So this is Part 5 of my 2020 LEGO Marvel Retrospective. So far, the sets have ranged from average to garbage (in my opinion). Today, we will be discussing the biggest sets of the theme for the year 2020.
And now for the disclaimers… again. 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 ok. 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.
Avengers Helicarrier (76153)
Ok, I do not like this set at all. The minifigure selection was a mixed bag – no pun intended. The new Captain Marvel was amazing, with a cool new helmet mould, and phenomenal torso and leg printing. Iron Man and Thor were the same variants as discussed before. Nick Fury was the same figure from the Spider-Man: Far From Home sets, which was extremely disappointing. Black Widow was amazing. Although she had a similar torso to the Black Widow movie set, it was slightly differing. However, she finally got arm printing. The day we all saw this was the day we got our definitive LEGO Black Widow. She was the perfect Black Widow figure. So hats off to LEGO. The A.I.M. Agent was a repeat, although he came with different accessories. War Machine was a great inclusion, especially with his new dapper helmet, torso and leg print. He was, as always, an amazing minifigure.
So the first build of this set was M.O.D.O.K. We had previously received a minifigure version of him in the past, but LEGO decided to go the brick-built way in 2020. And wow. They nailed it. Although the printing and stickers were cool, the actual build of it was the primary focus. The curvature, angling and details all combined for a solid brick-built figure. By the way, he had stud-shooters on each side.
Anyways, moving on to the bulk of the set. Many people liked it. But to me, it looked very, very ugly. The exterior consisted of a large, rubber shooter which packed a punch when being launched at LEGO builds. Behind that was a place for a very ugly Avengers air vehicle. It looked like a mix between a jet and a helicopter. It was probably made last to use out the rest of the pieces in the budget. There was a six stud-shooter to launch at enemies, and it could fit one figure. It was just awful. Behind that was a radar dish. And further back was a cell, which could hold the MODOK build after the Avengers defeated him. Also, each wing had adjustable flaps at the ends.
Opening the top front of the aircraft revealed three seats for minifigures to sit. And? Nothing. Nothing. You’re telling me we had to pay USD 120 for a three-figure interior? The number of cheap sets that have more interior space than this makes me scoff that this junk pile. Sorry if I’m being harsh. But this is a product. And a bad one at that. So LEGO probably did something cool with the space to make up for no interior right? No. Guess what we got? When you moved the Helicarrier forward, all four of the turbines spun. Yeah, it was probably cool for kids to play with, but I would prefer interior space any day. This was just a big, expensive disappointment. If you’re on the fence about buying this, save your money for the 2021 Marvel sets.
Avengers Tower Battle (76166)
From one of the worst sets of the year, we will now be looking at the best LEGO Marvel set of 2020. Black Widow was the same figure from the Helicarrier set that we discussed previously. Iron Man and all the AIM Agents were also not new, in terms of printing. We finally did get a new Red Skull, with a new face and torso print. Finally, both Blazer and Tazer were two new Iron Man suits released in 2020. Both had extremely unique colours and prints, with Blazer being red, and Tazer being blue. Tazer also had an armour attachment piece to accurately represent his MCU suit.
Anyways, onto the tower. Since I do not want this article to go on forever, I will be releasing an Avengers Tower comparison soon, so stick around for that! The bottom level consisted of storage space for the Avengers’ hoverbike. The window could be opened via a lever, to allow quick exit and entrance. On the opposite side of the bottom, the floor was an Arc Reactor and a computer screen – a reference to Iron Man 1.
The second floor had an armoury to store both the Blazer and Tazer suits included in this set. This was a similar play function to the first Avengers Tower set. Since the windows were on a huge, they could easily open go allow the suits go deploy. The opposite side had an armour rack to store the Avengers’ weapons. Behind that was the Infinity Gauntlet.
Moving up to the third floor, there was a small prison cell to hold the Red Skull. The layers could be opened to place/remove the figure who was captured. However, there was a play feature which allowed you to knock out the windows, so that the AIM Agents could release Red Skull. And opposite that laid a table which was analysing the Power Stone. The machine build was directly inspired by Guardians of the Galaxy, where the collector uses a similar machine to extract the power stone.
The top-level finally consisted of a seating area for the Avengers, with a TV screen which could swap between a Captain America vs Red Skull game, and a news report. There, too, was a door which could be opened so that the Avengers could access the balcony. The balcony, like the 2015 Avengers Tower, could be collapsed in the middle, which was a fun play feature. Finally, the top of the roof had a deployment space for Iron Man to blast off into his next mission.
Overall, this set was packed with amazing minifigures, and many fun play features. However, the best thing about this set was that it was an amazing display piece. This is what a Marvel set should be. Everyone should enjoy it. Kids and adults alike. This provided great play and display. And the minifigures were of high quality.
Well, I for one am surprised that I was able to keep this article in a reasonable word count. I kind of dreaded writing this, because of all the different play features and details that these larger Marvel sets had to offer. But I’m glad I was able to keep it concise, while still going over everything. Anyways, that’s about it for me today, and I’ll see you guys next time for the final part of the 2020 LEGO Marvel retrospective. Peace!
Images from Brickset