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Review: 76039 Ant-Man Final Battle

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Review: 76039 Ant-Man Final Battle

Postby Staff » Mon Jul 06, 2015 4:03 am

76039 Ant-Man Final Battle Full Set

Ant-Man hits theaters in a few weeks, and still has a decent chance of being Marvel's first big MCU bomb (since, as we know, the last potential bomb, Guardians of the Galaxy, was powered by the awesome that is Chris Pratt and being a good movie). It's had a whole bunch of delays, a highly-publicized director change, and the fact that no one really knows who Ant-Man is anymore unless you've been reading comics for years. And before anyone comments, yes, I know that the third figure fell over. I didn't notice until it was time to edit photos. I'd like to be clever and say it was because I was hiding the spoilery character... but yeah, I'm not that forward-thinking.

It's pretty surprising that we're getting an Ant-Man set at all. LEGO has typically stuck to a few movies, Avengers, Iron Man 3, Avengers 2, and Guardians of the Galaxy. That's left things like the other solo films out in the cold, which is a shame. There were a lot of good set ideas in those movies, like the fighters in Dark World or maybe minifigs for Falcon or the hydra peoples in Winter Soldier. Since Ant-Man (either Scott or Hank) have been outside the Avengers world thus far, and we haven't seen how they connect elsewhere in the MCU (okay, the latest trailer sort of spoils that a bit)... all of which makes getting an Ant-Man set that more unusual.

The shocking part of this set is that it jumps in at the $19.99 price point, which was starting to look like an extinct creature in LEGO lineups. It comes in with 195 parts, but it's pretty unclear if they're cheating and counting the big bricks as extra parts... I mean, I would. It's interesting reviewing 76039 Ant-Man Final Battle with no pre-conceptions... I haven't seen the movie yet and I have no real expectations for it. There's a lot to like at first glance, and the "big" bricks are just a wonderfully meta touch. There's something to be said for a set where you can tell the designer enjoyed making it, and this seems like one of those. The question is can that effort on the designer's part make it worth our time and money?



When Super Heroes came into being, the $20 price-point looked to be the spot where we'd be getting the best bang for our buck; 6867 Loki's Cosmic Cube Chase and 6866 Wolverine's Chopper Showdown, and later on we got 76004 Spider-Cycle Chase and 76017 Captain America vs. Hydra... all of them strong sets that were well worth $20 of your hard-earned money. Unfortunately, recently, we've seen a shift away from that price point across the lines in favor of $25, 30, or even 40 being the nice sets. Star Wars got two $20 sets, compared to five sets in the 25-40 range. DC gave us the fantastic Green Lantern set at $20, but that was the low-end set this year. I hate to say it, but it's starting to look like LEGO is trying to put this price-point out to pasture... so we may want to enjoy it while it lasts.

76039 Minifigs

Well, I guess we now know that Hank Pym will be donning some Ant-Man armor in the movie, at least based on the minifig lineup. Kind of curious that the only place he's shown on the box is in the minifigure lineup, but not in the playset picture itself. We also get Scott Lang, the "star" of the movie (and current Ant-Man in the comics), as well as long-time Ant-Man foe, Yellow Jacket (who should be called Yellowjacket... LEGO likes giving extra spaces).

76039 Yellow Jacket

I have no idea how to actually peg down the inclusion of Yellowjacket as a figure here. He's obviously the big bad in the movie, but everything I've seen in the movie has Darren Cross as the bad guy. He's the villain for Scott Lang, and had an origin at the same time (and, if you're reading the current comics, you know that he's currently messing with Lang on sooooo many levels). In the comics, Yellowjacket was two different characters... Hank Pym when he got tired of playing with ants (it happened a lot) and Rita DeMara, who has been an ally and foe of the Avengers (and also tied to the Guardians of the Galaxy, albeit in their year 3000 form).

76039 Yellow Jacket Helmet Off

I really don't like the MCU co-opting a female hero/villain to turn it into another old white dude, but maybe they'll explain it in the movie (though I strongly doubt it). It seems far more likely that they're going down the "stole Hank's technology" route with all of this, and that does fit Cross well enough. There have been a few promotional stills for the character, and the biggest miss I can see is that most of the printing looks greenish-yellow instead of just yellow (you know, like a wasp). Apparently Cross is just an Old Republic trooper, based on the head used.

