Marvel’s Worst Year
We are finally here. 2020 had been a hectic and an emotionally distressing year for everyone. However, this article is meant to take your mind off that. So how was the theme overall that year? Well, as you can tell by the title, I was not a fan of it. I am here to claim that 2020 was the worst year for LEGO Marvel to date. Yes. 2020 was an utter disappointment overall, in my opinion. And I can back that statement by the fact that I haven’t bought a single Marvel set that year. Not a single set.
I feel like in every article I write, I need to make a disclaimer. Just because I think that 2020 was a bad year for LEGO Marvel, doesn’t mean you have to agree with me. We can all have different opinions, and that’s okay. I just believe that compared to 2016 (in my opinion the best year of the theme), 2020 matches that quality in no way. And that is no disrespect to the designers. What they do is hard, and especially with budget constraints and other requirements, what they produce is a quality product for the mass market. However, as a consumer of their product, I get to criticise it, so it can hopefully be improved. Anyways, let’s just jump into this retrospective.
Iron Man Mech (76140)
I just want to state this now. The new USD 15 mechs were a downgrade from the beautiful Mighty Micros that the theme had in years past. Mighty Micros gave us two comic/wacky figures and two comic/wacky-looking builds. These new mechs were just a way to get cool figures for cheap. Mechs have been done to death in every theme, so they’re just boring to receive at this point. However, I can’t deny that for the most part, they were solid builds, and I understand the appeal of them to kids.
Out of every mech released so far, the Iron Man one was the strongest. However, let’s talk about that new Iron Man figure. Based on the 2020 Avengers Game, the Iron Man was phenomenal. The reuse of the Invincible Iron Man helmet worked quite well and captured the likeness well. Again, both the torso and leg printing were directly inspired by the Avengers game. The figure also came with two Power Blast pieces which could be launched at enemies.
As much as I do prefer Mighty Micros to mechs, I have to admit that if I was a kid, I would love this so much. Kids love mechs. And a cheap one, at that, would’ve been something parents could buy easily. The chest could be opened to fit the figure, allowing the head to pop out. Each arm and leg was attached with three ball joints, allowing for endless posing. Finally, there was a cannon attached to the back, which could shoot out three 1×1 round tiles at once. Overall, this set was solid, however, I would prefer Mighty Micros any day. This mech was also released as part of the 3 in 1 (66635) Super mech pack.
Thanos Mech (76141)
Again, so I don’t repeat myself, this mech was decent, although I would much rather prefer Mighty Micros. The Thanos figure, for the most part, was decent. Although he wasn’t based off any concepts from the Avengers game, LEGO took some creative liberties. First off, the helmet is awful. Instead of making a new mould, LEGO decided to use an old knight’s helmet for Thanos. Even Magneto’s helmet would’ve worked better. Besides that, the head, torso and leg printing overall were great.
The USD 15 mech was a great parts pack if you didn’t want the build. The amount of pearl gold pieces on the mech was amazing, and you could bet MOC builders hopped onto this set. The infinity gauntlet was a fine build, and I understand why LEGO didn’t want to include the actual moulded piece. Like the Iron Man mech, this could be posed in various ways. Again, this mech was also released as part of the 3 in 1 (66635) Super mech pack.
Avengers Speeder Bike Attack (76142)
Come on LEGO. Another Thor? Seriously? LEGO has thousands of Marvel characters at their disposal, and they give us another Thor? Again, Thor wasn’t a bad figure. Based on his appearance in the 2020 Avengers game, this version had a cool new torso print. Look, if you’re going to give us another Thor, at least give him the chainmail armour detailing in his arms, and leg printing.
Anyways, we also received a comic-book variant of Black Panther, who was not based off the game. It was a cool figure – with the new face and torso print. However, it needs leg printing, a new helmet mould to accurately represent the comic look, and a regular cape. I’m sorry, but LEGO missed out on many details here. The AIM agent was the disposable army character of the year, appearing in most Avengers sets of that year. It had a nice face and torso design. However, if LEGO were to reprint the figure over and over again, they should’ve at least given it leg printing.
And congratulations to LEGO for giving us another USD 20 over-sized bike… yay. Besides its ability to roll, it had two stud shooters to shoot at enemies. I am sick and tired of over-sized bikes in superhero sets. This was just disappointing. An upside of this set was the wing attachment for the AIM agent. It was a nice concept to do and was awesome. As it was on ball joints, it could be positioned in different ways, and also had two stud shooters, which could be launched at enemies. Overall, this was an average set.
Avengers Truck Take-down (76143)
Same thing with this set. It was so bland. LEGO did nothing to add something new to the table. It was a plain, old boring USD 40 set. The Captain America figure was a nice exclusion variant which was based on the game. This was our first Captain America besides the Quantum Suit version to use the new helmet and shield piece. He also came with a spare hairpiece. Hawkeye was not very accurate-looking to the game but was an alright inclusion. The printing wasn’t anything too extravagant. This set also came with two of the previously discussed AIM agents, this time with different accessories.
The Avengers truck was just ugly. Especially the wheels. The way the wheels were placed was terrible and worsens the truck by a massive margin. Anyways, it could be opened to reveal interior space. And a six-stud-shooter could be deployed and moved to the top of the truck to shoot at enemies. The cockpit could also fit a minifigure. And again, another bike. WHY? I’m not going to bother discussing it, because what you see is what you get. The drone build was sick, using two stud shooters. Overall, another disappointing set.
At best, the early Avengers wave was average. But from the company whose motto is “Only the best is good enough“, these didn’t live up to their statement. The minifigures were, for the most part, cheapened out on – especially with the lack of leg printing, and the characters. The builds were just new builds of previous gimmicks that have been done over and over again in this theme and others. Overall, this LEGO Marvel wave was not a great start to 2020.
Images from Brickset