Monday, August 10th, 2015 at 2:24am by Jason, BZPower Reporter
It's time for another BZP Set Review, and this time BZP Reporter Xccj is taking a real close look at 76039: Ant-Man Final Battle, based off the latest Marvel movie. Is this set worth the heist, or should it be left to the bugs? Read on or watch to find out.
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
The front of the box features the final battle already in progress at a shrunken level, demonstrated by the large ant and LEGO pieces. You can see this set actually comes with three minifigures: Ant-Man, Yellow Jacket, and Hank Pym, as well as an advertisement for the movie. The back of the box shows off some of the sets play features, including the super jumper, stud shooter, and brick catapult. There's also an advertisement for the upcoming Avengers video game, and mention of a comic inside. The comic in question features two short stories based on the Ant-Man set and summer Spider-Man set.
This set has 183 pieces and goes for $19.99 USD. It is on the cheaper end of Marvel Super Hero sets, but still contains three unique minifigures. Just a warning, there will be some mild spoilers for the movie in this review, so proceed with caution. (Do you know that Ant-Man shrinks? It's crazy!)
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
The build isn't too interesting or complicated. The design of the ant reminds me of animal-like builds from Legends of Chima or Ninjago, as well as the various Creator sets.
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
I got about 183 pieces in this set, plus a few extras. The element that immediately jumps out at me are the two wing pieces, which are made of a flexible plastic with four pin holes on the end. They make for very good wings, and I'll be interested to see how they're used in MOCs. There's a fair smattering of dark red and dark blue pieces, some of which are fairly uncommon, as well as standard red and yellow bricks. Some other interesting elements are the dark pink 1x2 plates, the minifig backpack, and the dark brown spider legs, plus another clear Super Jumper. Another unique piece is the dark blue ant mold. When the Indiana Jones line was launched, they came out with a dark red ant mold, but the dark blue one is different and brand new, giving you two exclusive ants for this set. You also get a couple of stickers with the LEGO logo in red and yellow, as well as the top of a Philips head screw, which is a nice bit of detail.
The first of the minifigures is the Scott Lang Ant-Man, the main protagonist of the film. He has a black and dark red suit, complete with silver highlights, which does a good job of resembling the suit from the movie. His helmet is silver and has a trans red visor built inside. Lots of nice details on him.
Next up is Hank Pym, the original owner of the Ant-Man suit. His design is very similar to Scott's, only with a brighter red and without the silver highlights. This actually makes sense because it's essentially the same suit, just Scott's is the newer version that has some extra features. The helmet is also the same, but in black. While Hank is a nice addition to the set for collectors, he never did appear in this suit with Scott; he was only seen using it in a few flashbacks.
Finally we have Yellow Jacket, the antagonist. He also comes with a nicely detailed torso and legs, plus a new helmet of his own with a built in trans yellow visor. He comes with a brick build backpack that represents Yellow Jacket's weapons, which come in the shape of a stud shooter in the set. His helmet and backpack design is far blockier compared to the more elegant design from the movie, but that's kind of expected when the character gets transitioned over to LEGO, and I think he's still recognizable. Unfortunately, his massive backpack makes him very top heavy, so it's hard to stand him up without additional support.
All three figs do a decent job of representing their characters, but the torso and leg printing are also generic enough that I can see them being used elsewhere, like in space, so there's some versatility there. They also all reuse head designs from other characters. Scott's is from Ezra in Star Wars, Hank reuses Galdalf's from Lord of the Rings, and Yellow Jacket's has been used in various villain sets like Loki before. But in many ways, it's the helmets that define these characters, and since those are all custom made, the reused heads isn't a big deal.
On play feature LEGO is pushing for the Super Hero minifigures is the Super Jumper, which has been included in every DC and Marvel set this year. However, the Super Jumper clamps tightly to the fig's legs, which can cause them to crack. (And when you have detailed leg printing that you want to preserve, this is a bad thing.) My new method involves putting some of the spare studs on the Super Jumper, which lifts the legs up about the troublesome part and should potentially reduce any damage. However, the play feature is still fairly mild, so it doesn't take much away if you just want to ignore it.
