Review: 76178 Daily Bugle (Part #1)

Posted by CapnRex101, 06 Jun 2021 15:00

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Spider-Man has become inextricably associated with the Daily Bugle, although Peter Parker was introduced after the newspaper. This renowned tabloid expresses an aggressive stance towards Spider-Man, which is typically demanded by the bad-tempered J. Jonah Jameson.

76178 Daily Bugle encapsulates this association between the newspaper and various Marvel characters, containing an outstanding collection of heroes, villains and journalists. These encompass numerous unique minifigures, including Daredevil, Blade, Black Cat and the Punisher, alongside several ubiquitous Marvel characters.

Part one of our review discusses the minifigures, 25 of which populate the Daily Bugle!

Box and Contents

76178 Daily Bugle belongs to the 18+ range and features accordant branding, with the usual dark background and colourful stripe. I think this model would potentially benefit from brighter packaging, given the comic environment, although the building appears impressive. Moreover, the all-important minifigures are displayed across the top of the box.

Opening this box reveals 36 bags, numbered between one and sixteen, beside another which contains larger elements. The single instruction manual comprises 376 pages, including some dedicated to information about the Daily Bugle newspaper and development of this substantial model. These are printed on black pages but the instructions feature a lighter background.

Character profiles for the 25 minifigures are included, providing information about the diverse heroes, villains and civilians which populate the Daily Bugle. These are welcome because the minifigures are important here, although scant details are provided about Bernie, Amber Grant and Ron Barney. Nevertheless, I like these abbreviated character profiles.

Designer interviews have become infrequent throughout recent instruction manuals. This short interview with the set designer, Mark Stafford, offers some excellent insight though, particularly concerning the removable windows and Daredevil’s inclusion. Additionally, the formatting as an interview with the Daily Bugle’s leading investigate journalist, Ben Urich, is enjoyable.

Two separate sticker sheets are provided, featuring 38 stickers between them. Their quantity seems relatively modest given the enormous size of this model, although several stickers are large and can prove accordingly challenging to apply. Nevertheless, I think these stickers look appealing, especially because numerous references are secreted among them!

Minifigures

An updated Spider-Man minifigure has been introduced this year, featuring intricate webbed decoration and printed arms. These definitely enhance the minifigure, in combination with the dual-moulded legs which return from 76198 Spider-Man & Doctor Octopus Mech Battle where the same minifigure is available. This is probably my favourite comic version of Spider-Man so far!

Peter Parker famously supplies photographs of Spider-Man to the Daily Bugle, hence the web-slinger’s alter ego is included. Of course, Peter’s civilian clothing displays Spider-Man’s distinct colours which is splendid. This red jacket previously appeared on Jack Davids minifigures from Hidden Side but seems equally suitable here, while the double-sided head displays both happy and concerned expressions.

Three additional ‘Spider Family’ members accompany Peter, the most renowned of whom is probably Miles Morales. This great minifigure has already appeared in 76171 Miles Morales Mech Armour and wears a dark red jacket over his black Spider-Man suit, loosely resembling the Bodega Cat costume from the Spider-Man: Miles Morales video game.

Ghost Spider and Miles Morales include the same hood component, albeit in varied colours which complement their garb. Pink highlights inside the hood would definitely have enhanced this minifigure, although I love the purple decoration on the torso. These accents demonstrate impressive accuracy and the black and white colours look fantastic too. Even so, printed arms would benefit the design.

Despite his remarkably strange appearance, Spider-Ham possesses similar abilities to other web-slingers and sports familiar attire. However, this fun minifigure, which returns from 76151 Venomosaurus Ambush, does include an exclusive head and subtler distinctions. For instance, the spider symbol on his back displays a porcine head! Multiple web accessories are provided with these characters.

Peter has expressed romantic interest in many characters throughout his comic appearances and Gwen Stacy is among the most memorable such people. Her blonde hair piece is perfect for the character and the freckled head looks superb too, despite its relative ubiquity. Moreover, Gwen’s teal jacket is interesting because the element was designed for Hidden Side, much like Peter Parker’s clothing.

Aunt May has also appeared prominently throughout Spider-Man’s publication history, even accompanying the hero upon his introduction during Amazing Fantasy #15! This minifigure is immediately recognisable as Peter’s beloved aunt, featuring an ideal hair element and striped jumper, shared with Hermione Granger from 75967 Forbidden Forest: Umbridge’s Encounter.

Unfortunately, her alternative expression is partially exposed beneath this hair piece, although these kindly and frightened faces otherwise look perfect. May carries a tray of medium nougat cookies, presumably baked for her nephew and accordingly being delivered to the Daily Bugle.

