Doctor Strange’s Sanctum Sanctorum

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Suggested Age: 7-14
Pieces: 358
Casual Build Time: 1.5 hours
Dimensions: Over 4″ x 12″ x 7″
Brand: Marvel Super Heroes

As I’ve probably mentioned before, I’m a bit of a comic fan. However, I have to admit that most of the LEGO heroes kits don’t really take my fancy. I think its because most of them are either tie-ins to the Avengers film series (of which I’m not a great fan), or just don’t seem to have much to do with anything. Yet, when I heard that they were releasing a Doctor Strange set to tie with the upcoming film, I had to have it!

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The kit includes the required pieces to make a cross-section of the Sanctum Sanctorum. It features a levitation effect for two characters, a levitation function for Doctor Strange’s cloak and a “portal beast” with rotating teeth, eyes and tentacles . The set also boasts three minifigures – Doctor Strange, Karl Mordo and The Ancient One – and a selection of weapons and eldritch artefacts.

Here are some pictures of what came in the box and the building process:

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The set was actually pretty easy to assemble. The hardest part was (as usual) sticking on the decals straight and arranging the Portal Beast in such a way that its tentacles would tangle together properly. The finished set is actually pretty cool and clearly designed with imaginative play in mind. First, let’s take a look at the most eye-grabbing feature.

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I’ve got to admit, I’m not entirely sure what a Portal Beast is (it makes me think of a Shoggoth) but it sure looks awesome. The movement is controlled by a dial on the back and, when twisted, it can easily ensnare an unsuspecting minifigure. The Portal Beast is definitely designed to be the antagonist of this set, with all of the minifigures equipped to engage it in battle.

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Yet the set has a few surprises beyond this. Firstly, it is really detailed. There are plenty of artefacts included to play with including candlesticks, top hats, letters and eldritch tones. There is a lever on the far wall that is designed to snap onto Doctor Strange’s Cloak of Levitation to make it retain its shape as it hovers (though doing so is a bit awkward) and two clear plastic levers to levitate the minifigures.

These are probably my favourite part of the set as it helps add a little extra magic to the playset. For a child trying to recreate the film, it’s possible to make Doctor Strange float without touching him. The downside is that you can clearly see your hand manipulating the lever through the back window. I personally felt that it would have been more effective if the window had a backdrop to hide this fact.

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Love them or hate them, the minifigures in this set are clearly based on their movie counterparts (hence the female Ancient One). Personally, I think they look great. I love the level of detail on their costumes, from Doctor Strange’s belts and amulet to the tiny eldritch characters on The Ancient One’s fans. They just look really cool and I personally think it’s worth buying the kit just to own them.

I’m not usually a fan of these tableaux kits (I’m all about vehicles) but I did really enjoy making this one. It looks great on display and offers a lot of features that makes it really fun to play around with. I’ll definitely have to take a look at some of the other Marvel kits in the future.

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