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Review: 76007 Iron Man Malibu Mansion Attack

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Review: 76007 Iron Man Malibu Mansion Attack

Postby Staff » Thu Jul 25, 2013 6:27 am

Full Set

The Iron Man Malibu Mansion Attack set (otherwise known as the one that doesn't look like junk at first glance) stands out in the line of Super Hero sets, since it includes Pepper Potts (her first figure) and gives us a full Tony Stark figure, instead of just his face and his body. Of course, we also get to see what only could have been the ultimate battle in the movie, between Iron Man and the Mandarin that led to his house getting blown up, right?

At $40, this set is the top of the Iron Man line (and mid-range to low compared to other sets). You can read up on the reviews of the other two sets, the Mandarin Ultimate Showdown and the Extremis Sea-Port battle, and see how these stack up in comparison. While I didn't write them, I can tell you that I was fairly underwhelmed with those two but excited for this one before I saw the movie.

After seeing the movie, how did this one stack up? Read on to find out. And obviously, there will be spoilers in here. I used up all of my snarky spoiler comments in the Man of Steel set reviews, so I welcome you to make up your own and put them in the comments section!

So why am I reviewing this set a couple of months after the movie has come to and exited theaters? I actually purchased it as soon as they hit the shelves of one of my local Walmarts, but disliked how the first two sets turned out that I decided to wait for the movie. And I loved the movie, it was probably the best "3rd" comic book movie that I've seen.

But seeing the movie made me just hate the sets that have pretty much nothing at all to do with it. These sets are apparently based on what someone assumed the movie would be about based on Taco Bell glasses and a 15-second trailer. It'd be kind of like making an iRobot movie except instead of basing it on the Asimov classic, you just use the name and an unrelated movie about a luddite 80s rap star going against skynet for murdering the bad guy from L.A. Confidential. And then releasing a stuffed animal line of iRobot happy fun-time pals based on the Wikipedia synopsis of the original book.

Minifigs

First up, minifigures. This set is actually a pretty nifty lineup for a $40 set, with a unique Mandarin, an Extremis Soldier, Tony Star, Pepper Potts, and a brick-built DUM-E robot. Sure, LEGO and Brickset doesn't call it a minifigure, but someone needs to show that poor little guy some love. And he was a "character" in the movie, so I'll put him here.

Mandarin

First up, Mandarin. And remember my comment about spoilers? Seriously, go away if you don't want them. Scroll down to the part where I tell you that the set is worth $40 and click on the link to buy it.

Remember how I kept commenting in the Man of Steel reviews for Black Zero Escape and The Battle for Smallville how the character makeup didn't make any sense? It doesn't hold a candle to the inclusion of the Mandarin here. Not only was he not in this scene, or in the scene leading up to it... but ultimately, in one of the greatest fake-outs to ever hit nerd culture (something that gave me endless joy in reading the rantings of nerds around)... he wasn't even the bad guy of the film!

 Mandarin - Back, Alt-Face Mandarin - No Beard


Sure, at this point in the movie, you thought he was the bad guy, but he wasn't on the chopper with everyone. Eric Savin, the guy we'd seen skeeving up the Stark Industries offices and trying to kill Happy was on one of the choppers, along with some unnamed soldiers.

Mandarins

By itself, the Mandarin figure isn't bad, with a lot more detailed printing than the one that came in the Lawn Care Showdown set, where he was wearing the military vest seen in an early movie clip (I think). Here, he's in full regalia and has a cape. The hair is kinda hacked, given how elaborate Trevor's hair was, it just seems a bit lazy. Or should at least be streaked with grey. That and he needs a can of Budweiser (and so did I after building these sets).

 Extremis Soldier Extremis Soldier - Back, Alt-Face


In the set descriptions, this guy is called Extremis Soldier, and given that he has hair, I'll assume it's not the second-in-command for Killian. Not a bad figure, though basically he's just a glow-in-the-dark version of any number of random figures we've had. The alternate face is far more elaborate, with the full enrage for being Extremis here. That in itself is strange, since we didn't even know what Extremis really was at that point (except that people blew up when they used it).

Extremis Soldier - All Glowly

His head does glow, which is a nice play feature, but extremis was red and orange. A minor point, you work with the glowy stuff and that's typically green... but somehow, I wish this was orange and didn't glow more than white/green and did.

 Tony Stark Tony Stark - Back, Alt-Face


It's kind of surprising that we went this long without a true Tony Stark figure, given that he spent as much time out of the armor as in it during The Avengers. Part of me also really hopes they go back and create some sets from the previous movies (I'd like a good Wiplash figure), but still nice to have a proper figure with the reactor on his chest.

Overall, a good figure that certainly looks like Robert Downey Jr. He's one of those rare actors that did a performance so well that he effectively ended it for anyone else. From now on, Tony Stark = Robert Downy Jr, so it's nice to have him in figure form. The alt face is a bit strange, given that I don't recall ever even see him look scared, but you can't have a figure these days without an alt face, I guess.

 Pepper Potts Pepper Potts - Back, Alt-Face


Pepper Potts makes her LEGO debut here as well. The face is unique to her, and the "scared" face fits quite well, especially given the scene. Apparently the 15 seconds of footage they got to base the set on included her with the place being blown up around her. The torso works, though is a bit more generic than Gwyneth Paltrow is (and the Futurama fan in me wants to make a joke about her not having a flask of human blood).

 Mark 42  Mark 42 - Back


We also get a (mostly) new version of the Iron Man armor, the Mark 42 "beta" armor that Tony wore most of the time. The same armor is included in the Lawn Care set, so you can get it cheaper if you really want it.

Mark 42 - Open Helmet

It's designed to let you swap out Tony or Pepper's face, which fits with the scene quite nicely. It's weird, but the helmet doesn't really bug me all that much anymore. I guess I've just had it long enough to be used to it (and it still looks better than Batman's cowl and the new Flash headpiece). That or I looked up the prices for the Toy Fair exclusive one and realized I won't ever own it.

Iron Men

I like the evolution of the armor over time, and it isn't until you put them side-by-side that you realize exactly how far it's come. There are some good MOCs to be had in the whole mansion and workshop.

DUM-E

We do get some brick-built DUM-E, complete with briefcase armor from Iron Man 2. More than that, at long last, there was a reason for Marvel to put a fire extinguisher on a Marvel set! Seriously, why were there so many extinguishers in the Avengers stuff? I like this little guy, but I'm a sucker for a brick-built droid. I know a few other people around here that are too...

Chopper

At least they include the helicopter in this, and didn't throw in something like a tank or the like, given what we saw with The Battle for Smallville. The bad guys actually do attack Stark's mansion in choppers. Of course, those were Bell 429's that had been painted three different colors (and as I remember... none of them were green).

Chopper - Front

There's not all that much in the way of flashy with this thing, it's just a "typical LEGO heli" sort of thing. It has a side opening, that fits the movie, and adds some flick-fires, because of course it does. okay, to be fair, the attack choppers did have missiles that were fired into the mountain, but also had chain-guns, which did the bulk of the damage. It would have been nice if they actually did something to put those guns on this. I know, I know, inconsistent weapon policy and all, but it really hurts sets like this to not have the weapons of war available.

Chopper - Bottom

Looking at the underside... you can just sort of tell that this is in the set because it had to be an "attack" and not just a mansion playhouse. I think my fellow writer's, burriedbybricks, description of this fits well: "It's like they took everything good in the Wolverine Chopper and left it out."

Mansion - Exterior

The "mansion" in question is actually just the windowed part of Tony's lab. Doesn't a mansion usually have to have a few more rooms? This place is more like a villa or a really retro-ish 70s house. We're obviously not building a whole mansion, this part deals with the place where most of the fighting happens in the movie.

Mansion Interior

Kind of. Pepper is currently upstairs with Tony's one-night-stand from 2000 when the attack happens, along with Tony, before running off to get some Iron Man bracelets. If I remember right (and that's always an iffy proposition), Tony didn't end up downstairs until upstairs and downstairs quite literally "ran into each other" when it was shot out by the helicopter.

The design here is based loosely on the production teasers that showed off the different armors and scenes from Iron Man 2 where Tony is downstairs drinking smoothies to keep the arc reactor from poisoning him (well, poisoning him faster. The little kitchenette area is a nice touch (though wasn't that in Iron Man 2?) and you have spots for two armors. I love that smoothie blender, and can always use more cabinets, but if that was the difference between two spots and four, I would have rather had the four.

