Baby Triceratops?

I was really pleased in which direction the LEGO Jurassic World magazine was heading with the amazing T-Rex in the last issue, so understandably I was looking forward to the current March issue.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, March 2020, Cover

Of course for me the most exciting part is once again the pretty elaborate buildable dino model, this time for a Triceratops. At 65 parts it’s pretty much on par with some commercial polybag editions and by itself represents enough value to warrant a purches of the magazine.

Stylistically it takes a cue or two from the B-model Triceratops in the Mighty Dinosaurs (31058) set, which itself has been around for several years now and has become a staple of the Creator 3in1 series. Next too each other the similarities between the larger and the smaller model are easily apparent and the latter could even function as a child to the former.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, March 2020, Comparison with Set 31058

With a bit of effort one could make this even more consistent by e.g. modifying the building style on the legs of the big guy to be more like the ones of the small guy or vice versa. Even if you just leave them as is, they are both nice models in their own right despite their simplified nature.

Beyond that the magazine has a nice comic, including a good rendition of the Triceratops itself, though in a different color, so the connection is definitely there. The games are too few and too simple for my taste. The posters are oddly framed and feel strangely overcrowded with large text occupying a good chunk of the space and the edges coming dangerously close to the depicted characters.

For me as a graphics artist a bit of a *grmpf* moment, since I value my whitespace and sufficient bleed to let artwork “breathe”, though of course I far too often mess up my own photos and then have to crop them too tightly as well. No shame in admitting that ­čÖé In any case, this is another well done edition in this series and if they keep up that level of quality then I’m all for it. Definitely check it out!

Snow Dino!

The Christmas holidays have jumbled up the release schedule of the various LEGO magazines quite a bit, so the next few weeks will be a bit of a race to keep up with those costly trips to the newsstand until the cycle is in sync again.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, January 2020, Cover

The Star Wars mag comes with a rather unspectacular Snowspeeder model. Not that there would be anything wrong with Snowspeeder, it’s just that it doesn’t have that much to offer in terms of interesting details in the first place and shrinking it down won’t improve upon this, understandably. Most annoyingly the model looks very stumpy with no provision having been made for the short rectangular aft area and everything having been chopped off immediately behind the wedge section. For a freebie it’s okay, but it just would have been nice to get a more accurate model.

Since the price has gone up again and is now at 4.99 Euro, a bonus extra has been thrown in to console users and to preempt a larger uproar. Depending on which packaging you manage to get you either get a Snow Trooper or a young Luke Skywalker with blond hair minifigure. That’s okay for the time being, but regardless, asking so much for a few printed pages and some lightweight extras is pushing it…

The content of the pages is the usual mix of an acceptable comic, some very limited games and the usual adverts for other publications from Blue Ocean. The poster provides a facepalm moment in that it depicts the UCS Snowspeeder (75144) set from last year that you can no longer buy. Kinda stupid to whet people’s appetites and then leave them disappointed, should they decide to investigate the details.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, January 2020, Cover

The LEGO Jurassic World magazine was a bit of a surprise release. There had of course been rumours and even confirmed info that there would be new issues coming out for 2020, but no actual dates were ever mentioned. If you remember, I wasn’t necessarily that satisfied with the older ones as were likely many other buyers (they basically always appeared to be dumps of surplus Owen figures and such), but it seems this is headed in a new direction and more effort is made to make them attractive. Let’s see how long that will last.

The first mag in the new series comes with a nice little T. Rex model, which with its 65 pieces even provides some longer-lasting building fun than the usual models lumped together from half that number of parts. The result is indeed reminiscent of the large T. Rex from set 75936, which I now thankfully had an opportunity to build, in terms of colors and also features some very useful parts like 1×1 brackets or the 1×2 curved slope wedges in Black that are also used for the toes on the giant version. After assembly it really looks the part and in a way is cute. My only small gripe is that there are a few too many black and dark grey parts that would have benefited from having been done in one of the brown colors as well.

A stand-out item this time is the poster with the T. Rex breaking through the wall, which is really something I could see myself actually putting up somewhere. The framing could be a bit better with a bit more visible wall, but let’s be thankful for small things. The comic is okay and funny enough there are more puzzles than in the Star Wars mag to be found here. It’s just odd how inconsistent this is at times. The best part for me is the preview of the next issue hinting at an equally complex Triceratops model, so there is definitely something to look forward to.

The German version here also comes with a free album and a sample pack for the new collectible stickers, but I can’t tell you much on that, being that aside from the free extras no actual stickers were sold at my news agent’s yet. I’ll probably just give the album to one of the neighbors kids and drip-feed them the leftover stickers I surely will get more of when buying other LEGO magazines…