Judging from the trailers, it seems Doctor Strange is playing a big role in the upcoming Spider-Man: No Way Home (which premiered this past weekend and we’ll avoid spoiling here). And after that, the Sorcerer Supreme won’t have very much downtime as the second movie in his franchise, Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, will be hitting theaters early next year. There’s not a ton of information officially released about the plot of that movie so far and the trailer is a bit cryptic, but let’s see what we can deduce about it from taking a look at its tie-in LEGO set, 76205 Gargantos Showdown. This 264-piece set will be available January 1st for US $29.99 | CAN $39.99 | UK £24.99.
As the movie this set is based on hasn’t released yet, this article may contain very light spoilers.
The LEGO Group provided The Brothers Brick with early copies of these sets for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.
Unboxing the parts and instructions
This set comes in a “thumb punch” style rectangular box. The front image depicts the three included minifigures in battle against a multi-armed, one-eyed monster as they all progress up the side of a city skyscraper. This seems to be a running theme for this franchise, as 76060 Doctor Strange’s Sanctum Sanctorum also pitted three of the film’s characters against a tentacled foe. Photos of the film’s cast are present on the right-hand side of the box, and this set includes three of the four featured characters. Scarlet Witch gets left out, but she was available in the latest Marvel Collectible Minifigure series if you want to complete the band.
The back of the box features another shot of the battle, this time at street level. The movie cast photos have been replaced by art of their corresponding minifigures in the same poses.
Typical for a set of this size, the box contains two individually numbered bags of parts and a thin instruction book with the box art replicated on the cover. There are no stickers for this set.
The set contains no completely brand-new parts, but there are some new colors/prints among the inventory that are of interest. The 4×4 dome with 2×2 recessed center just debuted in 2021, and this is its first appearance in trans-yellow. That piece pairs with a new print on the 2×2 plate with rounded bottom to make up the creature’s eye. The elephant trunk/tail is available here in olive green for the first time. And there’s a 1×1 round tile with a rainbow print that acts as a minifigure accessory. I’m betting we see lots more of this piece in upcoming Dots sets.
At its core, the tentacle monster is very similar to the construction of a BrickHeadz set such as the recent 40540 Lion Dance Guy. There’s a rectangular core that makes use of multiple outward facing studs that the character is built onto. I always find Studs Not on Top (SNOT) construction satisfying, but there won’t be any real surprises for experienced builders in this set. Bag 1 is mostly concerned with the core of the creature, while Bag 2 is primarily devoted to its tentacles.
One issue with the build worth highlighting involves the construction of the monster’s bottom eyelid. The instructions require two Mixel ball socket joints on the edges of a 6×1 mudguard. The arch of the mudguard bumps against the ball sockets and keeps everything from fitting quite as flush as you’d expect–the part collision is definitely not “in System.”
Once this assembly is added to the larger model, these pieces sit inverted over a shelf of pieces built out from the creature’s main body. Once the full model is completed, the socket joint pieces are cocooned in a pocket that will keep them contained, but allows for the couple of extra millimeters of space required so that the mudguard and socket joints don’t need to sit perfectly flush against each other. It’s an interesting approach that results in a surprisingly stable construction. My feeling is that the pieces won’t suffer from stress in the long term, but it does feel like an error that LEGO missed when vetting this design.
The final model
The final Gargantos model supports itself on four tentacles connected to the underside, while eight more tentacles around the midsection lash out in all directions. These are on ball joints and have a decent range of motion. Additionally, there’s a grouping of four smaller tentacles coming from just underneath the eye that might be multiple tongues. It’s hard to tell.
The eye is definitely the most attention-grabbing part of the model, with two mudguards forming an effective pair of eyelids. While the upper eyelid is connected by clips, the model is constructed in such a way that it remains static. Judging from the box image, I was hoping the eyelid would have some degree of movement to allow the monster different expressions. Alas, it was not to be. On the plus side, the open studs at the end of tentacles means minifigures and other pieces can be easily connected to the arms. This gives the set a surprising amount of play value, and I enjoy pitting him against the minifigures.
