Red Raptor – LEGO Jurassic World Magazine, May 2023

I was really looking forward to this month’s LEGO Jurassic World magazine simply because I like buildable stuff and knew this one wouldn’t disappoint. more on that further down. First let’s take a look at the regular contents for the May 2023 issue.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, May 2023, Cover

The comic, while it would be okay in the overall style, again puts me off with its excessive use of fake Inner Shadow and Bevel layer styles (to the uninitiated: that’s what it’s actually called for real in Photoshop). It not only makes everything look very dark and murky, but personally I’m even offended by the sloppy way it’s applied. The values are all wrong and it is too large and too soft. It’s like they created a preset and threw it on to every image without re-tweaking it to account for different scales.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, May 2023, Comic

In terms of story writing Blue Ocean aren’t going to win any awards, as of course it’s just another escape & chase story. That even goes for the shorter secondary comic. It’s odd that they always play up the hostility and danger when there could be other narratives to explore.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, May 2023, Comic

For the poster I elected to show you the back side, not just because the one on the front is yet another run-of-the-mill hack composition pieced together from existing renderings. sure, this little overview isn’t showing that any special effort was made, either, but at least it meets my standards for acceptable clean design. Funny enough, as another little bit of Photoshop and design wisdom, adding a thin outline or outer glow would have helped with contrast. Some of the Tan-colored areas blend a bit too much with the yellow background and the Quetzalcoatlus with its White body would have benefited from that as well.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, May 2023, Poster

Moving on to the extra, we get a Pyroraptor built from bricks. If the overall appearance looks familiar of course you are not wrong. This is quite similar to the T-Rex and Velociraptor builds we got in past issues, but then at the same time there’s only so much you can do with a given set of elements. It’s almost impossible to avoid that they all look nearly the same. This particular build tries to distinguish itself not only with the colors, but by also trying to hint at the plumage. Jurassic World – Dominion is by all accounts a terrible movie, but at least they started honoring this long-standing knowledge that very likely a lot of dinosaurs had feather-like body coverage, at least in part. Whether they had to invent a whole new species for that is a different question entirely… Anyway, it’s just fine.

With regards to the parts usage we even get a small highlight by ways of the vertical “shield” 1 x 1 modified plate being included in Dark Blue. At this point it literally has only been in the expensive The Ice Castle (43197) sett associated with the Disney sub-theme and therein the Frozen animated movie(s). The horizontal red tooth plates are also not bad and since you get four of each type, the yield isn’t bad. The rest is just a bunch of curved slopes, hinge plates and a few others in pretty standard colors, but you can never have enough of those, either. I’m just wondering why they didn’t go with the wedge slopes on the head like on the previous variations of this critter. It would have made him look more aggressive.

This is a pretty decent issue, in particular since building the model takes more than thirty seconds and thus you feel like you get some value. Unfortunately the comic is a bit of a miss due to that weird shading thing. It would have looked so much better in a more pristine style.

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…

Beaming Chamber – LEGO Jurassic World Magazine, February 2023

It’s a good thing that the LEGO Jurassic World magazine is now on one and a half month cycle, so there’s at least some stability there, given how much the publishing schedule of the other magazines has been thinned out or stretched to a point where every issue that still gets released feels like a surprise because you simply lose sight of the release dates in those long weeks.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, February 2023, Cover

The first thing of note in the February/ March 2023 issue is the new style of coloring. It’s not big news that each of the inking artists has their own style and that’s fair and square and logical with how the magazine is produced, but I feel this particular look is one step too far. It makes things look a bit too dark and the silky sheen with the inner glows/ inner drop shadows bleeding into certain areas feels weird. It’s plausible in that both comics play out at night and you’d have this odd “moonlight effect” to some degree, but if feels a bit too extreme here. It’s all too soft and there are e.g. barely any hard shadows in the panels. They need to take it back a notch next time.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, February 2023, Comic

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, February 2023, Comic

The posters both aren’t very good, only recycling and repeating the ever same ideas and motives. It’s not even executed well from a technical standpoint with the orange wall looking murky and lacking any crunch. The bricks breaking out are a completely different color and don’t cast shadows, either. Some very unsophisticated Photoshop hack job!

