Many people have likened Guardians of the Galaxy to Star Wars and it’s easy to see why: A ragtag bunch of misfits come together to battle a galactic threat set against the backdrop of alien worlds in space. The term space opera has also been thrown here and there in conversations about James Gunn’s and George Lucas’ cinematic masterpieces.
Update: If you’re looking for a review of the 2017 Milano Spaceship set, you can find it via this link!
I’ll leave you to decide whether they deserve to be uttered in the same breath but we can all definitely agree on one thing: the protagonists in both Star Wars and Guardians of the Galaxy need a really cool iconic spaceship to traverse the universe.
Think of it this way, The Milano is to Star-Lord as the Millennium Falcon is to Han Solo (also a smug galactic outlaw).
Name: The Milano Spaceship Rescue
Set Number: 76021
Price: AU$129.99 (LEGO.com link)
Exclusive to: N/A
Theme: Marvel Superheroes – Guardians of the Galaxy
Year of Release: 2014
The Milano is piloted by legendary outlaw, Star-Lord (who?) aka Peter Quill and functions as the Guardians of the Galaxy’s preferred mode of transportation. Sometimes, (pre-formation of the dysfunctional Space Avengers) Peter also uses it to pick up intergalactic women in addition and as a love nest.
I haven’t built a LEGO Spaceship in what seems like forever, so putting the Milano together was a pretty exhilarating experience.
Here’s a bit of trivia: The Milano doesn’t exist in the comic books and was created solely for the movie by James Gunn. It is also named after the Peter Quill’s crush, 90s vixen and all round hottie : Alyssa Milano. I am not making this up!
Before we get into the Milano Spaceship, let’s have a look at the star-studded (double pun!) cast of minifigures included in the set.
Peter Quill shows up in this set again (he is also included in the Starblaster Showdown) but he’s decked out in some fancy new threads. Here’s a comparison picture.
Unlike his Starblaster Showdown version (on the right), which has a more casual maroon leather jacket look, Star-Lord has his Guardians of the Galaxy suit/uniform on which has a more bad ass militaristic look to it. Their faces are identical and they both come with a hairpiece plus Star-Lord Mask but that’s where the similarities end.
Star-Lord’s uniform has some pretty sick printed details on both his torso and legs – his jacket flap lazily half open near his chest area amongst my favourite little details on him. The uniform is sleak, futuristic and cool at the same time. Star-Lord also wears the Guardians of the Galaxy emblem (that little yellow pineapple shaped thingy) on his chest – a sweet little accessory to jazz up his overall appearance.
Up next is one of the most dangerous assassins in the galaxy, Gamora. The Green-skinned adopted (abducted, really) daughter of Thanos is all sorts of bad ass, wielding a Katana as her weapon of choice. What’s with powerful lady assassins (Uma Thurman from Kill Bill, I’m looking at ya) and their obsession with Katanas? Either way, I’m not complaining cause it just makes her that much more cooler and menacing as a character.
Gamora has the same GotG uniform (albeit more feminine) as Star-Lord which she absolutely murders style-wise. The combination of red leather suit, jet black hair (with pink highlights at the ends) and katana make for a stylishly intimidating look. She will be able to kill you without much effort and look absolutely fabulous doing so.
Gamora has a dual-sided face sporting a neutral smiley one and a grimace action-oriented one. If you look closely, you’ll see that there are little silver lines on her face which is a nice bit of effort to stay true to her movie appearance. I kinda wish that they would have gone with a full Ombré effect for her hair instead of the highlights, but other than that Gamora is a fantastic character to have in LEGO form and a must-have for any Guardians or Marvel fan.
Drax the Destroyer rounds up the Guardians crew in stunning fashion as he is by far my favourite minifigure out of the bunch. LEGO have absolutely outdone themselves with Drax, the grey-skinned “muscle” of the group who is hell bent on avenging his family by punching a fist-sized hole in Thanos’s smug face.
Unlike the others, Drax doesn’t need any clothes for his upper body, choosing instead to proudly show off his buff physique and mad tatts. The tattoo detail that they’ve managed to cram onto his torso, arms and head is exceptional. As if the level of detail wasn’t enough to convince you of how great a minifig Drax is, he also has little LEGO skulls riddled about his body art, a very clever and geeky nod to his movie character, which has intricate skulls incorporated into his ink.
Drax comes with two daggers, his preferred weapon (you know, in addition to his gargantuan biceps) and a pair of pants. If by now you’re starting to feel like you’ve seen those pants before, you’re not imagining things – Star-Lord, Gamora and Drax all have the same pants. Talk about team spirit eh?
