February White (K)Night

After last month’s brief intermezzo with some wood chopping it’s now back to police work (and next month firefighting) in the LEGO City magazine.

LEGO Magazine, City, February 2020, Cover

With the buildable parts once more we’re getting a superbike body. Thanks to this magazine and a Ninjago set I bought once I now have them in Black, Red and White. This almost makes me want to sit down and design some custom prints/ stickers, as sadly just like the pizza delivery version this is just unprinted. On such a large surface area it simply looks very plain and boring. If I ever were to e.g. build a motorcycle shop I’d definitely do something about this to make them look more attractive and even just a police patrol roaming the streets would benefit from some markings.

The rest of the magazine is just the usual stuff, though I was surprised to find a coloring picture on one page. Are we perhaps seeing a new trend, given that this was also the case in Friends recently? On a side note, the mag nicely illustrates why having named characters is not a good idea in the LEGO world. Duke DeTain? My ass! This kind of word play simply isn’t flying in German and the gag will be lost on many…

Speedy October Pizza

Full disclosure: I don’t particularly like pizza. This likely has a lot to do with my general dislike for anything with cheese and my disdain for “ordering-in”, but suffice it to say that the occasions where I have been eating a slice are few and far between. That’s why a good chunk of the appeal of the October issue of the LEGO City magazine may be lost on me, so bear with me if I just don’t “get” what it’s all about as apparently the whole things is built exactly around these subjects this time.

LEGO Magazine, City, October 2019, Cover

The included model struck me as odd at first, as such a sport bike would barely make sense for a regular delivery service. Within the context of the magazine’s comic it begins to fall into place, though. In any case, not having had such a particular type of motorcycle in my collection yet I’m not going to complain. The only thing that is very obvious are the large empty areas on the windshield/ aerodynamic covers. They really beg for a print, but I guess that was too much to hope for on a freebie.

Funny enough I have even less reason to be miffed because my little bag actually contained two of the black support frames. It’s certainly puzzling to see, considering how large a part this is. You would only expect this on smaller items. On the other hand, having to request replacement parts from LEGO‘s service on what seems every second set I buy lately it’s not that surprising, after all. Something is seriously awry with their sorting and packaging.

The minifigure is quite generic and if you have a spare hair piece somewhere to replace the helmet, you can easily integrate it in every scenario in your little city. Beyond that there’s only the printed tile with the rather uninspired generic “Pizza” print and two white 2 x 2 jumper plates to create a small stack of delivery boxes. You know what would have been cool? If they had included said tile with an exclusive print like e.g. the “City Pizza” logo from their xtra (853129) signage sticker set. that would have been ace and made this a coveted item.

The comic itself, barring my brain being unattuned this kind of eating habits and everything that goes with them, seems okay and is nicely drawn. It just doesn’t really click with me. The posters, despite being CG-based are also acceptable this time around. All things considered this is a pretty solid issue.

Dirt Bike Police

It’s probably fair to say that City to me is one of LEGO‘s least interesting product lines, ironically even less than Friends most of the time. That doesn’t stop me from buying the occasional set when it’s just too interesting like the green forest tractor, but generally speaking I don’t have any urges to get a complete series of any given theme/ subject.

That’s why I usually mostly ignore the magazine as well – since it typically comes with a minifigure, which I don’t really collect, the parts yield is just terrible most of the time. Often it will consist of large chunky bits, not “real” bricks in the traditional sense, limiting the reusability potential for later custom builds.

LEGO Magazine, City, July 2018, Cover

That is of course only one side of the truth, or else I wouldn’t have bought this edition, Yepp, strangely enough I don’t yet have a cross bike/ dirt bike in my collection. Funny enough through some Creator sets I have a few of the red Vespa style scooters and parts to create those Piaggio three-wheeled mini vans, but this one so far didn’t come up. I have wanted to spice up things for a while, so this time I jumped the chance.

The bike has been done often enough and has been bundled with the magazine several times. Nothing new there. The unique part is the figure, which ties in with the current Mountain Police series. Or more to the point: If you bought the big police station set, you already should have one of those, but it might not hurt to bolster your squad and add even more guys to the team. It definitely makes sense and in a way it’s nice that this isn’t the umpteenth “Let’s recycle our leftover parts from two years ago” minifig bundled with the mag.

The rest is rather forgettable, but I could think of worse than a green branch element, a dark grey slope or even a gold bar to add to the brick bank. I even got hit by a moment of inspiration when I saw the spoked wheel hubs, which could be well worth exploring in an industrial model as a winch one day or something like that. therefore I’m pretty satisfied, but of course if you have no use for the bike or figure, this issue is of limited value unless you have kids that get something out of the comics, posters etc. as well…