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Review: 75920 Raptor Escape

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Review: 75920 Raptor Escape

Postby Staff » Wed Jun 17, 2015 4:34 am

75920 Raptor Escape Full Set

Now that Jurassic World has hit theaters, likely been in the talk for Oscars and made eleventy billion dollars on it's opening night (I started writing this on Thursday, so I don't really know, but if there was ever a sure-fire bet for "making back it's budget" in a movie, it's something like this)... it's time to get reviewing those sets. I picked up a few of the JW sets back in early May when they showed up with the other new summer stuff, but hadn't gotten around to writing these reviews.

I'd like to give you some really good excuse like "waiting for the movie" or "couldn't contain my excitement" but honestly, I'm smack-dab in the middle of the "eh..." category when it comes to Jurassic World and the related sets. Make no mistake, I love dinosaurs, enjoyed the first movie well enough, and like seeing LEGO sets with nice pieces. But It's because I love reading about and studying dinosaurs that I've never been overly enamored with the Jurassic Park movies. They are certainly entertaining films, but the science in them is just so awful it breaks me out of my suspension of disbelief a lot, which makes them hard to watch. It's also not helped by the fact that every scene in every one of the movies brings the thought "wait, how did you possibly think this was a good idea" screaming to the front of your brain.

Reviewing 75920 Raptor Escape was one of my first choices when I was signing up for these, because it was the set that seemed to have a few nice things to offer. Some interesting parts, a person of color character, not-really Velociraptors Velociraptors, and the potential to make railing jokes all add up to a fun day for me.

At $39.99 USD and 394 parts, it's also probably the best "sticker" value of the Jurassic World sets at first glance. I believe that it's a Walmart exclusive in the US (I picked mine up at a LEGO Store), since I'm not seeing it listed anywhere else. Even though it is distinctly lacking in Chris Pratt (something that increases the value of everything in the universe),maybe it'll end up being a gem of the line...



Or, you know... Maybe not. I treat the Jurassic World sets much like I treat the Dino Hunters sets, honestly. Great to get on sale but typically too expensive because of the custom mold stuff. Of course, it didn't help that they ruined a lot of the Dino Hunters figures with dumb details or printing, but that's the nice thing about licensed stuff, the look is pre-defined so no putting tiny spears in hair or cybernetic arms for some reason.

75920 Minifigs

We get two minifigures in the set, only one of which is given a name. Shockingly, it is the person of color, Barry. Most of the time when we see a person of color in a LEGO set, they get names like "Security Guard" or "Guy Killed in Scene Five." I suppose both of those could be true, since I'm working under the assumption that everyone in the gets eaten by the escaped super-Raptors who go on to start a dance troop once their hunger is sated. The other guy is simply referred to as a vet in the set.

75920 Barry

Okay, I'm officially on the bandwagon for hoping that this guy doesn't get eaten. Outside of being a terrible movie trope, I just love the look of this minifigure. Good shirt printing, generally good look (though there is another stereotype there... I guess only Lando and Shaq get to smile in LEGO form), and I just like the color of that shirt. Plus, it's always nice to get some variety in our head colors that doesn't also include sunglasses or the like.

75920 Barry Back

Since he doesn't have hair, he obviously doesn't have an alt-face. I'm perfectly okay with that, since alt-faces are usually kind of a let-down and stick out badly when hair is involved.

75920 Vet

Sometimes, I think they include generic figures like the vet just to get rid of those awful bowl haircut pieces. How is that even still a part that's included in a set? If there's a guy with that haircut in the movie, I weep for him. However, I do like that we now have a minifigure who has face printing that can only be described as an "about to be eaten by a dinosaur" face. That's just cool.

75920 Vet Back

That vest, however, is actually pretty awesome. It's not unique, the general pattern shows up on other characters in the line. I do have to wonder why a theme park that's based on the premise of "living dinosaurs" would use a dinosaur skeleton as its logo.

75920 Vet Not-About-to-be-Eaten Face

This guy does have an alt-face, his "I'm not about to be eaten face" that could also be called his "I'm going to get eaten because I just lit one up before starting my shift" face. Just saying, maybe the park should look into more drug testing. This guy is a perfectly serviceable figure, even though the torso print is pretty specific.

75920 Raptors

If there's a "worst sin" for the bad science of Jurassic Park, it has got to be how velociraptors were portrayed. These guys must have an absolutely killer agent, because in the movies these things are ultimate killing machines. For one thing, it's not really a distinct species, it's a classification of several of them. They were certainly predators and likely dangerous to our squsihy, rat-like ancestors that may have been around the same time (in the Late Cretaceous... Jurassic Park is a terrible name since their logo animal and their most dangerous creature aren't from that time)...

