This week sees the release of new Lego Marvel Super Hero sets tying into Avengers: Age of Ultron. While we're still waiting for the SHIELD Helicarrier to arrive, the series did drop a quinjet, a Hulkbuster, and a mini-Avengers Tower, among others, onto store shelves. Having been out of the Lego game for almost two decades, these were the sets that were going to bring me back into the fold. It was mighty hard to resist the quinjet set, but if there's one thing my house is missing, and that I could no longer live without, it's an Avengers Tower.

Since they were announced, I'd been waiting for the opportunity to return to my Lego-collecting ways with the Avengers: Age of Ultron sets. When I was younger, I had a vast collection of bricks from assorted sets that had been built, broken down, and put back together in new and different designs. I don't know exactly when I fell out of the hobby, but for twenty or so years, I just haven't been more than a casual observer of Lego's continued coolness. There was just something about the idea of having my very own Avengers Tower that resonated enough to get me to reinvest my time and money in Lego.

After snapping up one of the sets and taking it home, I noticed a lot had changed since I last dabbled in the brick-building arts. No longer was there a tray containing all the various parts and pieces, but separate bags already organized and labeled accordingly. If anything, this easily cut the time spent on the project down exponentially.

Again, it's been years since I last touched one of these collections, so knowing right off the bat that I wouldn't have to organize all the same-size pieces was a revelation. I remember long ago spending nearly as much time ensuring all the parts were in their proper places before I could even start. Maybe I just had a severe case of Lego OCD as a child. Maybe my memory isn't as strong as I like to pretend it is. Either way, good move, Lego; it's appreciated.




As per the two instruction manuals, bag number one was to be completed first, and would act as the base for the rest of the tower. Also included were a Tony Stark and Ultron, with the other two Ultron units in batch two, and Thor residing in the third bag. Why the characters were separated, I can't say, but it was probably to avoid the time lost playing with the minifigures instead of actively working to construct their home. Not that I spent twenty minutes messing around with Tony and Ultron, and not that I thought about breaking open the other bags immediately to get to the other figures; I'm much too mature for that kind of thing.

The large manuals provided clear and detailed instructions on what I was supposed to use, where it was supposed to go, and how it was all supposed to look if I did it right. You really can't ask for more out of a set of directions. The Avengers Tower isn't overly complicated, though there are a lot of little pieces here and there that can easily be overlooked if you start moving too fast and loose. This is particularly true in the first floor, where there are opening windows, retractable launching bays, a mini-med bay and the first of three hinges. Those hinges allow you to open the tower like a book, giving you a look at the inner workings of this abbreviated Avengers headquarters.

Brick by brick, I patiently pieced together the lower level, working my way through the instructions at a fairly steady pace. Before long it was onto bag two, where the work on the second floor began. Primarily a staging point for Tony's armor workshop, there were a few moving pieces to get situated just right, but the real attraction here was Loki's staff. We don't know what role the mystical item will play in Age of Ultron, and it may be nothing more than an Easter egg in the background, but in this set, it's a central piece of the whole building. It's a nice touch and nod to the previous film, and one that will elicit a knowing smile even from casual observers.




Finally, it was time to move onto the final bag and floor of the project. The rooftop patio area contained a small approximation of the living quarters, with a few seats and wine glasses scattered about. Additionally, this is where Tony's big computer system was found, with its allusions to the Ultron Project and various scientific readouts. This was the easiest and least intricate part of the build, though there were a few special flourishes I'd never seen in a Lego set before.

The patio itself can flip open to reveal two guns, and the tower's top also flipped down to reveal a security bot with weapon capabilities. The projectiles are nothing but little blue button Lego that shoot when the trigger is pressed. They actually fire fairly far for little bits of plastic, but that might have something to do with the bounce factor, too. Once the little blue pieces hit the floor, they'll just keep hopping until met by the force of an immovable object. I can't recall my Lego ever being weaponized before, but it's a nice, small touch that adds a little more playability to the set itself. Additionally, one of the couches flips open to reveal a hidden gun compartment. There are many layers to the secrets hidden in this Avengers Tower, and I can only imagine the real deal has exponentially more.

After nearly two and half hours, I finally finished the little Lego skyscraper, secret compartments and all. It's a wonderful piece that doesn't take up too much room on a shelf, while still allowing for some decent detail and customizability (if you want).

While I wish the final build was a bit larger, its diminutive stature does offer me a bit of flexibility in where I place it, and it's incredibly easy to move. Allowing it to open, rather than making it a dissected set, is one of my favorite features, and a great way to pack more content into such a small space. The biggest problem is that now I want all the other sets to craft a complete Age of Ultron-themed diorama.



This set was purchased for review. The Lego Marvel Super Heroes Avengers: Age of Ultron Attack on Avengers Tower set is available now for $59.99.

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