The newest set in the LEGO Spider-Man lineup is also the largest. Revealed just today, 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. We’ve already taken a look at the rest of the set’s contents in Part 1 of our review, and now it’s time to explore the full cast of twenty-five minifigures. Come along as we find out the who’s who of new and returning characters!
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.
A whole friendly (and unfriendly) neighborhood of characters
As we mentioned in part one of our review, the top of the box for the Daily Bugle set showcases the full assortment of minifigures that are included. They range from heroes to villains, and from supporting characters to “civilians”. And, for the collector, they range from “not him again” to “OMG is that really Daredevil?!” levels of fun.
The full cast of characters includes: 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.
We’ll be taking a close look at each minifigure, providing some context for them in the wider Spider-Verse, and letting you know if and when they’ve appeared before.
Let’s start off with the star of the show, Spidey himself. This version of the wall-crawler recently appeared in the 76198 Spider-Man & Doctor Octopus Mech Battle, and a plain blue leg version has been a mainstay of all the 2021 Spider-Man offerings. Personally, I’m glad they went with the super-recognizable, classic Spider-Man here. You need an iconic look to really start things off right.
Spidey has dual-sided printing on his head and torso, arm printing, and dual-molded legs in red and blue.
Peter Parker, Spider-Man’s (sometimes) secret identity, also gets the minifigure treatment. Peter suffers a little from being a pretty generic-looking character; if the packaging hadn’t called him out by name he might have been just another passer-by. I guess that’s kind of the point of a secret identity, even if this version of Peter is unique to this set.
Peter has a dual-sided expression, plain blue legs, and a brand new dual-sided torso. He comes with a satchel as an accessory.
I think most people were introduced to Peter Porker, the spectacular Spider-Ham in 2018’s Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse movie. He’s actually been around for a lot longer, since November 1983, in fact. (His first appearance was in Marvel Tails Starring Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #1).
Spider-Ham has also appeared once before in LEGO form previously, in 76151 Venomosaurus Ambush. Although this version is identical, he remains a very high-demand character without any availability in low-cost sets, making him a welcome addition to the line-up here.
Ghost-Spider, possibly more commonly known as Spider-Woman or “Spider-Gwen”, is another breakout character from Into the Spider-Verse. The alter-ego of an alternate-universe Gwen Stacey, she debuted in 2014’s Edge of Spider-Verse issue #2.
Spider-Gwen has appeared in LEGO sets before, with an identical version showing up in 76174 Spider-Man’s Monster Truck vs. Mysterio. She has a removable hood, plain black legs, single-sided face print, and a dual-sided torso.
Like Peter, you also get a “secret identity” version of Gwen. This is her first non-costumed appearance in LEGO form, and features a new dual-sided torso. Her face is shared with Rey from the Star Wars universe. I’m assuming she’s the same Gwen as Spider-Woman, but maybe she’s a clone from the main Marvel universe. It’s really hard to tell sometimes what’s going on with her.
Spider-Man (Miles Morales)
Miles Morales was the central character in Into the Spider-Verse, so it’s not too shocking that he’s making a cameo here. He first appeared in 2011’s Ultimate Fallout #4, and has since risen to rival Peter as the “best” Spider-Man in some circles. (He’s a close second for me, but I like the Dad-bod “Peter B. Parker” incarnation of the character the best.)
Miles has had a couple of previous appearances in LEGO form, with this version matching the one in 76171 Miles Morales Mech Armor. This is a great-looking minifigure with a removable hood, dual-sided face and torso printing, and dual-molded legs.
Okay, that’s the Spider-Clan taken care of. Let’s move on to some of the NEW superheroes who are making their debut in this set. First up is Matt Murdock, better known as Daredevil. As a “street-level” New York hero, Daredevil has crossed paths with Spider-Man numerous times since his 1964 debut in Daredevil #1. He also gained a lot of public awareness thanks to his multi-season Netflix series. Although this is his first real-world appearance as a LEGO figure, you could play as him in the LEGO Marvel Super Heroes game.
