(Written by William)
I absolutely love the Marvel Universe, so I was greatly delighted when the #76269 LEGO Marvel Avengers Tower was announced. The only trouble is that it retails for $499.99, which is quite a bit to spend on a single LEGO set, so let’s take a look at what it has to offer.
One thing to note right away is that just like the #76178 LEGO Marvel Daily Bugle released in 2021, the Avengers Tower is compatible with the LEGO Modular Buildings with pins on the side for perfect alignment. However, unlike a standard LEGO Modular Building, the floors are not made to easily come apart. Given the fact that this is a seven-story building, LEGO designers made it so that most of the floors are taller than normal and can be accessed by removing panels. One of the largest panels I’ve ever built is what covers the first four floors of the tower.
As for minifigures, we get a whopping 29 normal characters, one maxi Hulk figure, and a micro trophy-style Ant-Man figure. The box even includes the brick-built Dum-E, Tony Stark’s little one-armed robot assistant. These various characters allow you to recreate iconic scenes from Avengers Phases one through three. From the battle of New York to some time-altering trickery, there are plenty of Easter eggs for an MCU fan. And even though I personally like the set, it costs a significant amount, so I want to make sure I point out features that some people may not like. And then we will also examine some of the interesting building techniques.
LEGO AVENGERS TOWER – POTENTIAL PROBLEMS FOR THE AVENGERS!
As an adult LEGO fan, the one thing I always appreciate is printed LEGO elements. And I’m not the only one who feels this way. LEGO knows this, so they try to include as many printed elements as possible in adult-oriented LEGO sets. Unfortunately, in this set, most of the printed decorations you see are stickers. All the larger screens, and even some of the small tiles like the pager to contact Captain Marvel, the car battery that Tony used to keep himself alive, and even the ergonomic keyboard are all stickers. You will even need to sticker non-flat surfaces, like the curved slope of the Mk VI to save Tony, and a round 1×1 brick in the trash displaying Pim Particles. So yes, there are a lot of stickers in this set.
Another issue that many LEGO fans might face is posing all the characters in the model. The printed instructions are only so-so at showing you where all the characters go. And many of the clear elements to put the minifigs in action poses aren’t the most secure. I ended up knocking down figures as quickly as I mounted them onto the model.
Finally, this model may be a bit too big for some. The building is made to be – for the most part – a single piece and due to its size and the many fragile window elements, it’s hard to move around. So you will need to consider carefully where it will end up once you finish building it as it isn’t going to be easy to relocate.
LEGO AVENGERS TOWER – AVENGERS EXCEEDING EXPECTATIONS
Now that I’ve nitpicked some aspects of the model, I do want to point out a few items that show LEGO went above and beyond. Firstly, this model is made to look good from every angle, which is not an easy feat. Figuring out how to make a model structurally sound often competes against making it look good. However, LEGO designers managed to build a strong structure even with all those windows.
Another feature that might go unnoticed is that LEGO designers spent time decorating the floor of each and every level. Even LEGO Modular Buildings don’t have tiled floors beyond the first level. In the Avengers Tower, even the smallest room has a tiled surface, giving everything a polished appearance.
In addition, everything is firmly attached to a surface. Apart from a couple of hair elements, nothing is left loose in the model. Even forgotten wrenches are clipped into place on the floor, and any loose elements are securely placed in a closed container or drawer. And there are plenty of studs for all the minifigures to stand on.
I also really appreciate that LEGO designers respected that not everyone may want to pose the minifigures they did. Therefore, in the final bag of parts, they included extra clear elements to allow you to set up your minifigs in the way you like.
LEGO AVENGERS TOWER – GRAVITY-HELD ENCLOSURES
I wasn’t expecting to find four different gravity-held enclosures in one set, so that was a nice surprise. Two are pretty basic techniques I’ve seen before, but two were new to me. The two gravity-held enclosures I – and pretty much everyone else – is familiar with are near the top of the model. The first is the skylight over the floor with the landing pad. This is a simple wall element with some tiles on the underside to help it rest in place. This is the simplest form of gravity enclosure there is since it’s nothing more than a lid.
The second enclosure is the one featuring a hinge. This is on the top floor and covers the room where the characters are studying a staff. There are three clip/bar connectors at the top that serve the purpose of a hinge. Technique-wise, this is also pretty simple. The only challenge is to make sure that when the enclosure opens or closes, it doesn’t run into anything.
