Minifigures and Mechs – More LEGO Marvel armor coming in January [Review] | The Brick of the Brothers
LEGO recently announced a series of new Marvel sets that will be available on January 1, 2021. Among them are three Mech armors – smaller sets that include a minifigure of a popular character and minimalist power armor they can stomp on. This wave includes 76168 Captain America Mechanical Armor (USD 9.99 | Can $ 13.99 | United Kingdom â¬ 8.99), 76169 Thor Mech Armor (USD 9.99 | Can $ 13.99 | United Kingdom â¬ 8.99), and 76171 Miles Morales Mechanical Armor (USD 9.99 | Can $ 13.99 | United Kingdom â¬ 8.99). At first glance, these sets seem a bit tinny and shoddy, but is it really? Could these little toys be big wins for LEGO and Marvel fans? We’ll walk through the ups and downs of each set, so you can judge for yourself!
The LEGO Group has provided The Brothers Brick with the first copies of these sets for review. Providing TBB with products to review does not guarantee coverage or positive reviews.
All three Mech Armor sets come in a square “thumb punch” style box. The boxes are smaller than the Mech 2020 offerings, which could be linked to LEGO’s efforts to improve the durability of their packaging. Each has the same basic layout, with the mechanical armor used by the character in a dynamic action pose. Each also has colors and logos appropriate to the Spider-Man or Avengers theme, and a 7+ age suggestion.
The backs of the boxes are also arranged in similar styles, this time with the minifigure on the outside of the mechanical armor. It’s funny for me that Cap’s works showcase “America’s (mechanical) assPointing to the mech from the back. (Obviously, the real pose was chosen to show the mounting of the shield, but I like my explanation better.)
Miles Morales Mechanical Armor
Miles Morales has appeared twice in LEGO form already; once in 2017 76036 Carnage SHIELD Sky Attack and in 2019 76113 Spider-Man’s Bike Rescue. It gained a lot of popularity thanks to the 2018 Into the Spider-Verse movie, so it’s not too surprising to see LEGO showcase it more prominently as the star of this set.
Inside the box are an instruction booklet, 3 coin bags and 1 web effect accessory pack for a total coin count of 125.
Digging into the rooms, this set includes a new printed logo tile and some new and rare colorful items. the breast plate only appeared black in two other sets, and the bar with clip in red is a new color for 2021 that will also appear in the backdrop of the 80107 Spring Lantern Festival. bar holder with handle medium blue has appeared a few times in the past (there were 4 in the 21304 London City Skyline Architecture set, for example), but is still quite rare and a bit of color in a predominantly red and black set.
All Mech Armor sets have the same basic design and build, with a few minimal styling changes giving each one that extra little character. For me, this is one of the better deals, as the basic tinny design works better for Spider’s nimble heroes than some of the beefier types. Miles’ mech has the thinnest feet of any mech ever released, and has unique hand constructions that clip onto canvases. The slender arms and legs feel appropriate, and the sheer blue canvas elements are a cute nod to Miles’ venom breath energy powers.
From the back you can see how the designers also made good use of all the different web elements in the Accessory Pack. The rear isn’t the best angle to view this set, however. The ball joints for the limbs are really noticeable and the underside of the plates isn’t the most attractive look.
As beautiful as the robot is, I have a feeling most people will buy this set to get their hands on the Miles Morales figure. And they would be right to do so. The first two versions of Miles were virtually identical, with only minor details updates. This time around, we get a brand new Miles wearing his signature hoodie, with silver accents on his mask and double-molded legs in gray and black.
Miles’ detachable hood is a (mostly) brand new piece. A similar element has been used in the past, but this version features a bit of double molded hair in the front. This new “base” version opens up many customization options for miniatures in the future. I really like the design of this one in general as it allows the head of the figure to turn easily, a step forward from the old one. Jedi hoodie styles years gone by.
Miles also looks great from the back, with double-sided printing on both the head and torso. It would have been easy for LEGO to forgo the head print since all of the artwork in the box shows him wearing the hood, which makes it an unexpected bonus.
Thor Mech Armor
At first glance, Odin’s son, a literal god, seems like a very unlikely candidate for needing a set of mechanical armor. But you never know. There have been many storylines over the years where Thor had been powerless for one reason or another, so maybe that’s the hook. Or maybe Thor just wanted to have fun stomping. It would also be in the character.
Thor’s mech has a slight edge in parts count, with 139 spread across three bags. It is also the only set in this wave to come with a sticker sheet.
