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Set Review: 76008 Iron Man vs The Mandarin: Ultimate Showdown

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Once again, it's time for another review. While it's still in theaters, we thought it might be good to take a look at another Iron Man 3 set, this time Iron Man vs The Mandarin: Ultimate Showdown. Ta-metru_defender has picked up this smallest set from the lineup and is ready to share his thoughts on it with you all. Read on to see how ultimate it is!


From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.


It's a small, square box. Obviously. The art on the front has the Heartbreaker Armor fighting The Mandarin, the top has the actual size Iron Man fig, and the back has the features. It's fairly straightforward. Interestingly, the back has The Mandarin zooming out of his vehicle. Because everyone's gut response to fight Iron Man is to get out of the thing that might be your advantage.


Open the box! Two bags, instructions, and a loose Mahri-esque tube. No stickers or comics to be found here. So hey, let's build this set.


Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?


The Mandarin's vehicle, which shall henceforth be known as Trevor the Tractor of Destruction, is not a complex build. It comes together quickly. Like with most LEGO sets, it gives you that pleasant little zen-like feeling as you put it together, but it doesn't last long since it's, y'know, a simple set.

Set Design

Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.

Both minifigs here are exclusive to the set, so let's take a look at them.


The Heartbreaker Armor looks fantastic. It's a cool armor in the film and the LEGO representation is great. The faceplate's blue eyes, silver chin, and little red arrow on the top bears special mention for just being so darn detailed. It's a great minifig. We get the same head from the Avengers set last year, as opposed to the new Tony in the other Iron Man 3 sets.

The Mandarin has the same head as in Malibu Mansion Attack, but a very different and far more guerrilla looking torso that will certainly be useful for anyone wanting to make a military MOC. His legs aren't printed which is a bit of a shame. Another bummer is that his beard obstructs his torso printing. Makes you wish LEGO had printed the beard on his face and/or given him a smaller plastic one. Oh well.


On to Trevor the Tractor of Destruction. It's not a bad piece of construction by any means. We get details like a bumper and taillights (even Tractors of Destruction observe some semblance of road safety). Trevor's flamethrower is a little... oddly placed, seems The Mandarin would get really hot in the driver's seat, guess he figured, 'convection schmonvection.' Trevor's also got flickfire missiles and a pistol and signal light thingy on the side too.


The other half of the fun is in playing with the set. How well does the set function and is it enjoyable to play with?

Let's talk about Trevor for a second. It's... well, like the speedboat and helicopter in other Iron Man 3 sets, it's nothing terribly amazing. The flickfires flick, but not nearly as well as in the speedboat. That said, you can always push it around.

The real fun comes in making Iron Man fight The Mandarin. It is the Ultimate Showdown, after all.


Behold, after Trevor falls Iron Man prepares to fight The Mandarin with the Signal Light Thingy of Destiny!


One night only, Trevor VS Dummy! Flamethrower VS Fire Extinguisher! Tractor of Destruction VS Barely Competent Robot!

Final Thoughts

Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?



What's to like?
  • The Heartbreaker Armor
  • Cool 'figs, as usual
  • Trevor isn't a total failure


What's not to like?
  • $13 is a bit steep
  • Though not a total failure, Trevor doesn't really do much

The main problem with Iron Man vs The Mandarin: Ultimate Showdown, besides its unwieldy name, is its price. I think $10 would be far more reasonable for the set, given its 91 pieces and, well, lack of anything terribly exciting. It's hard for me to recommend it since Trevor just doesn't stick out all that much. Maybe if we had another set of armor (Silver Centurion, please) the $13 would be worth it. As it stands, though, I'm glad we got the Heartbreaker and not another Mk. 42.

Having seen the film twice as of this writing, I love how it ties in to the movie. Any discussion related to that can be directed to the Talkback, with the appropriate spoiler tags.

In any case, the main reason you (and by you I mean me) would buy this set isn't for Trevor or The Mandarin but for the Heartbreaker. Because what's life if you can't have an army of Iron Men?


Everyone needs a hobby

As always, I'll be answering questions and taking picture requests.

Thanks to Ta-metru_defender for taking the time to put this review together. As he says, you can ask questions or leave your comments in the Talkback. And don't forget to keep checking back for for more LEGO set reviews and news, right here on BZPower!

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Yeah, come on, everyone, it takes time for Black Six to run in a phone booth and emerge as HAPORI TOHU, DEFENDER OF BZPOWER JUSTICE! FASTER THAN A SPEEDING BULLET, MORE POWERFUL THAN A LOCOMOTIVE, AND ABLE TO PUT UP SET REVIEWS IN THE TALKBACK TOPICS WHEN THE NEWS FEATURE IS DOWN!Anyway, nice review. I can't really see myself buying the set in the future, though; licensed sets usually just don't interest me that much. I do like the Iron Man minifigs, though, so maybe I'll have to find a set with one someday.

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