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Creator 4958 Monster Dino Review


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#1 dunamis

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Posted 13 July 2007 - 10:41 PM

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Of course, right before I post this I see that Ickelpete reviewed this set earlier in the week.  Sorry for being redundant but it is already written so here ya go:

Monster Dino Reviewed by Dunamis
Set 4958
792 Pieces
$89.95 from LEGO Online Store
Build time 3.5 hours


Here we go with another offering from the Creator line.  I�m kind of fond of these sets as they are pretty imaginative and usually have instructions for multiple models.  I like the reusability of all the pieces and the varied things you can build.

The Box:

The box that LEGO shipped this thing in was absolutely huge!  When I first got this in the mail, I thought I had won the lottery and they had shipped the UCS Falcon early.  Once I opened the shipping box, I was surprised to see an unusually large Creator set box.

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The box itself is pretty standard Creator type box but this one shows off the Power Functions prominently on the right side of the box.

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The back of the box shows some of the motorized features as well.

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Opening the box is a matter of breaking two seals.  We�re back to the reusable cereal box type tab system for those of you who stay up a night wondering about LEGO�s next box design.

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Inside the box we have a bunch of sealed bags.  Immediately the power brick, remote and motors stand out as they are each in individual bags.  Also, there are three manuals.

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The Manuals:
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The three manuals are 76, 76 and 56 pages in length.  They are laid out well and are pretty standard with all the usual trimmings:

- Piece call outs for each step
- Parts inventory at the end of the primary model build
- Page numbers

Color separation in these manuals were fine for me.  

Interestingly, the instructions for the primary build took a full manual plus about a quarter of another manual.

Random manual photos:
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Parts list
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I�ll explain a bit more below, but it would have been nice to have some written documentation on all the functions of the motors, remote and receiver.  Such as motor load guidelines and specific explanations of all the remote control functions.  It is severely lacking in this area.

The Pieces:

Obviously, the pieces we�re most interested in are these new motors and wireless remote control.  

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Note that before you fire this bad boy up, you had better BYOB.  Since this is prominently a European community, I had better clarify my acronyms.  Over here across the pond, BYOB usually means �Bring Your Own Beer�.  In this case, it still means bring your own beer (I�m on my second Heineken right now) but in addition to numerous bottles of beer you will need a total of NINE batteries to get through this set.  I kid you not:

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Anyway, there are two motors (a small and a large) each with its own very unique name according to the manual; the smaller one is called �motor� and the larger one is called �XL motor�.  Very creative indeed!

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The battery box takes SIX AA batteries and there are two compartments to hold them.  Here is the first:

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That seems pretty normal.  However, the back side of it holds the other three batteries and it seems to be very poorly designed:

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Note in the photo above where the bottom battery is placed.  Compare it to the previous photo and you will see the difference.  I played around with trying to get that bottom battery out and you better pack a lunch (or BYOB) because it is no small task!  Why couldn�t they make this compartment just like the other side?  

There is a single power cord connector and a three position switch.  The middle position turns the power OFF and the other two positions seem to provide the same functionality in either position as far as I can tell.  Perhaps a little blurb in the manual would have been nice to clear things up a bit.

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The remote takes three AAA batteries.  It is fairly small and lightweight even with the batteries installed.  It has two thumb controls which could be levers if you insert Technic bars or even pins.  The two controls are color coded and match the plugs on the receiver to control two separate motors.  In addition, there is a four position switch which I assume changes the channel.  Finally, there are two tiny levers that seem to have no function.  I�m not sure if they are a trim control or variable speed control.  I messed with them and didn�t notice any difference in the motor speed.  Again, some documentation from the incredibly verbose LEGO manual would have helped.

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As far as the rest of the parts, it�s really a mixed bag.  There are a lot of varied parts in this set to the point that there is almost one of everything.  Lots of Technic gears, pins, studded beams, studless beams, axles, wheels, etc.  Also, lots of little 1x1 slopes in various colors, teeth, horns, etc.  

You can�t really say it is a parts pack because there is not enough of one thing to make it a parts pack.  