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, February 2023, Poster

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, February 2023, ExtraSaving the day once again is the extra. It’s not very complex, but makes up for it with volume. It isn’t every day that you get two half-cylinders in a magazine “polybag” (they’re obviously paper now) and some 1 x 1 x 5 bricks. It’s supposed to be some sort of hatching/ growth chamber, but could just as well be a transporter from Star Trek or some sort of deep freeze hibernation thing. A slightly larger base plate and perhaps a few extra pieces could have elevated this to a level where it would almost compete with commercial sets.

On the whole this is a somewhat hum-ho issue and only the extra is adding some real value. Unfortunately we’re still in this slump with Jurassic World with no new sets on the horizon independent from the movies and so it’s all a bit too much rinse-repeat with the ever same content.

Another Blue Night – LEGO Jurassic World Magazine, January 2023

Look what I did there! Hot on the heels of my review of Vincent van Gogh – The Starry Night (21333) I recycled the title for this month’s LEGO Jurassic World magazine. Let’s see what the January 2023 issue has on offer.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, January 2023, Cover

The relationship between the articles and my cheap word play becomes immediately apparent once you turn your attention to the pages of the first comic. It indeed plays out at nighttime and has a lot of blue in it. It has it’s roots in movie production where using blue filters is actually a very typical technique to do day-for-night shoots. I once a long time ago got in hot water with a gentlemen who mistook what we call American Night here in Germany (for the aforementioned reason of it originating in Hollywood) to be an insult to US people. Go, figure! Anyway, I digress. The comic is about some Velociraptors making an escape with the accidental help of a Ceratosaurus.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, January 2023, Comic

There’s a second, short three-page comic showing a Dilophosaurus stampede. This is a bit like they are adapting the pattern from the Star Wars magazines, only without the second comic being required to advertise the extra, which is covered in the big one. We’ll have to see if this just a one-off or will become a permanent change.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, January 2023, Comic

For the poster I opted to show the back side, since it has a nice graphical design illustrating a few of the main types of LEGO dinosaurs. It’s far from complete and exhaustive, but looks nice enough. The front side is more standard fare with some dinosaurs and a water-based chase scene being depicted.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, January 2023, Poster

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, January 2023, ExtraThe extra is a little dino trap and as mentioned, it can also be seen in the main comic. I intentionally assembled it wrongly for the photo, as otherwise the dino and the chicken leg bait get too close and it doesn’t look nice. I also couldn’t get the mechanism to stay up. It would be one row of studs more in and then it would work by holding the dino down as opposed to strangulating the little guy from below as it looks like in my image.

Regrettably it always seems things never come together fully and while this issue has good comics and acceptable posters, the extra is a bit lackluster. Not bad, just not as exciting as the last few ones. 😉

Blue T-Rex? – LEGO Jurassic World Magazine, December 2022

The LEGO Jurassic World remains my favorite of the currently available LEGO-themed magazines as I can always find something in it that gives me that good feeling in my tummy and the December 2022 issue does just that as well.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, December 2022, Cover

The comic is not my favorite, being that it’s one of those half/ half ones, but it is a definite improvement over last month’s “empty skies” orgy. There’s some panels with detailed drawings and interesting perspectives, it’s just that there could be even more density with e.g. the jungle looking more alive. It really would make those escape scenarios more interesting.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, December 2022, Comic

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, December 2022, Comic

The posters are standard fare, but at least the one on the front is decent enough. The reverse on the other hand is any Photoshop user’s nightmare. They just stuffed in every existing rendering or cut-out of dinos they could find and arranged them in a fake photo, but it’s really all over the place in terms of colors and perspective.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, December 2022, Poster

The extra will be a familiar sight to regular followers of my blog or for that matter frequent buyers of the magazine. It’s another buildable dino, this time in the guise of Blue, the Velociraptor, bur rge basic structure is pretty much still the same of the original T-Rex we got after the relaunch in January 2020 and then of course we got it again in September 2021 in the form of a Dilophosaurus and even this year already in the February 2022 edition as another variation on the T-Rex. The nice thing about those creatures that you really have quite a bit of building to do and it feels rewarding, but of course it’s also getting a bit stale and repetitive to always have the same structure. Would be nice if they could design a few other species.

