LEGO Jurassic Park 76956 T. rex Breakout review

76956 T. rex Breakout is one of those rare Jurassic Park and Jurassic World LEGO sets that you just wish would be a little more expensive.

Capturing one of modern cinema’s most iconic moments across more than 1,000 LEGO pieces, 76956 T. rex Breakout would be a perfect LEGO Jurassic Park set – if it was a little more expensive.

Why’s that? Everything about this set is authentic and fun and truly embraces the spirit of that famous moment from Jurassic Park, except for the Tyrannosaurus rex, who seems to be a few LEGO pieces short of his true self. The T. rex doesn’t distract nor detract from the set’s all-round appeal, but he doesn’t contribute as he quite should, leaving 76956 T. rex Breakout just short of true LEGO perfection.

— Set details —

Theme: LEGO Jurassic World / Jurassic Park Set name: 76956 T. rex Breakout Release: April 17, 2022

Price: £89.99 / $99.99 / €99.99 Pieces: 1,212 Minifigures: 4

LEGO: Available now

LEGO Jurassic Park 76956 T. rex Breakout review 10

— Build —

Basing 76956 T. rex Breakout on one of the most iconic moments of not only the Jurassic Park and Jurassic World franchise but also of modern cinema is a daunting challenge for the LEGO Group to take on.

On the one hand, anything based on this scene is an easy sell, just as it has been for other toy manufacturers that have visited and revisited this moment numerous times over the years – nothing represents the wonder-turned-carnage of a Jurassic Park or World film better than this moment, complete with four main characters, those iconic green, yellow and red Ford Explorers and the star of the show, Tyrannosaurus rex.

Yet, for the magnitude of the scene and for putting it into LEGO for the first time – during a truly golden age of design and innovation at the company and over a year into creating and marketing LEGO sets for the higher 18+ age group – expectations may engulf 76956 T. rex Breakout before any of the creativity and brick interpretation that has gone into it even gets a chance to breathe.

With that 18+ label, design purpose for 76956 T. rex Breakout has been geared around display more so than play, with a section of track and broken railing to place the vehicles and T. rex on bordered by a thick, black edge, complete with LEGO Jurassic Park logo and printed quote tile attached to the front side.

Although some aspects are apparently only coincidentally so, this does mirror the LEGO Star Wars Diorama Collection for such presentation and, as was the case with that trio of sets, it’s a simply-realised and smartly-presented concept that cleverly puts a different slant on the scene that you build out of LEGO – there’s something ever so slightly more artistic to presenting LEGO like this.

With that in mind and the fact that this is display-first, play-second, it’s perhaps more important than ever that what you build and place within that black frame is great to look at, that – even within the slight limitations of the LEGO medium (and more likely, limitations of budget) – is at once recognisable and true to the scene it is based on.

For aspects such as the two (or rather, one-and-a-half) Ford Explorers, that is very much true to say. We have been waiting a long time to build an official LEGO version of this vehicle and what is before us in 76956 T. rex Breakout does not disappoint.

While they could have perhaps benefitted from following the wider Speed Champions wheelbase to allow for a better-proportioned final build (which you’ll notice from front-on viewing), everything otherwise in shaping, colour and all-round design perfectly recreates this iconic vehicle, one time in complete, upright form, and a second time upside down and crushed into the mud by the T. rex.

That the crushed one sits nicely at a slight angle and comes with one tyre missing (after the T. rex bit into it and burst it) just highlights the extra attention to detail that has gone into the set’s design, as do other builds like the flashlight, cups of water and night vision goggles. It is the inclusion of many aspects like these that elevate any LEGO set, but particularly those that encourage you to look first, touch second.

The track and broken fencing likewise capture enough of the aesthetics that they need to, so as to effectively place the subjects in the rain-soaked scene as it was on film, even if – being really pedantic – having the entire track (and base) on an ever-so-slightly rounded curve would have really perfected the presentation (and no doubt upped the piece count way out of budget for something most fans wouldn’t have cared to even notice, so we’ll let this one pass). If we’re mentioning details, by the way, the in-built T. rex footprints are another unexpected but brilliant inclusion.

The four characters included are also wonderfully designed (more on them below), and that’s everything, right? Black border, track, fence, Ford Explorers, minifigures. These are all expertly created and come together to really place you back in the middle of that rainstorm on Jurassic Park. We’re not missing anything are we? Could have done with a goat, sure. What else?

Oh right, the T. rex. What should terrify and fascinate people will instead divide and frustrate them. A purely moulded T. rex as per his appearances in the Jurassic World sets was most certainly not the way to go with this 18+ set – it would have juniorised the entire creation too much and, crucially, not offered the poseability that the T. rex needs for this particular scene. Creatively, only a brick-built T. rex will have worked.

Yet, where 75936 Jurassic Park: T. rex Rampage benefitted greatly from building a Tyrannosaurus rex way, way too big and out of proportion with the included minifigures, there’s something about the piece count for 76956 T. rex Breakout that dramatically hinders the now accurately-sized dinosaur we see here.

