LEGO Jurassic Park: T.Rex Rampage In-Depth Review

By August 12, 2019 August 13th, 2019 Feature

Today I am seriously excited to be taking a deep dive into a Brachiosaurus-sized LEGO Jurassic Park set – LEGO 75936 Jurassic Park: T. rex Rampage. This set is the latest set to join the LEGO Jurassic World line-up, only this time, much like 75932 Jurassic Park Velociraptor Chase, the set takes us back to the original park from 1993. Before we get into the set itself, I just want to break down a few of the key details. Firstly, this is a direct-to-consumer set, which means that your best chance of picking this set up is via your local LEGO shop, or by ordering the set from LEGO Shop at Home. The set retails for £219.99 here in the United Kingdom, whereas it will cost fans in the United States $249.99 – with similar price equations for our friends in Europe and other parts of the globe too. The set includes a whopping 3120 pieces, with six minifigures, and is recommend for ages sixteen and up. Now that is the boring part out the way, let’s dive into this gigantic set.

Looking at the box art of the set first, we can see that for the most part, the focus of the artwork is the two builds, as opposed to the minifigures. In this set, we get an entirely brick-built model of a Tyrannosaurus Rex, which is accompanied by an angular model of the original, titular Jurassic Park gates. Many fans were quick to draw comparisons between this and the stunning LEGO Ideas model created by senteosan – which hit ten thousand supporters on the LEGO Ideas website but was sadly not approved. Whilst the similarities are clear here, it is also apparent that the LEGO Designer who work on the set, Mark John Stafford, added an absolute ton of his own creative flair to really build upon that original concept. As the back of the box-art shows, this set has been completely re-imagined, with the interior structure of the gate depicting various scenes from the first Jurassic Park film. These areas are aimed to give the minifigures their own space to shine, whilst also adding an extra level of detail than a simple flat-back for the gate itself. Overall, the box is decorated rather nicely, with plenty of warning decals designed to evoke that classic Jurassic Park nostalgia. I do like how, on the front of the box, the T-Rex can also be seen behind a fence in the bottom left hand corner – a detail which is present across all off the LEGO Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom and LEGO Jurassic World the Legend of Isla Nublar sets. Of note as well here is the choice to opt for Jurassic World branding. I would speculate that this was a Universal decision – opting to keep the brand looking forwards under its own new identity as opposed to grounding itself too firmly within the past. But, enough branding speculation. Let’s talk about the set out of the box!

I completed the set itself across two consecutive nights – with me opting to complete the T-Rex model on the first night, and then continue through to finish of the gate on the second night. I think it’s important to note that I had absolutely no notable negative experiences during the build process, which really speaks strengths to the ruggedness of the set and its design. Off the top of my head, I can only think of two issues I experienced during the build. One, was the construction of the tail segment, where I had mistakenly placed some of the angular pieces the wrong way, thus breaking the illusion created for the tail. This, however, was my mistake due to being tired – and so I cannot hold this against the set itself. The other small negative was how the top-tier of the Gate liked to implode on itself. If I remember correctly, the ‘archway’ portion is installed rather late within the build, so the structure was prone to breaking if I applied to much pressure until that element was added. Once this happened, however, I quickly adapted my building style – and managed to get through the rest of the build quickly. One detail I really like which Mark decided to add here was the inclusion of a small LEGO Frog inside the body of the T-Rex. This is a detail which is not easily accessible once you complete assembly of the Rex, so this really is a fun little nod to fans of the franchise who are building the set, teasing them about the frog DNA which is used to fill in genomes within the original film. This quirky little element really sets this apart from experiences I’ve had with other LEGO sets of this scale – and really highlights Mark’s understanding of the franchise and the source material of a whole. For what I would estimate to be between eight to ten hours of building time, this was a good experience, and one which I think most LEGO fans will enjoy.