All in all this is an okay issue and worth its money. I still think we need an influx of some new dinos and also on a more general level new ideas, though.

Raptor Relay – LEGO Jurassic World Magazine, October 2022

The Jurassic World magazine for October 2022 is not that great. I can tell you that up front. However, despite this in a more general sense the magazine remains at the top of my list of Blue Ocean‘s publications and I always look forward to it, so let’s have a gander at some of its contents.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, October 2022, Cover

The comic can quickly be summed up as “another issue, another chase”, and to boot, of course we’re still stuck in the actual Jurassic Park and on the island. This is really becoming long in the tooth and boring as heck, even more so since there are so few interesting new dinosaurs. There’s only so many ways you can spin a Velociraptor story.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, October 2022, Comic

The graphical style also once more is of the “lots of blue sky” variety and the panels don’t look that terribly interesting. At this point clearly City and Star Wars have the lead with their much more explosive and varied visual storytelling.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, October 2022, Comic

Another department clearly suffering from the lack of new dino species are the posters, which make you think “Didn’t I see that just two issues ago?”

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, October 2022, Poster

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, October 2022, ExtraThe highlight of the magazine once more is the buildable extra, which in the Jurassic World magazine tend to be reasonably decked out. Though the cover sells this as a “(communications) base”, it is of course not. It’s more of a relay or one of the many surveillance points and access points to different areas of the park.  It captures this feeling nicely, even if it is rather small. The “bad guy” Rainn Delacourt is from the Atrociraptor Dinosaur: Bike Chase (76945) set and so is the little raptor with the new print, joining his Pyroraptor buddy from the July edition. A small highlight are the two 1 x 6 dual arches. I have a ton of white ones and a few crazy colors like Dark Pink, but the Light Bluish Grey ones so far have eluded me. LEGO uses this element relatively rarely and often in sets that I don’t buy like expensive Star Wars ones, so it’s nice to have them. It would have been ace if they had thrown in a printed tile like this one for instance to connect the two arches and cover the studs.

As said in my introduction, this certainly isn’t the best edition in the series, but at least the extra is its saving grace. I’d really only get this issue for that reason because the rest unfortunately is very forgettable.

Pyro Raptor Buggy – LEGO Jurassic World Magazine, September 2022

The summer heatwave having dissipated and more regular temperatures now being prevalent again certainly also makes that LEGO business more enjoyable just as it facilitates writing reviews. So here we are having a look at the Jurassic World magazine, September 2022 edition.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, September 2022, Cover

The all too apparent differences between the various artists doing the comics’ drawings are still a bit funny to me and in a way also odd, so this month we’re back to one of those 50/50 illustrations, where some panels are reasonably detailed and look good, but a lot of the others don’t. Thematically we at least get to see a few dino species that haven’t been represented in their LEGO-fied form for a while. It’s been a moment since the Brachiosaurus made an appearance.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, September 2022, Comic

The same goes for the Mosasaurus and the mere depiction in the comic makes me wonder if LEGO ever have any plans of doing sets with those creatures. Aside from the potentially insane price I could totally go for that. The aquatic side of prehistoric life has never been explored in this form, anyway, and doing so could actually inject some new life into the series as a whole, even in the movies themselves. Since Dominion was such a failure, though, I’m not sure if this will ever happen. We might have to settle for more half-baked content like this.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, September 2022, Comic

The posters both feature a T-Rex, but are equally boring, regardless which side you display. At least there’s not too much visible poor photo editing.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, September 2022, Poster

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, September 2022, ExtraAs hinted at last time the extra is the towing vehicle to the trailer that came with the previous issue. Stupid little me just forgot about the whole thing and then I disassembled the cart prematurely and buried the pieces in my boxes. Therefore I can’t show you the whole combination. Sorry about that! As predicted, the buggy/ quad is standard fare like we’ve seen it a ton of times, but the designer deserves at least some praise for custom-building the steering from multiple elements instead of relying on the existing molded element. Owen has one of those prodding sticks seen in the movies, but overall he remains not just a boring character in the films, but easily also one of the dullest and most repetitive minifigures.

