Photos by Liz Phillips
Note: There are spoilers for Captain America: The Winter Soldier within this article.
For New York City-bound Avengers fans looking to bridge the Marvel Cinematic Universe gap between April’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier and August’s Guardians of the Galaxy, they needn’t look any further than Discovery Times Square’s Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. Located in the heart of midtown, the exhibit replicates an actual SHIELD base with state of the art interactive exhibits and Marvel artifacts. We got the chance to tour this unique experience during its preview period in late May and were glad to return last week to see its completion and test whether we were worthy of our newly-issued SHIELD ID cards.
Upon entry into the exhibit, “probationary” level agents are scanned and welcomed with an official message from none other than Agent Felix Blake (Titus Welliver). After Blake’s message, the entry room gives way into the further secret headquarters of S.H.I.E.L.D. It should be noted for anyone reading this in confusion in light of what occurred in The Winter Soldier that this exhibit hails directly from Phase 1 in the MCU timeline, right after the events of the Avengers. Though it begs the question: How awesome would a HYDRA station be? Bring on the digitized Dr. Zola and his databanks brain, Marvel! But I digress.
After briefing, each Avenger gets highlighted starting with beautiful costume displays of the SHIELD agents Black Widow and Hawkeye (even if the mannequin’s arms don’t hold a candle to Mr. Renner’s). Beside them are the suits of SHIELD higher-ups Agent Phil Coulson and Director Nick Fury. Like most all of the props on view throughout the exhibit, the costumes are accompanied by touch screens giving in-depth info on the items on display. Other noteable props we encountered on our tour included Loki’s infamous helmet and scepter, the Tesseract portal device and of course, Captain America’s iconic shield.
What makes this exhibit special however, beyond its wealth of actual props and costumes, is that ID everyone was issued. As the station’s staff move recruits from the designated rooms of Captain America, The Hulk, Thor and Iron Man, would-be agents can scan into interactive exercises that test their skills versus the Avengers. Spoiler alert: None of us are stronger than Steve Rogers. It also allows users to share some of their results with Facebook if they chose to connect with the social network upon registering their ID.
Unsurprisingly, the most interactive room is that of Tony Stark himself where visitors can watch themselves get suited up on screen and maneuver Iron Man in his virtual garage or operate an actual robotic arm.*
The largest space belongs to Thor, whose costume from the first film is cleverly displayed as a gift from Asgard to Midgard. Beside it, S.T.A.T.I.O.N. boasts apparently the largest holographic projection in North America, that of Thor’s legendary hammer, Mjolnir. Across from these artifacts, agents can virtually manuever through stars in a program the center developed in collaboration with NASA. Jane Foster would be proud.
Marvel’s Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. at Discovery Times Square is now open and you can find ticketing information on their official website.
(Special thanks to Heather for being our model agent!)
*Our team discovered an amusing Easter egg in regards to this arm, clearly the exhibitors know their NYC audience! Head on over to our TUMBLR page to enjoy our short video as well as additional photos from the exhibit.