LEGO Marvel Spider-Man 76175 Attack on the Spider Lair [Review]

Batman has the Bat-Cave, and Spider-Man, obviously, has a Spider Lair. (In some universes, anyway.) LEGO mixes and matches different realities to create an amalgam of Spider-gadgetry in Marvel Spider-Man 76175 Attack on the Spider Lair. This 466 piece set will be available March 1st from the LEGO Shop Online for US $69.99 | CAN $89.99 | UK £69.99. Come along as we try and track down Easter eggs and origins in this oddball entry into LEGO Spider-Man lore.

The LEGO Group provided The Brothers Brick with an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.


The box and contents

First up, let’s take a moment to talk about the elephant in the room. A Spider Lair? Really? Isn’t that a Batman thing? To me, one of the key elements of Spider-Man is that he’s always been down on his luck. Things never break his way, and on the rare occasion, they do it’s just a set-up for a bigger fall. He’s usually broke and has to get by by selling selfies to the Daily Bugle. When you’re always on the ragged edge of being evicted from your cheap apartment, having the funds to build a cave of wonders seems like…a questionable thing.

Over the years, we’ve seen a lot of variations on the Spider-Man character, though. In Into the Spider-Verse we saw a reality where a very successful Pete did have a big Spider Lair of his own, full of display cases and high-tech gadgetry. (Of course, that version of Peter had some very serious things happen to him at the start of that film, too, so maybe everything is still “in character”.)  Anyway, I suppose there’s precedent for this sort of thing. And, as we’ll see, LEGO has pulled in bits of Spider-Man history from all over the multiverse to construct this Spider Lair.

Taking a look at the packaging you can already tell it’s going to be a bit of a mash-up. The Spider Lair has costume display tubes, a Spider-Bike, a multi-screen control area, a basketball court, a skateboarding ramp, and a prison. That’s a pretty odd assortment of things. The “Attack” part of “Attack on the Spider Lair” comes from two villains: The Green Goblin and Venom.


The back of the box is nearly identical to the front, with the product shot almost being a “spot the five differences” game. There are also a couple of insets along the bottom showing a detail of the computer monitors, costume display, and basketball-related play feature.

There is one other odd bit to the packaging. On the top edge is the “actual size shown” graphic that’s common to most LEGO sets. As expected, it showcases one of the minifigure from the set, but in a very bizarre choice, they decided to go with the costume as it appears in the display tube – with a transparent minifigure head instead of using Peter’s face (which is also included in the set). This feels like another disconnect between the package design folks and the marketing folks, similar to the mis-built heart close-up chosen for the 40462 Valentine’s Brown Bear seasonal set.


Inside the thumb-punch box are four numbered parts bag, two loose 6×16 plates, a sticker sheet, and a 116-page perfect-bound instruction manual.

The sticker sheet is pretty large and contains some fun graphics. We’ll call out things in more detail as we review the different parts of this set.


Spider-Cycle

To start things off, this set includes a motorcycle for Spidey to ride around on.  The bike in this set is very similar to the one saw in 2020’s 76147: Vulture’s Trucker Robbery, although now it has some stickers for heavier Spider-branding.  There have been numerous Spider-Cycles in comics and video games over the years, but Spidey never seems to be able to hang on to them for very long.

It makes sense for Spidey to have something to drive when web-slinging just isn’t possible, though. There aren’t a lot of tall buildings along the sides of most interstates, for example. And, from a LEGO perspective, it’s a cost-effective solution to include a vehicle without adding a lot of parts to the set. But I still would have preferred to see a Spider-Buggy.


The Spider Lair

The main focus of this set is the Spider Lair. Like many playsets, it’s a one-sided build that is really only meant to be played with from the front.  The design of the lair has six main areas: a skateboard ramp, a costume display case, a motorcycle repair stand, a control center, a prison, and a basketball court. The construction starts out with building the base that forms the back wall of the playset.  The colors are predominantly dark blue and red, matching Spidey’s classic outfit.

The most eye-catching part of the Lair is the central control console. All of the graphics are sticker-based, but they’re used to good effect. The Spider-logo at the top is a sticker on a red 3×3 round tile, a new color for that element. The screens are flanked by webs, each holding a silver Spider-drone with a transparent red or blue 1×1 round plate as an accent. Flanking the control chair are stands for Peter’s camera and a game controller. On the desk is a cup of coffee and a keyboard. The keyboard uses more stickers to create a Spider-themed ergonomic interface.

The monitors contain a lot of Spider-jokes. A closer look at the sticker sheet is a good way to see what’s going on. The first two show off the Spider-drones and the extra-arm backpack for the Iron Spider costume.

The next two panels have some clues as to this Spider-Man’s place in his universe. The first one shows that he’s working at the Daily Bugle, with the usual “You’re fired!” message from J. Jonah Jameson arriving via an email.  The next panel shows the different costumes that come with the set, along with a small square-headed one that isn’t included here. This is a call-back to the “Bombastic Bag-Man” costume from The Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #258,  a definite low-point in Spider-outfits.

