Before we started this madness of doing a Jurassic World review every day following the release of the movie, I’d only intended to do the two reviews for 75916 Dilophosaurus Ambush and 75920 Raptor Chase. Those two sets had some specific things I was wanting, like headlights and some diverse minfigs. The rest of the line sat pretty firmly in my “maybe when it’s on sale” list. While I really like dinosaurs (I mean, how can you not), it’s pretty rare that I’d use them in anything I typically build. That means that these parts are cool, but they would mostly gather dust in my collection (a tradition on raptors dating all the way back to Dino Attack).
More than that, trying to review 75918 T. Rex Tracker wasn’t really in my sights at all since the set wasn’t one to grab you when you glanced at it. Sure, the T. rex is cool, but otherwise, what did it have other than another truck in a line with a whole bunch of trucks. I’ll admit, I didn’t look too closely at the set until Ace asked me to pick up this review, otherwise I may have noticed that the worlds most dangerous Animal Control team was basically driving the illegitimate offspring of the Troop Carrier from Aliens and a NASA crawler. Or that one of the ACU minifigs was a nameless female character. Or that the pattern of bad decisions for the Jurassic World planners also included putting the most dangerous predator of all time into what looks like a fragile wooden cage.
While the raptors are probably the most iconic in the scope of Jurassic Park / Jurassic World… the T. rex is without a doubt the most iconic dinosaur, so it was going to be in a set even if it wasn’t in the film (though it certainly was in the film). We’ve had a few different T. rex models in the last few years, with two in Dino and now this one in the Jurassic World sets.
So, lots to think of when it comes to this set. This set has a pretty bad sticker shot compared to the rest that we’ve reviewed so far, at 520 pieces for a pretty-big $69.99 price tag. Course, that’s the same price as 480 piece 2012 5886 T-Rex Hunter set, which is the same model in very similar colors, so maybe we got an upgrade in parts despite the lack of a helicopter. Given the pretty ridiculous prices for the previous T. rex models, there may be a financial reason to consider this set…
Given my aside on the raptors, it should come as no surprise that the reason I never bought 5886 is because they used T-Rex, an incorrect abbreviation… it should actually be T. rex if you’re going to abbreviate it. T. Rex is a bit incorrect, since rex shouldn’t be upper case (rex is a specific species, while Tyrannosaurus is the genus… think Homo sapiens). Okay, I didn’t buy it because the price was absurd and I wasn’t really interested in the set, but I figured I had to get some sort of pointless history in here. Kudos to LEGO for actually getting the spelling mostly right in this set, even with the incorrect capitalization.
We get three minifigs in the set, and continuing the trend of Jurassic World sets trying to keep everything different, they are all unique to this set. Only one of them has a name, Vic Hoskins, the leader of the Jurassic World security force. The others, the ACU pilot and the Vet, go nameless and presumably get eaten in horrible ways.
You know, it’s pretty rare for LEGO to capture sleezy so well in their minifigs, but just looking at this figure, I knew he had to be a sketchy guy without even seeing the movie (reading up on plot points confirms that for me). Maybe it’s the unkempt shirt, or the empty holster, or just the general feel, but somehow, this guy has untrustworthy in LEGO form down.
While the sets in this series have been pretty iffy overall, the minifigure variety has been quite nice, and this guy is no different. I like getting an older guy face, and the hair gives some needed variety for plain gray (which has basically been that one old style piece since the days of that first Tarkin figure). It’d be easy to turn the shirt into some sort of detective. I only wish that the shirt would have been more of a dark red, and we would have had the absolutely perfect Malcolm Reynolds torso.
The most shocking thing for me when I first started to build the set and got this ACU trooper was that it was a female minifig. I’ve been critical of LEGO over the years for their lack of gender diversity (and we have also covered their lack of racial diversity)… so finding a generic figure type, and more than that, an authority / active figure being released as a female was a welcome surprise. LEGO is making some progress… there’s still room to grow, but it’s an encouraging sign.
There is a whole lot to love with this trooper. The molded armor is just fantastic, even if you’re going to have to use an excuse to call all of your soldiers “ACU” troops from now on. I really hope we get this style armor in other sets, maybe in the CMF line or in some of the other sets. This particular armor appears in other Jurassic World sets, so hopefully we’ll see plenty of them available for purchase.
