LEGO has spent a lot of time exploring the Spider-Verse. From Monster Trucks to the Spider-Cave(!?), we’ve seen a lot of key characters and locations. One, though, was notable for its absence — the Daily Bugle. Now that lack has been addressed, and in a big, big way, as today we’re able to reveal that the newest set in the LEGO Spider-Man lineup is also the largest. Marvel 76178 Daily Bugle includes 3,772 pieces and will be available for US $299.99 | CAN $399.99 | UK £274.99 from LEGO Stores and LEGO.com from May 26 for LEGO VIP members and June 1, 2021 for all. This huge set includes a whopping twenty-five minifigures, two vehicles, and the eponymous skyscraper.
There’s a ton of details to explore—in fact, so much that we’ve split this review in two. In this first part we’ll focus on the build, while in the second part we’ll go through the whole cast of minifigures in detail. So come along as we take an early, in-depth look at building this huge range-topping set.
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
The first thing that catches the eye about this set is the size of it. (Check out the Spider-Man minifigure for a sense of scale.) It’s also a hefty box, weighing in at around 12 pounds. The art style is the standard “Adult Collector” packaging, with a plain back background, minimal logos, and a suggested age range of 18+. Like the recent Venom and Carnage busts, there aren’t the large “Spider-Man” logos and graphics you’d expect, but rather a subdued “Assembled from the Spider-Man Universe” tag line under the Daily Bugle logo.
The back of the box shows off the rear of the Bugle, calls out the five-tier build, and showcases the interior in a series of inset shots. There’s a schematic that calls out the set’s dimensions: 32″ tall on a 9.8″ square base. (82 x 25 x 25 cm).
Also of note is the box top. Due to the huge volume of minifigures included, the entire area is taken up with individual character shots. Of immediate note are the first appearances of Daredevil, Black Cat, Punisher, and Firestar in minifigure form, along with a host of other supporting characters and villains. There are even three “civilians” to round out the cast.
The full cast of characters are: The Punisher, Daredevil, Mysterio, Blade, Doctor Octopus, Venom, Carnage, Peter Parker, Aunt May, Gwen Stacy, Miles Morales, Ghost-Spider, Firestar, Spider-Ham, Black Cat, Betty Brant, J. Jonah Jameson, Ben Urich, Robbie Robertson, Ron Barney, Bernie the Cab Driver, Amber Grant, Green Goblin, Sandman, and Spider-Man.
Inside the box, the build is split up into sixteen numbered groups of bags spread across 38 individual part packs. The first 19 bags, baseplate, and instruction book are contained in a secondary white box. The remaining 19 bags are packed loose. This does protect the instruction manual somewhat, as does the fact that it is packaged in its own bag along with the sticker sheets.
There are a lot of huge picture displays in this set, and LEGO did the sensible thing and went with stickers to cover those large areas. There were enough graphics to justify two sticker sheets, one with a transparent backer and one on more common white. Despite the quality packaging, our demo copy had some minor dings to the corners of the instruction manual. Those are really only noticeable due to the glossy black cover print, though.
The manual can double as a blunt weapon—a 376 page, perfect-bound tome. As is the style for the adult collector manuals, the first few pages have a black background before switching to a light grey backer for the building steps.
The writing in the manual is styled after newspaper articles, and the photos all have a deliberate “grainy” look meant to remind you of newsprint. It’s a lighthearted touch, but also kind of annoying when trying to examine the details in the photographs. There’s a two-page spread introducing you to the Daily Bugle, a second spread giving a quick character bio for each of the minifigures, and then some behind-the-scenes info. There are interviews with set designer Mark Stafford and LEGO graphic designer Mark Tranter, both of whom call out some of the Easter eggs hidden in the build.
In general, the instructions are clear and easy to follow, but I did find one small glitch where sub-build 2 is missing. (Step 74 on page 87.) I don’t think too many people will even notice, but, hey, when we promise an “in-depth review” we try and live up to that.
Despite the large sticker sheets, there are also a large number of unique printed elements in this set. The stars of the show are these 2×2 tiles. There are 15 unique prints (and three extra copies of “today’s” edition of the Bugle. There are a lot of great comic callback here, including the classic “Spider-Man No More!” image from Amazing Spider-Man #50. The “Spider-Man: Threat or Menace?” is a call back The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #15. The Law Times has a feature article on Nelson and Murdock (Matt Murdock being the alter-ego of Daredevil), while a back issue of the Bugle warns “Doc Ock Still At Large”. There are also call-outs to Electro, Rhino, and Kingpin; three characters that didn’t make the 25-figure cut-off for this set.
