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This week's top news articles

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These are the most read articles that we've posted over the last couple of weeks:

Jurassic World: How do the sets compare to the film?

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The Jurassic World film has received mixed reviews since its release just over a month ago and the associated LEGO sets have been treated in much the same way on the whole. Some sets offer a great deal of playability and even a few innovative building techniques while others are rather lacklustre due to a poor minifigure selection or unreasonably high prices.

Accuracy to the source material is often an important factor in the success of licensed themes so it is difficult to get a full impression of the sets without seeing the associated film. Having now done just that I am offering my views on how the LEGO Jurassic World sets fare when compared with the movie.

It almost goes without saying that this article will contain spoilers after the break, so if you wish to avoid them I recommend not reading any further.

Before we start comparing the sets with the movie we should first establish that the set designers probably had limited access to the source material. Sometimes you can see where the designer took inspiration from even when a set scarcely resembles what we see in the movie. A perfect example of this is 76006 Iron Man: Extremis Sea Port Battle from the Iron Man 3 line. Having seen the film the set is woefully inaccurate, but based on the information that the designer might have had access to you can see how a battle at a sea port might be misconstrued in this way.

Alternatively the designers must, of course, take piece count and prices into account. Prices are almost always applied to sets prior to design, so designers are limited in how much of a scene they can reproduce and must instead select certain details.

75915 Pteranodon Capture:

This is the smallest set in the range and is arguably the least interesting, although it does match the film fairly well. It is clearly based on the scene in which the helicopter, piloted by Simon Masrani, pursues the Indominus Rex only to crash as the hybrid smashes through the aviary and frees many of the creatures inside.

The model of the helicopter is about the right size and shape, although I would have liked to see the tail rotor inset into the stabiliser as it is on the real Eurocopter EC120 Colibri (below). That would at least have differentiated it from similar sets released in previous years.

As expected the side-mounted net launcher does not appear in the movie, although this is a fun play feature so I have no complaints regarding its inclusion. The name of the set is also misleading as the helicopter is not dispatched with the intention of capturing Pteranodons, but it is destroyed by a flock of them as they escape the aviary so it makes sense for the two to be packaged together.

A full Brickset review of the set is available here.

75916 Dilophosaurus Ambush:

This is my favourite of the six Jurassic World sets as I love the Dilophosaurus and the off-road vehicle is very well designed in my opinion. However, it bears no resemblance whatsoever to anything seen in the film, instead paying homage to the Ford Explorers from Jurassic Park, albeit with a colour scheme updated to match the new film.

I suspect the designer had to base the set on very limited information, in which case I think the scene where Zach and Gray repair a Jeep from the original film might have been the basis for it. Ultimately this vehicle scarcely resembles the model which appears in the film (below), but without images there was no way the creator could have known that.

The Dilophosaurus does not appear in physical form, although it does briefly appear as a hologram. A herbivorous dinosaur might have been a more film accurate inclusion as they often appear as fodder for the Indominus Rex, but the Dilophosaurus is still outstanding in my opinion.

A full Brickset review of the set is available here.

75917 Raptor Rampage

This set is by far the most faithful to the movie, capturing the scene in which the Velociraptors besiege and then pursue a vet truck in which Owen, Claire, Gray and Zach are taking refuge. The general appearance of the truck is certainly captured but there are some inexplicable inaccuracies which is a shame.

The two Velociraptors are very important to this scene so it is no surprise that they are included and the minifigure selection is also fairly accurate as Claire, Owen and an ACU Officer all appear in this scene. In fact the only thing included that does not appear in the film is the turret which can be mounted atop the truck.

This set compares very well with the film. Although the truck does require some improvement in my opinion the entire scene has been well captured here. Only Zack and Gray are missing, although given the tendency of LEGO to spread the most desirable characters over several sets, that is hardly surprising.

A full Brickset review of the set is available here.

75918 T-Rex Tracker

While the Raptor Rampage is the most film accurate of the six sets, this one is by far the least. The only things in this set which make any significant appearance in the movie are the Tyrannosaurus Rex and Vic Hoskins while the T-Rex Tracker itself has been totally invented by the designer.

I actually quite like this set on the whole for its play value but given how many vehicles and locations from the film do not appear in the range, there were plenty of other options they could have chosen in favour of making up their own vehicle. The Main Street area of the park stands out as one which would have lent itself to a set of around this size, if not even bigger.

75919 Indominus Rex Breakout

The largest set in the wave is another of my favourites and it compares quite well with the movie on the whole. The holding pen is much smaller than it is in the film but that is inevitable to keep the set within the designated price bracket and many of its main features have been captured. For example, the control room and crane both appear in the film, although they do not look exactly like they do in the set.

I think the greatest criticism of this set can be leveled at the minifigure selection, which does not match the scene in which the Indominus Rex escapes at all. Owen is integral to the scene in the movie so his absence from the set is noticeable. The Indominus Rex is not an entirely accurate design as it does not feature very much white at all in the film but it is certainly a decent representation of the hybrid. Very light bluish grey would have been a more suitable colour although this has only appeared in Mindstorms sets in recent years so white is a reasonable substitute.

