Which LEGO dinosaur sets are best?
Dinosaurs hold a special place in just about every young child’s mind. They are a magnificent, diverse group of beasts that once roamed the Earth, and however sweet or scary they may seem, they are also endearing to the young and young at heart alike.
While the popular toymaker LEGO doesn’t currently have a specific series of dinosaur sets, the “terrible lizards” still crop up with frequency. This Ideas Dinosaur Fossil Building Kit is both inspiring and educational, but it’s just one of many LEGO sets featuring dinosaurs that the young and old may enjoy.
What to know before you buy LEGO dinosaur sets
As mentioned, LEGO doesn’t specifically have a dinosaur series currently in production, but dinosaurs do pop up in sets from other series. There are several options available in the Creator Series, particularly 3-in-1 builds that appeal to younger users. A dinosaur set can also be found in the inventive Ideas Series, in which fans submit original ideas for approval by LEGO.
Lastly, LEGO has a licensing deal with Universal Pictures and their Jurassic World franchise. This series of LEGO is populated with dinosaurs inspired by a variety of source material, including feature films and animated TV shows.
The dinosaurs present in LEGO sets are quite varied, though most are inspired by the “Jurassic World” series. The Tyrannosaurus rex has a heavy presence, as does the cunning Velociraptor. LEGO sets feature some lesser-known dinosaurs (though they may not be lesser known to children) including the Gallimimus, Baryonyx, and Stygimoloch.
Most dinosaur figurines are sizable but only made up of a few different large pieces instead of the standard LEGO bricks. The dinosaur is durable and can be posed; children may even enjoy playing with it outside of LEGO sets.
LEGO sets featuring dinosaurs are made for the youngest of builders as well as some of the oldest. The simplest options cater to those around the age of four and up; these sets were formerly part of the Duplo Series but can now be identified by a “4+” on the box.
Most options are designed for those around seven years of age and up, with a handful of larger builds ideal for teenagers and adults. As younger kids may be eager to play with dinosaurs, some parents may consider investing in more complex builds and helping as needed.
What to look for in quality LEGO dinosaur sets
While dinosaur figurines are quite popular, minifigs (LEGO community jargon for “minifigure”) are also highly sought after. Often referred to as LEGO people, minifigs are the blocklike articulated characters composed of three or four different pieces.
Minifigs that will appear in sets alongside dinosaurs will be inspired from the “Jurassic World” series, with options depicting characters from both the film franchise as well as a pair of children’s animated shows in “Camp Creatures” and “LEGO Jurassic World: Legend of Isla Nublar.” Minifigs include famous characters such as Alan Grant, Ian Malcolm, Owen Grady, and Claire Dearing.
Most LEGO sets allow for some degree of interactivity. Particularly for younger builders, seek out options that include a variety of characters, settings, vehicles, or accessories designed for lots of creativity and replay value. Many sets depict a scene of conflict, where human characters are trying to escape from or capture a dinosaur: these best serve those builders who want to play frequently once their set is complete.
How much you can expect to spend on LEGO dinosaur sets
Most LEGO sets featuring dinosaurs cost between $25-$60, though the price will fluctuate based on piece count and age range. Sets aimed at older builders may cost over $75 and sometimes even over $100.
LEGO dinosaur sets FAQ
Are LEGO dinosaur sets educational?
A. LEGO toys foster a sense of creativity and imagination, helping children develop coordination and motor skills. A build requires following directions and patience, delivering a sense of accomplishment upon completion. Sets featuring dinosaurs may not have a unique educational aspect that is absent in others, though they may continue to cultivate a sense of wonder and curiosity about dinosaurs, encouraging kids to learn more.
Are there any retired LEGO dinosaur sets?
A. In years past, LEGO made a handful of series featuring dinosaurs, all of which were rather short-lived and small in scope. The Dino 2012 and Dino Attack series
(released in 2005 and 2006) comprised five and six sets respectively, most of which featured a dinosaur and corresponding vehicle helmed by minifigs.
In 2010, the Dino series released seven different sets, all of which seem fairly similar to “Jurassic Park” without actually using the name LEGO also sold polybags of dinosaurs, in which a small dinosaur made up of 15-20 pieces were available as a single purchase. These sets are no longer sold by LEGO but may be found by secondary retailers or resellers.
What are the best LEGO dinosaur sets to buy?
Top LEGO dinosaur set
What you need to know: This popular entry into the Ideas series features a trio of dinosaur skeletons that offers a challenging, inspired build.
What you’ll love: With over 900 pieces, this set features fossils of a Tyrannosaurus rex, Triceratops, and Pteranodon. It includes paleontologists and skeleton minifigs. This set is great for putting on display with included plaques.
What you should consider: Interested youngsters may need adult help.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top LEGO dinosaur set for the money
What you need to know: As part of the Creator series, this set geared for younger users allows for three different dinosaur builds and plenty of interactivity.
What you’ll love: This versatile set lets builders create a T-rex, Triceratops or Pteranodon out of the same pieces. Encourage playtime and offer high replay value. Joints and jaws move easily.
What you should consider: At under 200 pieces, this set may not be challenging enough for some builders.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This lively set features a pair of large dinosaur figurines and plenty of accessories to make for a fun and interactive build.
What you’ll love: The fictional Indominus rex faces off against an Ankylosaurus in this set inspired by “Jurassic World.” It comes with five minifigs, including the two leads of the film. It features a gyrosphere along with its launch platform.
What you should consider: Despite the 500-piece count, the build is fairly simple.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Anthony Marcusa writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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