Set designer Mark Stafford is a huge fan of Ol’ Horn-head, and bringing his first-ever LEGO appearance to life was a big thrill. The display post at the “front and center” of the Bugle’s entrance was included specifically to showcase his favorite character.
Daredevil features an all-new face print and dual-sided torso. He also gets a new red version of the “ear wig” many LEGO fans will recognize from their Black Panther figures. He comes with two 3L red bars as accessories.
Frank Castle, the Punisher, is another character who has had both comic book and live-action versions over the years. First appearing in 1974’s The Amazing Spider-Man #129, Frank was battling it out with Spider-Man from day one. Like Daredevil, Punisher was a playable character in the LEGO Marvel Super Heroes game, but this is his first real-world appearance.
Frank comes with new dual-sided face and torso prints, dual-molded black and white legs, and a selection of firearms.
Yet another new-to-LEGO figure is Blade. Vampire-hunter Eric Brooks first appeared in The Tomb of Dracula #10, and has since gone on to star in his own comics and even several feature films. And, yes, he makes an appearance in the LEGO Marvel Super Heroes game, too. One of his more famous encounters with Spider-Man dealt with them confronting Morbius, another anti-hero who will be getting their own movie in 2022.
Blade features all-new dual-sided print torso, as well as a new face print. He also comes with a backpack accessory that holds two silver swords.
Okay, hands up…how many of you are old enough to have imprinted on the 1980s Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends cartoon? If so, then you’ll be as chuffed as I am to see the inclusion of Firestar, a mutant hero who was created for that show. (As the rights to the Human Torch were tied up at the time.)
Firestar has a new dual-sided face, dual-sided torso, and a new red color for her hairpiece. Her accessories are mostly built into the roof of the Daily Planet, but she also wields a couple of energy effect bursts. Her transparent orange fire-burst stand made its first appearance in the 76170 Iron Man vs. Thanos set.
More of an anti-hero than a superhero, the Black Cat (aka Felicia Hardy) has been an on-again, off-again love interest for Spider-Man, much like Catwoman is to Batman. Listed in the character bios as “a nimble, cunning criminal with sticky paws”, it’s clear LEGO counts her among the villains for this set. She first appeared in 1979’s Amazing Spider-Man #194.
Black Cat is another all-new figure, with new prints for her dual-sided face and torso. She has dual-molded black and white legs. Her white hairpiece has only been seen once before, in 2014’s Storm X-Men minifigure.
Before we move on to Spidey’s supporting cast, let’s take a moment to honor the three “Civilians” included with the bigger-name characters. Say hello to Bernie the cab driver, Amber Grant, and Ron Barney. It turns out, though, that these are also Marvel Characters. Bernie had an appearance in the Incredible Hulk, Amber had dealings with the Daily Bugle, and Ron had a byline in an issue of the Daily Bugle in Marvel Vision #14.
For some lower-interest characters, all three are unique to this set. Amber and Ron have all-new dual-sided torsos, and Ron has a new dual-sided face print. Benny’s face has only appeared as part of the Sinjin Prescott figure. while Amber has the same head as MJ from Spider-Man: Far from Home. Considering we don’t get an “official” Mary Jane in this set, you can always pretend that she’s just cosplaying as Amber.
Next up are several of Spider-Man’s core supporting cast. And there are few characters as important to Peter Parker as his Aunt May. May’s appearance is similar to her other LEGO versions, but she’s wearing Hermione Granger’s sweater, making this version unique. May has dual-sided printing on her face and torso, and comes with a plate of cookies as an accessory.
Daily Bugle editor Robbie Robertson has often been portrayed as one of the few people able to stand up to J. Jonah Jameson’s hatred of Spider-Man. His first LEGO appearance makes use of a head from Lando Calrissian and an all-new torso print.
I knew reporter Ben Urich mostly from his appearance in the Frank Miller Daredevil runs, but he’s always been a part of the Daily Bugle staff. Ben’s wearing Bruce Wayne’s jacket, and his face was previously seen on Florean Fortescue from 75978 Diagon Alley.
