Review: 31058 Mighty Dinosaurs

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View image at flickr

LEGO has been gifting us with one or two Creator animal sets a year since the inception of the theme in 2003. For me, they are one of the highlights of the company's annual output and epitomise all that a good LEGO set should be.

They are free of specialised parts and licenses, and the price hike that goes hand-in-hand with them, whist being great looking models that are full of useful elements and creative building techniques.

We've not had a Creator animal set with a dinosaur as the main model since 2012 (6914 Prehistoric Hunters) so given the popularity of the beasts one is long overdue.


The box

This year's Creator sets have a new box design with a yellow border round the edge of the front and a thin orange border around the image. As a result it looks very attractive. The 3-in-1 nature of the set is also communicated with more clarity than on last year's boxes.


T-Rex

Let's start with the 'A' model: the T-Rex. It's a fearsome looking beast, 25cm from head-to-tail, with a ferocious-looking set of teeth in its jaws.

The articulation in its hips and ankles allow it to be positioned in a variety of poses. I think the leg's design, with a fixed 90-degree knee, looks great, but it does hinder poseability somewhat. They certainly look more convincing that those on the T-Rex in 6914 Prehistoric Hunters.

View image at flickr

The 2-clawed hands and arms are perhaps the weakest part of the design but even so they are a vast improvement on previous attempts at this scale.

View image at flickr

Previous T-Rexes haven't had a joint in their neck, so one ie welcome here to enable more movement if the head.

The green/dark green with tan underside colour scheme looks great although I think I would have preferred the lower jaw to be green rather than tan.

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

The 6172459 (Plate 2X4X1 1/3 W. Side Bow, design: 47755, colour: Earth Green, new in this colour) which is usually used in vehicles, looks great representing the beast's eye sockets.

The set comes with four of the new 6175968 (Brick 1X1, W/ 2 Knobs, Corner, design: 26604, colour: Brick Yellow), used in the head.

View image at flickr

Open wide! -- the tooth-filled jaw is hinged using clips and a 3l bar.

View image at flickr

This joint technique, used for the ankles, utilising 4547958 (2X1 St.Ø4.9 Hole W. Half Beam, design: 85943) and 4286267 (Fric. Element, Ball Ø 10.2, design: 53585) , is employed in all three models and one I've not seen before.View image at flickr

View image at flickr


Triceratops

Take the T-Rex apart to build the second-largest model, a Triceratops.

The lumbering bulk and proportions of the herbivore have been captured well.View image at flickr

It's horns and frill look great although the tan plate on the back is not ideal.View image at flickr

Some articulation of its legs is possible although the front ones can't be moved backwards very far so it can't be positioned in a typical walking pose.View image at flickr

View image at flickr


Pterosaur

Finally, we have a Pterosaur. The designer has captured the look of the thing perfectly and It's as good as the A model in that regard.

The wings have three joints each which allow for a wide range of movement. And, impressively for such a small model, its legs are jointed too allowing the reptile to stand on them.View image at flickr

However, it can't balance on them: the tips of the wings need to be in contact with it to stop it toppling.View image at flickr

View image at flickr


Verdict

This is an outstanding Creator set. All three models are superb and worthy of being 'A' models in their own right. The last Creator dinosaur set of this size, 6914 Prehistoric Hunters, despite being just 4 years old, looks very crude in comparison.

I can't really fault it at all, other than repeating what I have to say in every review of a set that uses mini ball-joints: it's about time they were made in colours other than grey!

The asking price of £12.99 / $14.99 buys you 174 useful and versatile pieces and a whole load of fun to boot. It's worth buying more than one so you can leave the individual models built: I had to dismantle them for this review but had I been able to buy more copies locally to avoid that I would have done: it really is that good.


Wait... there's more!

While looking up part numbers at the back of the instructions I noticed that a fourth model is shown, a Brachiosaurus or similar, that can be built using instructions available at LEGO Customer Services.

View image at flickr

It looks to be as good as the others. Looks like I'll need to buy three more of this set, then...

