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Why Lego misled fans with the Spider-Man: No Way Home sets

Published Oct 3rd, 2022 10:04PM EDT
Spider-Man: No Way Home still image
Image: Sony

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Spider-Man: No Way Home is easily the most exciting MCU Phase 4 movie to date. But it was also one of the most leaked MCU movies ever. We knew everything about the film’s plot well before its release date. Toys are often a source of spoilers for a Marvel movie, and we saw that happen with the MCU’s Spider-Man 3. Marvel confirmed those toy leaks in early July 2021, more than six months before the film’s release. And that included some of the wild Lego sets for Spider-Man: No Way Home.

But we realized after seeing the movie that the Lego sets were completely misleading. Even more so than we already expected them to be. After all, merchandising isn’t supposed to reveal big MCU secrets. That’s what we tell you with every Lego set leak for a new Marvel movie. Now, nearly a year later, we finally know why the No Way Home sets misled buyers. It turns out that it was all by design. Marvel and Sony didn’t want to reveal any Easter eggs or spoilers.

Lego’s puzzling No Way Home sets

The No Way Home Lego sets leaked before Marvel actually confirmed the new Spider-Man toys. They teased a few exciting but puzzling events. For example, the sets did not feature more than one Spider-Man variant. That’s the biggest No Way Home spoiler, a secret that leaked over and over during the summer and fall of 2021.

Spider-Man: No Way Home Toys
Spider-Man at the Sanctum Workshop Lego set. Image source: Marvel Studios

The Spider-Man at the Sanctum Workshop set was incredibly confusing, indicating that Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), Wong (Benedict Wong), and Spider-Man (Tom Holland) would fight a monster inside the Sanctum. That never happened.

There was also a No Way Home set featuring Michael Keaton’s Vulture, which seemed to reinforce Sinister Six rumors at the time. Similarly, a No Way Home set featured Jake Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio, prompting speculation that the Far From Home villain wasn’t dead.

Spider-Man: No Way Home Toys
Spider-Man’s Drone Duel Lego set. Image source: Marvel Studios

Why Lego’s sets lied

YouTube channel MiniSuperHeroes Today sat down with Lego designer Mark Stafford who worked on the Spider-Man: No Way Home sets. The exec explained that Marvel was very secretive about the movie, providing little information to Lego about the upcoming events:

It was really similar to Endgame where they gave us almost nothing because this has so many secrets in it they don’t even want a whisper of it to leak out. Until the day I went to the movie, opening day, of course, I didn’t know there was going to be more than one Spider-Man. I knew there had been set leaks that showed that it looks like there is, but the actors were still denying it and I was believing the actors, foolish. They’re actors, they were acting.

Furthermore, Stafford said that Marvel didn’t even let Lego use the regular roster of Spider-Man villains. This forced him to invent a villain for the Doctor Strange basement fight that looked unlike anything else available in the MCU:

So yeah, we didn’t know that there was more than one. We also knew that we weren’t allowed to do any of Spider-Man’s regular roster of villains. Everyone we suggested, we were told no. So, if he needs an antagonist, something to fight against, it’s Doctor Strange’s basement, so make something up, something that’s sort of part insect and part tentacles. And I’m a bit of a Cthulu fan so, maybe a bit of bread and butter for me, I just made a vague Lovecraftian-like monster and put it there.

The only information that Marvel was willing to share in greater detail with Lego concerns Doctor Strange’s Sanctum. Stafford got some 60 photos from the set, which inspired his designs. The set reportedly included plenty of details and Easter eggs that never made it into the movie.

Spider-Man: No Way Home Toys
Spider-Man vs. Mysterio’s Drone Attack Lego set. Image source: Marvel Studios

Will Lego make new No Way Home sets?

Now that No Way Home is out, it’ll be interesting to see whether Lego makes updated sets based on Spider-Man’s latest adventure. Stafford said that was a possibility, but nothing had been decided.

He teased at the end of the interview that he can’t wait for Lego and Marvel fans to see what’s coming next year. You can watch the entire interview below.

More Marvel coverage: For more MCU news, visit our Marvel guide.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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