There aren’t any new elements in this set, but there are a few new colors for existing ones, as well as a good variety of smaller printed tiles and fun pieces like gold micro-figure trophies. The bright green 1×3 tile was previously exclusive to the Ninjago City Gardens. The medium nougat crates and clip bricks, sand-blue door frame, and the 3×3 round light grey tile are a bit more common, but are still fun to see.
Some other (admittedly common) parts that caught my eye were this axle brick, teal 1×1 round brick, and sand green hotdogs. These ladder pieces are new in red, proving I didn’t only grab items that looked cool to me.
This 2×2 printed slope with vent pattern was previously exclusive to the 60284 Roadwork Truck, and the 1×1 plate with bar handle in black has had only a few appearances so far.
Finally, get used to these three pieces. The bulk of the Daily Bugle’s façade is made from them. You’ll get 347 2×1 windows, 287 of the modified 1×1 brick, and 231 of the 1×2 rail plates. Doing the math, these three elements account for 865 of the set’s 3772 pieces…almost 23% of the total part count.
The Daily Bugle
The Daily Bugle sits on a standard 32×32 dark grey baseplate (a rare thing these days). The first set of building steps focuses on adding some pavement to the street, with a suitably New York trashed alleyway in the rear. Some fun details go on almost immediately—a stickered manhole cover, trash can, stack of boxes, power box, and fire hydrant add some grit to things. Designer Mark Stafford revealed that the rat here is a secret cameo by the rodent who saved the world in Avengers: Endgame by running across Scott Lang’s dashboard.
The next set of steps start to build out the lobby of the Bugle. I like that there’s a lot of headroom here, as all too often LEGO buildings feel like they’re very cramped quarters. There’s a fun detail on the rear entrance – the street-facing side has graffiti on it saying “Eddie was here” (A call out to Eddie Brock, aka Venom) and a Goblin Army tag I remember from the Superior Spider-Man arc.
Interior details include two copies of the current edition of the Daily Bugle, and a row of comfy chairs. The opposite side of the room has a security checkpoint, three “historic” issues of the Bugle on the wall, and an elevator. Well, a set of elevator doors, anyway; they’re just set dressing.
The soda machine has “Web Juice” branding on the side, although the cans are unlabeled round 1×1 brick with a 1×1 round tile with a pop-top print. There’s no way to dispense the cans, but there’d be no real way to interact with the vending machine once the set is built, so that’s not much of a drawback. On the exterior wall, a hinged web hides a backpack; a common way for Peter Parker to stash his civilian duds.
The next part of the build adds the external walls to the first floor. You may notice there’s a big hole in the side of the building. That makes accessing the interior spaces a little easier once the walls are fully on.
The front of the building has working sliding glass door. It’s a little tricky to operate, as reaching the small 1×1 clip plate is a challenge under the roof overhang. I guess you could just push the transparent panel directly, but I didn’t want to smudge it up too badly.
The hole in the side of the building gets a removable panel to cover it, creating a bit of optional “battle damage”.
The final touches to the lobby are a big screen TV mounted on a Mixel ball hinge, a light fixture above the door, and an air conditioning unit complete with pigeon.
Outside the Bugle offices there’s a couple of potted plants and a newsstand kiosk. In a nice bit of continuity, it’s also stocked with “today’s” edition of the Bugle. Sadly publishing that today featured “No Crime” seems like a bit of a misstep, as we’ll see.
The last bit of “ground cover” are two trash bins. Although they are displayed with the lids on, they are filled with some delightful junk, including a couple of rotting hot dogs. (Technically one of the hot dogs is a spare part, but you might as well put it to good use and throw it away.)
The second floor of the Bugle houses the bullpen where writers like Marvel characters like Ben Urich ply their trade. It’s also jam-packed with interesting details. There are more historic Bugle editions on the wall, stacks of newspapers, coffee cups, and even a wine bottle hidden in a corner. A central pillar has a ring of stickered TVs, and each workstation has its own keyboard and monitor.
