Welcome to my first ever third instalment of an article: 2018 LEGO Marvel sets! Now that we’ve gotten the Infinity War sets out of the way, we are going to re-visit the rest of what the year had to offer, starting with the Mighty Micros and Black Panther. So let’s jump into it!
2018 marked the final year of the $10 USD LEGO Marvel Mighty Micros line, and I believe that they went out with a bang. The 76089 Scarlet Spider vs. Sandman was quite cool. We had already received a Scarlet Spider back in 2016, but getting him in a more comical form was quite nice. He had and very simple face and torso. Sandman, too, was quite similar to his 2015 appearance; however, his head and torso were simplified. Both builds were run of the mill, but I like how Sandman’s vehicle was meant to represent a toy truck that kids would put sand in.
The 76090 Star-Lord vs. Nebula was again, a cool set. Instead of including his iconic helmet mould in the set, LEGO decided to print Star Lord’s helmet into his face, which was a unique design. Again, the face and torso were very simple, yet comical. Nebula was also a great minifigure. Nebula’s build was a faithful, down-sized recreation of a Sakaarian ship, and Star-Lord’s a great, downsized Milano. Both were very cute.
The final ever Mighty Micros was the 76091 Thor vs. Loki. Thor was a mini version of his 76018 Avengers: Hulk Lab Smash variant, as both were the only two to not have beards, Loki was cool, with funny facial expression, although I wish he came with a cape. Thor came with an Asgardian-looking vehicle with the colour scheme. The wings on it were a direct reference to his comic-book helmet. In the same way, Loki’s vehicle was too reminiscent of his helmet, with the two-horn design.
Rhino Face-Off by the Mine (76099)
With the release of Black Panther in February 2018, LEGO decided to design two Marvel sets to coincide with its release. This $20 USD set gave us our second Black Panther minifigure – one with a unique light blue colour scheme spanning from his head to his torso. The Golden Jaguar suit, who suited the villain Killmonger, was another well-detailed minifigure with a gold colour scheme. Finally, we also got an inaccurate looking Okoye with a new face and torso print. What was missing on all three minifigures was leg printing.
The first build was a Rhino. It used pre-moulded animal legs in dark tan. However, the bulk of it was made up of Vibranium armour. Its legs could move, and it also had two stud-shooters towards the front. The Rhino showed up in the film. The secondary build was a mine-cart. It had a loose carriage which could easily tip from one side to the other to load/unload Vibranium cargo. At the end of the track, there was a Technic play-feature, where you pushed down on a tile, which exploded that side of the track. Anyways, it was a good set and I have nothing more to say about it.
Royal Talon Fighter Attack (76100)
This $30 USD set gave us yet another Black Panther suit, with an open-eyed design. Like the previous minifigures, it used the ear-attachment piece and had only head and torso print. We also got Nakia in this set, with a new hairpiece, and a new mould for her weapons. She also had a great head and torso. Killmonger was included in this set in the outfit from earlier on in the film. He came with a new helmet piece, only exclusive to this set. It was so elaborate and so cool. His head, torso and legs were all printed. I do wish we got a new hairpiece for him to put on after taking off his helmet, as his hairstyle in the movie was extremely unique. A flick-fire missile was used as a rocket launcher for his weapon. Finally, Ulysses Klaue was also in this set. He came with a movie-accurate head and torso, and included was a built-up mechanical arm.
The Talon Fighter had a very movie-accurate design. It had an opening cockpit which could sit one minifigure, and a back compartment which could hold their accessories. Below it, hid two stud-shooters which could be launched at enemies. The two flaps next to the windscreen could be adjusted up to resemble a Panther, and the mid-section could be opened up to store passengers or prisoners. Finally, the back two flaps could be adjusted up and down. This was a really great set, and accurately illustrated the in-universe ship very well.
The Hulkbuster: Ultron Edition (76105)
Marvel Studios celebrated its 10th Anniversary in 2018, and LEGO decided to release an extremely iconic Marvel mech: The Hulkbuster. Releasing for $120 USD, this set was a behemoth – towering every other Hulkbuster released before and now, after. We received a Mark 43 Iron Man minifigure, which was different to the one released in the Age of Ultron wave as this one had different torso and leg detailing.
Not to go too into depth, it was a decent build. Its legs were really, really well-made, and so was its arms. All the stickers added great details overall, and the gold accents complemented the red design well. Its exclusive head was pretty nice as a print. However, I have two main issues – the torso and the shoulder pads. Its torso just doesn’t look right at all. The hole in the middle of the chest was probably the worst designed part of this build. I just don’t like it, and it doesn’t look like the real model from Avengers: Age of Ultron. Similarly, the shoulder pads just look odd. I don’t know. This whole build didn’t really work for me.
