When the 2019 Jurassic World Legend of Isla Nublar sets were revealed, there was one set that immediately stood out to me – 75938 T.rex vs Dino-Mech Battle.
A set featuring a Tyrannosaurus Rex going up against a robo-dinosaur inspired by Mechagodzilla? Heck yeah, sign me right up!
I was pretty delighted to be offered the opportunity to review the T.rex vs Dino-Mech Battle set by LEGO, and wasted no time diving right into this set that had to be designed by 8-year old me.
It’s the biggest and most expensive set of the theme, so read on to find out if it’s worth its tyrannical pricetag.
Special thanks to LEGO for sending this set for review.
Name: T.rex vs Dino Mech Battle
Set Number: 75938
Price: AU$129.99 | US$89.99 | £79.99 – Buy from LEGO.com [AU] [US] [UK] [Amazon] [Amazon Australia]
Exclusive to: NA
Theme: Jurassic World Isla Nublar
Release Date: 1 July 2019 [AUS] | 1 August 2019 [US]
The premise of this set is nothing short of awesome, pitting a Tyrannosaurus Rex against a Dino-Mech in battle. So let’s start with the good bits.
Fans of LEGO Dinosaurs will be delighted with the T-rex included in the set, which comes in a brand new 2019 colourway.
It’s great for T-Rex Collectors, making it the 6th T-rex variant so far (inclusive of the ultra-rare Prize version). If you love collecting T-rexes, this set will be right up your alley.
Here’s a better look at the pattern and colour – it’s built on a tan-coloured base, with a grey layer, followed by dark brown stripes all across its back and hind legs.
Here’s a comparison of the other T-rexes in my collection which is near-complete. I believe I’m only missing the one from the Juniors set and of course, the ultra-rare version.
My favourite? I’d say this is a top 3-colourway for me, just behind the sand-coloured one, and the original green one.
I’m a big fan of LEGO dinosaurs, and by extension, Tyrannosaurus Rexes, so every time a new colour variant comes out, I get pretty excited.
While it isn’t as ground-breaking as a brand new dinosaur species, new colours are almost always great and one is a big draw for me.
Here’s the dino-mech, a 100% brick-built lime-green monstrosity.
Firstly, building this robo-dinosaur was a blast thanks to it not relying on any specialty parts.
The concept of this dino-mech was probably birthed in a fever-dream of an 8-year old, fuelled by a twin obsession of dinosaurs and giant robots.
It’s based on the T-rex, thanks to its oversized head and jaws, tiny arms and massive hind-legs, making it the perfect rival to the organic T-rex included in the set.
The gaudy lime-green colour scheme is punctuated by dark red elements and a generous helping of grey and chrome-silver parts that give it its trademark robot-look.
One of the most impressive parts of the build is actually the head, and I have to comment the designers for capturing the curves of the eyelids, serrated teeth and even a grey ribbed pipe that’s attached to its jaw.
As a concept, the design is amazingly executed, with not a lot of visible studs to add to its visual appeal.
The exposed mechanical parts, be it its engine mounted on its back, or peeks of chrome-silver vents on its legs are simply inspired.
The dino-mech’s feet are probably its ugliest feature – they’re bright yellow and have 3 claws, making it look like a cartoon bird’s feet. There’s some nice stickered details to emulate mud on its feet, but the way the stickers aren’t applied to the actual claws/toes, just make it look incomplete.
That the yellow is a really nice nod to the base of the Jurassic Park Ford Explorer, which is what the Dino-Mech’s colour scheme is based of.
Here’s a look at the Dino-Mech’s tiny arms, which brilliantly uses serrated ice picks as its claws. I think it’s funny that despite being a human-designed robot, they decided to keep the T-rex’s undersized arms as a feature.
You know what I would’ve really liked? Arms that fire missiles from them.
Despite all the pluses, one of the things I really dislike about the Dino-Mech is how fiddly it is. There are plates and parts that fall out constantly as you try and pose the mech, most notable on the tail section when you try to adjust it beyond a particular angle.
The poseability of the Dino-mech also leaves much to be desired. Setting it in different poses is a lot more frustrating than a regular mech, and the structural integrity isn’t its strongest point.
The set comes with 4 minifigures – Owen Grady, Claire Dearing, Vic Hoskins and Danny Nedermeyer. You also get 4 baby velociraptors which are a lovely surprise!
Here are the Claire Dearing and Owen Grady minifigures. The entirety of this theme is a prequel to the Jurassic World movies, so it’s great to have “younger” versions of both Owen and Claire.
I really like Claire’s more rugged outfit, with a striped green top, and she comes equipped with a tranquiliser gun as well.
Owen is his dirty, scruffy self as usual, complete with a dodgy looking moustache.
Here’s a look at their back printing, as well as alternative faces. Owen’s annoyed, frowny face is marvelous. Do note that Owen is identical to the one in Triceratops Rampage.
The other two minfigures are Vic Hoskins and Danny Nedermeyer. You might remember Vic as one of the villains from Jurassic World, and he previously showed up in the T.Rex Tracker set, and looks near-identical to his previous outing, save for a new face, and some subtle differences on his shirt.
Danny Nedermeyer is the most interesting minifigure in the set. If his face and colourful choice of floral shirts remind you of someone, it’s because he’s the nephew of Dennis Nedry!
