Although we don’t know a lot about the plot of the upcoming Marvel Eternals movie, we do know a bit about some toy tie-ins. Back in December of 2020, four sets were revealed in the winter LEGO catalog, presumably due to the film’s original November 2020 release date. But Covid had other plans, and the Eternals movie was delayed until November of 2021. So LEGO held off on making the sets available for sale…until now, that is. LEGO Marvel Eternals 76156: Rise of the Domo will be available from the LEGO Shop Online starting October 1st for US $89.99 | CAN $119.99 | UK £89.99. This is the largest set in the wave, with 1040 pieces including six Eternals minifigures. Has this set been worth the extended wait? Read along as we look at the highs (and lows) of this capstone set in the Eternals theme.
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.
Unboxing the parts, instructions and sticker sheet
First up, a minor bit of disclaimer. Since most of what know about the Eternals movies comes from the trailers, we’re going to have to make some big assumptions about what this set actually refers to in the film Sure, we can look to the source material, but the Marvel Cinematic Universe usually makes a lot of changes. We’ll try and keep the speculation light, but beware of potential spoilers if we happen to guess right on any of this.
For a baseline, though, let’s take a quick look at the product description from LEGO.com:
If you’re looking for a new toy for a youngster, they’ll love this warship battle playset. Kids join 6 Eternals – Makkari, Ikaris, Thena, Sersi, Druig and Phastos – and explore their amazing spaceship. The 3 sides lift open to give access to the cockpit, weapons room, laboratory and more. But when the evil leader of the Deviants arrives with his accomplice, kids must use the spaceship to overcome the Deviants! If you’re buying for a minifigure fan, this is the only LEGO playset to feature the Druig and Phastos minifigures!
This set comes in a large tab-sealed box. As you expect, the front of the package has a clear shot of the Eternal’s spaceship. It seems a reasonable guess that it’s called the Domo – although in the comics that was actually a character, not a ship. Outside of the ship are the six Eternal minifigures, the Deviant leader Kro, and a Deviant creature. In the upper right is a real-life cast shot of the full ten Eternals characters. Probably a smart move not to have them LEGO-ized, as the general public doesn’t know these characters well yet. The suggested age range is “8+”, which is a pretty fair assessment of the building challenge presented by this set.
This set has a number of interesting parts, including some that are exclusive to this set or to the Eternals theme. The three 8×8 round plates with hull patterns are exclusive to the Domo, while the 6×6 dishes in satin transparent black also appear in 76155: In Arishem’s Shadow. The 1×4 tiles in satin trans-black have appeared before in two 2021 sets (Friends 41449 Andrea’s Family House and Creator 31117 Space Shuttle Adventure) . The control surface has been around for a while, but is still pretty cool looking.
The Deviant leader figure is brick-built, and features this unique printed head. The curved minifigure sword in satin trans-black appears in all of the other Eternals sets, while the two smaller curved slopes show up in 76154: Deviant Ambush! as well. The Domo only comes with one of these dual molded minifigure “big hand” accessories, but there are two more in set 76154.
The sticker sheet is fairly evenly split between hull decoration for the Domo and organic shapes to enhance the Deviants. Both were unlikely to return in non-themed LEGO product, so putting them on stickers is a reasonable choice. I think aftermarket builders will probably find good use for most of these in their own custom creations, though.
Kro, the Deviant Leader
The brick-built leader of the Deviants, Kro, looks a lot different from his comic origins. Here he is a more mutated creature, with an asymmetric build and a variety of spiky protrusions. All of the Deviant creatures in this theme share the same basic color scheme: Dark blue, dark red, gold and sand green.
Kro has a good bit of articulation, but sadly his head is attached with a Technic connection that does not allow for it to turn. He also looks a bit drab from the rear, and is whisper thin from the side. But as far as brick-built figures at this scale, Kro is pretty successful. He has some interesting shaping, and doesn’t feel like a cookie-cutter build.
This set includes a second Deviant being – simply called “creature” in the LEGO descriptions. It’s a big four legged beastie, awash in the standard Deviant color scheme. The legs are mounted on ball joints, the head on a click hinge, and the spines on clips, all of which add a decent range of motion and articulation.
I’m not a fan of the exposed joints, but the shape of this build does match up with the other Deviant creatures in the theme. The common use of the curved swords as spines is a nice touch, and has the side bonus of making that interesting piece a little more plentiful for future building.
