Due to the unfavorable timing of last year’s Christmas and New Year’s Eve holidays has messed a bit with the publishing dates of some magazines and I don’t know whether these changes will be permanent, but at least for the LEGO Explorer magazine a fourteen day delay feels unusual.
The February 2022 issue is all about aviation and as someone who was heavily into military aircraft scale modeling up to a certain point I definitely have something to say about the matter. As you likely would have expected, I find that there’s way too much content crammed onto way too few pages. For an issue that ultimately ends up showing helicopters and contemporary passenger and cargo jets going back to the first attempts with hot air balloons feels unnecessary. It could be its own issue as could pretty much any of the other sub-topics.
I know I’m boring people to tears with this, but again most of the content is based on archival materials from LEGO and stock image libraries, making for a very inconsistent experience. The comic is okay in that it is bright and colorful, but I don’t get much out of the story. It’s just trying too hard to be funny without real substance.
The poster depicts a very random selection or airplanes and choppers with the only discernible commonality for some of them being that they are the largest types in their class. Not a stringent logic here, either, though and it feels very thrown together.
There’s a crafting page explaining the two most common folding patterns for paper planes, something which our grandparents taught us in kindergarten. It would probably have been more useful if they had focused on a more advanced type and explained it a cross two pages. Those two basic variants are okay, but don’t have the best flight behavior. A more glider-friendly pattern might have made kids happier.
The extra is one of those “dime a dozen” helicopters you find in commercial LEGO City polybags or small police and fire patrol sets. It’s a formula they have been using for ages with only minor variations and enhancements added every now and then as needed. One could probably do a line-up of them all and you would see this even more. For getting it free with a magazine it’s not that terrible, but not particularly exciting, either. And not too point out the obvious, but the absence of a minifigure really makes the empty cockpit stick out even more.
This is an okay issue, but quite removed from some of the better ones from last year. It’s very average and somehow feels like LEGO Explorer already has lost all its momentum and is caught in a repeat loop where everything feels the same after a few months. From what it looks like, the next issues isn’t going to be that great, either, so one can only hope there’s something more imaginative coming down the line this year…