Roaring into centre stage, I want to first talk about the buildable creature included within this set. For a buildable model, the Tyrannosaurus we receive within this set is incredibly detailed – with so many different elements coming together to make an overall beautiful model. There really is a lot to love with this toy. The choice of different shades of brown, combined with grey, really help to make this feel authentic to the original dinosaur which we see within the 1993 blockbuster film. Mark makes particularly good use of LEGO’s massive inventory of pieces with curvature in this set too, in my opinion, providing us with smooth, cylindrical surfaces which really help to break the often-blocky outlines which LEGO sets create. This really helps to break down some of the usually more damaging stereotypes with these brick-built animals, helping the dinosaur to feel much more organic, and in turn, much more lifelike. The building techniques used for elements like the head and the thighs are particularly prevalent to me. The thighs use a good combination of thick and curved pieces to create a real sense of musculature – something akin to the sculpting on a Mattel figure. The head, too, takes advantage of this – with a good variety in the elevation of pieces here used to create an authentic feeling head. This works wonders to only further elevate the sense of sheer stage-presence that this model has.

Combine this with the rich reds, pearly whites, and piercing yellows used to add detail to the mouth, teeth and eyes respectively, and you have a fantastic looking T-Rex model. Of note here, I feel, are the printed 1×1 round pieces which are used for the Dinosaur’s pupils. These really do recreate the close-up shots of Rexy’s pupils we see within Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, helping to really sell that this IS that dinosaur. However, this model does not only excel when it comes to aesthetics, but when it comes to functionality too. The joints in the legs, which obviously must be strong to hold the mass of the model, are incredibly well thought-out, with a dual connectivity function adding a level of rigidity I haven’t quite seen in a LEGO model before. Combine these with the great opening jaw, the ball-joints in the arms, the swivel on the neck and the smooth hinges which allow for some lifelike curvature within the tail, and you have a model which really looks the part and has the functionality to match up to it. Lastly, I think it is important to note this model’s sheer scale too. This dinosaur is the same size as the Mattel Indominus Rex – one of the largest dinosaurs to join the Mattel line. This speaks volumes to how massive this model is – and is a testament to the true feat of LEGO engineering which was achieved here. Overall, I was more excited for the Jurassic Park gate than the T-Rex when buying this set, but the T-Rex really does hit it out the ball park. This model was made by someone with a love for this franchise, and that love helps to create a model which is unparalleled in terms of both scale and detail within this medium.

What could accompany a behemoth of this size, I hear you ask? Well, how about a recreation of one of the most iconic gates in cinema history! The Jurassic Park gate included within this set also doesn’t pull its punches – matching up to the same level of detail which we see within the T-Rex. Looking first at the external features of the Gate, we can see a clear level of intricacy which was incorporated to make this feel as authentic as possible. Not only do we have an assortment of great vegetation growing at the base of the structure, concealing it as we see on screen in the film, but we also have the additional details of the electric track which the Ford Explorers from the original park would travel along. However, the designer again goes above and beyond here, adding the impressions of tire-tracks alongside the power rail to really drive home the sense of this being a dynamic gate. I was blown back by this attention to detail when I first built the set – and this attention to detail really does continue throughout the build of this gate. We have sharp angles, curvature when it’s needed, and great colour choices. The large wooden gates look fantastic, with their accurate diagonal patterning as seen on screen. Not only do they feel authentic, but they feel genuine – looking and feeling like heavy set doors which would be used to hold back something large. The opening feature incorporated behind the ‘Jurassic Park’ arch here works well too, and although not always smooth, it allows fans to recreate the beginning of the infamous tour in a nice fashion. I also must admit – the angles here are perfectly captured, using clever building techniques to capture the unique appearance of these iconic gates. The level of detail doesn’t stop there, however, as each of the interior portions of the gate also feature their own unique intricacies.

Starting at the top of the build, we have a great recreation of the scene where Alan Grant discovers that the Velociraptors have been breeding. This recreation is relatively small but it is nice – with the unique cracked egg pieces really helping to sell the scene. Moving down the left-hand side of the build first, we then start with the smallest module on this side – a mound of mud which is hiding the Barbasol can. Whilst there is a clip from which Nedry can hang here, this isn’t the best build and is, in my opinion, a slight waste of space. Moving down, however, we have a fun recreation of the Jurassic Park dining area where we find Hammond at the end of the film. This comes complete with ice-cream, jelly and a bowl – recreating the iconic space perfectly given the small and cramped conditions. Lastly for this side, we have the Emergency Bunker where we find Malcolm in the latter half of the film, complete with a bed for him to lie seductively on. I love the assortment of supplies here, each feeling individual and making the space feel lived in. I also love how, despite impossible to photograph, the fact that there are two simulated Spas-12 shotguns hidden in the cabinet on the far wall. Once these are in they are tough to get out – so it’s another example of a great nods to fans as they build the set.

