Sunday, June 24th, 2018 at 3:39am by Benjamin, BZPower Reporter
Sometimes the dinosaurs are big. Sometimes the dinosaurs are small. And sometimes the big dinosaurs come in big boxes meant for little kids but are being reviewed by adult kids. The Juniors line is a series of simple-to-build LEGO sets, a step above DUPLO to ease the little ones into the standard sets. Today we review Jurassic World's T-Rex Breakout Juniors set, a big set with a few pieces that packs a punch. Is this set worth buying for big and little kids alike? Or should it stay in its pen? Read, and watch, to find out.
First, a big thank you to LEGO for sending BZPower this set so I can share my opinions on it. Being an adult, I am unlikely to buy a Juniors set, but having built one before this, I realize there are benefits in its design for the younger crowd. I'll highlight where this set works and does not work, especially since there is a standard set with a T-Rex in it, but maybe this review helps make a decision to buy it for a 4-7-year-old, the intended age range. It is a $50 set with 150 pieces, and that is certainly something to consider no matter who ends up with it.
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
The front of the box shows all the action, certainly something to excite whoever the set is for. I wanted a LEGO T-Rex and some minifigs to eat up, and this set shows just that. This European box does not contain the piece count (150) or the set name (T-Rex Breakout). You can see on the back the breakdown a little better, promising an easy to build truck, a small lab, the entrance gate, and the T-Rex and a baby T-Rex.
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
The builds keep things simple with their large pieces and printed details. No stickers are in this set, and several pieces have decoration to set up the environment. The truck has a nice chassis that is a good base for even an adult-made car. The gate uses the biggest parts and then builds the fence fairly simply, but details are there. The lab also has some great details with minimal parts use.
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
As mentioned, there are some simple, large parts in this set. The base and gate stand out the most, as they are primarily in Juniors sets. That said, incorporating these into a MOC would be a welcome challenge. The smaller parts shown are mostly repeats, but noteworthy. The coolest new pieces are the baby T-Rex, and the printed pieces, especially the window screen with an island map.
The lab is my favorite part, not just because of the baby T-Rex. It also has another egg being observed and waiting to hatch, and the printing on the transparent window of Isla Nublar is a nice addition.
The truck, while simple, can carry an egg on a holding tray, and it is pretty easy to get a minifigure in and out. Seeing as how it is for little kids, this piece of the set was done very well. It has some details using big pieces, but still holds up.
Finally, the big paddock for the T-Rex. After assembling a few big parts, like the base, gate, and fence portion, it all comes together. There are flame torches, plant life, and a ladder to clime up to the top. It even has a hot dog lure, though this would have been a great time for LEGO to make a lamb mold.
We get a variety of minifigs, and they all fit into the Jurassic World theme: From left to right: The scientist, the lead, and the security guard. The scientist has a stick, probably for playing with the baby dinosaur, and the security guard has a tranquilizer gun, because this is LEGO, but Claire is empty handed because she's driving the truck.
The T-Rex is the same style as the one from three years ago. The standard System set has a new printing on their T-Rex, but that set costs more too. This dino does not stand up too well on her own on a carpeted surface, and might take some balancing to do so. But her legs, arms, neck, and even tail are articulated, so there are options for posing.
The other half of the fun is in playing with the set. How well does the set function and is it enjoyable to play with.
The set has a handful of play features a young builder will enjoy. Mainly the big T-Rex eating everybody, probably. But there is a narrative here, perhaps one of protecting the baby dinosaur, transporting another egg in the truck, or the electrical fence being turned off and needing to lure him back into the paddock. While a lot of sets I have build recently only have a play feature of a spring-loaded missile or a small narrative, I find this one has quite a few options to keep the imagination active.
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
More dinosaurs, including new baby dino.
More than a few narrative options.
Appropriate build for the target audience.
Nice pieces to add to your collection.
What's not to like?
Why are Juniors sets so far above the 10-cents a piece average, even for a licensed theme?
While great for little kids, experienced builders will put this together quickly.
It is important to remember that this is a set intended for the 4-7 age range, for builders that need some easier instructions before diving into the regular sets. However, two things stand out. First, $50 for a 150 piece set is ridiculous, even if it is licensed, has a large figure, and large base pieces. $30 seems more reasonable. Second, if you want a T-Rex, even though this is the cheaper route, the other set is $70 with 609 pieces, so while you are shelling out more money, you get more for it. The only reason to get this set is ease a little kid from DUPLO to System.