With the year coming to a close, some of the LEGO magazines are already time-leaping into 2021 and the City one for January is the first of the bunch. Personally I’m not a friend of this “one month ahead” approach, but I suppose they plot this out so long in advance, it just inevitably happens that the relation to specific seasonal topics is lost and doesn’t even matter anymore.
This is also the case with this mag, which once more has to do with diving. Not the typical scuba diving during a vacation, but nonetheless with its depiction of fish and corals kind of evoking that feeling. The comic is quite nice with its bright and glowy colors and I’m still hoping that one day they will give us some nice posters derived from the artwork, not those boring and often technically poorly done 3D renderings.
The actual posters in this issue are just that, with the one featuring what appears to be an unused prototype design for the current underwater series being the better one, if only barely. Both posters suffer from this “Everything and the kitchen sink” approach and are stuffed to the brim with references to other LEGO sets. As much as I love them, I don’t particularly care to have every type of shark they have in their portfolio stuffed in and many kids won’t appreciate it, either.
Unusually, this edition comes with an actual info page (are they taking clues from LEGO Explorer?), but it’s very superficial and not bolstered by additional pages or quizzes building on it. There’s only a more generic questionnaire on the earlier pages. Other activities are also super thin with only a labyrinth puzzle and a color-based logic test.
The minifigure is a an interesting version of a diver with a semi-dry suit and a re-breather helmet, but as far as I understand those things it might not be entirely accurate, as it has a limit on how deep you can go with it. I guess it’s okay, though. The coral piece is a nice addition and one can never have enough of them, but at this point I wish they’d do it in other colors as well. It’s getting a bit boring in Dark Turquoise and Coral, you know. I could totally go for Tan or Dark Red to represent the base color of some corals.
Overall this is a yawn-inducingly boring issue that just doesn’t feel right. The topic itself is full of opportunities for lush, rich content, yet somehow they still managed to pick the wrong options and make underwater life look dull. Not a good start into the new year, for this series at least…