The first real build in the set are the enlarged LEGO bricks. You have a "1x1" brick and "1x2" plate that connect together to form a catapult, which you can use to launch screws. The bricks themselves are about three times larger than normal, and the use of the LEGO sticker on the stud is great attention to detail. The two screw ammo pieces are also nicely designed. Granted, in the movie Ant-Man didn't construct a catapult out of LEGO to use against Yellow Jacket (which would've been pretty cool, honestly) but he did toss around some screws, and a yellow LEGO brick did make a cameo, so there is a bit of accuracy with their inclusion.
The main build is of the ant, who is likely supposed to represent Antony, one of the primary ant characters from the movie. First off, I have to give the designers credit for sticking with the insect anatomy; there are three body segments (head, thorax, abdomen) and six legs, plus the pair of wings. This is cool because they've not always followed that anatomy before. (I'm looking at you, four-legged Skull Spiders and Visorak!) the body segments make good use of the slopes to give it a rounder feel, which I think works out nicely. The head has some cool pinchers attached to clips, however it would've been nicer if the eyes had been more visible, because otherwise they kind of just blend in.
The wings turned out to be larger than I expected. The wing element is really well done, but its connection to the ball joint is less amazing, mostly due to the axles that stick out uncovered. I'm guessing that the reasoning to use the 3 length axles was that the two length axles wouldn't hold the wings together tight enough, but it still just looks a little too odd. Plus, the bright blue liftarms clash with the rest of Antony's color scheme. He's mostly dark blue on the top and dark red on the bottom, although the dark brown legs also counter that color scheme too. I don't remember Antony being blue in the movie; I think he was a black ant, but designing a totally black set would've been a little too dull, so that's probably why the designers opted for dark blue instead.
When I first build Antony, I was not impressed with the leg design. The use of the technic connectors to angle out the legs was neat, but the spider leg piece fit in too loosely and tended to rotate, making it a real pain to pose Antony. But it turns out this was part of a greater controversy. My model is apparently an earlier version of the set LEGO released, but since then they have rereleased the model to include an improved leg design. This puts an axle and a cone on the end of the technic bits, and then the spider leg fits into the cone more securely, increasing stability. In the picture, the top part demonstrates the new fix, with the bottom part showing off the original, weaker leg connection. It is nice that LEGO has attempted to fix this problem, although I do wonder how it got through to production in the first place.
The other half of the fun is in playing with the set. How well does the set function and is it enjoyable to play with?
There are a few play features here, like the aforementioned Super Jumper and stud shooter. The enlarged LEGO bricks also form a catapult to launch the screws, but in practice it doesn't launch them that far. Antony's play value is more similar to CCBS sets. He has articular for his head, abdomen, and wings, although the hinge on his abdomen is weak and tends to break off easily. Antony is difficult to pose when his six legs are loosely connected, because they will just rotate and he'll fall over. When you apply the fix, they're a little sturdier, so that helps. But they also make it more difficult to grab on to Antony to make him fly, so he's not very swooshable. At least there's a decent spot for Ant-Man to ride him.
Another interesting bit is that an actual 1x1 red brick and 1x2 yellow plate is included to represent the enlarged bricks at actual size, as well as a few ants at this scale too. A black minifigure head is also included, which I think is supposed to represent Yellow Jacket. It would've been nicer if we had gotten a minifigure statue for this scale, like those that came with the Helicarrier, but sadly we are left without a trophy-sized Ant-Man.
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
Good fig designs, true to the characters but somewhat reusable too
Correct Insect anatomy on Antony
I like the design of the enlarged bricks
Not too expensive at $19.99
What's not to like?
Yellow Jacket is top heavy.
Brick catapult is underwhelming, as is the Super Jumper
Axles and bright blue liftarms look out of place on wings
Antony's legs are loose if you get the older version of the set
In the end, I think it's a decent model considering the price, and does a good job at representing the characters from the movie. Antony has some design and posability issues, but overall he's very ant-like, and all the minifigures are recognizable too. Plus, the idea of using enlarged LEGO bricks to represent the change in scale was pulled off nicely. Anybody who's a fan of Ant-Man will want this set for sure. But if you're only a passive Super Heroes fan (or just get really creeped out by ants) then I might recommend some of the more iconic character sets first.