47 comments on this article

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By in United States,

Holy cow, compared to the previous set this one is amazing.

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By in United Kingdom,

I quite like the red set, although it is clear the introduction of Mixels (bringing joints and teeth in particular) really seems to have improved the brick build dinos.

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By in United States,

LOVE the 4th set "easter egg". 31031 Rainforest Animals had a 4th as well (peacock). Awesome review and a 4x purchase for certain!

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By in United States,

This is a pretty nice set, with streamlined enough shaping that it doesn't look too robotic, although I do wonder how long it might be before we start to see more realistic dinosaurs in sets. Science continues to clear up mysteries about what prehistoric life was like, but dinosaurs in pop culture and in LEGO sets have sort of stagnated at a Jurassic Park level of realism, without taking more recent discoveries into account. I understand why this is, but it's a bit unfortunate nonetheless.

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By in Puerto Rico,

They look fantastic indeed.

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By in Venezuela,

this is a MUST HAVE set!!!!

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By in Ireland,

Hi Huw,

Excellent review, but the leg on the 4th photo (where the t-rex is heading left) is assembled wrong - upside down, is that na error in instruction book or just you being tired;P
Thanks again for this great website
Regards
Michal

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By in United Kingdom,

I think I'll have to give up on doing reviews... I aways seem to get something wrong!

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By in United States,

This has to be the first Creator set I've seen where all 3 (4) models look equally good.

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By in United States,

Please don't give up on doing set reviews Huw! I look forward to reading them, and although don't always comment I do always appreciate them. Please keep up the good work, mistakes included (we all make them - I just realized while looking at pictures of Assembly Square that I missed placing a part, and the one I had left wasn't an extra piece after all :)

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By in New Zealand,

I'd be interested to know how this T-Rex compares to the one from 'Roaring Power' #31024, which I thought was very good and has some design similarities.

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By in United States,

My fiancee loves dinos so I had to pick this one up. We'll build all the models, but I wonder which one she'll want to keep for display. Maybe I'll need to grab a few more as well!

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By in United Kingdom,

Ok - well there's a set that has come from absolute left field on to my radar and must have list!! Looks fantastic and a great representation of everything lego can and should be - creativity, imagination and loads of rebuilding opportunities using fairly common pieces! Great set (and review as always)!

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By in Poland,

I agree that all 4 models look great- I plan to buy 2 of those, put two mixel eyes and MOC a Green dragon to match the red one!

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By in United Kingdom,

I can't believe I made such a glaring error! Obviously I was in too much of a hurry.

Luckily I built that model last so will correct and rephotograph later; I'm out at the moment.

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By in United Kingdom,

I always enjoy your reviews, Huw. :)

This looks like a really great set; thank goodness we're not seeing price hikes on these animal sets. I especially like the ribcage fragment that provides pieces for the triceratops horns, too.

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By in United Kingdom,

I normally wouldn't buy animal sets, but this one looks like a must-have

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By in United States,

Hmmm... Isn't there usually a big green T-Rex in the Batcave? I smell synergy.

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By in United Kingdom,

I very nearly bought this on my last store visit, but bought the robot instead, vowing that this green monster will be mine. Seeing the two new part colours and add it to my obsession with green and I'll buy more than 1 of these, for sure. If I see it on sale in the future, I'll buy even more :-)

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By in United States,

@Punchbugglyblues - Next up, the giant LEGO penny.

They did a fantastic job with this set. I'm sure kids will love it. I might get one for myself, too. Who wouldn't want their own fearsome LEGO T-rex?

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By in United Kingdom,

Leg corrected, photos replaced :)

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By in United Kingdom,

£12.99? SOLD!

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By in United States,

I will buy two, so T-rex can battle Tri.

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By in United States,

Interesting model! I've always been fond of Lego Dinosaurs since 4507 Prehistoric Creatures. I haven't actually bought a Creator set since maybe 2006, but I've always liked how they look. It's neat to see how new pieces have influenced what can be done with the models. For $15, this seems like a good set to maybe pick up on a rainy day and see how much fun the build is.

