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die hard is a xmas movie | by maryann johanson

top secret report on Marvel’s Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. (EYES ONLY!)

NOTE: THIS REPORT IS FOR S.H.I.E.L.D. AGENTS, AVENGERS S.T.A.T.I.O.N. ASSOCIATES, AVENGERS, AND OTHER APPROVED PERSONNEL ONLY. UNAUTHORIZED ACCESS IS SUBJECT TO PROSECUTION.

So, as I noted recently, I was invited to attend the opening night of the London installation of Marvel’s Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. (Science Training and Tactical Intelligence Operative Network), the multi-room interactive experience based on the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. is now running at the ExCel exhibition center through March 31st, 2019. More information and tickets are available online at Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N.

(All photos by yours truly except where noted.)

Marvel Avengers STATION London

Though it’s organized around the conceit that the visitor is training to be a special operative for the Avengers initiative, an irregular to be called up in a moment of crisis, Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. isn’t much more than an exhibition of props and costumes from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Marvel Avengers STATION London
Marvel Avengers STATION London

The props that you can interact with are, I presume, replicas. I mean, I’m pretty sure they didn’t amputate Hulk’s hand purely so that we could make comparisons with our own puny appendages…

Marvel Avengers STATION London
Marvel Avengers STATION London (photo by Shirley Skinner)

…and though I’m reasonably sure that this was a real motorcycle, I wouldn’t be surprised if it were not one used in the filming of any Marvel movie. Still, it’s all pretty cool — I’ve never been on a motorcycle before! And here I am, ahem, “attempting” to shift “Thor’s hammer,” Mjölnir:

Marvel Avengers STATION London
(photo by a S.T.A.T.I.O.N. guide)

(Of course, nothing I could have done here would have moved that thing. All that time in the gym has been for nothing!)

Most of the interactive stuff is along the lines of this, in the Tesseract display. Touch a screen:

Marvel Avengers STATION London

And this happens:

There are lots of displays like this one, with plenty of screens to touch (and some you don’t, or, if you do, nothing happens), all full of background information on the Avengers characters and the technology they use, with plenty of real science to back it up, where possible. (Like, for instance, the display about the Bifrost, the rainbow bridge that Thor’s people use to move around the universe, includes genuine scientific info about Einstein-Rosen bridges, commonly known as wormholes.)

I’ve shown you only a taste of what you can do and play with at Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N., and I did have fun with it. My major complaint is that it’s quite expensive: £25 for adults (which they consider anyone over 14), and £14 for kids (ages 3–13); a family ticket for up to two adults and three kids is priced at £60. That’s a lot of money for what you get, so unless you’re a truly rabid Avengers fan, or absolutely desperate to get your kids into real science via an interest in the Avengers, you’ll want to consider closely whether this is worth investing in.


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