Review: 21320 Dinosaur Fossils

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Scientific projects have proven fairly successful across the LEGO Ideas theme, producing some brilliant sets. 21320 Dinosaur Fossils continues that pleasing tradition and includes interesting versions of some ancient creatures. They seem distinctive when compared with earlier models and appear reasonably authentic.

However, these dinosaurs deviate dramatically from the original LEGO Ideas project submitted by Mukkinn. White pieces have supplanted the proposed tan colour scheme and the predominant Technic construction techniques have been replaced too. Nevertheless, I love prehistoric animals so this set seems quite appealing.

Box and Contents

The packaging is made from thick cardboard stock and includes an opening flap, following the precedent established by previous LEGO Ideas sets. Its colour scheme appears relatively dark which feels appropriate for a museum environment, although this may not stand out on shelves. Furthermore, I think the posing of the skeletons could have been improved as the Pteranodon looks slightly awkward.

View image at flickr

Six numbered bags are found inside, along with three instruction manuals which focus upon individual animals. Five stickers are also included which is disappointing as LEGO Ideas sets frequently contain printed pieces. The instruction manuals provide interesting information though, including interviews with Jonathan Brunn and Niels Milan Pedersen who are the fan and set designers respectively.

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Niels discusses having developed new elements since 2008 and 21320 Dinosaur Fossils accordingly represents his return to model design, based upon an exceptional interest in dinosaurs. These models are white rather than tan and that colour change is also explained, apparently resulting from numerous pieces being unavailable in the original colour.

View image at flickr

Minifigures

Each dinosaur is constructed at approximately minifigure scale, hence a paleontologist accompanies these fossils. This character consists wholly of existing pieces but looks great, including an attractive dark brown hair piece which is only available in four earlier sets. The wonderful moustached head is even more scarce, originating in 70632 Quake Mech from The LEGO NINJAGO Movie.

21320 Dinosaur Fossils

The torso looks marvellous too, featuring an attractive shirt with a dark green collar that returns from 60202 People Pack - Outdoor Adventures. The dual-moulded dark tan legs with reddish brown boots are similarly appealing and multiple accessories are provided, including a functional magnifying glass for inspecting fossilised remains.

21320 Dinosaur Fossils

An unusual minifigure specimen, known as LEGO Sapiens, is displayed beside the extinct creatures! This minifigure sports an appropriate reddish brown fedora and is mounted on a black base, thereby corresponding with the other exhibits. Unfortunately, the metallic gold identification plaque is formed using a sticker but this remains an enjoyable inclusion.

21320 Dinosaur Fossils

The Completed Model

Fossils offer invaluable information about prehistoric animals. Some research equipment is therefore available for play, including pearl silver tools, an egg, a cup and a black pen which is represented by lipstick. These accessories are kept in a medium nougat crate with an opening book that features an annotated bone on the page inside.

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Three fossilised skeletons are included and these differ considerably in size. The smallest represents Pteranodon longiceps and looks great on display, capturing the proportions of the original animal with respectable accuracy. This creature was not featured in Jonathan's submission but including an avian model was certainly sensible, given its distinctive appearance when placed beside the others.

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Each model is positioned on a black stand, contrasting with the white bones. I like the metallic plaque attached to the base, although that is formed using a sticker which is unfortunate. In addition, the click hinges which connect the Pteranodon to its base are not absolutely secure so the skeleton sometimes tilts forward, as demonstrated below.

View image at flickr

Curved slopes are employed to reasonable effect across the head. This design does resemble the Pteranodon, although its skull should be significantly narrower and the vital fenestrae are omitted. I think it would be difficult to include these details at such a small scale but the model looks awkward without them in my opinion. The opening beak and prominent cranial crest are both pleasing though.

View image at flickr

Furthermore, the neck includes two joints that provide ample articulation. These small ball joints are only available in light bluish grey and dark bluish grey so stand out within the model. Nevertheless, I think they can be overlooked quite easily because actual dinosaur skeletons generally include metal pins which link the bones together. The ribs are excellent too but the sternum is missing.

