For those waiting on my review of the largest LEGO Civil War set, the long wait is over! I’m very excited to finally share my review of 76051 Super Hero Airport Battle!
Now that the movie has been out for awhile, I’m much more comfortable reviewing this set as I had initially no clue what this set was depicting when it was first revealed. It was pretty vague, but we had Giant-Man rampaging through an airport while a Quinjet provides supporting fire.
If you’ve watched Captain America: Civil War, you’d know that the airport is the scene of one of the coolest superhero showdowns ever, with Team Iron Man and Team Captain America duking it out on the tarmac. The scene is chaotic, gorgeously choreographed and most importantly stolen by the likes of Spider-Man (not included in this set) and Ant-Man transforming into the aptly named Giant-Man.
Name: Super Hero Airport Battle
Set Number: 76051
Price: AU$129.99 | US$79.99 (Buy from LEGO.com [AUS] [USA] [Amazon])
Exclusive to: N/A
Microfigures: 1 (1 spare included)
Giant Minifigs: 1
Theme: Marvel Super Heroes Civil War
Year of Release: 2016
Instructions: Book 1
Being the largest Civil War set, Super Hero Airport Battle comes with a very respectable stable of minifigures. If you only want the core characters from Civil War, this set sets you up with the main protagonists – Iron Man and Captain America followed by a decent cast of supporting characters that are mostly exclusive to this set.
On Team Iron Man, we get Tony Stark himself and his trusty sidekick, War Machine. Team Captain America mostly overwhelms the other side and is quite stacked with Ant-Man, Agent 13, Scarlet Witch and Marvel’s bromantic couple, the Winter Soldier and Captain America.
Here’s a look at the Iron Man and War Machine minifigures. Tony Stark is rocking his Mark 46 Armour which should delight LEGO Iron Man collectors as it’s another cool variant. If you ask me, I can’t quite tell most of the suits apart, but I do appreciate that LEGO give us a fresh new Iron Man minifig with each movie-themed set. Both Iron Man and War Machine are exclusive to this set.
War Machine is in a slick new black and silver armour. War Machine’s armour is really impressive and he’s my favourite minifig in this set. The black base and shiny silver paint go incredibly well together, giving him a very deadly and intimidating appearance. This is accentuated by his red eye sockets.
This iteration of War Machine just screams “seek and destroy”.
Mounted on his back via a neck/breast bracket is a small cannon, which matches his on-screen appearance where he has additional guns and blasters mounted to his shoulder. I’m not the biggest fan of the chunky stud blaster used – it manages to make the minifig look quite unbalanced and messy.
Here’s a look at War Machine’s back attachment, which also has a clip to hold a black baton.
Both the Mk 46 Iron Man and War Machine have back printing, which is to be expected with Super Hero minifigs. You can also see their alternate faces, both of which look pretty angry.
As with any LEGO Iron Man suits, both minifigures come with transparent round bricks to create the repulsor effect – instead of the regular transparent round studs, Iron Man has some transparent blue lasers emitting out of his hands.
You can also see their faces. I really like War Machine’s huge grin.
Here’s a look at the Winter Soldier and Captain America minifigures. Unfortunately, neither one of them is exclusive to this set, with this version of Winter Soldier making an appearance in 76047 Black Panther Pursuit. Captain America has been a lot more promiscuous, having made an appearance in 2 sets (Quinjet City Chase & Hydra Fortress Smash) and a polybag as well. His torso is also identical to the one from Black Panther Pursuit.
While I like their characters, I really don’t like LEGO recycling their characters. I can make an exception for Bucky, who until this year has only been made available as a pretty exclusive (and pricey) polybag but having this exact same Captain America show up in so many sets is pretty damn lazy. If a super hero minifig has been used a year ago, it really isn’t too much to ask for LEGO to update it slightly.
You could invoke the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” argument since it is a pretty nicely designed Captain America minifig, but I don’t want multiples of the same minifig in my collection.
If you don’t own Black Panther Pursuit or any of the sets that included Captain America, I guess it would a plus getting the both of them in this set but Super Heroes collectors tend to be completionists, so I think that scenario will be particularly rare. I guess you could always sell your spares on the secondary market, but really, who wants to do that?
To (slightly) even out the gender scales, we get two exclusive ladies – Agent 13, Captain America’s love interest and also a new variant of Scarlet Witch.
Agent 13 has a pretty plain appearance, with caramel-coloured wavy hair, and a black, spy-like top. Her torso has some nice details, with sharp, angular lines that all combine to form a rough outline of an upside down star. She has plain sand blue pants and rocks a sub-machine gun accessory. I like regular LEGO firearms, so it’s very nice to get one in this set as they’re fairly uncommon.
Scarlet Witch has updated her entire look, since her debut in Hulk Buster Smash. Wanda Maximoff has let her hair grow out, and got a new red leather jacket which has a more noticeable zipper and various studs, giving her a slightly gothic/punk look. She also has a new fabric skirtpiece, which is meant to look like a trenchcoat.
She also comes with two transparent pink discs that are attached to her hands which serve as visual manifestations of her magical/reality-warping abilities.