Notable parts include a new printed tile that goes over the black chest plate. There are also two 6x4x1 windshield in red, a new color for this element.
While it would have been nice to see more pieces printed, this set makes good use of the sticker sheet to give the mech a more ‘Nordic’ feel. The slender arms and legs are somewhat disguised by very large hands and feet, and the oversized Mjolnir is a fun little build.
From the rear, the red windshields make a pretty decent heading analogue. They also hide thin arms. Another cute detail is the storage of the action figure-sized Mjolnir on the robot’s leg.
I see a missed opportunity in that the set designers didn’t turn the big hammer into “mechanical armor” for the minifigure scale hammer. It would have been pretty funny (and meta) to cut the smaller one into the larger one rather than just gluing it onto the mech’s leg. Still, the big hammer has a nice use of stickers and feels heavy enough.
The base Thor minifigure is the same like the ones that appeared in the Avenger 2020 sets, but he’s missing his red cape. His helmet coloring is new, appearing for the first time in a pearl silver hue.
Captain America Mechanical Armor
Considering the current rivalry between Captain America and Iron Man, this is another character that seems a bit out of place to see in armor. Still, Cap is never the type to give up a tactical advantage, so I can’t complain too much. And I’m definitely not going to complain about that giant shield element; when these sets were first revealed, it was the piece that immediately caught my interest. I forwarded the 4597 Captain America bigfig in 2012, so it seemed like a fun way to correct this error.
Cap’s mech is the smallest of the wave, with 121 pieces. It’s only four games behind Miles, so it’s not a big deal. The contents of the set are grouped in three bags and an instruction booklet. The shield element comes loose in the box.
The chest piece only appeared twice in dark blue, both in the Nexo Knights 2017 sets. The red bar with the clip is the same new color that appears in Miles’ mech. The 9 Ã 9 shield is a new print, having a more detailed pattern than that of the big fig of 2012. The smaller 2 Ã 2 printed tile also appears to be an updated design.
Of the three mechanical armors in this wave, Cap’s is probably the least impressive. The red, white, and blue color scheme works well, with the 1 Ã 2 plate with clips that attaches the chest plate even managing to suggest stripes on Cap’s abdomen. But overall, these are just blocks of color, and not very eye-catching.
From the rear, the mech is also quite bland. Depending on how it’s laid, you can at least get a good glimpse of the large shield in action. But even that could have been improved a bit by redesigning the connection to allow a standard 2 Ã 2 round tile in the center of the star. There’s also a rather odd choice of letting Cap store his minifigure scale shield on the mech’s peg. (They didn’t put it in the center of the back because you can store the large shield there, as seen on the back of the box.)
As for Cap himself, we’re treated to a whole new double-sided torso feel. The helmet, shield, and face prints are all common to his appearances in the 2020 Avengers sets.
The big question, however, is “can you piece together the end of Avengers: Endgame” with these mechs? The answer is a qualified yes. âCap’s mech hands don’t hold the big hammer very well, but with enough patience, you can balance it long enough for a commemorative snapshot.
Conclusion and recommendation
At first, I was quite skeptical about these sets. The miniatures were beautiful, but the mech suits were missing a lot. They all looked the same and felt a bit cheap. Then I remembered that these came at a price of US $ 10 – currently the same cost as two collectible figures in a blind bag. The average price per coin is just under 8 cents, which isn’t great. And if you’re willing to do some “alternative calculations” and remove the figures from the equation at $ 5 each, then the value per coin is only four cents per coin. And this very low report includes some very useful, rare and new items. Also in the plus column, they’re all pretty quick and fun to build. Could they be better? Sure. But not without increasing the cost a little. These sets seem to be great ways to get new (or at least fresh versions) of some very popular characters at a great price. Too bad they’re not in time for stocking stuffers this year … but they’ll be a nice addition to many Marvel fans’ post-holiday purchases.
76168 Captain America Mechanical Armor (USD 9.99 | Can $ 13.99 | United Kingdom â¬ 8.99), 76169 Thor Mech Armor (USD 9.99 | Can $ 13.99 | United Kingdom â¬ 8.99), and 76171 Miles Morales Mechanical Armor (USD 9.99 | Can $ 13.99 | United Kingdom â¬ 8.99) will be available on January 1 at LEGO stores and the LEGO online store. They may also be available through third party sellers on Amazon and Ebay.
The LEGO Group has sent The Brothers Brick the first copies of these sets for review. Providing TBB with products to review does not guarantee coverage or positive reviews.
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