View image at flickr

Additional hinges are positioned along both wings, thereby enabling the creation of some impressive swooping displays. They cannot fold into a quadrupedal stance but that may have compromised the whole structure, especially since those joints would appear near the hands. On that basis, I am fairly satisfied with this rendition of Pteranodon longiceps, although it is my least favourite of these models.

View image at flickr

Triceratops horridus is undoubtedly among the most celebrated herbivorous dinosaurs and this model is larger than its avian counterpart, measuring almost 29cm in length. Its stance appears fairly realistic but the knees seem slightly too close together. However, the proportions are accurate when compared with the original animal so this fossil looks magnificent on display.

View image at flickr

While the winged Pteranodon is elevated above its base, the larger dinosaurs are integrated directly with their respective display stands. That arrangement contrasts with the original project which relied upon narrow pillars beneath each creature. I appreciate the omission of those stands but choosing to connect the limbs to the base prevents any articulation in the legs, unfortunately.

View image at flickr

These dinosaurs are named for their three pronounced horns so capturing those accurately was vital. Thankfully, the designer has achieved that, improving upon Jonathan's model where the central nose horn appeared somewhat indistinct. Moreover, the shaping of the beak is fantastic and I like the bony frill, although the spines along its edge seem more similar to Pentaceratops than an adult Triceratops.

View image at flickr

I am similarly impressed with the scapula and coracoid bones situated around the Triceratops' neck. This structure appears relatively realistic but the forelegs should be positioned further forward so they rest below the hinges on this model. The hind legs are appropriately located though and the ribs look marvellous. Ideally, more would have been included but eight ribs seem adequate here.

View image at flickr

Several 1x2 plates with vertical teeth represent vertebrae along the back of this creature, forming an elegant curve that corresponds with authentic examples of the genus. The tail incorporates extensive articulation while the triangular ischium underneath looks brilliant too. This shape has been replicated using 1x3x2 arches and the result is extremely effective, completing an attractive model.

View image at flickr

Numerous popular dinosaurs exist but the Tyrannosaurus rex surpasses any other species and this skeletal rendition looks quite spectacular! It measures 41cm in length when the tail is fully extended and includes fantastic detail, particularly around the head. The body exhibits some immediate issues though as its rounded shape has not been replicated and the ribcage seems very small.

View image at flickr

However, the feet have been ingeniously designed to disguise the Technic components that connect the Tyrannosaurus rex to the base. Their resulting shape seems realistic, suggesting that the dinosaur is standing on its phalanges and therefore matching extant footprints. Another plaque is attached to the base and looks nice, despite being represented by a sticker.

View image at flickr

Considerable attention has evidently been focused upon the skull and it looks magnificent, featuring accurate shaping and three separate fenestrae which are perfectly positioned. The white 1x2 window arches are particularly impressive and the 2x3 rock element which represents the nose looks superb, recreating its shape from actual specimens.

View image at flickr

The mandible is connected using two droid arms and can open, as demonstrated below. I think this function has been integrated nicely and the neck articulation offers some motion, although its arched shape is unusual. The largest cervical vertebra cannot be lowered which restricts the available poses, although that arrangement also provides important support to the head which is comparatively heavy.

View image at flickr

Unfortunately, the body shaping varies quite substantially when compared with many Tyrannosaurus rex fossils. The pentagonal 2x3 tiles certainly replicate the shape of its coracoids and the arms seem reasonably accurate as well, featuring two elongated fingers on each hand. However, there is a large structure at the centre which does not resemble the original dinosaur and the ribcage looks much too small.

View image at flickr

Supporting structures are necessary when constructing LEGO dinosaur skeletons and replicating the hollow ribcage of the original animal would be extremely difficult. Even so, I think this design could be improved, especially if the stanchions from Jonathan's project had been employed as they negate the requirement for bulky structures at the core. Moreover, the gastralia which should be located beneath the ribcage are completely missing.

