LEGO Jurassic Park 76961 Visitor Centre: T. rex & Raptor Attack review

76961 Visitor Centre: T. rex & Raptor Attack is the biggest LEGO Jurassic Park set releasing this summer, but it doesn’t feel like it.

Coming in at 693 pieces, with six minifigures and two dinosaurs, 76961 Visitor Centre: T. rex & Raptor Attack sees the LEGO Group take something many fans have hoped for years to see in LEGO form – the visitor centre from Jurassic Park – and do its very best to accurately capture as much display and play value as possible, all the while quite limited by the budget available. Are the compromises needed acceptable?

— LEGO Jurassic Park 76961 Visitor Centre: T. rex & Raptor Attack set details —

Theme: LEGO Jurassic Park Set name: 76961 Visitor Centre: T. rex & Raptor Attack Release: June 1, 2023

Price: £114.99 / $129.99 / €129.99 Pieces: 693 Minifigures: 6

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LEGO: Pre-order now

— Where to buy LEGO Jurassic Park 76961 Visitor Centre: T. rex & Raptor Attack —

LEGO Jurassic Park 76961 Visitor Centre: T. rex & Raptor Attack releases on June 1 as part of the 30th anniversary wave of LEGO Jurassic Park sets at LEGO.com and in LEGO Stores. Also expect it to be available at third-party retailers.

LEGO Jurassic Park Visitor Centre: T. rex & Raptor Attack (76961)(76961)

$149.99

— LEGO Jurassic Park 76961 Visitor Centre: T. rex & Raptor Attack build —

As it is, LEGO Jurassic Park 76961 Visitor Centre: T. rex & Raptor Attack manages to pack a fair chunk of build into its 693 pieces, considering that two dinosaurs and six minifigures are also included, and it’s fair to say that you certainly end up building a lot more than the other sets available in this summer 2023 wave of 30th anniversary sets would otherwise have had you expecting.

That’s in part thanks to a smart two-in-one approach to the visitor centre itself, with the exterior front side of the building more or less recreated in microscale (have a look again if you don’t believe us) and an interior that is friendlier to minifigure scale. There are compromises to be had in taking this approach, but it means that the central build to the set looks as good as it plays (if not better) – we’ve had facades and playsets from this theme in the past that have struggled to find the same balance, and it’s generally nicely achieved here. In particular, the exterior to the visitor centre is very cleverly put together and remarkably spot on in matching what we saw on screen, in colour, shape and important various details.

Unfortunately, in spite of that, the model still ends up with compromises that needed to be made so as to a) achieve the two-in-one effect and b) fit within the more limited piece count to which these Jurassic World and Jurassic Park LEGO sets must adhere (due to expensive dinosaur moulds). Those compromises primarily impact the interior, which – while including a number of very clever nods to moments from Jurassic Park – is altogether a little too small to be considered fit for purpose.

The minifigures can all still fit in and around the model and there are good opportunities for play as a result, but the microscale size of the exterior means that the interior is way, way too small to come anywhere close to matching what we saw on screens. Part of the visitor centre’s excellence as a setting for the film’s finale lay in its grand interior, which could easily house a climactic chase between Velociraptors and humans up some giant, suspended dinosaur skeletons, and then – more importantly – a rampaging T. rex. As it is, the fancy ‘When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth’ sign that comes included in 76961 Visitor Centre: T. rex & Raptor Attack sits rather comically too low, at about the height of the included T. rex’s hips, rather than high enough for it to dramatically fall down around the dinosaur as it roars, a la the film.

The compromise in interior size also results in a bizarre mismatch for the otherwise quite nifty T. rex skeleton build. Aside from the fact we would ideally be building two skeletons for the interior of the visitor centre (the other being a sauropod Alamosaurus) and even better working to suspend them a bit higher off the ground, the T. rex included is very cleverly designed with some nice techniques, but otherwise caught between matching the shorter scale of the LEGO model or matching the size of the ‘live’ T. rex that also comes in the set. As a result, it ends up being too big to fit under the roof of the LEGO visitor centre and also too small next to the moulded T. rex, looking like a baby brother to it, or a different species altogether.

