of just the Star-Lord figure. Good space armor could be mixed with other parts for a decent bounty hunter figure. Perhaps a Jubal Early figure…

76021 - Whatever this thing is

Star-Lord comes with this little weapon, which Lego calls a “Large Hadron Enforcer.” If that’s what it’s called in the movie, someone needs to slap the writer. They also call Ronan’s weapon a “Cosmic Rod,” while I typically calls those things “hammers.”

 

 76021 - Gamora 76021 - Gamora back

Gamora is an interesting figure as well. She’s got a female version of Star-Lords armor, which would be great if it didn’t have the green printing for her chest. As it sits, it’s going to limit your choice in what to put her in. It’s a decent figure, I guess, and the face is at least customized, even if it doesn’t really look all that much like Zoe Saldana. It’s also nice that we actually get both of the major female characters in minifig form in these sets. Usually Lego just ignores the second woman in any particular license.

76021 - Gamora alt-face

See, now that face strikes me more like Zoe. She was one of the few high-points in the new Star Trek movie, and I thought she did quite well as Uhura, so I’m actually interested in seeing what she does as Gamora. Plus, that picture of her fighting Karen Gillan promises to be just great to watch. Well, until I burn this particular picture into your head…

Zoe-Saldana-Karen-Gillan-fight

When you’re watching the movie, watching that fight, and you just picture that Mickey Mouse sweatshirt… think of this review.

 76021 - Drax the Destroyer 76021 - Drax back

Drax is probably the biggest diversion from the comics in the characters, since he’s now grey instead of green. It honestly isn’t all that far out for the character, who has seen a number of changes over the years, but I’m going to assume the change is more due to not wanting two green characters in the main group.

I actually didn’t even notice that the used Lego skulls and heads in the tattoo until I looked at these pictures, but that really bumps this from a “kind of cool” minifigure to an awesome one. A great little touch on Lego’s part.

guardians_of_the_galaxy_lineup_1

Between this set and the Knowhere Escape, we have the entire group in Lego form. The real problem though with them is a matter of scale.

76021 - A Bit of a Scale Problem

Lego Rocket is huge, but he doesn’t have a candle on Lego Groot (who appears in Knowhere Escape along with Rocket Raccoon). I’m sure Ace will talk about this far more when he reviews the Knowhere set, but putting them all together (in Vig form to try and make the lineup), really shows exactly how… not right they look together. Maybe I need to do more of a battle form…

76021 - The Guardians of the Galaxy

Okay, that’s a bit better, though I do wish Groot had a better way to carry Rocket. Full team in only $125 worth of sets. That’s like eight million dollars cheaper than trying to get the dwarf fellowship from The Hobbit.

76021 - Necrocraft with figures

The set also includes another little Necrocraft, just like Starblaster Showdown did, except this one is designed to stick a Ronan on the front and carry him into battle. Loki was more a rider in the back in his. Honestly, I’d stop comparing the two sets if there weren’t so many parallels between them. I will say, based on the comics, this is a very Ronan thing to do.

76021 - Necrocraft Back

Despite first glances, there are several differences between the two. This one is heavier, includes new flick-fires, a few extra accents, and is slightly larger. I’m still not a huge fan of the build in general. Funny how these differences are very similar to the chariot differences in the Avengers sets…

76021 - Necrocraft

There is a bit of a dish front to this as well, and it still has stickers on the windshield. Those wings flip up, and the technic pin will come loose fairly quickly, causing them to fall forward.

76021 - Necrocraft Interior

Luckily, this one does include a printed tile inside. See, Lego… is that so hard?

76021 - Necrocraft Side-by-Side

This version is noticeably bigger when you put it next to the other one, with several more details. It remains to be seen if there’s an actual difference, or if Lego was just being lazy in the Starblaster set. This one has a few more useful parts, but it’s still not an overly impressive build or ship.

76021 - The Milano

The Milano, on the other hand… is very impressive. As a space ship, it’s nice and unique, with a good deal of heft and some very interesting build pieces. That nose is one of those builds where you just have fun looking at how they’re going to do it. They used the A-plates that I first remarked on in the Melting Room set to get the angle of it, and it’s just kind of cool.