View image at flickr

The hips appear authentic though and I like the dewclaws on the back of both legs. Furthermore, the tail looks marvellous, featuring intricate texture and multiple joints which permit extensive articulation. Once again, 1x2 plates with vertical teeth create the spinous processes while larger teeth are placed along the underside and represent chevrons. These seem to terminate abruptly but their presence is appreciated.

View image at flickr

Overall

Various dinosaur skeletons have been submitted to LEGO Ideas and 21320 Dinosaur Fossils should therefore prove popular. These models certainly include some wonderful detail and look attractive on display but I think there is some potential for improvement. The skeletal structures appear very bulky when compared with actual skeletons and including further supports would have removed the need for such robust cores.

View image at flickr

Furthermore, focusing exclusively upon the Tyrannosaurus rex, Triceratops and Pteranodon is rather disappointing. The original submission features an excellent selection of dinosaurs but these animals are already available in various sets, albeit not in their fossilised skeletal forms. Something more unusual, such as Stegosaurus or Spinosaurus, would have been preferable. The unique aesthetic of these fossils is appealing though and I think the price of £54.99 or $59.99 seems reasonable.

I hope you have found this review informative. Let us know by liking this article and share your opinion of the set in the comments below.

This set was provided for review by The LEGO Group but the review is an expression of my own opinions.

71 comments on this article

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By in United Kingdom,

They look OK, but I wouldn't spend £55 on them. Given the bulkiness of the skeletons, I think normal brick built dinosaurs look a bit nicer. It is a shame they deviated so much from the submitted idea.

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By in United States,

I do wonder why they keep insisting on using grey joint pieces and aren't willing to recolor them ever...

Otherwise, great looking set! Hope to get my hands on it someday.

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By in United States,

Let it be noted that designer Niels Milan Pedersen has a mustache, typically wears a hat like the one on the skeleton, he created the first skeleton minifigure (and almost lost his job because of the morbidity!), and he has also worked as an archaeologist.

https://jv.dk/artikel/dino-udstilling-ved-byens-fest-niels-har-%C3%B8je-for-dinosaurer-2018-6-2

However, he usually goes barefoot, so the dual-molded legs on the minifigure are a treat for us while not representing him.

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By in United States,

Oh no, stickers in an Ideas set. Sort of a random request, but could you please do a side by side of the standard Lego T-Rex by the skeleton and maybe the other 2 as well, that would be awesome!

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By in United States,

Excellent review, full of clear pictures and lucid analysis. Fine set, but not a day one buy.

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By in United States,

Why the complaints about the gray and tan? These display skeletons are usually held together with a metal armature...having tan and gray pieces mixed in isn't all that out of the ordinary. I'm not saying they made those color choices by design but it works without them having to produce new colors. Otherwise pieces in new colors would mean a price increase and a new set of complaints.

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By in United States,

That T-Rex model will be perfect for my Jurassic Park Visitor Center moc...

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By in United States,

I'm actually loving this set.

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By in Russian Federation,

White's not the best color to represent fossils / casts.

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By in United States,

Is the minifigure based on the Rebuild the World guy?

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By in Belgium,

Hahaha, the co-designer of the set being included as a skeleton minifig which he himself also laid the base of... cracks me up. :D

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By in United States,

@mafon2 It is in order to avoid a bunch of recolors and whining about prices.

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By in United States,

@Robot99: Lego designer Mark Stafford has explained that those Mixel joints are some of the most precise parts Lego makes and as such even the subtle material differences between different colors of parts could affect their quality. It may be possible that other colors could be made to work, but it would require the parts to be re-tested and possibly even re-engineered as if they were entirely new molds. Hence why the only color variations we've gotten in them have been a few that come in both light AND dark grey instead of just one or the other—those are the only colors that have been proven to consistently meet quality standards for the ball cups.

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By in United States,

While the bulky torsos are a little disappointing, I suspect part of that change has to do with Legos standard on stability. I don't know much about the standards, but I know their approved models they release have to adhere to certain rules they've set. So perhaps all of the supports wouldn't work in that regard. I figure that's a big reason a lot of Ideas submissions look quite different when Lego releases them as well. Ideas sets don't have any of those limitations.

