I’ve provided my theory on what constitutes a spoiler and what doesn’t in our modern, internet-y world. Telling someone that Vader is Luke’s father is a spoiler; learning that Vader wears a mask because he has a very bad case of asthma is not. The only reason I mention that is because there was wailing and gnashing of teeth when this particular set came out, because of the appearance of a particularly awesome version of Ant-Man.
I get that some people might have been genuinely surprised that Ant-Man became Giant Man suddenly… they likely haven’t read the comics; but it’s not like that’s going to be some big plot point in the movie. Giant-Man is not what ends up kicking off the Civil War (revealing that would be a spoiler, like releasing your first trailer for a movie with your big surprise and bad guy). And spoiler aside… you have to admit that his inclusion makes what, at first glance, is just “yet another Quinjet” set into a “ohmygod Giant-Man imuthavethisset!”
I knew I was going to review 76051 Super Hero Airport Battle the moment the first pictures of the set showed up. There’s even a threatening note for Ace in the signup sheet that I was going to take it (of course, I leave threatening notes for Ace all over the place in general, so it may have gone unnoticed). Part of the reason is because I’ve reviewed all the other Super Heroes sets lately (I think I’m the only one on the staff still buying them… but who knows), and I’ve already complained about all the jets. At 807 parts and $79.99 USD, this seems to have a lot of value at it’s surface. Looking at the set, it seems a bit sparse, but there are six different heroes, along with Ant-Man in both giant and mini form. So it could be we potentially have a knockout set here.
That or we have yet another Quinjet.
For being a story about the conflict between Iron Man and Captain America, it seems odd to me that this is the only set where both of them appear. In fact, this is the only Civil War set that includes Iron Man, because apparently we live in opposite world now. All of them include a version of Captain America, and two of them include Winter Soldier, but this is our only Iron Man. More amazingly, this set includes two female characters, Wanda Maximoff (technically, she hasn’t adopted the Scarlet Witch moniker yet, I don’t think) and Agent 13 / Sharon Carter. Rounding out the mix is James “Rhodey” Rhodes / War Machine. Regardless of the quality of the sets, you have to give both Marvel and LEGO some real props for the mix of all the major characters (well, except Underoos).
I’m kind of curious what role the non-twin Olsen sibling has in this movie. She was interesting in Age of Ultron, but they explained pretty much nothing about her or what she can really do. We know she’s got telekinesis, some telepathy (so, no Chaos Magic yet), and also likes to frequent whatever the grown-up version of Hot Topic is.
Agents of SHIELD did explain that they’re likely some sort of Inhuman splinter, and came about from experimentation on Diviner Metal and/or Terrigen Crystals, but mostly it’s just handwaving and “no, not mutants.” This version of her costume is more pants oriented, and less skirt, but does include the dress part or the back of her coat. I’m actually not sure what the costume is about. Also, under no circumstances, do you ever want to get Scarlet Witch upset enough for her eyes to turn red like that. In the comics, that usually means she’s about to break the cosmos.
The head is the same, but otherwise, the rest of the minifig is different from the Age of Ultron minifig. I’d need to compare it with the movie costume to see how accurate it is, but I like the torso on her Age of Ultron figure a bit more. I think that’d mesh with the skirt/black legs a bit better as well.
This version on Winter Soldier is identical to what we got in Black Panther Pursuit. My opinions haven’t changed, really.
When placed next to each other, I really do want to mix/match these guys. I like the non-masked face, but the original torso and legs a bit more.
I was listening to a podcast where they thought that the death that’s been teased in Civil War was going to be War Machine, based on the trailer we’ve seen. No way Marvel is going to DC-this, that was a classic misdirect. My money is on Hawkguy. This is a pretty big diversion from the previous versions we’ve gotten, but just in color. I’m not exactly sure how he fits his military obligations and plays around in the Avengers, unless he retired. But I don’t think it works like that…
Kind of wish he would have gotten his own head for this, but I guess reusing the Cyborg minifig works as well. Never really seen him smile like this in any of the movies though… usually it’s just annoyance at Tony Stark.
Yeah, that’s a bit more like it. I like the setup on the backpack, though I really don’t get what the lightsaber bar is all about. Given the huge cast, it is likely that someone is going to go down… but it doesn’t make sense for it to be any of the second-tier guys. It’s more likely to be Tony Stark, and have Rhodey pick up the armor as Iron Man.
