As you may have seen if you have been following our posts for a while, we have been pretty excited about Marvel’s Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N since it was first announced. And we were lucky enough to be invited along to the press launch day.
So I’m here now to tell you all about our thoughts, and ultimately – if you should go yourselves.
The London venue for S.T.A.T.I.O.N is just outside the ExCel in East London’s Docklands, a very short walk from the Prince Regent DLR station and opposite the Aloft hotel. I consider anything within a 5-10 minute walk from a tube station “easy to get to”, and S.T.A.T.I.O.N is less than that!
As you arrive at the Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N you and the other guests are sent to the initial training room, where Agent Hill (from the films/series’) greets you on the screens, quickly checks you’re not a Hyrda agent and then informs you that you’re a recruit about to enter a training facility to become an agent to work and fight alongside the Avengers, should the need arise.
After the introduction, you’re to learn all about the Avengers, and are led through various zones where you’ll learn in great detail about the members of the Avengers team and their enemies.
Starting with Iron Man (aka Tony Stark) you’ll learn of his origins as a person and, then, as a hero. There are lifesize models of the MK1 through to MK8 Iron Man suits, as well as the Hulk Buster Armour! The first interactive exhibit features a partical collider where you can assist Tony Stark in finding new elements that could be suitable for upgrading his tech. Finally the last part of the Iron Man section is another interactive exhibit where you use an Xbox One Kinect to run a training exercise in the Hulk Buster Armour against Ultron’s robot army!
Leaving the Iron Man area you lead into The Hulk (aka Bruce Banner) area, where it is more of the same theme as the previous. You learn of the origin of The Hulk, can see life size replicas of The Hulk’s hands and learn about gamma radiation.
Next up is Captain America (aka Steve Rogers), where after learning of his unlikely origins, you can sit atop the motorbike he rode during his first film.
Then you learn about Black Panther (aka T’Challa) and an awesome, if not quite Black Panther specific, interactive exhibit that tests your grip strength and compares it to those of the Avengers – unfortunately since my knee injury and lack of Jujitsu training my grip strength has lessened somewhat, and I was somewhere between Black Panther and Thor – I’m sure previously I’d have managed between Thor and The Hulk… *grumbles*
After testing your grip strength you go onto learn about my favourite Avenger, Thor Odinson. Naturally Mjolnir is there awaiting to test recruit’s worthiness, before you learn about Thor, and the interesting ‘science’ that S.H.I.E.L.D learnt from his arrival. And not forgetting, everybodies favourite villian, Loki – although a lot of the information on Loki was “Classified” to the recruits.
The next room featured the “lesser” Avengers: Hawkeye, Black Widow, Antman and Falcon where, once again, you learn about their origins and their kit. With the bit we found the most charming here was the projected ‘ants’ that guide you towards the Antman cabinet. When you see it, you’ll understand why!
From here the recruits start to learn more about the adversaries that the Avengers have fought so far, from the Chitauri, to the Dark Elves, to Ultron and eventually Thanos and the Infinity Stones. As the “Museum” of all things Avengers starts to round off, the final training exercise for the S.T.A.T.I.O.N recruits takes place, a battle with Ultron himself!
If the recruits manage to vanquish this mighty foe, they pass the S.T.A.T.I.O.N program and become members of the Avengers program, ready for when the Earth’s need is greatest – and to show off this new elevated “station” the recruits are welcomed into the gift shop to buy promotional photos and Marvel goodies!
So that’s the run down of the Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. But what did I think of it?
As a huge Marvel fan, I thought it was both awesome and a tad disappointing – but definitely more the awesome end of the scale. The level of detail and immerson was incredible, getting to see many of the costume/suit replica’s so closely was fantastic. And things like Hulk’s hands, and the Hulk Buster Armour put things to scale – I’m a fairly big guy, and my hands looked puny compared to The Hulks.
My slight disappointment comes from, put simply, the lack of new details. While understandable that S.T.A.T.I.O.N is based upon the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), and thus would feature the information presented within those films. I felt that S.T.A.T.I.O.N could have been a great opportunity to provide fans with new information on the subject matter, tidbits not covered within the scope of the films – but I do understand that it doesn’t want to risk making things cannon that shouldn’t be cannon etc. But with us recently having started rewatching the Marvel films in order – much of the information displayed at S.T.A.T.I.O.N was still fresh in our minds.
But overlooking this small aspect, everything else at Marvel’s Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N was pretty awesome. Though clearly my big viking self should have been ‘worthy’ of Mjolnir!
It doesn’t take a long time to get around, we read everything and did everything there was to do, and it took us just under an hour to get round – but it was a press event, so there was probably less people about – so we didn’t need to queue for many of the interactive exhibits (it was only the Hulk Buster training that we did have to wait for) so on a public day it might take closer to the advertised 90 minutes.
Ticket prices are £25 for an adult, £14 for children and £60 for a family ticket. As for my recommendation – if you’re in London (either if you live there or are visiting for another reason) then get yourself and ticket and head on down! If you’re not in London, you’d probably want to have more than just this to do in London to make it a worthwhile day once you take into account travel costs etc.
It is a great experience for Marvel fans of any level, as a huge MCU fan I really enjoyed it, and I’m sure more “casual” fans would possibly get even more out of it that I did. And some of the more scientific aspects of it could be great as an educational tool for kids of the right age for those kind of subjects too.
Marvel’s Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N is open daily 10am to 10pm
Check out the link below for full details and to book tickets: