Suggested Age: 6-12
Casual Build Time: 2 hours
Brand: Dinosaur World
Following on from my Christmas review of Wilco’s Blox – a truly awful LEGO knock-off – I received a birthday gift of another rival brand. LELE Bricks is a Chinese brand that produces cheaper rip-offs of popular LEGO sets. Their Dinosaur World series bears more than a striking similarity to LEGO’s officially licensed Jurassic World brand, however as far as I can tell this particular set is not a direct rip-off as some of the others are.
I don’t have any box photos for you this time as my set just came in a plastic bag, however the kit contains the pieces to make a raptor enclosure and quad bike. It also includes two minifigures, two velociraptors, a chicken drumstick, a tranquilliser gun and a stick (or spear?) with a blue light on top of it.
Here are some better pictures of what I received:
I was actually surprised by the quality of the set. While my experiences with LEGO knock-offs hasn’t been great so far, LELE was actually halfway decent. Although the unnumbered bags added a bit of a challenge to the build, the instructions were easy to follow and all pieces clicked together firmly. The set came with every piece necessary and I even had a few large pieces left over, which is nice as generally LEGO only provides duplicates of small pieces.
However, its cheapness comes across in the details. The pieces don’t feel quite as nicely moulded as LEGO ones and the stickers are faded and show hilarious errors. Like how the dinosaur pictures are clearly not velociraptors (they look more like carnotaurus or dilophosaurus) and that the Jurassic World crest states “Dinosaur World” instead.
The finished set looks pretty good at a glance. While the compound is a slightly odd shape, it easily contains enough space for the two raptors. The door is stiff to operate but does slide upwards and has a couple of pieces that can be turned to lock it open, allowing the raptors easy access. I also quite like the little tray in the side that can be slid in and out in order to feed the dinosaurs.
It’s a cute little detail which works nicely. However, that can’t be said about every aspect of this kit. The tower was a little problematic. I don’t know if this is just my ineptitude but the manual shows a picture of the platform collapsing when the button is pressed. I have rebuilt this several times but I can’t seem to make this work. I can’t even really see how it would work, as the hinges don’t seem to be positioned to allow this movement.
The quad bike is also a decent enough and is fun to play around with, featuring moving wheels and a small missile launcher, but it also reveals a flaw in the model design. While the minifigures can stand up, they can’t sit. They simply don’t click into place on either the quad bike’s saddle or the backs of the raptors, which is certainly a problem for imaginative play.
Yet I do rather like the figures. While they aren’t quite as nice as LEGO minifigs (the faces are stickers rather than printed), they still do have a nice amount of detail and personality. The character with this stick has two different facial expressions and the dinosaurs are just awesome, with opening jaws and poseable limbs. They look so much better than the ones that I constructed out of Blox.
All in all, this isn’t as high quality as a LEGO set but, really, what were you expecting? For the price, LELE bricks aren’t a bad equivalent for building on a budget and are a way to get cheap rare kits that LEGO no longer produce. It’s certainly worth looking at them if you’re strapped for cash.