A couple of notes:

It seems the quality control issue on the axles has been fixed.  I initially reported this back when I reviewed the 8285 about a year ago.  All the axles worked fine for me.
The color quality control issue is still alive.  Check out the different shade of red in these two parts:

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Also included is the sound brick.  This looks just like the other sound or light-up bricks we have been seeing lately.  It does have a load dinosaur �roar!� sound embedded in it though so hide the younglings if they are a bit on the skittish side.

Finally, I�ve never seen one of these before (although someone will no doubt rattle off a dozen sets where you can find this part in about 5 seconds):

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No, I am not referring to the studded beam, I put that in the photo for scale.

The Build:

The build was fun and was fairly straightforward.  As I mentioned, there is a lot of Technic parts, so if you are not a fan of the Technic line you should run, not walk away from this one.

There were no gotchas to speak of, but you need to pay careful attention to the placement of the wires that go from the motors to the receiver.  They kind of sneak them around a bit so watch closely.  Otherwise, it was fine.

Here is what is left over:

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So far, I have only built the primary model.  As seen on the box, there are instructions for two more models.  Both of the other models seem less complex than the primary model and are likely quicker builds.  The Dino took me about 3.5 hours which included some time to screw around with the motors.  I�m an old school Technic fan from way back in the 80�s so I had some familiarity with the old Technic motors.  Obviously, 25+ years has improved some things and these seem much more powerful.

The Design:

If you have built the 4507 Prehistoric Creatures then some of the design will feel familiar, especially the head and tail.  It is almost like they took the dinosaur from that set and figured out how to motorize it.  This is not necessarily a bad thing, just a comment.

The set does a good job of showing off the features of the new motors and remote.  It is nice to see how one motor can perform multiple functions.  In this case, the small motor makes both arms move and opens and closes the mouth of the dinosaur.  When the mouth is completely open, it pushes the activation switch on the sound brick which emits the �roar!� sound.  Pretty cool.

The �XL Motor� handles the walking feature of the dinosaur.  There is both forward and reverse.  Forward works really well while the reverse just makes the dinosaur look like he is doing a Michael Jackson moon walk.  (Wow, I never thought I would use Michael Jackson�s name in a LEGO Dinosaur set review!)  It is almost like the dinosaur can�t get traction going in reverse.  However, as noted previously forward works really well.  This guy actually gets going at a pretty good clip.  As you might expect, he kind of waddles like a duck since there is no articulation in the knees.  It is a bit awkward but it works.   The �XL Motor� seems to kick out plenty of power.

Overall, the design seems to be a mixed bag.  The way the tail is attached seems to be an afterthought.  The arms look to be too small.  However, the walking mechanism and legs/feet are pretty cool as well as the head and mouth.  I guess it is a reasonable effort to get people introduced to the parts and we�ll see designs improve as time goes on.

Here are a few views of our new friend:

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But What About The AT-AT???

Of course, the real reason you are reading this is that you hope I will have some epiphany on how all this relates to the new walking AT-AT.  Judging from the box on the AT-AT, it looks like we get one motor.  I don�t see the remote which is a disappointment as I hope it is not controlled by a switch on the body and you either turn the AT-AT on or off.  If that is the case, the first thing I am doing is scavenging the receiver and remote from this set to add to the AT-AT.  Granted, it could be that it comes with a remote but is just not seen on the box.

Also, the AT-AT box looks like one of the images shows that the head turns.  I sure hope this is controlled separately as it would be really lame to not be able to control this independently from the walking feature.  I�m kind of skeptical on the walking feature of the AT-AT.  I suspect it will be rather cumbersome but hopefully I will be pleasantly surprised.

Needless to say, this is all speculation but those are my initial thoughts based on this set.

Overall Thoughts:

It�s an OK set.  Kind of pricy but I suspect a large part of that is due to the motors and remote.  I haven�t built the other two models (they seem less interesting to me) but at least it has some variability.  Also, you get a ton of different parts which can either be a good thing or bad thing depending on what you are looking for.

The dinosaur is average.  The color selection is marginal (black and lime green?) and the tail section is just lame.  I appreciate it more for the mechanical functions and how the motorized parts work.  It does do a good job of waking up my dog who seems pretty irritated by it.

It is a nice set to show off to the neighbors or the endless caravan of my wife�s friends that seem to materialize out of nowhere.  People are quickly impressed by it and then promptly move along once you start trying to explain how it all works.

