Tuesday, April 20th, 2021 at 7:17pm by Benjamin, BZPower Reporter
The superhero Iron Man need no introduction nowadays, and the average LEGO collector probably has as many variants of the character as Batman minifigs. But now Marvel has released a new collection for fans new and old alike, under their "18+" banner to attract the new builders along with veterans. The Helmet line has a few key choices, but today we review the first Marvel title in the line: Iron Man's helmet. Read, and watch, on as ChocolateFrogs reviews Shell-Head's shell head.
First, a thank you to LEGO for sending this set for my unbiased opinions. At first glance all the helmets looked great, so getting my hands on one was exciting. This set has 480 pieces and retails for $60, just like the other 3 Star Wars helmets, however those average at 600 pieces, meeting that 10-cents-per-piece ratio. Let's hope the gold parts make up for that. The "18+" designation is a good way to maintain the Creator Expert expectation since the branding switch was made.
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
The front of the box does a very good job showing off exactly what you purchased: An Iron Man helmet. It has a soft glow around it, highlighting it against the black background. It features some logos not normally showcased on a LEGO box, from the Marvel Studios logo to an Avengers "A" in the corner that is different from most Avengers sets. The age suggestion, set number, and piece count have a greebled background seen on most of the larger sets nowadays, this time in an Iron Man dark red. The back of the box gives another angle of the helmet, as if you weren't convinced at how cool this was already, along with some nice movie stills of the suit. (Not pictured: The instructions with some movie details up front and the dreaded black building background that is due to be phased out.)
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
LEGO makes use of using odd colors internally so they're easy to find among all the dark red, as they will be hidden later. There are some SNOT bricks here and there, along with some clips and slopes that will highlight detail later.
Early on things start taking shape, like his "ears" and eventually the curvature of the helmet. Rounding out square bricks is no small feat, but it is done well here with some plate layering along with curved pieces.
The base comes third, meaning for the first two bags you were holding the helmet in your hand. Once you attach the head to the base, it's pretty secure. This is good, because you wouldn't want it falling off your shelf. However, having fewer stud attachments would have been preferred with a mix of tiles and jumper plates to allow it to stay put, but also allow you and guests to pick it up like the skull of Yorick.
Finally you get to the good stuff: the gold pieces. The parts everyone is fawning over. Watch out thoughâ€”I discovered some of the 1x2, 1x3 and 1x4 dark tan plates have a golden edge along just one forward-facing side. It's pretty subtle while building, so I had to fix it while taking some final photos. Finally, points off due to the stickers needed for the glowing eyes on the curved slopes. They're hidden deep enough within the cranium that surely there was a better way to use some white and black parts for the same effect?
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
There are some great pieces for the set, making it a treat if you take it apart for building MOCs. Lots of dark red in all kinds of shapes, but of course the gold is the star of the show.
The helmet looks just like the iconic Iron Man helmet, though smaller than a human head. It gets the curves just right and doesn't fall flat at all. The extra angles on the face are also impressive with the various parts in use. It looks great as a display piece, which is really all it's for, so I've removed the "Playability" portion of the review guide.
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
Looks like the real deal.
Great building design and experience.
Variety of gold and dark red parts.
Good price for a display piece.
What's not to like?
Bad piece-to-price ratio.
Doesn't come off base easily enough.
Sometimes a set looks nothing like the image on the box. Digital renders, lighting, and just good marketing can make it flashier than the physical model. This, however, is exactly what you expected. We've seen the Iron Man helmet in its many iterations over the years, but the set maintains the iconic look from the movies (and comics) in a brick-built form. It will look great on display, or in your parts collection.