It received a platform/stand with a plaque in the front. There were also two built-up arms which would repair the Hulkbuster. Finally, there was a hot-rod build, a fire extinguisher, an arm extension piece, and Veronica – the AI which launched extra parts at the Hulkbuster when necessary. All of these builds were direct references to the many of the MCU movies with Iron Man in it. If you want a more in-depth analysis of this set, go check out my Ultimate Hulkbuster Showdown article.
Quantum Realm Explorers (76109)
Coinciding with the release of Ant-Man and the Wasp, LEGO decided to give us this $20 USD set. The minifigures for the most part were disappointing. We got a similar Ant-Man figure to the 2015 version, however it had slightly different printing overall, and it still used the inaccurate helmet that was based on concept art. Ghost was just a bland minifigure with an over-simplified torso. Besides the head, the whole minifigure just looked so bland, and maybe because it was grey.
Finally, the biggest disappointment – Wasp. LEGO put in the lowest of the low effort when designing this minifigure. First of all, the helmet. IT LOOKED NOTHING LIKE THE ACTUAL DESIGN. She was supposed to have wing-like designs on the helmet, but LEGO cheapened out and decided to just not even try. The torso was the only saving grace of this minifigure as it really lacked leg printing which was clearly present in the movie. The wings were fine. Overall, a garbage minifigure selection, in my opinion.
The Quantum ship build was really cool, and extremely accurate to the movie’s design. The transparent cockpit with the two printed dishes were pretty cool. It could be opened to seat a minifigure. The arms in front could be moved to pick up objects, and two stud shooters were positioned at each side as defense mechanisms. Anyways, the detailing overall was amazing, as the build used many unconventional pieces to add depth and intricacy – along with the stickers. On the side, there was a trophy – a reference to a plot in the movie, a jar of Pym Particles, and a ray gun. Overall, a solid build, and a disappointing minifigure selection.
The 30450 Royal Talon Fighter was a great re-creation of the $30 USD Black Panther set that was previously discussed. Retailing for $4 USD, it was a nice pick-up.
LEGO also released the 30525 The Guardians’ Ship, which was a mini Benatar polybag to coincide with the larger version releases in the Infinity War wave. It was a great representation of the ship, and the notable play-feature was that its wings could be positioned in many ways.
Showing up at San Diego Comic-Con that year, LEGO decided to release an exclusive set, known as the Ant-Man and the Wasp. It came with the hideous Wasp minifigure from before, but the build was a cool bust of Ant-Man.
Releasing alongside the bust was the SDCC exclusive minifigure – Sheriff Deadpool. This set was a direct sequel to the Deadpool Duck released earlier at Comic-Con. The minifigure was splendid, with a cowboy hat, a moustache, and exclusive head, torso and leg printing – all of which were really well done. On the box, there was a speech bubble from him saying “Hey nerd, PSSST… Over here. I’m mint in box!” This was a direct shot from LEGO to the AFOL community who prides themselves in LEGO collecting. And due to the nature of Deadpool breaking the fourth wall, it was funny to receive this message.
Finally, LEGO released its first Marvel Bricktober Pack in 2018. It was a set of four minifigures, based off of Infinity War, that were given when you purchased LEGO over a certain amount of money at Toys R Us. We got our best-ever War Machine, with an exclusive mask, face, torso, leg and sidearm printing. It was just an A+ minifigure. I especially loved how they printed the HUD on his alternative face, like the new Tony Stark Face print. We received our first-ever Wong minifigure, with the same level of printing on his head, torso, legs and at the side of his legs. He also received an exclusive printed 2×2 tile to illustrate a magical paper.
The Winter Soldier minifigure had a different appearance to his Civil War attire, this time with an exclusive new face, torso and arm print. He also received dual-moulded boots and leg printing which was awesome. Finally, we received a new Tony Stark variant, who used the previously mentioned Infinity War face. He did, however, get exclusive torso, leg, and sidearm printing which was based off his outfit from his first few scenes of the movie. With the closing of Toys R Us back then, it was extremely difficult to obtain these extremely desirable and gorgeous minifigures. Each go for a hefty price on the third-market, so I’m not very happy, considering I’m trying to collect every Marvel figure ever, except the San Diego ones.
And that’s it for today! I hoped you enjoyed all three parts of my LEGO Marvel 2018 retrospective! It was really time-consuming to write each part, but I happy I was able to look back at all these different sets and promos, reminding me that it’s gonna be a long journey to collect all the minifigures I need. But thanks for sticking with me through this three-parter, and I will see you guys next time! Peace.
Images from Brickset