Several additional characters accompany Spider-Man’s traditional allies, appearing exclusively here. Daredevil has been hotly-anticipated by Marvel fans and this minifigure looks impressive, making brilliant use of an element created for Black Panther to depict his distinctive horns. This head appears excellent too, especially since the flesh printing is unusually vibrant and matches other minifigures.

Punisher looks outstanding as well. This ruthless vigilante is perhaps a surprising addition to 76178 Daily Bugle, although his presence is definitely welcome and the minifigure looks good, displaying the character’s classic skull motif on his torso. The matching belt and dual-moulded legs also appear accurate, closely resembling the Punisher’s common comic depictions.

Frank Castle’s murderous methods routinely result in injuries, hence this minifigure includes a plaster on one side of the head. The other features a smile which seems decidedly unsuitable for the Punisher, whose personality is famously grim. Various weapons accompany this figure, as one would anticipate, while Daredevil wields twin batons which correspond with the comics.

Blade shares the Punisher’s penchant for violence and the minifigure is instantly recognisable, wearing dark sunglasses with a black jacket. His confident grin captures perfect personality for Blade and I love the metallic decoration on his chest. However, this minifigure should definitely have integrated Zane’s hair component from NINJAGO, which would have looked brilliant here in black.

Contrasting with Blade’s dark clothing, Firestar features flame yellowish orange attire beside bright red hair! This textured piece looks excellent and I like the decoration on Firestar’s torso, which is more elaborate than her normal comic depictions. The head includes satisfying detail too, displaying cheerful and determined expressions with a stylised domino mask.

Trans-orange energy blast accessories accompany this minifigure, representing her ability to manipulate microwave radiation. While some parts remain available for Firestar to hold, most appear on the Daily Bugle and their integration is almost seamless which improves upon their use in several Super Heroes sets.

Black Cat occupies an intriguing position within Spider-Man’s extensive character roster. The thief variously opposes Spider-Man or becomes his ally, depending on the situation. Whatever her role, Black Cat’s appearance here is welcome and the minifigure looks tremendous. Felicia Hardy’s characteristic white hair is present and the double-sided head suits Black Cat.

Once again, the minifigure features dual-moulded legs which is appealing, complementing the white fur adorning her torso. The silver necklace also looks good and Black Cat includes some fitting accessories, wielding a black whip to denote her grappling cables. A diamond is supplied as well, reflecting Felicia’s unavoidable tendency towards thievery!

While certain characters seem morally questionable, others are absolutely evil. Green Goblin definitely occupies the latter category and this design returns from 76175 Attack on the Spider Lair, featuring ragged purple fabric that corresponds with the Goblin’s manic psyche. The dark bluish grey padding on his torso and knees also seems effective, contrasting with the principal purple colour.

Green Goblin’s gruesome visage seems appropriately threatening and two expressions adorn the head, conveying deranged cheer and anger. The character’s distinctive ears and headgear appear accurate too. Unfortunately, no requisite pumpkin bombs are included but Green Goblin can ride his Goblin Glider, which is connected to the Daily Bugle building.

LEGO has produced various Doctor Octopus minifigures since 2004, when the first example became available. This minifigure features comparatively dark clothing, somewhat resembling the character from the recent Spider-Man video game. His reddish brown hair component also appears reminiscent of Otto Octavius’ video game incarnation.

While the torso design looks reasonably simple from the front, the reverse simulates complex mountings for Octavius’ mechanical arms. Moreover, the double-sided head conveys fantastic personality, featuring a grimace, a wicked smile and detailed goggles. Printed legs would have improved the minifigure, although I think Doctor Octopus looks appealing without them.

Doctor Octopus’ mechanical arms have changed as regularly as their owner, employing many construction techniques and elements. These spectacular appendages are definitely the most impressive though, comprising angled minifigure stands and 1×1 round plates with holes! This design provides extraordinary articulation and features incredible detail, without compromising their strength.

Venom minifigures have remained more consistent than Doctor Octopus, although his black tendrils have been updated here. They are individually articulated and seem suitably organic, surpassing previous designs in this regard. The head and torso also feature adequate details, although some decoration across the legs would have been welcome.

Printed legs are available for Carnage, following the introduction of an updated minifigure with 76173 Spider-Man and Ghost Rider vs Carnage. The black and red colour scheme looks great and I appreciate the continuation of these designs between different components, although the original minifigure from 76036 Carnage’s SHIELD Sky Attack also integrated printed arms.

Even without arm printing, I think the murderous Symbiote appears menacing and his tendrils are constructed using the same method as those on Venom. Additionally, both characters are equipped with tendrils to connect to their hands, as demonstrated below. This black handgrip component remains relatively uncommon.

