Review – Sanctum Sanctorum Showdown (76108)

I have always liked the Marvel movies and shows, but for most of my life I have been a DC Comics fan. Apart from Maximum Carnage back in the ’90s, I never read Marvel comic books. So, for budget reasons, I have mostly selected DC Comics LEGO® sets. I have made one exception in the past, and that was for the Avengers Tower (click here to read my review). I really wanted the set so that I could re-purpose the pieces (particularly the windows) in my custom police station (click here for more on that). But, it also gave me the chance to collect some Marvel characters. This year, when I saw the first pictures of the Sanctum Sanctorum Showdown set, I began to contemplate my second Marvel purchase. The building looked great in the photos, and I started to dream about making it into my own modular. The day finally arrived when the set was 30% off on Brick Friday at the LEGO® Store. I also had $60 worth of VIP points saved. So, getting the Sanctum Sanctorum Showdown for $30.99 was too good an opportunity to pass up.

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Sanctum Sanctorum Showdown box art.

SET SUMMARY

NAME: Sanctum Sanctorum Showdown
SET #: 76108
THEME: Marvel Super Heroes
COST: $129.99 CAD
BRICK COUNT: 1004
MINIFIGURES: 4
OF INTEREST: 1 big-fig
RELEASE DATE: March 4, 2018

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Sanctum Sanctorum Showdown box contents.

SUMMARY REVIEW: 79%

VALUE: 80% (At full price, you are paying a decent $0.13/brick.)
BUILD: 70% (Nice exterior, but other areas need work.)
MINIFIGURES: 85% (Great assortment, nice designs, low-ish brick:fig.)
ENTERTAINMENT: 80% (Ok build time, good play value, wish it was modular.)

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The Sanctum Sanctorum.

REVIEW

VALUE: 80%
As I write this, the average that I have paid for a LEGO® brick in all of the sets that I have bought over the last two years has been about $0.14. With 1004 parts and a price tag of $129.99 in Canada, the Sanctum Sanctorum Showdown will cost you $0.13 per brick at full price. That is not bad in my books, and would already earn 4/5 (80%) for value. If you were lucky enough to get this set on Brick Friday, it was being sold for $90.99. At that price, you would have paid $0.09/brick, which is phenomenal. With my saved up VIP points from the last few double points events, I paid $30.99, which brought my cost per brick down to $0.03. If you can find this set for 30% off again, I would pick one up, because it earns 100% for value at that price.

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Peter Parker’s apartment building.

BUILD: 70%
There are aspect of this build that I really like, and others that I am not so crazy about. I’ll do a building by building analysis here, starting with the Sanctum Sanctorum. I love exterior facade of the building. I think it looks great and is well detailed for a set that is not part of the Creator Expert line. I really liked the sideways attached roof tiles at the base of the building. I had never thought to do that before. The roof with the large round window is also built in an interesting way using a variety of plates. The round portion itself is formed of curved edge plates that I have not seen before. My only complaint about the round window design is that there is an obvious and large gap between the base of the window and the roof.

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There is a large gap between the base of the window and the roof.

The interior of the Sanctum Sanctorum is sadly a little bland. There are some furnishings put in, and a play feature. There is a blow out wall behind one of the shelves that reveals one of the Infinity Stones. I thought it odd that the wall behind the shelf blows off, as if someone outside the building knew that the stone was exactly behind that specific wall. In my mind, it would have made more sense for the shelf to swing open or something from the inside. Some stairs would also have been nice…

The exterior of Peter Parker’s apartment building isn’t as nice as the Sanctum Sanctorum, but is still a decent build. I don’t really like the number of holes in the design that result from all the exposed Technic bricks. Otherwise, the brick facade is nice, and I really like the fire escape. It uses a design reminiscent of that seen in the Ghostbusters Firehouse Headquarters (click here to read the review). There are a few pegs sticking out of the aforementioned Technic bricks that link to play features. The one on the ground level causes the Pizzeria window to blow out. Between the second and third floors, the peg opens a trap door inside the apartment. The third one, on the side of the building just below the roof, blows out the top floor apartment window. A final peg, that you can’t see in my photo above, causes Spider-Man to leap from the perch in the picture and lower on his web to street level.

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The fire escape is designed similarly to the Ghostbusters Firehouse.

The feature which allows Spider-Man to swing on his web is actually a rotating water tower on the roof of the building. To say I dislike this design is an understatement. While I understand why they made the tower turn, the design just looks bad. The legs of the water tower don’t even touch any part of the reservoir. Some other spinning device could have easily replaced this and looked better.

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The water tower design leaves much to be desired.

The interior of the apartment building is also a little dull. The pizzeria has a pizza oven, but I don’t know what the other kitchen implement is meant to be. Mostly, this part of the build is worthwhile because of the stickers that will look good in a pizzeria MOC. Upstairs, Peter has two floors. One features an unfurnished room with some boxes, and the other an office space. Upstairs is another empty room (the floor here is a trap door), and a bedroom. You get some fun stickers to decorate the walls with. I particularly like the Captain America “Stay in School” poster.

