Y oh why… ? – LEGO Star Wars Magazine, June 2023

We’re in that weird time of the year where one public holiday here in Germany seems to follow one week after another, so time seems to fly past even faster with some weeks only having four or three business days. I wasn’t really paying attention to my calendar when I saw the LEGO Star Wars magazine for June 2023 popping up on another blog, but yes, it’s definitely here at the right time. Let’s see what it has on offer this time.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, June 2023, Cover

In the comic the Millenium Falcon quite literally takes a dive, with it crashing into a planet consisting of a huge body of water. The usual troubles ensue from sprung leaks to sea monsters getting involved. The ridiculousness aside, we do get some interesting colorful panels which is a nice diversion from what could have been very drab illustrations with lots of greys and browns for this old flying rust bucket.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, June 2023, Comic

The second comic deals with some test flight procedures going awry and naturally serves as a reference for the extra, that being a Y-Wing fighter.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, June 2023, Comic

The poster brings us the “alphabet wings”, that is the A-, B-, X- and Y-Wing fighters. They’re all the UCS versions, though interestingly enough they did not use the latest incarnation of the X-Wing that just came out (75355) but the one from a few years ago. The B-Wing is also very old and overdue for an improved reissue. With the new parts that have come out in recent years it could look so much better. Either way, the poster is done reasonably tastefully. The reverse isn’t quite as good, but if you’re a fan of The Empire and like Palpatine staring at you it should do the trick.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, June 2023, Poster

The people at Blue Ocean now seem to have settled on an alternating pattern, so every other month we do get a minifigure and inbetween a buildable model. As you well know I much prefer the latter, being that I’m not a minifig collector, but I understand that many others would prefer it the other way around and could go for one of those highly coveted rare Star Wars characters in this magazine.

Anyway, while X-Wings, TIE-Fighters or Imperial Star Destroyers have made regular appearances, the Y-Wing has made itself scarce. In fact the last time it came in this miniature form was way back in 2017 before I even started this blog. I think I then picked it up later in one of those special editions where they bundle up two or three of the leftover mags and sell it for a good price. This new version looks markedly different from the older one in the sense that the engine gondolas are more accurate in their proportions. The rest is open to discussion. This particular fighter seems to be notoriously difficult to render in LEGO due to its tricky design and even the larger builds suffer from limitations like an inaccurate canopy for the cockpit. Even the UCS version (75181) didn’t get that right and used the wrong mold. So for what it’s worth, we have yet to see the “perfect” brick-built Y-Wing. This small version is certainly okay, but nothing revolutionary, either.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock or have been away on a very long holiday in an isolated region you surely have heard of the upcoming new LEGO Dreamzzz theme. The first episodes of the animated companion series are available on YouTube and some commercial streaming services and they’re promoting it left and right. The new sets have already been revealed and personally I’m looking forward to them. After the botched Hidden Side and VIDIYO some slightly crazier theme with wacky colors and fantastical characters is certainly needed. It seems like they indeed even had the good sense to not force it to be tied to an app. We’ll find out the definitive truth in August when the sets should be available.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, June 2023, Dreamzzz Teaser

At that point we likely also will already have the first issue of the new magazine to go with it for which we get a sample/ teaser/ preview bundled with the Star Wars mag. What can be seen looks enticing enough, but that’s of course easy to say when something is brand new. The real test will be how varied and fresh they can keep it in the long run. Hopefully we don’t end up with always the same minifigures and perhaps there will even be some small builds. We just have to wait and see.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, June 2023, Dreamzzz Teaser

If “average” is a negative term to you then perhaps this issue isn’t great, but if you view it more charitably it simply means that this mag neither causes excitement nor major disappointment. Funny enough the Dreamzzz add-on is more interesting to me than the rest of the content, but that’s just me. The rest is just acceptable with neither any highlights nor massive flubs standing out.

The Not-X-Wing – LEGO Star Wars Magazine, November 2021

This months LEGO Star Wars magazine brings back memories in that it comes with a small A-Wing in the style of the one from The Rise of Skywalker‘s end battle, but more on that later.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, November 2021, Cover

The primary comic starts out well this time. It’s not Vader making himself look like a fool but rather a ghostly Yoda playing pranks in a number of ways. This nicely fits with his somewhat mischievous nature, which regrettably is totally underplayed in the latest movie trilogy, where he comes across as much too stern. Seeing him be his little trickster self is indeed much more enjoyable. Since he’s merely projecting his Force Ghost, we also get to see a number of different locations, which also helps to make this interesting.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, November 2021, Comic

The second, three pages short comic as usual ties in with the extra, i.e. the A-Wing, but surprisingly enough it depicts the wrong one, that being the version with the Dark Red trim from the original movies and having come out as a large scale UCS model last year.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, November 2021, Comic

The puzzles are once more not much worth of a mention and neither is the first poster, which looks kind of amateurish with the sand not having been properly dusted off the minifigures. At least it proves that it likely is a real photograph with the actual figures from The Bad Batch Attack Shuttle (75314) set. The second poster on the back is more to my taste, taking clues from the character posters from The Force Awakens onward.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, November 2021, Poster

As already mentioned, this edition contains a miniature rendition of the Resistance A-Wing Starfighter (75248) I reviewed last year. The limitations I laid out back then still apply, of course – A-Wings, while slick in appearance don’t make for the most interesting models. This small one isn’t half bad, though, be it just for mixing up the build formula for these things compared to this other one.

This version comes with a few special pieces, if you wanna call it that. One of them is the small 1 x 1 rounded “dome” slope in Dark Bluish Grey, which so far only has appeared in the Story of Nian (80106) and the other are two 1 x 3 tiles in Dark Green. Both these elements aren’t rare, but also not available in abundance, thus a bit more costly on Bricklink, so it never hurts to get a few extra on the cheap just by buying this magazine.

