Well. This article has been in the making of 6 months. Why? Let me tell you a story. Last June, before Uni had started, I decided to write a few articles to get ahead, so that I could have blogs to be out during exam time so I could focus on that. I think I may have written 2 or 3 articles ahead of time. However, in the second week of uni during the semester, I was nicely eating lunch with a water bottle in my hand. It slipped and dropped – spilling a whole 300ml of water onto my MacBook. Basically, I lost three articles that day and about 6 hours of work – in addition to all my uni stuff. I had thankfully already sent part 1 of my 2014 Retrospective. However, part 2 wasn’t that lucky. I waited this long to write Part 2 because I thought I could move all those files over to this new MacBook. Unfortunately, I cannot so we are starting from scratch. Yay. So, finally, my 2014 LEGO Marvel retrospective will be coming out – after a six-month delay. So I hope you enjoy it…
2014 was our first jam-packed year of LEGO Marvel sets. From here, the number of sets we received each year, exponentially grew annually. Like 2013, 2014 was also a blur for me – in the sense of LEGO Marvel. Even though we got many sets, I haven’t been able to remember any sets besides the Guardians of the Galaxy wave. So while I jog my memory, join me on this journey through the year 2014 for LEGO Marvel.
Spider-Trike vs. Electro (76014)
As an indirect tie-in to the Amazing Spider-Man 2 that year, LEGO decided to release this small $13 USD set. We got the Ultimate Spider-Man minifigure for the thousandth time so nothing new there. However, the Electro minifigure was very unique. He used a transparent blue head and arms to represent his electric powers which was a great move from LEGO’s part. The figure had a very comic-looking head, torso and, legs – especially the face print as this was not a direct Amazing Spider-Man 2 set.
Spider-Man doesn’t need vehicles. At all. But LEGO needs to sell to kids, so we got the Spider-Trike. It was a very simple build with flick-fire missiles on the back to shoot at Electro. Electro got a weak-looking electric platform to fly on. Yeah, the builds were very underwhelming, but that Electro minifigure made up for it.
Doc Ock Truck Heist (76015)
This $20 beauty is the most cliché LEGO Marvel set to date. Why? Stay tuned. Again, we got another duplicate of the Ultimate Spider-Man minifigure. We also received a Security Guard for once in a Marvel set – which is great as we don’t get many civilians in superhero sets. He had a cool face and torso print. This Doc Ock minifigure was our first modern-day version of him. He had a cool face, torso and, leg print.
Anyways, the whole concept of the set is very cliché. Basically, a villain is trying to rob a vehicle with valuable cargo, and the superhero has to stop them. The truck is very simple in design. The cockpit could be accessed through a hinged roof. The doors could be opened, and so can an orange hatch on each side. The primary play feature involves pushing down on a tile which would launch four boxes of cash. Doc Ock’s arms were pretty cool, and have basically been the same build forever with a lot of articulation via hinges. The other small side build was cool but didn’t add much value to the set. The spider web on the build was on a hinge, so it could capture Doc Ock.
Spider-Helicopter Rescue (76016)
This set had an amazing minifigure selection. But first, yes, we got another Ultimate Spider-Man. However, we finally got a modern-day version of Mary Jane, with a fitting face print and a funny torso print. The Power Man minifigure, (also known as Luke Cage), is quite interesting to think about. I doubt we will ever get him again, as after the set’s release an adult Luke Cage TV show debuted on Netflix. LEGO tries to stay away from creating minifigures from more mature shows, so getting this minifigure was quite special. That aside, the face and torso were pretty cool – although leg printing would’ve been nice.
Finally, the stand-out of the set was the Ultimate Green Goblin big figure. The head mould was specially created for this character, and the clothing was moulded as part of the body/legs of the figure, and printed on the arms. He was such a cool figure – and one of the few Marvel big figures who aren’t Hulk.
Although I hate getting vehicles over and over again in superhero sets, I actually quite like the Spider-Helicopter. What sets it out from other choppers is the two turbines on the side which make it look really cool. Like other helicopters, there is a top and back propeller. The front cockpit could fit one minifigure. The second cockpit area actually has an open space below.
Basically, you were supposed to attach Spider-Man’s web to a 1×2 jumper piece and Spider-Man to a plate. On the back of the chopper, you are supposed to push a Technic beam, which would knock Spider-Man off of the plates, leaving him hanging on the web. It was a really fun play-feature. On the right side of the helicopter, there was a contraption, which would launch four flick-fire missiles onto enemies, with the push of a piece. Finally, the Ultimate Green Goblin’s glider was an alright throw-in. It was big enough to fit the figure on. There, too, are flick-fire missiles on the glider, and the wings were able to be adjusted. Overall, a cool set, but I’ll probably just buy the minifigures online.