In order to offer two dinosaurs, six minifigures and enough of a credible build within the £114.99 / $129.99 / €129.99 budget, these sizing issues are just unavoidable compromises that have had to be taken. Putting them to one side, the build remains interesting to put together and, as mentioned, still offers a good amount of real estate for the six minifigures and two dinosaurs included.

It means that the set we are left with may not accurately capture every aspect you would have hoped a first LEGO set based on the visitor centre could have, but there is still a lot to enjoy, perhaps best when the price comes down later.

— LEGO Jurassic Park 76961 Visitor Centre: T. rex & Raptor Attack characters —

LEGO Jurassic Park 76961 Visitor Centre: T. rex & Raptor Attack comes with a sizeable line-up of six minifigures and two dinosaurs. The minifigure designs for Dr. Ellie Sattler, Dr. Alan Grant, Dr. Henry Wu, John ‘Ray’ Arnold, and siblings Lex and Tim Murphy are all unique and nicely captured in LEGO form, particularly Alan and Ellie who have been given darker, mud-stained torsos to reflect the dishevelled state they are in by the climax of the film. It’s a subtle design choice but one that makes a big difference to really placing the characters in the LEGO set at the exact, intended moment in the film.

The T. rex and Velociraptor included are both accurately coloured and printed to reflect the more toned-down appearances on screen in Jurassic Park, even if the raptor would have benefitted from being downsized. Indeed, a better scale of raptor is best seen in those neat semi-transparent stickers included in the set that decorate part of the interior – that’s the size the raptor should really have been and there’s no better wave of Jurassic World or Jurassic Park sets than this one that represent the opportunity to re-scale.

The smaller Dilophosaurus that debuted in 2019’s 75934 Dilophosaurus on the Loose, that then appeared in last year’s 76951 Pyroraptor & Dilophosaurus Transport and has been recoloured for this wave’s 76958 Dilophosaurus Ambush, works much better in scale with the bumbling Dennis Nedry. A smaller Raptor around the same size would be just as beneficial to recapturing the terrifying creature as we first saw them in Jurassic Park 30 years ago, both for their pursuit of the characters in the film and for their defeat at the hands of the much larger and more impressive T. rex, both of which happen within the visitor centre.

— LEGO Jurassic Park 76961 Visitor Centre: T. rex & Raptor Attack price —

LEGO Jurassic Park 76961 Visitor Centre: T. rex & Raptor Attack is priced at £114.99 / $129.99 / €129.99, which for 693 pieces is par for the course for LEGO Jurassic Park/Jurassic World, and terrible value when compared with any set from any other LEGO theme, and so it does rather diminish the set’s value and size – what could feel like a decent-sized mid-range set is instead a small top-range set. The high price is primarily down to the dinosaur moulds that use huge, printed pieces of plastic, but knowing that doesn’t make it any easier to fork out that amount of money for such a relatively small set.

— LEGO Jurassic Park 76961 Visitor Centre: T. rex & Raptor Attack pictures —

— LEGO Jurassic Park 76961 Visitor Centre: T. rex & Raptor Attack pros and cons —

LEGO Jurassic Park 76961 Visitor Centre: T. rex & Raptor Attack is similar to many other LEGO Jurassic Park and LEGO Jurassic World sets, in that it is compromised by its budget, with a much lower piece count than its subject matter could have really benefited from, due to the cost of including large moulded plastic dinosaurs.

Without those dinosaurs these sets wouldn’t be what they need to be, but with them they are still sometimes struggling to be what they need to be, and the strange middle ground a lot of sets end up in is once again found in this set. At a lower price such compromises would be easier to take, so if you can hold out until LEGO Jurassic Park 76961 Visitor Centre: T. rex & Raptor Attack is reduced then do so.