76039 Yellow Jacket Back

The torso, like the Ultron torsos, has a heavy Sci-Fi feel, but there's nothing about it that really makes it unique or special to Marvel or Ant-Man. It really reminds me of some of the more specialized Space torsos we've gotten over the years in stuff like Space Police or the Mars subthemes. It'd be pretty easy to combine this with torsos like that and get a pretty decent look, especially when you mix in the helmet.

76039 Yellow Jacket Backpack

The backpack is an interesting way to build the stinger setup we see for Yellowjacket. It adds a bit of play features, and the arms can be positioned... but it really messes up actually positioning the figure. See that big white plate that I included in the set picture? That's there because I couldn't get the figure to stand up any other way. There are some cool parts, like that technic backpack that's seen some mileage in Ultra Agents and Ninjago (I thought it was a new part initially, as I don't buy either of those lines unless they're on clearance).

76039 Ant-Man Scott Lang

As an Ant-Man movie, Scott Lang was always going to end up as the Ant-Man of choice. Never mind that Pym was the origin of the character, one of the original Avengers, and an important part of the comics for decades now... he's got one piece of history the character will never live down, no matter how they try to retcon it. I mean, Scott was turned into Ant-Man back in 1979 (and introduced initially a month after I was born)... that's before swapping out characters was cool.

76039 Ant-Man Scott Lang Helmet Off

As a figure, this continues what a lot of the Marvel sets have had lately and given us a torso that fits the look of the character (and matching legs), but is generic enough to have use elsewhere. I'm not sure that that really speaks about Marvel's design in the movies, but it's nice for builders. The helmet is obviously a bit more specialized, and I guess it matches the MCU look for the character, but I miss the dopey Ant-Man look from the comics.

76039 Ant-Man Scott Lang Alt-Face

There's a confused looking alt-face, which I think is more just a general representation of how Paul Rudd looks in all of his movies. Like Yellowjacket, there's a lot of potential for reuse in this character if you feel like picking up more than one of the set. Not sure what you're going to do with that helmet, but the rest of him has solid value.

76039 Hank Pym

Of course, one of the running rumors on why this set took so long to get out, was that it kind of gives away that we're really getting two Ant-Men in this movie. Unless, of course, Marvel is just making crap up in one of their sets, which has never happened with an MCU set before.

76039 Hank Pym Helmet Off

We don't know how Janet Van Dyke / Wasp plays into the MCU at this point, and I'm not going to make any jokes about domestic violence because it's just not funny (I make no such promises about his robbing of the cradle with Catherine Zeta Jones). I'm curious to see how this all plays out in the movie, to be honest, because I'm going to give a 50/50 chance he ends up dead (we know Lang survives, since he's been confirmed in future Phase 3 films).

76039 Hank Pym Alt-Face

The torso and legs are generic and quite a bit darker, but I have to say, that face looks nothing like Michael Douglas. That's probably due to the fact that it's actually just a reused Gandalf face. Kind of lazy, and makes it seem like this guy was just thrown in there so we'd get another helmet.

76039 Extra Bits

This is an odd set for the "set" part of things. There's the ant, which I'll detail below, as well as some leftover junk and some "big" LEGO bricks. We get the small versions of the giant bricks, some ants (or maybe spiders), and an alternate black minifig head (I guess for the Ant-Man helmets or something). There's also one of the little jumper things, which I propose we just call ankle breakers, which I've gotten a little pile of thanks to the Marvel/DC lineup this year.

76039 Brick Launcher

The giant bricks are what really catch your eye on this set, and on one hand, they're a very cool idea. I like the look of the large parts, but the whole launcher system, for sending the little screws, really diminishes what it is. The length of the screw makes it hard to actually launch it, and it's not really clear that it's anything other than looks.