As a side note, in the comics Gargantos is a villain of Namor the Sub-Mariner that resembles a giant green octopus. While this model could definitely be mistaken for a deep-sea creature, some people think this set more closely resembles the Doctor Strange villain Shuma-Gorath. The set name might be a red herring to protect valuable plot secrets…or it could just be the result of Marvel shuffling old names around for trademark protection purposes. We’ll have to wait until the movie comes out to know for sure.
The minifigures are where the set really shines for me. There have been numerous Doctor Strange figures in sets across various movie tie-ins, but Wong is a character that’s been a little harder to come by. And America Chavez is making her LEGO debut here (and her MCU debut in the corresponding movie).
Doctor Strange in this set is almost identical to the one that appears in the 76185 Spider-Man at the Sanctum Workshop set. However, this set features a new torso printing with a chest symbol that more closely resembles his traditional comic appearance. To accommodate the symbol, the Eye of Agamotto has been lifted up higher, so that it looks more like a clasp for the cape rather than hanging down at his abdomen.
Speaking of the cape, this set foregoes the traditional cloth cape and includes a Cloak of Levitation made from soft, rubber-like plastic. It appears to be the same material as the cowl included on Batman in the recent UCS sets based on the 1989 movie. Doctor Strange’s cape has an opening at the front which, combined with the flexible plastic, allows it to be popped on and off of a minifigure without needing to remove the head. The cape is also molded so that it flairs out the back in a way that leaves clearance for Doctor Strange to sit down while still wearing the cape. Since the Cloak of Levitation is something of a character in its own right, making it rigid and quickly removable allows fans to play out the cape’s shenanigans in a way that more traditional LEGO capes didn’t. Strange also has two expressions – friendly and fierce – and he comes with two “energy circles” made from trans-orange radar dishes.
Wong is Strange’s fellow Master of the Mystic Arts and the only character capable of comically cutting the arrogant Strange down a peg or two when needed. That makes him a bit of a scene stealer, and he’s a character I’ve been wanting to add to my collection for a while. But until recently, Wong was only available in a Toys R Us exclusive 4-pack of minifigures, and he could be a little pricey on the secondary market. Wong appears here in a mostly purple and red outfit with golden highlights. His head is one-sided, so he only has one expression. But the wry smirk and judgmental eyebrow raise befits Wong’s movie depiction. Wong also includes two “energy circles” made from trans-purple radar dishes.
America Chavez is a character I’m excited to see come to the MCU. Her powers include the ability to open Star Portals to traverse the Multiverse. So, while we don’t know exactly what role she’ll play in the movie, odds are good she’ll be adding to the multiple universe escapades started by Loki and No Way Home. America sports a sand blue jacket with a printed gray t-shirt underneath. Her legs are the new medium-length variety introduced in 2018. Her face is double-sided, with both a friendly and more intense expression. America’s accessory is the rainbow-printed round tile mentioned above. It’s unclear what this accessory is, exactly. Perhaps her powers give off a rainbow-colored energy signature? Or maybe it’s a pin or button with sentimental value that plays a part in the film’s plot? I guess we won’t know for sure on this one either until we see the movie.
All three minifigures have a decent amount of rear torso printing. Strange and Wong both continue over the detail you’d expect from their outfits, while the back of America’s jacket appropriately sports a large star in the center.
Conclusion and recommendation
I have to say, as fun as I think Gargantos is, I don’t imagine the casual fan is going to get a lot out of this set. As mentioned, the build is incredibly similar to the BrickHeadz line, which tend to retail for about half as much money for roughly the same number of parts. But the promise of an easy-to-come-by Wong and the introduction of America make this a more tempting buy for dedicated Marvel fans.
LEGO Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness 76205 Gargantos Showdown comes with 264 pieces and will be available January 1st for US $29.99 | CAN $39.99 | UK £24.99. It may also be available on Amazon and eBay.
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.