Backpack Chopper – LEGO Jurassic World Magazine, April 2023

In this crazy world of publishers culling magazines left and right or having two month gaps in their publishing cycle as a cost-saving measure I’m actually quite glad that the LEGO Jurassic World magazine has developed into a reliable cornerstone of this genre. It used to be the other way around with it only appearing rather sporadically at irregular intervals only a few years ago. These days one can look forward to getting a new edition every six or seven weeks at least and though not every issue is a winner, at least the release schedule appears to be stable for the time being. Let’s see what the April 2023 issue has on offer.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, April 2023, Cover

The first comic is of course one more chase story, this time in the form of some sort of Easter egg hunt. Not really anything unexpected that you couldn’t cook up in a school write-up yourself here. Most panels are kind of average, but I was pleasantly surprised by how dynamically the T-Rex was drawn in some of them. If they broke out a few of those poses this could make for some nice posters.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, April 2023, Comic

The second comic is equally unspectacular except for its obvious “dog ate my homework” spin. The presentation just isn’t very original.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, April 2023, Comic

The front poster is quite acceptable and if whoever designs this stuff for/ at Blue Ocean had controlled their own bad instincts a bit more it could have been excellent. As it is it’s slightly missing the mark. We really didn’t need to see the Jurassic Park gate and of course the text placement could be better as well.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, April 2023, Poster

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, April 2023, ExtraThe extra is a massive step down from what we got in the last few issues. I don’t think anyone out there really needs yet another Owen, at least not in this boring standard design. The small Velociraptor also already had been included in a previous issue, so nothing new there, either. The propeller backpack is weird and doesn’t really fit the theme, common as jet packs otherwise may be for super heroes. The only small highlight are the two Blue 1 x 1 liftarms and that’s merely because they have only been introduced last year in the Technic Ferrari Daytona SP3 (42143). It’s always good to have them around in as many colors as possible for those rare situations where you may need to cover and disguise a pin or an axle sticking out somewhere.

As written earlier, not every issue can be amazing, but at least this one isn’t a complete disappointment, either. Still, I’m much more looking forward to the next one already…

Dino Chopper – LEGO Jurassic World Magazine, May 2021

With the world still under the veil of the pandemic, little moments of joy become ever more important and so I’m always marking the dates on my calendar when a new LEGO magazine is supposed to come out. This week has the Jurassic World issue for May on the menu.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, May 2021, Cover

The comic is a bit lackluster in that the usual chase story (What else could it be?) is missing a few exciting twists and progresses rather predictably. It’s also visually rather boring with large swaths of blue – a blue dinosaur, a blue helicopter, blue sky, blue water. It just doesn’t really jibe with me as it feels rather sterile and many panels are quite empty even.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, May 2021, Comic

There’s very little else to do, with nary any puzzles and quizzes. I’ve already noticed this across most of Blue Ocean‘s mags recently. One can’t help the impression that under the current conditions they can’t quite pull their editorial staff together and are living of existing material and what little new stuff they can produce, stretching it extremely thin. At least the poster is okay and aligns with similarly styled ones in previous editions, so here’s one more for your gallery wall.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, May 2021, Poster

I’ll freely admit it, but the extra, a small baby chopper, made me go “Whuuuttttt?” already when I saw it in the preview in the last issue. Similar items in the City magazine have been pretty low-brow efforts, but this one is just plain ugly. It doesn’t even pretend to be anything else but a lump of bricks slapped together with whatever minimum energy they could muster. And yeah, there’s Owen and the “wrong” Blue again. As if anyone already owning a dozen of these figures would have asked for another one…. *sigh*

This is not a good issue and for all intents and purposes you can safely gloss over it without missing anything. If i wasn’t regularly reviewing it, I would really only buy this mag if there’s nothing else around to satisfy your LEGO fix. Otherwise it’s just disappointing on pretty much every level…

Chopper Time! – LEGO City Magazine, February 2021

Different year, same subject. I guess that’s basically what you could say about the police-themed LEGO City sets. Of course this topic is a staple of the series and while this magazine is based on last year’s wave, we’re already getting new sets this year. The transition/ integration will be pretty seamless, I’d wager, so even the old sets will have their value. Let’s see what the February issue of the companion magazine has on offer therefore.

LEGO Magazine, City, February 2021, Cover

The comic is still mostly based on the money heist theme that dominated/ dominates the current wave, whereas the new sets for 2021 seem to head into a slightly different direction, which is already hinted at as well. I’ll not spoil it here and leave it to everyone to discover on their own, but it’s a funny twist. One can only hope the humor carries over to the physical set(s).

LEGO Magazine, City, February 2021, Comic

The poster would be okay, but unfortunately the English “Never Stop!” doesn’t at all translate that directly to German in an elegant fashion, so the “Niemals Stoppen” reminds me of a hacky translation done by a fifth-grader in his second year of learning the language. Makes me wonder who’s doing this stuff at Blue Ocean, as the proper way to do it would have been easy enough – you turn it into a question: “Stoppen? Niemals!” Done! So I guess the poster is a bust, after all. At least the mag manages to retain a decent number of activities, puzzles and quizzes, which in these times should be a welcome distraction for your kids when they get tired of all that homeschooling under lockdown conditions.

LEGO Magazine, City, February 2021, Poster

The buildable extra is not much to write home about, as it only uses some very, very basic techniques and for that reason also doesn’t include any fancy parts worth mentioning, but overall it’s okay. It’s decently sized and sufficiently conveys the idea of that baby-sized James Bond helicopter from You only live twice, used here as a mobile police unit. The pilot adds another police offer to the squad, but unfortunately neither has an alternate face nor an extra hair piece.

LEGO Magazine, City, February 2021, Extra

While not super exciting, this issue offers some acceptable value and for that at least it’s worth picking up. For my own personal taste it’s a bit stale, so I’m hoping they’ll move on to the new stuff soon-ish and we might get some cool gangster figure and such.