Obviously, the real setup had, what, a dozen armor displays? Obviously we're not going to get that in a $40 set, but I know what I really would have loved was paying $10 more and getting a couple of more slots along with the Hulkbuster armor.

Mansion - Damaged

The building has some of the "damage" playset features that are common in a lot of sets (such as Helm's Deep or Battle of Metropolis), that does fit with the scene this is depicting... to the point that damage is caused, not so much on the level of damage. This level of damage is mostly "Tony had a few too many cocktails" damage, not "they're trying to kill me" damage.

Mansion - More Damage, I think

That sort of is the tricky thing with this set. We see this area when it's perfectly peaceful. During the actual attack on his house, Tony is upstairs, and the floor gets shot out from under him and the place wrecked while he's trying to get to the armor. We see this place in shambles when it's destroyed.

Mansion - Side

The playset features are... interesting (if ugly), even if they are kind of simple. Like almost any set trying to capture a movie, it feels too small. I understand that LEGO tries to match sets to a price point, but I really do wish that this set could have come in a little more expensive and included a little more in the way of stuff. Seeing some Hulkbuster armor, which figured into the marketing materials, as well as the final battle, would have made this set go from good to awesome.

In the end, the problem with the set isn't the set itself. If I remove my frustration on the Iron Man sets basically ignoring the movie, and rate it on the merits of the set itself, this is a fine set. But it is an Iron Man 3 set, and to that end, it ends up a little small and incomplete. Do I think they should have done the full display with twelve armors? Of course not.

But three or four doesn't seem terribly unreasonable, even if that makes this a $50 or $60 set. Especially since one of the best sets of the Avengers line, the Quinjet, was $70 and still did quite well. It just feels like this set is lacking a little, in part because it's trying to capture two different scenes in the same set. Add to that the fact that The Mandarin is in the set, and it's just annoying.

Remove Iron Man 3 from this set, and you have a good set that's a bit too small, but otherwise has a very nice parts selection. Add IM3 and you have an average set that doesn't fit the movie well. There was a lot of potential to it, and it was relatively fun to build, but the devil is in the details. And the details don't fit. It's a good parts-pack type set, but that's about it.

What I liked:

  • DUM-E, Mark 42, Tony Stark, and Pepper Potts are all great figures that belong in the set

  • Good parts selection, and plenty of MOC-able parts

  • Price is fairly reasonable for the size of the set


What I didn't like:

  • The Mandarin doesn't belong in the set. He should have been Eric Savin, who had just as prominent of a role in the film

  • Helicopter is basic, underwhelming, wasn't green, and could have been far better

  • Scene is cobbled together from different movie scenes, or marketing materials. It really doesn't fit the battle at all when you look at it

  • Should have been a bigger, better, and a more expensive set


Verdict: Pick it up during a decent sale, then promptly take the figures, grab some extra parts, and build a better version of the set. You can pick up Malibu Mansion Attack on Amazon right now.
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Re: Review: 76007 Iron Man Malibu Mansion Attack

Postby Flynn » Thu Jul 25, 2013 6:51 am

Spoilers ahead, yada yada.

To be charitable to the LEGO designers (whom I'm fairly confident are typically given at least a synopsis to work with when planning out sets), I'd imagine the movie execs were wanting to keep the whole "Mandarin = some stoned actor" thing under wraps since it's the central twist of the film (and a good one at that), so not only were they likely forbidden from using Extremis as a major character in the sets, I think someone probably realized that the best way to keep the whole mystery Mandarin thing going was to pretend in the sets that he's the major villain. Thus he's featured in two of the sets (one of which is the most iconic scenes from the marketing) and the intent is to make people believe he's just what the trailers paint him to be.

And let's be honest, it worked, or at least helped. Throwing in the Mandarin the way they did was a pretty smart way of making him seem rather innocuous- he's just the big villain that fights off against Iron Man a few times, no big deal. It works even better for this particular set since we're already distracted by the somewhat-less-of-a-spoiler Pepper in the suit, and since LEGO sets have a history of accidentally spoiling details, we're almost led to think that's this line's contribution to that tradition.


