Hey guys, long time reader, first time poster :P This isn't really a proper review, because I no longer have the boxes (binned them instantly) and I've already put the instructions and stuff in the loft, so it's just a few thoughts on the sets
I've been basically absent entirely from Lego since Revenge of the Sith, but I've always kept up with the latest news on FBTB - Big fan of the site - and I'm not really back into buying proper now, but I do enjoy reading about the sets and some of the cool stuff they've got coming out. Basically I made my first lego purchase (barring a couple of Jack Sparrows from ebay) in 7 years to assemble some lego Avengers, because I am just unbelievably psyched for the movie and the sets look pretty cool.
(For what it's worth, I bought the sets from Argos in the UK, they went on sale there yesterday, they show up online though not necessarily on the little stock checkers in store yet, but if they're in stock online and you write the number down they'll get em for you =D)
I knew when I first saw the sets I would have to get Loki's Cosmic Cube escape. It has Iron Man for one, who's my favourite hero, but also comes with a sweet truck plus Hawkeye and Loki who also look pretty cool. I picked up Cap too, mostly because I want to get the main trio of Cap, Iron Man and Thor (I'll probably get Thor on ebay, not likely to pick up the sets he's in at their current price, cool as they look).
So starting with the minifigures, they all look great. I'd say Loki probably looks the most impressive, even though he's the only one with no back printing or second face (I really wish he'd had a smirking face at least, but never mind) His cloak is a nice vibrant green and his staff is impressive too, made of a crescent scepter with a dagger-like piece stuck in the top. The helmet is of a softer rubbery plastic, probably because of the horns, but you're really have to work hard to poe your eye on it since they curve all the way back (which is technically not film-accurate, but looks incredibly cool). The Cosmic Cube itself is pretty weak, just a clear block, it should at least be translucent blue to be film-accurate (right now it looks like the fake cube from The First Avenger) but maybe that would've been too close to Iron Man's repulsor effects, and considering the fact it didn't even need to be included at all (assuming the set was just Loki's Escape) it's a nice extra and it's kind of grown on me.
Iron Man is one that's polarised a lot of people with his "oversized helmet" (don't say it!) but in person it's not that much larger than a standard racing helmet really. It's also neat that lego made it two pieces, instead of one. I guess it was to show off the Stark face (comes in smirking and angry varieties) without forcing you to swap the helmet for hair (sadly not included). He's got leg printing and back printing, all looking like the mark VI from Iron Man 2. The repulsor effects are surprisingly good too (though also inaccurate, since only Iron Man's chest and eyes are blue in the films, his repulsors and jets shine yellow, but this is much nicer looking so it's acceptable). When I first saw them I thought they looked kinda daft, but they really add to the swoosh factor of the figure, so much that I can't really have him fly without them now.
FInally Hawkeye. Arguably the "plainest" figure, but still very nice. I must confess I really don't like his second face without the shades. Maybe it's the ginger eyebrows, maybe it's the fact he looks weirdly old without them or maybe it's because the shades are just too cool, but I definitely won't be using that face anytime soon. Some have wondered why he has his quiver printed on his back instead of as a wearable piece and the answer is pretty simple: to let him sit in the truck. His new compound bow looks pretty nice too and Lego has correctly applied his archery glove to his left hand (Jeremy Renner's a lefty and thus draws with his left, not his right).
As for the truck itself, I've got to say it was an incredibly satisfying building experience. Granted I haven't built anything since the Jedi Intercepter nearly 7 years ago, but this was better than most builds I remember. It's a surprisingly densely build truck, the only empty space left at the end of the build is in the hood and the overall feel is incredibly sturdy. It's also nice and chunky-looking which is perfect for a military jeep. Sadly there are a few stickers, but if you're really against them I don't think that adding them loses much of the aesthetic. One thing I would briefly comment on is how the hood stick has little bullet holes on it, which is pretty cool.
Overall LCCE is a fantastic set and well worth the £19.99 I paid for it, if you're an Iron Man, Loki or Hawkeye fan, or you just want a cool new truck, I'd definitely recommend it.
As for Captain America's Avenging cycle... it's slightly more disappointing, but let's not kid ourselve, if you buy it, you're buying it for Cap and everything else is gravy. Cap himself is a nice figure, a deep shade of blue with dark red hands and printing on his front and back (none on the legs though) His shield is nice, if a little plain, it uses the unsegmented star from the comics rather than the segmented silver one from the film, but at such a small level that's just a fanboy quibble. The aliens with him are also very nicely detailed and kind of remind me of the old UFO sets from the late 90's, with the light green ships and those big grey helmets. It's hard to judge accuracy based on the trailers, but one thing that I only recently realised was that the heads are actually helmets and the blue-grey bodies are their skin and not the other way round (head's are bare, bodies armoured), in this light they seem fairly accurate, even the underslung gun seems to look like the on fired at Hulk in the latest TV Spot (Bodycount if you're interested). They're both fairly similar, but different enough to tell apart.
The buildable parts of the set are obviously the eponymous cycle and the aliens' ...I don't know what you'd call it, like a hover-skiff I guess, and gun turret. The cycle initially disappointed me when I saw pictures, since I much preferred Wolverine's bike but actually having it in-hand the bike is much more appealing. The addition of a clip on the back for Cap's shield is a nice touch too. The jet-hover-thing is also pretty cool and film-accurate from what I can tell. It also uses some blade-like pieces for decoration, but they can definitely be used as more weapons for the aliens which is nice. Sadly it needs the stickers supplied to really 'pop' design-wise, other wise it's quite a plain hover-thing. As a bit of connectivity, Loki looks equally impressive stood behind the controls too, which is a good alternative to Buying the Quinjet if you want Loki to have a ride of his own. The turret is pretty lame by comparison. Just a way to fill out the box. It looks nice enough, but mostly because of the pleasing gold colouring of the bricks, best used for a MOC than what it is.
While nowhere near as impressive as LCCE, CAAC is still a pretty nice set for what it is, with some cool minifigures and a decent hover-thing to go with them. It's still a recommend, but only for Cap fans or alien army builders.