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  1. Finally, the pterodactylus from the Creator Set 31058 has been brought to life. With a few extra parts for the joints, the bird was mobile enough to be moved by seven different eccentric disks/ Cams. I got the idea for this sculpture/ Automaton from artist Reuben Margolin who built a bird with this mechanism.
  2. Then and Now - Comparing 4892 Prehistoric Power and 31058 Mighty Dinosaurs Just to provide an initial image of both sets together, please find below the main model of the 31058 with my MOC of a T-rex from 4892 using 85% of the available pieces. There are more pics of both sets along the post, which goes through Facts, Commercial, Parts&Techniques, Models & Community and Conclussions Now and then I buy old sets and they surprise me how archaic they look in respect to more recent ones. I am not trying to review boths sets here but to remark the changes in Lego across the years using these sets. Specially in the ball joints or articulation elements. If the Lego-volution topic is of your interest, please do not take this post as a comparison skipping to the end to find a winner because for me the meat is in the discussion so please feel free to share your thoughts. And my final conclusion is that both are excellent, “Each, in its own way”. I am publishing here to enable an open dialogue and your opinion is welcomed. Then and Now: Facts Year: 2006 2017 Set number: 4892 31058 Set name: Prehistoric Power Mighty Dinosaurs Branding: 8in1 3in1 Piece count: 380 174 (2.2 times) Weight of the pieces (grams): 381 108 (3.5 times) By the way, I am convinced that set size, part count and weight are only considered by AFOLs during purchase consideration, and not by children who are more comfortable with smaller sizes and sturdier and lighter models. Then and Now: Commercial Both Creator sets belongs to the 3in1 lineup, although the old one was advertised as 8in1. They are obviously similar because of the theme but going into the substance, both sets are alike because they were designed to build several brick-built creatures using articulated joints and giving them an organic look with wedges and slopes. The Creator line is now well established and there is a yearly spot for a “small brick-built 3in1 creatures set”, whereas in 2006 it was starting to understand its space in the product lineup. In fact it was its first year of life as we know it today, replacing the “Designer’s Set” range. The modern 31058 fills a spot in the 15 €/$ low range and the old Triceratops 4892 was positioned in the middle size spot of that year with a suggested price of 20 €/$. Do not get fooled by the proximity of the above numbers. Prices have changed in 11 years so the double box-size and piece count - and triple weight - puts the older set in the range of 2017’s 31064 Island Adventures or 31068 Modular Modern Home of 30 to 35 €/$. Pictures reflects clearly the differences in size. Then and Now: Parts&Techniques The old set has bigger, sharper and heavier pieces. By 2006 there were no small smooth curved slopes, as the 2008’s curved 4x1 no studs 61678, the 2013’s Curved 1x2 no studs 11477 or the 2014’s Curved 2x2 no studs 15068. So the organic shaping was achieved by straight slopes, being the smallest available the 45º 2x1, but in general by 4x1 and 4x2 wedges. This requires a bigger scale to achieve relatively smooth shapes and as a result the old set feels bulky, heavy and sharp in every ridge and corner whereas the new one is light and comfy to the hand allowing better child play. Even the old brick separator included in 4892 is heavier and sharper! Well, 31058 does not include the orange one but you get the point. The solutions for the articulation of limbs and jaws shows an even more drastic change. Joints have evolved greatly in 11 years. I suggest to have a look to the following links for further detail in joints: link1, link 2 (Mecha builders are the experts in this topic) My understanding is that the families of joints are, from strongest to weakest and from more degrees of articulation (flexible) to less: Special - as the “AT-AT leg joint” or compass seen in V-shape in the image Rackets - also known as Exo-Force joints, now discontinued and the 4892 main solution in red and grey Bionicle balls -could be “Big balls” but I am not looking for jokes- these are present in 31058 Hinges, as the yellow example, in many variations Mixel joints or “Small balls” also known as, small cups, also included in 31058 Old style turntables in various formats The old cups for small balls, in old grey in the top-left corner The infinite possibilities of bars and clips When I started with Creator animals I was a bit puzzled on how many solutions are available to provide articulation, the above pic is my effort to make sense of them. I think that Lego just produced different solutions at different moments in time for different needs/product lines (Exo-Force, Bionicle, Mixels…) Yes, the Lego brick is 60 years old and its patent has expired; that applies just to the old 2x4 brick. Joints and slopes in 31038 are designs of the recent 21st century, just around the corner; and I do not think that it was possible to produce them with quality even in 2006, comparing the loose grip of old cups with the nice one of the new small balls.This and the bigger one in black in the top-center of the image was one of the hardest family to distinguish across sets inventories and in bkicklink. The bigger is a bit stronger but both are excellent, the smaller is also simpler to use. Variations of SNOT pieces have been released in these years as well. Not sure what has refrained Lego from making available all variations at once from the beginning, apart from brackets which might have required additional technology to avoid cracking. The fact is that from the 2006 set we just get three models of 2-ways SNOT elements in small quantities which pales in comparison with the assortment of 2-ways and even a 3-ways pieces in the modern set. Then and Now: Models & Community At that time the AFOL community had not available all current tools and cameras, so 4892 reviews are not as detailed as the ones for 31058. Brickset’s Review 31058 and Eurobrick’s Review 4892 Jangbrick’s video review 31058 and Video for 4892 Regarding alternates or C-models, both sets are designed for this purpose offering each a huge number of possibilities. The old one missed a T-Rex among the 12 suggested in the instructions’ booklets, maybe because there was one as the main model of 4507 - Prehistoric Creatures from 2004, under the “Designer’s Set” range. I had filled that spot, which can be found in rebrickable , and anyone could make another dozen of excellent models. It is the first alternate to that set in rebrickable, a symptom of what was going on online in 2006. The instructions include 8 models but I’d say just 3 use 75% or more of the available pieces. The new one seems to “only” include instructions for 3 models in the box but there is a fourth one (diplodocus) available for download by Lego (plus some additionals!?) In addition to that it was the star of a contest for alternatives in 2017 and as a result it showcases 24 excellent MOCs in rebrickable and there should be many more in youtube and other pages. What I read from the above is that the Lego effort in producing alternatives /C-models has been substituted by the community activity, with an astonishing improvement. I do not mean that Lego is not doing nothing to promote, create and provoke us, the community, just that the move has been good and it is providing more “play” for all. Due to its nature and parts selection, there has not been any problem in finding examples or ideas to make equivalent models for both sets.I picture here the official main models for each set with the other set matching the “challenge”. I have enjoyed this a lot!! Then and Now: Conclusion Both sets are excellent but if you are used to the 2010’s Lego experience the old set feels … old Despite the new slopes giving a better look and the new SNOTs allowing amazing solutions, there is a complaint I keep on reading from AFOLs feeling a bit cheating in respect to the old times.That is because there are too many specialized pieces. There is a blurry border between a prefabricated plastic toy to be assembled once and played and a construction blocks toy to be built and rebuilt. And the line might be drawn based on the number of available elements and its ability to be used in several builds, fostering or killing creativity. I would say that yes, we have 10 times more parts than before, but the way they are designed to be combined gives as well 10 more models out of the same pieces, keeping the level up. I would say that creativity is king in both sets and the “specialized elements” in 31058 provides lots of opportunities,more than the old blocks from 4892. The main reason for that is the flexibility added by the small joints and the variety of SNOT elements. Anyhow, I am extremely happy with my old triceratops and its bulky and heavy feel fills me with nostalgia and joy.