One of the most stunning sets from the Iron Man movies has been Tony Stark's Malibu Mansion. Perched on a cliffside, the real mansion was enhanced some by the filmmakers to include Tony's "garage" which became Iron Man's armory. One of the most shocking moments from the trailers for Iron Man 3 is the destruction of that home, with a huge part of it lurching from the cliff and into the Pacific.
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After seeing the movie, and buying the three LEGO sets that accompany it, I can also say that the Malibu Mansion Attack is the closest of the LEGO sets to approximate what actually happens in the movie. The Iron Man vs Mandarin: Ultimate Showdown is the most egregious example of "uh--that wasn't in the movie I saw," but the Extremis Sea Port Battle, while a good LEGO set, isn't accurate either. The Malibu Mansion Attack is really the best of the three LEGO sets for most kids, Adult Fans of LEGO, or people who just like to build things...and then blow them up.
Malibu Mansion Attack has three major components: the Mansion, a Helicopter, and the Minifigures.
MINIFIGURES Besides being the largest set, Malibu Mansion Attack has the most characters represented as LEGO Minifigures, including a few that are included here for the first time. The five minifigures include Tony Stark, Iron Man Mark 42 Armor, Pepper Potts, Mandarin, and an Extremis Soldier. Tony Stark has the billionaire in his civilian attire, complete with the mini arc reactor shining through his chest. Pepper Potts is in a sleek white suit, and has her trademark red hair in a long ponytail. The Mark 42 Armor is the version of Iron Man used most in the movie, with more gold on the chest, legs and hands than previous Iron Man suits of armor. It's a nice addition to the armory, but stands alone if you don't have any other armors. The Mandarin is the version of the character closest to the comic books and as he's initially seen in the movie--a terrorist who wants to conquer the world, wearing dark green robes, with an Osama Bin Laden-looking beard and a ragged face. The Extremis Soldier has muscles printed on a gray torso, and has red lines on the torso and face, representing the energy of the Extremis effect ready to erupt. All five of the minifigures are great, all five are crucial to the movie, and they're all here in one set. I really can't ask for more here.
The helicopter is a smaller version of the military chopper seen in the Wolverine set from 2012, this time in green instead of red. It's a great piece for kids, a quick build that holds up well to being swooshed and sometimes flung across the room. It includes the Mandarin's "ten rings" logo on the top of the canopy, and has four "flick-fire missiles" that you can use to destroy Tony Stark's home. Good times for the kids.
The Malibu Mansion is the largest part of the set, and for the price point of $39.99, is a good representation of Stark's home as seen in three films. Some geeks have been complaining that it's not big enough, that they'd rather see a "more realistic" version for around $100--personally, I like that this was a less expensive set, and they were able to make it as accurately as they did. The exterior has the modern white curves of the cliffside mansion, while the interior is really Tony's basement/garage/Batcave. This includes a turntable with transparent computer screens mounted on them--displaying pieces of Iron Man's armor and a transformation process. There's also a small workbench/anvil with hammer and tongs, a kitchen area with juicer, and the little robot who torments Stark with its stupidity. Frequently both adults and children complain about putting stickers on LEGO pieces, either because they'll put them on crooked or they won't be able to use those pieces for other building projects. The stickers here include window displays of the helicopter attack and the Mark VI and Mark 42 armors. I like them, I stuck them, I'm satisfied with them. There are two alcoves in the wall of the mansion for Iron Man suits of armor--the set only comes with Mark 42, but if you bought any of the other Iron Man or Avengers LEGO sets, you have the beginnings of your own little Hall of Armor already started. There's a play feature that explodes one of the windows out of the mansion when you depress a lever--not quite as cataclysmic as what happens in the movie, but it's better than rebuilding the set every few minutes.
In all, this is the best of the three Iron Man LEGO sets currently available. It has the broadest range of characters, it represents a key setting from all three Iron Man movies, and the confrontation it sets up is more movie accurate than any of the others. If you (or okay, your kids) is a fan of Iron Man, this set is the one to get.
Amount Paid (US$): 39.99
Type of Toy: Blocks
Age Range of Child: Kids to Teens