76956 T. Rex Breakout [Hands On Review]

It’s the mid 90’s, Ann (Knoller-in-Chief and fundamental emotional support for The Rambling Brick) and I are visiting some friends: she is a former work colleague of Ann’s. He is an audiophile, and has just bought a brand new CD Player, sound processor and a sub-woofer. We are listening to a demonstration CD including a collection of recordings, including amongst other things, the 1812 Overture – one of the gold standards up to this time for testing the bass response of your Hi-Fi system. Included on the CD is an audio extract from Jurassic Park – from around the 1 hour, 2 minutes and 10 second mark. The sound of running water – the rain – and a low frequency boom. Another. And Another. The glass of wine on the table starts to vibrate, and I am taken back to that night in the cinema a few years earlier. Lightning flashes, thunder sounds, and the Dinosaur roars before the track ends and the sound shifts onto the Blue Danube. At least I think it was the Blue Danube. It was a while ago and I was having a delightful evening.

But that scene: drama and danger, screaming and the shouting preceded by a low ground vibration remains one of the iconic scenes of the film. The T.Rex breaks through the no-longer-electrified fences, scaring the kids, eating the insurance company’s lawyer and knocking the car hither and tho. This new set, available in late April/early May, 2022 (pre order now on LEGO.com in some markets), has 4 minifigures and 1212 pieces. I am grateful to the LEGO Group’s AFOL Engagement team for sending me a copy for early review.

The set comes in the iconic, black 18+ packaging that we have come to associate with the LEGO sets designed for adults. There are 9 numbered bags (2 of which are labelled ‘8’) and one unlabelled, softer bag containing a dark tan 16×16 plate and some plastic ‘wires’.

There is a plastic wrapped instruction manual (where is the paper/cardboard?), and a sticker sheet. The pages in the instructions are a medium grey colour, and I found most of the colur printing easy to determining, although the reddish brown elements are printed in a darker colour in the instructions.

There are 4 seperate parts to the build, and I will present them independently, before putting them all together: The upright Ford Explorer GLT SUV; The T.Rex; The diorama base and finally the upturned and crushed Ford Explorer.

The Minifigures

Here are Lexie and Tim. Both feature dark tan short legs and their torsos and faces are covered in mud. the each have a muddied arm.

They have a reverse head print, also filthy, but featuring slightly less terrified expressions.

Dr Grant is wearing a broad brim hat, and as such has only one face print: it is somewhere between angry and determined. His torso has a water drenched blue shirt and neckerchief. Check out those angry eyebrows.

Ian Malcolm has his trademark black shirt, sprayed with water and open to mid chest. His belt is printed on his torso, giving his legs an appearance of being extra long. Which, of course, they are! He is astonished on one side of his well tanned face, and a bit scared on the other.

None of the minifigures have printing on theit legs, however, due to the amount of mud around, I dont think they suffer for it.

The Ford Explorer

This bright green and yellow SUV was an icon of Jurassic Park, taking tourists around a predetermined track, while being controlled remotely. This vehicle was conspicuously absent from the T. Rex Rampage set released in 2019, but it is absolutely essential for this diorama. The elements are found in bags one and two. You can see them right here…

We start building up the chassis of the car. Fortunately, the bright yellowish green is the perfect colour match for the vehicle.The body is 6 studs wide, but extends a little wider and is around 18-19 studs long. The seats are 4 studs wide, but there is a little extra space on each side. Offset plates on the floor of the car allow 2 minifigures to be sat side-by-side. A double offset 2×4 plate in the rear of the vehicle will give us a parcel shelf to store the brick-built torch.

The vehicle has a display for a ‘Hi-Tech CD ROM’ – state of the art in 1993, but insignificant compared with the storage systems of today. It is represented by the legendary LEGO computer element, the 2×2 45ºslope brick! The display of Isla Nublar is provided with a sticker.

