76178 Daily Bugle weighs in as the largest LEGO Marvel set of all time, and brings with it a healthy dose of fan service – but offers more than enough across its supersized build to keep casual fans (and even non-Marvel fans) happy, too.
Enter the Daily Bugle, New York City’s most notorious tabloid newspaper. Since making its first appearance in The Amazing Spider-Man #1 in 1963, the Daily Bugle has been a firm fixture in Marvel comics, movies, TV shows and even video games.
The building’s design has remained relatively similar across the decades, with only Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy deviating from the established look. Borrowing heavily from the design aesthetics of modern-day skyscrapers, the building sits 46 stories tall and is capped by 30-foot lettering spelling out the name of the newspaper.
With over 1,266 appearances in various media forms, it’s a well-established and hugely important building within the Marvel universe, so it may come as a surprise to learn it’s only appeared in LEGO form once before – and in a relatively small set, 2013’s 76005 Spider-Man: Daily Bugle Showdown. The LEGO Group has more than made up for that lacklustre presence, however, with 76178 Daily Bugle.
Coming in at 3,772 pieces, it’s the largest LEGO Marvel set ever released, and features an impressive cast of 25 minifigures (16 of them being exclusive, including The Punisher, Daredevil and Blade, who all appear as LEGO minifigures for the very first time).
The design clearly takes inspiration from modular building techniques and styles, but is presented with a comic book twist: heroes and villains are strewn all over the building’s exterior, windows have been completely blown apart, and pretty much everywhere you look there’s some kind of action taking place.
It’s huge and imposing, but is it worth your time – and more importantly, is it worth your hard-earned cash?
— Set details —
Price: £274.99 / $299.99 / €299.99 Pieces: 3,772 Minifigures: 25
— Build —
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly which iteration of the Daily Bugle building has inspired this LEGO set; it feels more like an amalgamation of the various designs rather than a direct interpretation of a specific one. What’s certain is that it is the very definition of a LEGO skyscraper.
And that means that at first glance, the build looks like it has the potential to be pretty repetitive and mundane – skyscrapers are, by their very nature, uniform in design – and this model features four almost-identical grey floors, standing at an impressive 82cm (making it the second-tallest LEGO set of all time, behind 10181 Eiffel Tower). However, the build experience is anything but boring, because 76178 Daily Bugle is a joy to construct.
The process begins, like many modular buildings, with the placement of various tiles on to the 32×32 baseplate, which mark out areas for a pavement, alleyways, entrance and the foundations of the ground floor. Tiles are very tactile LEGO pieces to build with, and it makes for a very enjoyable start. On either side of the baseplate are 1×2 Technic bricks, allowing 76178 Daily Bugle to connect to any and all modular buildings (or modular building-inspired set, like 80107 Spring Lantern Festival and 71741 NINJAGO City Gardens).
The skyscraper is divided into four floors: the ground floor makes up the reception area; the first floor is a busy, bustling news room; the second is Peter Parker’s office and an adjacent store room; and the final floor is the home of the paper’s editor, J. Jonah Jameson. The second and third floors are smaller, and do suffer slightly as a result. They feel a little claustrophobic compared to the bigger areas, and due to their size they don’t allow for as much detail to be added.
Nevertheless, all four floors are very different from one another and it’s because of this that the build never feels too monotonous. There are enough sub-assemblies and side builds to concentrate on that, rather than feeling like a chore, it feels more like returning to familiar territory each time the exterior sections of the skyscraper are built.
Each floor’s interior also includes some really inspired side builds. The foyer houses a vending machine and a receptionist’s desk made from two 4×4 macaroni tiles. The desk lamp, coffee percolator (made using a black barb for a handle) and the water cooler that can be found in the news desk are all inventive little builds that look incredibly effective. The photocopier next to Peter Parker’s desk using a 1×2 plate with bar handle as the lid is another clever example of parts usage.
