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Toys / LEGO Dino

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LEGO Dino is a 2012 LEGO theme, built around the idea of a troop of experienced dino hunters capturing prehistoric animals. It is very similar to the earlier LEGO Dino Attack line, especially with regards to the dinosaur figures, although the setting here is more grounded in reality, at least in that the dinosaurs aren't monstrous mutants, and the gear used by the human characters are far less fancy and sci-fi-ish.

The story is as simple as it gets: The dinosaurs "are loose" and about to attack "the city", so "the heroes" have to capture and sedate them. The dinos reside at "the nest", while the heroes live at "the base".

A total of seven sets were released. Although they still utilize the kind of construction that made the Dino Attack ones so unwelcome and sadly suffer from several anatomical inaccuracies, the dinosaur figures are by far the best dino sculpts LEGO has released so far.

While some criticized the sets for putting too big an emphasis on these dinosaurs, making the vehicles and buildings look plain and underwhelming in comparison, the reception of the line wasn't at all bad, and the similarities between the setting and the popular Jurassic Park franchise didn't go unnoticed either, turning the line into a sort of "JP stand-in" in the eyes of many collectors; given that the Jurassic Park license was held by KRE-O at the time, this may have been LEGO's way of Building Around Trademarks.

LEGO Dino contains examples of:

  • Action Girl: Sue Montana, who pilots a mini-copter and whose record is 20 dinos captured a day.
  • All There in the Manual: The website gave us the names of the human characters, as well as other intriguing bits of trivia, like what their "most dinos caught in a day" record is, which dino they hate the most, and what their favorite food is. For some reason. Their characters aren't defined further, sadly.
  • All There in the Script: Dr. Sam Flash is not named in the Dino Outbreak game, but the unlockable sticker sheet refers to him as "sam". The website for Jessica Fiorini, the game's producer and level designer at Tiny Mantis, is the only known source that provides his full name.
  • Artistic License – Paleontology: The dino facts on the website aren't bad, but of course they do not go out of their way to point out how some of the designs are.
  • Bring It Back Alive: The goal of the Dino Strike Team isn't to exterminate the dinosaurs, but rather to safely capture them before they reach the city.
  • Crossover: A LEGO Magazine comic revealed that the dinosaurs of this theme were released by Commander Hypaxxus-8, the Big Bad of LEGO Alien Conquest, at the end of a crossover comic in which he teams up with Pharaoh Amset-Ra from LEGO Pharaoh's Quest and a Clinger-possessed Golden King from LEGO Atlantis.
  • Cutscene Boss: In the Dino Outbreak online game, the enemies are not the dinosaurs, but just random animals like spiders and wild boars. The dinosaurs are regulated only to cutscenes, with Dr. Sam Flash rounding up a bunch of them and capturing them without any input from the player.
  • Dumb Dinos: All of the animals are stupid and violent and threaten the city for no reason - including the comparatively harmless Coelophysis and Pteranodon, and the herbivorous Triceratops.
  • Legacy Character: One of the main characters is named Josh Thunder, and he is confirmed by The LEGO Book to be a descendant of Johnny Thunder (who, incidentally, has dealt with dinosaurs before).
  • Lighter and Softer: Compared to LEGO Dino Attack (to be fair, most LEGO lines are), LEGO Dino abandons the post-apocalyptic Urban Warfare in favor of non-lethally capturing dinosaurs in the jungle. In that regard, it's more similar in tone to Dino 2010, and even then Dino has brighter, less monstrous dinosaur designs than Dino 2010.
  • Prehistoric Monster: It's considerably downplayed, especially in comparison to LEGO Dino Attack, but the dinosaurs are once again the antagonists and are more ferocious-looking than their earlier LEGO Adventurers counterparts.
  • Punny Name: Rex Tyrone, "Tracer" Tops, Sue Montananote  all have dinosaur-themed puns for names.
  • Raptor Attack: In contrast to the Pteranodon, the Velociraptor figure is wrong on every level. It is, like most raptors in media, essentially a Jurassic Park ripoff, and is therefore scaly, has kangaroo-hands, a short tail, and the head resembles that of an Allosaurus. There is also the size-issue, though engineering such a figure on a smaller scale would have been difficult.
  • Spiritual Successor: Dino is a successor to the earlier theme Dino Attack/Dino 2010, with both LEGO lines featuring a team of hunters battling antagonistic dinosaurs to protect the city. However, there are no direct canonical links between their storylines, hence why Dino is not considered a sequel.
  • The Squad: The Dino Strike Team is the small but heroic team of brave hunters deployed to capture the dinosaurs.
  • Stealth Sequel: Although it's not obvious just from looking at the sets, LEGO Dino is actually a followup to LEGO Pharaoh's Quest, LEGO Alien Conquest, and LEGO Atlantis. Specifically, Hypaxxus-8 (the Alien Commander and Big Bad of Alien Conquest) unleashed the dinosaurs as a backup plan after his previous scheme involving Atlantis and Egyptian technology failed to defeat the Alien Defense Unit.
  • Time Traveler's Dinosaur: According to the online game Dino Outbreak, the dinosaurs appear in present day as the result of Dr. Sam Flash accidentally opening a time portal gate and letting them through.
  • Toilet Humour: Clicking on the T. rex's butt in the website's dino explorer would produce a farting sound effect.
  • Toyless Toyline Character: Dr. Sam Flash, the playable character of the online Dino Outbreak game, does not appear in any of the sets.