Betty Brant has been an occasional love interest for Peter Parker, as well as being fixated on by Eddie Brock (Venom). With all these love interests, you have to wonder why Mary Jane didn’t get a minifigure, too. Anyway. Betty. In this set she works as JJ’s secretary on the executive level of the Daily Bugle. While unique to this set, she does borrow her top from Ginny Weasley.
J. Jonah Jameson
You really can’t have the Daily Bugle without also having a serving of J. Jonah Jameson. JJ comes with a unique head print with possibly the funniest dual expression of all time: a webbed-up mouth courtesy of Spider-Man. He also has a purple pen, because why not?
We’re entering the final stretch by looking at all the villains who are besieging the Bugle. We start off with Flint Marko, the Sandman. While the base minifigure is the same as the one that appears in 76172 Spider-Man and Sandman Showdown, he comes “equipped” with an additional brick-built tornado base that really enhances the figure.
Mysterio is another figure we’ve seen before – this version matches the one in 76174 Spider-Man’s Monster Truck vs. Mysterio, although he lacks the cool “ghostly leg extension” piece we saw in that set. He at least kept the cool pearlized-blue fishbowl head upgrade. He has a dual-sided torso print and a cloth cape.
Another key baddie from Spider-Man’s life is the Green Goblin aka Norman Osborn. (Well, usually it’s Norman under the mask, but not always.) This version is the same as the one in 76175 Attack on the Spider Lair, a pleasingly classic look. The Goblin has a dual-sided head and torso print, printed legs, and an ear/cowl combo. He also comes with a satchel as an accessory.
Let’s not forget that the Green Goblin is very much a focus of the Daily Bugle’s display, too.
Ah, Venom. Peter Parker’s rival Eddie Brock is equal parts anti-hero and goopy monster. If you count the tentacle backpack assembly, this version of Venom is unique to this set. If you’re just looking at the core figure, though, it’s the same parts that we’ve seen in many previous LEGO sets. If you’re looking for an interesting display piece focused just on this guy, check out set 76187.
If you like Venom, you’ll love Carnage. At least, that’s what Marvel was hoping when they introduced this “son of the monster” symbiote. (For more background info about him, check out our review of set 76199.) Like Venom, this version of the character is unique if you’re counting the build on the attached backpack/tentacle rig. Otherwise, this is the same figure as we saw in 76173 Spider-Man and Ghost Rider vs. Carnage.
I saved my favorite villain for last. Doc Ock has always been a fascinating foe for Spider-Man, and this version is really a top-notch rendition. Oh, sure, the base figure is the same as we just saw in the 76198 Spider-Man & Doctor Octopus Mech Battle, but check out those arms! This is one time where I’m more than happy to let the backpack accessory define this as a unique take on the character.
The secret to their awesome construction is a series of “action pose” minifigure stands in light grey hinged together by 1×1 modified round plate. The bend on the stands means that with just a little twisting you can create nearly limitless poses for each of the four arms.
Here’s a shot of them in action. The only downside is that the robot claws at the tips don’t really grip well to any attachment points on standard minifigures. It would have been nice to have a better way to really grab onto Spidey.
That said, those arms do just what they are designed to do: interact with the Daily Bugle set. Clipping Doc onto the top of the building is a suitable dynamic way to wrap up this figure review.
Conclusion and recommendation
As I already covered in Part I, I’m very happy recommending this set to collectors, Spider-Man fans, and LEGO enthusiasts in general. But let’s take a moment and think about this set purely from a minifigure perspective.
Twenty-five minifigures is a ton to pack into any set, and LEGO has given us a wide range to enjoy here. A whopping eighteen of them are unique to this set, and five of those are the first LEGO appearance of new superheroes. Of the few repeats, all are key characters and one of them (Spider-Ham) is quite expensive on the secondary market currently. That said, there are some weird omissions. It would have been very nice to get a Mary Jane or a civilian version of Miles Morales. But, somehow…I think I’ll cope.
Considering the already reasonable 8 cents per part ratio for the set as a whole, the sheer volume and quality of characters here makes this set an exceptional value from a figure perspective. So count this as a rare “double recommendation” from me.
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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