Marvel fans are no doubt giddy with excitement at the thought that we are now only mere weeks away from the release of one of the most iconic comic book story arcs of all-time in movie form, Captain America: Civil War. With a story build-up of nearly a decade and twelve movies down, it’s safe to say that fans have been patient.
Set Number: 76047
Minifigures: Captain America (unmasked), The Winter Soldier, Black Panther
As the Marvel hype machine kicks off for another year, LEGO has once again joined forces with the comic book company to release movie tie-in sets for the aforementioned Civil War, a movie that merchandisers must be loving given that it features enough superheroes to field a football team.
The construction toy company has released three sets in the lead-up to the movie’s release, each with their own unique approach to the #TeamCap vs #TeamIronMan battle royale which splits the Marvel Cinematic Universe apart. What is great about the three sets is that, with the exception of the Winter Soldier, no minifigure variant appears more than once, meaning that if you invest in all three then you’re Marvel LEGO lineup is going to improve dramatically with almost every main character featured across the range.
Given Civil War will be the debut movie for Black Panther, it seems only right to look at his minifigure debut in the mid-range set, aptly named Black Panther Pursuit. With a price tag of £29.99, this isn’t going to break the bank and with three minifigures and three distinct vehicles, it’s an impressive haul for your cash.
Interestingly, the set includes three of the key characters from the movie, including the headliners, Captain America and Bucky “The Winter Soldier” Barnes, with MCU and LEGO newbie, Black Panther completing the trio. While Cap and Bucky (in promotional packs) have appeared before, both are unique variants and therefore, along with Black Panther, exclusive to the set – this alone is sure to get many collectors heads turning.
This new variant of Captain America features the character unmasked with a fresh head and hair piece. The combination of the two perfectly capture Steve Roger’s nice guy persona – whether that is a realistic depiction for this particular movie is yet to be seen, though. It’s interesting to note that the hair is a new piece for 2016, first used in black for the Superman in the Clash Of The Heroes set.
The torso and leg pieces are identical to those used for Cap in the Age Of Ultron sets, the SHIELD Helicarrier and the higher-end Civil War set, Super Hero Airport Battle. This isn’t that surprising given that movie Cap hasn’t had much of an armour upgrade either so the accuracy with the design is still very much appropriate. Much like his movie counterpart, the figure’s armour features the darker blue from the movie universe, a modest chest emblem and the hint of armour definition, barely visible without closer inspection. The remnants of his World War II suit is still very much apparent, including the leather belt and shoulder straps which continue on to the printing on the back. In addition to the minfigure itself, the super-soldier is, of course, sporting his circular shield.
After making his minfigure debut in a promotional polybag early last year, the Winter Soldier finally makes his retail debut in this set. Unlike Cap, Bucky’s design has had a complete overhaul for 2016, including giving his cybernetic arm a more worn look – after all it’s been a couple of years now since The Winter Soldier movie.
This minifigure is sporting the same hair piece as the previous variant, but that is where the similarities end, the rest of the design is entirely new, including a dual faced head piece which has both an angry determined look and a good guys smirk. The torso piece is impressively detailed, with a black and gray outfit which appears to have taken influence from both SHIELD and Hydra, a stealthy black ops style uniform with just a hint of crazed assassin.
Compared to his last outing, the cybernetic arm detail has had considerable improvements made to it, featuring an extra layer of detail lines and the faded red star, signifying his soviet past. The Winter Soldier’s weapon of choice here is a submachine gun, a reasonably rare weapon these days with LEGO opting more for the stud-launcher style guns.
The star of the show has to be Black Panther, what an impressive debut into minfigure form – I just hope the movie version looks half as good as this LEGO creation. Despite the fact that neither the legs, nor the arms have any printing on them at all, the rest of the figure more than makes up for this oversight.
The torso piece, while incredibly simple in design, looks absolutely stunning both front and back. The design is almost entirely black with a silver and dark gray pattern which extends across his torso. This is far from the highlight of the Wakandan super hero, though.
Moving up to the head and the geometric design continues with impressive markings, again both front and back, along with piercing yellow eyes. The most interesting part of the minifigure, though, is the new piece which sits on the top of the head and gives the Panther his upward pointing ears. While the designers could have chosen to create a unique head shape for the character, they instead went with a tiny add-on which continues and completes the pattern leading up the head. It’s a fantastic addition and something that really makes the character stand out amongst his peers.
Winter Soldier’s Motorbike
The Black Panther Pursuit set contains three individual vehicles, one for each of the minifigures. The Winter Soldier’s chosen mode of transfer is none other than a motorcycle.
While the bike is fairly standard in terms of the pieces used, it is worth noting that this is the first time that the red top and silver frame have been used in this combination and, quite frankly, it looks stunning. Apart from the colour variation, though, there isn’t anything too stunning about this motorcycle and it adds very little to the build time.
Captain America’s 4×4
The First Avenger’s choice of transport in this pursuit is a two-tone blue and black jeep. This vehicle screams military with the huge wheels, the barred windscreen and front bull bar above the bumper, it is exactly the kind of vehicle you’d find Cap driving in the comics. There is a spring-loaded missile launcher built into the front of the vehicle, disappointingly, though, there is no button or trigger to activate it, simply the back end of the missile.
While the military look does suit the character and situation well, I can’t help but feel slightly underwhelmed by the vehicle as a whole, it’s a little too spartan for my tastes, maybe a large machine gun mounted on the back, Halo Warthog-style, might have improved the look. That said, with the movie not out yet, it is difficult to speculate on how this design might relate to the source material.
Black Panther’s Jet
The absolute highlight of the set, and the majority of the build time, is Black Panther’s Jet – damn this guy is having a great LEGO debut. The picture on the box does not do this vehicle justice, it isn’t until you hold the completed build in your hands that you realise just how stunning, and intelligent a build this is.
The incredible use of both chunky block pieces and hinges to produce the aerodynamic look of a stealth fighter is just brilliant, made even more impressive by the extremely strong fuselage. It is the gloriously eye-catching wings which benefit most from this design, connected to the body of the aircraft using three swivel hinges to allow them to extend out at a 45-degree angle, creating a unique and futuristic look brilliantly.
As you build the jet you quickly realise that the focus is on the look and design, there are no stud-launchers, no moving parts at all except for the cockpit and while that may be great for collectors, it might actually limit the play time for younger Marvel fans.
That said, the attention to detail is impressive, the use of slopes and tiles to cover up the studs along the fuselage adds so much to the overall look. The build quality so ridiculous for a set of this size, it is such a sturdy creation, it is unlikely to fall apart during rough play, that’s for sure.
This is by far one of the greatest small to mid-sized jets that LEGO have ever designed, I can’t say enough good things about it, this levitated the set well above what you’d expect for this price range.
The Set Overall
Overall, whether for display or play, the Black Panther Pursuit will have you saying, “WOW”. At under £30, the value for money is astounding by LEGO standards given that not only does the set include three exclusive minifigures, all top-billed superheroes from the movie I might add, but also three completely different vehicles.
Despite the 4×4 being a tad underwhelming, Black Panther’s jet more than makes up for it with one of the best LEGO designs I’ve ever seen, especially in this particular price range.
Collectors are going to love displaying this set, children are going to love building and then playing with this set, highly recommended.
This set was provided for review purposes. However, all reviews reflect the authors own personal views and are not influenced in any way.