76021 - The Milano Front

The line and look of the ship just feels interesting. I actually like the look of this more than the QuinJet, and it stands as one of the more interesting ship builds Lego has done (well, other than Benny’s SPACESHIP, I guess). I’m not a big fan of those big slopes on the front, but can’t come up with a better solution for it.

76021 - Milano Back

The wings that make up the wings are all stickered, which I think is fine on larger pieces like that. You could use them in other applications, perhaps, though I am somewhat curious what the logo on the back-swept wing is with the triangle.

76021 - Milano Underside

The underside, while not overly impressive, is given a lot more love than most Lego ships. A couple of engines on the underside, as well as smaller engine pods that are around the rear window of the set. It’s not overly flashy, and there’s probably a lot of room for modding down here, but it’s nice that they tried a little.

One thing to note on the ship is that it’s using the new, shallower, boat-bottoms (also used in Benny’s spaceship and the X-Men jet). I’m sure it works well for kids, but in adult-sized hands, this thing can be hard to grip.

76021 - Top

The cockpit glass is removable, which reveals both the front seating section and a spot for the crew. There’s a stickered wing that we normally see on the Jedi Interceptors. Shame there’s only one, because four of those and some custom work would give you a very nice looking JSF. Of course, you’d really need eight of the sticker sheets, since it only comes with one.

76021 - I am Groot

I am Groot…

The problem with space for the crew is that there is no space for one of the members of the Guardians. The rest fit in there, though Raccoon’s lack of bendy legs means he’s standing up on his seat.

76021 - Boombox

In that little 80s throwback, one of the more fun things you build is a boom box that hangs in the back. For you kids that have no idea what a boombox is, with your Mp3s and your eye-pods… it’s that thing that the mohawk guy in Star Trek IV had on the bus. If you haven’t seen Star Trek IV… well, I can’t help you.

76021 - Yay Fire Extinguisher

The description for the set says it seats three minifigs, but there is space for four, with a pilot spot. It’s a bit more elaborate than the other chairs, with a true pilot seat look. I choose to imagine that Star-Lord is blasting some Kenny Loggins when he straps in to take off, until the movie comes out and I know exactly what he’s listening to on that boombox.

Also, because this is a Marvel set, there’s a red fire extinguisher. Lego even calls this out as a bullet point as a set feature. Some day, I want to know why…

This ship had a big pedigree to live up to, replacing the a-year-gone QuinJet and taking the top-end of the Marvel set. There aren’t a lot of vehicles in the Marvel lineup, and in this release, we’ve gotten two (along with the X-Men blackbird). I haven’t built the blackbird set, but it’s hard to imagine it topping this guy. You get a swooshable ship (assuming you have small hands) that looks good and lets you think about Alyssa Milano. I’d put more pictures of her here, but a surprising number of her pictures on Google aren’t appropriate for our site.

The biggest knock on the set is probably the price, but I will say, there’s a lot of big pieces to the set, and unique minifigures to add a bit of value. There are some new, unique colors, but not a lot of brand new parts other than the guns for Star-Lord and the Sakaaran. It’s a fun build, and you won’t feel disappointed in what you get for your money. That makes this set a solid four out of five, and a great addition to the Marvel Super Heroes lineup, making this a 4 stars out of 5 kind of set.

What I liked

  • It’s a good build and a good looking ship
  • Unique minifigure lineup (save The Sakaaran)
  • Little features, like the boombox and pilot’s chair to add flavor

What I didn’t like

  • I would have preferred to see Gamora in an outfit closer to what she had in the lineup
  • No room for Groot in the ship (though less a fault of the ship, more a fault on the size of Groot)
  • The Necrocraft feels like a big tack-on… a bit more Milano and dropping that would have made this even better

You can buy 76021 The Milano Spaceship Rescue right now on Lego Shop@Home and Amazon.com

76021_alt1

 

 

Final Score: 4 out of 5 stars.