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By in United States,

It’s a good set, but it had the potential to be a whole lot better

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By in United Kingdom,

If this wasn't an Ideas set, it would be such a breath of fresh air even in its presented form. It's just that the original Ideas submission whetted the appetite for so much more.
It's nice, looks good, I like it. My son will love it.
I don't think I can justify it for myself though. The Pteranodon is not as appealing (to me) as the Stegosaurus or the Brachiosaurus would have been. Whatever the decision making process behind this change was, I think they missed an opportunity for something really special. Shame.

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By in Canada,

I was extremely excited for this set when it was announced, but was worried yesterday when we saw the teaser. I really want to support Mukkinn but Lego essentially created an entirely new set; I hope Mukkinn will provide instructions for his original submission so we can build the original model(s).

I don't think I'm going to be buying this set now unfortunately. At least Lego produced a Triceratops; I'm kind of surprised they didn't go with a Raptor to correspond with the popular T-Rex.

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By in United States,

I don't think I will be buying this. It looks okay, but it's not all that exciting.

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By in Canada,

I like this set a lot, but it does deviate a little bit too much from the original submission. I prefer the white over the tan but the gray pieces really stand out even if it's unavoidable since they can't be made in new colors. I'll still be buying it, though. I'd love to see the skeletons next to the molded animals from the Dino and Jurassic sets!

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By in United Kingdom,

Both original and Ideas set look great, will probably get one, but this has to be the least original design left in the finished product yet. Fair play if the designer is still getting his share. Its almost as if Lego were planning to make one and he was the excuse. But if there was a copyright case you could argue they are not a copy at all.

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By in United Kingdom,

Great review, it is a shame about the stickers.
I like the set though, and remember the white pieces can be sun bleached-yellow/tan over-time :)

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By in Austria,

Pour all the Lego pieces into a sand box, and ask the kids to dig it out and put them together... :)

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By in United States,

I sympathize with those hoping for something closer to the original submission--these are pretty much your standard top three dinos and one of the neat things about the original submission was that it was an atypical mix. Still, this being Lego, I can't feel too bad telling those people to go design their own.

This has the potential to become a universal Dinosaur kit--I wonder how long before we start seeing MOC alternate models using only the pieces from this set to build a dozen other dinos?

Anyway, it looks like a nice set--not my thing, but I do have a nephew who would be totally into this. Maybe still a bit young, but I assume the dinosaur phase will stick around another couple years. Priced well, too.

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By in United States,

I liked the original submission better, but this would be interesting to display along with 3 copies of 31058.

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By in United States,

@Lyichir Ah, I see... Thanks for the explanation!

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By in United States,

These aren't skeletons anymore. Not to be too simplistic, but, they ruined this. Hoping for instructions to MOC the originals (our favorites didn't make the cut - Stegosaurus, Brachiosaurus and Dilophosaurus.

An expansion pack would be cool, but why bother if its in white and not skeletal.

Too bad!

On to the next set (ISS!!!)...

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By in United States,

I loved the original submission but there are several things I do not like about this:

-3 Dinosaurs are missing
-White doesn't match
-All the dinosaurs have been made before

I still might get it anyway.

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By in Poland,

@Lyichir
Yet many knockoffs have them recolored. I have one set with orange ones and they still great after 3 years of play,

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By in United States,

@lordofdragonss "Knockoffs have all sorts of colors" isn't exactly a good argument for Lego quality control.

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By in United Kingdom,

Interesting! From the original set of dinosaurs, they took out the non-dinosaur -the plesiosaur- but added in another non-dinosaur -the pterosaur, meaning the name of the set is ever-so-slightly inaccurate...

I guess 'Dusty Crusty Cretaceous Creatures' didn't have the same ring to it!

Either way, Brickset is, once again, guilty of making me spend money... ;-)

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By in United States,

Hate that use of the plate with teeth on the spine—looks like anachronous bony crenelations, not vertebrae. The original wasn't perfect, but closer to how it needs to look.

Understand them scaling and price-pointing as they did, but will miss the plesiosaur and stegosaur.

