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Review: 5887 Dino Defense HQ


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#1 Masked Builder

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Posted 16 November 2011 - 09:12 PM

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I ordered this set the same day that LEGO put it on S@H.  The whole theme had greatly reminded me of the Dino 2010 theme for several years ago that I had loved but never gotten any of the sets from.  This set was the one I ended up getting for several reasons, I wanted a good selection of the available dinos, and I also wanted a good start on collecting the minifigures from the line.  I had also started watching Terra Nova on Fox since it had premiered also prompted me to get this.  I want to do some MOCs with the dinos.  I was so excited to see it on the site as I couldn't wait for the sets to become available.  Once it finally arrived on my doorstep, LEGO got it here fast, I ripped open the box and started reviewing.  Oh and guess who has the first 2012 set review on Eurobricks?  Me!


Name: Dino Defense HQ
Set Number: 5887
Pieces: 793
Price: $99.99
Ages: 6-12
Minifigs: 4
Theme: Dino
Year of Release: 2012
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LEGO S@H said:

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At Dino Defense HQ, the heroes are preparing for an epic prehistoric battle! Equipped with a communications center, laboratory and tranquilizer refilling station, it’s a hive of activity. Prepare for the dino attack! Close the gates, fire the tranquilizer weapons and capture the dinos with the crane and net! Includes 4 hero minifigures, 3 dinosaurs, helicopter and car.


Box:
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The front of the box has the main box art.  The yellow and dark bley color scheme, with the dino rips, really really appeals to me.  It really has that; "let's kick some dino butt!" feel to it for me.

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On the back of the box you get all of the secondary images one could want from a set.  Showing the functions, alternate minifigure poses, and the dinos included in the set.

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The top of the box has the usual minifigure layout that most other large set boxes have, and of course the 1:1 image this time of a minifigure.  These guys are part of the reason I got this set.


Contents:
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There are a total of nine rather full bags that cascaded out of the box when I opened.  In fact, I was rather surprised at how many there were!  I was happily surprised to see that the manuals and the sticker sheet came wrapped in plastic with some cardboard to keep them from bending.

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All of the dinos came in their own bags.  The bag that the little dino came in is almost like a candy bag, it has that feel to it.  He also has a plastic support piece inside the bag to keep him from bending.  The other dinos came in bags that had several compartments so that the printed pieces don't rub together and scratch.


Manual:
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As I mentioned before, the manuals and the stickers came packaged in plastic with cardboard.  This is really a great addition, to every set, especially this one as the box was so full of parts.

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There are three manuals, all have the Dino logo, and the first manual has what it builds on the front while the other two just show the whole base.  All of them have the orange sky and the city skyline in the background.

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The front of manual one shows you what the manual builds, in a nice action shot, though I do see that the lady from the set is missing here.  I wonder what the story will be for these sets as you can see the city in the background.

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Inside the manuals you have your usual layout with a very nice, torn up looking Grey background.  Simple, but it complements the dino claw rips nicely.

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This was the only misprint that I found in all three manuals, just a slight lighter area in the brick that was added to the jeep.

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The backs of manuals one and two have instructions on the back instead of that annoying ad with the kid screaming.  In fact, LEGO is kind of conserving paper printing stuff like this.

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In one of the last pages of the manual, we have an ad for most of the sets in the line.  All in a very nicely edited, action shot.  The float-plane is absent here.  I wonder when LEGO is going to release it....

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Lastly, we have the sticker sheet.  LEGO has done a great job designing these; most of them have some sort of scratch mark on them like the dinos have attacked them.


Minifigures:
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All of the minifigures have new torso prints, and two have leg print.  All of them seem to have explorer gear on and look like they're ready to take on the task of pounding some dino butt!

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Every minifigure has back print to go with the torso print.  I really like the "D" logo that the two guys on the out edges have on their backs.  The belt that the girl has, and the man’s belt has, are great looking.

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Before I forget, here's a picture of the two minifigures that have dual heads.  The guy on the left has more of a "What the heck just happened face," while the girl seems to say "Dinosaurs!" :laugh:

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Oddly enough three of the minifigures have solid head studs while one has the typical "Y" beam in his head.  I still don't know why LEGO does this.

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I've decided to count the Dinos as minifigures in a way.  They really hold just as much of the attraction to this set as do the minifigures.  Anyway, here is a nice size comparison between the three dinos that come in this set.  As should be quite obvious, the T-Rex towers over the rest of the dinos, and the minifigures.

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This is a Coelophysis.  I didn't know what one was till I Googled it.  Basically they're a small less fierce version of a Velociraptor.  LEGO has done a great job with the color scheme here, the dark Red and Green is really great.  He can hold a LEGO bar in his mouth.

