The Dino theme was widely available at retail stores in 2012, but were pre-released for US LEGO Club Magazine members and at LEGO stores on November 9th, 2011.
There are two back stories to this set, but both deal with stopping the dinosaurs from leaving their Jurassic Park like environment and reaching the city. The November/December issue of LEGO Club Magazine had Commander Hypaxxus-8, from the 2011 Alien Conquest theme, release the dinosaurs on Earth after his plans for world domination failed and he was forced to retreat. The Dino Outbreak video game had the dinosaurs coming from a mystical monument creating a portal to the past.
The building set models are very similar to the 2005 Dino Attack theme. The dinosaurs were given more realistic details and the characters are using tranquilizer guns to capture the dinosaurs, instead of using lethal force. To make the tranquilizer darts, LEGO would introduce the lime-green syringe piece for the first time.
Two online video games were released in connection with the Dino theme building sets.
Dino Outbreak is a platform game with 5 levels. Sam accidentally released dinosaurs from a portal and now he must try to put them back. He must collect various items including three yellow bricks to advance through the levels, while avoiding dangers like scorpions and spiders.
Archeological Dig is a point and click game that has players use different tools to excavate fossils. After players have collected enough parts by using the correct paleontological tools, they can go to the museum and assemble the pieces into actual dinosaurs or create original prehistoric creatures.
Item #: 5882
This set is also known by the name Coelophysis Ambush. It might be the smallest building set in the Dino theme, but it had a lot of attractive features. The green Coelophysis is exclusive to this set. At 3 inches long, the dinosaur is the same length as the mini off-roader. With two tranquilizer flick-fire missiles, the small car was still effective in capturing the coelophysis. To help builders add detail to their scene, the set also comes with a small plant to assemble.
Dino Defense HQ
Item #: 5887
- Josh Thunder
- Sue Montana
The headquarters is the largest set released in the Dino theme. The base was not only the largest model, but it also came with the most minifigures, dinosaurs and two additional vehicles.
To keep out the 16" tall tyrannosaurus rex and his smaller raptor and coelophysis companions, the perimeter of the fortress stands 22" at its highest point and encircles the heroes by 30". The communication center is the tallest point in the base. The complex also contains a laboratory and tranquilizer refill station. The turret by the front gate is armed with a two flick-fire tranquilizer missiles and the turret on the other side has a working crane with a net for catching dinosaurs. The 7” long, 2” tall and 12’ wide helicopter fits comfortably on the helipad located on the back tower. The main gate can swing open or close, while the rear gate slides up and down to allow access to the base. A small car equipped with one flick-fire tranquilizer can quickly transport supplies to where they are needed.
Item #: 5888
- Unknown Hero
The hydroplane was perfect for chasing the flying pteranodon over land and water. The plane was armed with a flick-fire tranquilizer missile on top. A net could be released from below by pushing a button located in front of the missile. The propellers on the plane spin to give the model realistic detail. A jet ski is carried at the back of the plane and can be released for quickly traveling across the water.
This is the only pteranodon to be released in the red and dark tan color scheme. It is also the only set to have the Unknown Hero minifigure.
Item #: 5884
- Rex Tyrone
The jeep in this set was made for chasing down and capturing fast dinosaurs, like the raptor. The big-wheeled off-roader fits one minifigure in the cabin and one in the bed of the jeep. The back to the car has a seat to operate the moving crane with a lasso attached or launch the two flick-fire tranquilizer missiles. The two spears make the vehicle look more deadly than its nonlethal weaponry.
If the vehicle strays too far from base camp, the set comes with a small outpost for the minifigures to hide and wait for their prey. The camp has defensive barriers, camouflage, a computer and radar. It’s also be a good place to store their supplies. The turkey let is supposed to be bait, but maybe the minifigures are hungry. After all, Rex Tyrone is exclusive to this set and might want special treatment.
Item #: 5883
This set was originally called Pteranodon Takedown, before changing its name to Tower Takedown. The tower stands over 6” tall and has a dock going out to the water. At the top of the structure there is a large net shooter to capture the flying dinosaur as it attempts to eat the fish being used as bait off to the side. The second floor of the watchtower contains the command center. A tranquilizer refill station is located on the dock. The minifigure can load up his tranq gun, before chasing after the pteranodon in the jet ski.
Item #: 5886
- Chuck “Stego” Jenkins
The tyrannosaurus rex is the most dangerous game among the dinosaurs. It is important to take precautions when hunting down this king of the lizards. The large helicopter measuring over 16" long and 14" wide is up to the challenge. A minifigure can fit inside the opening cockpit and the blades actually rotate. To take down the T-Rex, the chopper is armed with tranquilizer guns and four flick-fire tranq missiles. Once the giant creature is down, the working winch can hook onto a large harness and the heavy-lift helicopter can take the dinosaur back to camp.
The small 4-wheel ATV is only 5" long and best used as a scout vehicle. It comes with a trailer to haul tools or supplies. Chuck "Stego" Jenkins is only available in this building set, so decide which vehicle will be safest for him to use.
Item #: 5885
- Tracer Tops
The triceratops might be the only herbivore dinosaur in the Dino theme, but its three large horns make it a dangerous animal to upset. The large 4 wheel drive truck is perfect for protecting a minifigure from a charging triceratops or transporting the large tank like creature. To neutralize its target, the truck is armed with three flick-fire tranq missiles and tranquilizer guns for the minifigures were attached to the side. For protection, it is best to fight fire with fire. The bumper has three spikes sticking out and the body was solidly constructed. Moving the heavy dinosaur is not easy task, so the set comes with a large cage that can be removed and placed on the bed of the truck. The rear gate of the prison can be lowered to help load the triceratops in and then raised to lock it inside. With a name like Tracer Tops, it is clear that he can only be found in this set containing a triceratops.