The last two panels show a Spider-costume being created and a LEGO Spider-Man game, complete with stud-counting graphics. The outfit-creation screen feels like a call-back to Spider-Man: Far From Home where Peter uses Stark technology to help make a new suit.  The picture shows the outfit being designed on a microfigure base, similar to the Iron Man suit prototyping that happens in 76167 Iron Man Armory. It would have been really nice if LEGO had included a Spidey microfigure as part of this set, but alas, we’ll just have to imagine one.

Off to the left side of the Lair is a built-in skate ramp. I’m not sure why it’s attached to the main build, as it would have worked just as well as a stand-alone play feature.

Why a skate ramp? My guess is that it’s a callback to the Andrew Garfield incarnation from the Amazing Spider-Man live-action movies. The included skateboard is orange and could have benefited from a Spider-sticker or two to tie it into the set a bit more.

On either side of the control center, there are integrated tool racks to support the motorcycle bay at the center of the Lair. The tools are cast in flat sliver plastic, like the Spider-drones.

The motorcycle bay feels very similar in design to the 76125 Iron Man Hall Of Armor layout, one of the other Marvel “lair” sets. It’s not a particularly efficient design, as there’s very limited room for a minifigure to stand next to the bike and work on it.  I guess Spidey can cling to surfaces, so maybe the slope around the bike doesn’t even phase him.

In front of the right-hand side tool rack is a bit of weight-lifting equipment. The small barbell is supported by a Mixel ball joint arm, which is a pretty clever solution.

The rest of the lair makes use of a standard “pod” build. The design is modular, and thus easily expandable if you wanted to create a bigger custom display.

Three of the pods go on the left of the Lair for costume display duty.

The costumes stand on the two exposed studs at the front of the pod and are open to the air. It would have been nice to see the “behind glass” similar to the way there were shown in Into the Spider-Verse. The Iron Spider’s four-arm backpack doesn’t fit into the display area, but another Mixel arm is provided to store it nearby.

To the right is a slightly troubling inclusion – a Spider-Prison pod. Why would Spider-Man want to incarcerate his foes in his lair? Isn’t he in legal trouble often enough already?

Well, maybe it’s just a temporary measure or something. If you want to lock up a foe, they can stand on the silver 1×2 grill tile behind the door. (I think LEGO could have taken a similar approach for the costume displays, replacing the barred door with a clear one)  I didn’t go looking for in-canon examples of Spider-prisons. If Pete has gotten up to this in the past, frankly I’d rather not know.

That said, if you’re going to hold people prisoner, you might as well annoy them at the same time, right? If you notice, right next to that cell is a basketball goal. Nothing says “fun” like shooting hoops next to a caged individual.  The basketball set itself is pretty benign, at least. It uses a sticker to spruce up the backboard with some graphics that remind me of Miles’ tags from Spider-Verse.

The basketball court also comes with a play feature, a catapult-style ball launcher, and two orange basketballs.  Does Spider-Man play basketball a lot? Could this be a call out to the Spider-Man Basketball YouTube videos? My brain has melted and I just don’t even know anymore.

The completed Lair is…well, it’s something, isn’t it? The color choices do a good job of trying to tie some very different play areas together. There are some nice little Easter eggs to look for, and it’s not bad as Bat-Caves/Iron Man Armory type sets go. But there’s no denying that it’s also a hot mess when it comes to trying to fit into an existing Spider-Man reality.

 


The Attack on the Spider Lair

Oh, yeah, this set is named “Attack on the Spider Lair”, isn’t it? I’m sure there’s some spectacular danger on the way and….oh. Okay. Well, we get this Green Goblin glider.  It’s a nice little build, using the last of the stickers to add some detail to the green pentagonal tile on the front of the glider.

As the Goblin-glider is foot-and-balance controlled in the comics, I have no complaints about there not being any obvious control surfaces for the Green Goblin minifigure to operate. I’m also happy to see a “classic” version of these designs, rather than going with any of the live-action versions.


The minifigures

This set comes with six minifigures, four Spider-Man variations and two bad guys. This sounds pretty good on the surface, but upon closer examination, the cracks start to show. Of the six, only three are exclusive to this set.  They all look pretty nice, at least.


Starting off the minifigure parade is a very classic Spider-Man. This version of the costume is a fixture for the 2021 LEGO Spider-Man sets, available in just about all of them. It’s a pretty good design, with dual-sided head and torso prints and even decorated arms. The legs are a bit of a disappointment, as dual-molded ones would have improved the look even more. This set accessorizes Spidey with a set of web-effect weapons in translucent white.

