Saturday, April 6, 2013

Iron Man 3 Malibu Mansion Attack - 76007 LEGO Review

Capping off my reviews of the latest wave of Iron Man LEGO sets is a look at #76007, Iron Man: Malibu Mansion Attack.This 364 piece set is the largest of the Iron Man 3 movie tie-ins and carries a US retail price of $39.99. It also features several exclusive minifigures, including Pepper Potts.
So, let's talk about whether this set is worth plunking down $40 of your hard earned money.

What's in the box?
There are three numbered bags, two instructions booklets, a sticker sheet, and a comic book. The books/stickers/comic are floating loose in the box, so chances are they will be curled. Such was the case with mine. Thankfully, no hard creasing or other damage was done.
Bag one covers building the entire helicopter. Bag two is the kitchen and armor storage of the mansion, and bag three is the main line of windows and Tony's work area.
Parts wise, there's not much unique to this set. Some of the minifigure prints are only found in this set. The larger 10x10 quarter circle (part 58846) only appears in white in one other set, and you get two of them.

How are the minifigures
Let's start with the bad guys. The Mandarin figure included in this set is very different from the version in 76008. His torso has a much more detailed printing, including leg printing. Of course, you'll never really be able to tell that because the cape and huge beard cover up most of those details.

The Extremis Soldier is pretty basic and the face is pretty similar to the one used for Aldrich Killian in set 76006. He's a nice little henchmen and pilots the helicopter just fine.

The back printing on both is pretty much what you would expect.

As for the heroes, we get a Tony Stark in casual wear and Pepper Potts, along with the Mark 42 armor with a plain white head. The armor included here is that same as what's in set 76006. As I have come to expect, the torso printing on all three is well detailed. I especially liked the gold necklace on Pepper. It's very subtle and a nice touch.
The heads on all of the figures (except the blank white head) have two expressions. Stark and The Mandarin's heads are the same as in other sets. Pepper's and the soldier's are unique to this set.
There's also a brick-built character included in this set. Tony's little robot arm lab assistant is a quick build and includes a fire extinguisher, which is a nice little detail from the first movie.

How is the build?
Let's start with the helicopter, since that's what you build first. It's a pretty standard build compared to other vehicles. I did notice right out of the bags that the base of the chopper uses the solid undercarriage that seems to be the standard approach now. I don't quite understand why this can't just be built with plates.
Like all of the Mandarin vehicles, the chopper has a dark green and yellow color scheme. There are three stickers, all of which go around the cockpit area. None of them are really necessary, but they do add some nice detailing. There's the usual array of flick-fire missiles on each side as well.

On to bag two, where we start on the mansion. The structure comes together in a largely modular style, with each section being snapped in to the greater structure upon completion.
We start in the kitchen (I think), which consists of two cabinets and a blender, and also happens to be right next to where two suits of armor can be stored. There's a lever along the outer wall that can be used to "blow up" the armor, popping the mounting plates off of some 2x2 knob plates. Of course, there are stickers here. You get two very detailed armor schematics that are applied to some glass panels and sit behind where the armor will actually stand up. They are pretty cool, but I always find larger stickers kind of a pain to apply straight.
The curve of the mansion is created with the use of 3x12 angle plates, with pin connections to push it all together. It creates an overall nice effect and is a technique I can see using again in the future.

Bag three covers the larger portion of the mansion, with two large windows and a work area for Tony. You get more stickers here, which create some little graphical displays. There are also stickers on the front windows for some warning signs and some exterior detailing.
Another play feature of the set is a lever on the roof that can be used to make one of the windows pop out. As usual with the movie tie-in sets, I'm sure this recreates a scene in the upcoming feature. Since this is a playset of a location, I was not surprised to see a few of these included in the design.

The finished product is honestly a little bit crowded inside. There's really not a lot of floor space and maneuvering the figures through the floor plan is kind of difficult because of the tight angles.

The instructions are very easy to follow, considering how many pages there are where you are setting down just one or two bricks for a step.

Final thoughts
Overall, I am not that impressed with this set. You get some nice figures and a decent sized mansion out of the deal, but it just does not feel like what I would expect for $40. If it were not for the fact that I wanted to cover all three of these sets, I would have waited for this one to drop in price before picking it up. I would probably want to hit at least 25 percent off.

On the plus side, it did get me thinking about what might be my next major MOC project. There's a ton of potential behind the idea of Stark's mansion and workshop. I just don't think this set does the concept justice.
After building all three of the Iron Man 3 sets, I can easily say my favorite was the cheapest offering for the line. The "Ultimate Showdown" provides a pretty good bang for your buck, includes two key characters, and produces a cool little vehicle. The "Extremis Sea Port Battle" is passable, but so much of what I love about that set has more to do with War Machine than the actual boat that should be the focus.

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