Each interior section is covered over by a large panel, which can be removed to reveal the insides with great ease. Each exterior has its own sub-assemblies, which again limit the feeling of repetition. The giant wraparound screen is superb, complete with excellent graphic designs (albeit as a sticker) of J. Jonah Jameson presenting the DB News, next to another news broadcast of a press conference from Doctor Octopus and cronies saying they’ve given up crime (we’ll believe it when we see it).
These television-style graphics are used throughout the rest of the build, too, with TV screens adorning every floor. The reception’s new broadcast warns of vampires being spotted on the subway, in the midst of a garlic shortage. Luckily, Blade is included within the set’s small army of superheroes, so that’s one crisis averted.
The highlight of the exterior sections is the exploded window on the second floor, from which Green Goblin is bursting through on his Goblin Glider (told you they hadn’t given up crime). Using the same parts that make up the other floors, these are connected to ball and socket hinges that attach to the outside of the skyscraper.
These breakaway sections cleverly convey the sense that the villainous goblin has just burst through, causing utter chaos and havoc as a result. It lends itself to a very dynamic and action-packed display. As a nice touch, there are exactly enough pieces to close the gap, should you want to assemble the set as a more conventional building.
By the time the build progresses to the fourth floor, the inevitable feeling of repetition does start to creep in, especially when faced with another 40 window panes and 16 1×2 plates with door rails to put together. It’s a testament to the quality and enjoyment of the set, however, when only towards the very latter stage does it begin to feel a bit repetitive, and there is so much fun on offer throughout the whole experience that it can be excused.
Spider-Man is one of the few comic books set distinctly in the real world, as the web-slinger calls New York City home, and there are a tonne of references to the Big Apple sprinkled throughout 76178 Daily Bugle. Stickers with ‘New York Sewer’ graphics adorn the roadsides; a news stand with NYC souvenirs can be found outside; and no New York scene would be complete without the ubiquitous yellow cab – the build of which is superb, and far superior to 40468 Yellow Taxi. The shaping is excellent, details are minimal but authentic and it really adds to the overall appeal and look of the set.
The final stage adds the roof and water tower, which makes ingenious use of black horse hitchings and a light grey Asian-style hat. There is an authentic looking radio antenna and, as a brilliant way to cap off the entire experience, a brick-built Daily Bugle sign. It looks incredible and is a great way to finish off a very enjoyable build. Or it would be: after the joy of building the Daily Bugle sign, placing it on top and admiring your handiwork, there’s one more side build to construct in Spider-Man’s buggy. As a build it’s perfectly fine, and it does nod to the comics, but it feels like a bit of a damp squib to end on.
Many parallels can be drawn between 76178 Daily Bugle and traditional modular buildings, from the way the build begins to the way each floor is constructed, and even the fact that there are 1×2 Technic bricks on either side allowing the skyscraper to be attached to other modular sets – but what separates this model are the action-packed features that place the Daily Bugle firmly in a comic book world.
The giant window that Green Goblin is bursting through; the side wall that can be ripped out, leaving a gaping hole in the reception area; and the way the minifigures can be displayed mid-battle all across the building all create a dynamic display that really feels alive. It could be argued that there could and perhaps should be more play features (where’s the working elevator, for example?), but there’s enough built into the model that even as a static display piece – which it will be for the majority of 18+ consumers – it’s still incredibly eye-catching.
— Characters —
A whopping 25 minifigures are included in 76178 Daily Bugle, and 16 of those are exclusives. Each varies in quality and design, but there are some real highlights spread amongst the cast.
For instance, the Punisher, Daredevil and Blade all appear in LEGO form for the first time. Daredevil has some excellent printing on both the torso and face, and uses Black Panther’s headpiece (in red) to represent his horns. Blade’s torso printing looks brilliant, but perhaps could have done with more than just plain legs. He only comes with one face print, too, which looks a little too happy to be a focused superhero – an alternative, moodier print would have suited him better.
The Punisher is the best of the three, featuring dual-moulded legs, an amazing printed torso (front and back) and two facial prints, with the injured, angry face suiting the character best. He also comes armed with two guns, which skirt the line of realism within a LEGO set. It may be down to the subject material being ultra-violent, but there’s something about his weapons that just doesn’t quite sit right within the world of LEGO. It’s an 18+ set, but is that age recommendation for the level of build, or the content contained within?