Both Agent 13 and Scarlet Witch minifigures have back printing and alternate faces. Here, you can also see Wanda’s skirt/trenchcoat in more detail. Her face is the same as the one from Hulk Buster Smash, which in itself is identical to Supergirl’s head from 76040 Brainiac Attack.
Last but certainly not least is the Ant-Man microfigure. He’s not a minifig per se, but I’m lumping him in together with the other characters. The microfigure is tiny, but that in no way detracts from the printing accuracy and quality.
The graphic designers have done a superb job getting Ant-Man’s tiny look just right – there are all his trademark elements like the red armour plating, silver accents on his suit as well as his silver headgear. I’m very impressed by the way they’ve managed to shrink him down to microfigure scale.
From a design perspective, the microfigure Ant-Man is an absolute winner as it fits in so well with his ability to shrink down to the size of an insect. As an added bonus, you get a spare microfigure Ant-Man too, so don’t be too alarmed when you discover 2 of these in your set!
Overall, I’m more than happy with the minifigure selection. War Machine is the standout minifig, and I’m also equally pleased to finally get an Agent 13 minifigure. It’s a shame that Captain America and (to a lesser extent) Winter Soldier don’t bring anything new to the table.
I would also have liked a proper Ant-Man minifig – we get a micro Ant-Man, Giant-Man but not a regular-sized Ant-Man. There is a minifigure-sized Scott Lang hole in this set, and I think LEGO have wasted a great opportunity inserting a really popular and coveted minifigure into their flagship Civil War set. I would even gladly trade Cap and Bucky for one Ant-Man minifig.
Before we get started with the build, here’s a look at the sticker sheet.
The build starts off fairly easily with this yellow baggage truck. There’s a cute 4-studs wide car that pulls along a trailer containing 3 bags – fitting since this is an airport and all.
There’s a minor play feature built into the trolley – you can press down and send all the bags flying. A tad unnecessary feature if you ask me.
The bags contain some lovely Easter Eggs with stickers referencing a whole bunch of things. Firstly, the green bag has BLL on it – the airport code for Billund Airport. Billund is the birthplace and global HQ of The LEGO Group.
Next up is a “Wakanda” sticker. Wakanda is a fictional African country that’s home to Black Panther. Last but not least is a sticker with “Sokovia” on it, a reference to the location of the climax of Avengers: Age of Ultron, where Ultron floated an entire city into the air before crashing it down.
The catastrophe in Sokovia is the catalyst for Civil War, where a legal document called the Sokovia Accord is drawn up to regulate and register super heroes.
The first major build is the air traffic control tower – a lone structure that oversees the ensuing airport battle. The control tower is quite tall, measuring almost 30cm high and it has a small fence section attached to it with a No Entry sign.
The building is pretty average although the control tower is one of the most realistic ones that LEGO have ever produced.
The back of the control tower is exposed, like a dollhouse giving you the opportunity to interact with the interiors, although it is quite unclear as to who is supposed to man the tower. The control area has two stickered panels with flight data and a radar display.
On the first floor, we have a small rest area for tired air traffic controllers to rest. Nothing special here as well – just some cabinets, a clear mug and a computer.
You can also see some Technic elements which are used to trigger the air traffic control tower’s play feature.
A section of the wall just pops out. Meh. I really don’t know if anyone appreciates play features like these. I have trouble believing younger kids actually enjoy themselves having a wall come off. I guess it makes the building a little more interactive, but how many times can you do this before getting bored?
The ground floor room is a lot more interesting – I really like the “Authorised Minifigures Only” sticker on the clear door. The interiors has a small hole that the Ant-Man microfigure can fit into.
There are 3 cardboard boxes with more Easter eggs. We get a few references to Marvel organisations such as A.I.M., who you may remember from Iron Man 3 as an R&D agency run by Aldrich Killian, Hammer, one of Stark Industries primary rivals which made an appearance in Iron Man 2, bankrolling Whiplash and finally a box with the Stark Industries logo on it.
Very cute and something that Marvel fans will undoubtedly enjoy.
The next part of the build is the definite highlight – Giant-Man. LEGO have done an amazing job creating a super-sized version of a minifigure, while at the same time retaining the minifig’s iconic look. It’s just 3 times bigger than a regular minifig, as you can see the comparison with Iron Man!
Giant-Man is a lot of fun. Like a regular minifigure, you can articulate his limbs with many of the same movements, except that his arms can rotate and swivel around more thanks to ball joints.
Like his brief role in the movie, the humongous version of Ant-Man is a lot of fun, and I daresay steals the entire show. With this LEGO set, he also steals the limelight and is hands down the best part of this set.
Here’s a closer look at Giant-Man’s face which I was surprised to discover is a printed element. Unfortunately, the rest of the tiles on his body are stickers which is a minor annoyance – thankfully the stickers are relatively easy to apply. Just be sure to align them properly so it doesn’t look too weird.
Even though they’re stickers, they still manage to look great and from afar, you can’t really tell the difference.
With Giant-Man and the microfigure Ant-Man, we finally have Scott Lang in all different sizes – venti, grande and tall.
