Lego has released their largest Super Hero themed set yet, The SHIELD Helicarrier. Nearly 3,000 bricks and it will run you $350. This is aimed squarely at the adult collectors (or the kids lucky enough to have cool parents). I got one and built it. Read on to hear my thoughts on the set in terms of construction, value, and playability, with exclusive photos.
The loose rule of thumb when buying Lego is that a brick costs somewhere just over 11 cents. Breaking that down, this set is slightly on the higher end but that’s common for Lego’s largest sets. It’s still a pretty great value, relative to other Lego sets (or other construction sets for that matter). For comparison’s sake, the Lego Death Star had 3,800 bricks and went for $400. You definitely pay more for Lego compared to Mega Bloks, McFarlane’s Walking Dead sets, Kreo, or other construction sets but I will say that I’ve built with them all and Lego has something going for it: their bricks always work. They use better quality plastic and their quality control for size is unparalleled. Basically, other sets will have bricks that won’t snap together well. They’ll either be too loose or too tight and either way, the set is a bit unstable. I’ve never had that issue with a Lego set and as big as this thing is, none of it feels loose or wobbly.
Another great element is the attention to detail, which it has in spades when it comes to playability. The set comes with its own custom stand that you build so that it appears to be off of the ground. It has a winch in the back and when you turn it, it turns all four rotor blades. You can also buy a Lego motor to install and turn that on and off. The set comes with Lego statue figures which are an even smaller scale than their standard minifigs. This helps keep the set in proportion. You get mini statues of Captain America, Hawkeye, Iron Man, Nick Fury and a dozen or so SHIELD agents. There’s a great command center inside, or you can put them on the bridge or the runways.
The set also comes with three quinjets and three jets. They aren’t super detailed but they help add to the illusion that the helicarrier is a busy deck. There’s a clear pole so that you can have one of the quinjets flying over the helicarrier. The set also comes with five SHIELD agent minifigs and a SHIELD stand for them: Hawkeye, Maria Hill, Captain America, Nick Fury and Black Widow.
As for the construction itself? I had a blast. This took me several hours a night over four evenings. It also has a lot of clever construction elements: for instance, the mechanism to let all four rotor blades turn with one crank. Also, the upper deck at an angle. I also appreciated the command deck because it has a clear hull window, nicely angled computer work stations and a dais for the SHIELD director to oversee his workers. The only redundant element is building four rotor blades but I didn’t find that boring. Not compared to something like the Lego Eiffel Tower, anyway, with repeated elements all the way around from the ground up.
Overall, I had a lot of fun building this and it’s a smart looking model to show off. I frequently regift or sell my Lego sets but one this large is a keeper.