LEGO Marvel Super Heroes – Doctor Strange’s Sanctum Sanctorum

Doctor Strange’s Sanctum Sanctorum is a new LEGO set from the forthcoming Marvel movie Doctor Strange – and it’s a toy that’s bewitched my 4-year-old daughter

Aka the Sorcerer Supreme, the magical character of Doctor Strange is one of Marvel Comics top heroes.

Much of the Doctor Strange movie is still under wraps, so do we get some tantalising glimpses of what’s to come from this? We can’t always trust these licensed sets to depict actual scenarios in the movies. More often than not they’re based on scripted scenes, and usually developed months in advance. For instance, I first saw this set at the London Toy Fair over six months ago. So sometimes the story changes by the time toys are released.

This set shows Doctor Strange’s home and HQ – his Sanctum Sanctorum. It has his distinctive window, shelves filled with a collection of books & artefacts, a chest with treasures, old-fashioned oil and flame lamps, ancient maps, and intriguing letters (including one for Stark Industries?).LEGO Marvel Super Heroes - Doctor Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum 76060

But most interesting of all is the elephant in the room – or in this case, the monster.

Beware of the LEGO Portal Beast

The key feature of the set is the tentacled ‘Portal Beast’ trying to make its way into the apartment.

I never imagined there would be a LEGO set that actually scared my daughter – but I think we may have found it.

4-years-old, she actually found the demon (as we called it) a bit unnerving when she saw it on the box. Her unease continued as we were building the set, and when we got to the beast, she rather chillingly kept whispering (in horror movie fashion):

“Shhh. The Demon is coming.”

Nightmare inducing. For both of us. But she remains fascinated by this creature.

The tentacled beast is very nicely realised, and it certainly looks the part of a monster presumably trying to get into our dimension via the portal. With a cool LEGO twist, the monster is connected to a series of cogs and a turning wheel, so its tentacles can be moved to simulate a writhing creature.

A LEGO portal beast trying to writhe into our dimension… 🐙 😳

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LEGO Marvel Super Heroes - Doctor Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum review 76060 Portal Monster traps Doctor Strange
The Portal Monster’s writhing tentacles – here enveloping Doctor Strange – are moved via the cog and turning wheel mechanism on the reverse.

Other moving parts include an odd mechanism for levitating Strange’s cloak, and another better levitating function for a couple of minifigures. I’m guessing that these magical heroes and villains do a lot of flying around in the movie.

The Minifigures

The set comes with three minifigures – Doctor Strange, Karl Mordo, and The Ancient One.

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes - Doctor Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum 76060 minifigures Doctor Strange Karl Mordo The Ancient One
Doctor Strange, Karl Mordo, and The Ancient One minifigures

Doctor Strange, although representing Benedict Cumberbatch, looks every bit his comic book counterpart and comes with a cloak and magic accessories. Mordo, presumably based on Baron Mordo the comic book villain, is played by another British actor Chiwetel Ejiofor, and comes with a staff accessory. Rounding out the trio of Brits is Tilda Swinton’s Ancient One, who wields what appears to be magical fans.

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes Doctor Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum review 76060 Doctor Strange Karl Mordo The Ancient One
British acting heavyweights Tilda Swinton, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Chiwetel Ejiofor immortalised in LEGO

Casting wise, some race and gender swapping has taken place in the movie compared to comics – Mordo was white, and the Ancient One a Tibetan old man – so the figures reflect these updates.

My daughter was a big fan of The Ancient One. While the race swapping of this character has been met with some criticism, the gender swap is most welcome – and adds another female character for my daughter to engage with.

The Verdict

Suggested for ages 7-14, in three numbered bags, this was a relatively simple set for my 4-year-old daughter and I to make in an afternoon. It’s fun and quirky, and packs a lot of nice features into its small size.

It’s so lovingly put together that I hope my daughter doesn’t want to break it up anytime soon, because it makes a nice display set.

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes – Doctor Strange’s Sanctum Sanctorum Packshot

LEGO MARVEL Super Heroes Doctor Strange’s Sanctum Sanctorum (76060) has an RRP: £29.99.

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Disclosure: We we provided with this product free of charge for the purposes of this review.

LEGO Marvel Superheroes – Spider-Man Web Warriors Ultimate Bridge Battle (76057)

This intricate and imaginative LEGO Marvel Superheroes Spider-Man Web Warriors Ultimate Bridge Battle set exceeded all expectations.

We first saw this set at the London Toy Fair 6 months ago, and have been keen to get our hands on it ever since.

As I’m constantly searching for female superhero toys for my daughter, so I’ll admit the biggest draw for me initially was the inclusion of a certain minifigure.

Pre-nursery LEGO building session. We got this set pretty much for this Spider-Girl minifigure!

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But Spider-Girl aside, once we got into building it was very clear that this a brilliant, intricate, and imaginative set, and certainly the best Marvel Super Heroes LEGO set we own.

