Monday, June 15, 2015

LEGO 75916: Dilophosaurus Ambush (Jurassic World) - REVIEW

Ever since I heard that there was going to be a new Jurassic Park movie, I was excited.  When I learned that there would be a full series of LEGO sets to go along with the movie?

Well, that made me ecstatic.

Flash-forward to the movie's release (I'm going to the movie this coming weekend) and here's my first Jurassic World LEGO set.  Before I get to the specifics of this set, let's review the entire Jurassic World LEGO line of sets for a moment.

This time around, LEGO created six dinosaurs for everyone to collect.  Two of them are raptors ("Blue" and "Delta") which you can get in set #75917.  There is also a sweet Pteranodon that (unfortunately) comes in the helicoptor set (#75915).  The Dilophosaurus comes in the set that I have in hand and then there are the two big baddies of the movie.  The T-Rex is available in set #75918 while the star of the movie, the fearsome Indominus Rex is only available in set #75919.

Note:  Upon doing a bit of further research, there is a set called Raptor Escape Set #75920 which has two more raptors (named "Charlie" and "Echo").  You also get two minifigures in that set that aren't mentioned in the manual that came with my set (the vet and Barry).  It appears that set might be a Wal-Mart exclusive (while also available at  There was also a polybag exclusive from GameStop which you could only get if you pre-ordered the LEGO Jurassic World video game (which unfortunately I did not do).  That polybag has yet another dinosaur - the Gallimimus.

On the one hand, it's great that the dinosaurs are all spread out among all the different Jurassic World sets (at all price levels).  On the other hand, it does mean you can't just buy one set (say the biggest set) and get the full assortment of dinos.  That's a shame - and it doesn't end there because all the movie characters are also spread out across the various sets.  It's sort of strange to me that you can only get the Owen (the character played by Chris Pratt) in a single set...likewise with Clair, Dr. Wu, and the rest of the gang.

So, all that said, how does this particular set stack up?  Is it worth the $30.00 price tag or is it a set that should be avoided (much like a dino in the wild)?

First, a word about the box.

This is one of the better box designs that I've seen from the LEGO Company lately.  The front looks great - especially the scaly design at the top of the box (nevermind that there should be more feathers on the dinos given what science tells us now).

The back of the box isn't a slouch either - plenty of exciting looking scenes...which is impressive given how limited this set actually is in terms of parts!  I like how you get to see the other dinosaurs that are available in different sets - good marketing for sure!

Of course, you don't buy the set for the box - you buy it for the pieces (and the sweet dinosaur)!  Opening up the set, you get a pair of numbered bags with a total of 248 pieces.

With a price of $30, this set definitely doesn't meet the "standard value" ratio of 10 cents per piece.  Instead, this set is basically 12 cents per piece.  I suppose that can be forgiven here though because of the dinosaur mold plus the gyrosphere pieces - but more on that in a moment.  In addition to the numbered bags, you also get a bag containing the dino parts (in separate pouches) plus a sticker sheet.  The best news here is that the sticker sheet "only" contains eight stickers.  I had no trouble applying them (they are all small stickers so that makes it easier) but really you could get away with only using the three larger blue stickers and still end up with a nice looking truck.

Looking at the first manual's build, you assemble the two minifigures, the dilophosaurus, the gyrosphere, the two crates, plus the base of the truck.  As you can see, there are a few extra pieces here, nothing spectacular but the transparent red squares are always useful!

From other reviews that I read, I was expecting the gyrosphere to be a letdown in the set.  Happily, I was surprised by it - it worked exactly as advertised (you can roll it along and the Gray minifigure will remain sitting upright).  I also feared having to put those blue stickers on the sides...but those are actually printed on so thank you LEGO!

Moving on to the second bag, you get to finish off the vehicle.

The vehicle is pretty simple though there were a few clever / different uses of parts.  For starters, you get a pair of blue crowbars which are used to create the roll bar for the Jeep.  I don't have any particular use for the flick-fire missiles but I get why they are on the value and all that.

I might be getting old these days...I was a kid when the original Jurassic Park movie came out...but even I couldn't help "playing" with the set a bit after I built it.

Yeah, it's fun!

The Bottom Line (out of 10):
Fun:  10
Play Value:  10
Kid Value:  10
Adult Value:  7
Overall:  8.5

I had to dock the set a touch for the price - $30 is a bit steep (even with the dino) for only 248 pieces...especially since the majority of those 248 pieces are quite small.  The minifigures are also really boring in this set.  I haven't yet watched the movie (as of when I wrote this review), so I have no idea how big or small of a character Gray is, but the ACU guy is just dino fodder.  All that said, as I built the set I couldn't help but have fun...and really that's the biggest compliment I can give the set!  I will also say that I did a bit of research trying to figure out which Jurassic World set seemed to be the best value and I ended up choosing this set (which was still a bit short on the price-per-piece count).  Don't buy the Jurassic World sets for piece value, instead buy 'em for fun value (and, in the case of older people like me, nostalgia value)!

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