Vincent has given me permission to review Lego and I am a Lego addict. I hope you like them, too. Today, I’m going to take a look at the newest Marvel Super Heroes set: 76005, called the Super Heroes Daily Bugle Showdown. So let’s take a look at the construction quality, playability and value of this set.
This set has a street date of December 31st but you can pick it up if you have a physical Lego store near you. I did last weekend. It retails for $49.99 and has 476 pieces so this is a good value. The loose rule of thumb Lego fans use is that the price per brick these days is about 12 cents. That’s actually down from the high of 40 cents per brick back in 1986. To figure out a loose value if you’re in a store, move the decimal point in two places from the brick count and see how close to the set cost that number is. If it’s close, that’s a good value. Let’s move on to looking at what you get for that price.
The set comes with 5 minifigs. Spider-Man has appeared in previous sets but the other 4 are new: Dr. Doom, The Beetle, Nova and J. Jonah Jameson. Each of them has great detailing with the ironic exception of Spider-Man himself. Spider-Man has flat blue legs and arms. Since Spidey is the main character in several sets, you’d think they’d at least paint his legs. The Beetle looks fantastic. He’s based on the Ultimate Spider-Man comics version of the character and really looks both high-tech and bug-like. Nova has a custom helmet and has 2 red bricks to attach to his hands to indicate his Nova Blast power. J Jonah Jameson comes with a camera and a fantastic grumpy expression. Dr. Doom has his classic look, although he also has a bizarre crack painted on his mask. I’m not sure if that’s a design element from a Marvel cartoon or just something Lego did. It makes him look slightly less regal in my opinion, but at least he’s rocking his cape and hood. Maybe he’s just a broken Doom Bot! One of the robot duplicates Dr. Doom uses on his… lesser missions!
The playset comes with an orange brick separator as is commonplace these days. It features a multi-level Daily Bugle office facade, dumpster, street light and some sort of VTOL aircraft of Dr. Doom’s. The dumpster and street light add color to the environment, but don’t add much beyond that. The images on the box make it look like the dumpster is launching Nova somehow, but it does not have any ability to do so. Maybe that’s where Sam Alexander, the current Nova, changes into his costume? The aircraft features flick missiles on each side, rotating air foils, a canopy that opens to fit one figure and a “grappling hook” on a string. It’s not large, but it is solidly constructed and a good size for this playset.
The front of the building features double glass opening doors, a window you can pop out with the push of a peg, stickers to make the Daily Bugle logos and a jumbotron monitor featuring JJJ ranting. It also has a rotating broadcasting dish and a dual level fire escape. The jumbotron can be popped off for “battle damage” with the push of a button on the other side. One nice element of the building is that it has several studs exposed on various levels that Spider-Man’s web or webline can attach to. The web line is string with solid cylinders that snap into characters’ hands and each end has a stud for attaching to whatever you want. I like to put one end on Beetle’s head. Wheee! The set looks like a modern office but on the negative side it does not feature any unique architecture to imply an especially modern building or a, say, an older one with an Art Nouveau influence. Lego opted for playability over aesthetic design but for a medium set like this, it’s an acceptable compromise.
The back of the Daily Bugle Showdown set features the most attention to detail. There’s a roof level with a trap door you can let collapse with the pull of a peg. The atrium has a plant and all 3 floors have a door to the fire escape. Level 2 is a newspaper office level with a desk featuring a newspaper layout and swivel chair. It also has a safe located in front of the pop-out window. Level 3 is JJJ’s office with a computer and office desk. The set is not large but makes good use of space to create several potential story scenarios.
Ultimately I’m happy with this set. The build was fun because it wasn’t too repetitive and the set holds together well. No loose or weak areas. I’d prefer a much larger set with intricate architecture like the Lego modular buildings (Green Grocer, Market Street, Cafe Corner, etc.), but they seem to be targeting the super hero sets at the younger audience. It makes sense, but just like their Star Wars line can support the collector market with massive sets like the Death Star and Super Star Destroyer, there is absolutely an adult comics market of collectors that would support larger Lego sets in this theme.