All of the Jurassic Park livery is sticker dependent. Fortunately, square stickers on square elements are reasonably easy to line up. Things may change as we progress through the build.

The second bag brings us the front and back ends of the vehicle, including the bull bar, as well as the roof.

I really love the level of detail included on the bullbar construction –

The panoramic roof is achieved with the use of a Speed Champions windscreen, and includes plenty of opportunities to light the vehicle. Classic Space antennae create the windscreen wipers.

The wheels have integrated tyres, and we apply yellow and black hub caps to the wheels.

I am impressed by the way we can fit 4 minifigures into this vehicle.

The dashboard also features 2 glasses of water. Perfect for that moment you wish to test out your sub-woofer.

Part 2: T. rex

The T Rex is a brickbuilt creature, consistant with the previous ‘Adult’ build from Jurassic Park – the T. rex Rampage. It might not look as realistic as the molded animals included in the Jurassic World sets intended for younger audiences, but we will look at why this is the best choice for this set later.

As you can see from the elements above: our T Rex is reddish brown and tan, with some dark orange elements in between.

The core starts around a green plate – symbolic of the amphibian DNA around which the Jurassic Park Techniology was based. We start with the body and tail – creating a core wrapped in brackets, before covering it in tiles and plates. Technic click hinges will form the hips, and the tail is connected using small ball joints.

The legs can move out and rotate a little, while the ankles articulate around a small ball joint – unfortunately this means that the model is not especially stable in all positions, but we do have increased posability. The feet have 3 main toes, and a dew claw. The bases of the feet are 2×6 studs, which will allow the feet to attach firmly to the ground.

Finally, we move onto the head. The central core is a sindle stud wide, and is built out useing SNOT techniques, recreating the head in a reasonably effective fashion. The jaw is on a clip/bar hinge, and the T. rex’s mouth is full of teeth.

The eyes are printed on stickers, an applied to the angled tiles. As you can see, the eyes really make the model, giving it a great ease of life. They look great, but I would have liked to see additional stickers to use either with a MOC, or in case I failed at applying them neatly.

I love the way the nostrils have format the tips of the wedge-curved slopes.

This T Rex is approximately the same size as that made using the standard molded version, as featured in 76948 T. rex and Atriciraptor Breakout. The lack of ankle articulation in the molded version might make it difficult to simply substitute that version into this diorama.

The Diorama Base

If you are looking to create an elegant diorama, then a surdy base, and clearly defined frame will certainly help you in your efforts: you know where it begins, and ends, as well as where things are in between. This is the case with the recently announced Star Wars Dioramas, ad it it just as true here. This base is 18 studs deep and 50 studs wide. It is cunstructed on plates of various sizes, and surface detail is provided over a depth of around 3 plates, including puddles and mud.

A row of grey tiles along the middle provides the power/ connection between the cars and the theme park control centre.

We build up some layers of clay and mud, including a couple of puddles created by the T Rex’s footprints.

Of course, it is important to remember why they stopped there. Here is the sign identifying the photo point. Of course, if people were not meant to roam the park unsupervised, why was there a photostop here? And the Tiolets, across the path? Inquiring minds need to know.

Along the back of the frame, as can see a number of clips: we attach the pillars suspending the electric fence to these, as well as some greenery – a variety of tratision foliage, palm fronds and serrated leaves. Certainly, there is a variety of plant life, adding to the overall effect of the park.

We include fence status lights on the pillars, as well as ‘danger’ signs on the wires, their graphics customised for minifigure hands.

Part 4: The Flipped Explorer.

Finally, we come to the crushed car. The central chassis of the car is built studs up – towards the bottom of the flipped car. The front and rear elements are built up in the traditional fashion, but attached upsidedown to the chassis, thanks to some bars and clip.

With this done, the car is able to appear that it has been flipped, with tiles covering the bottom aspect of it. The livery stickers show how the vehicle has been squashed, and the same attention is paid to the front and rear fenders. one wheel has had the tire removed, in keeping with the T rex inflicted damage incurred during this scene.