On the flip side we have a Toilet, which looks authentic to the cabin in the film, although without Gennaro feels slightly pointless. We also get a recreation of Arnold’s workstation in the Isla Nublar control room – complete with nice stickers which really help to bring this scene to life. This would fit nicely with the control room from the prior mentioned Jurassic Park set. Then, finally, we have the Power Bunker where Ellie Sattler goes to restore the power – complete with Arnold’s arm coming down from the cage. This is a cool detail, and this is one of my favourite rooms as the grated floor adds a ton of detail. Overall, the interior builds here add a lot of character to the gate, and make what is certainly a strong representation of one of the most iconic parts of Jurassic Park.

Lastly for this set, but not least, come the minifigures. Two here are straight repacks from the Velociraptor set – Grant and Sattler, although Sattler does include a different hairpiece which is more accurate for her character. Whilst it would have been nice to see variants of these characters, like the bloodied and muddied versions seen in the LEGO Jurassic World Videogame, I can understand the need to keep budget down here to allow the other four minifigures included to shine.

First up is Ian Malcolm – in his open-shirt and bloodied leg format. I adore the details here – from the beads of sweat on his face, to the splint which appears to be bracing his leg. This is a great way for fans who missed the exclusive Bricktober four-pack to get their hands on a variant of Malcolm. We then have Dennis Nedry, who comes in the iconic yellow rain jacket complete with Jurassic Park logos. This figure looks fantastic. I love how one side has a menacing grin, and the other has Dilophosaurus venom on his face. This will certainly make for fun photos, and it is great to have a minifigure of the main villain from the first film. Following on from Nedry, we have one of the unfortunate victims of Jurassic Park, Ray Arnold, and Ray’s minifigure is perfect. He has all the appropriate logos and details, and LEGO went the extra mile, giving him dual-moulded legs so that the printing of his long lab-style coat can continue three hundred and sixty degrees around the minifigure. This is the definition of a spot-on LEGO minifigure. Lastly, but my all means not least, we have the father of Jurassic Park – John Hammond. His minifigure features his quirky smirk, and the printing for his safari shirt here is fantastic. We previewed this figure a while back, but in person he feels great, and it is special to have the man who started it all in LEGO format – complete with a nicely scaled amber cane! Overall, the minifigures here are great, and the display stand included which features a Baby Velociraptor and some facts about the T-Rex is a great way to display all these characters together if you want them separate from the gate, and really helps to make this feel like an authentic LEGO Jurassic Park set.

So, with all that said and done, what do I think of this set?

Well, my feelings are mixed. I must admit, as a massive LEGO Jurassic Park fan, I am gutted that this is a missed opportunity to get a Jeep, an Explorer, or even a Visitor’s Centre. Many of us had cemented our opinions on this being the Visitor’s Centre – and what we got here feels a bit disjointed from fans expectations. Do I think this is a bad set? Not by any means. The builds here are fantastic and intricately detailed, and really do reflect the iconography of Jurassic Park in a positive manner. The love and passion which went into this project is clear – but I can’t help but feel like LEGO swung and completely missed what big Jurassic fans were hoping for. I think the silent reactions to this set-in fan circles speak volumes of it – with few people beyond reviewers owning it at this stage. That said, this is a beautiful set, and I really think if you are a fan of Jurassic Park, you will appreciate the love and affection for the franchise that this set brings. It captures the iconography of this ageless franchise perfectly, and really is a letter to love to one of our favourite films of all time.

I really hope you enjoyed this in-depth written review right here on Collect Jurassic! Head to the Official LEGO Shop linked below if you’d like to pick-up this amazing set, plus check out my video review for Jurassic Collectables if you’re hungry for more.

Official LEGO Shop – Jurassic Park: T. rex Rampage

 

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