76039 Bricks and Screws

It's a nice meta touch to this set, making the miniature world stuff out of LEGO (and screws), but really, I like them more when you make a couple of slight modifications and turn them into stand alone pieces. Let your imagination work on the battle and move things around... the little catapult part doesn't really add anything. You'll need to do some part swaps on them, because LEGO chose to do the connectors for the catapult in something other than red or yellow.

76039 The Ant

The last, and largest, bit of the set is a gloriously large Ant. While the movie is called Ant-Man and features the miniaturization heavily, it hasn't shown much in the way of controlling insects, which was the more important of his powers. The comic tie-in for it shows a little bit of that, but it didn't work, so I'd be curious to see how it goes.

76039 The Ant Side

There's a lot to like with this little guy. There are dark blue slopes, which are always a plus, and those huge wings could potentially be used in other ways. Other large insects, obviously, but I know someone is going to go back and do some Galaxy Squad insect-ship MOCs with this sucker... and they will be pretty cool.

76039 The Ant Front

The articulation on the body is surprisingly good as well, and having six legs, which do pose somewhat despite being rigid, makes it a lot easier to get a variety of looks with the bug. Compared to some of the other Mech-style builds we've gotten in Super Heroes, the insect actually feels like something you can move around without it falling over.

In short, this is a very solid set at $20, and the 195 parts don't feel wasted like some of the other low-price sets have felt. It's not perfect, since the playset features are probably the weakest part of the whole thing. The figures are very nice on one sense (being generic and reusable), but somewhat weak on the other (reusing heads that don't look anything like the characters). Part of this feels like it was just sort of thrown together to capitalize on the movie, but despite that, it's a solid four out of five, and likely worth the price when you see it. There is enough parts value, and it's somewhat hard to resist getting an army of giant ants. I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords.

What I liked

  • Price feels right for what you get... this set is what a lot of the $20 sets should strive for

  • Figures have a lot of generic elements that could be used in other types of builds

  • Brick-built bricks are more self-aware and humorous than LEGO usually goes for, and the ant is a fantastic element of the set


What I didn't like

  • Yellowjacket isn't really yellow on his figure (it's more yellow-green), and Hank Pym's head is just wrong

  • The playset features are somewhat needless. They don't work all that well, and they make the brick-built bricks weaker by locking them together

  • Super jumper bricks are still pretty worthless, and likely to break minifigures when you pop them on and off a few times


Verdict: 4 out of 5. You can pick up 76039 Ant-Man Final Battle right now on LEGO [email protected]

76039 Box Art
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Re: Review: 76039 Ant-Man Final Battle

Postby MCoad » Mon Jul 06, 2015 8:31 am

Re: the second Ant-Man minifig: At first I thought the face actually kind of fit Michael Douglas's face shape but the eyebrows ruined it. Then as I compared I realized that in everything we've seen so far, Douglas as Pym is wearing a goatee. Weird. So does he *spoiler alert* shave his goatee when he dons the suit?? Also he seems pretty laid back so far in the trailers, nowhere near as angry as that alt-face. The whole thing is strange and fits into rumors and speculations of what exactly will be Pym's eventual role in the film...
Also,
Unless, of course, Marvel is just making crap up in one of their sets, which has never happened with an MCU set before.

Hear hear. I usually figure they must be going off of early concept art and spoiler-free plot outlines in the set design process, but the results still baffle me.
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Re: Review: 76039 Ant-Man Final Battle

Postby Flynn » Mon Jul 06, 2015 10:43 am

Ant-Man hits theaters in a few weeks, and still has a decent chance of being Marvel's first big MCU bomb


By this point I'm not sure it's possible for a Marvel movie to bomb, regardless of its quality. It's such a big machine that even if it does flop it's still likely to gross at least 100+ million.

It's pretty surprising that we're getting an Ant-Man set at all. LEGO has typically stuck to a few movies, Avengers, Iron Man 3, Avengers 2, and Guardians of the Galaxy. That's left things like the other solo films out in the cold, which is a shame. There were a lot of good set ideas in those movies, like the fighters in Dark World or maybe minifigs for Falcon or the hydra peoples in Winter Soldier. Since Ant-Man (either Scott or Hank) have been outside the Avengers world thus far, and we haven't seen how they connect elsewhere in the MCU (okay, the latest trailer sort of spoils that a bit)... all of which makes getting an Ant-Man set that more unusual.