It was fun to construct, respected the source material, and has proven to be a great toy for imaginative play.

The Minifigures

The has a great collection of minifigures, 7 in total, that should please any Spider-Man fan.

On the side of the heroes we have the original wall-crawler Spider-Man, the aforementioned Spider-Girl, and the Scarlet Spider – who fans will recognise from the infamous Spider-Man Clone Saga. These web warriors come with LEGO webbing and web blasts.

LEGO Marvel Superheroes Spider-Man Web Warriors Ultimate Bridge Battle 76057 hero minifigures

We also have Peter Parker’s Aunt May, presumably to add some distress.

pider-Man Web Warriors Ultimate Bridge Battle 76057 Aunt May minifigure

And of the villains, we have three classic Spider-Man nemeses – Kraven the Hunter, the Green Goblin & his goblin glider, and the Scorpion.

LEGO Marvel Superheroes Spider-Man Web Warriors Ultimate Bridge Battle 76057 supervillians minifigures

Kraven looks every bit his comicbook counterpart, with a spear, leopardskin leggings, and a Lion’s head waistcoat with a mane for his collar. The Goblin has a pumpkin bomb and a satchel plus his glider has stud shooters. The Scorpion has his distinctive stinger tail.

The Ultimate Bridge Battle set

With over a thousand pieces, in 8 numbered bags, this is a big set.

Recommended for ages 8-14, this was a great one to make with my 4-year-old daughter who remained engaged throughout the construction process.

The set is a section of a New York bridge – most likely the Brooklyn Bridge, but could be inspired by one of the others. It’s an evocative design, reminding me mostly of the Gwen Stacy/Green Goblin classic Spider-Man story.

But the real genius of this set is just how many features and details are packed into it.

The bridge sits on two hollow pillars (with graffiti and flyer style stickers).

One has a space where Spidey has webbed his camera, so he can take the selfies and other snaps he sells to the Daily Bugle. The other contains a hidden lair for Kraven the Hunter – the entrance is covered by lichen and a ladder, but inside is a spear holder, a computer tracking Spider-Man, and even a hiding place for a crate full of diamonds with a pop out door.

LEGO Marvel Superheroes Spider-Man Web Warriors Ultimate Bridge Battle 76057 secret lairs
Left: Spider-Man has webbed his camera ready fro snapping; Right: Kraven the Hunter’s secret lair where he tracks Spider-Man

The road of the bridge is constructed with a series of black tiles and pieces – but this is not a simple road. There is a trapdoor the is activated by a lever, that drops villains into the space with Spidey’s camera – another photo op to sell to the Bugle perhaps?

Another hidden feature of the bridge is a hinged wall that swings out to stage a vehicle crashing through the side.

LEGO Marvel Superheroes Spider-Man Web Warriors Ultimate Bridge Battle 76057 taxi

You get two road vehicles with the set – a distinctive yellow New York taxi, and a police quad bike with accessories. No drivers however.

Also on the road there is a kind of see saw that launches debris at the action (such as the included trash can), and road signs that can be staged in various forms of damage. It also indicates it’s only 6 miles to the Daily Bugle – a nice touch for the fans.

LEGO Marvel Superheroes Spider-Man Web Warriors Ultimate Bridge Battle 76057 details
The set has some nice details for fans, such as this date stamp (1962, the year of Spider-Man’s debut appearance) and a sign post to fictional newspaper the Daily Bugle.

Another nice touch was a printed date plaque for the bridge – 1962, which is the year Stan Lee and Steve Ditko’s webbed hero made his debut (in Amazing Fantasy #15). It seems clear that this set was created by a fan.

Moving up to the tower, it has traffic light indicators – the levers of which also trigger two collapsable walls. The top of the tower has a Green Goblin flag, that also functions as a lever to release a Spiderweb net. There is also a mechanism to launch and swing a minifigure.

There are then two suspension tethers connecting the tower to the bridge – and these like the rest of the bridge are covered with exposed studs, that enable you to position your wall crawling web warriors wherever you like.

The sheer level of features and detail in this set is amazing. The designer has packed so much into it, that this is definitely one of those sets that far exceeds the sum of its parts.

LEGO Marvel Superheroes Spider-Man Web Warriors Ultimate Bridge Battle 76057 packshot
This intricate and imaginative LEGO Marvel Superheroes Spider-Man Web Warriors Ultimate Bridge Battle set exceeded all expectations.

As a Spider-Man and LEGO fan I can’t recommend this set enough. My daughter is a big fan too 😉

LEGO Marvel Superheroes Spider-Man Web Warriors Ultimate Bridge Battle 76057 playing

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LEGO Marvel Superheroes Spider-Man Web Warriors Ultimate Bridge Battle set (76057) has an RRP of £89.99.

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Disclosure: We were provided with this LEGO Marvel Superheroes Spider-Man Web Warriors Ultimate Bridge Battle set free of charge for the purposes of this review.