I should have added Iron Patriot into this as well, I just forgot. I always think of that minifig as Norman Osborne anyway, and luckily, Marvel has the rights to use him again. At least until Sony screws everything up with their Spider-man movie. I really like the addition of printing on his helmet, even if it looks kind of odd around the nose.
Iron Man is new in this set as well, at least the armor print. We got more specialized versions in other sets this year, but it’s nice to see a bit of classic stuff. I really wish, however, that we’d get another Tony Stark figure in one of these sets some day. We’ve seen him more without his armor than in it, and I always like seeing the alter egos of the heroes. One of these days, I should make a full lineup of the heroes without the suits.
Not my favorite armor variation, but it’s not awful. Certainly makes more sense than his space and water versions… since we have seen his existing armor go under water and survive at extremely high altitudes. It must be more about marketing.
Captain America is still Cap. This is the same version we got in a couple of other sets, so nothing really spectacular here. I really do wish we’d get a version of him in more civilian clothes. At least making a custom one is a lot more economical now with the non-mask head being in a cheaper set.
Sharon Carter is in the set, which is cool, and speaks a lot to her potential expanded role in the film. Given that Peggy isn’t going to suddenly get some Super Soldier serum, she serves as a very weird and awkward love interest for Cap. So maybe he will be the one who gets shot.
Her armor seems to be more Black Widow, so you have to assume those two are going to go head-to-head at some point. Not a bad figure though, and it’s always cool to get more female heroes in the mix. They could go full meta, given the head choice, and insinuate that Peggy is Leia’s adoptive mother, and Sharon was born before Alderaan was blown up.
Of course, this is the big, stickery, reason most of us bought this particular set. It’s just a nice, crazy creative LEGO solution for creating a giant figure. We’ve gotten a lot of brick-built characters, but typically they’re for larger characters (for better or for worse), or they get shuffled off into bigfig land. This is a version of an existing minifig, and it’s pretty cool.
Not perfect, however. I really wish they would have made the arms function more like a minifig, instead of putting them on a pixel ball and socket joint. I’m also not a huge fan of the exposed technic holes on the leg, but don’t have a great solution other than “make it bigger.”
The interior of the legs is a bit weird, it’s more of a function of making them swivel, but from the front it looks fine. From the back… this looks… not great. I mean, normal minifigs don’t look that great either, but it would have been cool if the back of the torso had a little bit more than just the underside of plates. Again, though, I can’t fault the designer, since he was working towards a particular scale, it it would have greatly increased cost or size to get more detail in place.
The head is a little bit weird, when you compare it to the regular figure. I like the look that this guy gives, but it feels like there were some decisions made that look funny when you hold it. This is a strange situation where it’s probably a better display piece than a play piece, since the “details” on the head are a bit fragile. I also really wish they would have gotten the red lines built in as part of it. Also… I don’t suggest pulling down the mouthpiece… it looks odd.
Why we didn’t get this little Ant-Man in the last set, I’ll never know. It’s also unfortunate that we didn’t get the minifigure version, given that the Ant-Man set vanished from shelves within months, so you’re left with the little and big versions. You actually get two of this guy, since we typically get extra parts for the statues. Just one step closer to being able to make my Comic Book Store modular building…
The set itself is really several small sets tossed together. We get this fantastic little transport cart… though I think most airlines would go broke if they were spending money on a cart that only moved around three bags at a time. The left one says Sokovia, but no mention on if that is before or after it’s trip into the sky. The one on the right says Wakanada, so we can assume that’s Black Panther’s bag. The middle one is a nice internal reference, with that IATA code of BLL, for Billund.
And yes, I knew that those are called IATA codes.
The airport tower is a weird little part of this set, which is part playset (more battleground set) and part ship in the Quinjet. This is designed mostly for our heroes to smash in to, which is interesting in its own way. I like the sticker use here, and may have to look into getting more (especially that No Entry one). But we also get some weirdness, like the fencing that just sits there, and some of the most bizarre playset features ever.
The weird thing about the damage is that the wall fits so tightly in the front. It looks nice, but it’s a bit unwieldy. You need to put it in a specific way to get it to lock. That tight fit means that when you open it (and it does take some work to do it), the wall just goes flying.