This wouldn’t be a Guardians of the Galaxy set without a Sakaaran minifigure, who shows up in every Guardians of the Galaxy. Talk about a great work ethic and always showing up for work. The Sakaaran minifigure is starting to remind me of the Putty Patrol (remember them?) in Power Rangers due to their similar grey hues and the fact that there seems to be an unlimited number of them.
I really have nothing to add about the Sakaaran which I’ve already weighed in on in my review of the Starblaster Showdown. It’s nice that LEGO included another Sakaaran which has to pilot the Necrocraft which ferries around…
Ronan! Galactic baddie and Kree fanatic (I almost spelled this as Free Kanatic) who is the antagonist of the movie. At first glance, Ronan (the Accuser) looks incredibly potent and powerful – traits that you would come to expect of any movie’s big bad guy.
He has a really cool hood (made out of hard plastic and none of that rubbery crap!) as well as a Cosmi-Rod (Marvel’s fancy name for a hammer) and stock standard black cape to aid his villainy but upon taking a closer look at Ronan, the initial fear and dread evoked by his foreboding appearance quickly evaporates. Why?
He has cutesy, doll-like, almost anime-inspired eyes peeping out from under his hood. The illusion is ruined for me, I cannot unsee his puppy dog eyes with oversized pupils. He also looks like he has a blue duck-like bill. I should stop now.
Seriously, the eyes just ruin what is supposed to be a scarily powerful cosmic character. Even on his alternate face which sees him baring his teeth angily, his eyes just don’t seem to look right. In the torso department, Ronan’s armour is rather cool, looking like something a samurai or ancient Japanese warlord would wear thanks to the squarish grid-like pattern flanked by black plates.
Cutesy eyes aside, Ronan is still a fantastic minfigure decked out with some really neat accessories and from afar, still manages to strike fear into the hearts of his enemies. Good luck accusing anyone with those soulful eyes, though!
Before we jump into the Necrocraft and Milano, here’s a closer look at the firepower that Star-Lord is packing to face down Ronan (and his mighty hammer!), what they call a Hadron Enforcer. A handheld cannon fashioned by munitions and weaponry expert, Rocket – the Hadron Enforcer should hopefully be powerful enough to take Ronan down with one well-targeted shot.
The weapon is cobbled together using several handles and pearl gold pail handles and can be gripped by Star-Lord or whoever else fancies a shot at one of the scariest beings in the universe.
Every villain needs a swanky mode of transportation and Ronan is no exception. He’s got a tricked out Necrocraft which is an upgrade of sorts of the one that comes in the Starblaster Showdown set. Most obviously, this Necrocraft has a little platform at the front tip of the vehicle where Ronan can stand and accuse people from the sky. It reminds me a lot of a medieval Roman chariot.
Pictured side by side with the other model, this Necrocraft is a huge improvement namely because it feels significantly larger and packs more aesthetic features such as the extra dark red plates on its wings as well as a wider body. Overall, LEGO have done a good job ensuring that its original look, shape and feel while being different enough that you don’t feel shortchanged building it.
The Necrocraft is equipped with two spring loaded missile launchers on each side. Spring loaded missile launchers are fun, since they can fire projectiles incredibly far distances.
Another nice bonus is a printed tile which acts as the Necrocraft’s control panel, which was a bit of a surprise as I was expecting another sticker-piece which was used in its smaller version. Odd that they couldn’t have given us this tile in the Starblaster Showdown set. I guess that’s what you get when you opt for all the cool upgrades and bonuses at the Necrocraft dealership.
And now we arrive at the main course, The Milano. I had a fabulous time building this ship and can confidently say that the journey was almost as fulfilling as the destination. The Milano has a very unique organic look which seems to have been inspired by a large bird of prey, especially the tip of the ship which really just looks like a bird’s beak, flanked by two shiny eyes.
The Milano is as majestic as it is impressive, which all comes together thanks to an effective blend of blue and grey (both iconic LEGO spaceship colours) elements which is boldly punctuated by dark yellow accents.
From this angle, the bird-inspired design is all the more obvious. I’m a huge fan of the vibrant organic design as it’s just so incredibly bizarre (in a good way) and nothing like what I’ve built before.
Despite it being a spaceship, I am also glad that LEGO didn’t overdo the weaponry and stick flick fire missiles wherever they could – instead we get some tasteful laser blasters which are purely cosmetic (except for the grey ones next to the eyes which are made of the new “pop-guns”) and that’s totally fine.
The wings are layered as such, which reinforces the bird comparisons since they look like a bird’s pinions and can be fanned out and adjusted accordingly. The details on the wings are all stickers, which I actually don’t mind since they’re the transparent decal-like stickers instead of the regular kind.
Viewed from above, The Milano has a very pleasing inverted triangle shape, which is quite a technical achievement in itself since most spacecrafts are traditionally blocky or tubey. The triangle shape near the cockpit is made possible by these nifty A-shaped pieces that made their debut early this year.
