The Avenjet Space Mission is yet another Super Heroes set, where some random vehicle is thrown in to give the LEGO Group something to hang a bunch of minifigures on. That doesn't necessarily mean that it's a bad set, just that it may not be something that fans really care nothing about. I really badly wanted some of the minifigures with this set, so I went ahead and got it. I figured there would be some out there who wondered if this set was worth getting. Let's review.
REVIEW: SET DETAILS
Set #: 76049
Name: Avenjet Space Mission
Theme: Marvel Super Heroes
Some people may wind up picking up a set that is open box or, want to verify the box contents before beginning a build. For this set, there are 4 numbered baggies, a sticker sheet, a comic book, a baggie containing pieces for Thanos and an instruction book.
BUILD AND EXECUTION:
BAG 1: Technically most of Thanos is like bag 0. You pull the pins from Bag 1. Construction of big figs is pretty consistent.
Thanos: Captain America, I have a new plan for conquering the universe.
Cap: I wonder why you would tell me instead of just doing it.
I honestly have a hard time figuring out why we are building something for Thanos to stand on. The end result is kind of goofy looking. It's too small to be useful.
Thanos: Behold my new weapon of universal domination!
Cap: Is it a hoverboard? You have to be careful with those, they catch fire.
Yeah, they look like roller skates. In my opinion, Thanos needed either nothing, or something much more impressive. These are forgettable, except for the fact that they are there and they are ridiculous.
Thanos: Quake in fear as I don the Infinity Skates! Forged in times most ancient from the remnants of the first of mighty Galactus skateboards, I can skate the cosmos with power cosmic.
Cap: Be sure to wear knee and elbow pads. I grew up with a kid that fell down a lot when trying to roller skate.
Thanos: Insignificant insect, I will find someone worthy of my attentions.
So, we move onto basic LEGO ship building. It's not exactly the same as every other plane, but it kind of is. Notice the 1X4 pieces in back, the slots are to make this whole smaller build ingrate into the larger one later. Also please note the single pink brick that will be buried in the build. I have no reason to point it out except that it's there.
Cap: Tony said this thing was really going to knock my socks off. So far, my socks have stayed on.
The interesting thing here is the use of those hinge pieces attached to the tiles. I guess it's supposed to be armrests.
Cap: Well, I sure am glad that these very thin tiles are between me and the dangers of space. I'd hate to have a solidly built wall there.
Add some slope pieces to give the thing a slightly space-y shape and cover up that pink brick. Hinges for the eventual canopy. Note the hinges from the previous step. I think the slot is a cup holder. Why not? Super Heroes get thirsty.
Cap: You know, I think Tony is messing with me. Building space ships is nowhere near as much fun as he kept saying.
You build the wings onto a section that you made with tabs on it.
Cap: Did you know that LEGO instructions inspired those amazing IKEA instructions? I bet you always sort of assumed it.
Oh look, there's one of those awful stud shooters, right on top of the wing. It's a good thing the Avengers use nonlethal laser bolts. Or do the Avengers kill? I forget.
Cap: We only kill aliens, because they can't sue us.
Make a mirror image wing for the other side and add a canopy, and you're done with the spaceship. Glad we got that out of the way. Let's see what other vehicle they have us build.
Cap: I'm not sure that this thing has enough space for me and several friends to go to the other side of space and kill green guys.
Here's the end of bag 1, a small plane, a goofy looking Captain America and Roller Derby Thanos.
Thanos: Puny Mortal I have returned, because you offer the greatest challenge in the galaxy.
Cap: So, no one else would talk to you?
Bag 2: Start by making Iron Man.
Tony: Hey buddy, I see you finished the smaller spaceship. Didn't think you could handle the big one?
Cap: On my army salary, you're lucky I was able to make that one.
A part of me likes when we use Technic bricks (not technique by the way.) It makes me hope for some advanced techniques (not technics by the way.)
Tony: Look Cap, this stuff is really easy, especially if you've got a super genius brain and a fancy robot suit.
The ratcheting hinges in front told me that we'd soon see something to make this a super space plane, not a run of the mill space plane.
Tony: Starktech practically builds itself.
I don't really know, is this supposed to be a crew compartment or some kind of cargo bay? Definitely some place to clip some wings into.
Bag 3: We start on the wings. Wing construction is pretty much the same no matter what theme you buy.
Tony: Wings are my things. Ha, I'm a genius at being a poet too. Hey wait, where's Cap? He's supposed to be building this thing.
