Reviewed by Chris McGee
(SAFOLs Member, jhbLUG Member)
A trip of nostalgia…
I was lucky enough to see the original “Jurassic Park” film in its cinematic release during 1993. As a 10 year old heavily engrossed in dinosaurs – from books, to trading cards, to sticker albums – my parents saw fit to take me to see this aptly themed release. And I loved every moment (although my parents may have regretted it as I then became overly eager towards the toys and the bestselling book it was based on). 25 years later, LEGO® releases an actual set based off the film .
Needless to say, this became my first dinosaur LEGO® set purchased from the 2018 wave of “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” releases tied into the films (of the same name) release. Also, this being a review and all, I will try and keep my bias out as far as I can. Please note the slight spoiler warning for those who haven’t seen the “Jurassic Park” film yet.
Chapter 1: Rewatching the “Jurassic Park” film
Still great! Worth another watch.
Chapter 2: Back to the LEGO® – TheMinifigures
Taking arguably the main protagonists from the film, the set contains four minifigures: Dr Alan Grant and Dr Ellie Sattler (our two well known and beloved scientists), alongside two siblings Lex and Tim Murphy (who are the grandchildren of Parks creator, John Hammond).
Each of the minifigures are very well designed and accurate to the film in LEGO® form. Each figure is unique, and given the fandom for the film, probably very collectable once the set ends its production run. There are some loose utensils which can be used as well. The inclusion of an extra hair piece for Dr Grant is a welcome addition to add to the possible play with the set. Three of the figures have a second face print placing the characters in a good or scared mood depending on how you are depicting them. As Dr. Grant has a wide brimmed hat, he hasn’t been given a second face print.
Chapter 3: The Build
The main piece of the build is based on three specific scenes within the film being
a) the cold storage unit housing the different dinosaur embryos,
b) the main control room for the park itself and
c) the kitchen.
Within the cold storage room, there is a good scale build of the cold storage unit opened and housing a few translucent pieces representing the dinosaur embryos. The build is done well to make the unit instantly recognisable to the fans (and hopefully others to). I enjoyed the small touches applied, with the large horn pieces being used to provide shaping and look like railing as well as the small drink-like build to represent the can of shaving cream (which is actually a disguised short term embryo transport unit). Overall, I felt this worked to provide some great addition and colour to the main portion of the build.
The control room portion is probably my favourite part of the build. It is the biggest for obvious reasons given that it is a location well used in the film, but also has some very cool touches to it. The famed workstation PC where Lex works her magic to get the park power and general systems back online, along with a sticker of the taunting Dennis Nedry (lovable antagonist human character in the film) on one of the screens.
The room has two great play features specifically tied into events later on the in film where the four main characters are attempting to hide from the dinosaurs and get the park back “online”. The first of these is the door, which is brick built with some nice techniques and to be functional. The function comes in with the locking mechanism of Technic bars being aligned to be pushed and thereby lock the door behind it. This is actually quite accurate to the film given that an overly large metal panel slides across the door to seal and lock it.
The second play feature is a fairly simplistic one but exactly what’s needed based on the nature of the film and the set itself. Being that the control room is clearly set at a later point in the film, the window to the room can be pushed out as it is only connected by limited studs on the bottom, in this case by a Velociraptor breaking through it! Cue the Goosebumps…
Also included is a ladder build and acts more as a utensil within the main control room for later escape.
The third and final side of the set is perhaps the most disappointing and yet most nostalgic part of the set. The kitchen area was probably my favourite scene in the film (apart from the first sight of the dinosaurs through the introduction of the Brachiosaurus… more Goosebumps…), which was an expansive area with multiple aisles and places for Lex and Tim to hide away from two hunting Velociraptors.
The set however has one narrow aisle (can barely fit a minifigure in it, let alone a raptor) alongside the famous cupboard Tim attempts to hide in. The small touches are thoughtful at least where they have a plate of small jelly (as seen being eaten in the film) some utensils and a random sausage piece and chocolate bar (printed tile). The scene from the film scared me to no end, probably because I could put myself directly in that cupboard staring down the raptor. I also feel that the cupboard is angled badly as in the film, the cupboard for hiding is actually facing away from the raptors but Tim is spotted through his reflection in cupboards opposite him. It probably leaves too much for my imagination, but I am sure kids will enjoy hiding a figure in the cupboard and manoeuvring the raptor
Chapter 4: The Dinosaur
The more recent dinosaur moulds which LEGO® has been using in recent years is just fantastic. The Velociraptor is a great design and comes in a suitable colour of nougat with brown print to cover the majority of the body, neck and tail. Overall, I love this thing, but given that there were two raptors present in the film during the scenes, I wish a second raptor was included in the set.
Chapter 5: The Finale
I thought concluding without bias towards The movie would make this difficult, but oddly enough it is rather simple. I am left with two sides of a coin with the build, but all thumbs up for the raptor and the minifigures. The build just lacks complexity, and in certain places misses adequate depth to the scenes it depicts, but has some good and well crafted details and features which reference the movie very well. Given the constraints that the designers probably had with the specially moulded and printed parts (which typically add expense to the set and limit piece count). This means that the set build itself does suffer and I actually commend the designers for getting so much into the main build given we get the uniquely coloured dinosaur and four uniquely printed minifigures.
In conclusion, it is a good, solid set with a lot to offer the nostalgia junkies and worth the purchase to minifigure / dinosaur collectors. Would I recommend it to those wanting a challenging build or a high play value set? Probably not. So with the above brought forward and on thinking it through, I realised that there is only one thing I could do which would resolve my conflict… I bought a second set. This now allows for some MOC expansion to the built scenes (personally, I will be putting more effort into the kitchen area) and of course, getting that all important second raptor. Perhaps something to consider.