Sunday, March 10, 2013

Iron Man vs. The Mandarin - 76008 LEGO Review

It's been awhile since I sat down and actually decided to review a set I was building. It's also been awhile since I built a retail release set as well. I've been a little tied up with a larger MOC for Brick World-Chicago this summer. I decided to give the latest round of Iron Man 3 sets a try, after I quickly pounced on them when they were listed on Amazon last week. This is the first of three reviews, one for each set in the line.
We start with the smallest LEGO set from the line, Iron Man vs. The Mandarin: Ultimate Showdown (76008). Let's get down to business.

What's in the box?
The box has two (unnumbered) bags, an instruction booklet, and that's about it. Since this is a smaller set, it has a punch tab opening instead of tape seals. The parts are pretty much a mix of dark/light gray and dark green. Seriously. There are a couple red and yellow pieces, but almost the whole thing is gray or green. It's a good mix of parts for what amounts to a small vehicle with a flamethrower on top. The set only clocks in at 91 pieces, so don't expect a massive amount of parts for your collection.

How is the build?
Compared to some of the other $12 offerings in the Super Heroes line, this actually took me longer than five minutes. The entire vehicle is brick built and there are no large shell pieces making up portions of it. As a result, you actually get a fairly complex build for the size. However, it's not THAT difficult and I imagine most young children will have no problem putting it together. It was much more fun than I expected. The tank, or whatever it is, is packed full of features for its size. I'm already getting a kick out of posing the flamethrower arm.

How are the minifigures?
You get two figures here: Iron Man and The Mandarin. Both have fairly detailed printing. The Mandarin has a beard and hair piece, along with a small gun that clips on to the vehicle. Iron Man comes with the usual range of trans-clear blue bricks to create a thruster effect.
Here they are from the front. Notice the silver highlight on the chin of the face plate.
And from the back. Both heads have two expressions printed on them. Tony's other printing is more of an angry face. It does kind of feel like the Mandarin's expressions are a little pointless, seeing as how the beard covers everything but the eyes.

I'm pretty impressed that LEGO put the two main characters of the movie in the smallest set of the line. The Iron Man suit printing is a new version as well, and appears to be exclusive to this set.

Overall impressions
As the cheapest set in the Iron Man line, I was not expecting much out of this. I was pleasantly surprised to have those expectations proven wrong though. This is an excellent impulse set and is so far the cheapest way to get an Iron Man minifigure. I imagine this will be in high demand for his inclusion alone. I highly recommend picking this one up.

Next up will be Extremis Sea Port Battle (76006).

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