Overall this is a pretty solid issue of the LEGO Star Wars magazine and is fun enough even for adults. Definitely a recommendation this time!

V is Victory? – LEGO Star Wars Magazine, April 2021

WordPress are driving me crazy with their forced transition to the Blocks editor, so bear with me if some things look a bit wonky. As an old school WP user I’m still too much used to working within a theme’s design rules and this new-fangled stuff takes some getting used to. Anyway, here we go again with the LEGO Star Wars magazine, this time for April 2021.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, April 2021, Cover

Unlike the wildly fictional concoctions in the last few issues, the comic is a bit more relatable again this time, depicting several encounters Yoda had/ has while roaming the forests of Dagobah. This is very akin to Luke‘s training in The Empire Strikes Back with all sorts of dangerous creatures and a force representation of Darth Vader also making an appearance. Of course there are some liberties here, but at least I like to believe that’s how it could have happened. I’m not an advocate of strict canon, but familiarity and adherence to existing the lore and rules of the Star Wars universe is always a bonus.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, April 2021, Comic

The posters deserve praise this month. Not only are they stylistically similar to the Storm Trooper chart from last month, but also both of them are actually good. To top it off, they even tell a story with Luke and Vader facing each other as exploded minifigures. Of course the downside to that is that you will actually have to buy two magazines if you want to put up both posters in the way depicted here.

The extra is a V-Wing fighter. Don’t ask me too much, as I have yet to manage to actually consistently watch The Clone Wars and catch up with its story and details, but apparently these fighters appear quite a lot there and are kind of important. Otherwise LEGO might have glossed over them and not done several models, obviously. as far as I know this is the first time it has been done as such a mini-model, though, so it’s something new.

The build is not particularly elaborate, but seems to capture the shapes well enough. The highlight are of course the Dark Red shield tiles, which so far only have appeared in the UCS A-Wing Starfighter (75275) and the smaller LEGO Super Heroes Hulkbuster (76164) set, making them a bit of a rarity item. The same goes for the curved slope, though it isn’t quite as scarce. On top of it you get five (!) full left/ right pairs of the 2 x 4 wedge tiles in Light Bluish Grey. Not a bad yield for such a small model!

On a funny side note, I was immediately reminded of Nintendo‘s Starfox games when I accidentally whacked the vertical air foils out of alignment. The details would need some refinement, naturally, but it’s surprising how similar the fighters look.

On the whole this is a fantastic issue providing some good value. A decent comic, some superb posters and a model that despite its simplicity looks cool. what more can you ask for? The only thing where it falls short is the activities/ puzzles, which are few and far inbetween…

A-Wing Craziness

LEGO are a bit on a roll with the A-Wing. From the recently released UCS model (75275) to other sets to even making and appearance in the May the 4th promotional Death Star II Battle (40407) gift with purchase (GWP) it’s everywhere. So inevitably the LEGO Star Wars magazine, June 2020 edition, follows suit with its own variation on the theme.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, June 2020, Cover

I was really looking forward to the little buildable model and it sure does not disappoint. Okay, let’s get the obvious out of the way first: This is not the least bit realistic. the sleek shape of the A-Wing is hard to capture with a ton of pieces in a larger scale, so one should not expect a perfect replica just with a few pieces. This is more a stylized version reminiscent of the egg planes found in Asian comics and the respective model collector/ model builder sub-genres. Still, it’s nice despite being short and plucky.

For the parts connoisseur it contains a ton of useful elements in Dark Red, including an 2 x 6 plate, three 2 x 2 plates and several 1 x 2 plates as well as a 2 x 4 curved slope. The latter is a pretty new variant so far only used in the Harley Davidson Fat Boy (10269) and the 1989 Batmobile (76139), so getting it here is not a bad deal. I also like the  1 x 3 on 2 jumper plates used as engine covers plus, funny as it may seem, I don’t have a single minifigure base plate in white yet and can now rectify this thanks to this little bag of pieces. Overall fantastic value and the model alone is worth buying the magazine.

The comics don’t to much for me with the first one featuring some ugly large worm that’s kind of disgusting even. Just not my kettle of fish. The activities are rather lightweight with really not much to do, but at least there’s a quite good Boba Fett poster. If it wasn’t for the A-Wing model, this would be rather bland, honestly…

Praetorian May

Despite the overall slowness of the world in the ongoing crisis months fly by quickly and here we are again with the LEGO Star Wars magazine, this time for May 2020.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, May 2020, Cover

People got quite a bit excited about this issue already when it was previewed last month and subscribers who got it a few days earlier were equally jazzed. The reason everyone got pumped is of course the inclusion of the Praetorian Guard from The Last Jedi. Those figures have only ever been included in two sets and at least Snoke’s Throne Room (75216) has been so heavy on the expensive overpriced side, these minifigs fetch crazy prices. It’s only natural people were vying for more, making the magazine highly coveted. The figure is a hybrid of different parts from other Praetorians, making it even more desirable and somewhat unique.

The comic revolves around Han Solo and Captain Rex from The Clone Wars, but since I never have watched the full series I can’t tell you how it fits story wise or if it is in any other way good and valid. The posters are okay. I particularly like the one with Palpatine looming in the background, but that in and of itself is of course a tired trope. When does he not look menacingly cool? 😉 Unfortunately there’s not much in the way of activities like puzzles this time, which would have made for a little distraction and easement of stressed-out parents’ pain.

Next month will feature a buildable model again, which is an A-Wing and it so happens that just this week its big UCS version (75275) was announced. Certainly more than just a coincidence…