Article courtesy of Red Carpet Refs.
Photo credit: Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N.
Earth’s mightiest heroes star in one of the most immersive attractions in Las Vegas.
Based on the interconnected Marvel Cinematic Universe — home to such blockbuster hit films as Iron Man, The Avengers and Captain America: Civil War — Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. (Scientific Training and Tactical Intelligence Operative Network) is a unique opportunity to step into the world of Marvel Studios’ superhero universe.
High-tech, educational and engaging, Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. has plenty to offer Marvel fans and non-fans alike — no matter your age.
The interactive walk through exhibit — featuring suits, tech and artifacts belonging to Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Vision, Falcon and Ant-Man — is more than a museum, it’s an experience: by adventure’s end, you’ll join the ranks of Nick Fury and Phil Coulson as an official S.T.A.T.I.O.N. agent, with orders coming straight from Deputy Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders).
Smulders — who has appeared theatrically in The Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Avengers: Age of Ultron, with further appearances on television’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. — reprises her role as Hill, making for one of the shining features of the attraction: unique, newly-created Marvel Cinematic Universe content that you can’t get anywhere else.
Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. also stands apart in that it offers tours at certain times to select groups, meaning crowd control. You’re able to move around the exhibit freely and at your own pace, and limiting access to groups of certain sizes at any one time (instead of a free-for-all) goes a long way in ensuring each guest has ample chance to explore and get an up-close look at everything the attraction has to offer.
Guests are given a mobile device and the chance to create a S.T.A.T.I.O.N. profile — your own personal “probationary agent” card — customizable right down to your own profile picture and corps assignment (pick your favorite Avenger and personalize your newly equipped selfie with their respective iconography).
The device also allows you to participate in a quiz and take photos, which can be printed in a collage along with an official S.T.A.T.I.O.N. ID card at tour’s end. The handheld device doubles as a personal tour guide with narration by F.R.I.D.A.Y. (voice of Kerry Condon), the artificial intelligence user interface utilized by Tony Stark’s Iron Man armors ever since Avengers: Age of Ultron.
The attraction, which debuted in 2016, features technology and artifacts from and up to Ant-Man, released to theaters summer 2015. After an introductory message from Maria Hill, guests step into the first of several themed rooms: the Captain America area.
On full display is Steve Rogers’ Captain America suit from The Avengers, as well as his iconic, indestructible shield. HD screens summarize the history of Captain America, giving way to a room that hosts Cap’s original World War II era garb, his Harley Davidson motorcycle and the capsule that transformed frail Steve Rogers into the powerful Captain America (Captain America: The First Avenger). Most impressively, guests have the chance to pose for pictures with a free-standing version of Captain America’s shield. (It makes for a hell of a profile pic).
Next, you visit the lab of Dr. Bruce Banner — better known as the Incredible Hulk. The S.T.A.T.I.O.N. Bio-Lab features an interactive Hulk display that, when pressed, activates roars, punches and slams from the Green Goliath.
Banner’s gamma irradiated blood is encased in the Hematology Research Bay, which sits opposite an interactive Tesseract portal (as seen in The Avengers). After initiating the portal device, sit back and watch as lights flicker and sparks fly — and hope you don’t unleash a horde of invading alien foot soldiers. In this same area, look upon a dismantled Ultron, Tony Stark’s wayward creation that nearly devastated Sokovia in the climax of Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Also on display is the cradle used by Ultron to give birth to Vision (Avengers: Age of Ultron), with displays detailing the synthetically created Avenger. Suits worn by S.H.I.E.L.D. agent (and one-time Director) Phil Coulson, former S.H.I.E.L.D. director Nick Fury, and Avengers Black Widow and Hawkeye are encased in glass displays. Stepping into the next room, you’re shown the way by a collective of like-minded ants — coming together to point you, naturally, towards the Ant-Man suit. (It’s hard not to geek out over a moving floor that lets you feel like Ant-Man).
Ant-Man’s (full-sized!) suit is flanked by the outfit worn by Scarlet Witch (Avengers: Age of Ultron) and the high-flying wings of Sam Wilson, a.k.a the Falcon. Unfortunately, Falcon’s full wing span is relegated to TV screens on both sides of Falcon’s harness, which is physically present and enshrined in glass. The next room holds relics of past battles: there’s a Chitauri alien (The Avengers), a Dark Elf (Thor: The Dark World) and the suit worn by HYDRA’s Red Skull (Captain America: The First Avenger).
Stepping into the Asgardian themed room, guests can awe in wonder at the suit of the mighty Thor and try their hand at lifting his hammer, Mjolnir — but chances are, you won’t be mighty, or worthy, enough to wield it.
Finally, living up to Tony Stark’s flashy, showy nature, there’s the coolest part of the exhibit: Stark’s hall of Iron Man armors. Suits from Iron Man up to Avengers: Age of Ultron are on glorious display, including the Mark I, Mark II and Mark III (Iron Man), the Mark V and Mark VI (Iron Man 2), the incredible Hulkbuster armor (Avengers: Age of Ultron) and a mid-progress Mark XLIII (Avengers: Age of Ultron).
As cool as the entire exhibit is, stepping foot into Iron Man’s hall of armors is a real treat for Iron Man and Marvel fans. (A single War Machine armor is also on display). Here you’ll have the chance to experience Iron Man’s HUD (heads up display), as you participate in a voluntary exercise — a mix between an eye exam and a shoot-em-up game. Using your eyes, you’ll have to double blink to lock onto enemy targets and fire.
Maybe the precision of the eye tracking was off — or maybe I’m just not Avengers material — but the game left a lot to be desired. It’s a cool idea, letting guests see what it’s like to utilize the HUD of an Iron Man armor, but with all the opportunities offered by a tech-based character like Iron Man, it’s disappointing there’s not a spectacular piece of interactive technology — such as a virtual reality experience — that really lets you walk away saying, “I am Iron Man.”
Finally, your skills as an Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. agent are put to the test: after being allotted a designated Avenger (Captain America, Iron Man, Black Widow, Thor, Hawkeye and Hulk), agents step in front of a screen and — using their handheld device — must do battle with the villainous Ultron and his legion of minions. The game equates to little more than a haphazard shoot-em-up you’d find in an arcade which, again, leaves something to be desired — especially as the grand finale of both your training and the exhibit.
There’s no real skill involved, making for a mashing of buttons, and the feeling that your participation in the climactic battle is wholly unnecessary. With Ultron’s defeat, Maria Hill returns to congratulate you on a job well done and bestow upon you the official status of an Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. agent.
The flagship Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N., and the only one in the United States, it’s extremely cool — and appreciated — that Vegas has an official Marvel presence. Usually, such attractions are found at your Disneylands or your Walt Disney Worlds, or comparable theme parks — not at a prime location on the Las Vegas Strip. As a lifelong Marvel fan, little could be cooler than holding up Captain America’s shield or having Iron Man’s Hulkbuster armor tower over you.
While the interactive portions of the exhibit could be improved, Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. is a worthwhile trip for any fan who has long wished to know how it feels to take a step into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Marvel's Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. is located within the Treasure Island Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. The attraction is open daily from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. (last entry at 9 p.m.).
Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. is currently offering a promotion (valid through April) where a Family Four Pack can be purchased for just $75 with code “FAMILY” at the Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. box office (located in the Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. gift shop, full of all your Marvel merch needs).
Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. comes highly recommended. Buy tickets here.
Article courtesy of Red Carpet Refs.