Wings are wings,you've built one, well you've probably built 2 since every plane has 2. Anyway, they're all pretty much the same. I know I said that already, but since I've already built 2 other wings in this set, it bears repeating now.
Cap: Did I ever tell you about how I joined the Air Force and flew fighters during the war?
Iron Man: No, you didn't. I thought you did all of your fighting on the ground.
Cap: That's because I never did. I don't know anything about planes. It's probably not a great idea for me to be building one.
Iron Man: Hey, that's nothing. I had a dozen martinis before I started.
Now you add a giant rotor to make it look fancy.
Cap: Hey Tony, does this big fan help make the Avenjet go in space.
Iron Man: Don't be simple. There's no air in space for that thing to push against.
Cap: So this is entirely decorative?
Iron Man: Stark engineering at its finest.
I know I didn't mention him before, but you also build Hyperion in this bag.
Hyperion: Hey guys, whatcha doing?
Cap: I don't know if you can tell, but this wing is incredibly heavy, and Iron Man's not really lifting.
Iron Man: It's called supervising.
Make a mirror image of that wing
Hyperion: Look what I made super fast. I thought you said this thing is heavy.
Cap: Who is this guy?
Iron Man: I think he's Hyper-Lame-One or something like that.
Now you need to add some decorative paneling with a lot of slopes to give it the air of Aerodynamics.
Cap: Hey Tony, don't you have some kind of factory to make these things? I mean I like these little projects, but I'm not sure I'm qualified.\
Hyperion: Anything you can do, I can do better. I can do anything better than you.
Iron Man: That dingbat sings show tunes? I hate show tunes.
End bag 3, you've added a couple of smaller wings on hinges to the larger wings. Plus, flick missiles.
Hyperion: Oooooooooooo-klahoma, where the wind goes sweeping down the . . . hey guys? Where'd you go?
Bag 4: Ok, I'm going to admit this now. Captain Marvel is pretty much the biggest reason I bought this set. If She and Thanos had been in bag one, I might not have ever made the Avenjet.
Thanos: Child of Earth, I have come with my Infinity Roller Skates to destroy your planet and subjugate your population.
Captain Marvel: Yeah, I'm pretty busy here. Do you mind pestering someone else?
Look, we're building a cockpit. I feel like we already did that.
Thanos: Bow down and tremble at my feet. Behold the might of my Infinity Skates!
Marvel: Look, I respect that you rock the purple unitard, but I'm just not interested. Plus, I'm busy.
It looks more like a sled at this point. but, I assume it will pull together the rest of the build once it's complete. Plus, here we find our requisite fire extinguisher. No Super Heroes set is complete without one.
Marvel: 6 years in the Air Force, I thought I had seen my fill of pushy guys.
More tiles to fill out the body of this ship, no arm rests or cup holders this time.
Thanos: Cower before me. I am the mightiest being in the cosmos.
Marvel: Look bozo. I tried to be nice about it, but no means no. Not interested.
And now we're adding a canopy. It's like Deja VU all over again.
Thanos: If you become my disciple, I will allow you to conquer beside me.
Marvel: When did I become a magnet for jerks like him?
Now you just peg the cockpit onto the hinge posts I mentioned earlier.
Iron Man: Hey look, Marvel brought the cockpit, We're almost done.
Marvel: Yeah. I was getting harassed by some jerk named Thanos. He wouldn't leave me alone.
Cap: Yeah that guy was pestering me for a while too.
Now, just slide the small jet onto a brand new hinge piece and you can make a really big Avenjet.
Many many steps after you initially make Captain America, you make his backpack. I'm not sure if it is a jet pack, some kind of star spangled rockets, or an external air supply, but it doesn't really matter. It looks dumb. Sorry, I love Captain America, I hate this fully loaded Minifigure. Even Captain America can't get his shield to work right in space.
Captain Marvel: There we go, looking good.
Captain America: Are you sure? I don't want to look ridiculous.
Marvel: Nope, completely understated.
Below the smaller craft is a pivoting platform that ostensibly you can attach Iron Man to. I don't think I assembled it incorrectly, but Iron Man doesn't really pivot down or up correctly since there's a plate in the way. If I assembled it incorrectly, I apologize, but I can't see where I made the mistake.