Velociraptor_dinoguy2

But they also probably looked something like this, and were a whole lot smaller than the movies portrayed. Like the size of a medium-sized dog kind of small, or a really mean chicken. As a representation of the movie, sure, they're decent. But it's not like LEGO had to go out of their way to make these things, since they're nearly the same as what we got with the Dino line back in 2012. Given how bad that line did, I assume they just took them out of unsold sets and put them in here.

We get two of them in the set, both with printing and slight differences to the previous ones, so they are actually unique (I think), but they're very familiar. In the scope of these being Jurassic World / Park sets, you just have to have these guys. It'd be like creating a Star Wars license and not making Stormtroopers.

75920 ATV

We get a little ATV in the set too that includes a missile launcher of some sort. I'm not sure of the tactical nature of putting a projectile like that directly next to the operator of a vehicle, but Newton's laws says firing it would likely be a terrible idea. LEGO actually calls this thing an "offroader," a word that is only associated with a little-known game that Google told me about and people that have apparently never ridden, seen, or been near an ATV.

75920 ATV Side

Okay, as an ATV, this isn't a bad little build. I like using that new scooter handlebars part as a guard on the side, and it makes a good little play feature. We saw Star-Lord riding one of these in the trailer, so obviously, they are sound engineering.

75920 ATV Front

From the front, I was vexed by something that I couldn't get out of my head once I saw it. I know that the sticker on the front is meant to be an intake vent or something like that, but when I actually saw it, I couldn't stop seeing it as an updated version of this...

Mandalorian_logo

I would, therefore, like to present the theory that the ACU and containment forces of Jurassic World are just modern incarnations of Mandalorians.

75920 ATV Back

The little license plate sticker on the back is a nice touch as well, but I guess we're going to get a lot of #93 vehicles in MOCs with things. Yes, I know that it's likely a subtle reference to the release year of the original movie (and likely the year that the park opened), but I have to assume marketing is what makes license plates for vehicles on a private island.

75920 Raptor Cage Front

The set itself is around the cage that the raptors "escape" from. I'm not exactly sure why they assumed a simple cage like this could contain genetically modified killer lizards that showed increased intelligence and pack behaviors. I mean, my daughter could have figured a way out of there in two minutes, and she's way more dangerous than the raptors in the movie (and more destructive).

75920 Raptor Cage Gate Open

The gate lifts up, which is convenient for the dinosaurs I guess, since obviously the hyper-intelligent raptors (they need monocles, I think) can't slip through the giant gaping holes in the fence behind them. As a play-feature, it's not bad, but it sort of makes me think more about the entrance to the park than the entrance to the Raptor Buffet.

75920 Raptor Cage Left Side

The outside is basically that very half-somethinged fence, which is mostly some technic. I can only imagine that the designer knocked this out in about an hour and went "okay, who wants some lunch" before going to enjoy whatever it that designers enjoy on lunch. Probably tacos. There is absolutely nothing spectacular about this thing, and it's a very tedious build. You know that you're pretty much going to break it down for parts before the first fence is done. The only thing that's marginally interesting is that you could feasibly make it into a larger enclosure if you were to buy multiple copies of the set (and that's probably the only reason I can think to buy multiple copies other than big sales).

75920 Raptor Cage Left Rear

There are a couple of play features on the back, that little slide-out drawer that you can tease a Velocirator with a chicken leg. If you want an indication of how boring this set actually is, I call your attention to this bullet-point from the description:

  • Also includes a chicken leg element


I actually almost feel sorry for the marketing person that had to polish this thing up to post it. Read the descriptions for this thing, where they have to list the raptors in three different points because there's so little of note. The whole "raptor jump" is basically just saying "pick up the raptor and smack it into something," which is sad when they've put so much work into things like jumpers and cataputs and things like that.

Outside of the drawer, there's also a very convoluted technic lever that's holding up the platform that I assume was installed by a Hutt to be able to drop vets to their death below. That or something to remind me of one of my all-time favorite shows, so that's a plus.



I suppose I see the need to add some adventure or something to the set, but I have a few questions on this particular feature, like how does a minifig get up there and why would they ever climb up there. That thing is basically a walking death trap that seems to be designed to weed out the particularly slow staff members and save on raptor chow.

