Explorer-ing… Endangered Animals – LEGO Explorer Magazine, September 2021

Like most people, of course I have some favorite animals and while octopusses, sharks and whales are hard to top in my opinion, some land-based animals are certainly among those faves as well. That’s why I was really looking forward to this particular issue of the LEGO Explorer magazine.

LEGO Magazine, LEGO Explorer, September 2021, Cover

The September 2021 edition deals with animals on the verge of extinction, being extinct or at least extremely under threat of dying out such as rhinos, certain sub-species of elephants, tigers and so on. These examples are illustrated with a few photos covering different groups across several pages. As usual these are merely stock images from different sources, so the visual style is rather inconsistent. Noising things up with minifigures and LEGO builds doesn’t help, either. It’s okay for children, but I still wish they would occasionally hire a photographer or at least license a complete series of photos in a similar style.

LEGO Magazine, LEGO Explorer, September 2021, Info Page

LEGO Magazine, LEGO Explorer, September 2021, Info Page

The poster once again is kind of weird as the designers couldn’t help themselves and had to stuff in some LEGO set. Aside from it unnecessarily covering the whole top half of the two page spread it is based on the old jungle them from five years ago, which makes this a “Huh?” moment. Imagine the aggravation when your little one falls in love with one of the elements and you have to explain that you can’t just go out and buy it. Really not that smart…

LEGO Magazine, LEGO Explorer, September 2021, Poster

The main interest is of course the buildable extra, this time a male Urang Utan. The obvious flaw of course is that it’s Dark Red, not Dark Orange, but of course there’s a simple explanation for this. LEGO never produce extra parts for these sets and the elements are all siphoned from current production runs. Therefore the “bear paw” plate does not even exist in this color and even the wedge plates on the sides might be a problem ever since MOC builders have cleaned out the market to build the The Empire over Jedha custom model.

The large primate of course loses some appeal because of the “incorrect” color, but is otherwise okay. There can of course be no denying that this could have been even better had they e.g. added proper elbow and knee joints to the limbs or hinted at the soles of the feet with a differently colored plate or 1 x 1 slope. As it is, you can pretty much only pose this in a defensive/ aggressive pose instead of having the guy really sit or do something else.

Despite some of these shortcomings this issue is alright. Not great, but alright. The Dark Red parts of the model are useful, after all and for kids the editorial parts are informative enough…