It’s no secret that I’m far more of a Marvel fan than a DC fan, both for characters and for movies. It also may be a bit of an understatement that I’m excited for the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War movie given that I’ve said that it’s based on my favorite comic event, and that Thanos is my favorite villain. I’ve also mentioned a few times that Captain Marvel (as well as her new backfill, Ms. Marvel) is one of my all-time favorite characters. Carol Danvers is awesome as a character, and the past couple of series where she changed from Ms. Marvel to Captain Marvel, written by Kelly Sue DeConnick, is just a solid read all-around.
So, safe to say I was more than a little excited to buy and review 76049 Avenjet Space Mission when the earliest leaks first hit for the set. Sometimes, you know you’re going to get a set regardless of how bad it, or the price, is. We are all suckers for some feature or set, and putting two of my favorite characters in the same set was how LEGO gets me. My wife also likes to remind me that I have way too many favorites and hobbies… so maybe I’m just a sucker in general.
At 523 parts and a decent $59.99, thankfully LEGO didn’t seem to abuse my suckerishness too much. There are a few questions that come up when you look at the set though, like getting another Avengers jet while the Quinjet is still on the market and “do we really need a set with both Captain America AND Iron Man?” This price range has long been the sweet spot for Marvel Super Heroes sets, and there have been some very good sets for the same money in the past. So here’s hoping that when we look at it, it’s not just a $60 booster pack with Thanos and Captain Marvel…
You know, I’m not exactly sure where the inspiration for this particular ship / setup comes from in the Marvel lexicon. I don’t watch Avengers Assemble, but do keep up on what’s going on so I can compare toys, etc. I know that Thanos was the big bad for Season 2, and that led into the launch of Guardians of the Galaxy… but I don’t think that Captain Marvel has made an appearance yet. Likewise, Hyperion has had several appearances across both seasons as a bad guy, but usually belongs in a mix with some other good/bad guys (and not with Thanos).
We get three entirely new minifigures in Thanos, Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers, and Hyperion, a new version of Iron Man (because he is Marvel’s “I hate to be in every set, just like Batman” figure), and a new head and accessories for Captain America. It’s a decent mix of figures for a set, but somewhat of an odd makeup with all of them together.
Honestly, I’d like to say that sometimes I leave arms on the bigfigs slightly disconnected like that to mess with the more OCD people around here, but really, it’s just an oversight on my part. The biggest knock I have on this figure isn’t the figure at all, but the little jet booties he’s carrying around. Thanos uses a throne to fly around, sometimes a dais, but pretty much a thrown. Never rocket rollerblades.
He’s not a bad figure at all, and really, I like the use of a bigfig here. What I would have really loved would be a changeable hand to give him an Infinity Gauntlet (since it played in the cartoon as well as the upcoming movie). Otherwise, it’s a decent enough likeness, and in the cartoon, Thanos is about the size of the Hulk.
Plus, now I have another entry in my lineup of Thanos figures. When Infinity War comes out, and they release a 12″ version, I’ll get him too. These aren’t all of my versions of Thanos, either… just one in each of the sizes I have. Yeah, I may have some sort of un-diagnosed complex in this particular collection.
By now, we have a decent lineup of bigfigs, even if half of them are the Hulk. There’s also the Darkseid figure, which I do have but haven’t gotten around to actually opening yet. Thanos and Gorilla Grodd are probably the two best looking of them, and that Green Goblin figure is still awful (even if he’s mostly accurate to the terrible Ultimate universe version).
The only part of this figure that’s “new” is the head, with the enclosed facemask because opening your face to the vacuum of space is only safe if you happen to be one of the other characters here who that doesn’t kill. It’s actually the same head that is in the much less desirable 76048 Iron Skull Sub Attack set, which also comes with the breathing mask.
The jet pack is notable more for the parts than for the pack itself. We get 1×1 round tiles with stars on them… a part that I want so many more of but can’t come up with a reason why I want them. Probably because they are awesome. We also get a pair of white lightsabers, which has been showing up in more sets, but is still more rare than the other parts. We’ve gotten a few different versions of cap lately, so my only hope now is that we eventually get a Liefeld Captain America…
You cannot unsee it. It is by far the most Liefeld picture ever done. I mean, even the shield has abs. And it should live on in minifigure form.
While I love Thanos, Captain Marvel was the minifigure I really wanted. She’s a fascinating character in the Marvel mythos, first as Ms. Marvel (connected to the original Captain Marvel, Mar-vell… really) and eventually taking up the mantle of the Captain. She’s actually the 6th or 7th person to take the title, depending on how you count them. She’s the main character in the upcoming movie, and her recent comic series have been among the best that Marvel has to offer.
You just have to love a character who solves a meteor crisis by punching the meteor. I guess I used the alt-face for the main face, simply because Carol tends to look more angry than happy, but that’s just the character. What this character really needed in the mix was her cat (or Flerken) named Chewie. Said cat did lay eggs and was hunted by Rocket Raccoon for a time, so there is that.
I know that LEGO shows the armored head with the hairpiece, but that’s just wrong. Carol does wear armor like this, but also sports a mohawk with it. Unfortunately, LEGO hasn’t made the mohawk in yellow yet, but hopefully sometime in the future we will see it.