This figure uses the same torso as the ACU trooper we got in Dilophasaurus Attack, so there are now two ways to get an excellent torso. On one hand, I like that they didn’t go all hip and curve lines on the torso, they gave her a legitimate military look. But on the other, I don’t like reusing that same torso with the pouches and straps being worn under armor with pouches and shoulder pads. One can only assume that Liefeld designed that sort of armor setup, and it can’t possibly be practical.
If the face here looks familiar, it’s because it’s the same one used for Sabine Wren in the Rebels sets. I knocked that figure for looking like a Soccer Mom, but something about adding body armor and techno armor actually makes the face work better. That or maybe just not adding that awful hair streaks to the thing (or using a helmet). I’d also like the record to show that this perfectly fits into my theory that the ACU forces are actually Mandalorians…
I like how the premise of this set is that they’re trying to capture the T. rex by using this vet as bait. Seriously, it’s right in the bullet-point description for the set!
- Stop the dino eating the motorcyclist for dinner!
The box art features this vet on what looks to be a dirt bike, and I’m thinking that the king of dinosaurs is capable of eating that along and this guy along with it and call it an appetizer.
This guy is a decent generic figure, but there’s nothing all that unique about his parts. The torso is the same that the vets have (and shows up in three of these sets), the legs are the same as we got on other ACU troopers, the face is that go-to generic fleshy face (used for Loki, Old Republic Troopers, and generic guards), and the hat is a hat. Shockingly, the hat is one of the most rare parts, only showing up in one Lego Movie set (Getaway Glider) and two of the Jurassic World sets.
Of course, this set is honestly all about the T. rex. You have got to love this guy as an idea, one of the most amazing and colossal predators that’s ever lived. The actual model is the same mold used in Dino, which is based on the generally accepted public look for these things. While I knocked Jurassic Park for getting raptors so wrong, they actually got quite a bit right with the T. rex.
While there’s a whole lot of debate on if these guys had feathers or not, the movie, and LEGO, got one of the general features of these guys right, and that’s the position that they likely moved and hunted in. These things didn’t stand straight up, it was much more on a pivot. That means that their jaws were that much closer to eating you. The LEGO model was good at this thanks to the new molds from Dino, but the downside is that it really limits the way you can pose the model. I wanted to get a nice running shot, but without sticking him on a baseplate, he’s going to fall over in pretty much any position than the one I showed above.
The mouth is articulated, much like the raptors, but capable of almost fitting a minifig in there (or at least using them to comical effect. While these things are overpriced, LEGO did do a good job in modeling play features into the things, especially after the blocky (or fully molded, depending on the size) that was the old Dino Attack line.
When it comes to matching the movie, I honestly think that the look is mostly coincidence. That’s an artist picture of Rexy, the T. rex from the first movie who is supposed to be the same T. rex in World. I tried to grab some pictures from the movie, but the quality was fairly bad in them. Most of the ones I’ve seen from World have her more of a gray look, while she had a tan look in the original (right as she saved all of our young survivors in a bit of “we have to wrap this up” magic). It’s lacking her scars from the raptor fight that was seen in promotional stuff, so I think the printing is mostly coincidence. It’s basically a lighter color and different print of the T. rex from the earlier Dino helicopter set. If you own that one, I’d say it’s pretty hard to justify going after this one.
The premise of this set is that our skilled ACU trooper is going to use a veterinarian for bait to capture the most dangerous predator on the island that hasn’t given super powers. To do that, apparently they’ve built a highly specialized crawler truck that, in scale, is probably capable of top speeds around four (mph or kph… it honestly doesn’t matter that much when you’re that slow) and was likely designed to move large pieces of wind turbines from place to place. In short… a touch impractical, but so is building an island full of dinosaurs.
The cage lifts up off this thing, giving you a mostly hollow carrier with that front little cab. Since it’s the size of Rhode Island, it seems strange that it only seats two. It’s a really confusing and disjointed sort of build, honestly. The creative focus seems to have been around how to build some interesting fenders for the giant wheels (which are cool). That’s a pretty nice touch to the build, and you get it fairly early on.