[caption id="attachment_33327" align="aligncenter" width="500"]75920 All I want is a Railing Come on buddy, our platform didn't have any rails and we managed to stay up there[/caption]

I was also considering a caption of "maybe a rail wasn't a great suggestion" or "they were afraid we'd lean" here, but mostly it was just an excuse to take a picture with some people that likely have a specific communicator code for "Fell to their death because of poorly defined platform." I'd like to think they'd call it a Code Splat.

In the end, I was having trouble really pinning this set down. At first blush, the value doesn't seem terrible, 394 parts at $39.99 is pretty good in most licensed stuff (and better than most anything Dino offered). But the build is boring at best and pointless at worse, and despite the part count, there's very little value there. Most of it is tied up in the fence technic parts, beams, pins, and the like. The little offroader is okay, and I like starting a rumor that Chris Pratt is really just a Mandalorian that's hanging out at the park because he got tired of hunting wookies. But the raptors aren't different enough compared to the Dino stuff from a few years ago. I almost wanted to give this thing a bonus point for letting me make a railing joke, and for another set that includes a person of color. But there's absolutely nothing memorable about this set beyond a few little things, and the parts by themselves don't make it better. This thing is a two out of five.

What I liked

  • LEGO is setting a dangerous and cool precident by giving us diversity in the sets; Barry is a great figure that's generic enough to get used elsewhere

  • Stickers could have some utility in themed builds, and the little ATV isn't awful

  • Reading the "features" for this set is good for a chuckle and a sad sigh


What I didn't like

  • 394 parts aren't worth a lot when half of them are technic parts and pins we all have too many of already

  • The play features that exist are just awful, and most of them are more imagination than anything else

  • Raptors aren't different enough to justify picking this up if you already have some from the Dino stuff


Verdict: A 2 out of 5. You can buy this set (or a lot of other, better sets) at LEGO [email protected].


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75920 Raptor Escape

Postby Mandalorian Candidat » Wed Jun 17, 2015 9:13 am

Just looking at the front of the box tells me this is a disappointing set. It looks like it has no heft to it; no substance. A gate with a tower and an ATV, that's about it. If I bought this one, I would pull out the ATV, Barry, and the two raptors for the chase sequence with the Raptor Rampage set. The rest would maybe sell on ebay for $10-15.

Disappointing, but thanks for the frank review.
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Re: Review: 75920 Raptor Escape

Postby phoenixhawk » Wed Jun 17, 2015 9:19 am

I think the thing that strikes me most about these sets is that they have a very nice selection of diverse figures and I wish they were worth buying. I fully expected that they would do much like they do in other licence sets, and we would have Chris Pratt's character as a minifig in every set, but he's only in one set. I passed on the previous Dino theme and really have no interest in these dino figures. Maybe the expanded diversity palette will make its way into some of the other themes in the future.
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Re: Review: 75920 Raptor Escape

Postby dWhisper » Wed Jun 17, 2015 9:49 am

Minifigure selection is certainly a strong point in the favor of these sets... but they've also spread out between them and only a couple in each sets. Like I put in the review, I like Barry a whole lot, but he wasn't enough to save this stinker.
If the above post didn't offend you, you're probably reading it wrong.
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Re: Review: 75920 Raptor Escape

Postby sparkart » Wed Jun 17, 2015 10:07 am

Interesting read, thanks for the aside about the real-life appearance of a velociraptor versus the reel-life appearance. I know what you mean about being jarred and unwantingly reminded it's all fanciful make-believe, when you see something that opposes what you think or know. For me, my nit-pick is pterasaurs flying with outstretched necks, instead of tucked heads like pelicans and cranes usually do, with their long necks curled into a kind S-shape against their bodies.

It's funny seeing the dinos posed in their pen - they seem more like ostriches in a paddock than vicious carnivores, but when you've got to work with severe number counts limits on parts, it invokes some sympathy. If I was a kid, i'd be happy to get this set, looks like a good parts pack to build a mecha-armored raptor rider MOC.
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Re: Review: 75920 Raptor Escape

Postby Flynn » Wed Jun 17, 2015 1:11 pm

the science in them is just so awful it breaks me out of my suspension of disbelief a lot, which makes them hard to watch


Which is precisely why 'suspension of disbelief' is an awful way to approach drama, but I digress (I've never been huge on the JP films, 'cause I think the original is weakened by the changes from the book and the Spielberg-isms, the second one is cruel and misanthropic, and the third is just dumb, albeit in a fun kinda way).
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Re: Review: 75920 Raptor Escape

