Tuesday, 26 June 2018

LEGO 76102 Thor’s Weapon Quest

The biggest cinematic event this year is undoubtedly Avengers: Infinity War, which has assembled what was literally an entire cinematic universe’s worth of Marvel superheroes together to do battle against Thanos, the biggest, baddest and undoubtedly the coolest villain in the MCU.
To kick my series of LEGO Avengers Infinity War reviews off, I’ve selected 76102 Thor’s Weapon Quest, thanks to my dearest brother.It's a small set that contains one of the most eagerly anticipated minifigs in the entire Infinity War theme – Teenage Groot!
There could be a few spoilers here, but if you've seen the film - and I have - you may understand some of the key features of the set a little more.

I would also like to say that these photos all come from the LEGO websites and my own camera, but you can buy this set and many others for yourself, here.

Courtesy of LEGO

Name: Thor’s Weapon Quest
Set Number: 76102
Pieces: 223
Price: AU$39.99 | US$19.99 | £19.99 
Minifigs: 3
Theme: Marvel – Infinity War

Here’s a look at the sticker sheet included which contains your average number of stickers for a set in this size. There’s nothing to shout about here, and outside of the same old complaints about stickers, as they can be incredibly difficult to apply properly, and to a certain standard, as I'm sure Old Man Geek will agree. I’m happy to report that they’re all in relatively safe positions.

New to the Infinity War sets is another cool feature/gimmick that LEGO have included to encourage (read: force) you to buy all the sets in the theme. Like Thanos in the movie, you too, can collect all the Infinity Stones that can be added to Thanos’ Infinity Gauntlet (available in set 76107 Thanos Ultimate Battle, which will hopefully be reviewed at a later date).
Included in 76102 Thor’s Weapon Quest is the Power Infinity Stone. I think it’s pretty cool of LEGO to include such a contextual collectible element to the sets. Each set contains its own Infinity Stone and they come in a plastic ring containing 4 of them.
What this means is that it’s quite likely that you WON’T have to spend a small fortune buying all the sets if you want a fully loaded Infinity Gauntlet, as these stones will be quite numerous on the likes of sites like Bricklink and will most likely be relatively affordable.

76102 Thor’s Weapon Quest includes 3 minifigures, 2 of which are exclusive to the set – Thor, and Teenage Groot. It’s par for a set of this set and price, which typically includes a bunch of exclusive minifigs and several small builds, so it was definitely something that I was bound to get sooner or later.
First up, we have Rocket Raccoon and Thor. Disappointingly, Rocket Raccoon is not exclusive in the set and is identical to the one from the 2017 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 in 76079 Ravager Attack.
Yep, no updates at all, which means that he’s still in his blue and brown uniform. He does come with a gun, which is just a regular Alien Conquest blaster, with a round 1 x 1 brick attached to the nozzle. Thor on the other hand is sporting a brand new outfit which looks super cool. It has a minimalist design, with his signature round metal armour plates across the torso, and some silver lines running across. I like how stealthy it looks. I think that it looks vey similar to the Thor from the Ultimate Universe in the comics.
Continuing on from his Thor: Ragnarok look, he still has short spiky hair, and a great beard going on. Interestingly, he has both his eyes, which suggests that his eye (that got gouged out by Hela) gets healed somehow, or maybe gets replaced by a robot eye (watch the film to find out for sure which). Pity, as I was starting to warm to pirate/Odin Thor.

Here’s a look at the back prints on Thor, as well as Rocket’s tail. Thor has an alternate super awesome God of Thunder look, which has the streaks of electricity shooting from his eyes, like in Thor: Ragnorok.

Thor also comes with a new weapon called the Stormbreaker axe, which is loosely based off Ultimate Thor's hammer/axe. Personally I think that it looks more like Jarnbjorn, but whatever. It’s completely brick-built and is a cross between a hammer and an axe which sounds really cool on paper, but doesn’t translate so well in LEGO form. The odd mix of a wooden twig makes it look comical and doesn’t work for me. The on-screen depiction of Stormbreaker might be really cool, but this is nowhere near as memorable as Thor’s regular Mjolnir hammer accessory.

If you were disappointed like I was with Stormbreaker, thankfully LEGO has you covered with a plethora of new accessories called Power Burst elements. Like the plosive name suggests, these serve as various energy blast/projectile effects to accessorise your minifigs with.. And they look absolutely amazing.

I was initially quite apprehensive when I first saw them as they looked kind of childish, but after playing with them myself, I instantly developed an appreciation for these elements. They're cool  but what really sold me on them was LEGO’s generosity with the pack that’s included in each set and the fact that they’re made out of solid plastic, as opposed to rubber pieces which I had initially feared.