The vehicle sits nicely into the angled hollow, squashed into the mud.

Putting it all together.

Lets assemble the elements of the the set: the cars both have their resting places on the base. the minifigures are a little less reflected, although there are ‘movie correct’ locations: the kids behind the car; Malcolm lighting his flare before leacving his vehicle, and Alan Grant staring down the T. rex from the middle of the muddy road, flare in hand, ready to distract the beast.

The T rex itself has a place to rest her feet: one behind the front rim of the diorama, and another on the flipped car. And this is the main case for using a brick built beast here: the legs of the molded T Rex are lacking ankle articulation, preventing the feet from being positioned appropriately.

I loved putting this set together: from the quotes in the front of the instructions, the layout itself, ad the combination of the subbuilds in the set.

Does the set have any wasted moments? Perhaps.

Not Technically Screen Accurate for the other events in this scene!!

We see the chain going into the encloseure, onto which a goat was attached in the movie. This could have been the perfect opporunity to release a new goat mould, or reinvigorate the old one. But the scene that was created 30 years ago distinctly call for a goat to be included here. Of course, by the time this particular snapshot in the film occurs, the goat is gone – scattered across the cars and the path. But still…

The minifigure selection is appropriate for the scene: Genarro had abandoned the convoy by this stage, and was cowering in the toilet. But thats a storey for another set. Otherwise, Malcolm and Grant have been drenched in the rain, while the kids have been covered in mud.

I have shown above why the Brick built dinosaur is the best option in this context, allowing for the necessary pose, with one foot on the upturned car. Here it is in comparison with the molded version, for size.

I was happy enough with the stickers, although some more stickers of the T rex’s eye would be awesome if you damaged on in application, while additional ones could also be useful in the setting of dinosaur MOCs.

This diorama, along with the recently announced Star Wars Models, is elegant, and very much a display set, rather than play set. The dinosaur’s pose is sufficiently awkward to require minimal interference – the molded creature is far better suited for play. The framing gives it a definite beginning, middle and end.

As a building experience, it took me around 4 hours – maybe a little longer – with a couple of Jurassic Park/World movies playing in the background. It was an enjoyable build: not frustrating, but not so simple as to feel like a condescending build. The Ford Explorer uses around 200 elements, and looks great – the panoramic roof is really effective.

But is it worth 200AUD? It depends what you are after. As an adult looking for a building and display experience, it was just right. The vehicles look good, the enclosure fence is perfect and the minifigures look great. At around 0.20 AUD per eleent., it is important to recognise there are 4 licenced minifigures, a complex car build and a number of larger plates (2×16; 16×16) as well as larger bricks (1×16)included, although there are not too many of these.

If I was looking for a play set, I would be frustrated by the stability of the T. rex, so let me emphasis: THIS IS NOT A KID’S TOY. IT IS A DISPLAY MODEL.

And from that point of view, I really like it. I am happy to give it 4.5 out of 5 Arbitrary Praise Units: it fills the brief and fans will love it. Element wise, there are lots of dark tan, tan and dark orange elements including plates, tiles and curved slopes. It is available now for preorder, and will ship in early May.

Consider using our affiliate links to preorder: the ramblingbrick might receive a small commission, which helps cover costs running the website.

What do you think of the T. Rex Breakout? Or one to go for? It will be available through LEGO branded channels as well as other retailers.

I’d love to know what you think of this set. How do you like the Brick Built dinosaur over the premolded version? I will have some more Jurassic World reviews coming up soon. Let me know what you think, and until next time,

Play Well!

One thought on “76956 T. Rex Breakout [Hands On Review]

  1. I would love to know how this t-rex compared to the larger one in the 76936 breakout set! Can both sets be displayed alongside each other? With perhaps just the bigger t-rex? Does the scaling of cars to t-rex to gate all look right? Many thanks!!

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