Postby plebeianprint » Wed Jun 17, 2015 3:54 pm

I generally try to be nice and polite when posting comments online, but your small diatribe against Jurassic Park's representation of velociraptors was unneeded, unnecessary, and personally unwanted. We are talking about a science fiction movie where dinosaurs are cloned and become the centerpiece of a resort park; your lack of suspension of disbelief is irrelevant, and a distraction to the set review.
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Re: Review: 75920 Raptor Escape

Postby dWhisper » Wed Jun 17, 2015 5:18 pm

I am ever so sorry. Please feel free to share the criteria for the reviews so they are personally all shaped for your needs and your needs alone. In the future, we shall refrain from having any opinions or comments towards anything that do not first get your approval.
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Re: Review: 75920 Raptor Escape

Postby banthafodder » Wed Jun 17, 2015 7:35 pm

Couple of issues here: firstly. I appreciate the asides in the review as it does make for interesting reading, however, I do understand how it could be off putting as well. This is a review of a Lego set and how well it is a representation of the film, not reality. I haven't seen the film either but they appear to be a good representation. Secondly, with respect to the movie velociraptor, I feel that it is important to keep the appearance similar to the original movie for continuity. In reality when the original movie was made, we had no idea that they had feathers. Actually we still don't as they could have been covered in porcupine quills or something. To change there appearance would be like putting young ghost Anakin into the end scene of episode VI rather than old Anakin. Oh yeah they did do that and look how well that was received. When we were kids dinosaurs were lumbering, slow giants that dragged their tails on the ground. Things evolve but not for cinematic continuity.
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Re: Review: 75920 Raptor Escape

Postby dWhisper » Wed Jun 17, 2015 8:06 pm

Tell that to the magically evolved carexplodasaurus and it's bustling career in all action movies!

Ultimately, it being off-putting or not doesn't matter to how we do things... there is no review that's going to be perfect for everyone and someone is going to be offended no matter what we say. Reviews are inherently opinions... otherwise they'd just be bullet-point fact sheets and you can get that with product descriptions. As soon as we're talking about our impressions of the set, it's all into opinions.

And my opinions are colored by the fact that all of the Jurassic Park movies are trying to swim uphill with me because things like that really bug me. The feathers thing is the more minor point, since feathers aren't still in the public conciousness with things like this. The size is what bugs me, and in talking about it being LEGO accurate, that's off. These things should be 1/3 to 1/2 as tall as a human in representation, but even in the movie, they stand about as tall as people (or a Star-Lord sitting on an ATV). In the set, they're double the size of our minifigs, which make them huge. Beyond that, they're just copy/paste from Dino, which was equally influenced by bad stuff.

In the original movie, it was pointed out to Chircton and the film-makers that they were inaccurate. Before this came out, the Velociraptor was basically an unknown... this was their "big break" into that same realm as the T. Rex or the Triceratops. They were pretty up-front that they didn't care to make them accurate, just to make them cool. It was also something that could have been addressed in the movie, since they were still trying to breed and control the things. The new batch could have been perfected and made them look closer to what they originally were.

As for the Anakin thing, it wasn't well received for a few reasons. First, Star Wars fans are frothing, irrational, often needing-to-be-slapped beasts. Second... it made no sense in the scope of the movie. Why did we get old Obi-Wan but a Young Anakin? Third... it wasn't helped by the fact that young Anakin was a wank. If he would have been awesome, we might have been a bit more forgiving.

Suspension of disbelief is critical in a Sci-Fi or Fantasy setting, it's the thing that keeps us enjoying the movie. As soon as your audience goes "wait a sec..." and starts to ponder about the how and way of something, what really becomes less important (and what is all a movie has). This isn't saying that everything has to be realistic, that can be even worse, but there needs to have some sort of sense behind what is going on, even if it only makes sense in the present scope. Gravity worked as a movie even though a lot of the science was a bit slapdash, because it made sense in the scope. There isn't sound in space, but it works in things like Star Wars because they keep it consistent and don't bother to tell us why sound is there.
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Re: Review: 75920 Raptor Escape

Postby banthafodder » Wed Jun 17, 2015 8:37 pm

Absolutely, reviews are opinion based. However, it confounds the review when parts are based on a review of a movie. As far as lego scale is concerned when has lego really ever been about scale with the exception of a few UCS sets. The Lone Ranger stagecoach was a great set but horribly out of scale.
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Re: Review: 75920 Raptor Escape

Postby dWhisper » Thu Jun 18, 2015 6:04 am

An interesting read, though I don't agree with his opening premise for dismissing the idea of suspension (that it "doesn't exist"). In that piece, he inadvertently points out the problem with arguing from Coleridge's assertion in the next paragraph when he talks about how Tolkien refined the idea further from Suspension to something closer to Magic A is Magic A or the idea of consistency... in that ideas evolve.

