Anatomy of a Creator 3-in-1 Dragon
Ever wonder about the anatomy of a Creator 3-in-1 dragon? Today I will examine two different dragon sets in this theme. The first set is the Red Creatures set from 2014. The main model of this set is a dragon. The second set is a bit more recent – the Fire Dragon set from 2020. Both sets have a similar number of pieces – 221 for Red Creatures and 234 for Fire Dragon. Additionally, both sets are also aimed at builders aged 7 and older. I will take a look at the anatomy of each dragon from their heads to their toes…er…claws. If you are curious about which dragon comes out on top, continue reading! This article is also part of the True North Bricks dragon week which began with a look at the very first LEGO® dragon. Be sure to check out the new dragon related articles each day!
- NAME: Red Creatures
- SET #: 31032
- THEME: Creator 3-in-1
- COST: $19.99 CAD (retired – November 2016)
- BRICK COUNT: 221
- MINIFIGURES: 0
- RELEASE DATE: December 2014
- COST/BRICK: $0.09CAD /brick (based on the original retail price)
- NAME: Fire Dragon
- SET #: 31102
- THEME: Creator 3-in-1
- COST: $24.99 CAD (retired – December 2021)
- BRICK COUNT: 234
- MINIFIGURES: 0
- RELEASE DATE: January 2020
- COST/BRICK: $0.11CAD /brick (based on the original retail price)
ANATOMY OF A CREATOR 3-IN-1 DRAGON COMPARISON
While both sets have a similar number of pieces, the older Red Creatures set has a smaller box and a lower price point. Both sets also offer a fairly similar build experience. However, I did notice that the older set did not have numbered bags. This means you start off with quite a few parts in front of you. This likely isn’t a concern if you are building on the floor or a table. However, I built these sets on my lap, so I had very limited space. For this reason, I appreciated the numbered bags in the Fire Dragon set.
Both sets offer a fairly quick build experience. I completed each in under 25 minutes. The final models are fun to play with and very swooshable! A variety of different elements are used to give them a lot of articulation. This allows for endless numbers of poses and play options. While fun to play with, let’s take a closer look at the anatomy of each Creator 3-in-1 dragon.
Both the Red Creatures dragon and the Fire Dragon have similar heads. They use a lot of the same elements to achieve the fierce look of a dragon. These include the 2×4 mudguard with headlights overhang, 1×2 slopes, and modified 1×1 with light attachment. They both also use the same modified 1×2 with 3 teeth. The head of the Fire Dragon is quite a bit larger and includes eight teeth elements (24 teeth in total) compared to 3 teeth elements (9 teeth in total) in the Red Creatures dragon. The larger size of the Fire Dragon also provides more room for additional slope elements. This gives the jaw line a more tapered look. In contrast, the side profile of the Red Creatures dragon is a little bit blockier.
One of the main differences is the way the flame element is attached in the Fire Dragon. The Red Creatures dragon has two small flames attached at the very front of its mouth using modified 1×1 plates with clips. The Fire Dragon has a single larger marbled flame attached further back using a modified 1×2 plate with clip on top and a bar holder with handle. This gives it a much more authentic look.
Although the same element is used to attach the eyes, different elements are used for the eyes themselves. Red Creatures uses trans bright green bar with light bulb for a neat glowing look. However, I prefer the stealthy look of the Fire Dragon’s eyes. It uses the small barb in yellow which follows a similar curve to the mudguard adjacent to it for a really nice effect.
When you think of dragons you probably think of wings, scales, and fire breathing. However, the legs are a key defining characteristic and an important part of the anatomy of a Creator 3-in-1 dragon. Interestingly, dragons must have four legs to be considered a dragon. This is the case with the Red Creatures dragon. Although the Fire Dragon is called a dragon, it is actually a Wyvern. Wyverns are mythical creatures that look fairly similar to dragons except they only have two legs. Wyverns originated in Europe so it makes sense that a Danish toy company might use it as inspiration for a dragon set.
The Red Creatures dragon uses small ball joints for its front legs. This gives them a nice slim profile reminiscent of T-Rex arms. That said, they definitely look more like arms than legs. When I think of dragons, I think of a four-legged creature rather than a flying T-rex. Both the shoulder joints and wrist joints have articulation. However, the elbow joints do not. Despite the difference in appendage size, the front and hind legs have the same size claws (the small black barb). I think it would look better if the Red Creatures dragon had the same size claws (the medium black barb) on its hind legs as the Fire Dragon.