I actually liked the build. It was fun, it doesn't look terrible, the play features aren't intrusive. The ship however is somewhat fragile. Certain parts easily fall off if nudged slightly. 2 ships in one build is good play value for a kid. Especially for kids that might not have a clue who some of the characters are. The white and red might be a subtle visual tag for a parent that collected action figures in the 80's. It kind of reminds me of the Transformer Jetfire, or a Macross/Robotech Valkyrie If you squint a little and tilt your head, you might see a hint of an X-Wing that just gives you a subtle good feeling that you'd like to pass on to your kids. I am not saying that this vehicle is as iconic as those three, far from it. I'm just saying that I think the designer took a little inspiration. I assume that the Avenjet is just a poorly named space Quinjet. They had to call it something different so that consumers would be fooled into picking it up when there's still the Quinjet City chase and the Super Hero Airport battle that both have Quinjets in them on the shelves at the same time.
So, let's talk about the minifigures, the main reason anyone would pick up this set. Let's get the duds out of the way. Space Captain America has the body of comic Captain America and a head with goggles and a thing on the back of his head. I don't know what the thing on his head is, I guess it has something to do with his breathing apparatus. You build a backpack/jetpack or whatever. I love Captain America, but I am totally over Space/Scuba/whatever Captain America. Speaking of Space/Scuba/Whatever, let's talk about Space Iron Man. At least it's possible, even likely that Tony Stark would have a spacegoing suit. The best thing about this suit is that you can just throw it into your Hall of Armor display and forget it.
Ok, so let's talk about the new characters. I'm going to start with the one that I am least excited for, Hyperion! First thing's first, many people have no idea who Hyperion is. He's a bad guy and member of Squadron Supreme. Squadron Supreme is a reality hopping team that is the analogue of the Justice League. Hyperion is Superman basically. They have the same abilities and to make things even more similar, Hyperion has the same head as the most recent Superman figures. The figure has 2-tone molded arms, but not legs which is weird to me. His cape is an interestingly odd shape. He's an interesting enough figure, but really not an important enough character to move this set.
It's a coin toss which of the other 2 characters is a better figure. Maybe it's just my own prejudice, but I'm going with Captain/Ms. Marvel. This figure looks great. I do sort of wish that the colors would pop better on the dark blue parts. I also wish there was a soft goods scarf, but that's just wishful thinking. What we did get was some good detailing and a pair of heads with a spiky hairpiece. I love the fact that you can swap her head so that she has 3 different faces. 3 faces? That's crazy! No, I love the character. So maybe it's just me, but I was lukewarm on the set until I saw that she was included. With Marvel announcing a Captain Marvel MCU casting, we are sure to see the character again.
So, maybe the reason most people would want this set is for Thanos. You remember Thanos from that end credit scene in Avengers or those small glimpses in Guardians of the Galaxy. Obviously he's important in the Marvel Universe, but he didn't always used to be. In the 90's there was a weird confluence of events that made Silver Surfer important, and in so doing made Thanos one of the most powerful and evil villains in the Marvel universe. Thanos had to be a bigfig. It seems like he's 2-tone molded legs, and his decoration pops on his dark body. The LEGO styling of the face is hilarious. Is he happy? Is he grimacing? It doesn't matter, he could totally be evil with either expression. I am slightly disappointed that he doesn't come with an extra Infinity Gauntlet fist. This figure is the obvious lynchpin of the set. We're going to get another Thanos. There's no question of that, but if he's not notably different from this figure, Thanos will not rule the Galaxy.
I like the 3 new figures for this set. I'm okay with Iron Man. The selling point of this set will always be Thanos. If this is the only comic Thanos, it should do well. If the eventual MCU Thanos is fairly similar, forget this set. The Avengers Space Plane is not really interesting enough to draw eyes to this set. The biggest threat to this set though is the Chinese Bootleggers. Chinese knockoffs are the death knell of pretty much every Super Heroes set.
With a Captain Marvel movie on the horizon, we'll be getting an MCU Captain Marvel too. She should be different enough from this version to keep this one relevant. That doesn't mean that they won't reissue this one though at some point.
Should we pin future growth hopes on Hyperion, the poor lonely nobody that is unlikely to ever be remade? No. The rest of the Squadron Supreme will see the light of day half past never. I would expect low to moderate gains eventually. There's enough unique stuff in this set that people may not be able to get them another way within a year or two.
2 extra flag pieces. Initially, I thought that I had made a mistake, but in the following bag when I had another extra, I couldn't believe that I had made the same mistake again. Look, a white lightsaber handle, oxygen mask and an extra star round tile.