Monday, September 5th, 2016 at 9:26am by Benjamin, BZPower Reporter
The movie may be a few months away, but LEGO has already released the set for the upcoming Marvel's Doctor Strange feature film: Doctor Strange's Sanctum Sanctroum. Featuring his messy homebase of operations, Doctor Strange and friends fight off a monster making its way into our reality. Does the set deliver as much as excitement as the box art and movie trailers seem to promise? Read, and watch, the review to find out just how the master of the Mystic Arts fares in LEGO form!
Upon seeing pictures of the set, it had everything I wanted: the messy Sanctum Sanctorum, the Window of the Worlds, and a portal with tentacles coming out of it. LEGO delivered on the design, but the set can so far only be found at Target. LEGO Shop at Home also sells it. For the $30 USD, you get 358 pieces, which is extremely good for a licensed set! Check out the review for my thoughts on how the set pans out.
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
The box is exciting, showing the three characters battling not one another but a monster emerging from the wall of Doctor Strange's home. We see some magic glow coming from both Strange's hands and the Ancient One's magic fans. Mordo, another of Strange's acquaintances, is only armed with a staff. But he is flying around like the others, which we see on the back of the box is enabled by some transparent parts allowing the minifigs to float. Other details include a place for Strange's Cloak of Levitation to linger when not worn, quite a few magical artifacts on the shelves, and some gear functions for the tentacles. Unfortunately there is no mini-comic with this set, unlike many other suepr Heroes sets.
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
The build for this room of the Sanctorum begins with some smart angular tricks to give the room the right curve. It is followed by a few walls, all reinforced from behind and using various bricks to give it some texture and character. The Anomaly Rue on the Window of the Worlds, the four bars crossing one another, is cleverly installed, though needs to be rotated a few degrees to be more accurate.
As the tentacle monster is placed into the wall, the gear system comes into place. Next are some furniture like the bookshelves and desk. The stickers, if used, add some nice details to things like mail, maps, and books.
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
Among the new and interesting parts for this set, the magical items are what stand out the most. We get some 2x2 round discs with magical inscriptions on them, and some similar rune-like writing on some paper fans. There are also some 1-stud tiles with an eye slit on them for the monster. Following those, Strange's hair has some greying lines on the side, staying accurate to his character. The treasure chest is an off-brown color, which I had not seen before for these parts. There is a weird, large slope as well, which I feel could have just been made with a few smaller slope parts. Finally, aside from some other common but cool parts, are the transparent stud-bars seen in this summer's Spider-Man sets. Strange uses them here to hold his magic projection discs.
The set is fairly basic compared to other medium-Super Hero sets. That said, it still packs a punch with three minifigs battling a big monster. As a scene, it is perfect. There are the bookshelves, the letters making up some of the mess on the floor, and something terrible making itself known to everyone around. My biggest pet-peeve might be that the books on each shelve look the same. Red, blue, blue, red, and green. There can easily be swapped around a bit to make each shelf a little more unique, which is exactly what I did (see later pictures).
The minifigs are amazing! There is a lot of detail in each one, both in the printing of their magic robes to the way they express their magic. Strange clearly boasts the Eye of Agamotto around his neck, like in the comics and movie, as well as having the magic projections. The Ancient One's magic fans are also a nice addition to her fig. Mordo has some amazing robes as well, and another hair piece first seen in Finn from Star Wars. The backs of the figs reflect these attentions to detail as well.
The other half of the fun is in playing with the set. How well does the set function and is it enjoyable to play with.
The biggest play features come from the tentacle monster or fighting the tentacle monster. As mentioned, there are some transparent pieces which allow the characters to float and fly around in the room as they work their magic. But if one got captures by the monster... The tentacles can open and close to mimic movement, which is pretty fun.
Over in the corner are a few other details: A treasure chest with keys and a crystal in it, and a place to hang up the Cloak of Levitation. The only downside is that the cloak is difficult to affix to this piece or to Strange's neck, given the four holes and angles the fabric takes.
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
Doctor Strange minifig (and others)
Fantastic recreation of the Sanctum Sanctorum
Especially with the tentacle monster
Is a nice little scene
What's not to like?
An unconventional set with less action than normal
The Window of the Worlds is too straight
Target, and LEGO Shop, exclusive
I'm extremely pleased that we got a Doctor Strange set, and minifig, because of the upcoming movie, and the set has pretty much everything I hoped for. Between the messy room, the Window to the Worlds, and the tentacle monstrosity causing trouble, the set looks great. It is a nice little scene to display with the characters. For a $30 licensed set with 358 pieces, it practically sells itself! We can only hope for more great things from the Super Hero license.