Once more some of the play features have no basis in the movie. The I-Rex does not escape by breaking through the paddock walls but through the door whereas the set offers a break-away wall to facilitate its escape. This is totally understandable as it increases the playability and does not negatively impact upon the appearance of the model, so it does not bother me at all.

A full Brickset review of the set is available here.

76920 Raptor Escape

This is another set which has been limited in size by the price point but still captures the most important elements of what we see in the film. The vet minifigure is clearly based on the young staff member who falls into the Raptor pen near the start of the film and is almost killed while Barry is a logical character to include as he is a Velociraptor trainer like Owen who plays a rather more modest role than his counterpart.

The Velociraptor enclosure itself is much smaller than the one in the film but details of the set such as the lookout tower nicely represent the walkway which runs around the edge of the entire pen in the film as well as crossing in the centre.

ATVs like the one included here are frequently seen in the film, although some creative licenses have been taken to increase the playability with the addition of a flick-fire missile on one side of the vehicle.

Overall

I think the Jurassic World sets do a reasonable job of capturing the most important scenes from the film, although a couple of them don't really seem to be based on the film at all. It is a great shame that the T-Rex Tracker did not appear in the film as many other vehicles and locations could easily have been the focus of that set. It was obviously made as a vessel for the T-Rex to be included in the range, but would be vastly improved if the set itself bore some resemblance to the film!

Of the thirteen dinosaurs making physical appearances in Jurassic World, only four appear in these sets which is a bit disappointing. Perhaps the most notable absentee is the enormous Mosasaur which ultimately eats the Indominus Rex, so plays an integral role in the film. I am not sure how LEGO could reasonably produce a Mosasaur given its enormous size in the film, but they could probably scale it down and make it around the same length as Smaug from 79018 The Lonely Mountain.

I am hoping we see a few more sets released later in the year although it seems fairly unlikely as excitement surrounding the movie will be over by then. If any more sets were to be produced, the Mosasaur would be an absolute necessity in my opinion.

What do you think of the Jurassic World sets and did you enjoy the movie?

Borgobrick, Veneto, Italy, 11-12 July

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July is a busy time of year for LEGO events. Here's one that's being held in Italy next weekend:

ITLUG is organising a national event, Borgobrick, at Borgoricco, Padova, Veneto, Italy. The exhibition will cover 1000 square meters and will feature different LEGO themes like Star Wars, Technic, Castle and City. It's been put together by about 80 exhibitors and 8 Italian LUGs. There's more information at http://www.borgobrick.it/.

[EU] July offers at shop.LEGO.com

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Classic Pirate Set

July's gift with purchase offer at shop.LEGO.com for Europe started a day late for some reason and is not publicised on the website (that I can see, anyway). But if you're signed in and a VIP member, 5003082 Classic pirate minifigures will be added to your cart when you spend over £50 (or Euro equivalent).

Please use these links to place your order: UK | France | Germany.

Free City space polybag at shop.LEGO.com

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In North America this month's gift with purchase (GWP) is 30315 Space Utility Vehicle which is free with orders over $35 between now and 20th July.

For more information and to place your order please use these links: USA | Canada.

There are no GWPs for Europe or Australasia this month until tomorrow although the summer Bionicle sets are now available.

First look at LEGO Angry Birds

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Last month's announcement that LEGO will be releasing sets in the conjunction with the Angry Birds movie in 2016 was met with disappointment by many. I suspect this teaser image revealed by Kotaku will do little to improve the mood.

As you can see the birds themselves appear to consist entirely of new pieces, as do the pigs which are silhouetted around the edge of the image. The bird appears to have no connection points other than on its feet and hands which is very disappointing, although we will reportedly get a better look at San Diego Comic-Con.

This is therefore the second announcement in as many days regarding sets to be revealed at Comic-Con, so we might expect to see additional sets revealed shortly.

News via Brick Fanatics.

Brickfete Toronto, 4-5 July

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Taking place this weekend, July 4th and 5th 10am-3pm at Delta Toronto East, 2035 Kennedy Rd, Scarborough, ON M1T 3G2.

Amazing, jaw dropping, outstanding LEGO creations built by hobbyists.

These unique and detailed builds include:

  • LEGO Robots & Mindstorms Creations
  • City Layouts with powered Trains
  • Space, Star Wars & Scifi Creations
  • Art, Architecture & Design
  • Planes, Trains & Automobiles
  • Historical Buildings and Castles
  • Pirates, Steampunk and Vikings
  • Mosaics & Sculptures and more...

All made with millions of LEGO bricks by hobbyists from across Canada and parts of USA, Europe and Australia.

What can we do at the event?

  • Enjoy the amazing exhibit at your own pace.
  • You and/or your child can build in the "Look What I MADE" area.
  • Visit our vendors for unique LEGO or LEGO related purchase, including custom pieces, minifigures, old and new sets.
  • Speak with the builders of these wonderful creations, many of them will be onsite to answer your questions.
  • Learn about the fun hobby of collecting, creating, discovering and building with LEGO.

Want to see our event but you dislike crowds? Visit us during our exclusive VIP Access.

There are no strollers allowed in the venue, but the venue is 100% wheelchair accessible.

There is no food, drink or smoking allowed in the venue.

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