Originally published in June 2014 while the exhibit was featured in Times Square. Today you can visit Avengers Station at Treasure Island in Las Vegas!
If you’ve ever wondered if you have the gamma irradiation of Bruce Banner or the strength and speed of Captain America, or the technological adaptability of Tony Stark, then you need to visit Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. at Discovery Times Square in New York. This fully immersive experience is unlike any other and brings you into the world of the Avengers. To say that it’s an “exhibit” doesn’t do it justice. Any child (and probably most adults) will feel as if they accidentally walked into a S.H.I.E.L.D. recruiting station. Not only that but for the Marvel fan obsessed with continuity (like me), this scenario takes place itself in the Marvel Cinematic Universe consistent with the events directly after the Battle of New York. So you won’t find Thor’s Hammer for instance since Thor still needs it, but you will find a holographic representation of it rendered in 3D. You will find “artifacts” throughout the exhibit though such as Captain America’s original shield used in World War II, an older model of the Iron Man armor, Loki’s staff and headgear, and the uniform’s of key S.H.I.E.L.D. agents like Agent Coulson, Agent Hill, Director Fury, Black Widow, and Hawkeye. All of the artifacts are actual props from the movies and are displayed beautifully in sealed portals, but are made to be integrated into the storyline.
The story begins as you enter the S.T.A.T.I.O.N. or Scientific Training and Tactical Intelligence Operative Network (S.H.I.E.L.D. loves its acronyms). Upon entrance (actually right before you enter) you are taken to a security checkpoint where you enter your vital information and are given a rather nice ID card which is not only a great keepsake but an integral part of your mission. You are then led to a clean room much like you would find in some of the most popular sci-fi and spy movies where you are briefed as to why you are being recruited by none other than Agent Felix Blake (Titus Welliver reprising his role from the short Avengers film Item 47 and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.). After your briefing, you receive information about your training and then head into an area that has on display many of the uniforms mentioned earlier. Each display has an interactive element that shows the actor wearing the uniform in action and a brief description. This is true for every display in the exhibit. Every single one is interactive and has touch screen elements to it. After that you are led into five different areas of the compound where you are analyzed and tested (in an incredibly fun way) to see if you can be a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent.
First is the Captain America section where you see artifacts from Cap’s past including the “birthing pod” that Steve Rogers was transformed in. Also in this section is the physical assessment of each agent where you are compared to Captain America and other potential field agents (yes, to all you gamers out there – there are daily high scores to beat). You are tested in strength, speed, accuracy, as well as compared to Cap physically (height and weight). The next section you are analyzed for gamma irradiation. There your thumbprint is scanned and analyzed for gamma traces and then put under a radiation bombardment machine that will then show you what it looks like for your cells to be filled with gamma rays. You can interact with a life size simulation of the Hulk and also see how the Hulk’s brain might look during the transformation process.
At this point you pass through a Secure Containment Room which houses some of the most deadly artifacts in the exhibit. Loki’s headgear and staff are here as well as a Chitauri chariot, a Chitauri warrior preserved in stasis, Hydra and Chitauri weaponry, and even the uniform of the Red Skull. All encased behind secure shields. The fourth section is based on astronomy and the location of Thor’s home planet. There you can interact with displays that reveal where Asgard lies in relation to the Earth. You can also see a 3D rendering of Thor’s hammer and Thor’s armor used in the battle. In the final station, you directly interact with some of the most amazing technological advancements. Here you find Iron Man’s armor including two robotic hands that you can make move simply by moving your own. You can use sight recognition technology to blink your way to victory. And you can pilot a suit of Iron Man armor virtually! Once you complete the stations, you are truly an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.!
This exhibit is simply incredible when it comes to detail and sophistication. You’ll find yourself constantly asking the question, “How did they do that?” I guess when you put the creativity of Marvel together with the technological and scientific know-how of NASA and others in the science community and partner with a group like Victory Hill Exhibitions you’re likely to come up with something mind-boggling! Go see it yourself exclusively at Discovery Times Square in New York through January 4, 2015.
Location: Discovery Times Square, New York
Specialty: Interactive and immersive Marvel Avengers experience
Cost: $27.00 for adults and $19.50 for kids
Craig’s Favorite: The visual interactive interface for Iron Man
For even more photos from this amazing exhibit, go to my Facebook page and be sure to Like it!