LEGO Jurassic World 76965 Dinosaur Missions: Stegosaurus Discovery – a LEGO Stego at last [Review]

As far as dinosaurs go, it’s probably fair to say that Tyrannosaurus Rex is the most well-known. But after that, I would wager that the Stegosaurus has a good claim to be the second most recognisable dino out there. And although LEGO’s Jurassic World theme has been around for almost a decade, the last time we saw a moulded, minifigure-scale Stegosaurus was in a brace of Adventurers sets at the start of the millennium. That changes this June 1st (August 1st in the USA and Canada), when 76965 Dinosaur Missions: Stegosaurus Discovery will start retailing for US $64.99 | CAN $84.99 | UK £59.99. That price gets you 420 pieces, but is it worth more than the sum of its parts? Read on to find out!

The LEGO Group provided The Brothers Brick with an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.


The box and contents

The box has thumb tabs, and shows off the varied contents of the set. The back has insets detailing the van’s opening roof and the connection points for the included terrain.

It’s pretty well packed – there doesn’t feel like much wasted space in here, possibly as a consequence of all the paper bags. There are four of them, with an extra brown one containing the parts for the Stegosaurus.

We also have two instructions booklets and a 9-strong sticker sheet.


The build

Cracking open bag 1 and the brown bag, we start with the dinosaur and Ben, the first of our two minifigures. We’ll take a closer look at them later on, though, so for now we’ll focus on the main parts from bag 1: the van.

It’s built fairly conventionally, with a lot of bricks and plates. The rear bumper is achieved using some 1×2 arch pieces on their side.

Without having seen the Chaos Theory show, I can’t say for sure what this blue part at the back is. Is it a bathtub? That’s a seriously posh campervan, if so!

Up front, we get a double cheese slope with a new print on it for the dashboard. There’s also a new recolour towards the end of the first bag: a pair of 3×3 corner plates in dark red. The front grille attaches in a similar manner to what you might see in a LEGO City set.

The second minifigure, Sammy, comes in the second bag, and the van continues to take shape. The bathtub-looking thing in the back is covered up by a removable platform, which has a bed and small table on it.

The decor on the walls is achieved with stickers on the inside of 1x4x3 panels; I found it hard to line them up properly, but thankfully misaligning them doesn’t really affect the look.

Then it’s time to build the roof for the front and back of the van. These three are all built consecutively…

…Before being assembled alongside a trans-black windscreen – a new re-colour that also appears in 76966 Dinosaur Missions: Allosaurus Transport Truck. As you can see, the rear portion is hinged to allow for interior access.

The final steps are to add the wheels, a ladder, and a bunch of boxes on top. Be gentle while putting the boxes up there; I managed to cave in the roof of the van by being a little too heavy-handed…

The van is now done, but before we get to the surrounding landscape, we have some scientific equipment to build! A trailer to transport is made first…

…Followed by (presumably) a dino-tracker and a microscope. The microscope is a pretty neat build, with a 1×1 trans-orange tile representing a piece of amber.

Now we can move on to the included terrain, starting with a nest. The presence of our second dinosaur in this bag, together with quarter-tiles representing broken egg shells, leads me to believe that this is a Velociraptor nest.

Next is a similar bit of terrain, but this time with a fallen tree stump and campfire on it. The tree stump has stickers at either end to make it look hollow. Clearly there’s some beastie using it as a hideout!

Both these little bits of nature have some conspicuous clips to attach to something, that something being the tree that we build in the fourth and final bag. The mushrooms at the base are a cute detail!

You might not have expected a sticker to be used on a tree, but this is where our last one goes – a “C+O” love heart in one of the trunk pieces. I’m not sure if C+O refers to anyone in particular – answers on a postcard, please.

The trunk is hollow, making a little nook for minifigures (or dinosaurs, I suppose) to hide out in.

The rest of the tree goes up quickly with arch pieces and leaves in a variety of colours, giving a nice autumnal feel to it. The included squirrel has its own little perch to sit on.


The minifigures and dinosaurs

Two minifigures are included: Ben and Sammy. Respectively, they are equipped with a carrot on a stick, and a magnifying glass and camera.

They both feature back-printing and alternate expressions on their heads. Ben’s is a scared face; Sammy is slightly calmer under pressure, smiling away.

There are two smaller animals as well as the titular Stegosaur; a squirrel and a baby Velociraptor. I hope that squirrel isn’t going to end up as the Velociraptor’s next meal…

But undoubtedly the star of the show is the Stegosaurus. Its dorsal plates are moulded from a more rubbery plastic, with some very nice printing all along the body.

The legs are different front to back, giving the model an accurate stance with its tail up in the air slightly. It can also hold a 3.18mm bar in its jaw – perfect for munching on that carrot!


The finished model

And here’s the whole ensemble together!

Although there aren’t any play feature mechanisms, as such, there’s still a good amount of stuff to keep everyone busy. The name of this set implies scientific discovery, and the magnifying glass, microscope and radar make the team well-equipped for an expedition into the forest.

Both minifigures can sit in the front of the van thanks to the jumper plates used for seats. The bed will only accommodate one, so I guess someone has to sleep in whatever that bath thing underneath is…

The tree is more of an approximation of one rather than looking particularly tree-like, but it still gives a good vantage point to look out for snackish Velociraptors. Not sure how you get down, though… It feels like it’s missing some sort of ladder at the back where the hidey hole is.


Conclusions and recommendation

76965 Stegosaurus Discovery features the same conundrum as many Jurassic World sets do, in that $65 for 420 pieces doesn’t seem like a great deal in terms of price-per-piece. In my review of 76966 Allosaurus Transport Truck, which will be released alongside this set, I mentioned that it didn’t quite feel like the right value for the amount of ‘stuff’ included. But in this case, I think it’s about right!

There’s loads of fun to be had with the set. The van and trailer are a nice little combo in their own right, while the tree and associated landscape provide plenty for Sammy and Ben to do. There aren’t any spectacular new parts or re-colours, but it’s still a solid variety to supplement your collection – and that’s not to mention the fantastic Stegosaurus. If you’re a serious dinosaur collector, then the latter may make this a day-one buy. But it’s an equally solid choice if you’re just looking for a fun LEGO set with some dinosaurs!

LEGO Jurassic World 76965 Dinosaur Missions: Stegosaurus Discovery contains 420 pieces, and will release on June 1st (August 1st in the USA and Canada) with a retail price of US $64.99 | CAN $84.99 | UK £59.99. It may also be available from third-party sellers such as Amazon and eBay.


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