With LEGO doubling down on creating sets for adult fans, and expanding beyond play sets, 2020 has seen a number of new concepts roll out to fans such as these buildable LEGO helmets, which have taken on iconic Star Wars characters, and now, Marvel studios with the LEGO Iron Man helmet.
As a pop culture (and more importantly superhero) aficionado, I was intrigued by these and picked up a few of them in a recent LEGO sale to review and for display purposes, so read on to see what I think of 76165 Iron Man Helmet!
To see a speed-build of me putting the Iron Man Helmet, check out the Jay’s Brick Blog Youtube channel!
The box is in the new 18+ design, which is fairly minimalist, and has some embellishments such as the Avengers and Iron Man logo.
The stark (heh) design actually works well for these helmets, as they function more like art-pieces, so I don’t mind them as much.
The build was fairly brisk – only taking about an hour of casual building, so is perfect for a lazy weekend build that will scratch a LEGO itch without having to commit a heap of time.
The build was quite interesting, and not particularly challenging, consisting of building the core of the helmet, before assembling the mask as the finale.
The end result is quite striking, especially with the new drum-lacquered gold elements that make the front mask. The glint of these elements does grab your attention with its metallic sheen.
The completed model looks just okay? It looks enough like Iron Man to be recognizable, but when you take a closer look, you start picking up on several issues.
The Iron Man’s side view is the most unflattering, with very noticeable gaps that are just distracting.
The cheek design is also a hodgepodge of plates, studs and also that solitary single tile above the eyes? What?
Here’s another view of Iron Man’s “ears” which printed (nice surprise) and enclosed in a recessed area.
There’s a lot of confusion going on with the design – is this meant to be a SNOT, or is it meant to have studs? The hybrid approach where they go for both just doesn’t quite work.
The top view is all studs, with some shoddy layering to create a curved look. At least you won’t see this view often.
The view from the back is pretty average – I do like the curved sections of his head, but the straight sharp angled lines on the side and to the bottom again, doesn’t feel quite right.
Here’s a closer look at Iron Man’s eyes, and forehead.
Firstly, stickers are used for the eyes, which has a blue border around the white sections. The eyes are a little too recessed for me, although I do like the technique employed to achieve the look. It just looks a little too dark for the effect to be prominent enough.
Also, those are not discoloured or dull elements on the sides of his eye. They’re tan elements that LEGO have snuck in to blend against the gold parts. It feels a little lazy considering the heavy investment into the proper gold elements and bothered me every time I looked at it.
I’ve saved the worst for last – the chin. The chin is easily the poorest part of the build, and just looks wrong. I know the designers were aiming for the little mouth gap, but the execution is just all wrong.
The design makes it look like Iron Man suffers from a severe underbite.
Not very flattering at all.
The stand is basic but sturdy, and I liked the printed name tile which was a nice bonus.
In my opinion, I kinda liked the Iron Man helmet displayed without the stand.
What I liked:
- Recognizable as Iron Man
- Abundance of drum-lacquered elements
What I didn’t like:
- While recognizable, the shape feels distorted and off in so many places
- The chin and underbite makes it look goofy
- Very pricey for what you get
- No minifigure included
Final thoughts: I had heard lots of good things about the new helmets, especially the Star Wars ones which I’m yet to build, so I decided to start with Iron Man and boy was I disappointed.
In terms of positives, at the very least the helmet does look like Iron Man, and can be recognized quite easily especially from afar.
The use of the drum-lacquered elements is really nice, and I just love seeing more of these elements get used in sets. It does the job of making the helmet “pop” thanks to the sheen it gives off, and does reflect off light very nicely when on display.
When you look closer, the flaws start to materialise and you start realising that the shape is off in many different ways. It feels almost distorted, and when you compare it against the helmet shape from the movie which has a very distinct, sleek look, the more it looks less like it.
The chin and underbite are the most noticeable flaws. The gaps are really inexcusable, and the entire model just seems like an unfinished product that was finalised in a rush.
There could be so much potential to make Iron Man’s Helmet outstanding – it might be tricky, but I would’ve loved it if they had put in some mechanical feature, where the mask flips upwards like it does in the movie. Again, more missed opportunities.
I’m not a great designer, so maybe the nuances of the helmet are really hard to replicate using existing LEGO elements, but for a US$60/AU$80 set, it just feels like poor value.
An addition of an exclusive minifigure could perhaps sweeten the deal and make the product slightly more palatable, but as it stands on its own, this was a really poor execution of Iron Man’s iconic helmet – which is a bummer as the build was really quite enjoyable.
All that glitters unfortunately isn’t gold.
If you’re a die-hard Iron Man or Marvel fanatic, you may enjoy adding this set to your collection, but even if you are, you’re likely to be let down.
I can’t recommend this set at all, and having got it at 20% off, I felt that even then it was poor value. I’ll likely keep this around on display, but it just feels like the LEGO Iron Man helmet had so much potential that didn’t quite materialise.
I really wanted to like this set, but alas, it’s a no from me.
I hope LEGO gets another crack at the Iron Man helmet, and what MK2 will be a more substantial update.
Thanks for reading! Hope you got something out of this review! Have you got yourself any of the new helmet sets yet, or built the Iron Man helmet? I’d love to know what you thought of the set in the comments below!
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