He seems to basically be dismissing suspension because suspension is implicit in consuming fiction, then focusing on the idea that fiction is imitation, and we can be emotionally involved in imitation like we can in real life. What he's treating as suspension is an active thing we do before a movie, versus a passive thing that happens when we stop to be entertained. I'd argue that it's likely somewhere between them, and the closer it gets to the active thing, the harder it is to keep straight.

The Jurassic Park movies, in one sense, was certainly consistent with its own rules (the look and behavior... assuming we're only comparing Jurassic Park and Jurassic World... the other two not so much), at least across certain things. The books were very Chricton, in the fact that he was typically an anti-science (and/or anti-big business) guy... most of his stories work on the premise of greedy people and overzealous scientists unleashed something awful on the world, and we have to stop it. Often, bad science was the only way he could make that hook work, so it was part of what he did in his writing (full disclosure... I absolutely despised him as an author; his ideas made for good shows and movies, but what he wrote was just bad). In the book, the science wasn't overly important, but in the movie, especially the first movie, they went out of their way to explain the processes and then assert that they'd created real dinosaurs based on the same fossils and things you learn about. However, if you go learn, you find they were wrong in a lot, often intentional, ways. And like I said above, that's what made it hard for me to enjoy the movies. Your mileage may vary.

Getting back to the actual review contents, I did state that...

As a representation of the movie, sure, they're decent


I still can't look at raptors (in the movie or in a set) without wishing they were more like psychotic little chickens. That way we could have the connection between Jurassic Park and The Legend of Zelda that the world so desperately needs.
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Re: Review: 75920 Raptor Escape

Postby Flynn » Thu Jun 18, 2015 12:03 pm

dWhisper wrote:He seems to basically be dismissing suspension because suspension is implicit in consuming fiction, then focusing on the idea that fiction is imitation, and we can be emotionally involved in imitation like we can in real life. What he's treating as suspension is an active thing we do before a movie, versus a passive thing that happens when we stop to be entertained. I'd argue that it's likely somewhere between them, and the closer it gets to the active thing, the harder it is to keep straight.


Well, I think his main issue with it (certainly mine) is the idea we ever actually suspend disbelief to go "let's pretend this thing is real for two hours". Because we don't. We really don't--watching a film (or consuming any other piece of fictional media) is typically an active process of recognizing narrative beats and tropes and all that and watching to see how they'll play out. To take the Magic A is Magic A example, the problem with a magical item breaking the rules set out for it isn't that it destroys our belief in that system, it's that it's breaking the rules set out by the narrative with no clearly defined purpose--It creates an inconsistency that we recognize as wrong because the story previously set out a different kind of rules. Essentially we're going "this story isn't working as it should and that's sloppy", rather than "well, now I can't believe in this fictional world".

At a certain level it really just gets into semantic differences, but I do think theres a passivity implied in suspension of disbelief that belies how active our interaction with art really tends to be.
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Re: Review: 75920 Raptor Escape

Postby Quag-Daddy » Mon Jun 22, 2015 3:48 pm

Chris Pratt's fig should have been in this set. ...along with a pig.
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Re: Review: 75920 Raptor Escape

Postby Quag-Daddy » Mon Jun 22, 2015 3:51 pm

Who uses the word: 'misanthropic' to describe JP2? :) ... You'd have better success comparing it to jumping large, toothy fish.
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Re: Review: 75920 Raptor Escape

Postby Flynn » Wed Jun 24, 2015 3:01 am

Quag-Daddy wrote:Who uses the word: 'misanthropic' to describe JP2? :)


That'd be me. ;)

But seriously, I in general have issues with the disaster movie mold the JP franchise takes its cues from, but Lost World is just downright cruel in how it treats its character deaths--Schiff's death in particular is just gruesome and not in a way that made any sense for his character, and the whole San Diego scene gets mean-spirited real fast. Basically Koepp's screenplay has a lot of really lazy threads that Spielberg's patent disinterest in the project causes to manifest in an almost active dislike of the characters and everything that happens. It's a weirdly mean, bleak little film.
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