The heavy use of stickers adds some nice detail and breaks up what might otherwise be solid blocks of color. The Mixel ball joints on the feet allow for a pretty sturdy stance when posing the creature.
From the side, the creature does look pretty wolf-like. If you crossed a wolf with a porcupine, anyway. It’s still a little blocky, and a little spindly looking, but overall one of the better Deviant beasts in the theme.
The Domo has a tiny personal jet, apparently. It’s the only bit of ship building in the first two bags of parts. It’s nothing special, but does have controls that the minifigures can reach and manipulate. That’s always a plus in my book.
The Domo itself is built on a triangular footprint. Hinged plates in the bottom corner will eventually connect the exterior walls along the outer edge.
The 3×3 round tiles all get stickers. You’ll want to pay close attention to to instructions when applying them. Done right, the graphics line up with a circular design that unify the three lower disks.
The outer walls use are secured in place with hinged plate, and lock securely into the overall triangular shape.
The control room at the front of the Domo has some interesting décor that I hope reflects the final movie designs. The giant pipes that surround the seating area do tend to make the control surfaces on the walls hard to reach, though.
The sides of the ship fold down to expose the interior play spaces. The detailing on them is much heavier on the top panel, although there is a line of studs that will hold some tile-based decoration later in the build.
One of the more interesting interior details is this microscale rendition of the Celestial Arishem holding aloft a white statue. (It’s a clear reference to the 76155: In Arishem’s Shadow set.) The roller skates that form the head are a particularly inspired touch.
The rear corners of the Domo are roughed in next, with these door panels creating a tight seam.
At this point the interior of the Domo feels very airy and open. Don’t get used to that, as there will be a lot more packed into this tiny space soon.
We start filling things up with a nook filled with various bits of Earthly brick-a-brack. There’s a game controller, a metal detector, what looks to be a small karaoke machine, a crowbar and an umbrella. There’s also a cute coffee machine mounted on the floor.
The central hall of the ship is built from dark and sand green brick, with a gold ingot inset half way up for a pop of color. The flaming fist gets a display stand on the opposite side of the ship from the junk closet.
The front of the Domo doesn’t come to a point; it’s squared off. The LEGO version also has a blunt nose, attached with a clever bit of SNOT building.
The center section of the Domo’s roof has plenty of interesting quarter-circle and round tiles. That satin trans-black 6×6 dish looks pretty sweet, too. The only downside is the presence of front-facing stud shooters. Why do we always have to have stud shooters? (Answer: Because some people really like that play feature. To each their own, I guess.)
The rear section of the ship has this interesting golden contraption. What is it? Your guess is as good as mine at this point. Maybe it’s the “engineering” section mentioned in the product description. Note that a 2×2 boat tile has popped off the sand green brick in the photo. This join is pretty weak, and can cause the rear hinge to come apart unexpectedly if you push on it the wrong way.
And that’s pretty much the build of the Domo. The final details are attaching the roof panels and folding this up into “display mode.”
The finished model
In the trailers, the Domo is very, very big ship, so it’s not something that could realistically be built (or sold) at a 1:1 minifigure scale. Instead we get an interesting compromise. When all of the exterior panels are closed, you get a “micro machine” version of things that you can pretend is just “very far away”. That said, the ship in the trailers is a bit more ornate (and differently colored) than the LEGO version. The sides of the ship, in particular, have only a thin stripe of decoration, which feels a bit sparse. The top of the ship fares a lot better, with the printed tiles and stickers providing plenty of circular decorations that match up well with the Eternal minifigure’s outfits.
A triangle shape is pretty uncommon for cinematic spacecraft, but that’s what Marvel went with instead of aiming for the fence with something truly awe-inspiring in Jack Kriby’s style. Ditto on the map-like circular decorations; it’s what Marvel decided on. So we can’t blame LEGO for the fact this looks like a piece of stale pizza. But we can blame Marvel. And we should. (Okay, I’m very biased in favor of Jack Kirby’s original designs. But this does look like a block of spoiled food.)
When viewed as a playset, though, things are much nicer. Just about every inch of the interior space is well used with different set pieces. We can only assume that these are areas that will be important in the film, and that they’ll match up with the finished CGI. (That’s a peril of working from early concept art. Sometimes designs change.)
The different play areas are easily accessible thanks to the three-edged design of the ship. The only spot that isn’t ideal is the cockpit – it’s hard to see into, or position figures in.