I think there's a simpler explanation--LEGO does tie-in sets for the Marvel movies released in the summer. All of their tie-ins thus far have been for films slated for a May or Summer release, and we've yet to see anything based outside those films. I don't know why they've happened to schedule it that way, but that's likely the main reason we're getting an Ant-Man set at all.
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Re: Review: 76039 Ant-Man Final Battle

Postby darth_fett » Mon Jul 06, 2015 11:19 am

Is it me & my bad math, or are the Big Bricks out of scale to each other? A plate is normally 1/3 height of a brick; this looks to be more like 1/5? Nitpicky, I know.
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Re: Review: 76039 Ant-Man Final Battle

Postby dWhisper » Mon Jul 06, 2015 11:23 am

It's not really a large enough sample to say... Avengers 1 & 2 were both early May releases, as was Iron Man, so they got the earlier releases. LEGO's schedule has gotten fuzzier in recent years as they stagger them more than just Winter/Fall. Guardians was an outlier with the August release, and it got a full makeup of sets, while Ant-Man is equally weird in July and only got a single set. Earlier films with different dates were before it hit, and Thor and Cap 2 were close enough to Avengers that those older sets were still on the shelf.

If anything, Guardians was the big risk set, since it could have been a flop (unknown characters), but it was an outlier that hit a late-year release. It could have easily been more Ant-Man sets to fill in the late year, but they moved it around to get stuff, so who really knows. I could have seen no set or several sets... it's the single set that strikes me as odd. Especially since it was released so off-cycle from the rest of the Marvel stuff.

darth_fett, they are a little bit off scale because I had to remove most of the bottom of the yellow 1x2 to make it work as a single part. The bottom is made up of connectors and a hinge that makes the width a bit closer only when they're stuck together. You could easily add a 2x4 yellow plate to the bottom of it to make up the difference... I just didn't want to introduce extra parts in the review.
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Re: Review: 76039 Ant-Man Final Battle

Postby darth_fett » Mon Jul 06, 2015 12:13 pm

Good point. Adding extra parts would be a big no-no. I had no idea what Guardians of the Galaxy was prior to the movie & it ended up being one of my fave Marvel characters and Lego sets. I'm hoping Ant-Man may be the same way. The difference being, I've actually heard of him before. Just had no interest trying his comics. Could it be that this is strictly a teaser set, and others will be released post movie in an attempt to be spoiler free? Perhaps because it's unknown whether it'll be a hit so they went with fewer sets to start, maybe if it does well they'll late release a 2nd wave?
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Re: Review: 76039 Ant-Man Final Battle

Postby dWhisper » Mon Jul 06, 2015 12:36 pm

They've yet to revisit any of the movies in either DC or Marvel, so I doubt we will see another Ant-Man set. Far more likely that next years sets are going to focus on Civil War, and that starts basically everybody.
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Re: Review: 76039 Ant-Man Final Battle

Postby Trooper10 » Mon Jul 06, 2015 12:46 pm

Until I read this review I didn't notice the 'big' Lego parts were actually a screw launcher device - I can understand why that is a failed accessory, but as individual parts they look good...I guess you could just sub in some Duplo too (the horror!!!).
As for the one-off release, we also have a couple of random spiderman sets on the way - perhaps TLG brought this one forward to line up with the movie, but yeah it is an odd release pattern... I'm not complaining. I think all of these figs would make decent space armies just as they are (well loaded up with ridiculous sized weapons of course).
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Re: Review: 76039 Ant-Man Final Battle

Postby Zrath » Mon Jul 06, 2015 1:03 pm

Looks like this is the original American release of the set.
LEGO held the set back for the rest of the world and added 12 parts to it before releasing it.
The parts are 6 black 1x1 cones and 6 black short Technic axles (2-stud length).
They're used to reinforce the legs of the giant ant. If you have the American set, you can call LEGO Customer Service and they will send you the extra parts.
Or you can source them from your LEGO stash, of course.
Herewith, the corrected page of the instructions:

