Review and photographs by Loon, edited by Suspsy.
I don’t usually buy LEGO, but the sets they’ve been putting out for the new Jurassic World: Legend of Isla Nublar animated series have really caught my eye. Having a bit of money and way too much time on my hands, I decided to take the plunge with the most expensive set from last year, T. rex vs Dino-Mech Battle.
Now, a bit of disclaimer, I don’t know much about LEGO. I know there’s a bunch of names for parts and that it’s very technical. So if I get anything wrong, let me know in the comments. My research for this set consisted of me watching all the LEGO Jurassic World animations (skip Indominus Escape, it’s pretty bad).
Let’s kick things off with the minifigures. This is a Jurassic World product, so Owen and Claire are included, of course. I would usually not care for these two, but these are technically them from the animated series, where they’re far more enjoyable characters. Despite this series taking place before Jurassic World, they’re wearing clothes based on their appearances in Fallen Kingdom (though, I believe these exact prints haven’t been seen before). Claire comes with a tranquilizer gun, but poor Owen gets no accessories (I don’t see why he couldn’t have had his clicker).
Also included is Jurassic World’s resident militaristic thickhead, Vic Hoskins. Vic’s minifig is almost exactly the same as his 2015 version; the only differences include his torso print being slightly more stretched out and his hair being black. I don’t get either change, as the torso has now lost detail and his hair should be grey. He also comes with some sort of taser gun.
The last minifigure in the set was a real selling point for me: the vengeful nephew of Dennis Nedry, Danny Nedermeyer! Just looking at this guy, you can tell he’s from the greatest lineage in the Jurassic franchise. The Hawaiian shirt, glasses, and hairstyle are all dead giveaways. Danny comes with the only accessory you’d want him to come with: his soda. Though, I don’t remember him drinking from a can in the show. Still, you’ve got to love the ludicrous nature of this character and his storyline.
Before we get to the larger stuff, you also get baby versions of the “Raptor Squad.” I believe this is the first time any raptor other than Blue has been made as a baby. They don’t match the animation models, but they’re still cute. Cute enough to make you forget that most of them grow up only to die horribly. Another first is that, after years of being green for some reason, Blue is finally grey, most likely to help her stick out more from the other two green raptors.
The first and smallest of the brick-built stuff is this raft. It’s pretty basic but has some neat little features. There are two “stud shooters” at the front, making this the most violent raft I’ve ever seen. The grey box behind the right one has room for a few extra studs to store.
You also get plenty of room to store your figures, as well as the raptors. There are two clips at the back of the raft to hold things, like this walkie-talkie. Also, at the back, there’s a moveable rudder that a character can hold. Overall, I like this little raft; there are some interesting techniques used to build it, and it reminds me of the vehicles from Jurassic Park: The Ride when it used to be at Universal Studios, Hollywood.
This is a more expensive Jurassic World set, around $90 US, so naturally, we have a T. rex. Yes, it’s actually written “T. rex” on the box. I’m so used to seeing “T-Rex” on toy packaging that it shocked me to see it printed correctly. This is the same figure LEGO’s been using for years, and I can see why; it’s a really fun toy. While not super poseable, there’s enough solid articulation to really get it into some fun situations.
The dinosaur uses the same pattern as the 2018 version, with the major difference being that a dark grey now replaces the orange-brown. The other colors are also darker, but still generally the same. I think this new look works, even if it is just another reason to stick a T. rex in a set.
As a bit of set dressing, a small scale version of Mount Sibo is also included. At least, I assume its at a small scale; it has grass at the base. Also, this whole battle is supposed to take place astride this mountain, so it’s kind of weird that it’s so tiny. It’d be like making a Star Wars set with a Death Star that’s half the size of an X-Wing.
Anyway, when viewed from the front, this is a pretty neat little volcano. The molten lava flow is rendered very nicely, using different colors and shapes to give it an asymmetrical look.
The back of the mountain top contains a small diorama of bats hanging out around a cracked egg. This wasn’t seen in the show, so I don’t get what it’s going for. There’s also just enough space here to awkwardly cram in a minifigure.
Sibo isn’t just bats and eggs, no, there’s also a treasure hidden inside of it. Yes, the legendary treasure of the infamous Captain No Beard, sought after by the slain Dennis Nedry and now, his nephew. To access the treasure, you must pull the sides of the mountain. You can also push the platform the treasure’s resting on, but it gets stuck often.
Finally, here’s the other half of this set’s name, the Dino-Mech! This thing is straight-up crazy: a giant-robotic-dinosaur-vehicle-excavator-thing that is also colored the same as a Jurassic Park Ford Explorer? What was Lego thinking? Whatever it was, it was sheer genius.
This, for me, is the main draw of this set. It’s big, detailed, and crazy fun to pose. There are 31 points of articulation and they’re all very useful. Almost everything you’d want to be poseable is in some way. The only issue is that the mud-splattered feet aren’t always able to stay flat on the floor.
Danny can sit underneath the roll cage in the middle of the mech’s body. Here, he has a little windscreen and plenty of room to still hold his soda.
There’s just something about this build I can’t get over. Unlike so many other LEGO models I’ve made (which isn’t a big number, I’ll admit), the fun doesn’t end after you put all the pieces together. Weirdly, this feels almost “premium.” Between loads of articulation, shiny metallic-looking parts, and excessive little details that were too numerous to mention in this review, this feels less like a LEGO toy and more like some ungodly expensive robot toy from Japan. I’ve even seen some people say this mech reminds them of a Zoid (which is totally a thing I know a lot about).
Overall, this is a pretty great set. While the $90 US price tag can be a little hard to swallow, I think you’re getting a good amount of toy for your money. I’d recommend it for the sheer fact that it isn’t like anything else LEGO’s done with this license.