I�m a bit disappointed that the manual did not explain more about the remote and motor functions.  I suspect that there is more than meets the eye and I�ll just have to play around with it to find out.  It would be nice if LEGO had a website that showed all the cool functions of the motors and remotes so we fully understand the capabilities.

Final Rating: 72%

Build 9/10 (Pretty quick and fun.  The mechanical part is cool)
Functionality 6/10 (It is a Creator set so you have multiple builds.  As far as it being a dinosaur, it�s just OK.  Motorized parts are cool though.)
Design 6/10 (Partly cloudy.  Some things are cool, others are lame.)
Parts 8/10 (New motors and remote are cool.  Lots of varied parts included but nothing to write home about.)
Price 7/10 (It is kind of expensive)

Edited by WhiteFang, 23 May 2009 - 06:23 PM.
Indexed

So much LEGO, so little time...

#2 Doctor Sinister

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Posted 13 July 2007 - 10:52 PM

Impressive review!  Really clear photos too!  Thanks.

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Visit the new and improved- Tabletown Forums - discuss the world of Grunts!

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#3 Asuka

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Posted 13 July 2007 - 11:00 PM

A very nice review, thanks dunamis.  *y*
I really dont understand that color scheme, but the new motorsre
very interesting. Well, that Dino is just mediocre to me.... I think that
the new Technic Bulldozer is much more interesting.

#4 Ickelpete

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Posted 13 July 2007 - 11:06 PM

Great Review Dunamis I hope you have as much fun with this as I have.

One point yes they are new axles they have appeared in a few sets this year.

#5 dunamis

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Posted 13 July 2007 - 11:13 PM

View PostIckelpete, on Jul 13 2007, 11:06 PM, said:

Great Review Dunamis I hope you have as much fun with this as I have.

One point yes they are new axles they have appeared in a few sets this year.

Yes, the kids seem to love it (as you pointed out) and the wife still thinks I am crazy so it's all good.

I read your review after I posted mine.  Seems like we shared the same thoughts on a majority of it.  I always think it is good to have multiple opinions on sets as it gives the community more data points to evaluate a given set.
So much LEGO, so little time...

#6 Holodoc

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Posted 13 July 2007 - 11:24 PM

I already made my 5 cents to this horrible colour bastard  :-X  :-X  :-X in Ickelpetes thread, but I wanted to clarify about this:

View Postdunamis, on Jul 13 2007, 10:41 PM, said:

Finally, Ive never seen one of these before (although someone will no doubt rattle off a dozen sets where you can find this part in about 5 seconds):
Heres one of the sets its included in:
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It didnt even take me 5 seconds. ;-)  :-P

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Even more interested in LEGO bricks & parts? Read Tim Johnson's (aka Caperberry) blog: Posted Image


#7 Sinner

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Posted 14 July 2007 - 05:58 AM

Thanks for the bonus review. I am still on the fence with this one so every opinion is good!

View Postdunamis, on Jul 14 2007, 07:41 AM, said:

But What About The AT-AT???

In case you don't know, the AT-AT in the Dark Side Development Kit had a single motor and a moving head. It worked by the head simply swinging from side to side due to balence shifts. I suspect the AT-AT will be same. I also think that there will be no remote for it either.

Edited by Sinner, 14 July 2007 - 11:31 AM.





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#8 xwingyoda

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Posted 14 July 2007 - 11:15 AM

Tks once again Dunamis for a great in-depth review  ;-)

I really look forward to your supped up and moded AT-AT  :-P

I am really not found of the design BUT I think its still a nice parts pack, especially with all these nice "power function" elements  ;-)

*yoda*

#9 Lt. Col. Thok

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Posted 14 July 2007 - 02:20 PM

Thats a nice looking dino set there! Great review, dunamis!  Also, on this side of the border (see that big thing above the US?  Thats Canada, where I'm from) BYOB still means bring your own beer.  My uncle is already on his third Molsons.

Edited by Lieutenant Colonel Thok, 14 July 2007 - 02:21 PM.

"Once, there was only darkness. If you ask me, the light's winning"

#10 dunamis

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Posted 14 July 2007 - 03:42 PM

View PostLieutenant Colonel Thok, on Jul 14 2007, 02:20 PM, said:

Thats a nice looking dino set there! Great review, dunamis!  Also, on this side of the border (see that big thing above the US?  Thats Canada, where I'm from) BYOB still means bring your own beer.  My uncle is already on his third Molsons.


