Back in 2014 Marvel unleashed one of their lesser known team of comic book ‘heroes’ into their ever expanding Cinematic Universe. It also took the MCU into cosmic realms of the far reaches of space. The Guardians of the Galaxy became an instant classic, thanks to its lovable characters, witty quips and awesome mixtape of music. Alongside the release of Guardians of the Galaxy in 2014, LEGO® released three sets based on the movie and as Guardians of the Galaxy prepare to take on the biggest and baddest a-holes the universe has to offer once more, a trio of new sets have just been released. We’ve been lucky enough to have the opportunity to build all three of the new LEGO Marvel Super Heroes Guardians of the Galaxy sets and here’s our review of set 76081: The Milano vs. The Abilisk.
Get set for an epic space battle as Star-Lord and his unlikely allies take on the Abilisk, featuring the Milano spaceship with two stud shooters, bomb-drop function, movable wings and an opening four-minifigure cockpit. The Abilisk monster features moving tentacles and an opening mouth to role-play a daring rescue mission. Includes four minifigures and a Groot figure.
- Set Number: 76081
- Minifigures: Star-Lord, Gamora, Nebula and Drax, plus a Groot figure
- Piece Count: 460
- Price: £44.99 / $49.99
- The Milano measures over 3” (8cm) high, 7” (19cm) long and 14” (37cm) wide.
- The Abilisk measures over 2” (7cm) high, 3” (8cm) wide and 7” (20cm) deep.
When the Guardians of the Galaxy sets were first revealed, I knew I needed to get the full team of Guardians, like I did the first time around. With LEGO cleverly spreading the characters across the three sets, I worked out that with the minifigures from the 2014 sets and the ones in this years sets, I didn’t really need to get the Milano, especially since the ship was one of the sets to be released back in 2014, but I would be very much mistaken.
The build begins with the huge pink beast you’ll have seen the Guardians attacking in the various trailers. Although it’s rather a lot smaller than the one shown in the trailers, it does a decent enough job of capturing the look of the mysterious monstrous Abilisk. In fact it reminds be a little of the portal beast which features in last years Doctor Strange set. In fact the Abilisk beast uses the same tentacles elements as the portal beast. However some of the elements used to connect the pink coloured tentacles to the gears, are a different colour and it looks a little odd. Those tentacles and the main mouth of the beast are all built upon a trio of gears. When turned, it gives the impression the Abilisk is flailing those tentacles.
After you have completed the Abilisk, you move onto the Milano, which is split across three bags of elements. With the whole thing beginning with this crazy collection of elements you can see above. Those multi-coloured collection of parts are the most intriguing thing I think I’ve ever built, even more so when you realise it’s such a small part of the overall build. How the dickens the LEGO designer came up with this little bit of the build is as crazy as the build itself.
Those elements are used to create the front section of the Milano and help give the ships its unique shape and you have to admire how it’s been constructed. I remember the same section of the previous Milano was a little unstable and would easily pop off if picked up hastily, which isn’t ideal is your flying it around the house. But the new Milano doesn’t suffer the same problem.
The wings are built separately to the main body of the ship and then connected to it via a series of Technic pins. Once connected to the rest of the wings, the additional detail is built across them and the ship. The four mini wings on each tip of the wings are all able to be positioned in various ways to help give them their unique look. There is one iffy bit on along the front edge of the each wing, there are two 3×10 right shell elements which click onto a simple stick 6m w/flange piece, due to the nature of the connection, it’s a little tricky to clip them together as the stick element naturally has some give. It feels like it could easily snap, but as long as you click it on carefully you should be safe.
The rear of the Milano is a little ugly, especially with the two Technic bricks being visible. Although it doesn’t distract too much from the overall look of the ship. There is a little detail been built into parts of the the ships rear, such as the engine booster dead centre and four adjustable sub-wings. Those red disc you can see are ‘drop bombs’ which can be deployed by pushing the cross axles just poking above each wing. There are also two pop-stud shooters on each wing, which have become a stable of many Super Hero sets in recent years.
When you compare both the 2014 Milano with the 2017 Milano one, you can see they are vastly different. The new version is certainly much smaller and features less detail especially in terms of an inside. The cockpit can just about squeeze in two minifigures compared to the whole crew, minus Groot, in the previous version. It’s a shame the awesome brick-built 80s boombox is no more, but at least it’s represented by a sticker. But despite the smaller nature of the new ship, I found the build experience is certainly more interesting.
For many, this set will be purchased in order to expand their minifigure collection, this set contains an impressive four minifigure along with the brand new Baby Groot microfig, meaning you get most of the crew. Star-lord and Gamora both have the Guardians new grey coloured uniform, with both minifigures using the same torso and legs. Peter Quill has the same face design as his previous version and Jurassic World’s Owen, which I love, as they of course are all played by Chris Pratt. This time around Peter has a new luxurious hair element, which is a orange brown version of Bruce Wayne’s hair do from The LEGO Batman Movie range. You can also replace the hair with Star-lord’s helmet element. Gamora uses the same hair element has before but has a slightly different double printed face print.
Drax is almost exactly the same as his previous version, although his face is a little sharper than before as is the tattoo printing on his torso. He also has different coloured trousers this time around opting for a blue pair. Finally Nebula joins the Guardians team in the new movie, her minifigure features the same outfit she worn in previous sets but it’s a little more tatty and the colour of her blue skin is a little lighter than her previous version. When you compare the characters from the new set and the 2014 Guardians of the Galaxy sets, the slight tweaks in their design are a vast improvement, especially Peter’s new hair and the sharper printing on Drax.
As you see Baby Groot is a brand new element, I did expect a re-skinned version of the new baby element when I first heard we’ve be getting a LEGO Baby Groot. But this version is much smaller than that and also has ‘hands’ which can hold various elements. In this set he’s got a couple of Annulax batteries, he can also fit in other minifigures hands and has a hole in his base so he can sit atop studs. Considering Baby Groot is such a small element the printing is incredible, perfectly capturing his lovable face.
Although smaller than the 2014 Milano, I do like the overall shape of this new version even if it is lacking in the same level of detail. That front section of the ship is still one of the most impressive collection of elements I think I’ve ever put together. The minifigures have been seen in previous sets, however the tweaks to their designs make them much better this time around. But the star of the show is most definitely Baby Groot, who is almost as cute as his movie counterpart. Should you pick up this version of the Milano if you already own the 2014 version? Most certainly, it offers a completely different build experience and the final build is a little more stable than the previous one as well. Sure it lacks a little when you compare the two but the kind of prefer the new smaller version. Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 opens in cinemas next month and you’ll find the LEGO Marvel Super Hero sets including the new Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 sets in-stores and online now.