I’ve spoken about LEGO, and my love of it, occasionally before. I’m primarily a fan of Star Wars LEGO, but I have picked up the occasional Marvel or DC set (the quinjet, the batmobile, etc.).
But this year, I’ve branched out a bit.
For Christmas, my lovely girlfriend bought me a set I had wanted for a while, but never got round to getting myself, namely the ‘Sanctum Sanctorum Showdown’ from the Infinity War wave.
The set depicts a facade of both Doctor Strange’s Sanctum, as well as Peter Parker’s apartment and a pizzeria. The reason I had always wanted this set is because LEGO Marvel is, understandably, very child orientated. It’s a lot of mechs and silly vehicles that you generally wouldn’t see in the comic books or the movies. But New York locales? Those are actually accurate.
So when we were returned to lockdown, I decided I’d build on my little LEGO NYC a little more, and try and snag a few copies of the Avengers Tower for cheap and use them to construct a larger variant.
That took up most of my LEGO building time for the next few months until rumours started to swirl of a new set. The biggest LEGO Marvel set of all time, from LEGO’s 18+ range.
And just a few weeks ago, that set was finally, officially revealed as the iconic Spider-Man locale, the Daily Bugle!
As the biggest Lego Marvel set, it’s also one of the more expensive. Expensive enough that it’s very unfortunate timing I also had to replace my phone this week. But I can’t say I regret it, because the final product (which I finished building yesterday) is very imposing and packed with character.
Not only that, but it’s also packed with characters. A whopping 25 of them. So let’s talk about them first.
Despite loving the MCU, comics were always my first love when it comes to superheroes. And so my collection is more comic based than it is movie based, which helps limit my purchases because the majority of sets are movie based, and the majority of comic based ones are kind of garbage (to my tastes, anyway) to be honest with you.
As such, I didn’t have any comic variants of Spider-Man characters. But now, I have nearly all the characters I need. Alongside obvious choices like Spider-Man, Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus and J. Jonah Jameson, this set also introduces civilians like Gwen Stacy, Robbie Robertson, Ben Urich and Betty Brant. It’s almost a who’s who of Spider-Man supporting character, and while there are some missing, there are more than enough here.
The set also includes some long anticipated characters like Daredevil, Punisher and Blade, the former two being my personal favourites in the set.
They’re not all winners though. Robbie Robertson, for instance, shares nothing with his movie or comic counterparts other than being a black man. His distinquishing white hair is missing, and he’s become moustachioed due to the usage of the elder Lando Calrissian head piece.
Gwen Stacy also has room for improvement. Being a rather generic blonde figure without anything noticeably ‘Gwen Stacy’ about her look. But a specific hair change would be all you need to make her a good bit more accurate.
Personally, I could also do without the Spider-Verse characters. And while Firestar is a cool inclusion, without Iceman, the whole ‘amazing friends’ thing they’re going for doesn’t quite work.
Since it’s an 18+ set, I probably would have opted for Jessica Jones, Like Cage and Iron Fist instead, especially due to the fact that Jones has been a Bugle reporter in the comics, and they’ve already included other Netflix heroes like Daredevil and Punisher. But hey ho, nothing’s perfect after all.
Anyway, onto the build!
As I said before, the set has so much character. Four floors packed with Easter eggs and references, which despite having a lot of repetitive builds, was a lot of fun to put together.
The instructions are well paced so you rarely ever feel like you’re just doing the same thing over and over, and the way a lot of the office appliances and furniture come together are genius.
The choice of colours for the exterior really make the red logo and fire escape pop, and the interior is very colourful and harkens back to the 60s Spider-Man cartoon.
There are a lot of possibilities for both play and display, and the way the set is not only modular (each floor can be removed with a lot of ease), but also utilises panels for the front of the building means it’s incredibly accessible.
My favourite parts of build were probably the bullpen, as seen above, and strangely enough, the roof, which has a lot more to it than you’d think.
My least favourite part however, was the floor that contains Peter Parker’s office. While that is partially on me, as the exterior has the option to create a dynamic display as the Green Goblin bursts out of the side of the Bugle which I opted to forgo in favour of a cleaner building, the interior of that section is a bit… Boring?
Half of the floor is essentially just a meme. Which is admittedly kind of amusing. But then my mind started to run away with me and picture all the other things it could have been. A dark room would be more suitable for a photographer, surely? Or maybe a printing press. Wouldn’t that make for an interesting build!
But I get what they were going for, and as I said before, I can always just remove that section.
Which actually may be for the best. Because the Bugle towers over all my other sets. The radio tower alone is taller than the Sanctum Sanctorum. Plus, my work-in-progress Avengers Tower now looks a bit diddy in comparison.
But fortunately, the nature of LEGO is that anything you don’t like, you can change! So I’ll have a lot of fun modifying things to my liking.
So that’s what I’ll do. Continue to perfect my little LEGO corner of New York that fits quite conveniently on the empty section of my desk (although obviously that’s not where these pictures were taken).
Overall, this is a great display piece, and a must-have for any fan of LEGO and comic books. As such a fan, this is definitely the sort of thing I want to see more of from LEGO, and I’m proud to be the owner of what is hopefully the first in a series of spectacular Marvel sets.