Review: LEGO Benatar Guardians’ Ship delivers an unmatched and authentic tribute to the MCU

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LEGO’s Infinity Saga collection imagines several iconic moments from throughout the entire Marvel universe, and the lineup’s flagship creation enters as one of the most detailed kits of the year. Delivering the most authentic recreation of the Benatar to date, the LEGO Guardians’ Ship arrives as one of the year’s most awaited builds. Not slated to launch in the United States until August, we’re taking an early hands-on look to see just how impressive the upcoming model actually is. Head below for all of the details.

Hands-on with LEGO Benatar Guardians’ Ship

Appearing in Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame as the Guardians of the Galaxy’s ship, the Benatar has seen its spot in the LEGO limelight once before back in 2018. While the original model left a lot up to the imagination, to say the least. Now, to mark the occasion of the Infinity Saga, the LEGO Group is giving the ship yet another chance to live up to its on-screen potential with the largest build in the wave.

Stacking up to the second-largest LEGO Marvel build of the year (only behind the massive Daily Bugle we recently reviewed), the Guardians’ Ship is comprised of 1,901 pieces. Assembled out of a nice mix of grey and orange bricks, the kit delivers a build that’s quite true to its on-screen counterpart. Its wingspan measures over 23 inches, while you’re looking at a 14-inch long model depth wise. With such a large footprint, most of the details are actually packed into the main body, which comes decked out with a complete interior.

Alongside a cockpit with room for both a main pilot and another minifigure, there are some details throughout the back. You’ll notably be able to fit all of the included characters into the ship thanks to three seats, but there are also some extra inclusions like a miniature break room of sorts to fill out the cargo.

On the outside, there are plenty of little flaps and fins that can be posed alongside the rear engines for simulating in-flight action from the films. Otherwise, there aren’t too many actual play features other than its attention to detail, which should make it just as cool to put up on display as it is for play.

The LEGO Group completes the package on the new Guardians’ Ship by carrying over some additional UCS vibes thanks to the inclusions of a rotating display stand. It features a tilted design that lets you strike some dynamic poses with the ship in your collection, which goes a long way to making this a display-worthy set.

A closer look at the highlights

As far as standout inclusions of the LEGO Guardians’ Ship, the final model is about as eye-catching as they come. It may be a bit of a cop-out to say that the full finish kit is the most notable aspect of the build, but the overall size, shaping, and color scheme deliver a near-perfect creation.

Though for the actual intricacies, there’s plenty of little greebling all over the wings, which only continues to get even more eye-catching when you check out the engines around back. The LEGO Group has leveraged so many ingenious techniques to pull off the play features and intricacies that it feels more like a fan-made creation than something officially from the company.

Accuracies and details aside, my favorite aspect of the LEGO Guardians’ Ship is that it manages to pack UCS-level displayability into a kit that’s still fit for playscale. As cool as a massive version of the Benatar would have been, I really appreciate that it still fits right alongside the rest of the Marvel lineup and is scaled appropriately. Going with this design choice is a fantastic compromise that still delivers a build fit for collectors while entering at a more affordable price.

Guardians of the Galaxy, meet the Benatar  

A crucial element of the Benatar itself is the actual Guardians of the Galaxy who fly the vessel all around the galaxy, and the LEGO Group is delivering on the expected cast, for the most part. There are six minifigures included in the kit headlined by Peter Star-Lord Quill himself alongside Rocket, teenage Groot, and Mantis. Fittingly for the Avengers: Infinity War theming, there’s also Thor in his appropriate attire. Lastly, you’ll find a generic Chitauri soldier to round out the Guardians’ Ship, which comes in just about all of the LEGO Infinity Saga sets.

Now, you may be thinking, “it’s the Guardians’ Ship; why didn’t the LEGO Group include Drax?” And I hear you, but the LEGO Group is so committed to the theming that by not including the brawny Guardian of the Galaxy, they’re being more faithful to the source material. After all, in Infinity War, Drax masters the ability to stand so still that he becomes invisible. So nice job, LEGO!

Though being serious for a moment, it is a shame to see one of the iconic Guardians of the Galaxy members not included in the build. If I had to pick one area that this set disappoints on, it would be the minifigure selection. Don’t get me wrong; the other included characters are top-notch. But it would have gone the extra mile to include Drax alongside the rest of the ensemble, even if it meant bringing the price up a little or nixing the play value offered by the Chitauri soldier.

LEGO Guardians’ Ship delivers on value and then some

As the LEGO Infinity Saga’s flagship set, the new Guardians’ Ship fittingly enters with a steep $149.99 price tag. Though for what you’re actually getting, that price is a steal in my book. At face value, the included 1,901 pieces and six minifigures are already a bargain on paper. But then, once you actually assemble the creation, you can tell the LEGO Group utilized every piece to its fullest extent in order to make this a must-have for MCU fans.

You won’t find a better value in all of the LEGO catalogs right now, in my opinion, especially amongst the licensed builds like Marvel or Star Wars. 

9to5Toys’ Take 

When we first got wind of the LEGO Group’s efforts to memorialize the greatest moments in the MCU with a new wave of kits, the first thing that came to mind for me was the hope of a UCS-style Benatar. And while it’s not exactly in the realm of the collectors series Star Wars sets, the LEGO Guardians’ Ship is about as close to the higher-end lineup as we’ve ever gotten from the Marvel theme.

From the attention to detail to the fact that we actually got an updated version of the Benatar shows that this set is for all of the hardcore Marvel fans out there, which is certainly fitting for the trip down memory lane that is the LEGO Infinity Saga.

Now all that’s to say that this isn’t a flawless set by any means. The minifigure selection is good but not great, and the reliance on stickers is a bit disappointing. Though for those imperfect aspects, this is about as good of a set as we’ve seen from the LEGO Group in years. Sure the Guardians’ Ship isn’t quite as legendary as the UCS Millennium Falcon from a few years back, but it does pack much of the same attention to detail and apparent love of the source material just the same.

It’s easily my favorite set of the year so far, and honestly probably one of the best creations of all-time. I build a lot of sets and the experience hasn’t been quite as fun as with the Guardians’ Ship in quite some time. Everything from the interesting techniques and smattering of details to the final model and overall source material stands out amongst the entire LEGO catalog, making the Guardians’ Ship an easy recommendation for MCU fans and builders alike.

Not slated to actually launch until August 1 in the United States, those looking to bring home the LEGO Guardians’ Ship ahead of time can score it early via Zavvi. Enough though it ships from the EU, mine arrived within a week or so of being ordered.

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