Like I mentioned on the stickers, there are some really good elements with them. I love the little door sign, and the “Authorized Minifigures Only” message on it. A nice self-referential element to the set, which is just throughout some of the things.
That being said, I think the potential is more in the parts and elements going in to something else. We don’t really know what’s going on in the airport fight, since the trailer doesn’t make it clear that it’s even an airport. I honestly just assumed they were fighting in the parking lot of a Home Depot when I saw it. I like the little cabinet, the computer screens, and of course the addition of the fire extinguisher. There’s also a little lever for knocking some other things down. And then there is the small section on the lower-right…
So, the idea is that you take the wrench from the rack, and push it through the little arch, and that launches one of the boxes. Because apparently even USP picks a side in this Civil War. I simply do not get what the point of launching the box is about. It’s so awkward to use the part (and not exactly clear that you’re supposed to do it), and then it barely moves.
The boxes are actually a little bit of throwback as well, with references to Iron Man 2 and Iron Man 3 with Hammer Industries and AIM. Maybe Tony just bought them all out, or perhaps they lived on after their founders were incarcerated and/or blown up. Still, I’m a sucker for stickers like this, but mostly because almost all of my MOC plans are modular buildings or UCS sets.
The most curious part of this set has got to be the Quinjet. We now have three different versions of the jet available: this one, the Avenjet in 76049 and the AoU Quinjet in 76032. The oldest is just under a year old, and all three are available on shelves right now. The Avenjet at least looks different, but why are there two sets that are going to look very similar to most eyes?
The AoU version is bigger, and obviously gets a color change, but if I look at this through my parent eyes (I don’t wear glasses, so can’t use that one), I can say that this is a “one or the other” vehicle. The rest of the stuff isn’t going to matter, and at $80, the figures aren’t going to be enough to sell. As a collector, sure, I like the figures… but I honestly can’t come up with any good reason to invest in this for the vehicles.
I wasn’t really a big fan of the AoU Quinjet (or the movie in general), mostly because I liked the look/feel of the original. Maybe this is a snub-nose version, or perhaps they don’t need all that much extra space without a Hulk to carry around. Well, that and all but like three of their members can fly, so I suppose they can afford to downsize a bit.
As a build, this ship feels a lot tighter and more solid than the AoU version. That being said, the smaller size makes it feel kind of weird and forward-heavy to pick up, mostly because it’s 80% cockpit. I do like the rope inside instead of grabbing a whole mess of parts to some mechanism. Instead, we waste a whole lot of parts for perhaps the most underwhelming technic integration ever. That knob on the top? It does this…
Deploy those flick fires! By turning it a lot more than you’d think you’d have to. It’s not a easy mechanism to use, much like the wall destroy in the tower, given the force it takes. Because it takes multiple turns to raise and lower it, you get that jerky motion you see in the short video. Worse, because it’s on the underside, it only works when it’s picked up to swoosh around, but you have to hold it in a pretty weird position to not block that opening.
This really isn’t an awful ship, to be fair… it’s just unnecessary. I recently decried too many jets, and now we’re sitting at three different Marvel jets out at the same time. I really liked the Avenjet, and it brought in a lot of unique characters. The last Quinjet wasn’t as good as the original, but was decent and had some good characters.
This one only has one truly unique character in Agent 13. We haven’t had a War Machine since the original Iron Man 2 set, this is a different Iron Man print (bringing our total number of prints to something like thirty-eight thousand), and a new design for Scarlet Witch’s torso and hair. But Bucky and Cap are both duplicates from other sets. Compared to the other two sets, this one comes up well short. I’m sort of at a loss on how to rate the thing… without the other sets, it’s probably a four. But when you compare it to the marketplace, it’s barely a three, if not a two. The playset features aren’t all that playable, and the figures can’t make up that gap. I’m going to go a bit high on this one and go three out of five, but if you have the previous jet and/or the Avenjet… it’s probably a big pass.
What I Liked
- War Machine gets a great visual upgrade and a good mix of characters
- Great stickers with little inside jokes, but also utility to show up elsewhere
- Solid build in most of the parts
What I Didn’t Like
- … sometimes a bit too solid, which makes the play features hard to use
- Captain and Bucky are identical to other versions
- This makes three different Marvel jets out at the same time, and two different Quinjets. This set does little to justify the purchase price