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By in Austria,

The dinosaurs look really good, however I prefer spending the same amount of money on the licensed Flintstones set instead. I look forward and hope the Pirate bay set will be as excellent as this!

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By in United Kingdom,

It's very disappointing to see stickers in this set, particularly given they're simply nameplate pieces. What next, will architecture sets start getting stickers instead of a printed nameplate?

That said I do think the final set design is quite pleasing, but as others have said it does rather beg the question how far can LEGO deviate from the submitted idea before it stops being an ideas set? I've no problem with the recolour but the design deviation is just too much.

Perhaps there ought to be an Ideas submission category which is just "describe your set idea in 25 words or fewer". Yes, I'm being slightly sarcastic, but "Skeleton-ish dinosaur figures on museum style plinths" feels like the only connection between submission and the final product.

If I were the fan designer, I think I might feel a little disappointed with the outcome.

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By in United States,

I will probably be getting this one. Good PPP!

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By in Hungary,

I also liked the original much better, color, scale, look, variety, etc but l see this selling better for kids and is still a nice set to display.

Will Lego approve the typewriter and redesign it into a C64? ;)

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By in United States,

It is also possible that LEGO picked these three creatures to correspond with those found in 31058 Mighty Dinosaurs (which, to be fair, are some of the more popular ones, anyway).

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By in United States,

I just find it humorous they used what looks to be the old 2x4 vehicle mudguard (3788?) to form the upper part of the t-rex eye sockets.

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By in United States,

Great review! I love the level of detail and effort put towards using the correct terminology for the different skeletal structures depicted here.

It's great to learn that Niels Milan Pedersen was given the privilege and responsibility of turning this proposal into a finished product. It was a great fit for him, since one of his major hobbies is sculpting dinosaur fossil replicas! As such, he absolutely has the expertise and the eye for detail to be trusted with representing that type of subject matter in LEGO.

I was definitely amused during the LEGO Inside Tour when I brought up a friend's concerns about the inaccuracies of the Jurassic World dino molds he sculpted, and he not only validated those concerns, but whipped a stunningly accurate, life-size Dilophosaurus skull replica out of his bag and began pointing out all the ways it differed from its Hollywood movie portrayal. You can see some examples of his non-LEGO creations here: http://www.semesser.dk/280018170

Doing a bit of hasty Internet browsing about some of the stuff brought up as inaccurate or confusing in the review, it turns out the spikes around the Triceratops' frill are called "eoccipitals" and are found mostly on younger specimens. As a Triceratops aged, its eoccipitals would become diminished in length and eventually fuse with the rest of the skull. Wikipedia has a pretty nice image showing this development process: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Triceratops_ontogeny.jpg

I'm honestly bewildered by how many comments I've seen about the original project being better… it's true that some of the structural reinforcements added here (perhaps by necessity) somewhat detract from the skeletal appearance of the legs and the emptiness of the ribcages, but in a lot of other ways this has greatly improved on the original project.

Most notably, the redesigned skulls are way more accurate than the blocky and simplistic ones from the original submission, which felt severely out of place among the more detailed bone structure apparent in the legs and torsos. This model also diminishes the gaps in the Triceratops and T. Rex vertebrae caused by the submission's reliance on larger Technic universal joints or angle connectors at each change in angle.

The choice to use white instead of tan was probably largely driven by part availability, since I can spot several white parts here that don't exist in Tan. What's more, the choice of Tan as the main color in the original submission likewise seemed heavily influenced by what parts exist in tan, including long-retired and hardly accurate-looking ones like the giant UFO quarter dish used for the Triceratops' frill.

Regardless, I don't see why people are treating it like an accuracy-driven concern. Real life fossils can be any number of colors, whether it's brown, black, grey, or nearly white — to say nothing of museum replicas which might try to show colors more accurate to the original bones, rather than the colors they take on after becoming fossilized.

At a certain point, expecting superficial details like this to be left entirely unchanged from the original proposal amounts to stubbornly refusing improvements that would bring the submission more in line with the philosophy "only the best is good enough".