Next up is Peter Parker, as featured on the box art. The clear/removable head is a mutation I don’t recall seeing in the comics or movies, but I haven’t watched everything. The dual printed hoodie-torso is exclusive to this set. The spider-cap has been seen before, in 2019’s 76129 Spider-Man Far from Home: Hydro-Man Attack.  The blue hoodie reminds me of a cross between the Scarlet Spider costume design and the “early Spider-Man costume attempts” that we’ve seen Peter cobble together in several live-action films.

There have been several version of the Iron Spider Armor, both in the movies and in the comic books. The look here is based on the comic book version from the Civil War storyline. We’ve seen the black-outlined red and gold deco in LEGO form before, in 2020’s 76151 Venomosaurus Ambush.

Next up is the other exclusive Spider-Man costume in this set. Labeled on the box as Ultimate Spider-Man, this outfit is more commonly known as the “Big Time Suit”, a stealth costume that first appeared in 2010’s Amazing Spider-Man #650.  It’s had several video game appearances since then, starting with 2011’s Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3.  No accessories to be had here, as that wouldn’t be very stealthy, now would it? It might have made things a bit more “ultimate”, though.

On the plus side, this figure has some interesting decor. It’s a striking costume design that carries over well into LEGO form.

The Green Goblin has been a long time foe of Spider-Man, and is one of the two villains responsible for this fiendish “Attack on the Spider Lair”. He comes with a stud shooter and satchel as accessories. He’s also the last of the exclusive figures in this set, with all new prints for head, torso, and legs, and new colors for the dual molded cowl/ear combo. This particular incarnation doesn’t seem to be drawn from a particular live-action film, leaning instead on his comic-book origins.

The final minifigure is the anti-hero, Venom. He’s a well-known frenemy of Spider-Man and has several movie appearances to lean on. While he hasn’t shown up in the MCU (yet), this version (with white spider emblem) played a big part in 2007’s Spider-Man 3.  He’s also appeared in several LEGO sets over the years, with these particular body parts appearing multiple times. His accessories in this set are a couple of curved black tentacles. This appears to be a new element design or at least a new coloration of an existing part.


Conclusion and recommendation

While this set does have some things to recommend it, overall it feels like more of a miss than a hit. Costing $69.99 for 466 pieces gives a price-per-part ratio of 15 cents per piece, which is pretty terrible. The six minifigures ease that pain a little, but only three of them are exclusive to this set.  The parts are not particularly interesting, the build is unexciting, and the “attack” part of the set is almost completely absent. It feels like those factors will all be turn-offs for the average LEGO collector, but I guess I can see this being a popular set for others. The callbacks to the Into the Spider-Verse and other movies will go over well, as will the multiple Spider-outfits. Will that be enough to tempt causal LEGO fans or gift-givers to pick it up at full retail? Maybe. But I think this one should be an easy one to pass up considering the more exciting Marvel and Spider-Man sets that are competing for those dollars. Ask me again when these hit clearance prices.


Marvel Spider-Man 76175 Attack on the Spider Lair will be available March 1st from the LEGO Shop Online for US $69.99 | CAN $89.99 | UK £69.99. It will also available via third-party sellers on Amazon and eBay.

The LEGO Group sent The Brothers Brick an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.


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8 comments on “LEGO Marvel Spider-Man 76175 Attack on the Spider Lair [Review]

  1. Paul Neureiter

    I don’t know—this seems like a great parts set. Full sets of the two sizes of red curved slopes as well as lots of transparent blue panels seems pretty good in addition to the retro green goblin and other mini figs. I like it!

  2. Håkan

    I could well see Spider-Man/ Peter Parker goofing around playing basketball in private, but I doubt he’d use a catapult…

  3. Chris Doyle Post author

    @Paul Neureiter – I can see your viewpoint, and I suppose the value there would also depend on if these parts fit into something you’re looking to build. When I think of “parts pack,” though, I’m usually looking for a low cost-per-piece coupled with general usability and/or rarity, and this set didn’t mesh well with that criteria for me. As always, “your mileage may vary”. :)

    @Håkan – Yeah, it does seem like an odd choice. But catapult ball launcher things are a LEGO play feature standard for some reason…

  4. Håkan

    @Chris Doyle
    @Paul Neureiter

    Well, if you’d really need those red curved slopes for a space ship or something…

  5. Exxos

    When I think, “parts set,” I think, “This is going to inject parts into Bricklink and drive the costs down there.”

  6. Johnny Johnson

    I love that Green Goblin. But I’m still waiting for a studless solution to every Spider-Man head… and a classic Spidey should always have dual-molded legs with red boots.

  7. Håkan

    @Johnny Johnson

    Yeah, it’s a cool fig, although I’d like to see some new villains. Spidey’s Rogue Gallery feels rather under-utilized, even considering the amount of sets that’s been based on various movies. Hopefully the Marvel Christmas Calendar and upcoming CMF series might change some of that. (Although these sets probably won’t or shouldn’t be purely Spidey-focused, anyway…)

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