At long last, Marvel Civil War sets have begun popping up around the world. The heavily anticipated movie has Captain America going head to head against Iron Man and I’m extremely excited to watch it when it comes out in cinemas next month.
With the release of these new sets, I picked up my copy of Black Panther Pursuit from I’m Rick James Bricks for $45. They sell LEGO sets for just slightly under retail and I always try to support independent LEGO stores whenever I can.
LEGO have released 3 Captain America: Civil War sets to coincide with the movie and with the battle royale premise that splits Marvel Cinematic Universe characters into two opposing sides (#TeamCap vs #TeamIronMan), fans end up being the winning side as the sets are filled with some of the most popular MCU characters.
Captain America: Civil War also sees the cinematic debut of fan-favourite Black Panther, who is also set to star in his own standalone movie in 2018. For my first Civil War set review, I’ve opted for 76047 Black Panther Pursuit, featuring Black Panther’s first outing as a LEGO minifigure!
Name: Black Panther Pursuit
Set Number: 76047
Price: AU$49.99 | US$29.99 (Buy from LEGO.com [AUS] [USA])
Exclusive to: N/A
Theme: Marvel Super Heroes Civil War
Year of Release: 2016
Instructions: Book 1
Black Panther Pursuit is a medium-sized Civil War set and features 3 outstanding minifigures. We get 2 from the side of #TeamCap, Captain America himself and his BFF, Bucky Barnes aka the Winter Soldier. Over on #TeamIronMan, we have the very first Black Panther minifigure – the star of this set.
Long-time Marvel fans will no doubt be very happy to add him to the ever-growing universe of Marvel Super Heroes minifigures and will most likely make this one of the most popular sets this year for collectors.
Here’s a closer look at the Captain America minifigure. This unmasked variant of Steve Rogers is exclusive to this set, but apart from his face, his body is identical to the minifigure in 76051 Super Hero Airport Battle, SHIELD Helicarrier and Avengers Age of Ultron sets.
This Captain America minifigure perfectly captures Steve Roger’s charismatic and nice guy look, complete with the new wavy hairstyle in nougat that first made its appearance on Superman in 76044 Clash of the Heroes.
The printing on his torso is crisp and sharp, and combines futuristic armour definition, with an old school leather belt and shoulder straps. I’m a little disappointed that we won’t get any leg printing, which I’ve come to expect in licensed sets minifigures. The plain blue legs don’t detract from the overall look, but I’m all for details printed across the minifig – the technology is there after all.
Here’s a look at Captain America’s back printing and his alternate face, which has your typical angry and exasperated look. The printing on the back continues the detail from the front and has a metal clasp for his leather harnesses.
I’m a big fan of Captain America’s torso as it does a great job replicating Steve Roger’s suit from the movie but was slightly miffed that we don’t get an updated version from the 2015 versions. I’m not a fan of LEGO reusing torsos and body parts from previous sets.
Apart from the face and new hairdo, we’re not getting anything new here which sucks, as you’d think LEGO and Marvel would bother to update the look for the Civil War sets. A very lazy move from LEGO, although I can see why they’d do it – why invest in a new print when you can simply recycle an existing one and save costs.
The Winter Soldier minifigure on the other hand is a breath of fresh air. Bucky Barnes makes his debut in a regular retail set (after previously showing up in a promotional polybag promo last year) with a brand new look – mostly to reflect his “conversion” to be a good guy in Civil War.
Bucky has a sleek, mostly black outfit with what seems to be plenty of kevlar armour and straps, giving him a very stealthy spy look. He’s got a brand new face with a good-natured smile and some nice details such as the stubble across his jawline.
Here’s a look at the back printing on his torso, which has more of that lovely padded armour look as well as an angry/determined look.
Like the polybag version, the Winter Soldier minifig has his silver cybernetic left arm, which is slightly updated with more silvery details across the different segments. The red star is also slightly faded, perhaps to indicate him growing further apart from his origins as a Soviet agent.
I’m really pleased with his choice of weaponry, we get an uzi machine gun which hasn’t shown up in too many sets and looks really realistic. Hurray for no stud blasters or kiddy-looking guns.