76961 Visitor Centre: T. rex & Raptor Attack pros76961 Visitor Centre: T. rex & Raptor Attack cons
Excellent exterior design of the visitor centreInterior build still way too small
Comprehensive minifigure line-upScaling of most things inside the building feel way off
Much more to the interior build than you may expectRaptors remain too big in comparison with both the T. rex and the minifigures

This set was provided for review by the LEGO Group.

Support the work that Brick Fanatics does by purchasing your 30th-anniversary LEGO Jurassic Park sets through one of our affiliate links.

— Alternatives to LEGO Jurassic Park 76961 Visitor Centre: T. rex & Raptor Attack —

LEGO Jurassic Park 76961 Visitor Centre: T. rex & Raptor Attack is priced the same as 76408 12 Grimmauld Place from LEGO Harry Potter and 31109 Pirate Ship from Creator 3-in-1, two excellent sets that both contain more than 1,000 pieces and provide some of the best examples of the creative potential of a LEGO set, for a similar or lower price.

— LEGO Jurassic Park 76961 Visitor Centre: T. rex & Raptor Attack FAQs —

How long does it take to build LEGO Jurassic Park 76961 Visitor Centre: T. rex & Raptor Attack?

LEGO Jurassic Park 76961 Visitor Centre: T. rex & Raptor Attack takes about an hour or so to put together.

How many pieces are in LEGO Jurassic Park 76961 Visitor Centre: T. rex & Raptor Attack?

LEGO Jurassic Park 76961 Visitor Centre: T. rex & Raptor Attack comes with 693 pieces, including six minifigures in Dr. Ellie Sattler, Dr. Alan Grant, Dr. Henry Wu, John ‘Ray’ Arnold, and siblings Lex and Tim Murphy and two dinosaurs in a T. rex and Velociraptor.

How big is LEGO Jurassic Park 76961 Visitor Centre: T. rex & Raptor Attack?

LEGO Jurassic Park 76961 Visitor Centre: T. rex & Raptor Attack measures 32cm wide, 17cm deep and 17cm tall.

How much does LEGO Jurassic Park 76961 Visitor Centre: T. rex & Raptor Attackcost?

LEGO Jurassic Park 76961 Visitor Centre: T. rex & Raptor Attack releases on June 1, 2023 and retails at £114.99 in the UK, $129.99 in the US and from €129.99 in Europe.

Author Profile

Rob Paton
As one half of Tiro Media Ltd, I mix a passion for print and digital media production with a deep love of LEGO and can often be found on these pages eulogising about LEGO Batman, digging deeper into the LEGO Group’s inner workings, or just complaining about the price of the latest LEGO Star Wars set. Make a great impression when you meet me in person by praising EXO-FORCE as the greatest LEGO theme of all time. Follow me on Twitter @RobPaton or drop me an email at [email protected].

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Rob Paton

As one half of Tiro Media Ltd, I mix a passion for print and digital media production with a deep love of LEGO and can often be found on these pages eulogising about LEGO Batman, digging deeper into the LEGO Group’s inner workings, or just complaining about the price of the latest LEGO Star Wars set. Make a great impression when you meet me in person by praising EXO-FORCE as the greatest LEGO theme of all time. Follow me on Twitter @RobPaton or drop me an email at [email protected].

One thought on “LEGO Jurassic Park 76961 Visitor Centre: T. rex & Raptor Attack review

  • 27/05/2023 at 01:01
    Permalink

    Respectfully, I think Lego made a mistake making the visitors center a set at this tier instead of a much larger adult set, as now we can imagine this is the best the JP line is going to get.
    There is a pretty underserved market for JP fans willing to spend 200-400 on something that calls out to them. Visitors center, raptor paddock, aren’t just buildings to JP fans and would get a lot more interest than a largely outscaled gate, and Lego wouldnt be competing with itself as it does with the many large SW sets.

    just mmy thoughts

    Reply

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