Other heroes include Firestar and Black Cat (who is sometimes a villain, depending on her mood), both of which are exclusives, along with Miles Morales, Ghost Spider and Spider-Ham. Spider-Man is featured too (it wouldn’t be the Daily Bugle without him), and he is the same excellent minifigure version that was released earlier this year, only (finally) with dual-moulded legs. Peter Parker is also included as an exclusive variant, and Gwen Stacy and Aunt May are there to keep him company.
Heading up the villains are Venom and Carnage, with the latter sporting the printed legs that were first available in 76173 Spider-Man and Ghost Rider vs. Carnage, but both have new appendages, making them exclusive to this set. Green Goblin looks fantastic with excellent, detailed printing on the torso and legs, and sports two deranged expressions.
Doctor Octopus has been given new appendages, which are utterly stunning and can be articulated in so many different poses. Clipping him to the roof gives the impression he is clambering down the skyscraper and looks fantastic on display. Rounding out the bad guys are Mysterio (another exclusive) and Sandman, who comes complete with the excellent intricate base that was introduced in 2019. He also sits atop an elaborate sub-assembly giving the impression he is bursting from underneath the New York City streets.
To populate the building itself there are Daily Bugle staff members, Amber Grant, Ron Barney, Robbie Robertson, Betty Brant and Ben Urich, as well as the Daily Bugle editor, J. Jonah Jameson, who comes with an absolutely wonderful alternative face print with a spiderweb covering his mouth. Finally, there’s Bernie the cab driver – an actual comic book character who appeared once, in 1978!
— Price —
There is no getting away from the fact that 76178 Daily Bugle is a fairly hefty investment. However, when you compare it to 75159 Death Star, it suddenly feels like an absolutely incredible deal. The captivating build will keep you occupied for hours, and as a display piece it’s both imposing and impressive and would dominate any shelf.
Take into account the desirability and exclusivity of some of the minifigures, and when their aftermarket price is considered the actual set itself seems like even more of a bargain. For those interested in price-per-piece ratios, it works out at a pretty decent 8p or 8¢ per part.
This is without even mentioning the hours and hours of play this would no doubt bring to younger fans, or even the hours of enjoyment that it will bring to older fans who just want to sit back and admire this marvel of LEGO construction. It’s not often that a set of this price, with a licence attached, would be considered a steal, but honestly it is very difficult to find fault with the cost of 76178 Daily Bugle.
— Pictures —
— Summary —
76178 Daily Bugle does for Marvel fans what 75159 Death Star offered to fans of Star Wars: a gigantic playset packed full of minifigures that allows myriad fantasies to be played out. It’s an insanely iconic building crammed full of pretty much every Spider-Man hero and villain you could want. Of course, there are some notable omissions (over 60 characters were considered before finalising which to include), but we can’t always have everything. The characters that do come with the set are beautiful, and the exclusive minifigures will no doubt be incredibly desirable in the years to come.
The build is a surprisingly enjoyable experience and the final model is a real joy to look at. Who would have ever thought building four almost-identical floors of a giant, grey skyscraper could be so much fun? Granted, it’s far better on display with the minifigures positioned all around the building, creating the sense of a frozen snapshot of an epic battle. Saying that, the model can also be repurposed to look like a normal skyscraper and be added to a modular collection or whatever LEGO CITY builds you may have on display, adding versatility that many other large sets simply can’t offer.
For Marvel fans this is practically a must-buy set, and for everyone else it is a very tempting thing to own. The sheer scale of it is very imposing and once built it’s a wonder to look at. It is expensive, but when all things are taken into consideration it does feel like very good value, and offers an enjoyable experience from start to finish.
This product was provided for review by the LEGO Group.
— FAQs —
How long does it take to build LEGO Marvel 76178 Daily Bugle?
There are 36 individual bags contained within 76178 Daily Bugle, and they’ll take approximately 11 joyous hours to build.