I’m currently not hitting the road for my many doctor’s visits as often as I used to for reasons that should be obvious, so keeping up with the slightly elusive LEGO Disney Princess magazine has become even more difficult. I was almost ready to order the February issue from the Blue Ocean online store directly when by sheer luck I discovered one of the magazines buried under a stack of others at a newsstand at Leipzig Hauptbahnhof (main station). The mag has been out for a month already, so I’m a little late, but that shall not stop us from having a look at it evaluating its value.
As so often the comic is kind of weird with the different Disney princesses appearing out of the blue together and Moana (or Vaiana, as she is called here in Germany) definitely doesn’t even make a good fit for most of the others inspired by the European Renaissance and Romanticism eras. I think they need to broaden the scope here and come up with better stories. I’m also puzzled by the drawings referencing old LEGO parts like the four-petaled 1 x 1 flower stud that hasn’t been used in any official set for almost three years now. Maybe they need to bring their illustrator’s guidelines up to standard?
Regrettably there is no reading story on the last few pages, something which I always considered something to elevate the mag as a whole. It gave it a bit of classiness and didn’t put it in the kindergarten category. We’ll have to see if they bring it back. Outside that there’s the usual labyrinth puzzles, a few coloring/ drawing pages and some info pages on the characters. They are centered on Moana‘s musical inclinations and what instrument you/ your kid might want to play, given the chance. One thing that stood out to me is the little crafting section on building a small drum with sticks from a cardboard roll, rubber bands, lollipops and bottle corks and then painting and decorating it. This could make for an interesting afternoon project to distract your kids.
The Belle poster is okay in my opinion, the reverse with a group shot of the princesses perhaps not so much. Either way, I think it’s already getting repetitive and they need to change things up here as well.
The extra is Moana herself with her drum. I already have the figure from the Moana’s Boat (43170) set, so this doesn’t set my world on fire, but if you don’t have it yet, you’ll like it. It’s well-produced and definitely worth a look. At this point the set I mentioned, which is the only one containing this figure, is marked to end its run. Therefore this represents a good opportunity to actually get the minidoll with minimum effort. the rest is not really worth mentioning, but I’m just as glad they left the bowl piece of the drum in Dark Red, so it could at least be useful as a realistic flower pot one day.
Really not much more to say than what I already wrote, but once more it seems to me that they don’t quite know what to do with the mag. You couldn’t even blame them for using it as an ancillary marketing tool because the content is so misaligned with what’s actually on shelves. I’m still stumped over this…
A lot of mini-dolls are hard to get after their sets retire so it’s nice to see them included as an extra in these magazines.
Wonder if the repetitive content is because they put less and less effort in to see how much the target audience can tolerate.
I wrote a comment on this in Facebook a while ago – LEGO simply don’t know what to do with their minidolls. It’s like they introduced them to set Friends apart from the regular sets and then somehow ran out of ideas. Things have gotten slightly better, though. At least these days they manage to give them different prints and not every character has only one set of clothing and the same face…