We’ve reached the final set in the LEGO® Jurassic Park 30th Anniversary collection. It is also the biggest and most expensive set. On top of that, the Visitor Center tops the wish list of many AFOLs. You know all you Jurassic Park LEGO® Fans out there dream of a UCS-style set. One thing is certain, the Visitor Center (76961) is not a UCS set. I’ll be honest, the initial images for this set let me down. The 30th Anniversary collection deserved an 18+ set, and this was the missed opportunity. I already reviewed the amazing Dilophosaurus Ambush, Triceratops Research, and Brachiosaurus Discovery sets. After those, how does the Visitor Center measure up? Let’s take a look.
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).
Visitor Center Stats
- NAME: Visitor Center – T. rex and Raptor Attack
- SET #: 76961
- THEME: Jurassic Park 30th Anniversary (Jurassic World)
- COST: $169.99 CAD ($129.99 USD)
- BRICK COUNT: 693
- MINIFIGURES: 6 (Alan Grant, Ellie Satler, Lex Murphy, Tim Murphy, Henry Wu, & Ray Arnold)
- DINOSAURS: 1 velociraptor and 1 T. rex
- RELEASE DATE: June 1, 2023
Quick Review of the Visitor Center
- VALUE: 45% (Few bricks and not much build time for the price.)
- BUILD: 50% (Only a passing resemblance to the film with no interesting techniques.)
- MINIFIGURES: 85% (Great character selection and count, but lacking details.)
- ENTERTAINMENT: 60% (Not entertained by the set, but it inspires me to build a MOC.)
- OVERALL SCORE: 60% (Barely passable set.)
|What I liked||What I didn’t like as much|
|Little resemblance to the movie building.|
Expensive for what you get.
Not a particularly interesting build.
Full Review of the Visitor Center (76961)
The Visitor Center costs $170 in Canada. With 693 pieces, the cost/brick is $0.25 CAD. That is not the worst value in the 30th Anniversary collection… but it’s in second place. Only the 4+ Velociraptor Escape is worse. Comparatively, LEGO® sets in general average around $0.137/brick in my experience. However, the Jurassic World theme tends to be more expensive, clocking in around $0.193/brick. Either way, $0.25/brick is expensive. I rate the cost/brick at 47%.
I assembled the Visitor Center in 93 minutes. At full price, the cost/minute of build time works out to $1.83. On average, the Jurassic World theme delivers $1.17/minute, while LEGO® sets in general are more like $0.85/minute. Again, it’s hard to justify this set. You don’t get a lot of bricks or build time for the price. I rate the build time at 42%. Averaging this with the cost/brick gives an overall value rating of 45%.
After the highs of building Dilophosaurus Ambush, Triceratops Research, and Brachiosaurus Discovery, the Visitor Center was fairly anticlimactic. Most other sets in this collection were deeply nostalgic. They were immediately recognizable with loads of movie accurate details. The Visitor Center is just off. The turrets are incorrectly proportioned, the interior spaces are laid out completely wrong, and it is nowhere near as impressive as the movie scene. Outside, the set lacks the stepped water fountains on either side of the door. Instead, you get a 1×2 puddle where the water features should be. And there is no roof over two thirds of the build.
You also build a small T. rex skeleton. Compared to past models like the one from LEGO® Ideas, or even the previous Jurassic World model, this one looks bad. In fact, it reminds me of the brick-built T. rex from T. rex Breakout in a derpy sort of way. I suppose if you have either of the older models, its easy to swap this one out. However, it still represents another under-whelming aspect of the Visitor Center set.
The Visitor Center is just off, bearing only passing resemblance to the movie.
Are there any redeeming features to this set? Yes, a paltry few. Firstly, you get the “When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth” banner. It is a nice, durable plastic. Secondly, even though they are in the wrong location, you get nice stickers for the interior windows that look like LEGO-fied versions of the iconic restaurant windows. You also build the incubator in the lab, and get a printed amber brick. The Mr. DNA and egg computer screen stickers are equally awesome. However, those nice details from the movie simply don’t make up for an inaccurate, rendition of a set fans have been dying to have.
I just don’t like this build. It only has a passing resemblance to the movie version. I didn’t learn anything new, and building it last in the series left me feeling deflated after the great sets that came before it. It has some interesting MOC parts, I guess. But we’ll chat about those later. I rate this build at 50%. I had a few brief moments of satisfaction, but not enough to pass this build experience.