So that's Canada?    :-)

Quote

In case you don't know, the AT-AT in the Dark Side Development Kit had a single motor and a moving head. It worked by the head simply swinging from side to side due to balence shifts. I suspect the AT-AT will be same. I also think that there will be no remote for it either.


Thanks, that makes sense and you are probably right.  I do have the Dark Side Development Kit, but I have not built that AT-AT.  Hopefully we will get some clarification from the LEGO Europe show this weekend.

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Heres one of the sets its included in:

It didnt even take me 5 seconds

LOL, I knew it!
So much LEGO, so little time...

#11 Kowakian Monkey-Lizard

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 01:59 PM

Oh, is he ugly or what? I've never seen a dino that needed to go on a diet more then him. :-D But I'd get him for the pieces; all those lime-green pieces. *drools*

But, meh, I'm not really in to Mindstorms, so I don't think I'd get this. But anyway, nice review, I now know exactly what he's like.


KML

#12 Dino_Bot

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 01:32 AM

Wow...that set is really something.
But I prefer Pehistoric Power, and Triceratops. Or are they the same? I can never tell.

#13 SirNadroj

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 02:20 PM

Awesome reveiw, thanks! I gotta get this one!!! *y*  *wub*

#14 PaulC

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Posted 04 November 2007 - 02:21 PM

I kind of like the design of this, but more importantly I really want to get my hands on the power functions motors and IR control system. I'd prefer the 8275 Technic Bulldozer, but there's no way I can stretch to the 100 price tag, so I was thinking I would have to see if I could get a 4958 Monster Dino cheap in the January sales.

Then two things happened today. Firstly I saw the Dino in Tescos reduced from 70 to 55.
Then my wife said she'd buy it for me for Christmas.

Wow! That's never happened to me before. I love my wife!  *wub*  Can't wait till Christmas now!

#15 Ickelpete

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Posted 04 November 2007 - 06:41 PM

View PostPaulC, on Nov 4 2007, 02:21 PM, said:

I kind of like the design of this, but more importantly I really want to get my hands on the power functions motors and IR control system. I'd prefer the 8275 Technic Bulldozer, but there's no way I can stretch to the 100 price tag, so I was thinking I would have to see if I could get a 4958 Monster Dino cheap in the January sales.

If you really want the power functions the Bulldozer is better value as you get two large motors, two small motors and two receivers compared to the one in the Dino set alos watch Toysrus and argos both have had the Bulldozer for 70-75 in there pre christmas sales usually for a week only I am hopeing they will be on sale soon as I want a Second Bulldozer to get some more motors.

#16 PaulC

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Posted 05 November 2007 - 07:06 PM

View PostIckelpete, on Nov 4 2007, 06:41 PM, said:

If you really want the power functions the Bulldozer is better value as you get two large motors, two small motors and two receivers compared to the one in the Dino set alos watch Toysrus and argos both have had the Bulldozer for 70-75 in there pre christmas sales usually for a week only I am hopeing they will be on sale soon as I want a Second Bulldozer to get some more motors.
Thanks for the tip, but even 70-75 is too much right now. 55 was just about affordable, but now my wife's buying for me it's going to cost me zero zilch zip nada nothing which is even sweeter!  X-D

#17 Sinner

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 12:13 AM

I ended up buying both this and the dozer.  :-$ I plan on using my Dino for a IR car in a month or two...





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#18 paanjang16

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Posted 22 August 2009 - 04:26 PM

I ended up buying a MISB set recently from a Lego collector who is clearing up his collection. Excellent set to get the IR remote and IR receiver and other motors without paying insane amounts for the bulldozer now.

There is a quite a number of parts in Power miner lime green and 1x1 white teeth plate for the mouth and claws. The dino alone has 20 teeth in its mouth  :grin: The glow in the dark "antennas" on the backbone of the dino is a nice touch as you can let him walk in the dark somewhat.

I do agree with the reviewer, the box IS INSANELY HUGE!!!  :vader: I don't think Lego wanted to show a 1:1 scale dino, they just wanted to promote the power function stuff as large as possible.
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Also, the remote is smaller than shown in the picture as the hand holding it I think is smaller.




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