LEGO Jurassic World 76964 Dinosaur Fossils: T-Rex Skull – Do we dig it? [Review]

Jaws has its shark. Alien has the Xenomorph. And the unofficial mascot for Jurassic Park is surely Tyrannosaurus Rex – the Tyrant Lizard King. These days, all we have left of this bipedal carnivore are fossilised remains, just like the ones depicted in an upcoming Jurassic World LEGO set. 76964 Dinosaur Fossils: T-Rex Skull will be available for US $39.99 | CAN $49.99 | UK £34.99 starting from January 1st 2024, but are its 577 pieces worth picking up? Grab your spades, brushes and picks, keep an eye out for fossils, and dig into our review to find out!

The LEGO Group provided The Brothers Brick with an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.

The box and contents

On first impression, this set seems similar to the helmets or diorama lines that we see in other licensed themes. So it’s a bit of a surprise that the blank black background and 18+ branding don’t feature on the box art. It makes sense though – dinosaurs are cool no matter how young or old you are!

The back of the box shows the skull as one might dig it up on a fossil excavation site, together with a few real Tyrannosaurus heads.

Digging into the box, we find six bags, the instruction booklet, a single sticker, and two loose black posts that remind me of some of the old Pirates masts from years gone by. This is only their second set appearance.

There’s an amusing call out in the second page of the instructions comparing the piece count of the skull portion (382) of this set to its real counterpart (made up of 46 bony parts). Who knew T-Rex had a head made of LEGO bone pieces?

The build

That head, however, will have to wait, as we first start off building the base from bag 1.

The footprint follows in the next bag, and we get a taster of the Studs Not On Top (SNOT) technique that’s very prevalent in this build. It starts off with some plates, brackets and tiles…

…And the addition of some sloped pieces completes a very nicely textured clawed imprint. It’s a nice little build in its own right.

The remaining four bags of the build will go towards the skull, and we start with the upper jaw and snout. Right off the bat, there are studs pointing in all directions.

SNOT plates and brackets allow for the different portions to be connected as you go. It’s done in such a way that the build always feels sturdy, despite having so many holes in it. I did actually drop it onto my desk at one point, with only minor repairs needed. I think that still makes me too clumsy to be a paleontologist!

Despite all that sideways building, almost all of it is still at right angles. The main exceptions are the bridge of the nose (if you can call it that) and the front incisor teeth, which are angled in on 1×3 rounded plates.

The final parts finish up are the aforementioned bridge and the lower jaw. The latter makes clever use of LEGO plate geometry to give the teeth on the bottom a small offset to those on the top. This prevents the two clashing when the mouth is closed up, and gives the T-rex its signature overbite.

The prevalence of sub-assemblies on their side does mean there’s an awful lot of turning the thing over in your hands as you build. That said, while it does require a little patience, the whole thing took me just over one and a half hours to finish, so it’s not complex to the point of being a chore.

The finished model

The build process was thoroughly enjoyable, and the final model lives up to that standard too. It looks great!

The same can’t be said for the view from the back; the flat rear of the skull looks a bit unfinished. It isn’t really intended to be seen from this angle though, so it’s a pretty minor criticism.

The jaw doesn’t have a very wide range of motion – only one ‘click’ on LEGO’s click hinges (so about 22.5 degrees). Still, it doesn’t detract from anything, and that toothy grin looks good open or shut.

The T-rex head itself only takes up about two-thirds of the parts, but I’m very glad they opted to include the footprint and embellish the stand a bit. The skull on a solitary black plinth, similar to the aforementioned helmets, would probably look a bit bland. As it is, it could be an exhibit lifted straight out of Jurassic Park.

Conclusion and recommendation

The full name of this set is “Dinosaur Fossils: T-Rex Skull”. The “Dinosaur Fossils” bit at the start makes me hope that this is the first set in a series, and that we’ll get more, because I had a blast with it! It’s not really a playset, but nevertheless, I think this represents excellent value for 40 bucks. Coming in a shade under 7 (US) cents per part, it’s a minor steal if price-per-piece ratio is your preferred metric of choice. If not, the build is interesting (although maybe more so for adults than kids), and it’s a great display piece. Either way, I can thoroughly recommend picking up this set!

LEGO Jurassic World 76964 contains 577 pieces, and is available from January 1st for US $39.99 | CAN $49.99 | UK £34.99.

The LEGO Group provided The Brothers Brick with an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.

The post LEGO Jurassic World 76964 Dinosaur Fossils: T-Rex Skull – Do we dig it? [Review] appeared first on The Brothers Brick.


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