There’s also a very interesting flick-fire harpoon, a first and a nice little addition… though I would have much rather seen the harpoon as a solid plastic color for this use, especially since the hooks are. The string is tied to the end of it, and it wraps around the technic exhaust pieces. When you fire the missile, it actually works pretty well… the problem is that the string is fairly short, so you have to have the T rex close enough to eat anyone dumb enough to fire a harpoon at her.
Unfortunately, things sort of fall apart once you’re past that feature. There are a few things on the back that you can pop off to track the T. rex, and the crate has the tranquilizer needles that show up all over the place in the set. The sticker on the panel is probably the most interesting part, but the rest is mostly just tacked on for show.
That’s an unfortunate problem with this set, a general lack of substance. The only other real play feature is a place to stick a motorcycle on the side… the dirt bike variety, anyway. It’s sad that your vehicle is so large and unwieldy that you have to bring a more convenient form of transportation along to get around. That basically makes this thing like those huge RVs that have to tow a regular car around because you’re never going to be able to do anything with it other than drive to your destination and get laughed at by people in regular vehicles.
There’s also the problem with a very unfinished feel to it. That “engine” is just slapped on there because… I really don’t know why. It looks bad, like what you do when you panic when building a MOC and think you have too many studs showing in a spot, so your fix is to put something there that draws your eye to the spot you want to overlook. The interior is basically just a hole where you can fit a couple of minifigs, assuming you have tiny hands. They didn’t even put a back a dedicated back on the thing, it’s just sort of covered when you put the cage on the truck.
Speaking of the cage… I’m see this thing and can spot a couple of design flaws. First… how are you possibly going to get the T. rex into it should you actually convince it to join you (you do not force the tyrant lizard to do anything it doesn’t want to do). The sides are meant to come down so you can close it around the T. rex, but they don’t work when installed in the truck. Which means you’ve brought this big truck out into the wild with a cage you can’t remove, but can’t open unless you remove it, and even if you could, there’s no real way to get it back on. Sure, it’s all manual work, but none of it feels right when you have the thing around.
The biggest problem, however, is that you put a giant lizard, with a huge set of jaws that can likely smash through the roof of this crawler without even chipping a tooth, and placed it’s head through the giant opening right over you. If the dinosaur feels hungry, just pop the top of this thing like sardines and enjoy a tasty human or two. If it doesn’t feel like using its jaws, also remember that those tiny little arms are actually bigger, and stronger, than a human arm, and more than capable of reaching inside for a tasty treat.
Ultimately, this set is basically a T. rex that comes with some bonus figs and a lousy vehicle. It’s hard to say that it’s worth $69.99, it really isn’t, but it’s not as if there are a lot of other ways to get a T. rex without basically spending that same amount just for the animal alone. The figures are cool, and it was awesome to see a female character as a guard, even if the guards / vets are all just mix and match parts. I’m also left with the reality that I now have a T. rex but I’m not likely to ever use in most builds, which means it goes in a bin, and that’s a shame. Although…
Yeah, everything Deadpool. That should make for a good display. The vehicle is lousy, but there are a few good parts in it. The minifigs are nice, and I’d love to see some of those parts get reused in other applications (since LEGO gave up their high horse on “real” weapons years ago, how about some legitimate military figures already). The T. rex is great, and a fun model, even if limited in usefulness unless your theme of choice has dinosaurs. Normally, that’d likely add up to a two or something like that, since the truck is probably as lame as the pen in Raptor chase, but this thing at least has wheels and the potential to build something better out of the stuff.
I also don’t like to let aftermarket prices influence reviews, but it’s hard to ignore the absurd prices of stuff like the T. rex just a couple of years after those old sets went out of print. All of those little things mean I’m bumping this up from a 2.5 or so to a three out of five. On a good sale, there’s some value in this set, especially if you want the king of all lizards in your collection.
What I liked
- A female minifig, in an authority position, that wasn’t made overly feminine or put into danger. Well played LEGO (seriously)
- The T. rex is a fantastic and fun little model… my daughter has been eyeing mine, and I’m willing to bet I’ll find it in her Duplo stuff before too long
- Some good parts in the mix, like the large tires, along with a few good stickers
What I didn’t like
- Truck is unfinished or just sort of slapped together. While not as bad as the raptor pen, it’s still pretty bad
- The harpoon feature is cool, but making it a trans green color really limits what would otherwise be an awesome part
- The set just isn’t worth $70… and neither was the last T. rex set