As a Lego Collector, there is one thing that I love to build more than anything: Mechs. In the past few years, Lego has put out very innovative and unique Mechs: The King's Mech, the Black Knight Mech, Titan Mech Battle, just to name a few. As such, when I saw this set on market, I bought it for the massive snake-like Mechanoid that is included for the Time Twins. Despite not having the knowledge yet about the actual story behind the scene, I can assume that the 'Iron Doom' Mechanoid is a machine created by the Time Twins in order to fulfill their ultimate goal. For this reason, I will be judging this set not on its accuracy, but on its playability and displayability.
As mentioned above, I bought this set for the Mech, rather than the terrain piece that is included. While at times terrain bits are used to drive up the piece count (and thus price), I was pleasantly surprised to find that I rather enjoy this piece of swamp building. When putting it together the first time, I was very intrigued by the way the cell is put together. I also noted the clips, and upon completing the tower area, I found that it has potential for large amounts of reconfiguration. The minimalistic aesthetic of the structure fits in well in the swamp environment this season is set to take place, and it provides many places for the Ninjago to actually be posed and fight.
The minifigures in this set are a high point. This set includes both Jay and Lloyd, preventing you from needing to buy Desert Lightning, as well as Wu, a Vermillion and both Time Twins. The detail on the Time Twins figures are incredible, and the attention to little details like having Saunders' pocket watch chain is incredible. The inclusion of hair for the two villians is also something I was very happy to see, allowing you to partially transform Krux into Doctor Saunders for a brief time.
The Iron Doom Mech itself is also very beautiful. The varied part usage, interesting connections and previously unseen geometry of the head of Iron Doom makes the set stand out beautifully. The Mech's inclusion of all four Time Blades also makes this a must buy if one wants to simply buy one set and be done with this line. The cockpit area seats both Twins comfortably, another pro given the accessories they have on. The mech itself is very detailed and looks good from most angles, and itself is an impressive and powerful looking device. The mech is also very tall, another upside in my opinion.
However, Iron Doom is not without very major flaws. When I tend to display Mechs for small dioramas, I tend to want to pose them in charging or clashing formations. Iron Doom, however, has only one major point of articulation: the arms. The shoulders are set far behind the rest of the body, making it difficult to strech the arms out forward to actually reach across. The limitation in joints also means the Mech is unable to fully extend the arms without hitting the exposed studs on the gray side paneling, making positioning difficult.
Perhaps the biggest con of the set, however, is that Iron Doom is a very static model. Most Mechs have standard waist articulation, allowing them to be twisted (the ElectroMech was an exception, but the Mech was small enough that waist articulation wasn't needed) and posed accordingly. Iron Doom, however, has no articulation in any joints. The snake-like bend at the bottom is set, the waist is et and even the head only moves up and down. This means that, in order to actually play with the set, Iron Doom must be physically moved and turned to the right or left to actually fight another opponent. This is a major dealbreaker to me personally. What cripples this, however, is that through small modifications to the waist (pulling out the pin and replacing it with a half-pin half-axel blue piece; Picture is included), the mech gains the ability to rotate at the waist. The fix is incredibly simple and makes me wonder why the designers did not include this. The fix takes all of 2 minutes and does not result in the Mech becoming unstable.
Another con I have with the mech is the tail section. The tail section looks incredibly underwhelming compared to the rest of the mech, which varied design and shapes. The tail section also employs bottom elements that leave open studs exposed, giving it a very unfinished feel.
I personally recommend this set to collectors who wish to display this model rather than playing with it. If you are like me and simply want to display the set and occasionally play with it, this set is one for you. However, Iron Doom is very much a static set, making it more like a statue than an actual Mechanoid. As such, for young children who wish to use this set to battle, I must recommend against it unless you are willing to do some modifications.