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By in United States,

Making the three dinosaurs that are currently available in..non-skeleton form seems smart for playability options (who wouldn't want to have a prehistoric fight that was later discovered by archaeologists?). And if these can be played with apart from their bases, all the better for play--massive skeleton armies, also, hence the white color. If so, smart moves, Lego.

Go figure, I've almost convinced myself to buy one!

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By in United States,

I definitely have my gripes with the accuracy of certain details of the model, but it doesn't make enough of a difference for me to say I wouldn't buy it if I could budget it. I would try some of my personal fixes, but it is clear this has been designed by someone with an interest in the subject. I also love the clever use of the carriage harness piece to put the ribs at an angle, although on Tyrannosaurus it does put them at the wrong angle.

Also calling Pteranodon an "avian" model feels weird, given Triceratops and especially Tyrannosaurus are much closer to birds than Pteranodon.

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By in United States,

I would like to see that T. Rex next to the one from the lambasted recent Jurassic Park set.

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By in United States,

This set release has apparently triggered plenty of armchair-Paleontologists to weigh in on what they feel is wrong about it. Successful Ideas submissions will always suffer some being compared to the original design, but this looks like a very successful interpretation and the designer clearly made it their own passion project. Very cool the attention to detail.

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By in United States,

The original is way better.

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By in United States,

Grimlock, Slag, and Swoop, huh?

Snarl and Sludge are disappointed.

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By in Germany,

I very much like them. Good job to all.

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By in Switzerland,

Perfect minifig head and hair combo for a Magnum P.I. moc...

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By in Australia,

I wanted to like it, and it's not a bad set, as it stands ... but I muchly preferred the original Ideas submission. Plus, I'm kinda biased because the Stegosaurus is my dinosaur avatar (it's a Power Rangers thing) and my favourite dinosaur, and Lego continues to pass on the ol' Steg.

Plus, the Ideas sets are coming thick and fast, these days, and there's a lot more competition (I'm still trying to save up so I can afford the storybook, or Steamboat Mickey, or the Friends set) for the contents of my wallet.

And I gotta be honest, stickers have really become a deciding factor.

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By in United Kingdom,

@Aanchir - You are correct regarding the epoccipitals around Triceratops' frill but the genus is more immediately recognisable without the spikes. I imagine the designer of this set chose to include them as creating an attractive smooth edge would have been extremely difficult at this scale. The tooth plates assist in disguising that shape.

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By in United States,

Awesome review, thanks!
By the way @CapnRex101, did you already have all the knowledge and technical terms for all the different bones you listed, or did you have to look them up? I am impressed either way. :-)

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By in United States,

These models are pleasing, and I love the "LEGO Sapiens" sign too. Unfortunately, the inclusion of stickers over printed parts is a set-killer for me, and I hope that this isn't a sign of IDEAS moving to stickers and away from printed elements.

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By in United States,

The Ross minifig from the Friends Central Perk set will love these. Little known fact: it was decided to make the character of Ross a paleontologist because there is a professor of paleontology who shares tje actor's name: Dabid Schwimmer.

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By in United States,

I still can’t get over how averse people are to stickers. Yeah they’re not ideal, but to not get an otherwise good set simply because of them seems so crazy to me.

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By in United States,

Frankly, the five small stickers don't bother me much at all. I would prefer having the bones in tan, but I can understand the final product having them white in order to avoid having to recolor necessary parts. As for the missing bits and pieces, these might be intended as near-complete actual specimens rather than idealized "perfect" skeletons. What does surprise me is that they are all larger than their JW/JP fleshy equivalents--perhaps they're a closer match in size to the brick-built dinos in 31058? At any rate, I like the set and look forward to having fun trying to MOC some of the other models in the original proposal. Thank you for a particularly excellent review, CapnRex!!

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By in Australia,

Thanks for the review. It's a pretty cool set.

I want to ask: when is it time to stop using the terms "bluish grey" and "reddish brown"? It takes me out of the writing every time, because we could really just use grey and brown... it's been 15 years since these new colours were introduced. Can we revert to "grey" and "brown" again?