Again, I need to reiterate that it’s a damn shame that we didn’t get a regular-sized Ant-Man minifigure in this set.
Anyway, here’s a photo of Ant-Man, playing with Ant-Man who is also playing with Ant-Man. Trippy.
Lastly, you assemble the Quinjet, this time branded as an Avengers Quinjet instead of a SHIELD one. Let’s start with the good bits first.
The Quinjet has some seriously nice curves on it. The way the slopes and curves are layered gives it a very sleek, almost organic aerodynamic look that’s very pleasant to the eye.
I’m also a big fan of the colour scheme as dark blue is one of my personal favourite LEGO colours (shoutout to the original Agents theme!) and you get plenty of useful pieces with the build – slopes and plates aplenty.
The wings of the Quinjet can be folded and tilted in a myriad of ways, giving it some much-needed playability since you can do quite a bit to manipulate the shape of it.
The back of the Quinjet pops open to reveal a small storage space and a string piece that LEGO minifigures can dangle off from.
There’s also a pretty neat play feature – you twist a knob above the plane and twin stud shooters very elegantly pop out from beneath the jet. It’s a cool feature but I don’t really like the position of the knob on the roof of the Quinjet. For all its sleek curves, the black knob just sticks out like a sore thumb.
I also really hated applying the cockpit sticker. It looks great but it was a massive pain getting it aligned properly. I literally had to rip it out and redo the sticker at least 3 times. Not cool, LEGO – just give us printed cockpit glass.
The Quinjet is tiny! Look at how much the Quinjet has shrunk since the original one from 6869 Quinjet Aerial Battle! By the way, 6869 is one of my favourite Marvel sets simply because the original Quinjet is such a gorgeous vehicle and is an excellent display piece.
I can’t say the same about the Quinjet from 76051. It’s just too small and ends up looking like a small support aircraft instead of a proper Quinjet.
As such, I’ll probably not opt to display the Quinjet on my shelf. Taking the size of the box into account and seeing that this is the flagship Civil War set, I really had higher expectations from the Quinjet and would’ve liked it to be at least 0.5 times larger.
It’s a shame because I quite like the new Quinjet’s organic, almost bird-like design. It would probably increase the piece count, but for a set that costs this much and the Quinjet being the focal point of this set, it really left me wanting for more.
What I liked:
- Decent selection of exclusive minifigs
- Lots of dark blue elements after you strip the Quinjet down
What I didn’t like:
- Set is really pricey for what you get
- Air traffic control tower is quite unecessary
- Recycled Captain America minifig
- Quinjet is underwhelming
- An Ant-Man minifigure should’ve really been included
Final thoughts: I really wanted to like this set. It had all the elements that would’ve made this a theoretically great set but it just somehow falls over. I tend to evaluate the largest sets in the theme with a lot more of a critical eye – mostly because they’re quite a significant investment, so naturally you expect a lot more.
This set does a few things right – namely Giant-Man. He is the main drawcard of this set and doesn’t disappoint at all. It’s a truly unique model that has been executed perfectly. I really loved how well the designers managed to nail the shape and form of a minifig at such a scale.
In fact, I would very much like to see a whole series or line of supersized brick-built minifigures. I think they would sell pretty well due to the fact that they look awesome on display, especially when you place a regular-sized minifig next to them.
The minifigure lineup is also another strength of the set, with a great bunch of minifigures that are unique (for now) to this set. Iron Man, War Machine, Agent 13 and an updated Scarlet Witch are great additions to the collections of any Marvel Super Hero fan. War Machine, specifically is just jaw-droppingly awesome.
Unfortunately, the rest of the set just isn’t up to scratch. The air traffic control tower is okay but not spectacular or noteworthy in the slightest. It seems to function more like a prop and in some ways, that’s a good thing as it’s the only solid indication that this is an airport-themed set.
The Quinjet is the most disappointing one of all. While I love the dark blue colour scheme, I feel that it’s just a little too small for my tastes. If this was a AU$50 set, the size could perhaps be justified but for a set that costs AU$130, I expect a lot bigger.
There’s also something pretty weird about the Quinjet’s shape that I can’t quite put my finger on what it is. It just seems unbalanced, or a bit too bulky for such a diminutive jet.
As an adult collector, most of the set’s play features are kind of lost on me, and as a whole, I would’ve wanted this set to be a lot more visually appealing. As it stands, it does seem like its skewed towards playability which is great for younger kids or parents looking to reward their children with a large Super Heroes set.
Objectively, there isn’t a lot that’s particularly wrong about this set and for people that are less critical than me, it’s not that bad of a set if you’re looking for a fun playset-style model. If you’re a huge Marvel fan, you pretty much have to buy this set to get your hands on Giant-Man and the exclusive minifigs.
I display most of my Super Heroes sets, but apart from Giant-Man, I foresee myself packing this one up pretty quickly and putting most of it into storage.
Thanks again for reading! If you own this set, I’d love to know what you thought of it in the comments section!
Not sure if you’ve noticed but I tried to hide Ant-Man in most of the photos. See how many you can spot!