Here’s a comparison with the previous version of The Winter Soldier which has a lot more of an evil-vibe to him. Like Captain America, I’m a little bummed out that we didn’t get any leg printing on him, whereas his predecessor had a leather strap on his right leg.
The star of this set is undoubtedly Black Panther, who makes his first showing as a LEGO minifigure. I’m extremely excited to see him on-screen and to also own him as a LEGO minifigure. Black Panther’s design is pretty straight forward, he’s mostly black with several geometric silver and dark grey markings that extend across his torso.
The Wakandan super hero’s most interesting feature is his new headpiece, which I’ll get into further down this post. I like the overall simplicity of Black Panther’s look, but there are some niggling issues.
A glaring omission is printing on his arms and legs. It’s a shame that the great torso printing doesn’t extend across his entire body.
Here’s a look at Black Panther’s back printing, which has more symmetrical patterns running across his back. There are also additional patterns on the back of his head, which is nice. An alternate face would’ve ruined the sleek look, good call by the designers here.
Here’s a closer look at Black Panther’s head, which has the curious new accessory affixed to it. It’s a completely separate piece which sticks onto the top stud of his head, kind of like a cap. The piece has two pointy bits extending out the back for his ears and also has some silvery printing to it.
Here’s a look at it on its own. It’s a really bizarre accessory, but I get what the designers were going for to give Black Panther his pointy-eared look. You even get a spare which is nice.
It fits perfectly over Black Panther’s head and is in the same dimensions as a minifigure’s head, which means you can affix hairpieces or headgear on it snugly.
While I like Black Panther’s design, I can’t help but feel that the extra piece of headgear makes the minifigure look a little odd. It adds a few millimetres on top of the minifigure’s head, which throws the proportions off slightly from what you’d expect of a normal minifig.
The very visible fissure between the head and headgear is also quite jarring, but I do understand the designer’s efforts to incorporate Black Panther’s iconic pointy ears into the overall design.
In this case, I would’ve much preferred a slightly oversized head, like one of the Chima minifigs or even a custom-moulded minifig head with pointy ears sticking out. The latter might break LEGO’s design philosophy of not messing around with the conventional shape of the minifigure head.
That said, apart from that small cosmetic feature, Black Panther is still a decent minifig and for the most part, looks pretty damn cool.
The Winter Soldier comes with a gorgeous red motorcycle. The red top and the silvery frame is a new combination that’s never seen before and just looks incredible.
Before we get started on the build, here’s a look at the sticker sheet for Black Panther Pursuit. Not too many “essential” stickers as these are largely just for decorative purposes and for sticker haters, you could probably skip out on applying these and not detract from the overall build.
You start off the set by assembling a 4×4 for Captain America. The two-tone blue and black colour scheme makes this 4×4 visually striking, with the colour blocking making it look like a vehicle that has just jumped out of the pages of a comic book.
The small vehicle nails the look of a military 4×4 thanks to the large tyres, steel windshield and the intimidating bullbar down the front. It’s nice and chunky, and just feels rugged – all the things you’d expect from a decent 4×4.
Here’s the side view of the 4×4 where you can see the “TASKFORCE” sticker applied to the back end. No idea what it means, but it does sound like the “Taskforce” plays a central role in the Civil War movie. Perhaps to enforce superhero registration?
I really like the front of the 4×4, and here you can see the bullbar as well as a sneaky black spring loaded missile hidden between the bars.
The back has a flat area for cargo or for Bucky Barnes to hitch a ride on.
The 4×4 is 6 studs wide which means there’s not enough space for a passenger to sit next to Cap. I’m not a fan of the spring loaded missile jutting out into the passenger area. You’re meant to nudge it downwards to fire it, but it just looks like it doesn’t belong there and I swiftly removed the missile after I was finished with photography.
I liked that the windshield tilts towards the driver. Overall, the 4×4 is a really solid build that’s enhanced by its great colour scheme and hefty appearance. Apart from the spring loaded shooter, I really liked that were no gimmicks (such as flick fire missiles!) shoehorned into the vehicle and it mostly benefits from a clean design.
Black Panther’s Jet is the main build and boy, is it a beauty. The first thing that strikes you is the all-black colour scheme that’s loudly punctuated by the bright purple accents on the wings and the aircraft’s mid-section.