The Captain Marvel figure shows the mohawk look. The minifig is a pretty good representation of the character, honestly better than that figure (mostly because Hasbro has never felt the need to make a decent female character mold, and just keep reusing the same one for every character).
Hyperion is an interesting character in the Marvel universe. He’s basically Superman… he originally showed up with Squadron Sinister, loosly based on the Justice League. He’s showed up various times over the years, always from a different multiverse, and generally ranging from incredibly evil to good but misguided. The current comic version entered with a bang when he decapitated one of the oldest Marvel characters, supposedly to defend earth (and in revenge for destroying some universes). The current Squadron Supreme is somewhat evil/good, willing to do bad things for their higher cause.
That’s part of the problem with the character is that he rarely shows up by himself. Even in the cartoon, he’s typically part of a team, be it the Cabal or Squadron Supreme, and frequently shows up with Nighthawk, Power Princess, and Speed Demon (who are all similarly corrupt super heroes / villains who seem themselves as working towards a greater good). It sort of feels like he’s missing something without having one of those other members here.
His cape is fairly interesting, and we’re seeing LEGO start to branch out a lot with cape shapes. A few years ago, I was thinking we’d see those two-tone capes everywhere, but the spongy material doesn’t seem to lend itself to that yet, but instead gives us more variety on shapes.
The various versions of Iron Man feel a lot more tolerable than the various versions of Batman, mostly because Tony Stark is always building absurdly specialized suits. Pretty sure he’s got a “taking the trash out on a Wednesday” suit. It’s purple. Wednesday is always a purple sort of day. I actually like the printing a lot on this particular figure. More than other Iron Man figures, I could see parts of this one getting some reuse elsewhere with the right mix of parts on a custom figure.
The mask still opens, and honestly, at this point, the oversized head doesn’t bug me. Maybe it’s just that we’ve had these for so long that it just works, or perhaps it’s just that I’d rather have the minifig head under the helmet than just a different head.
This one gets an addition of a backpack with a pair of boosters on it. Honestly, I think they could have just skipped this part, or just printed them on the back. It doesn’t do much for the figure overall, and just serves to obscure the armor. I’m also not sure how good it is to have an exposed neck in space. I’m thinking that would likely end badly for Tony.
You know, I’m not sure how effective a jet would be in space. Most people probably don’t know that the Space Shuttle actually went into orbit flying backwards and upside down. But this is comic physics, so I suppose real life physics need not apply. Really, what I don’t get is why didn’t they just retrofit a Quinjet to do this instead of building an entire new craft.
On the other hand, I do like that this build seems to be fairly distinct from the other jet builds we’ve seen… and we’ve seen several in the Marvel universe. Sadly, it continues some of the same problems, like huge gaps around windscreens, but also brings back our favorite “what the” feature in the fire extinguisher.
This set also has some of my favorite stickers in a set, with the inclusion of No Step and airframe number stickers, as well as more generic ones with just the Avengers Logo. There’s a lot of potential to reuse those stickers in other builds, which is always a nice feature. They’re also there to accent the build, not replace some of the other parts. Unfortunately, we also get a printed dish in the set, which would normally be nice, except here it’s to replace the turbines in the wing. They just look lazy, and really feel like something that should have been done with real turbines (like the Quinjets).
There are actually two jets that make up the ship, with a release that pops up a small shuttle that can detach from the main body. It’s actually a pretty cool little play feature that adds to the build instead of subtracting from it. When locked down, it’s very sturdy, making the whole thing swooshable together or apart.
The shuttle is pretty basic, and doesn’t have a lot to it other than a couple of stud-blaster bricks. There’s also a stickered control panel. Unfortunately, the shuttle and the main ship suffer from the same problem for seating… in that they’re both shallow and minifigures inside need to be laid down to fit inside the cockpit and close the windscreen.
There’s not a whole lot holding the shuttle in place other than those small bars and friction. It’s surprising how well it holds up, given how little is holding it there, and is a pretty cool little build feature. There’s a little pivot that can be used to pop up the shuttle, which is on a hinge, but it requires a bit of force to pop up.
The back of the jet has a couple of “engines,” though they really feel tacked on, as well as clips to hold Captain America’s shield and backpack. I’m not sure how useful those things are attached to the back of the jet, given that he’d probably need the backpack to get back there and get the backpack.
On the underside, there are some flick-fire missiles, which add nothing really. They’re just so tacked on to the overall build and don’t fit well with the rest. Part of the issue is that this is a $60 set, so you’re going to get a limit to the parts available to the build. If this was a larger set, we could have had more substance to the wings or to the launchers. But for a $60 set, it’s still a pretty solid build, surprisingly. The minifigure lineup is great as well, giving us three brand new characters and new variations of two others. Compared to the more expensive Quinjet, this feels like a much better value, overall. There are certainly some rooms for improvement, but still, it’s a very solid four out of five.
What I liked
- Thanos, Captain Marvel, and Hyperion are all solid additions to the lineup
- Jet is different enough from other builds that it doesn’t feel like a big rehash
- Lots of useful parts, reusable stickers, and good play features
What I didn’t like
- Thanos moves around on a throne, not jet-powered roller skates. Hopefully we’ll get one for Infinity War
- Certain elements of the build, like the flick-fires or the engine dishes, feel very tacked on compared to the feel and flow of the rest of the build
- Captain America is the same as the scuba version, just with a backup and without flippers