This month seems to be shaping up as a good month, at least where the various LEGO magazines are concerned. Some are still due in the next few weeks, but for the time being I’m quite happy that the LEGO Explorer issue for November already has arrived. I was really excited and looking forward to this.
The main reason for this is of course the little frog included as a buildable parts extra. It already got me pumped when I saw the preview image in the last edition and now that it’s here, I almost can’t believe how gorgeous it actually is. Not only does it look anatomically reasonably realistic, but is also in its very own way kind of cute. This is really executed extremely well and the parts usage and their number is generous. That is to say that this hasn’t been optimized to the lowest number of pieces possible just to be maximum cost-effective/ cheap. It’s indeed quite elaborate on some level.
That being the case, one of the only regrets/ complaints would have to be that they could have gone for completely different colors. Funny enough they are hinting at the sometimes really crazy colors those poison dart frogs and similar small jungle frog species often have, but they leave it up to you to build them, which depending on your parts stock and the exact frog type you decide on, could turn out more difficult than one might think. Naturally I would just have loved if they would have gone full crazy and given us e.g. one of the more pink-ish variants of the Strawberry Poison Dart Frog with Dark Pink and Coral pieces and then some… Thinking about it almost makes me want to add this as another project to my ever longer list of projects.
The rest of the magazine is pretty okay, also. I’m in particular satisfied that the promotional stuff for commercial sets has been dialed back, though admittedly this could merely be a side effect of LEGO currently not having a comprehensive jungle-based theme other than the one in Friends. Besides that there is several coloring pages and some reasonable quizzes/ knowledge pages making for enough distractions to keep your kids busy for at least a while.
Overall this is an excellent issue. The frog model alone is worth every penny, and if nothing else, the other magazine content isn’t as annoyingly LEGO-y as in some of the earlier editions. Seems like they are slowly getting there and finding the right balance…