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By in United States,

Wow, this review makes me think twice about overlooking the Creator sets! Great review. Hope to see more in the future! :)

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By in United States,

I don't often go for Creator sets (Vacation getaways was an exception) and I might have to get this! I love the pterosaur especially.

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By in Belgium,

I'll buy one and make the others in different colors. And than I have 4 Dinobots.

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By in Poland,

I will buy one for sure but still, I was hoping for something larger like http://brickset.com/sets/4998-1/Stegosaurus - it's been ages since they last released an animal set with more than 300 pcs. Since 2014 they only get smaller and smaller. At least including price, thankfully.

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By in Netherlands,

It's a bit similar to 31032 Red Creatures (sans wings), isn't it? But it still does a great job of conveying a dinosaur.

As for comparing it to the 6914 Prehistoric Hunters set? That set was trash. Even without the mini ball joints a much better dino could have been made. But still, in that regard this set shows how the mini balljoints can be of use.

I think a better comparison can be made with lego's first fully brick-built dinosaur; 4507 Prehistoric Creatures. It's on a different scale, but so are the clicky ball joints in it. And even at that scale, lego got the legs wrong. Those legs were built like a humanoid, just with weird ankles and feet, which were somewhat fragile.

Thus, the design of this set deserves a lot of praise indeed! It's lego's best solution for building a dinosaur yet!

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By in United Kingdom,

Huw, a similar joint technique was used for the hip joint in #76031 Hulk Buster Smash.

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By in Germany,

Where can one get the fourth model instructions for the 31031? I looked on the instructions page on Lego.com and it did not show up.

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By in United Kingdom,

I'm glad Binnekamp mentioned 31032, as this looks essentially like the replacement. I want this set so much, as 31032 has to be one of my favourite sets in my collection, if not my favourite. I built the A model and have never, ever taken it apart. I love it that much.

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By in United States,

Thanks for mentioning the 4th build! I wish I would have known about the 4th build for the Rainforest Animals 31031. I'm a birdwatcher--a peacock would have been a neat build. I looked for it on Lego last night, but it isn't there. Are those instructions anywhere to be found now?

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By in United States,

I only like to buy one of each of the dinosaur Creator sets. That way not every dinosaur is not the same color. For this one I will build the Pterosaur as it is the best I have seen.

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By in United Kingdom,

I would like to know how you get the 'secret' instructions for the rainforest animals too.

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By in United Kingdom,

And do all creator sets have a secret 4th model?

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By in United States,

@bookmum - I don't think so; I'm working on the review for 31062 at the moment and I combed the instruction books for a fourth model of that - no luck. The back of one of the booklets does advertise the four builds for this set, though.

Nice review, Huw! I'm definitely getting this set.

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By in Belgium,
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By in United States,

I cannot believe it the designers gave us a set that has beautiful alternate models and with the 4th we'll need to buy 4 sets and at the price point of $14.99 it makes it affordable. Good ploy LEGO!

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By in United Kingdom,

^^ Good find, thank you.

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By in United Kingdom,

my son loves his ,even better now there is a 4th model to build. all great models when built too

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By in United Kingdom,

@Huw Great review as always. I've seen the joint technique for the ankle used in 31034 Future Flyer for the robot's knees, where it allows a small amount of sideways rotation.

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By in Germany,

Nice review - thank You, Huw! You should not give up doing them.
And You could utilize the building errors: You could make a running gag out of it. Or even a game at times - the first one who finds the mistake gets a small price... :D

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By in United States,

Got behind reading, disappointed that I missed seeing the 5th model, Huw's modified T-Rex. Huw, any chance you might post your version back up?

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By in Russian Federation,

The middle section of triceratops looks weak, head and tail are ok.

Having the 4th additional model is very sweet. The torso seems identical to triceratops, but suits sauropod much more.

The main model's arms are very awkward, I'm sure the designer could have come out with something better.

Overall, I like it xD.

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