After being swooned over by the JBMBricklayer Chameleon 70124 set, we thought we should explore another set from this up-and-coming brick-build toy brand, you know, just to be sure that 70124 ain’t a fluke. This next set that we have the opportunity to review is the T-Rex Dinosaur 70001.
T-Rex Dinosaur 70001 is from the same theme as the 70124. This particular set in fact an upgraded version of the original which is supposedly more stable and sturdy which, spoiler alert, is mostly true. Keep reading for our take on this unique building set.
The JMBricklayer Fantastic Idea Mechanical T-Rex Dinosaur 70001 is part of the Fantastic Idea series which explores humans’ fantasy with biomimicry. In the case of the 70001, it is a mechanical reimagination of the extinct creature. Like the Chameleon 70124, the JMBricklayer Fantastic Idea Mechanical T-Rex Dinosaur 70001 uses both plastic bricks and technic elements to create a mechanical T-rex but the similar ends here. It has two sides too but instead of rocking custom-molded shell elements, the 70001 has a brick-built unexposed side and a mechanical side with gears and cogs, hydraulic elements, and the works.
As before, it comes in a simple printed carton box with tab closure, secured by tape. Fronting the box is a beautiful final product image, along with the brand, the SKU number, the number of pieces, and also recommended age. There is some other information on the brand and contact details printed on one side and on the back of the box. The box is minimalist but has the UCS vibe to it. This also means the carton quality is not exactly the best and I’d say it is not quite targeted at box collectors.
The set contains 1,470+ pieces packaged into 25 individual numbered plastic bags. But do not be alarmed. The build does not consist of 25 parts. That would be insane. The overall build is divided into just 6 parts. The reason why it has a whopping 25 packs is that instead of packing the smaller bags of a build section into the bigger bag, they are packed as individually numbered bags, sharing the same number as the particular part build. Save for part 6 which has 5 bags, the rest of the sections have 4 bags each.
I am guessing JMBricklayer did this to reduce the package size. Small individual bags, while many, allow them to be packed more tightly as opposed to 6 huge bags. I could be wrong but anywho… as before a brick separator but this time, it looks like an exact copy of LEGO’s. Not sure about the legal implications, if any.
Included in the package is a 118-page booklet that includes short instructions on how to use the brick separator, contacts for reaching out if you have issues with the set, and of course, the instructions. There is no overview of the build this time, and neither does the T-Rex has a back story.
The instruction is presented in a 118-page perfect bound booklet. It is professionally presented and laid out. The illustrations are great too. Like the 70124, JMBricklayer does not save on the printing quality and the paper. The printing is clear and precise. Where it needs to flip around or rotate, it has a symbol to let you know.
As before, it one up LEGO by having only the parts that matter in the specific step in color. In other words, elements from previous steps are uncolored, making it easy to see where each element for the step goes. So, yeah, you do not have to refer to the previous step on where that 1×1 plate goes. It may sound rather insignificant but it is less taxing on the eyes.
The color separation is no different from LEGO, though as it usually does; I do need a bit of context to make sure I am taking the correct shade of gray. Unfortunately, the mistakes in the parts I experienced with the Chameleon set still exist with this set (example pictured below).
Throughout the instructions that require the 1×2 angle plate, it shows that it requires a 1×2 plate that has two full studs and two hollow studs but in practice, the 1×2 angle plates included in the bags are all with hollow studs. But like before it is not a dealbreaker at all because hollow studs or not, the plate works the same.
One last thing about the instructions is, it does not have a part glossary which would allow you to identify replacement parts easily. This is understandable as the brand has yet to establish the parts SKU.
The Build Time
This set may have almost double the number of pieces than the Chameleon but it took me a little over 7 hours to complete. The build is smooth and almost complication-free. Almost. More on that in a jiffy.
As we mentioned in our previous review, the quality of the bricks and technic elements are no different from LEGO’s. In fact, you won’t even notice that aren’t LEGO if not for the lack of the Danish toymaker’s branding on the studs. However, as before, some pieces do have a super obvious ‘dot’ which is left over by the plastic injection molding.
That aside, the pieces feel exactly the same, right down to the tolerance when clicked together. At least that’s how it feels to me. The colors are consistent too. There’s no discoloration among the same color elements or anything like that. Similarly, the QC on the bricks is commendable. Generally speaking, I don’t have any fitment issues.
There is no light-up element for this set but it could use some, IMHO.
Obviously, this T-rex is not the T-rex we were used to seeing in films and in documentaries. This T-rex leans more toward sci-fi T-rex. The T-rex science taught us has no back fins or hair or horns on the head but this one has those. It has fins running down its back and has hair or horn thingy on the head. Moreover, it has unusually large arms which scientifically speaking, the extinct beast did not have. If you ask me, I thought it look more like the Indominus rex from Jurassic World. At some angle, it does remind me of Hollywood’s take on Godzilla.
The mechanical elements on the exposed side are super cool though. With one look, you know you are looking at the inner workings of the beast. Kudos to that. We love the clever use of flexible hoses and steering wheel elements that gave the machine a steampunk vibe. The design also offers some articulation though not by a lot of degrees in some areas. The tail can swing to some extent. It has a movable jaw and tongue. The arms are poseable too. The skeleton on the diorama base can be freely adjusted too.
There is no major challenge. The build is smooth and complication-free. Well, almost. The general build was fine but I have a bit of a struggle when mounting the T-rex onto the (beautiful) diorama base. It uses two large ball joint connections, one for each heel. It took a while for me to figure out that brute force does not help. You gotta slide the ball join in instead of forcing it down like regular ball joints. So you may want to take note. There is additional support, which is a nice touch, IMHO. The left hand of the dino has a pin that lets you connect to the plaque stand to further solidify its place on the display base.
I have no complaints about JMBricklayer Fantastic Idea Mechanical T-Rex Dinosaur 70001, except for two things: it could have looked more like the scientifically-accepted T-rex and perhaps movable eyes. The eyes are fine but at some angles, they can look a little cartoony. As far as the look goes, it is not the typical Tyrannosaurus rex which took some points away from it but if you look at it as a fantasy creature, the design is actually brilliant. As far as the build goes, it is logical and smooth. However, the tightness of the joints, especially at the hip area could be tighter. Overall, this is an impressive build.
- Excellent mechanical details
- Super fun to build
- Excellent quality
- A simple but very cool display base
- Many printed parts!
- Could have tighter joins
- Not quite the T-rex most people imagine it to be
The JMBricklayer Fantastic Idea Mechanical T-Rex Dinosaur 70001 is now available via Amazon.com and JMBricklayer website for US$89.99. But for a very limited time, you can enjoy a 15% discount on a non-discounted T-Rex Dinosaur 70001 building set if you check out with the coupon code VIPMISH15. Please note that the validity period for the discount is ONE month on Amazon.com.
There is more good news. From now until December 31, 2023, if use the coupon code VIPMIKE15, it will apply a 15% discount on all non-discounted JMBricklayer products on JMBricklayer.com. This code is valid until December 31, 2023.
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All images by Mike for Mikeshouts.com.