Both models use bulkier joints in the hind legs. Red Creatures uses the larger Technic brick with ball joints and a combination of clips and bars. Fire Dragon uses the Technic modified bricks with rotation joint sockets and rotation joint ball elements. This combination gives the legs a bulkier look. But this also means there is more articulation in the legs of the Fire Dragon than the Red Creatures dragon.
Although similar in overall size, the body of the Fire Dragon is a fair bit larger. Its body is 11 studs in length compared to the 8-stud long body of the Red Creatures dragon. This makes sense given the different sizes of their heads as well.
Both models have a tapered body. Red Creatures uses plates and 1×2 cheese slopes to achieve a rounded look on the top of the body and inverted slopes on the bottom. The overall look is a bit blocky but I think it looks better than the Fire Dragon. Interestingly, the Fire Dragon uses 6×4 triple curved wedge elements (both regular and inverted) as well as regular and inverted 4×1 slopes to achieve a very smooth rounded look. Unfortunately, the overall look is too smooth. I think the studded and blocky look of Red Creatures evokes the look of scales, whereas the smooth look of the Fire Dragon makes it look like it is missing something.
I really like that the spikes from the spine are continuous on the Red Creatures dragon. They go from the neck right down to the tip of the tail. In contrast, there is only a single spike on the body of the Fire Dragon, though it does have spikes along the length of its tail.
Another key element of the anatomy of a Creator 3-in-1 dragon is the wings. While the majority of these two models have a similar look, the wings are quite different. They both attach with a double clip configuration. Red Creatures uses two hinge plates to attach each wind, whereas the Fire Dragon uses one hinge plate and one clip to attach each wing. I’m not sure the reason for this combination. After testing them both a fair bit, the double hinge combination might have a bit more resistance so perhaps they changed it in the newer Fire Dragon to improve playability.
Both models also have two segments to their wings. However, the Red Creatures dragon uses the double hinge clip configuration to attach both segments. In contrast, the Fire dragon uses a small ball joint to attach the second wing segment. This provides a lot more articulation and feels more authentic.
The overall look of the wings is quite different. Red Creatures uses wedge plates to achieve the look of the membrane between the bones of the wing. The look isn’t ideal as it is lacking the smoothness of the tapered look of an actual dragon wing. Fire Dragon utilizes rounded corner plates in combination with the relatively new modified 4×4 plate with 3×3 curved cut-out. This definitely gives a more rounded look. However, I think it missed the mark a bit. The final look is a bit clunky and misshapen. Interestingly, the outer segment of the Fire Dragon’s wings has two talons. Both dragons and Wyverns have a wing thumb protruding from the middle of the front of the wing, but I am not sure why the LEGO® designers added two to each wing. Creative license I suppose.
The tail on both creatures is very similar. They both use a variety of small ball joints and a combination of modified plates with clips and bars. They even use them in the same sequence. This provides quite a bit of articulation though I do wonder why they didn’t go with all back joints to allow even more articulation.
The tail of the Red Creatures dragon is slightly longer. It ends in a 1×2 plate with bar with a 1×1 modified plate with light attachment. Two medium black barbs are attached at the end to create the spade (barbed tail). In contrast, the Fire Dragon’s tail ends in a modified 1×2 plate with single clip on the side. Attached to that are two of the newer 2x1x2/3 wedge slopes to create the shape of a tapered point. I feel like this is definitely one of the weak points of this model as it doesn’t look anything like a spade and seems to just end abruptly.
ANATOMY OF A DRAGON SUMMARY
After looking at the anatomy of a Creator 3-in-1 Dragon, the older Red Creatures dragon comes out on top for me. However, the head is superior on the Fire Dragon. The smoothness of the body and the odd shapes of the wings on the Fire Dragon are just too distracting for me. Moreover, the lack of a second set of legs makes the “dragon” look awkward. While the T-Rex arms of the Red Creatures dragon aren’t the best, at least it has four legs like an actual dragon. At the end of the day, both dragons offer a lot of articulation and offer a lot of play value. Which one is your favourite? Tell us below or share your thoughts on social media.
Play well folks,
Want to support True North Bricks?
If you like the content at True North Bricks, please follow on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, or YouTube for regular updates. Additionally, you can support True North Bricks by making your LEGO® (and other) purchases using the links in the main menu. As an affiliate of those retailers, we earn from qualifying purchases. These earnings come at no extra cost to you but help to keep the content at True North Bricks free. Thanks for your support!