The Milano also has several flaps that can be tilted up and down which is cool, as you get more ways to alter the shape of the ship. With the flaps up, it could also look like a more combat-ready stance, similar to how birds puff up their feathers when threatened or when they assert their dominance.
Rounding up the back end of The Milano Spaceship you’ll find one main engine thruster that is accompanied by two smaller gravity stabilizers (I’m making this up as I go) which also have wing flaps on them, which I guess helps steer the ship?
It looks cool though, so that’s all that really matters. You can also see a transparent glass panel which cannot be opened but could serve as a way for passengers to get a great view of the engine thrusters.
Making our way into The Milano’s interior, which is accessed by lifting the top part of the cockpit/roof of the plane out. There’s a large flap that you can grasp to pull this piece out without much effort and it fastens back on to the ship with relative ease as well.
Right at the beak of the Milano is the cockpit, where Star-Lord can comfortably pilot his spaceship. Seen behind him are Gamora and Drax who have their own seats.
There’s a control panel
(stickered, unfortunately) (thanks Robert for the correction) and a really nifty and ergonomic chair for Peter Quill. The chair can bend backwards and also has a neat little headrest. On the walls of his ship near the controls are hooks where Star-Lord can hang his blasters.
Aforementioned seats for The Milano crew as well as a fire extinguisher. Guess LEGO is really serious about fire safety in their spaceships. I definitely don’t recall seeing fire extinguishers in the movie!
Here’s perhaps one of the coolest features of the Milano, Peter Quill’s cassette tape player complete with giant speakers. A great nod to the movie’s amazing soundtrack and Star-Lord’s affinity with his walkman and tape player.
I really like that the interior of The Milano is spacious, with enough room for Rocket to stand (since he can’t sit) in. Unfortunately, Groot won’t be able to fit without being disassembled and scattered wherever there’s space, unless he’s in his Baby Groot form. Roomy interiors are always a nice thing to have as it’s great to be able to fit the whole cast of characters in the ship.
Lastly, here’s the underside of The Milano. There are two flick fire missiles hidden here, but you can ignore them. The only interesting bits are the yellow ‘radar-pieces’ that serve as boosters/thrusters.
The Milano has an extremely solid feel to it, which means that you can swoosh it around the air with no problems! Nothing gets dislodged while The Milano is hurtling through the sky. It’s also decently weighted while not being imbalanced in any way.
Beneath the ship, you can grasp the hull which provides a solid and firm point of contact, assuming you have average sized hands. Overall, it’s incredibly fun to swoosh around, as should all well designed spaceships.
Final Thoughts: With the two other sets in the Guardians of the Galaxy subtheme, Starblaster Showdown and Knowhere Escape Mission feeling a little lackluster, I’m very pleased to say that The Milano Spaceship Rescue bucks the trend of disappointing GotG sets, emerging as the runaway must-have set if you’re a fan of the movie or well designed LEGO sets.
With an awesome cast of minifigures, 4 of which are exclusive to this set it’s really easy to justify picking this set up. In fact, if you get this one and Knowhere Escape Mission, you’ll have all the major characters from the movie.
The Milano Spaceship was a treat to build from beginning to end. There was never a boring moment putting it together but in all honestly, the build did feel like it went by really quickly. I’m not sure if that’s a side effect of me enjoying myself or if it was because there wasn’t a really long, drawn out process. That’s not definitely a bad thing, as it’s still a tight, engaging and attractive build.
I’d go as far as to say that The Milano is a work of art – a beautiful spaceship that makes clever use of colours and parts to achieve a very unique and iconic look. I felt that the designers did a super job recreating the spaceship’s movie look in LEGO. It’s terrific as a display piece or as a toy with all the swooshing around.
The price might seem a bit steep (RRP is $130 in Australia) but again, I feel that it’s worth every cent and maybe more. If I could only pick up one Guardians of the Galaxy set, I’d pick the Milano Spaceship Rescue every time.
What I liked:
- Great minifigures, you instantly get all the important guys. Minifigs are packed with all sorts of cool details
- The Milano is simply put, an elegantly designed Spaceship. Perhaps one of the best that LEGO has done outside of Star Wars
- It’s fun to play with and looks great on display since it’s quite large.
What I didn’t like:
- Not much, I wish it could be slightly cheaper but even at $130, I feel that it’s a fair price for such an impressive set
And that wraps up my reviews of The Guardians of the Galaxy sets! I hope you enjoyed reading them as much as I have writing, building and photographing the sets!
I’ll close the review with a picture of The Guardians of the Galaxy.
Do you own The Milano Spaceship Rescue or plan on picking it up? Let me know your thoughts about the set in the comments!