LEGO® Art is an interesting new theme, introduced earlier this month. It’s also part of the new 18+ range of sets, which are solely aimed at adult LEGO fans or AFOLs. However, LEGO Art has an appeal beyond the average LEGO fan. This is partly due to the subject matter of each set and the process of building them, which is unlike the average build. They also offer an addition of an accompanying ‘soundtrack’ which is actually more akin to a podcast. I have each of the four sets to build and decided to build the Iron Man version first. This allows you to build one of three Iron Man suits Mark III, Mark LXXXV and the Hulkbuster armour. But is this intriguing new theme worth a build? Find out is my review the LEGO ART Marvel Studios Iron Man set.
If you’re a Superhero fan, we have a thrilling set for you. Build 1 of 3 portraits of the iconic Iron Man suits of armor with this LEGO® Art Marvel Studios Iron Man (31199) set, while you relish a creative escape from everyday life.
Build 1 of 3 detailed portraits of Iron Man’s armour, the MARK III, the HULKBUSTER MARK I or the MARK LXXXV. If you want more, buy and combine 3 sets into an ultimate Iron Man piece. As part of this new LEGO building experience, listen to the included Soundtrack for stories and cool details about the set as you build. Finish the project with a Marvel Studios signature plate, then display it on a wall or shelf.
- Set Name: Marvel Studios Iron Man
- Set Number: 31199
- Pieces: 3167
- RRP: £114.99/$119.99/119.99€
- Soundtrack: Link
- Measurements: measures over 15.5” (40cm) square
- Availability: LEGO.com & LEGO Store
Mosaics are no strangers to the world of LEGO, but the LEGO Art sets offer something different. Although familiar in terms of combining 1×1 elements, the surface on which they are placed is all-new. A collection of nine 16×16 brick plates, not only offers an easier way to create each section of the overall image, it’s a much sturdier surface. Especially once the outer frame is applied. Each of the brick plates has a surface of 256 studs, with 11 Technic pinholes along each of the outer edges, which are 1 brick high. These various connection points will certainly make these new plates useful beyond the LEGO Art sets.
Each page of instructions represents one of the nine squares. It’s basically a 1:1 image of what you’ll be building. The Iron Man set uses a combination of 15 different coloured 1×1 studs. Round studs have been used in place of square ones, this cuts of trying to make sure the elements are sitting in a straight line. I’m so glad this route was taken as it’s much easier and certainly less stressful. The final bottom right-hand brick plate has the option to completely fill with studs or add a printed 2×4 tile, featuring the Marvel and Iron Man logos. The pages have a key to represent each of these colours. It’s a little like painting by numbers, so the colour needed and where it should be placed is shown on the image. As each brick plate is completed, it’s then connected to the next via a trio of Technic pins.
With all the brick plates connected the image is complete but the build is far from over. To finish it off and give it a little more strength, you’ll then construct the frame. This is crafted by a series of 2×12 and 2×16 plates along with 1×8 and 1×16 bricks. You’ll also spot a couple of new elements which are used as hook points. These have the same dimensions as three 1×5 Technic beams but with a gap down the centre, perfectly placed for a small screw, nail or hook to firmly hold artwork on a wall. There are two included but you can simply use one in the centre and hang on a single hook. Although two would offer a little extra security.
Variants & Ultimate Builds
As with all the LEGO Art sets, there is more than one option to build. The Iron Man set can be built in one of three different images. Two of the standard Iron Man suits – Mark III and the Mark LXXXV also the other the Mark I Hulkbuster Suit. Although the framing is created in the same way for each image, obviously the 9 plates feature different patterns of 1×1 studs and therefore use different quantities of each colour. You can only build one of each image at a time, so if you want all three images you’ll need three sets. Which is also the case for the combination build. Although instructions for the three individual images are featured in the included book, you can find instructions for a fourth build online. This requires the combined elements from three sets, which creates a much larger piece of LEGO artwork. You can find the instructions for the ultimate build here.
The LEGO Art sets are the perfect embodiment of adult builds. The subject matter can be enjoyed by all, but the experience of the build is suited towards adults and most interestingly non-LEGO fans. The frame is the most traditional element of the build, but the creation of the image with the single elements is fairly easy to follow if a little time-consuming. As the overall image is split into 9 plates, it’s a great set to build in stages. Maybe you have a few moments to yourself at the end of the day, where you can complete a plate and easily put it away until the next time. It took me a fair few hours to complete, so it will certainly keep you busy for a while. I found the build much easier by popping each of the studs in their own separate container. I used an old tray from a LEGO advent calendar, but you could use bowls or one of the trays from the DOTS sets.
The image choices of the various Iron Man suits are nicely captured with the studs and the use of colours help to capture the iconic appearance of Stark’s armoured exo-suits. I was planning on crafting each image for the purpose of review, but the overall build experience would be the same regardless of the image. The pricing is a tad high, even more so should you wish to build and display all three images or the combined image. But the large brick plates carry the higher costs, as most large elements often do. The price is the sets biggest obstacle, it may put off the average customer, who is interested in giving it a try and may frustrate AFOLs who must build them all. The ‘soundtrack’ was interesting to listen to, but it felt a little generic and disconnected to the build and the subject matter in place. Once it got around to talking to the set designers it was certainly more interesting. But I enjoyed the build and quite like the finished product, now I must find a way to slowly replace other pictures in the house with the LEGO Art sets.
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This set was provided to BricksFanz.com by the LEGO Group for purposes of review. The thoughts within this review are that of BricksFanz.com and do not reflect those of the LEGO Group. Providing the set for free does not guarantee a favourable opinion of the set.