Meanwhile, the first part of the fire escape makes its debut on the exterior wall. It’s a fairly repetitive build, but you’d expect it to be. The folding ladder is long enough to reach the ground; a nice play feature.
The bullpen is finished off with a brick-built water cooler, and a cabinet with coffee and doughnuts.
Two of the walls are mostly windows, giving a great view into the back and sides of the playset. Once again, the high ceilings make this feel like a cinematic newsroom location.
The removable fourth wall has a series of TV billboards built into it. The largest shows “The DB News” with JJ talking about the “Clone Epidemic” with guests Dr. Kurt Connors, Prof. Miles Warren, and the Scarlet Spider – all key players in that comic book storyline. A smaller TV shows Mysterio, Doc Ock, Sandman, and Green Goblin from “Earlier Today”, all promising to be good guys now. But…”Can they be trusted?” A wrap-around ad on the side of the building promotes Norman Osborn for mayor – another comic book storyline tie-in.
The third floor has some lesser-used workspaces. It has a copy room with a rear door that opens out onto a small balcony area, and a small unfinished office that Peter Parker calls home. Amusingly, the elevator doesn’t align with the elevators on the previous two floors, being set in a few studs to allow for that balcony area. Another good reason they didn’t try to make that a play feature.
Details in Peter’s office include a framed picture of Spider-Man and a couple of post-it notes stuck to a bulletin board. The storeroom has a file cabinet and stack of boxes (both partially blocking off the door to the office; a nice touch.) On top of the cabinet are Peter’s camera and a pizza box, possibly calling back to Peter’s stint as a pizza delivery guy in the movies. There’s also a bit of clever building in the copy machine over by the windows.
The fourth wall is real treat to assemble, as it’s not just a boring bank of windows. Instead, you get a great action scene as the Green Goblin explodes through on his glider. Liberal use of Mixel ball joints allows the wreckage to careen outward at interesting angles, making for a very dynamic scene. Transparent orange energy effects stand in for some explosions, too.
The other walls of this floor get a little love as we start the next set of building steps. A matching light fixture goes up over the door, and a giant spider web and spider get to hang out in the copy room. Makes sense that Peter would feel at home in this part of the building. Another small detail is the minifigure “action stand” on the fire escape. We’ll see that in action later.
The top floor of the Bugle holds the executive offices. J. Jonah Jameson gets his corner office, with a screening area staffed by Betty Brant.
JJ’s office has a stack of papers, a couple of award statues, a coffee cup, and a geode. On his computer screen is an email to “P.Parker@Web” with a terse message: “You’re Fired. >:( ” Betty’s screen, by comparison, shows that she has 99 missed calls from “E. Brock.” (Eddie often hit on Betty in the comics, so this is a pretty sad commentary on ongoing harassment from him. I guess he is a villain, but geez. Not cool, Eddie.) The TV in the foyer shows the same “DB News” broadcast that can be seen on the front of the building.
The roof of the Bugle features a water tower and antenna array. It also has a transparent beam play stand for the Firestar minifigure, as well as a flaming jet trail to show her flying around.
The water tower has some fun stickers, including a Miles Morales Spider-Man sticker, and another spray-painted Goblin Army tag. From this angle, you can also see the Mixel ball joint that allows for the satellite dish to be positioned.
The final bit of construction is the Daily Bugle logo. I love every bit of this sign. The font is just great, the kerning is good, and even the brick-built bugle is a treat. There’s also a small mounting point on the side of the building where the Spider-Mobile can be attached. (More on that in just a minute!)
Fully assembled, this is one towering skyscraper. With the front panels attached, you get an action scene in progress, as the Green Goblin launches himself through the windows and Firestar flies above. The Spider-Mobile clings to the top of the building (again, just a second for more details on that), and there are mounting points for plenty of minifigures to join in on the fun.
Each floor is also removable, allowing for even more playability. But, honestly, once you have this thing put together you’re going to have a hard time finding a good reason to take it apart, even at the “pre-made” break points. Most of the interior spaces can be easily reached without resorting to “top-down” placement. This modular design will help with storage and transport, though.
With the front panels off, you can make a more workplace-oriented scene. There’s easy access to four interior Bugle locations, five if you don’t mind reaching through the side of the building to move people around in the lobby.