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By in Germany,

First off, great review. I love the in-depth look, the awesome photography, the correct use of terminology and meticulous attention to detail. Triple thumbs up for the effort!

That being said, I really don't like this set. It doesn't bother me too much per se that they changed the colour, but they should have changed it to something realistic. From my observation most dino skeletons (or at least their castings) in museums appear to be either tan or dark brown. I can't remember having seen a white one anywhere.
And @Lyichir : while I don't doubt what you said, it's just a BS excuse argument on the part of TLG for cheaping out on providing other colours. As others have said, there are plenty of examples where other manufacturers of bricks have provided these parts in different colurs and there are no adverse effects noticeable. Perhaps TLG should seek expertise from those other manufacturers. Or no, that would be admitting that they themselves are not the best at everything brick. (Hint: other manufacturers have better Technic power and RC components as well!)

Then there's the sturdy builds. Sure TLG has a set of standards, but couldn't they have different variations on that? Say higher standards for themes like City, Friends, Ninjago, Star Wars, etc., generally where extensive play is to be expected, while "lower" standards for themes like Ideas or Archictecture, (or Star Wars UCS sets), where the display aspect is the main driving force.

Finally, stickers. In an Ideas set.
Sure, there have been a few here and there, but generally, one of the nicest aspects of Ideas sets was that stickers in general were mostly absent. It's just another touch of cheaping out or lowering the previously set standards, like with so many other things LEGO in recent years. A very disappointing trend imho.
@monkyby87: if the set was awesome, perhaps I wouldn't have minded the stickers so much. But like I said, obe of the hallmarks of Ideas sets was the explicit lack of stickers (for the most part). Changing this is just showing how little TLG care nowadays.

All in all, I see no reason to buy this set.
Which is fine, I am told, as not every set is intended for everyone. And by they way, if I don't like it I am free to design my own.

But is that what Ideas is about? Changing original submissions so much that they become unrecognisable?
I see nothing in this set that is carried over from the submission. Sure, it's dino skeletons, but that's about it.
The display stands are completely different.
The colour scheme is completely different.
The main building techniques and style are completely different.
And most importantly of all, the selection of dinos is very different.

Honestly, after the experience with the Treehouse and this set (as well as to a lesser extent the Flintstones set) I am not as enthusiastic anymore about the upcoming Pirate Bay or any other Ideas set.

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By in Canada,

Thank you for the detailed review! I like the set and understand that changes have had to be made for lots of different reasons. I'm okay with that because I know, after reading your review, that I can enjoy this set. I really appreciate that it is under $100, too, so I'm looking foward to ordering this one when the Christmas GWP is available.

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By in United Kingdom,

I was not at all thrilled by the original submission but after learning who was the co-designer of the set I'm really tempted to buy one.

I see many familiar names in the comments yet they seem baffled by the same facts over and over and over again - it is equally shocking and not funny.

TLG will not do a recolour of a part for an Ideas set.
Ideas sets still have to match the high standards of TLG and no they won't risk any lawsuits due to releasing potentially unsafe or subpar toys for the sake of "realism".
Every set comes with a lot of compromise, I'd imagine if all dinos would come with a display stand and true to the original resulting in a £150 set everyone would be "I'm not paying £££ for a lot of tan pieces" / "I only like 4 out of 7" etc.

and on this rare occassion I do agree with @AustinPowers - feel free to skip it / bricklink the original / get the printed pieces made.

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By in United States,

Not a day one but certainly a buy for me.

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By in Canada,

I figured out what bothers me about Lego's versions vs the original. When you look at actual skeleton models of dinosaurs vs the Lego representation the skeletal structure is too filled out (not really skeletal). You could argue that the original model the skeletons are a little sparse; however they look more realistic representation of skeletal versions of dinosaur. Not all fossils are 100% complete.

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By in United Kingdom,

@piannyplayer - Thank you. I recognised many of the bones mentioned but sometimes needed to check their names. There were others I was completely unfamiliar with though.