The Visitor Center comes with six Minifigures. Sadly, Lex and Tim come with the stumpy, unmoving kid legs. I feel like at least Lex should have the shorter, moving legs if not both of them. As it is, neither character can sit in the dining room. Otherwise, all the characters have front and back torso printing. Additionally, all except Grant come with a double-sided face. Once again, Ellie Satler is the only character with leg printing, and it is the same as in the other 30th Anniversary sets. However, her torso design is different.
The two characters of real interest are Ray Arnold and Dr. Henry Wu. We’ve seen both of these characters before. But Arnold only came with the T. rex Rampage set, and this is a different design for the character. In that set, we got a tidier version of Arnold, whereas here, sh*t has already hit the fan. I like it. On the other hand, we’ve seen several Dr. Wu characters over the years. Each one pulled inspiration from Jurassic World. Here, Wu appears as his younger self. Interestingly, he features a new skin tone I have not seen before.
Dr. Wu features a new skin tone.
In terms of accessories and add-ons, the set has two dinosaurs, two eggs, the printed amber brick, the banner, and a frog. I’d like to see more. Grant had a rifle in the movie, Lex has an iconic scene with a spoon and her Jell-O, Wu has a clipboard and a pen, there was a baby raptor in the lab, etc. There’s lots of missed opportunity here. I rate the Minifigure designs at 77%.
In terms of character count, you gain six minifigs plus a T. rex and a Velociraptor. The raptor is identical to the one in Velociraptor Escape. I have no issues with that since the raptors looked pretty much the same in the movie. The T. rex comes in a color scheme that I like… but I have two rexes like that already. However, this new T. rex comes with scratches from the raptor fight, and I like that. However, two dino molds that we’ve seen many times before does not add much to the draw of this set. Regardless, two dinosaurs and six minifigs in a 693-piece kit is excellent. If there is something I can’t complain about with the set its the character count. I rate that at 92%. Averaged with the design score, this set earns an overall Minifigure grade of 85%.
As a kid, I might have liked this build. I was not as aware of the movie accuracy of things, and the general resemblance to the Visitor Center might have been enough for me. However, as an adult who has seen the movie more times that I can count and deeply analyzed the book, this Visitor Center set just doesn’t cut it. Despite not liking this set much as it is, I probably would buy it anyway. Firstly, I am that big of a Jurassic Park fan that I want to own this. Secondly, you get interesting parts.
After this flop, I am all the more inspired to build my own Visitor Center MOC. This set provides parts I need. The round roof elements are unique to this set in this particular color. In fact, earthy-colored bricks like this are often unique to one or two sets. So, getting them off of Bricklink is not going to be cheap. You might as well get some of them in a set with other parts you need. For example, the “When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth” banner. If you’re building a Visitor Center, you need that. The window stickers are essential for a MOC as well, as are the stickers over the main entry. I can’t see any of these unique parts being cheap on Bricklink. Since this is a brick box that inspires me to build more, I’ll pass it for entertainment value.
OVERALL SCORE: 60%
The Visitor Center (76961) is not my favorite Jurassic theme set from the LEGO® Group. It’s also the lowest score I have given to a set in this theme. Right off the bat, the value is really bad. It ties with Blue and Beta Velociraptor Capture for the third worst value Jurassic set I’ve reviewed. However, even if you manage to score a good sale, the building bears only a passing resemblance to the movie from the outside. The inside is neither accurate to the movie nor the book. Some of you are probably rolling your eyes at my fanboy rant and thinking, “Whoa there, Tom. This is a kids’ toy. Take a deep breath.” But is it a kids’ toy?
Who is the Jurassic Park 30th anniversary collection really geared to? The boxes say 10+… but anyone who is currently 10 years old wasn’t even alive when the movie came out. Let’s not kid ourselves. I used to be a teacher and I showed this movie in my classes almost every year. The number of kids who have not seen the original Jurassic Park is staggering. It’s mostly adult fans like me who will flock to buy these sets, not kids. It’s adult fans who love the characters, and its adult fans who will appreciate the Easter eggs. And for fans, this set just doesn’t cut it. Unless you need the parts for your own Visitor Center MOC, spend your hard earned money on Dilophosaurus Ambush, Triceratops Research, or Brachiosaurus Discovery. Those are sets for fans.
Until next time,
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