The next enclosure is found between these two and it is a flexible tension enclosure. The curved angle of the roof is a tough section to build on its own, but by using stiff rubber hoses, the slats of the roof can be strung together in a shape that can bend. And things get really interesting when you put it into place. The only way it fits is by bending the roof, however, this creates tension. But by having a railing near the top and some panels near the bottom that tension can then be used to hold the roof in place. Unlike the first skylight enclosure, this one will stay in place even if you turn the building upside-down.
The final enclosure is the very large wall panel on the side of the building. There are no connectors that hold it in place, making it similar to the skylight we discussed above. However, vertical walls aren’t really ideal for a straight lid-like design. Therefore, LEGO designers made two distinct alterations. The first alteration is to add a bit of tension to where the section rests on the model. There’s not too much to this technique. All you need to do is to make the segments that rest on either side a bit deeper. The skylight has thin tiles, but this large wall panel has a series of curved slopes. This extra surface area naturally creates friction to help hold things in place. The next alteration involves competing slopes. A straight wall panel would need some sort of connection point to hold itself up. However, giving the panel a small tilt allows gravity to do the heavy lifting. The problem is now you have to deal with an angle. In order to do this, you need to use two slopes that angle into one another. Fortunately, there’s not a whole lot of math involved, but let me run it down for you.
When a straight surface runs perpendicular to the ground, it forms a right angle, of 90 degrees. This means whenever you tilt a wall by an angle, you need it to rest against a slope. So, how do you determine the correct angles to use? Simple, you grab two slopes that add up to equal 90 degrees. So, if you have a 20-degree slope, you’ll need a 70-degree slope facing it (20 + 70 = 90). (BrickLink.com, the online LEGO marketplace, mentions the angle of slopes, which makes this process easier when you build your own models.)
It is worth noting that many slopes aren’t perfect in the way they slope. Many have a little lip before they actually start sloping. This means you may have to step back slopes and not just have a continuous line of slopes to make things fit right. That’s why we have a bit of a jagged line on the walls of the building where the panel fits.
LEGO AVENGERS TOWER – FINAL THOUGHTS
Ultimately, the real question for LEGO fans is going to be whether or not this set is worth a $500 price tag. I built the somewhat similarly sized and priced #76178 LEGO Marvel Daily Bugle and found the building experience rather boring. I did really like the minifigs in that set, but hundreds of dollars should also provide an interesting building experience. That was my comparison point and I was worried that my experience with the Avengers Tower would be similar. However, after building it, I can say that this set actually delivers.
Many of the figures found in this model are what I’d consider to be the best versions of the characters. The original Captain America actually has a headpiece for his mask instead of just being printed on the minifigure head. Loki’s helmet seems a bit more robust than what I recall from past versions. All the Iron Man and War Machine elements have the flip-up facemask. Vision’s cape is a plastic flexible piece so that the bottom can have a cool transparent appearance along with his legs so that it looks like he’s actually changing his mass. And I’m not sure if I missed a version of Hulk, but this one has a detachable head and hairpiece, which are both delightfully oversized. Plus, we finally get less action-oriented minifigures like Erik Selvig and Alexander Pierce. Overall, the characters are extremely enticing.
However, what really makes this model pop is the building itself. The unusual shape really helps, of course, and the building experience is interesting and satisfying. What’s more the parts for the set are divided into 39 numbered bags. This means that despite its immense size, the model is approachable even for novice builders.
Then there are the 5,201 pieces – the most we have ever gotten in a LEGO Marvel set. Granted it is not the most expensive set to be released for Marvel because many of the pieces are small and decorative. This entire model is what I like to call “being built heavy-handedly”. Normally, LEGO fans are the ones who build this way. They put in all the details and don’t take shortcuts. The only shortcut I found in this model is that the elevator is a façade and it doesn’t exist in the top three floors. However, the details are still present. This is a dense model and represents a large fortune in windows.
Overall, I would highly recommend this model if you are a big Marvel fan. Even if you’re not a Marvel fan, it does make an interesting skyscraper for a city. (I almost forgot to point out that the broken window section by Hulk can be patched up so you can have an undamaged building.) I definitely suggest watching the video below that I filmed for this set. As you will see, I have to stand just to review the model. For reference, I’m fairly short at 5 feet 6 inches and the set is on a normal folding table. But you can see just how much it dwarfs me. It’s truly a tower meant to be ASSEMBLED! If you want to check it out, it’s available at the LEGO Marvel Super Heroes section of the Online LEGO Shop.
What do you think? How do you like the LEGO Avengers Tower? And what do you think of the techniques we discussed here? Are there any other interesting details that you have noticed in the set? Feel free to share and discuss in the comment section below!
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