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The LEGO site just calls this guy a "raptor."  I would like to think he's a Velociraptor, he certainly looks like one, I can't think why LEGO wouldn't call him one as they are fairly well know to kids that like dinos.  Again, the Orange color really compliments the Nougat color.  He and the T-Rex have two mouth positions, open and closed.

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Here we have the T-Rex.  He is probably my favorite dinosaur from this set, the green color scheme he has really works for me.  LEGO has done an amazing job designing all of the dinos, and the stripe design on this guy is top-notch.

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The T-Rex's mouth opens enough to "eat" a minifigure.  While this was probably not LEGO's intention for him, it adds a nice thing for the adults that buy this set to enjoy some bloody, minifigure gore. :devil:

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Of course my T-Rex was broken.  *sigh*  When I pulled him out of the bag and started putting him together I noticed that the bit of plastic had been pushed in, making it so that his arm doesn't click in.  And as of today, I still can't get a replacement body for him.


Parts:
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Now for the new parts!  We have the new gate piece with some studs, the new one by four curve piece, the Yellow wall bit, the two by four dark Grey plate, the Yellow curve piece, the new gunmetal color gun, as well as a very lovely new green syringe. :wub:

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Here are our extra parts from the set.  Nothing special other than the trans-clear visor, and the antenna.


The Build:
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We start off by building the jeep from the set.  It's a very rugged design.

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Bag one builds us the first two minifigures from the set as well as a very cool jeep.

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Here we build the helicopter; it's very simple and almost "boat-like."

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Bag two builds the helicopter, and the other two minifigures we didn't build in the last bag.  I don't know why they were split up like this.

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Here we start with the build of the actual base.  The gates are designed very nicely.  I like the prongs on the top of them.

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And now that we've got all of the gates finished we can start putting the base together.

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We use those lovely Green hexagonal base plates to build the two outer tower posts.

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Again, we get a two times build to finish the outer towers.

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Bag three adds the two outer tower bases to the main gate.  It's looking better!

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We use two hexagonal bases to make the tower caps in this part of the build.

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Since this is a two times build, we get two once we finish the building steps.

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To the first tower cap we add what I'm calling a sonic cannon after what the guys in Terra Nova have.  After all, who wants to kill the Dinosaurs?

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And to the second tower cap we add a crane.  It's been quite a while since I got a crane hook in a set.

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Here we build the side walls for the base.  All studs up and very simple.  I do like those Yellow gate pieces though.

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The gate is our last two times build for the whole set.  Thank goodness.

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And total we have a rather large collection of things that bag four builds.  We have the two outer tower caps, the side walls, and some foliage to decorate the base.

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Here we have the front gate after adding what bag four builds.  It looks quite much more impressive don't you think?

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After opening bad five, we start work on the helicopter tower.  Very simple construction, but all in all it looks good.

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At the end of bag five we have completed the heli tower and can now snap it onto the base.

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Here's the base with the Heli tower added to it.  We're so close to finishing!  Stick with me.

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Bag six starts the build of the tower.  All in all, it was rather simple; putting on those 15 length bars was rather hard for me. :blush:

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First we complete the tower, and then build the research room that goes on the tower.

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Here is the completed tower and what the last two bags have worked towards building.  It is quite impressive.

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And here we have the completed base!  It looks good.  It was quite a bit larger than I thought it would be.


Complete Model:
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Okay here we have a nice overall model/action shot of the set.  This set was so much larger than I thought it would be, and measures at least a foot square if not more.  There are more than enough things for the minifigures to be doing, from capturing the dinos, to researching them.

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Okay I'll start small with the jeep.  Its design it simple enough, but it also looks good enough to make it interesting and another one of the pulls to the set for me.

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Here's a back 3/4 view of the jeep, LEGO has put a nice box on the back to store some tools, but they put they radio on the back of the jeep.  Weird. :wacko:

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Now for the helicopter.  If I had to dislike part of this set I would have to say the helicopter.  It is to overly simplistic for my tastes but at least it does look like a heli.

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Here you can see just how plain that the back of the heli is.  Maybe putting the stickers on would help....

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Okay now I can move to the base.  On the left most tower we have the sonic cannon, that you can stick a minifigure behind to man.

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On the right most tower we have the crane are with the net so you can capture the little dinosaur.  All of the others are too large.

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In between both towers we have the main gate, with a chain securing it.  Why they're just using a chain to keep the gate close rather than something more secure is a mystery to me.

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In the back left of the base we have the helicopter landing pad tower, and the ammo storage facility.  Why it faces out is a mystery to me.