The building looks great from all sides, too. There’s something interesting going on nearly everywhere, and being able to look through all those windows into the detailed interiors adds even more punch to this as a display piece.
This set also comes with a couple of vehicles. First up is a classic New York yellow cab—clearly labeled on each side with “Taxi” stickers, each with a small graphic of a minifigure hailing a ride.
There’s not a lot of interesting things about the cab build, but I did enjoy the way the designers used flick-fire missiles to attach the headlights into the Technic brackets. The interior of the cab is a little too sparse, though. There are no seats and no doors. At least we get a steering wheel. I really hate it when LEGO vehicles don’t have at least the suggestion of working controls.
One other fun detail is the license plate number—AFA 0015—a tribute to Spider-Man’s first appearance in Amazing Fantasy #15.
Oh, yeah. I’ve been wanting one of these for years. The Spider-Mobile first appeared in 1974’s Amazing Spider-Man #130, one of the very first Spider-Man comics I ever owned. Although the comic version is usually shown as a two-seater, this smaller take feels like just the right scale for a minifigure. The build is pretty straightforward, but the front windscreen is a little unusual in that it doesn’t actually connect in the middle. Rather, it requires some careful positioning of each side to line up properly.
The buggy looks good from the rear, with just enough detailing to give it a finished look. I also like the beefy elbow brick that forms the roll bar.
The finished model
Like most of the “Adult Collector” line, this set is based more around being a cool display piece than a plaything. As such, the designers put a lot of effort into making sure that there were plenty of ways for the finished Daily Bugle building to interact with all those minifigures. The one we’ve already focused on, the Green Goblin’s attack, is impossible to miss.
We’ve mentioned the Spider-Mobile’s attachment point at the top of the building a couple of times, but here it is in “action”. The only real downside is that you’ll probably want to have someone other than Spidey driving it, saving him for a more prominent location elsewhere in the scene. (LEGO agrees with that at some level – if you look closely at the box art, there’s no one driving the buggy at all!)
The fire escape offers some great hand-held attachment points, and there’s an integrated “action stand” about halfway up for the flying characters to pose on.
On the street level, the top of the News Stand is removable so you can put civilian Amber Grant inside. And there’s plenty of room on the roof for Spider-Ham to watch over things.
Meanwhile, Sandman can attack the front doors, bolstered by his giant sand-storm base. There’s another action pose point over the doorway for Daredevil to leap off of, too.
Finally, there’s even more animal life on the rear of the top floor. Check out that clever use of a minifigure neck-ruffle for a bird’s nest! I also like that the billboard graphics here look like they’re peeling off – a nice contrast to the slick presentation on the front of the building.
Did we mention that this set comes with an insane amount of minifigures? Twenty-five in all! There are so many, in fact, that we’ve featured them in their own dedicated article. (Click here to read all about ’em!)
Conclusion and recommendation
This…is a great set. While Spider-Man isn’t my favorite Marvel hero *cough*CaptainAmerica*cough*, he’s certainly up there. And even if he wasn’t, this set offers enough of the “street-level” Marvel heroes to have high appeal. But beyond just the wealth of characters, this is also great set to build. Every stage is full of fun details and clever building techniques, and even the repetitive bits (I’m looking at you, windows and fire escapes) were spaced out enough that they didn’t feel overwhelming. From a value perspective, the 25 minifigures (including several new and exclusive ones) make the already attractive 8 cents per part cost ratio even more of a draw. On the minus side, it would have been nice to have an alternate build for the Goblin-explosion wall to have a “normal day at the office” version of the Daily Bugle to display. But the parts needed for that are all fairly common, so fans wanting to customize their own shouldn’t have much of a problem. (Particularly if resellers pick up multiple copies of this set just for the figures – those common parts are going to have a lot of surplus on the LEGO aftermarket.) The other downside, if you can call it that, is that this set is so big that finding a place to display it is going to be a heroic-tier challenge of its own. But, somehow, I think collectors will be more than willing to give it a go.
If you’re looking for even more information before deciding to buy, though, be sure to check out part 2 of our review, where we focus on those 25 minifigures – there’s even more Spider-based goodness to discover!
Marvel 76178 Daily Bugle will be available for US $299.99 | CAN $399.99 | UK £274.99 from LEGO Stores and LEGO.com from May 26 for LEGO VIP members and June 1, 2021 for all. It may also be 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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