It is Jurassic Week here at True North Bricks. I am celebrating the 30th anniversary of Jurassic Park with new, awesome dino-content every day. The LEGO® Group graciously sent me the full collection of JP30 sets to review. We’ve already taken a look at Velociraptor Escape and Dilophosaurus Ambush. Today’s review focuses on Triceratops Research (76959). Similar to Dilophosaurus Ambush, this set recreates an iconic scene from the original film. On top of that, the set ties into the T. rex Breakout sets from 2022, but more on that later. Triceratops Research also marks a first for the LEGO® Group by providing fans with their first buildable pile of sh*t.
NOTE: The LEGO® Group provided this set for review. However, the provision of products does not guarantee a favorable review. True North Bricks’ usual rating system applies (click here for more information).
Triceratops Research Specifics
- SET #: 76959
- THEME: Jurassic Park 30th Anniversary (Jurassic World)
- COST: $64.99 CAD ($49.99 USD)
- BRICK COUNT: 281
- MINIFIGURES: 2 (Ellie Satler & Ian Malcolm)
- DINOSAURS: 1 Triceratops
- RELEASE DATE: June 1, 2023
Quick Review of Triceratops Research
- VALUE: 52% (Expensive bricks and build time.)
- BUILD: 90% (Car matches previous version closely, but remains too open.)
- MINIFIGURES: 95% (Good number of nice characters.)
- ENTERTAINMENT: 100% (Iconic scene at a good price for collectors.)
- OVERALL SCORE: 85% (Good set.)
|What I liked||What I didn’t like as much|
|The car looks like its predecessor from T. rex Breakout.|
This is the same number vehicle as the squished car from T. rex Breakout.
Nice minifigs and amazing triceratops.
|The set is expensive for what you get.|
The car design is a little boxy and too open.
The discerning eye can pick out a mistake in the scene compared to the source material 😉
Full Review of Triceratops Research
Triceratops Research costs $64.99 in Canada and includes 281 pieces. Consequently, the cost/brick is about $0.23. Those are some pricey bricks, even for the Jurassic World theme. On average, Jurassic sets cost me $0.18/brick in the past. Comparatively, LEGO® sets in general go for about $0.14/brick. Keep in mind that licensing the Jurassic theme and the car (Ford Explorer), as well as making the large dinosaur parts was never going to be cheap. But no matter how you look at it, $0.23/brick is high. I rate the cost/brick at 53%. There is a cost to making fan-favorite sets based on well established brands.
I spent 41 minutes assembling Triceratops Research. Consequently, at full price the cost/minute of build time is $1.59. Comparatively, my average for the Jurassic World theme is $1.06/minute, while LEGO® sets in general sit at $0.85/minute. I certainly did not get much build time from this set. I rate the build time at 51%. Averaging this with the cost/brick score gives an overall value rating of 52%.
The main build is one of the Jurassic Park Ford Explorers. Interestingly, this is car 04, which ties in nicely to the T. rex Breakout (76956) set from 2022. In that set, car 04 is the crushed vehicle. In terms of design, this new car 04 and the uncrushed car 05 from T. rex Breakout are very similar, but not identical. The new car features a few brick substitutions, and the windshield wipers are gone. However, my issues with the car from T. rex Breakout remain. The sides are too open. I’m thrilled to have this car, but I might mod it at some point in the future. Interestingly, I expect a design like this more from a playset like Triceratops Research rather than an 18+ kit like T. rex Breakout.
You can now play out the full T. rex Breakout scene from Jurassic Park!
The other build in the kit is a first for the LEGO® Group. While we’ve seen cupcake toppers used as poo before, I certainly have never built a standalone pile of sh*t before. And we’re not talking about a crappy build here. Set designers tried to make this kit very true to the movie. And we all know where Ellie Satler shoves her hands in the film. However, the LEGO® Group did make a mistake. This buildable poo features a hollow core. You remove a brick to reveal a space containing some berries. In the film, Ellie suspects the triceratops gets sick because it is eating poisonous lilac berries. But Ellie does not find any in the poop, so including them there is not true to the story. A bush with berries next to the pile of poo would be more accurate.
Overall, Triceratops research is another solid build from the JP30 line. The car is not the greatest design for an SUV, but I do like that it is consistent with T. rex Breakout. The cars from the two sets look great together. I also like that this is car 04, the crushed car from the aforementioned set. However, the build process is almost identical to T. rex Breakout. So, if you’ve built that one, you know what to expect. Despite the poor value of this set, I also like that you get this build for a lower price with Triceratops Research than T. rex Breakout. And the poo is funny. I rate this build at 90%.
Triceratops Research includes Ellie Satler and Ian Malcolm. However, this was a missed opportunity to include Dr. Hardy. He appears in one scene of the movie, but plays a bigger role in the book. In any case, both characters have all the standard minifig parts. Additionally, they have double sided faces, as well as front and back torso printing. Ellie features some leg printing, but similar to Velociraptor Escape, the printing is only on the front. The skin tone printing needs to extend around the leg. Otherwise, she wears the same shirt as in Velociraptor Escape, only it is splashed with mud (or something else brown) here. Malcolm is a new design, but fairly similar to his predecessors (as he should be). For accessories, you get a brown frog, a shovel, and two sets of berries. I rate these designs at 98%.
While not a Minifigure, we also need to consider the triceratops. Designers put in a lot of effort to make this one look like the version from the film. I appreciate that. This is the fourth color variant of the Triceratops figurine from the LEGO® Group. I have all of them, and the herd looks great. I like getting multiples of herd creatures like the triceratops. It’s nice to have some individuals in the group. In any case, I count this as a playable character in the set. Consequently, you get three figurines with Triceratops Research. That is about 94 bricks/fig. Whether you compare that to Jurassic World sets alone or to LEGO® sets in general, you get a good number of characters for a set this size. I rate that at 91%. Averaging this with the minifig design score gives an overall grade of 95%.
Similar to Dilophosaurus Ambush, Triceratops Research is another solid win for Jurassic Park fans. The set recreates an iconic scene well, even if the discerning eye picks out minor mistakes 😉 . This scene made me laugh as I kid when I watched Jurassic Park for the first time, and it’s great to see it in LEGO® form. I’m also happy to get another Ford Explorer. The car looks good enough for display, even if I think it needs a little mod. Additionally, the consistency with T. rex Breakout is wonderful. Even though the value of the parts and build time is not great, the set is still not terribly priced for collectors on a budget. This set also continues the fun frog theme seen throughout the JP 30 sets, but you can read more about that in my Frogs of LEGO® Jurassic Park article.
OVERALL SCORE: 85%
I think the LEGO® Group has gotten a couple of sets in this Jurassic Park 30th Anniversary collection right so far. I liked aspects of Velociraptor Escape, but as a 4+ set, it’s not for AFOLs. However, Dilophosaurus Ambush is amazing. Now, Triceratops Research follows suit with another wonderful entry in the theme. The LEGO® Group has really gotten these two sets right. They are playable for kids, but are amazing for AFOL fans of the film. There are lots of fun movie throwbacks.
The only downside to Triceratops Research (76959) is value. You don’t get a lot of bricks or build time for the price. With that said, I would have bought this set even if the LEGO® Group had not sent me one. I might even buy one or two more to get more Ford Explorers. This set is certainly more affordable than T. rex Breakout, and I like the triceratops a lot more than the buildable T. rex. Truth be told, I actually really don’t like the buildable T. rex at all. What do you think? Let me know in the comments or reach out on social media.
Until next time,
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