@csiramokus - LEGO does produce pieces in new colours for Ideas sets. However, these dinosaurs would have required almost fifty recolours which is not realistic.

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By in United States,

My opinions are a bit divided on this one to be honest. I actually mostly love how the skeletons and everything came out (I think they look pretty good), but I must admit that the T-Rex's body doesn't look amazing in my opinion. Also the fact that stickers are in this set is a bummer. On the flip side though, the price is great and I think they would look awesome on display! I most likely won't be picking this one up though (mostly because my wishlist just grew a lot bigger now that the Episode 9 sets are out.)
Great review as always @CapnRex101

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By in United States,

@CapnRex101 - I would've probably assumed that Niels' choice to include the eoccipitals was more about simply making the model as detailed and visually interesting as possible. After all, LEGO is hardly lacking for curve elements at this point in time. And anyhow, if the builder prefers to remove the eoccipitals, that change alone leaves the frill with a pretty smooth curve without any extra modding!

@Albus: Depends on what kind of terminology you're going for!

If a reviewer wants to use BrickLink terms, then "Light Bluish Gray", "Dark Bluish Gray", and "Reddish Brown" are correct, and necessary if you want to ensure people looking up the parts/colors later on won't get confused.

Similarly, if using official LEGO terminology, "Medium Stone Grey", "Dark Stone Grey", and "Reddish Brown" are the colors the parts will be listed under if people choose to look them up later (note the difference in spelling: The LEGO Group uses the British English standard spelling g-r-e-y, while BrickLink uses the American English standard spelling g-r-a-y).

That said, a lot of reviewers don't bother with official LEGO terminology, especially since a lot of its color names are lengthier and less intuitive than names that fans or the BrickLink naming system use — for example, "Bright Red" instead of "Red", "Bright Blue" instead of "Blue", "Dark Green" instead of "Green", and "Transparent Fluorescent Reddish Orange" instead of "Trans-Neon Orange".

And of course, there's no rule that reviewers need to stick to any established naming system if they want to just refer to colors in more vernacular terms like "grey/gray" or "brown". Even then, however, there's some merit to being more specific about browns since there are several different shades of brown currently in use (Dark Brown, Reddish Brown, Dark Orange, and Medium Nougat/Medium Dark Flesh).

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By in United States,

Who else expected the skeleton to say Dr. Jones?

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By in United Kingdom,

@Albus - I agree that longer colour names can sometimes affect the fluency of writing but think using them is important. We wish to maintain consistency within Brickset articles and terms such as 'light bluish grey' provide absolutely clarity.

Further to @Aanchir 's comment above, my preference would generally be to use LEGO's official terminology. However, that becomes difficult where colours are concerned as some official colour names are not accurately descriptive. Tan, for instance, is famously known as 'Brick Yellow' within LEGO which has the potential to cause confusion. BrickLink colours, by comparison, are clearer in my opinion.

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By in Australia,

Thanks for the responses @CapnRex101 and @Aanchir. I see how Bricklink using those terms would complicate it for you guys. I also agree Lego's official names are not always satisfactory.

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By in Australia,

Great Review, but I do love the T-Rex and am included it.

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By in United Kingdom,

@CapnRex101 - I stand corrected but you got what I meant, thanks

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By in United States,

I was on the fence about this set, but it became a hard pass once I realized the legs attach to the base, not the feet.

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By in United States,

Do I think these represent what a live skeleton would look like... maybe? I don't have a freshly dead dino to flense, and I"m not sure I'd want to disassemble a live T-Rex. But I do think this nicely recreates museum displays. If I have the fun money when this releases, I'll get it. And I'll probably put in a few tan pieces as the "real bones" and leave the white as "extrapolation".

The stickers are a solid "whatever"- they are the most effective way of doing this. Printing means you have a lot of special parts, which Ideas tries to avoid. The only thing sillier than printing rather than stickers would be special runs of special colors. And if people really, really, really need to have tan bones, well, it is white ABS. Vinyl dye should work pretty well.

Since I also use my Legos as props during RPGs, the next necromancer is going to be bringing out the big stuff.

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