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Here's the back of the heli tower.  Rather open to attack by Dinosaurs but that is probably me wanting the set to be perfect.

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And here is the removable ammo rack that faces out of the base.  I suspect that the Green syringes are fired like tranquilizer darts.

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The lower part of the observation tower has the lifting gate that I think has to be the best function of the set.  More on that in a minute.

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Here we have the outside of the observation tower.  LEGO has used some of their Technic pieces to connect it in a studs down manner.

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And now we move to the inside of the observation tower.  A simple chair and two computers fill this area.


Functions:
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I shall start with some of the more common functions.  On the sonic cannon, we have two flick-fire missiles ready to be launched at whatever Dino decides to raid the base.

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The crane over on the other tower is perfect for trapping those little pesky Coelophysis.

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The T-Rex can conveniently walk through the front gate so that the kids can play like he has been captured.

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Now for my favorite function of the model, by turning this gear you move the...

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...Rear escape gate up allowing anyone inside the base to escape.  This function works really well and I'm happy that LEGO thought of it.  Nice work. :thumbup:


Final Thoughts:
This set still holds up to my expectations now that I have it built.  In some ways, it even surpasses them.  The dinos were so well designed, and the base is a lot more satisfyingly cool than in the pictures.  In the pictures it looks rather small and "kid friendly" but once you have it built it is so large that it really is amazing.  Minifigure wise, the set goes over the top, they are so well designed that I am just blown away by the amount of detail LEGO has put on them, same thing with the dinos.  LEGO has done such an amazing job with their hide color and their overall design.

Ratings:
Playability: 10/10 This set gets a full score in playability because of the many different little things that one could play with.  You have the four minifigures, the dinos, and all of the vehicles.
Design: 8/10 The base is designed very nicely, though a bit weak when you try to pick it up as a whole.  It gets an 8 of 10 here because I'm not too happy with the heli.  The jeep is great, but the heli could use some work.
Price: 10/10 I feel that the $100 price tag is justified here just because of the Dinosaurs.  They have so much plastic on them.
Minifigures: 10/10 Overall, I'm very satisfied with the minifigures.  Sure a few of them could use leg print, but over all they are very detailed and great figs to own.
Parts: 9/10 There was a good number of new/rare parts in this set.  Several of the parts here have only come in a few other sets, and the rest are making their debut.

Total: 47/50 An excellent score for a set.  I would recommend it to anyone.


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Edited by Rufus, 11 February 2012 - 04:22 PM.
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#2 CallMePie

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Posted 16 November 2011 - 09:22 PM

Fantastic review for an outstanding set. Looking at it, it's like a yellow Sentai Fortress. With dinos.  :sweet: The figs are amazing. The jeep....kinda iffy. The front bumper sticks out quite a bit and the tires look undersized. It's a shame; with a cockpit and skids, the helicopter would've been great.  :sadnew: The big tower is really simple, but I guess that's because of the fantastic gate mechanism. The dinos also easily trump the Dino Attack ones. More cartoony, but with better detail. Gonna try hard to get this one.  :thumbup:
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#3 Big Cam

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Posted 16 November 2011 - 09:28 PM

OK, wow this series is awesome, those dinosaurs were done so well.

I haven't been following the Dino discussions so for me this is my first time seeing any bits from the Dino line, I must say I like what I see.

#4 Darkdragon

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Posted 16 November 2011 - 09:37 PM

Great review and great looking set. This is next on my Dino purchase list. Can't wait to get my hands on those minifigs!

#5 lightningtiger

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Posted 16 November 2011 - 09:41 PM

Thanks for the review 'Masked Builder', my favourite part of the set is the clever inverted 10 wide windscreen for the control booth. :wink:
I was looking at this....fun set, but juniorized....the 4x4 and copter could be a little more detailed....they just seem so late 90's ! :wink:
But like I also said a fun set, stacks to play with and lots of cool features.....neat new modern rifles too ! :grin:
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#6 K-Nut

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Posted 16 November 2011 - 10:06 PM

:wub: I need this set and I'm glad that you got the review up so soon, since I'm a bit busy for the next few days. Does anybody else think the professor guy is Jake Raines?  :sweet:
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#7 Rez

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Posted 16 November 2011 - 10:22 PM

Thanks for the review!  After spending some time with this set, the dinosaurs are fantasitc but I can't help but feel like there were some missed opportunities with the base itself:

-Lack of interior details!  The set description mentions a dino lab, but it's just an empty room.  Thankfully I can add some equipment myself(Exploriens dino bones anyone?) but I was hoping for something unique in this area.  A little something under the two front towers would have been neat too.