I mean, no one's documented the planning and designing of these sets...so we have two choices to believe. One, that the designers either didn't think or didn't care to check up on accuracy regarding the sets, or two, that they were more aware and thus designed the sets to be exactly what you'd expect them to be having not seen the movie. Given the choice, I'd much rather the option that gives the designers more credit and makes me enjoy the sets just a bit more.
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Re: Review: 76007 Iron Man Malibu Mansion Attack

Postby dWhisper » Thu Jul 25, 2013 7:03 am

If I hadn't built the lawn care set, I might believe that... and on this set, they did a better job at least matching the marketing materials (mandarin showdown wasn't even remotely related to anything in the movie or materials that have been shared). But with the Mandarin John Deere, I can't see that as anything other than lazy.

And the design itself matches something, but I still don't understand the inclusion of the Mandarin. They did a great job keeping it under wraps, and in the movie, it was genuinely a surprise (one I liked). This scene, however, was one of the earliest of teasers, and there's no reason to put the Mandarin in the set. I get, sort of, the Ten Rings markup, since that's a comic nod, but they could have still made this set appealing by dropping the Mandarin and giving another Extremis Soldier.

I get needing Iron Man in sets for Iron Man 3... there is enough variety in the suits in this movie to keep it interesting. But the whole scene mixing setup has become more common in the licensed sets (An Unexpected Gathering did it too). It really didn't bug me much, except from the point of view that doing it means we get a worse representation of the movie itself.
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Re: Review: 76007 Iron Man Malibu Mansion Attack

Postby Flynn » Thu Jul 25, 2013 7:53 am

My guess for the Lawn Care set is that they felt they needed a small set that had both the Mandarin and Iron Man. Since the only option the film gave them was "Tony finds Mandarin with Prostitute", they probably felt it was best to make something up.
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Re: Review: 76007 Iron Man Malibu Mansion Attack

Postby dWhisper » Thu Jul 25, 2013 7:59 am

I don't know... I think that Tony as Iron man vs. Mandarin on his "throne" would have worked better in the smaller set, ala the Wizard Battle set. Sure, it wouldn't be accurate to the movie, per se, but it would have made more sense, since it was something you actually saw. And they could have totally included a couple of white 1x1 round bricks as an easter egg for those in the know.

I'm sure there's a designer that worked hard on this set, but it's hard to get over the disappointment with the tie-in to the movie once you've seen it and built this. It's closer than the other two, but still misses. At least with the Man of Steel sets, while they all had their issues, you could at least fit them into the movie.

The best comparison I can find to this set would be Hulk's Helicarrier Breakout. That set also really isn't movie accurate, but at least it includes all of the basics of the scenes, and fits it in a LEGO way. That was just a bit more than this set and I think, overall, did a better job of the tie-in. Even the Dropship set did a better job, even with the wrong figure makeup.
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Re: Review: 76007 Iron Man Malibu Mansion Attack

Postby rushiosan » Thu Jul 25, 2013 1:46 pm

The funny thing I noticed after watching the movie: IM3 LEGO sets have created its own scenes and they were far better than what we saw on screen. I thought to myself "let me watch the movie first so I can decide which set is more iconic and deserves to be purchased first for decorating my shelf".

I ended up very frustrated and didn't purchased any set at all. The movie truly sucked from the opening credits to the very end. [spoilers ahead] The whole Mandarin plot, that pathetic little kid, bad jokes, Killian, Pepper turning into some kind of mutant, more bad jokes, lack of War Machine decent action scenes, the fireworks that destroyed everything at the end... and the "death" of Iron Man. It was like watching a promising franchise being smashed and humiliated at your face. I should have waited until DVD/BD discs were out.

Anyway, talking about the set itself, 76007 is probably my only strong choice of this wave, mostly because "casual" Tony and Potts minifigures. The lab could've been way better and actually have more armor slots, since there's still War Machine (remove the gun and you have a Mark II), Heart Breaker and that weird Comic-con printed-head Iron Man (is that really from Comic-con?) to collect. Helicopter and Mandarim are pretty disposable. I'd sacrifice them for a better lab without thinking twice.
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Re: Review: 76007 Iron Man Malibu Mansion Attack

Postby dWhisper » Thu Jul 25, 2013 2:07 pm

The printed head Iron Man is from NY Toy Fair back in February 2012, which also came with Bucky Barnes (Winter Soldier) as Captain America, after the whole Civil War comic story.