Marvel Super Heroes was launched during 2012 and Mysterio was excluded from the theme before 2019, when Spider-Man: Homecoming was released. Comic versions of this enigmatic villain have appeared in several subsequent sets, wearing an ornate magenta cape. The cape now folds twice around the neck, varying from 76174 Spider-Man’s Monster Truck vs. Mysterio where the 4+ cape was used instead.

Mysterio’s spherical helmet remains unaltered though, employing trans-opalescent blue plastic which creates an impression of swirling smoke. The light bluish grey head underneath is nearly invisible and the resulting effect is appealing. However, the dual-moulded base which appeared with Mysterio in 76174 Spider-Man’s Monster Truck vs. Mysterio is missing here.

Sandman does incorporate an elaborate base, representing his emergence from the ground. This component features excellent texture and appears ideal here, although the element was originally developed for NEXO Knights. Another brick-built base is also provided and attaches outside the Daily Bugle building, further enhancing Sandman’s intimidating appearance.

Unfortunately, the character’s torso displays weak colour matching between the printed sand and neighbouring tan parts. I appreciate the green shirt though and Sandman’s asymmetrical design works nicely. This minifigure includes the distinctive head designed for Clone Troopers, presumably prolonging its production after this piece has been replaced within Star Wars sets.

J. Jonah Jameson was introduced during 1963 and his irascible personality has become an irrepressible factor within the Marvel universe! This minifigure resembles the design available with 76005 Spider-Man: Daily Bugle Showdown, featuring the same hairstyle with an updated colour. Jameson’s waistcoat is also unique, although the decoration on my minifigure is offset somewhat, unfortunately.

The most important aspect of J. Jonah Jameson minifigures is certainly capturing the editor’s personality and 76005 Spider-Man: Daily Bugle Showdown satisfied that necessity. The head looks superb here as well, especially on the reverse where Spider-Man has evidently become impatient with Jameson’s interminable criticism! The newspaper editor carries a pen.

Jameson’s steadfast secretary, Betty Brant, accompanies the Daily Bugle editor here. Despite comprising elements created for other characters, including Ginny Weasley’s torso from 75978 Diagon Alley, the minifigure is quickly recognisable based upon her distinguishing hair element which matches Betty’s customary appearance throughout comics and movies.

Another component returns from 75978 Diagon Alley for Ben Urich, whose head was initially created for Florean Fortescue. This prominent journalist is certainly an appropriate addition to the set and his bespectacled head corresponds with the comics. The chequered jacket seems reasonable too, although Urich’s clothing is traditionally portrayed as unkempt.

Robbie Robertson advises J. Jonah Jameson at the Daily Bugle, showing obvious sympathy towards Spider-Man that contrasts with Jameson’s antipathy. This minifigure features Lando Calrissian’s moustachioed head with a medium nougat jumper, exhibiting diamond patterns. Unusually, this element lacks decoration on the reverse, despite being introduced relatively recently.

Another new head has been developed for Ron Barney, whose appearance in the comics is undefined. An expanding collection of different reddish brown heads is appreciated and I love the grey flecks in Ron’s beard. Furthermore, this colourful jumper includes splendid detail and was created for Dudley Dursley from Harry Potter, originally appearing in 75968 4 Privet Drive last year.

Amber Grant supplies photographs to the Daily Bugle and makes good use of existing parts. This head returns from 76129 Hydro-Man Attack but looks wonderful, displaying a delightfully sceptical expression as an alternative to her standard smile. The red cap and hair component looks lovely and I like Amber’s torso, shared with Jessica Sharpe in 60264 Ocean Exploration Submarine. The satchel seems perfect for a journalist.

LEGO has evidently scoured Marvel Comics for obscure characters to include and Bernie the Cab Driver satisfies that requirement, appearing only once during 1978! The minifigure seems generic though, combining a head and torso from different Jurassic World characters. However, this design works nicely and Bernie’s flat cap certainly conforms to taxi driving stereotypes.

Overall

Marvel Super Heroes sometimes receives criticism focused upon Spider-Man’s overwhelming prevalence among comic-based sets. 76178 Daily Bugle includes the popular web-slinger and myriad additional characters, expanding this selection beyond the most prominent heroes. The exclusive Daredevil, Punisher, Blade and Black Cat minifigures seem particularly tempting and their execution is appealing.

Furthermore, the supplementary characters amply populate the enormous Daily Bugle building, creating the appearance of fitting chaos on display! Of course, further unique minifigures would have been fantastic and Mark Stafford has confirmed that as many as seventy were considered during development. Nevertheless, this selection is undoubtedly impressive.

The second part of our review, discussing the Daily Bugle building, will be published shortly.

This set was provided for review by The LEGO Group but the review represents an expression of my own opinions.

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