It’s always fun when a long-running theme starts to venture beyond its usual pattern of sets to try something new. A great example is this is the much-maligned Harry Potter theme, which does a great job of offering normal playsets and builds that offer something different. Now the Jurassic franchise isn’t supported by any upcoming movies and the 30th anniversary of Jurassic Park is over, new sets are seeking inspiration from the wider saga. One of those new sets, released this month, is the Dinosaur Fossils: T. rex Skull. Here’s a closer look at this interesting addition to the LEGO® Jurassic theme.
Set Name: Dinosaur Fossils: T. rex Skull | Set Number: 76964 | Pieces: 577 | Theme: Jurassic World
RRP: £34.99/$39.99/39.99€ | Number of Bags: Bags x 6 | Instructions: Paper booklet + Builder App | Stickers: Sheet x 1 | Characters: N/A | Insiders QR: Yes
Availability: LEGO Stores, LEGO Online & General Retail
To best feature the buildable skull and fossilized footprint, they are both displayed on a themed stand. This is dotted with leaves and rocky sections which incorporate both a clip to connect the footprint fossil and a black stand upon which the dinosaur skull is mounted.
Once the stand is complete, you then build the two dinosaur-themed aspects of the set. The first of those is a small slab of rock which has the imprint of a dinosaur footprint on it. The way this is achieved is quite clever as it’s only a small part of the set but is packed with elements. Several different sloped elements are combined to shape the print and I especially like the partly studded darker grey base used for the inlay of the print. The footprint fossil is also where the set’s display plate is located. This is a sticker, but it’s the only one in the set.
Dinosaur skeletons have been recreated with LEGO elements before to varying success. Previous attempts have been on a much smaller and therefore less detailed scale. Previous attempts have also been quite fragile so I wasn’t expecting much when building the skull. It is based on the easily identifiable T. rex and uses a mix of tan and sand yellow pieces, which are perfect for bones which are millions of years old. One other thing which has impressed me about the skull is that it doesn’t have randomly coloured elements in it. These sorts of builds often rely on Technic pieces to provide structural stability and these are mostly only available in a single colour. Using these parts may offer a solid build but then those pieces awkwardly stand out against the other elements. So it’s delightful to see that isn’t the case with this set and it’s still a solid build.
This hasn’t been the first time the LEGO Jurassic theme has tried something different, but it is the first time the set has been quite affordable. It’s great to see the LEGO Group allowing long-running themes, especially those normally focused on younger builders, to expand beyond just playsets. This smaller format of displayable sets could be implemented in other themes. But this particular set, it’s one of my favourite Jurassic sets, it looks great and it was fun to build, especially seeing how elements have been combined to craft both the footprint and the skull.