-That door between the "lab" and the gate that looks like a door?  Not a door.

- When pictures of the set first hit I hoped the panels in front could spin around from "not damaged" to "destroyed."  It was not to be.    

-Lack of flowing, functional design.  The Tower Takedown set really impressed me because of how well thought out it was-  None of that here.  It's a good thing the superhero sets are coming out this year, because people need to fly(or jump really really high) to get from one area to another here. No ladders, steps, etc

#8 Deinonychus

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Posted 16 November 2011 - 10:24 PM

View PostMasked Builder, on 16 November 2011 - 09:12 PM, said:

The LEGO site just calls this guy a "raptor."  I would like to think he's a Velociraptor, he certainly looks like one, I can't think why LEGO wouldn't call him one as they are fairly well know to kids that like dinos.  

Actually, owing to the size I'm going to guess that this guy is a Utahraptor ostrommaysorum. Possibly Achillobator giganticus, but most probably Utahraptor. The colors on him look amazing, and I love how his teeth are behind his lips when the mouth is closed. That's something you don't see on many dinosaur toys.

Great review and pictures, tells me everything I wanted to know about this set. I'm glad to see it's so modular, that'll help when it comes time to display it on a shelf. Sets like this that you can break down somewhat are great background pieces for a full-theme shelf display.

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#9 Rumble Strike

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Posted 16 November 2011 - 10:36 PM

Great review Masked, it covered everything very well with some lovely pictures.  The dinos are very photogenic, aren't they?  Superb, can't wait for this line to come out.
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#10 gcanik

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Posted 16 November 2011 - 10:46 PM

Great review of this big set. I love the dino colors and the torso designs. Not big on the yellow color scheme though for the fortifications.

#11 Suspsy

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Posted 16 November 2011 - 11:59 PM

Yes, given the massive size of the maniraptor, I'd say it's definitely a Utahraptor.

There's not a salmon steak's chance in a shark tank that that base can hold that Tyrannosaurus rex. He's probably just waiting to gobble up all four morsels.

How do these guys compare to the saurians from Dino Attack/2010 and 2001 Dinosaurs?

And yeah, fantastic review. Can't wait to own this set!

Edited by Suspsy, 17 November 2011 - 12:04 AM.


#12 Capt. Redblade

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Posted 17 November 2011 - 01:30 AM

At first, this set seemed rather empty, but after seeing this review I'm thoroughly convinced that the contrary is true.

Also, glad I wasn't the only one who thought of Terra Nova when he first saw this.  :grin:

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#13 Gryphon Ink

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Posted 17 November 2011 - 01:41 AM

Great review, Masked Builder.  I'm not really digging this set, though.  It just doesn't feel substantial enough for the price, even though it probably is.  The mini-helicopter annoys me no end, and the fact that T-Rex could pretty much escape by stumbling over the walls is really off-putting.  I'm also not liking the tyrannosaur as much as I expected to, although the raptor and the minifigs are pretty nice.  There are a couple of great sets in the Dino theme, but this one just doesn't do it for me.

View PostMasked Builder, on 16 November 2011 - 09:12 PM, said:

The LEGO site just calls this guy a "raptor."  I would like to think he's a Velociraptor, he certainly looks like one, I can't think why LEGO wouldn't call him one as they are fairly well know to kids that like dinos.

Because velociraptor was roughly knee-high to a grown man - not quite as threatening as the creature TLG want it to be.  Also, it really, REALLY looked like a bird.  Actually, it pretty much was a bird, as were most of its cousins - but velociraptor totally looked like one.

(Wikipedia diagram of velociraptor to scale with a human:)

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#14 Algernon

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Posted 17 November 2011 - 01:52 AM

First of all, I gotta say that this review is as impressive as the set itself. Really thorough and a pleasure to read.  :thumbup:

As for the set, you've actually made me like it quite a bit more than I did at first. It is quite large and I enjoy the simple-yet-secure aesthetic. The dinos and minifigs are, obviously, fantastic and definitely the best reason to pick this up. All in all, the price will probably keep me away (as usual  :hmpf_bad: ) but if I ever feel like spending a shiny dime on a worthy LEGO purchase, it will probably be this. Loving this line!

#15 prateek

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Posted 17 November 2011 - 02:08 AM

Looks great! This is actually pretty big, as you said. I do think that the T-Rex's head is a bit too big though.

#16 JimBee

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Posted 17 November 2011 - 03:01 AM

Haven't really been following the news thread on this, but this isn't a bad little theme at all. Certainly not above the standard of other recent action themes, but the minifigures in particular are great. I'm constantly impressed at the quickly improving quality of minifigs in general, and this theme is no exception.

