Safari Time! – LEGO City Magazine, January 2022

At long last the latest issue of the LEGO City magazine has come out. It was supposed to arrive last week already and in last month’s edition they announced it even one more week before that, but I guess someone at Blue Ocean realized how muddled up their schedule is or there were genuine technical issues with production or distribution.

LEGO Magazine, City, January 2022, Cover

This mag is all about the current African safari theme and thus the comic rather shamelessly promotes the sets and has tons of references to the animals and vehicles in there. While I find this sort of over-marketing still questionable, at least the topic lends itself to interesting visuals and story lines. The comic therefore is pretty palatable  and offers quite a bit of variety.

LEGO Magazine, City, January 2022, Comic

Scattered inbetween are the usual puzzles and quizzes, but I found them rather annoying as there are some on almost every second page. I had to go out of my way to even find two “clean” double-spread pages to show here. that’s even more regrettable since the graphical fluff on these riddle pages usually far outweighs the actual content and the space could have been used more efficiently.

LEGO Magazine, City, January 2022, Comic

The posters are quite okay and would easily fit into your child’s room and blend in if it is already jungle-themed. The CG renderings still appear a bit dull, though, but that’s of course easy for me to say.

LEGO Magazine, City, January 2022, Poster

Now for the big reveal: I really had the hots for this issue because it would include one of the lion cubs from the current series of sets. Unfortunately those sets are kind of a waste in that they target the youngest of children and are very crude. I really think LEGO are squandering the opportunity here by having thrown in those nice animals into rather lo-fi sets. Since I have no interest in ending up with those superfluous road plates they use for the grass and rivers, I’ll likely have to try and get the lions, elephants and so on off Bricklink instead of buying the full packages.

Anyway, in light of this mess I’m all the more pleased to kind of get one of those animals “for free” this way, even if its just a lion baby. And what a cutie he/ she is! 🙂 The minifigure of the photographer is also quite nice, being one of the few (outside Ninjago, that is) with a head band. The scene depicted with the cub hiding under the leaf can be seen in the comic, though it’s unrealistic. Most of the time a lion’s litter would just hide flat on the ground behind grass or rocks, not in actual forests.

Funny how this also would kind of fit with the safari lodge I reviewed earlier this year. Now imagine that set actually having some dry grass bushes and the lions getting comfortable underneath the tree… And of course the coincidences don’t stop there with last week’s buildable lion from that other magazine. The universe works in mysterious ways indeed!

Overall this is a pretty good issue of the LEGO City magazine and once more wish we’d get more of them to this high standard. I’m pretty sure your kids will thoroughly enjoy it, as cute animals appeal to everyone. It’s also a cost-effective way to get the little predator cat and a good minifigure, as the combined price of both would set you back more than those 4 Euro for the magazine. I would definitely recommend this!

Indiana “City” Jones – LEGO City Magazine, November 2021

My calendar was telling me something else and last month’s preview page definitely said this would only come out one week later, so I really got caught by surprise with the latest LEGO City magazine.

LEGO Magazine, City, November 2021, Cover

I was looking forward to this of course for its old-school adventurer theme, something which LEGO currently don’t really have a sub-series for in either of their main product lines. Maybe we’ll get some Indiana Jones style sets to see some day again, though. The many new animal molds that came out this year are really begging to be re-used for crocodile-infested swamps and Indian temple ruins overrun by apes.

LEGO Magazine, City, November 2021, Comic

The comic at least already plays with some of those tropes, which has the positive side effect of it being very colorful and providing some notable variety in locations. some of the panels are really gorgeous and would make for nice posters.

LEGO Magazine, City, November 2021, Comic

Outside that there’s not much going on in the activities department, but I guess some pyramid labyrinth puzzles at least make a little more sense than usual, given the context of this issue.

LEGO Magazine, City, November 2021, Poster

The posters take another clue from the Indiana Jones movies (or for that matter others of that ilk), which isn’t the worst of ideas, either.

LEGO Magazine, City, November 2021, Extra

The extra lives by the minifigure, naturally and it is a fair representation of what you would expect such a rogue explorer to have looked like some time in the 1930s to the 1950s. The individual components are nothing special and have been used elsewhere in different combinations, but the way they have been compiled here is adequate.

The extras are okay, but nothing to write home about. A golden or transparent Ninjago wizard skull certainly would have been more attractive or for that matter even the scorpion in Pearl Gold. I’m also slightly disappointed that they didn’t include one of the simians from the current wildlife rescue series, despite it being shown on several panels in the comic. Point in case: This could have been even more awesome.

All things considered, though, I can’t complain. This is pretty decent, be it just for the fact that it deals with a different genre and in doing so gets a much needed injection of something fresh. This is definitely something you can pick up without much regret.