LEGO DC Justice League: Gotham City Breakout Blu-Ray/DVD review

While DC’s live action movies get increasingly sombre and serious, thank goodness for the LEGO DC movies, that bring the fun back into super heroics.

LEGO DC Justice League: Gotham City Breakout is the latest of the LEGO Justice League series, and as the title suggests is a Batman centric tale.

However, Batman is away from Gotham for most of this story – having been taken on a holiday by his associates Nightwing and Batgirl. He asks Superman to looks after Gotham while he’s gone – something Superman thinks will be easy, given that most of the city’s villains lack superpowers. He soon discovers how wrong he is.

Batman’s ‘holiday’ turns out to be a working one, as he is taken to revisit his old mentors – and there’s trouble involving super villain Deathstroke at the very first stop.

Meanwhile in Gotham, Superman is finding the likes of the Joker far trickier to deal with than he imagined. Even calling on the likes of Cyborg and Wonder Woman don’t seem to help. Perhaps only the new Robin can save the day?

A particular draw to this movie was the featured appearance of LEGO Batgirl, a favourite character of my daughter’s. It was also great to see Wonder Woman included again as well.

This movie has the same irreverent knockabout humour that has characterised the likes of LEGO games and other movies. Of the two plot strands, the Gotham one was by far the most engaging. We also loved the appearance onscreen of LEGO Jokerland – which was probably one of our favourite ever LEGO DC Superhero sets.

The Blu-Ray of the movie also comes with an exclusive Nightwing LEGO minifigure, which was a nice added bonus.

Justice League: Gotham City Breakout is out now.

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Disclosure: I received a Blu-Ray copy of this product free of charge.

Dad’s Breakfast Club – with LEGO DC Superheroes

Dad’s Breakfast Club is a great London based meet up for fathers. This event included quality food, lots of LEGO, DC Superheroes and more.

The lure of either LEGO, DC Superheroes, or a slap up breakfast would be enough to get us out of the house early on a Saturday individually – but all combined for a Dad’s Breakfast Club meet up? Yes please.

The event tied into the release of LEGO DC Justice League Gotham City Breakout! on Blu-Ray/DVD, and was the latest Dad’s Breakfast Club event run by father Greg Stanton (aka London Dad on instagram).

It was held at Cau, St. Katherine Docks in London, a typical quality chain eatery (from the team behind the high end and similarly Argentina inspired Gaucho) that you get in this part of London  – so I knew we were going to get a nice brekkie.

There was a buffet of good English breakfast staples (pork & herb sausages, eggs, bacon, mushrooms, etc), as well as pancakes with maple syrup, and my favourite item – brioche bacon baps with lettuce, tomatoes, mayo & ketchup. I actually ended up having two of these. In fact I ate so much food I didn’t eat again until dinner.

 

LEGO DC Superheroes were represented by themed colouring and a giant LEGO Batman sculpture as we walked in. Most excitingly, every table also had unopened LEGO Batman sets for us to build. These ranged in size from the smallest sets available to some of the largest – such as this LEGO Batman Killer Croc Sewer Smash Set

Dad’s Breakfast Club is a great way for dads to join as a community to share time with their children. Greg and the other dads I met were warm & welcoming, and it was nice to see a collective of dads with their kids. As I often blog, LEGO is a great joint activity for parents to do with children, so it was awesome to see all these dads with boys & girls enjoying making Batman LEGO together.

We left the event with a goody bag, containing a Blu-Ray & DVD copy of the film (including a limited edition Nightwing figure) and LEGO superhero key rings. Additionally, we took home the LEGO set my daughter had constructed pretty much by herself (while I was busy eating successive waves of my delicious breakfast/brunch).

The Dads Breakfast Club 'LEGO DC Justice League Gotham City Breakout' goody bag
The Dad’s Breakfast Club ‘LEGO DC Justice League Gotham City Breakout’ goody bag

Also in the goody bag – and a little bit sexist – was a DVD ‘for all the mummas’ a stereotypical rom-com. It can be argued that an event like this is a bit sexist too. One the one hand, I know plenty of LEGO & superhero loving mums who would love this.

But then again, there are very few dad centric events and groups in the parenting world, so this one is to be celebrated. It’s probably aimed at a family set up that differs from ours. On a Saturday morning, my daughter is more likely to spend time alone with her mother given I have been home parenting all week while my wife has been at work.

Many of the dads I spoke to had been signed up to attend by their other halves. For some families, this can be a way to ensure dad and the kids get time together away from mum – who also has a morning all to herself. I know how important that is too.

But this Saturday morning was for me & the munchkin. Given the combo of LEGO, superheroes, and a quality breakfast – on paper this event seemed like a great way to spend a Saturday morning with my daughter – and that’s exactly what it turned out to be.

For more on Dad’s Breakfast Club, please follow them on Instagram.

Justice League: Gotham City Breakout is out now.

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Disclosure: I received a free ticket  to this Dad’s Breakfast Club event, which are normally £25.