I absolutely love his shirt, which has palm leaves and flowers on it. It’s so fun, florally and bright, making for an excellent new torso option.
Here’s a look at Danny and Vic’s back printing, and alternate faces.
As you can tell, the minifigures really aren’t a big draw of the set.
Thankfully, as a nice bonus, you also get four baby Velociraptors. If you’re a big Jurassic World fan, you might find that their colours schemes seem familiar.
They’re baby versions of Owen’s crew of Velociraptors! From left to right, you’ve got Delta, Echo, Charlie and Blue.
And yes, I kinda botched up the alphabetical order when setting this photo up!
This is a really neat throwback to Jurassic World, and Owen’s raptors, which was probably one of the most enjoyable parts of the movie.
Blue’s colour scheme is a little odd, and is the only one that doesn’t really match up closely with the adult raptors, but I guess dinosaurs change colours as they develop.
Next, you have a yellow brick-built inflatable raft. This was quite a surprising build, as I really enjoyed this small but effective model.
Unnecessary stud blasters aside, I really loved how the designers crafted the raft’s motor, which even has a handle for Owen to use.
Unlike the typical LEGO raft, which is a specialised singular piece, one of the other reasons why I like this raft is that it has plenty of space for minifigures, cargo and even a troop of baby velociraptors.
Last but certainly least is the biggest disappointment of the set – a volcano. It’s just quite a lazy build, as it’s cobbled together out of multiple BURPs (big ugly rock pieces), some light grey cheese slopes and some lava.
The lava flow is kinda nice, but that’s because I have a soft spot for all types of transparent pieces, but even then, it doesn’t look that attractive.
It contains a play feature, where you can slide apart the mountain to have a treasure chest full of gold and jewels pop out at you.
Here’s the back of it, where you can see a two bats (??) and a cave with some broken egg shells. Did the bats emerge from the eggs? I’m so confused right now.
So yeah, that’s it. Apart from an interactive play feature, this entire structure just confounds me as it doesn’t really tie in to the set, and seems very much like an afterthought.
Hate to end the review on the downer, so here’s some photos of the T-rex and Dino-Mech slugging it out, which is easily the main reason why you should buy this set!
What I liked:
- New T-rex colour
- Dino mech is a fun build, and is a cool campy concept
- Owen’s baby velociraptors
What I didn’t like:
- Dino mech is quite fiddly
- Set is really expensive for what you get
- The volcano is almost pointless
- Only 4 minifigures in the set
Final thoughts: I really wanted to like this set, but man, after building it I was left wanting.
In terms of positives, I think the new T-rex is possibly the biggest draw of the set. The new colour scheme is particularly realistic and is in my top 3 favourite T-rex colours.
If you’re a big LEGO Jurassic World/Dinosaurs fan, it’s worth getting this set for the T-rex alone for completionist reasons. And you’re also more likely to be desensitised to the “dinosaur tax” – a price premium on any set with a LEGO dinosaur in it.
The Dino-mech, I won’t lie is a lot of fun as a concept. Hats off to the designers for pulling off a completely brick-built dino-robot and putting it in a retail set.
I also love that the Dino-Mech’s colour scheme is a reference to the Jurassic Park explorer, right down to the yellow trim.
The build was really fun, but the end result is probably like a 7/10? The proportions can sometimes seem weird, such as the oversized legs, and I really didn’t like how difficult it was to pose it and how fiddly some of the parts were during play.
I cannot imagine that it would be a very fun for younger kids who tend to be a lot rougher/less patient when playing.
My second favourite thing about the set, and yet another surprising bright spark is the inclusion of all 4 of Owen’s Velociraptors.
Lastly, it’s the rest of the set that really drag it down. The volcano is forgettable and its inclusion just feels particularly jarring.
Slapping a few big ugly rock pieces together does kind of work in giving the set some added size without heavily inflating the piece-count, but the fact that it doesn’t really connect to the set’s theme of pitting a T-rex against a Dino Mech is what disappoints me the most.
You could completely remove the volcano from the set, and you wouldn’t miss it at all – which begs the question as to why it was included in the first place.
If the designers were to do it right, I would’ve rather some collateral damage to the Jurassic World park – give me some broken fences, buildings and other infrastructure carnage that you’d expect from a Dino-mech battling a T-rex.
Lastly, and I know this is kind of a moot point given that Jurassic World sets are always about the dinosaurs – the minifigures, outside of Danny Nedermeyer are quite forgettable and don’t really add a lot to the set.
A whole bunch of random park visitors being terrorised, or even some guards trying to contain the T-rex or Dino-mech would’ve so much more preferable.
This set just feels overpriced for what you’re really wanting to get from the set – a T-Rex and the Dino-mech. I felt like they could’ve easily stripped the raft, and volcano to bring the price down to a much more accessible level.
I really wanted to like this set, but alas, unless you’re a LEGO Dinosaur completionist, this is a really tough set to recommend unless it goes to deep discount – about 30% off RRP is where it becomes a decent buy.
Special thanks to LEGO for providing this set for review.
Thanks for reading! Hope you found this review useful! I’ve got several more Jurassic World Isla Nublar reviews to cover, but with two back to back, I’m going to explore some other sets for the time being till I get to the others.
As always, be sure to let me know what you think of this set down in the comments. If you own and have built the set, I’d also love to know your thoughts on the end product!
I’ll leave you with this fun group photo of all my T-rexes smiling for the camera!
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