I don't think you can take away the helicopter from the set and still make it work, simply because LEGO has to have some play features, and most of those go away without the attack part. As I put in the review, I think the answer for this set was to make it bigger and more expensive to make it work, instead of making the compromises that they did. This had the feel of a set that was made too small to fit a price point.
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Re: Review: 76007 Iron Man Malibu Mansion Attack

Postby Sinestro27 » Thu Jul 25, 2013 3:07 pm

You don't recall seeing Tony with a scared face? You say you watch these movies, but I'm not so sure. The Iron Man 3 I saw had Tony having several panic attacks....sheesh.
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Re: Review: 76007 Iron Man Malibu Mansion Attack

Postby dWhisper » Thu Jul 25, 2013 3:48 pm

Panic attack, yes, freaking out like he was going to die. But not scared. An anxiety attack is quite a bit different from fright, and even freaking out, Robert Downey Jr. Still looked... indifferent.
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Re: Review: 76007 Iron Man Malibu Mansion Attack

Postby Sharpie Clone » Fri Jul 26, 2013 1:42 am

Flynn wrote:My guess for the Lawn Care set is that they felt they needed a small set that had both the Mandarin and Iron Man. Since the only option the film gave them was "Tony finds Mandarin with Prostitute", they probably felt it was best to make something up.


"Tony finds Mandarin with Prostitute"
Best LEGO set ever!

Actually, Malibu is the only set from IM3 that I would consider, but I wish it had the Mandarin from the Lawn Care set as I would rather have a military/guerilla solider compared to a fantasy/LOTR figure, but that's me.
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Review: 76007 Iron Man Malibu Mansion Attack

Postby freight69 » Fri Jul 26, 2013 9:33 am

dWhisper wrote:It'd be kind of like making an iRobot movie except instead of basing it on the Asimov classic, you just use the name and an unrelated movie about a luddite 80s rap star going against skynet for murdering the bad guy from L.A. Confidential. And then releasing a stuffed animal line of iRobot happy fun-time pals based on the Wikipedia synopsis of the original book.

Good stuff.

dWhisper, I'll join the chorus thanking you for all of these recent reviews. It's good to see what someone else thinks of all of this available product. And at the rate you've been pumping them out lately, I have really been able to fill the lulls at work. I appreciate it.
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Re: Review: 76007 Iron Man Malibu Mansion Attack

Postby Mars Needs LEGO » Fri Jul 26, 2013 9:50 am

dWhisper wrote: It'd be kind of like making an iRobot movie except instead of basing it on the Asimov classic, you just use the name and an unrelated movie about a luddite 80s rap star going against skynet for murdering the bad guy from L.A. Confidential. And then releasing a stuffed animal line of iRobot happy fun-time pals based on the Wikipedia synopsis of the original book.


I also enjoyed this paragraph, except for one glaring error that ultimately owes more to a certain corporation's ubiquitous marketing than anything else.

The Asimov classic to which you refer is I, Robot. "iRobot" is something else entirely, and I'm sure Apple will be rolling it out any day now. :lol:

Otherwise, great review. :cool:
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Re: Review: 76007 Iron Man Malibu Mansion Attack

Postby freight69 » Fri Jul 26, 2013 10:16 am

Mars Needs LEGO wrote:I also enjoyed this paragraph, except for one glaring error that ultimately owes more to a certain corporation's ubiquitous marketing than anything else.

The Asimov classic to which you refer is I, Robot. "iRobot" is something else entirely...

I just figured this was part of the joke. It really puts it over the top--jumping the Sharknado, as it were. Heh.
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Re: Review: 76007 Iron Man Malibu Mansion Attack

Postby dWhisper » Fri Jul 26, 2013 11:58 am

I didn't want to sully the actual classic novel (which is great, though a read that you have to be in a dry state of mind for), so I "hollywoodized" it a little. I'm sure if they could get away with it, it would be I, Robot... OF DEATH!
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Re: Review: 76007 Iron Man Malibu Mansion Attack

Postby Ultron32 » Sun Jul 28, 2013 2:37 am

Spoiler: show
My spoiler suggestion: So don't come crying when you find out that Aldrich Killian is the Mandarin
Thought you'd like this about the Vatican cameos.
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