One of the biggest cinematic events this year is undoubtedly Avengers: Infinity War, which assembles what is literally an entire cinematic universe’s worth of Marvel superheroes together to do battle against Thanos, the biggest, baddest villain in the MCU.
Hitting cinemas in late April, the epic blockbuster has been a decade in the making and I am so, so excited to see all my favourite MCU characters on-screen against Thanos.
Ever since the first Avengers movie, LEGO has slowly but surely built their own building block universe populated with Marvel Comics and MCU characters. Not to be outdone by the movie, LEGO and Marvel have teamed up to offer a massive range of movie tie-in sets which seemingly features nearly every Infinity War character (for now) in minifig form, making it quite an event in itself.
To kick my series of LEGO Avengers Infinity War reviews off, I’ve selected 76102 Thor’s Weapon Quest, a small set that contains one of the most eagerly anticipated minifigs in the entire Infinity War theme – Teenage Groot!
Mild spoilers in the set as the Avengers: Infinity War isn’t out on cinemas till late April, although I will make a few assumptions here and there and the very nature of this set does spoil a few things.
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, at the very least, I’m happy to report that they’re all relatively easy to apply.
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).
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 sprue 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.
I think it’s slightly on the pricier side of sets, so this is definitely one of the sets where I’d encourage you to get on sale. The price to value ratio is unsurprising, given the licensing fees involved with Infinity War sets.
First up, we have Rocket Raccoon and Thor. Disappointingly, Rocket Raccoon is not exclusive in the set and is identical to the one from 2017 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.
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. Pity, as I was starting to warm to pirate Thor.
Here’s a look at the back prints on Thor, as well as Rocket’s tail.
Thor has an alternate face with his “Super Saiyan” God of Thunder look which has white pupils and streaks of electricity emerging from his eyes.
Thor also comes with a new weapon called the Stormbreaker axe, which is loosely based off Ultimate Mjolnir. 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.
Here’s every Rocket Raccoon minifigure ever. Again, I am really disappointed that they didn’t update the minifigure design at all, which seems lazy and stinks of cost-savings on LEGO’s part.
When you line them all up like this, you can see that LEGO going backwards with the level of detail on minifigs – the 2014 polybag Rocket Raccoon in the Ravager/Guardians uniform has both arm and even two-toned short legs, whereas the 2018 is a carbon copy of 2017 which has neither.
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 name suggests, these serve as various energy blast/projectile effects to accessorise your minifigs with.
I was initially quite apprehensive when I first saw them as they looked kind of kiddy, but after playing with them myself, I instantly developed an appreciation for these elements.
They’re cool in a 90s Dragon Ball way 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.
Kids are going to love them, and us adults can benefit from being able to have more accessories to photograph minifigs with.
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. I don’t know but that makes me feel extremely uncomfortable given that it drastically changes the tone of GOTG 1’s ending.
This is the Space Forge, a small cosmic, mystical structure that seems to suggest that it’s the place that Thor reforges the Stormbreaker axe. It’s a simple structure but it’s jazzed up by the transparent blue power burst elements.
It has a spinny 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 cash register by just sliding the bottom section outwards to reveal the freshly forged weapon.
Ding! Your Stormbreaker Axe is done, Mr Odinson!
At the back, there’s also a small pedestal for the Infinity 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.
There were a lot of new or uncommon elements employed in the build and it felt like you were doing something different at every stage.
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.
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 sand blue blends in together with the grey and dark grey elements in a very subtle yet pleasing manner, punctuated by sharp jolts of orange and translucent purple.
The Escape Pod as its name suggests, also connects to the Benatar (the new orange Milano from 76107 Thanos Ultimate Battle) by way of those Technic pins you see at the back.
The new flat transparent piece is also a great element to have.
The round glass dome opens up, and the Escape Pod comfortable seats 2.
You can easily lift off the roof of the Escape Pod to place Thor 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 pricepoint. 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’m picking up tomorrow.
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 get back a new souped-up Mjolnir. Can’t wait to see how this all goes down 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.