Not even the mind that dreamed up Iron Man and The Hulk could have envisioned a technological marvel like this.
But once comic book legend Stan Lee first spied the designs for “Marvel’s Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N.” — an exhibit that merges the real props used in superhero movies with cutting-edge interactive technology — he reverted to a quivering fanboy.
“These were concepts that I had in my head and then these great artists (like Jack Kirby, Don Heck and Steve Ditko) drew them and I felt that was the end of it,” Lee told the Daily News.
“They appeared on a comic book page and they looked beautiful and I was happy about that. And now there’s this fantastic exhibit that links them with so much science, it’s overwhelming.”
Just how overwhelming was apparent when The News got an exclusive sneak peak of “Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N.” — which opens in New York’s Discovery Times Square Friday — even as an army of crew members were putting together the final touches.
Spanning more than 10,000 square feet, the $7.5 million spectacle is designed to be a full-size replica of a S.H.I.E.L.D. base, packed with holograms and activity stations, and dedicated to all things Avengers.
Upon entering the facility, visitors are deputized as fresh agency recruits. Kids of all ages get an ID card which registers their progress as they navigate through airlocks into rooms with authentic props from the Marvel movies — including Thor’s hammer, Captain America’s star-spangled shield and Black Widow’s form-fitting costume. (Scarlett Johansson not included.)
They’ll also run headfirst into a life-sized, three-dimensional hologram of the Hulk.
“You’re literally standing in front of a nine-foot tall Hulk and he punches the wall, and the whole building shakes,” said Nicholas Cooper, creative director of Victory Hill Exhibitions, the company behind the show.
But Cooper and project head Mark Smith had their own diabolical plan. They teamed up with NASA and a super-team of scientists to plant real-world educational lessons into the show.
For example, that Earth-shaking punch from Hulk is measured in newtons, a unit of force.
And when a kid uses the smart screen explaining Captain America’s suspended animation in a block of ice, they’ll learn about hormones that the tree frog uses to resist freezing temperatures.
But there’s plenty of dessert to go with that nutritional content.
Like a virtual flight simulator that allows visitors to pilot Iron Man’s battle armor with their eye movements. Be warned: blinking causes the hero’s “repulsor” beams to fire.
That opened the eyes of the biggest kid of all.
“To be able to replicate the experience to be in Iron Man’s suit and to see what it would be like to fly,” said Lee. “That really got to me.”
Marvel’s Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. runs from May 30, 2014 through Jan. 5, 2015 at the Discovery Times Square.
One of the Chitauri from The Avengers on display
S.H.I.E.L.D. Base Station
The Captain America Cryo Interactive station
The S.T.A.T.I.O.N. Avengers Induction Room
Captain America's Serum transformation pod
A rendition of the Tesseract at the exhibit
Captain America's Shield from 'Captain America: The First Avenger' in the exhibit
Thor's Hammer in the exhibit
Shirtless Chris Evans in said Serum Transformation Pod on display at the exhibit thanks you for your time.