LEGO Creator 3-in-1 31151 T. rex: An apex predator outpaces the rest [Review]

Dinosaurs and LEGO just go together. It could be molded creatures from Dino Hunters, Adventurers, or Jurassic Park. Or detailed brick build sculptures from…Jurassic Park. Or maybe massive creations of stacked 2x4s. Or, indeed, multiple decades of Creator sets! These prehistoric giants are a compelling subject for display and play in the brick. The summer Creator wave returns to the Tyrannosaurus Rex, considered one of the fiercest predators of its time, and perhaps ever (yes, the Allosaurus and Giganotosaurus may want a word, and Jurassic Park invents its own wordless villains, but T. rex still holds up as a top predator). LEGO Creator 3-in-1 31151 T. rex. contains 626 pieces and is available August 1st for North America, June 1st for the UK for US $59.99 | CAN $79.99 | UK £54.99. Let’s see if it stacks (bricks) up!


Unboxing the parts, instructions, and sticker sheet

The thumb-punch box shows small pictures of the alternate models alongside a large picture of the namesake build on the front, set in a minimal pine tree and mountainous landscape. On the back, larger pictures show different angles of all three builds, all in similar environs.

In the box are six paper bags numbered 1-6 and three instruction booklets, one for each model. A few of the paper bags still had interior plastic bags, but most were paper.


The main build

The king of the dinosaurs is of course the primary build, and it’s done largely in body part sections. We start with the core torso, with a heavy-duty hinge to support Mr. Rex’s neck and large, menacing head.

Locked in place together, it looks like this:

And then we add the texturing and skin coloring. It’s a nice mix of dark green, olive green, and tan that form the main color scheme of the model. It’s not a new complaint, but some of the joints in light and dark grey will still be visible in the final model.

Bag three continues with the tail segments. The dark green 2×4 double slopes with the one plate offset really look good finishing the top of the tail, and the color scheme continues with olive accents and the tan under… tail.

Next we add the frog legs, err, we mean, giant predator propellers. The big joints are covered with plates and then some curved slopes, locking everything in and providing a good strong base for lunging at our prey.

T. rex has famously tiny arms, so it’s appropriate that they’re made from a handful of parts left at the end of a bag. Raawwwrrr.!

The last bag builds the terrifying teeth, along with the rest of the head that they’re set in. Again we’ve got dark green on top, olive, then a tan bottom jaw with dark red tongue inside. Massive back legs, big tail for balance, tiny forelimbs, and a giant head with sword-like teeth in it… yup, it’s a T. rex. Some greys show on the legs and the forelimbs, but it’s a pretty polished build overall.


The alternate models

The secondary build is a triceratops, and it’s… something. Looking at the animal from a bit of a side view here, the crest looks okay, the nose/beak is exaggerated but built up alright, and the back legs are… whoa. This triceratops clearly only does back leg day. They go ALL the way up. Like, past-the-joint up. Your reviewer recently had hip replacement surgery, and if I had asked my surgeon to replicate this anatomy, he would have fired me with cause.

Those giant rear limbs do support the triceratops standing up on its hind legs and shaking it like it’s 1999, at least. Party ‘ceratops! From head on, the crest does work pretty well.

The third build is a pterodactyl. It definitely has a good wingspan, but the 90-degree brackets in the middle of the wings ensure it’s never the most graceful. The colors around the head are nice – it genuinely looks good – until you get to the dead black eyes.

Ultimately, it gives the suggestion of a screeching flying lizard-chicken. But compared to the T. rex, it’s a pale shadow.


Conclusions and recommendations

This set is rated 9+ by LEGO, which I note because it probably matters whether you are six or nine as to how much your dinosaur model should be realistic, majestic, and fearsome. That’s as opposed to wonky, awkward, and evolutionarily-disadvantaged. Which gets to our recommendation on this set: T. Rex lovers are going to be fine. Younger kids will probably play with all of these builds happily. But older dinosaur lovers or adult builders are unlikely to be happy with the alternate models. Money for parts, this set is solid – not amazing, not bad, both in terms of price-per-piece and the actual assortment. If you’re buying it for parts, you’ll undoubtedly be interested in dark green and olive – if not, well, don’t – and you’ll be getting a decent assortment. In summary: buy it for the T. rex specifically, or if you want the greens. Otherwise, roar on by.

LEGO Creator 3-in-1 31151 T. rex contains 626 pieces and which is available for pre-order now (will ship August 1st) from LEGO.com for US $59.99 | CAN $79.99 | UK £54.99. Also available from 3rd party sellers like Amazon and eBay.


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.

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