The final little build is a corner alley piece. I guess Peter is supposed to change here into Spider-Man since there is a web for him to leave his cell phone on? Overall, the exterior of both of these buildings are nice, particularly the Sanctum Sanctorum. I am happy with the pizzeria stickers, and can’t wait to expand the whole pizzeria in a MOC. The interiors could use a little more detail, while the water tower needs a redesign. I would also like to see the round window in the Sanctum Sanctorum reworked to have less of a gap. I rate the build for this set at 7/10 (70%).

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The small alley segment.

MINIFIGURES: 85%
The Sanctum Sanctorum showdown comes with four Minifigs and one big-fig. The four proper Minifigures are quite detailed, though I would not expect any less from a Super Heroes set. Spider-Man and Ebony Maw do not come with any head gear or hair, but Iron Man has his helmet, and Dr. Strange has his hair with the grey temples painted on. Each of them also has front and back printed torsos, as well as front printed legs. Spider-Man also features arm printing. Dr. Strange’s cape comes in two pieces, the collar and the cape itself. Based on just the details included on these Minifigures, I would give them 48/60 (80%). But, you get SO many accessories with them too. Iron Man and Dr. Strange alone come with 10 different blast/magic options each. Spider-Man and Ebony Maw also have web and magic hand shooters respectively. In conjunction with all the other accessories around the apartment and Sanctum, you are easily looking at a 100% design score for these characters… and that says nothing yet about the Cull Obsidian big-fig that you also get.

I did not include Cull Obsidian in the design score since he doesn’t fit the criteria of being a “Minifigure”. However, he is still a pretty cool character to get as a big-fig. For that reason, I will include him when I consider the brick-to-fig ratio. With Cull counted along for the ride, you are looking at a ratio of 201:1. That is not great, but it is not terrible either. In general, the bigger a set gets, the fewer Minifigs you are going to get for the brick count. None-the-less, that earns the Sanctum Sanctorum Showdown a ratio score of 3.5/5 (70%).

All in all, I really like the Minifigures that you get in this kit. I already had an Iron Man, but this is a different variant of him. I also really wanted a Spider-Man and Dr. Strange. So, I am quite happy with the assortment. My one complaint about these guys is that Spider-Man was not given two tone legs. The printing suffers from the same minor flaws that bothered me about each Green Lantern Minifigure that has been produced. The red around the edges really sticks out on the blue portions of the legs, and looks a little sloppy. But, that is not a huge issue, more of a nit-pick. If I average out the design and ratio scores, this set earns a total Minifigure rating of 85%.

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Iron Man features this blue face on one side (meant to simulate the helmet’s screen glow on his face), and a normal Tony Stark on the other side.

ENTERTAINMENT: 80%
The Sanctum Sanctorum Showdown took me exactly 180 minutes to build. At the full price of $129.99, that would mean that each minute of build time costs $0.72. Like the brick-to-fig ratio, that is not bad, but not great either, and would earn 3.5/5 (70%). At 30% off, you are looking at $0.51/minute, which is excellent and would earn 5/5. With my VIP points slapped on top of that, my build time cost shot WAY down to $0.17/minute.

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You get a lot of blast pieces in this kit.

Now, the big question… do I really like this set? As I mentioned in the build section, I love the exterior. I also think that kids will get a huge amount of play out of this set. It is really fun, and has many play features. As a kid, I greatly enjoyed having a “base” for my characters, and this not only provides one for Dr. Strange, but also for Spider-Man. As an adult though, I would have liked more detail inside, and I think this set would have been killer if it had been produced in the modular style of advanced Creator sets. Can you imagine these two buildings set up like the Pet Shop modular? I can… and will… I am really looking forward to customizing this set. However, since it didn’t come out of the box ready for me to keep it as is, I won’t give it full points. Normally, I would say this set is a 4/5… however, since I think it would be hugely amusing for play purposes, I will up that a little to 4.5/5 (90%).

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I really love these blast pieces. Anyone else think they’d also double well as water in a fountain?

Looking at the Sanctum Sanctorum Showdown at full price, it would earn an average entertainment score of 80%. If you were lucky enough to find one at 30% off, or if such a sale comes around again, I would give it 95% in this category. It is a nice set that would be made even better if the price tag was consistently lower.

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Spider-Man, Spider-Man, friendly neighborhood Spider-Man…

OVERALL: 79%

I do really like the Sanctum Sanctorum Showdown, but I am happy that I waited for a good sale before I picked it up. At full price, this set is only satisfactory in my AFOL mind. As I kid, I would have loved this. To have a base for my characters would have been amazing. But, I can still imagine myself as a kid modifying the interior to have more detail. Now, I just wish that it was modular, and will modify mine to be just that.

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The Doctor is in.

The Sanctum Sanctorum Showdown has an ok value at full price, and a satisfactory build time. You get a great, and nicely detailed character assortment, but there are a number of design flaws that I plan to customize. At full price, I rate this set at 79%. However, at 30% off, I think it is much more worth it, and rate it at 88%.

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The Iron Spider!

What are your thoughts on the Sanctum Sanctorum Showdown? Feel free to leave a comment below. Also,  if you like the content at True North Bricks, I would love it if you followed me here on WordPress (click the “follow” option in the menu to your right), FacebookPinterest, or Twitter for regular updates.

Until next time,

-Tom

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