a quadruple LEGO review; Marvel's Eternals
sets 76145, 76154, 76155, 76156
Released late in 2021, Eternals was a bit of a departure from the Marvel movies that audiences had come to expect over the previous 13 years, which might explain why it underperformed at the box office and was not gushed over by Marvel fans (which I count myself among) like yet another standard-issue super-sequel. But I enjoyed the film a lot and for lots of reasons, including for the refreshing difference in tone, a terrific cast and production design, and a surprisingly thoughtful depiction (and representation) of humanity.
As for the LEGO sets, ***Spoilers in the title*** there was a lot to enjoy there too.
Right off the top here I need to say, first seeing the lineup of these four sets on their release I did not expect to be getting any of them, certainly not all. My LEGO purchasing choices are driven by the twin engines of theme and parts. If they're not revving together, I usually stall. And stall I did, feeling lukewarm at best on the theme until I eventually saw the film when it became available on Blu-ray, and then finding myself hunting for the sets like <movie reference> an apex predator. </movie reference>
As it would happen, the parts selection here is ultimately cool. Overall highlights of the lineup include a delightful colour palette (one of which new-to-me), plenty of useful and uncommon elements, and at least one exclusive figure in every set.
76145 Eternals' Aerial Assault
125 parts, 2 minifigures
I must correct myself, I actually bought this set before seeing the movie because... it's freakin' great. The titular assailant is one of the film's many Deviants; the sinewy snarling beastly but beautiful baddies, recreated to great effect in yummy Dark Red and Dark Blue, with notes of Dark Turquoise, Sand Green, and plenty of Pearl Gold.
New-to-me as both part and colour were thirteen Satin Trans-Black "Wave Rounded Curved Single with Bar End" elements. This exact part appears in counts between 8 and 13 in all four sets, so I now have a lifetime supply. The six Dark Bluish Gray "Bar 1L with Tow Ball" parts were appreciated, a terrific new-ish and endlessly versatile part.
The two minifigures are oddly opposite, Sprite is exclusive to the set and the only child in the lineup, while Ikarus appears in three of the four sets. As throughout the line, both are beautifully detailed representations of the film's uniquely costumed main characters, which means the leg and torso parts are super-specific, but the hair and head elements are highly repurposable.
76154 Deviant Ambush!
This devious dude is probably the most movie-accurate in the lineup, and the set is fully stocked with those same lovely Dark-everything colours and a number of relatively new elements, making it also an excellent parts-grab. The build boasts the most Dark Turquoise of the sets in the lineup, with special mention going to ten "Round Corner 3 x 3 with 2 x 2 Curved Cutout" elements. I would definitely buy multiples of this set on sale, and either of these two smaller sets would make for a brilliant draft.
Depicting a specific battle in the movie, this set includes Thena, Makkari, and Gligamesh (exclusive) and their signature weapons. Again here, the figures are eye-catching and well detailed with plenty of character.
76155 Arishem's Shadow
"Hard pass on you, Mr. Knight's Kingdom 2.0" he said, reminded of the disappointment that was 2004... but no constraction figure ever had over 400 parts, or was so *swoon* tall, Dark (-Red), and handsomely appointed with practically every plate-with-snot-bracket there is.
Last to be bought and largely to satisfy my confounded completism, this set has the poorest price-per-part in the theme but was the sleeper hit of the bunch. I think I just never processed how much blessed Dark-Red was in this planet-boning behemoth, and in a bunch of great elements too. Add in the many Magenta highlights and an itty bitty demi-Deviant for a splash of Pearl Gold and Dark Blue and suddenly I’m firing on all cylinders. Another highlight is the pair of Satin Trans-Black "Dish 6 x 6 Inverted" elements, which with minimal impact on the set's look could just as easily been provided in plain old Trans Clear, but luckily no.
Build-wise, this set is a full meal deal for mech-builders, standing much taller than the box art can effectively illustrate, and with a mini master-class in SNOT technique in the head sculpt alone.
Rounded out with a light-brick, and four minifigures (Ikaris, Sersi), two of them exclusive (Kingo, Ajak), I'm glad I took a chance on this initially off-putting come uniquely handsome feller.
All in all, I am glad I *finally* watched Eternals, grateful now for the dual win of the movie itself and these great models I would have otherwise overlooked. I definitely recommend you check out the film and at least one of these super sets.76156 Rise of the Domo
A marvel *wink* of a build, the Domo is a brilliantly executed unfolding playset with many recognizable movie-moments built in. I first saw this set long long before seeing the film, and it just seemed like a geometric hodgepodge. Now, I appreciate it doubly for its many play-features, integrated seamlessly into the best possible for-its-size model of an awe-inspring future-brutalist alien spacecraft design. We are talking volcanism meets car compactor cubes, meets fossilized clockwork. Stunning. And a natural LEGO model subject if ever, right?
Bundle that tasty wedge with two Deviant models that could have been stand-alone sets themselves plus minifigures of six of the movie's ten Eternals teammates (Ikarus, Thena, Makkari, Sersi, and exclusives Phastos and Druig), and clear and away you've got the must-have set of the theme's lineup.
The build is not overly complicated, but very cleanly and efficiently achieves the unenviable task of recreating an equilateral-triangular spaceship, almost entirely from rectangular and circular parts.
Again and as throughout the theme, the set is abundant with parts in the Deviant colour scheme of Dark Blue and Dark Red, with generous Dark Turquoise, Sand Blue, Sand Green, and Pearl Gold. The Domo itself is beautifully highlighted with six "Tile, Round Corner 4 x 4 Macaroni Wide" elements in Metallic Silver, three Satin Trans-Black "6 x 6 Inverted Dishes", and ten "1x4 tiles" also in Satin Trans-Black.
Noteworthy parts include six Light Bluish Gray "1 x 3 x 2 Inverted Arches", twelve Light Bluish Gray "Round 3 x 3 Tiles", a single pair of Light Bluish Gray "Wedge Plate 4 x 2 Pointed (Left and Right), and a Deviant head element and several printed elements all exclusive to this set.