Image
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Re: Review: 76039 Ant-Man Final Battle

Postby Flynn » Mon Jul 06, 2015 4:33 pm

dWhisper wrote:It's not really a large enough sample to say... Avengers 1 & 2 were both early May releases, as was Iron Man, so they got the earlier releases. LEGO's schedule has gotten fuzzier in recent years as they stagger them more than just Winter/Fall. Guardians was an outlier with the August release, and it got a full makeup of sets, while Ant-Man is equally weird in July and only got a single set. Earlier films with different dates were before it hit, and Thor and Cap 2 were close enough to Avengers that those older sets were still on the shelf.


Yeah, it's true enough that we only have four waves (covering five movies total) to consider, but consistently the only tie-in sets we've seen have been for a summer slate (May through August is considered 'summer' for movie release schedules). The fact they've yet to produce a tie-in set for a film outside of that schedule, as well as the fact they've yet to not do a tie-in for a summer Marvel movie since they've acquired the license seem to support this. Again, I can't guess as to why it's done this way (it might well be a contract stipulation of some sort), but that appears to be the logic behind these releases.
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Re: Review: 76039 Ant-Man Final Battle

Postby dWhisper » Tue Jul 07, 2015 6:18 pm

Trooper10 wrote:Until I read this review I didn't notice the 'big' Lego parts were actually a screw launcher device - I can understand why that is a failed accessory, but as individual parts they look good...I guess you could just sub in some Duplo too (the horror!!!).
As for the one-off release, we also have a couple of random spiderman sets on the way - perhaps TLG brought this one forward to line up with the movie, but yeah it is an odd release pattern... I'm not complaining. I think all of these figs would make decent space armies just as they are (well loaded up with ridiculous sized weapons of course).


Don't be hatin' on the Duplo... my daughter loves those sets, and there's actually a lot of cool things in that lineup. Besides, unless there's a way to make Ant-Man step on some Duplo and start cursing all things plastic, not really an accurate representation of those parts.

The "one-off" comment was focusing specifically on the MCU lineup vs. the TV / Comic lineups. Typically, the comic stuff has been heavy early in the year, and a one-off at best later in the year. We're sort of seeing the reserve this year, with all of the MCU stuff coming early (Age of Ultron) and the two non-MCU sets hitting later in the year. Unfortunately, those sets haven't hit in the states yet, otherwise I'd be compiling reviews on them (and integrating Miles Morales into my city display).
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Re: Review: 76039 Ant-Man Final Battle

Postby MCoad » Fri Jul 17, 2015 7:28 am

Having now seen Ant-Man, I have new respect for the designer of this set. Without giving anything away about the movie (which is awesome, by the way), I can say that if you watch closely you'll see the elements of this set in the movie. There are, however, a couple new things that baffle me:
Spoiler: show
We never really see Hank Pym in the suit, except in flashbacks and old footage. And when he is in the suit, it appears to be the same suit as Scott Lang later wears, and Pym is younger. So the inclusion of an older-looking Pym in a different suit makes no sense to me.
Also, both Ant-Man helmets leave the mouth open... which is odd, seeing that it isn't designed that way in the movie, and it's even mentioned a couple times that the suit has to be fully enclosed to work.
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Re: Review: 76039 Ant-Man Final Battle

Postby dWhisper » Fri Jul 17, 2015 9:20 am

For your second point... that's why they included the solid black minifig head in the extra stuff, I believe.
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Re: Review: 76039 Ant-Man Final Battle

Postby sparkart » Wed Jul 22, 2015 8:35 am

It's kinda funny there's an extra Ant-Man, but I guess when you're tasked with making a "versus" scenario with limited access to production art and background story, I guess you get creative. I think it was a good call, I can easily see the logic in pitting two Ant-Men armed only with their fists and determination against a plate-shooter-armed Yellow Jacket. Also, I'd much rather have another Ant-Man, than a security dude, and I don't want a minifigure that reminds me of Evangeline Lily in that awful and severely sculpted haircut. She's way, way more cuter with a natural look.
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