I always found myself watching a superhero movie, but Iron Man released in 2008 changed the way I watch these movies. I think these movies changed everything. Unfortunately these movies did not change Lego’s strategy about MCU sets immediately.
If you are a huge fan of Marvel Cinematic Universe, you already know movies are grouped in phases and first three phases are part of The The Infinity Saga. We are currently in phase 4 which now also includes additional Disney+ series. You may check my posts under “Movies & TV Series” for more detailed information about overview of movies and TV series.
Before going deep dive analysis for an overview, please remember that this post is only related with MCU related sets. So, none of the sets released under any other subtheme are not part of this discussion. You may check other Avengers movie specific posts for short info about available and recommended sets.
Early years in MCU (Phase 1 & 2)
For phase 1, we have not received any sets for Iron Man, Iron Man 2, The Incredible Hulk, Thor and Captain America: First Avenger movies in the beginning. Luckily we received sets for the first Avengers movie in 2012. We received 4 different sets and some additional polybags mainly including minifigures whereas one of the polybag was a micro scale of Quinjet.
For phase 2, we were happy to receive 3 different sets and a polybag for Iron Man 3 movie. So, we started to think we will be also getting new sets for every single MCU movie. However, that did not happen. We never received sets for Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Thor: The Dark World movies in 2013 and 2014.
However, in 2014 we received 3 different sets for the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie. So, we became confused about Lego’s strategy at that time. Interestingly, for the first GOTG movie, 2 different ComicCon exclusive sets and 1 Toysrus exclusive polybag were released too. Release of this movie plays an important role for future Lego sets, because from now on we always received at least a single set for every movie.
Avengers: Age of Ultron which also again part of phase 2 is the first movie which has 6 sets released together with 3 polybags and 1 ComicCon exclusive set. Within the same year, we saw first UCS set in Marvel Super Heroes theme. It was a massive scale Helicarrier coming with an exclusive SHIELD display, UCS sticker together with 5 minifigures and 12 microfigures.
Phase 3 – Where the real game begins
First movie in phase 3 Captain America: Civil War comes with 4 sets. Although this movie is not an Avengers movie, most of the characters appeared in this movie. So, buying them was a great option for minifigure collectors. Within same year, Doctor Strange movie was also released, but we only got one set.
Next year was the year where Marvel decided to start releasing 3 movies in a year. This also hints us number of Lego sets released in a year will be increasing. Second Guardians of the Galaxy movie released with 3 sets whereas Spider-Man: Homecoming and Thor: Ragnarok released with only 2 sets.
2018 was the year we all witnessed one of the biggest cinematic events in film industry. Black Panther released in February had 2 sets However, Avengers: Infinity War comes up with 6 sets, 1 exclusive minifigure collection and 1 polybag. Within that year, we also received our second UCS set, but that was based on Age of Ultron. Ant-Man and The Wasp released in same year has only 1 set and an additional ComicCon exclusive set.
Next year marks the ending of Infinity Saga with Captain Marvel, Spider-Man: Far From Home and Avengers: Endgame. We received only a single set for Captain Marvel, but 3 sets for Spider-Man Far From Home released after Avengers: Endgame. Everyone was super excited to receive Endgame sets, but it was a big disappointment for everyone. There were in total 6 sets and 1 polybag, unfortunately almost all sets were not based on Avengers: Endgame movie. You may check my Avengers: Endgame review for further information. Within the same year an exclusive GWP set 40334: Avengers Tower with exclusive Tony Stark minifigure was released too.
The Dark Era (personal opinion)
So, what happened next? Different sets which are not based on any MCU movies released in 2020. I understand Lego’s strategy in previous years, but do we still really need sets not based on MCU? My answer is a huge “NO”. This line also continued with 3 additional sets in 2021 too.
There was a global pandemic, so all the movies which were supposed to release in 2020 were postponed to 2021. This means, we received few sets in 2020 for MCU content, because sets were postponed too for a better marketing. Only set based on MCU was from Black Widow movie.
There are also few sets in Avengers-2020 line having question marks about whether they contain elements from MCU movies. You may again check my Avengers – 2020 sets for detailed analysis about that. Besides Black Widow sets, only sets we receive for MCU in 2020 are Iron Man Helmet and Iron Man in Art series.
Beyond Infinity Saga (?)
In 2021, Disney decided to postpone movies once again, but they wanted to make sure movies will release at least on Disney+. Unfortunately, no set released for WandaVision, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier and Loki Disney+ shows which was something disappointing again for set collectors. For these shows, Lego preferred to release “Collectable Minifigures” for the first time in Marvel line. We also had a chance to receive 2 sets for Shang-Chi, 4 sets for Eternals. I was hoping for only 3 sets such as they did in Guardians of the Galaxy movies, but it was 4. We also got our first “Advent Calendar” announcement in 2021.
If you have checked my Avengers: Endgame sets review, you will easily understand the disappointment with 2020 sets . Also you will notice there are some movies from phase 1 and phase 2 having no sets at all. I guess, Lego became aware of that and as a result they decided to release new sets under “Infinity Saga” label. It is still a question mark whether that line will continue in further years. “Infinity Gauntlet” which is so far probably the best set released in Marvel Super Heroes theme was also part of this wave.
For future sets, we will wait and see. But hopefully, we will receive more sets from Phase 1 & Phase 2 movies at the same time continue having sets for upcoming movies. Considering many Disney+ shows are awaiting us, it may also become a trend for Lego continuing with CMF.
If you have not checked yet, you may direct to below links for my detailed analysis
- Statistical information about MCU sets
- What sets are missing?
- What minifigures are missing for each movie?
- Inconsistency in existing sets
- Cheap way to have SDCC sets (if possible)