Space Walk in Yellow – LEGO City Magazine, June 2022

Allow me to make a sigh of relief: *phew*. After the last three LEGO City magazines have been extremely underwhelming, to put it mildly, this one seems to turn things around. Let’s hope this will turn into a trend and there will be more good issues this year. For now let’s focus on the June 2022 edition and see what it holds for us.

LEGO Magazine, City, June 2022, Cover

The whole mag is based on space exploration and so is the comic. Even the story, despite being rather wacky, has a certain charm for me as a sci-fi nerd. Who hasn’t dreamed of flying out there and exploring planets? Of course it’s heavily promoting this year’s space exploration sets, but since they are based on realistic NASA concepts I really don’t mind. All of this could come true in the not too distant future even if by then I’m likely an old man in a retirement home. ­čÖé The comic is drawn well and there’s even a small coloring section derived from it. Unfortunately it’s not a full double-spread and really tiny or else even I might have been tempted to take out my Copic markers and give it a whirl.

LEGO Magazine, City, June 2022, Comic

LEGO Magazine, City, June 2022, Comic

Spending a calming evening filling in lines might also have given us a better poster. This part is the weak link in this issue. The reverse side I chose to depict here is okay-ish, but the front is just another Photoshop hack job based on LEGO‘s own promotional photos. Basically the epitome of laziness as if shooting some extra pics based on an assembled model or rendering some alternate 3D views was too much to ask.

LEGO Magazine, City, June 2022, Poster

LEGO Magazine, City, June 2022, ExtraThe undisputed highlight is the extra. Not only do you get a minifigure in the new Bright Light Yellow spacesuit design, but also a small satellite. Even that is kind of accurate if you think about the many current efforts to build communications networks such as Starlink with miniaturized satellites – and lots of them at that. It’s not that special in terms of sophistication, of course, but just nice. The printed solar panel can be used in a multitude of ways and is nice to have, too.

Overall this is a pretty good issue and I’m really pleased. It has a positive vibe and tingles my nerd genes. It’s only regrettable that they didn’t go far enough and slipped up on the coloring page and poster…

Explorer-ing Space – LEGO Explorer Magazine, December 2020

As I’ve written a bunch of times on this blog, I’m very much a Sci-Fi and space nerd of sorts. That’s why the December issue of the LEGO Explorer magazine should be right up my alley, right? Let’s see!

LEGO Magazine, LEGO Explorer, December 2020, Cover

The magazine title is more or less a complete misnomer. It’s pretty much all about the Apollo 11 mission, so more appropriately it should be titled something along the lines of the first moon landing instead of “Adventures in Space”. That’s quite misleading as not even other LEGO sets such as the International Space Station ISS (21321) or for that matter the various City sets get mentioned much. It’s all about the Saturn V (21309) rocket that just got a second lease of life due to popular demand (new set number 92176) and the Apollo Lunar Lander (10266) plus a few bits and bobs to do with NASA.

LEGO Magazine, LEGO Explorer, December 2020, Poster

The central poster is okay stylistically, but like the rest of the magazine light on actual info. The over-reliance on photos of LEGO models and images from the archives you have seen a million times doesn’t necessarily make this more interesting. I’m also missing a bit of geek stuff like statistics about the moon or some comparisons of the lift forces required. Maybe I’m misjudging the target demographic, but I feel this would have spiced up things quite a bit. At least the quiz is pretty decent, though.

LEGO Magazine, LEGO Explorer, December 2020, Quiz

The miniature model of the lunar lander looks somewhat weird, mostly due to that radar dish on the bar on the top looking like a trumpet. They probably should have used a hinge or something like that instead. Otherwise the model is reasonable, if not very realistic. The highlight of course are the golden dishes. I have a few of them already from some Friends sets, but if you don’t, then here’s your chance to grab four of them. On a side note, the Flame Yellowish Orange 3 x 3 plate is also rather unique, as apparently so far it has only been used in a Brickheadz set. Who knows? One of those days it might come in handy. On the back cover there’s even a bit of printed landscape that actually looks more like Mars than the Moon for you to place your model in for that scenic feel.

LEGO Magazine, LEGO Explorer, December 2020, Extra LEGO Magazine, LEGO Explorer, December 2020, Extra

All things considered, this is a bit of a weak issue, especially after last month’s awesome frog edition. The topic would have lent itself for so much more, but has been limited in scope way too much for my taste. The parts are good and useful, but otherwise there’s not much here to keep me distracted even for five minutes, unfortunately.

Orange Space December

I’ve been too distracted with other things, not always quite in the way I intended, so activity around these parts has been a bit low and the December issue of the LEGO City magazine also kinda snuck up on me.

LEGO Magazine, City, December 2019, Cover

Space has apparently no bounds in the LEGO universe and that’s why we are getting another astronaut minifigure this month. thankfully it’s of the alternate type, meaning not the one with the white pressurized “space walk” suit but rather the orange planetary exploration/ space station daily overalls variety. Just the other day I bought the smallest shuttle from the current space series (Satellite Service Mission┬á[60224]┬á) on a grocery store discount sale, so this figure makes for an interesting alternative occupant for the cockpit.

The rest of the parts is not worth writing home about, as the vehicle you are supposed to build from them is literally the most simplistic, most trimmed down version of a four-wheeled vehicle one could imagine. Not a great look by any stretch of the imagination and certainly nothing particularly space-themed, either. It’s really approaching a point of “Why even bother?”.

The rest of the magazine is pretty good on the other hand, consequently built around an imaginary “mission” and its planning/ preparation, which is reflected by the puzzles and even sort of a plan view of the big space station (Lunar Space Station [60227]) on one of the posters. If your kid is anything close to a space nerd like me it will have lots of fun.

The back cover also doubles as a cut-out buildable mobile with the solar system’s planets orbiting around the sun, so there’s definitely some educational value for astro-kids plus it should also be useful for sharpening manual skills just by assembling it for the lesser scientifically inclined. Overall this is a nice issue. I just wish it would be richer in the parts department.