The memorabilia room seems like a nice place to relax and have a cup of coffee. There’s an interesting mix of minifigure accessories to play with, too. But why a crowbar AND an umbrella? The world may never know.
I’ve still got no clue what this golden structure is, but it does look cool. It folds down neatly in “ship mode”, but again, that join with the hinges is a little weak and the whole panel can pop off if you’re not paying attention.
The micro-Celestial is recognizable, and is an interesting addition to the play space. And, if you don’t want to watch the film, you can just pretend it’s an on-ship LEGO-vendor trying to sell minifigure collectibles to the Eternals. (Very meta, right?)
Kro and the Deviant Creature make a good pair of baddies for the Eternals to fight. Hopefully they’ll remain accurate to their cinematic counterparts.
Again, without knowing the plot, we can only guess at how the interaction between Deviant and Eternal will go down. Possibly it will be something like this deadly “Poetry Slam” where the Deviants display a love for Vogon verse.
LEGO based a lot of the Eternals theme around a “gotta catch ’em all” minifigure strategy. Of the ten Eternals characters, each of the four sets has at least one exclusive hero. While Sersi, Makkari, Thena and Ikaris all appear in other (cheaper) sets, you’ll have to shell out for the Domo to get Phastos and Druig.
All of the Eternals have dual sided torso and face prints, as well as leg printing. All of the costumes are unique to the Eternals theme, although many of the faces and hairpieces have been around for years.
We don’t know what Phastos’ powers will be in the film, but in the comics he was known as an inventor and engineer. His head has appeared just once before, in 76178 Daily Bugle‘s Ron Barney minifigure. He’s exclusive to the Domo.
Makkari is the speedster of the Eternals. Her face also appeared in the Daily Bugle set, as part of Amber Grant, as well as being the face of MJ from Spider-Man: Far from Home. Her hair is new for 2021, also appearing in both the Friends and CITY themes. Makkari also appears in the 76154: Deviant Ambush! set.
In the comics, Druig is pretty evil dude, but we’ll have to wait and see if that is carried over to the MCU. While Druig is exclusive to this set, his face is pretty common these days. It’s appeared in the LEGO versions of Shang-Chi, Draco Malfo, and even Happy Hogan. In fact, if you swap out Druig’s hair piece for an identical design in black, he’s a dead ringer for Happy. Now that could make for a very wacky crossover, no?
Sersi’s power is the transformation of matter, which is nice work if you can get it. Her face print has been around for a long time, appearing in themes like Harry Potter, Shang-Chi, Friends, and Star Wars.
There’s some spoilery things in Thena’s comic history that might make for interesting plot points in the upcoming film For now, though, we’ll just have to wonder why she has the same face as Mantis from the Guardians of the galaxy. And why her outfit kind of looks like Wonder Woman‘s golden armor.
Ikaris also has an uncanny resemblance to another LEGO Marvel hero, right down to his haripiece. He’s a dead ringer for “Skinny Steve” in the 76201 Captain Carter and the Hydra Stomper “What If…?” set. I’m guessing the character’s in-trailer ability to shoot eyebeams was a late design choice, or LEGO would probably have opted to reuse a Superman-style glowing eye dual-sided head. (Now THAT would have been a crossover!)
Conclusion and recommendation
I wasn’t overly fond of any of the sets in LEGO’s 2021 Eternals theme, but out of them, the Rise of the Domo is arguably the best. You get six minifigures that are exclusive to the theme, with two of them being unique to the set. The Deviant leader, Kro, is an interesting character build, and the Deviant “creature” is one of the better beasts in the line. The Domo is a bit more of a mixed bag, with great play features but only a so-so exterior appearance. LEGO crammed as much as they could into the small ship, but it could have benefitted from being at a larger scale. At $90 US for 1040 pieces, the price ratio comes in at 8.6 cents per; pretty reasonable for the interesting mix of parts and minifigures. The build is interesting and fun, with plenty of techniques to keep you engaged. If you’re planning to get any of the Eternals sets, this is the one I’d recommend – even if it’s the most expensive of the lot. There’ll be plenty to do, anyway, while we continue to wait to see the movie!
LEGO Marvel Eternals 76156: Rise of the Domo will be available from the LEGO Shop Online starting October 1st for US $89.99 | CAN $119.99 | UK £89.99. 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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