I suppose I could complain about the "juniorized" (is that word even relevant anymore?) raptors, but they look no worse than any other Lego creature. At least, the prints are nice.

Also, am I mistaken that the minifig with the white shirt has a new hair piece? Or is it CW Obi's in black? The minifigure reminds me of this guy during his role in Inception.  :tongue:

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#17 KielDaMan

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Posted 17 November 2011 - 03:49 AM

Fantastic review Masked! The quality of the pictures are outstanding and it was a great read throughout. Thanks for sharing this. :thumbup:

With regards to the set, I was really excited when the news of this DINO theme came out, mostly because I'd like to get those dinosaur figures. Yeah they may look a bit "juniorized" but I couldn't see any way that TLG could've made them better. Besides, they aren't much different with the Wampa, Taun-taun, Dewback, Castle Dragons, Trolls, etc. in terms of their juniorized overall look right? Now what I don't like about huge sets like this is the inclusion of juniorized 'normal' pieces (especially the wall elements), which is understandably a parts-optimization move but somehow diminishes part of the building experience. Still, this is a pretty good new set, though not something I will pick up since the other 3 dinos can be acquired from smaller cheaper sets.

I do have a question that I've been really curious about, is the T-Rex in this set the same size as the one in the T-Rex-Helicopter set (5886)? Because from my initial views it seems like the one in this set is larger (?)

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#18 Ceroknight

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Posted 17 November 2011 - 04:07 AM

Thank you for the review!
I am not a big fan of this set however, I agree that the design isn't best and I think they could have done better with the thinks like the vehicles.
I will get a few cheaper sets though :sweet:
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#19 Rocketbilly

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Posted 17 November 2011 - 04:14 AM

Thanks for the superb review!
Glad to see some 2012 reviews on Eurobricks, especially such high quality ones.
I'm a fan of this set, as it reminds me of my youth, receiving the Dino Research Compound as a birthday gift about ten years ago from my parents...back when they still bought me LEGO  :tongue:
These dinosaurs certainly make the ones from that set look outdated, don't they?
I'm actually quite a fan of the helicopter in this set, I actually don't like the little jeep that much - it's quite nice, of course, but pretty generic.

Just out of curiosity, though - how well does this thing fit on a baseplate? I'd quite like to get one, but I'm considering  mounting it. I've counted, and it looks like I'll need a couple of the green 32X32 plates since I think the green would look nicer than the larger gray ones, considering those lovely green pieces already acting as baseplate.

Edited by Rocketbilly, 17 November 2011 - 04:15 AM.


#20 WhiteFang

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Posted 17 November 2011 - 04:45 AM

Thank you Masked Builder. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this review! It's great to see such a good quality review for the new 2012 wave and one of the interested theme that I am planning to get is this.

The base may looks barren but the beauty of it lies mainly on the great looking dinosaurs, minifigures that can be used as solders too. Lots of playability and fun to bring the combat around!  :wub:

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#21 pp7

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Posted 17 November 2011 - 06:52 AM

View Postgcanik, on 16 November 2011 - 10:46 PM, said:

Great review of this big set. I love the dino colors and the torso designs. Not big on the yellow color scheme though for the fortifications.

I was also wary of the yellow scheme at first, but two things came to me:

1, where Red and/or Black would have been preferable, it may have been too close to the Jurrasic Park conception of human/dino interaction.

2, Yellow actually works brilliantly against green rainforests as well as the colours of the dinosaurs themselves.  Something that's lost in the reptillian conception of dinosaurs' skin is that reptiles exist in the wet forests as well as the desert.  The yellow brings a sharp colour contrast as well as that desert aspect often missed in this type of dino concept.

Give the yellow a chance! It may grow on you :laugh:

#22 badboytje88

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Posted 17 November 2011 - 07:09 AM

This set should come with a goat.

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#23 Legocrazy81

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Posted 17 November 2011 - 07:17 AM

I am DROOLING right now reading these reviews!? That T-Rex is bloody impressive. Great, in depth review, Masked. The new torsos in this theme are awesome and detailed.
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#24 LuxorV

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Posted 17 November 2011 - 07:57 AM

Thanks for this awsome review, Masked Builder!

Those dinosaurs' new moulds are just  :wub: ! I was already planning to get this set; now I can't wait for it to be available in Italy.

On one thing I have to go aganist you, though. Don't worry, it's minor: I like the heli more than the jeep. :laugh:

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#25 Artanis I

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Posted 17 November 2011 - 08:06 AM

Awwwwwww... I was hoping for a recreation of "clever girl" as part of the review :laugh:
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