76956 T. rex Breakout absolutely needs the T. rex to be sized just right – too big and the focus and balance of the set is lost (as it was in 75936 Jurassic Park: T. rex Rampage – do you really remember the gate that well?). Too small and all tension and plausibility is lost, and you’ll build the display set and never look at it again. The T. rex that 76956 T. rex Breakout needs in size is the one that we build here, but it is by no means the T. rex we as very patient Jurassic Park fans have been hoping for.

The T. rex looks weird and there’s no getting away from that, and it is due to a design that is just crying out for a higher piece count to add in some bulk, some shaping and a lot more detail. As it stands (one leg on the crushed Explorer), it doesn’t quite belong in 76956 T. rex Breakout – it isn’t an entire disaster and from certain angles can be accepted by kinder eyes, but if you focus too much on it, it just zaps credibility from the entire set.

As mad as it may sound, 76956 T. rex Breakout really needed to be more expensive. Put the price up by £20 or £30 and let that T. rex have the parts that it needs to downsize its feet, round out its waistline, create a new piece for smaller teeth and print those eyes.

Maybe we are being naïve, and those changes require a price north of £130 / $140 / €140. But if the choice is between the current version of 76956 T. rex Breakout and one that truly perfects every element of the most important scene from the franchise, would it not have been worth a little higher spend?

As it is, the piece count afforded to 76956 T. rex Breakout to keep it to a sub-£100 / $100 / €100 price has impacted the design of the T. rex. Creatively it’s not a complete disaster and there’s so much to admire about this set, and particularly so for sticking to that tighter budget. However, the T. rex is a source of frustration if you spend too long looking at it. And this is a display set, so you’ll likely spend too long looking at it.

To include all that 76956 T. rex Breakout does for a price of £89.99 / $99.99 / €99.99 is remarkable in many ways, and for many reasons that you can see dotted across this LEGO set. The T. rex doesn’t completely detract from any of the good work that is on show here, but it doesn’t contribute as much as it otherwise could have to elevating this set to the upper echelons of LEGO perfection.

— Characters —

Four characters are included in 76956 T. rex Breakout and they are each exclusive to the set, and lovingly designed to reflect the sheer chaos of the scene they are involved in. Lex and Tim Murphy are suitably terrified and covered in mud, while Dr. Alan Grant and Dr. Ian Malcolm are both drenched through from the rain.

There is authenticity and charm in the design of each of these minifigures, and they work both for younger fans wanting to play out the scene and for older fans wanting to give their display a real added sense of story and character.

— Price —

For what 76956 T. rex Breakout offers, £89.99 / $99.99 / €99.99 is an absolute steal. This set delivers in almost every way on the detail and depth that you would want a LEGO set to explore in that scene from Jurassic Park. The design is quite remarkable for just how many boxes it ticks while keeping below the three-figure price-point.

So, for the shortcomings of the T. rex, it is unusual to write that we’d have preferred to pay a higher price for some aesthetic improvements to the dinosaur, to turn what is a really good LEGO Jurassic Park set into a perfect one.

— Pictures —

— Summary —

Are we being too harsh in criticising the design of the T. rex in 76956 T. rex Breakout? Overall, this is still a great LEGO set, capturing so much of the most famous moment from Jurassic Park – the set-up of the scene, the two Ford Explorers, the rain-soaked, terrified minifigures and all the little details in-between all give life and authenticity to the LEGO set and the moment from the film it is based on.

The T. rex doesn’t completely shatter the illusion either, and from certain points of view can work with the rest of the elements of the model to make 76956 T. rex Breakout a success – particularly at this relatively low price. The T. rex’s shortcomings aren’t enough to put anyone off buying this set and they won’t be enough to detract from what is a fun and exciting LEGO set to put together and one that feels like it has been a long time coming.

Yet, the T. rex is far from perfect, and for all the marketing around this particular set and for the otherwise very careful design that has gone into making it a display-based LEGO set, that is a dinosaur that does not want you looking too closely at it.

Support the work that Brick Fanatics does by purchasing your LEGO Jurassic Park and Jurassic World sets through one of our affiliate links – thank you!

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— FAQs —

How long does it take to build LEGO Jurassic Park 76956 T. rex Breakout?

It takes a good hour to put together 76956 T. rex Breakout, in a detailed and involved build process.

How many pieces are in LEGO Jurassic Park 76956 T. rex Breakout?

There are 1,212 pieces included in 76956 T. rex Breakout, with minifigures for Tim and Lex Murphy, Dr. Alan Grant and Dr. Ian Malcolm.

How big is LEGO Jurassic Park 76956 T. rex Breakout?

Depending on how you position the overhanging tail of the T. rex, 76956 T. rex Breakout measures around 54cm wide. It comes in at around 17cm high, but can be taller if you want to stretch up the T. rex, while in depth it measures 19cm.

How much does LEGO Jurassic Park 76956 T. rex Breakout cost?

76956 T. rex Breakout is priced at £89.99 in the UK, $99.99 in the US, and from €99.99 in Europe. It sold out within the first 24 hours of release in both the UK and US.

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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