The jet also has a really sleek design, with a strong and rigid fuselage that acts as the aircraft’s backbone and the beautiful wings that erupt both sides at an acute angle.
Here’s a look at Black Panther’s Jet from the side, which further enhances your viewing experience and lets you really appreciate its unique shape. From the side, you start to notice aesthetic similarities to the legendary SR-71 Blackbird which no doubt inspired the jet’s design.
The use of slopes and tiles to cover up the studs along the fuselage adds so much to the overall look. This is hands down one of the greatest small to mid-sized jets that LEGO have ever designed and truly demonstrates how far LEGO set designs have matured.
It’s a no-nonsense jet with zero gimmicks and I love the singular focus on getting the sharp, angular shape just right. There are no moving parts except for the cockpit and I was extremely surprised at how sturdy the jet felt. In my hands, it felt like a solid, exceptionally engineered model that wouldn’t fall apart even if I dropped it. I actually dropped it about 3 feet to test its sturdiness and it didn’t fall apart.
And for those into swooshing their LEGO jets, this one passes with flying (heh) colours.
Here’s a look at the underside of the jet. Again, nothing flashy and this is where they’ve (very cleverly) hidden two stud blasters. I love that they’ve concealed it from plain sight as stud-blasters usually look quite awkward and give LEGO models a kiddy feel.
Here’s the back of Black Panther’s Jet – nothing flashy here except for two constrasting lime green jet thrusters wedged between the tail and body.
The nose of the plane contains a delectable combination of slopes and curves, ending with a pointy end, which looks very much like the beak of an eagle or hawk. I would’ve loved a sleeker cockpit to complement the jet’s mostly flat shape but it doesn’t detract from the look at all.
The brilliant use of angled slopes that flank the jet’s nose really goes a long way in giving it a very nuanced organic look. I just love how the spaces between all the different elements are kept to a minimum using razor thin margins.
Here’s a look at the inside of the cockpit, which features some striking lime green slopes, a stickered display and a fire extinguisher. The fire extinguisher might seem like an odd addition, but I do recall reading somewhere about a particular LEGO designer who includes fire extinguishers in sets he/she designs (eg: 76021 The Milano Spaceship Rescue) as a sort of a calling card.
What I liked:
- Decent selection of minifigs
- 4×4 is basic but well designed
- One of the best LEGO jets ever designed
What I didn’t like:
- Black Panther’s head accessory
- Recycled Captain America torso
Final thoughts: I had such a pleasant experience putting this set together. For a medium-sized set, it definitely hit all the right notes for me. The minifigures included were great, underscored of course by the introduction of the Black Panther minifigure, which isn’t perfect but is still a decent minifigure.
The Winter Soldier is a fantastic variant of his previous version but I can’t quite say the same of Cap, who has lazy recycled torso. It’s appeared in like what, 6 sets and counting so far which is truly disappointing since LEGO has no problem giving us so many different versions of Iron Man. Why can’t Cap get the same treatment? Some battle-scarred attire would’ve been a great upgrade but instead, we get the exact same torso from 2015.
Black Panther Pursuit manages to break the mould of Super Heroes sets existing only as vehicles for minfigures by including not one but two incredibly designed vehicles. Captain America’s 4×4 is basic in all the right ways, boasting an attractive two-tone colour scheme that gives the military vehicle a very clean no-nonsense look with minimal gimmicks.
The crown jewel of this set is undoubtedly Black Panther’s Jet – a revelation of a LEGO model that blends outstanding aesthetics and an incredible design. The jet’s amazingly sleek look and rock solid build left me amazed as soon as I completed it. This is well and truly an outstanding minifig-scale jet and one of the best that LEGO have ever produced in a retail set.
This set completely and overwhelmingly satisfied me. It’s one of those rare LEGO sets where you can tell that the designers went above and beyond to deliver an amazing building and play experience that is just one step above most other sets on the market right now.
Black Panther Pursuit is an incredible and memorable set to debut and introduce Black Panther into the LEGO universe and is a must-buy if you’re a fan of Marvel movies or LEGO sets.
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