Seen Iron Man 3 but want more? Looking to replay the best scenes over and over again? Or at the very least, do you want to put Pepper Potts into War Machine’s suit of armour and stick Tony Stark’s head onto a woman’s body? With the release of Iron Man 3 came three sets from Lego, all featuring different characters and locations from the film. But are they any good?
Mild spoilers here, but no major ones. I will talk about James Badge Dale’s hair a little bit.
The main set of the Iron Man 3 brand is Malibu Mansion Attack, which features Pepper Potts, Tony Stark, the Mandarin, a goon, one of those cute claw robots who’re in all the films, and an Iron Man suit. The set is made up of the mansion itself, along with a helicopter. Now, I far prefer the sets to the vehicles, when it comes to Lego – I don’t care for cars or planes or those sorts of things, but I do appreciate an exploding window.
For your money, this set gets you a rounded corner of Tony Stark’s mansion, with three windows looking outwards and a sort of white shell-shape roof. There’s a rotating computer station alongside a kitchen, presumably where the now-sober Tony Stark makes his health smoothies. Limes, kiwis and apples, preferably!
It’s a surprisingly cramped set, mirroring Lego’s preference to make their recent sets fairly tight and restrictive to free play. You can see the set above – it doesn’t fold out from that position, if you follow the building instructions. But within this space they do fit in a lot of little features, which helps. For one thing, various switches allow you to act out an attack on the mansion. You can blow up the Iron Man suit you get with this set by flicking a switch that pushes up the floor. Another switch lets you knock out the most prominent window.
Now, bear in mind that all these sets come with a comic that tells a story. The story is different to the plot of the movie, meaning the sets don’t spoil the film – but at the same time, they don’t reflect it. If you’re considering getting these for a friend who likes the films, see the film first! It might affect your decision.
I do so love a good interactive feature in my Lego sets, and you get a few here. That the set is cramped means that blowing up the Iron Man suit doesn’t have quite the impact it should, though. Everything else is well designed, though, and good fun. TOP TIP! The set comes with a goon who pilots the Mandarin’s helicopter, and I chose to pull his hair off in order to pretend he was James Badge Dale’s bald character from the film. That way you get a bonus figure, rather than a fairly basic goon figure! You can also put the hair back on and sit him at a Lego desk for HOURS AND HOURS, if you fancy recreating Rubicon in Lego.
There’s only one Iron Man suit in the set, meaning you need to buy another set including an Iron Man suit in order to complete the mansion. That’s a little shifty. Pepper Potts also looks a little generic – from what I can tell, the forthcoming Lois Lane present in the Man of Steel sets is her EXACT twin. This is by far the best of the Iron Man 3 sets though! If you get any of them, get this. It’s a fairly easy build, although I chose to take out a piece which hinges the two piece of floorboard together – it opens up the set and gives you more space.
Iron Man Vs The Mandarin: Ultimate Showdown gives you an Iron Man figure, another Mandarin figure, and a little battle kart thingy. This set is one of the ‘battle’ brands that Lego have introduced across their range, each of which feature a hero, a villain, and a device. Here the device is a small car which has flames firing from it, alongside those gosh-darling flick missiles once more. There’s barely anything to this set – and at the price it’s sold for, this is a fairly obvious rip-off. You can get the Iron Man figure from either of the other two sets, whilst Mandarin is in the Mansion set. There’s no reason to get this – it’s tiny, disappointing, boring, and with fairly limited use.
I mean, look at it! It’s itsy bitsy.
The final of the three sets is Extremis Sea Port Battle – this one’s a boat with Guy Pearce in it, along with Iron Man, War Machine, and a buoy you can blow up. The boat is one of the niftiest vehicles I’ve yet seen from lego, with a lovely green sheen to it. It also features superior flick missiles – you only have to push a lever to fire them, rather than flick ’em with your finger.
Guy Pearce looks suitably grumpy, and it should be noted this vehicle fits into the Lego continuity more than it does the movie itself. You can open the front hatch to stick hostages or weapons inside, although that does make the set rattle when you move it. It’s a nice kit – the best, if you like boats, I guess – although the main draw here is War Machine.
This is the first time you get your hands on Rhodesy, and he comes with two facial expressions: sullen and angry. Two small pieces snap onto his back in order to form his cannon, and he has red lasers rather than Tony’s blue ones. He’s fairly adorable.
The Iron Man 3 Lego sets are pretty decent, all in all. If you buy the mansion and the boat, you have everything you need – an Iron Man, a Rescue, a War Machine, a Guy Pearce and a Mandarin. The sets take a satisfyingly long amount of time to put together, but without being fiddly or irritating. Once you see the movie, the replay value might diminish a little, but it’s clear Lego have already planned ahead – that’s why the toys don’t follow the continuity of the movie. Also, some of the characters glow in the dark. Yay! Shiny things!