Marvel’s Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N.
At a Glance
What is it?
An interactive attraction dedicated to the insanely popular superheroes of the Marvel’s Avengers universe.
Where is it?
At Treasure Island on the Center Strip.
Is it worth the cost?
It isn’t cheap but superhero fans should probably get their money’s worth.
What else do I need to know?
The attraction uses high-tech wizardry that may confound some.
What’s the bottom line?
Great for fans of the genre; everyone else may want to spend their money elsewhere.
We live in a time of superheroes. TV, movies, books (graphic and otherwise), theme parks, and pop-culture in general seems to be obsessed with the men and women in tights and capes who are coming to save us from looming threats. Ah, if only it were not fiction.
Probably the biggest player in the very crowded arena is Marvel and their Avengers series that includes Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Hulk, Ant-Man, Hawkeye, Black Widow, and more. The universe they have created for these do-gooders is vast and complicated and now includes their very own attraction on the Las Vegas Strip.
It’s located above the CVS at Treasure Island, just off the pedestrian bridge that comes across Spring Mountain from the Fashion Show Mall.
The gigantic gift shop, containing pretty much every bit of superhero swag you could ever want, is where to start and end your journey. You’re given an iPhone style device that allows you to create a profile, upload a picture of yourself, and interact with the attractions various high-tech wizardry. Alternately you can download an app to your own phone and use it throughout.
Then you’re crowded into an elevator with your fellow recruits and taken up to the S.T.A.T.I.O.N. (which stands for Scientific Training and Tactical Intelligence Operative Network in case you’re curious) where a video of Commander Maria Hill (played by Colbie Smulders of “How I Met Your Mother” fame) gives you the outline on what to do once you get inside. The short version is read stuff, play with stuff, interact with stuff, and then use the app to track your progress and test your knowledge.
A series of rooms themed to the various superheroes follows and they are packed with movie memorabilia, interactive exhibits, video, games, and lots and lots of stuff to read. For instance, in Captain America’s room you’ll see his shield, test your (virtual) defense capabilities, and get downloads on the Marvel universe. In the Hulk’s area, there is a giant projection of the green guy that you can control with a touch-screen device and in Thor’s area you can test your grip strength to see if you might be able to pick up the legendary hammer.
After each room, you are given a test on the app to see how well you were paying attention to the various bits of information scattered about. Some of it is general Marvel knowledge that you might know if you’ve seen the movies and the rest is in the room, you just need to have looked for it.
At the end, you are assigned a character and put in front of a tall screen with other players and have to defend against an attack by Ultron and his forces of evil. You do this by swiping furiously at the app on your device, which throws shields, hammers, or whatever other weapon your character wields. Once you’re all the way through the attraction you are given a score and can get an official certificate. Kids will like it.
If you’re a fan of the films and characters you’re probably going to love this. It has just enough geeky thrills to keep it interesting and the interactive bits may not be mind-blowing but they are fun distractions. If you’re not a fan (a bucket I place myself into), it’s still interesting from a technology standpoint, when you are actually able to get it to work.
That was probably my biggest disappointment with the attraction. I worked in tech for a long time and I found both the app and some of the interactive pieces to be complicated, frustrating to navigate through, and/or simply impossible to use. And I was not the only one – adults and kids were seen either staring at their devices in glazed confusion or ignoring it all together. There are people standing by throughout the attraction who can help you feel like less of a dumbass but after the third or fourth time of “uh… how does this work?” I gave up and just kept trying to pick up Thor’s hammer.
For the record, I couldn’t. But that’s why we have superheroes, right?