Avengers: Captain America vs. Hydra (76017)
The Captain America minifigure was our first light blue suited version of this character. He had a cool face and torso print, although I wish they gave him leg printing to represent boots. This set gave us our first Red Skull minifigure, with a cool new face and torso print. Again, this minifigure would’ve benefited from leg printing. Finally, we received our first comic-accurate Hydra Agent which, although had a great face and torso print, should’ve gotten leg printing.
The tank was a nice $20 USD build – better than the oversized bikes we get these days. Its eight wheels and elevated body gave it an overpowering look. However, there was a hidden feature in the wheels which I never knew about until now. Basically, the wheels are freely moving – they’re not well attached to the base, allowing the tank to climb different elevations with all wheels touching the floor. Like other sets, there are also two flick-fire missiles on the tank. We also get a motorbike, included for Captain America in this set.
Avengers: Hulk Lab Smash (76018)
This $50 USD set released in 2014 may have the best minifigure selection in a LEGO Marvel set to date. All of these versions remain exclusive to this set. The Thor minifigure, based off of the Avengers Assemble TV Show, was quite weird as he didn’t have a beard. His simple torso and light blue legs just make him look so wacky and comic-like. The Falcon minifigure is probably my favourite version of him to date. He just looked amazing. From the perfect hairpiece to his face print, his red translucent wing pieces and his torso. This minifigure was, and still is one of my favourite Marvel minifigures ever.
Hulk was also included in this set, in his classic look. He was finally coloured in dark green and had purple pants. Taskmaster was a great inclusion as a villain with a really great face and torso print. His shield, sword, hood and cape accessories just added to his comic-accuracy. Finally, MODOK was just amazing. LEGO developed a new mould – just for him. And it looked awesome! He didn’t receive any torso or leg print which was amazing. The minifigures were done so well! They looked exactly like their comic book counterparts, despite being based off the Avengers Assemble TV show.
The lab was a really fun build. It was basically a comic book in LEGO form, especially with the colour use. To get it out of the way, MODOK came with a cool built up hoverchair. He could control a cannon which rotated at the base and at the head. There was a 2×4 tile which could be pressed down to explode the cannon. The walkway above the cannon could be broken down, by knocking down a Technic support. Behind that walkway was a ladder to access it and a fire hydrant. Behind the main panels was a room with computers. The play-feature involved Hulk ramming into these mid panels to cause chaos in the lab.
To the right of the set, there was a containment cell for Thor, which could be accessed from the back, through a door. Below the staircase to the containment, there was a 2×4 tile which could be pressed down to destroy the entire cell. There was a radar dish and antennas on top of the tower could be adjusted. Finally, there was a walking droid which was equipped with flick-fire missiles to shoot at the heroes. Overall, I loved and still do love this set. It was basically designed straight out of a comic book with so many play features. The minifigures were very comic-accurate, creating one of the best Marvel sets ever. It was well worth the $50 USD price tag.
X-Men vs. The Sentinel (76022)
To coincide with the release of X-Men: Days of Future Past, LEGO decided to release an indirect tie-in set to the movie. This $50 USD set was so cool – especially since we have only had three X-Men sets to date. We got an updated Wolverine minifigure – and this time with a newly moulded comic-accurate mask. His hairpiece also was included. His face and torso print were just very classic-looking.
We got our second Magneto in this set. His helmet and face returned, but this time he received a new torso and legs – this time, primarily in purple. LEGO also gave us our first Storm minifigure in this 2014 set, one of the best Marvel figures to date. Her dual face, torso and leg printing was phenomenal. However, the cape was just perfect! A new cut was produced, just for this minifigure. Cyclops was another cool minifigure with his head and torso print. However, I do wish he received a hairpiece and leg printing.
This set gave us the Blackbird (also known as the X-Jet). It had quite a sleek design – especially with the overall angling of its body. To get it out of the way, flick-fire missiles were attached to both sides of it, which could be shot at Magneto and the Sentinel. The cockpit consisted of three chairs for all the X-Men men included in this set to sit in. You could actually open the mid-section of the jet, to reveal two other seating spaces for minifigures. So if you had Deadpool from the other sets or the Phoenix from San Diego Comic-Con, you could place them in there.
The rear end of the jet had a smooth play feature, in which you lifted up a hinged cannon of the dual spring-loaded shooters to wipe out enemies. The Sentinel was a nice build. It had a printed dome for its head and flick-fire missiles on its back which could be hinged forward to shoot. His arms and legs could also rotate on ball joints for some great poses. I loved how they used one of the spring-loaded shooter ammunition pieces to create the illusion that the mech was shooting from its palms. Finally, Magneto came with a small platform build which wasn’t anything interesting. I really loved this set, and I hope now with Marvel Studios making X-Men movies in the future, we get more X-Men sets with other characters we need in LEGO form.
And that’s all the non-MCU LEGO Marvel sets released in 2014. LEGO also released the Guardians of the Galaxy wave that year, which will be discussed in part 2. So I hope you enjoyed this throwback, and I’ll see you then.
Images from Brickset