The main draw of this set is undoubtedly the Teenage Groot minifigure. Technically he’s supposed to be “Adolescent Groot” according to James Gunn who has recently been dropping all sorts of truth bombs about Groot on Twitter, but it doesn’t have quite the same ring as Teenage Groot.
After an outing as Baby Groot in last year’s Guardians of the Galaxy sets, everyone’s favourite 3-word sentient tree creature is now slightly grown up and the size of a regular LEGO minifigure. Teenage Groot comes with a custom moulded head with a slightly annoyed expression. He comes with a brown frond/seaweed piece. Unfortunately (but not unsurprisingly), there isn’t any arm or leg printing which is another minor disappointment.

Here’s a look at Teenage Groot’s back printing. Despite the lack of arm and leg printing, I really like Teenage Groot and he’s my favourite version of Groot yet. It's just something about a beloved character being made available in minifigure form but as a LEGO Marvel/Guardians Galaxy fan, I am delighted with adding Teenage Groot to my collection.
Here’s all the LEGO Groots released so far. James Gunn has confirmed on Twitter that the original Groot is dead and that Baby/Teenage Groot is his son and not a reincarnated version as what nearly everyone thought, as that is what happens in the comics. I don’t know but that makes me feel extremely uncomfortable given that it drastically changes the tone of the first Guardians of the Galaxy's ending.

Moving swiftly onwards, this is the Space Forge, a small cosmic, mystical structure that seems to suggest that it’s the place that Thor forges the Stormbreaker axe. It’s a simple structure but it’s jazzed up by the transparent blue power burst elements. It has a spinning rotating core, and I also really like the bars that flank the forge which look like pillars of electricity.

You can twirl the middle section by spinning the gear. The other play feature is that the forge spits out the Stormbreaker axe, much like a money till by just sliding the bottom section outwards to reveal the freshly forged weapon.

There is also a small pedestal at the back for the Power stone.

This is Escape Pod that Rocket pilots. It has a very unorthodox shape, utilising a clever mix of elements to create the concave sides. The build was quite enjoyable if it was quite short due to the small size of the pod.
It’s a weird looking ship, but I really like it. Before I had built it, I didn’t think much of it as the official set photos and box illustrations seemed a little boring, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked the end result.
Courtesy of Marvel Studios
Here’s a brief shot of the escape pod from the trailer. We don’t get to see the entire thing, but it looks close enough for me. I’m also pleased that LEGO actually got all the right characters in this set based on the trailer!

What the escape pod does well is the great use of colours. Right out of the box, we get a TON of Sand Blue elements, which have traditionally been really rare, so LEGO fans who are interested in expanding their parts pool will have a lot to be happy about.
The Escape Pod as its name suggests, also connects to the Benatar (the new orange Milano type ship from 76107 Thanos Ultimate Battle) by way of those Technic pins you see at the back.

The round glass dome opens up, and the Escape Pod comfortable seats the 3 minifigures.

You can easily lift off the roof of the Escape Pod to place Thor, Groot and Rocket inside.

The stickers also work pretty nicely with the ship’s design.

Lastly, here’s the underside of the pod which has several transparent purple thrusters.

What I liked:
Teenage Groot minifigure is the best Groot yet

Really awesome selection of parts

Escape Pod is actually a decent build

What I didn’t like:
     Lack of arm or leg printing on all minifigures
     Recycled Rocket Raccoon

Final thoughts: There’s quite a bit to like about this set, but the major takeaway was that it mostly met all my expectations in terms of what you’d expect from a set at this price point. No nasty surprises, and you get pretty much what you pay for which is actually not too bad for a licensed set.
Like all licensed sets, the minifigures are the main draw, and with Teenage Groot being one of the best versions of Groot yet, this set is undoubtedly going to sell quite well.
The new and improved Thor minifigure is also fairly decent but I can’t help but be disappointed that Rocket didn’t get a single update.
Build-wise, the Escape Pod was a good enough distraction, with an interesting build thanks to the use of rare and interesting parts. The colours are great and it feels like a significant model, especially since its designed to connect to the Benatar ship, which I'll hopefully be getting soon.
The Space Forge is small, but given its context of the movie, it does suggest that it’ll play a big role to help Thor gets a souped up "Stormbreaker". It all goes down superbly on screen!
Overall, I’m quite happy with the set. It’s nowhere near ground-breaking or a must-buy, but fans of LEGO Marvel Super Heroes and Guardians of the Galaxy will not be letdown by this set.

On a side note, if you STILL haven't seen Infinity War yet, I urge you to do so, as it really is shockingly full of twists and turns. See what I did there?
Rating: 4/5

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