The Avengers may be Earth’s mightiest heroes but as the battle against Thanos for the Infinity Stones rages on and with the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. still operating in the shadows, new heroes are needed to help protect the Earth, recruits sought by Marvel’s S.T.A.T.I.O.N. (Science Training And Tactical Intelligence Operative Network), to help in the fight to protect the planet from alien and meta-human threats.
Are you strong enough to stand with the Hulk? Are you worthy enough to wield Thor’s mighty hammer Mjölnir? Are you intelligent enough to step inside Dr Banner’s lab and help study gamma radiation? If so, set your destination to London’s ExCeL Centre where a purpose build education and training facility for S.T.A.T.I.O.N. recruits has been constructed.
On arrival you will receive a recorded briefing from the legendary Commander Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders), the highly experience field agent who fought alongside Director Nick Fury in the battle with Loki, before stepping into the S.T.A.T.I.O.N. base proper to be left to make your own way through the facility.
The various areas contain information on the heroes known as the Avengers, their character profiles, biographies, and abilities, and in addition there are replicas of their uniforms, weapons and other items unique to these iconic characters.
Among the most impressive is the gigantic Iron Man Hulkbuster Armour of Age of Ultron; designed by Doctors Stark and Banner, it is a great sight to behold, and also on display are the various models of Tony Stark’s Iron Man suit from the original MK 1 which he developed while held captive all the way up to the current incarnation, an impressive display of the evolving technology.
Recruits will be expected to test their skills in areas such as the Iron Man Simulation, where using X-Box Kinect technology the trainees will fire repulsor beams by waving their arms to fight off an alien invasion.
There is also a particle accelerator to help budding engineers create a new element just as easily as Tony Stark did in Iron Man 2, while in Doctor Banner’s laboratory recruits can practice their Hulk poses, see replicas of the Hulk’s massive hands and see an animated display of his brain as it transforms.
While some Avengers such as Iron Man, Captain America, and the Hulk have larger areas due to their prominence, the rest of the team are not forgotten, with displays Hawkeye’s costume and bow, Black Widow’s fighting batons, the vast span of Falcon’s wing suit, and even Vision’s birthing chamber.
Newer members such as Black Panther are also represented where you not only see the classic mask, but also one of the few examples outside of Wakanda of the heart shaped herb that gives the black panthers their strength.
Knowing potential threats is vitally important to agents of S.T.A.T.I.O.N. so there is a section dedicated to the villains of the Marvel Universe, including the remains of Ultron, Dark Elves from the attack on Greenwich, less than three miles distant, and most disturbingly a Chitauri warrior that looks far more terrifying up close than on screen.
The Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. a beautiful exhibition and a highly visual experience, simply walking in and seeing a Hulkbuster up close is enough to bring a huge grin to the face of any Marvel fan. The graphical displays throughout are superbly rendered and make guests feel like they are genuinely walking through a museum or training centre inside the Marvel Universe.
The entire experience taking approximately seventy minutes, there are several interactive elements which will keep younger visitors occupied while older visitors will enjoy the chance to pose for pictures with Captain America’s shield and other props.
Although the number of these interactive elements is limited, putting one in mind of the Science Museum where the focus is on the impressive displays with interaction added to engage the younger audience; that said, parents will enjoy waving their arms at the Iron Man simulation as much as their offspring.
As we are unlikely to see Maria Hill in the next Avengers movie it was wonderful to see her briefing new recruits here, although it would have been good to see even more of her or other members of the agency.
Making up for that absence, there are several members of S.T.A.T.I.O.N. staff wandering the facility, always fully in character, to assist recruits with their training and enhance the experience of feeling part of the Marvel Universe, and running through the holiday season and on through the winter months this is the perfect way to build excitement for the next phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Marvel’s Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. is open from 10am – 10pm daily until 31st March and tickets are available now from www.avengersstation.co.uk Standard Ticket From £25.00 – Entry for one person aged 14 or older Child Ticket From £14.00 – Entry for one child aged 4-13 (Must be accompanied by an adult aged 16 or over) Family Ticket From £60.00 – Family ticket is valid for up to five people (including a minimum of two children and a maximum of two adults)