If it wasn’t for the buggy connecting to the last issue and presenting it here, I’d probably have skipped this one. It just doesn’t offer much that would be interesting.

Pyro Raptor Capture – LEGO Jurassic World Magazine, July 2022

Creative cover design is certainly nothing to scoff at, but can’t they keep it at least a bit real? Those Dark Red hot dog pieces are gonna cost you an arm and a leg if you were to recreate that cover shot, given how rare they are. Anyway, on to the actual July edition of the LEGO Jurassic World magazine.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, July 2022, Cover

The comic is one of those 50/ 50 ones where you can’t quite put the finger on what bothers you. Well, in a way you can, but it’s rather subjective. I think my biggest issue here is that the comics make it appear as if those dinosaur parks somehow are mostly heavy plain concrete buildings and jungle, but overall have very little else and are not particularly structured. So here we once more get lots of greys and dull browns with occasional greens popping through. It would probably help a lot if some of the walls would be colored or had some signage and posters.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, July 2022, Comic

With regards to the actual story – it’s of course another chase. The positive here is that we actually get to see a few buildings like the visitor center pyramid and an aviary, not just fences and walls. Apart from that there’s not really much that would differentiate it from other such plot lines of which we had tons before. A school class quietly visiting the dino petting zoo would really be a welcome change of pace…

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, July 2022, Comic

The poster is a play on one of the scenes in the latest Jurassic World – Dominion movie where the silhouette of a T-Rex can be seen on an open air cinema screen. A bit too much of an insider gag if you haven’t seen the film or aren’t following film blogs and YouTube channels like I as a film buff do, so the joke will be lost on most people. On its own merits it’s fine and still impresses. However, one has to question the color choices. The black isn’t really black and instead a dark brown and the reds and yellows look dull. This ruins the contrast IMO. It looks like those thinly printed logos on one of those brown recycled paper shopping bags, but this should definitely look a lot more vibrant and contrast-y.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, July 2022, Poster

For the extra, Blue Ocean are pulling a “Reverse November”, that is November 2020. Back then they brought out another small trailer after having brought out a buggy to tow it in the issue before. We will now get such a vehicle in the August edition. The cage cart itself is reasonably detailed and benefits from having the two leaves and the hot dog as decorations. It makes things so much more lively. The cage elements unfortunately cannot be opened in a way so they touch the ground, so using them as a ladder for the dino to get on and off. You know, it would have been nice had they been offset and mounted on a hinge to reach over the wheels. A minor complaint, though. Overall it’s lovely, not least of all because they included a new version of the baby raptor. That’s a Pyroraptor for you with a purple stripe down its back. If you haven’t bought any of the sets from this year’s wave of new sets this is an easy way of adding the little bugger to your collection without spending too much.

Once more this issue is saved by the inclusion of the extra and how nicely it is designed. The rest is slightly forgettable and lacks this extra touch of finesse I would like to see. I’d even be willing to bet that some kids are a bit tired of the repetitive stories and the Jurassic World universe having become to dark and gritty for its own good. Can’t we simply be enawed by nice dinosaurs like back then when the first Jurassic Park movie came out?

T-Rex on the Run – LEGO Jurassic World Magazine, June 2022

With the latest Jurassic World Dominion not far away from finally being released the dinos are once more in the limelight and it makes it ever more interesting what the LEGO Jurassic World might have in store for us. For now we’re still in this inbetween, phase, though, so the June issue does not contain anything specifically referencing the movie.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, June 2022, Cover

As you might be able to guess from looking at the photos this is definitely not one of my favorite comics as it feels all too empty and bland. Yupp, it’s that old gag of these materials being prepared months in advance and handed over to different artists and every three issues the same people contribute to the mag and you can recognize their style for good or for bad. In this particular instance I also simply miss a bit of variety. The T-Rex and only a handful of other characters being visible in so many panels just is boring. Weird as it may sound, but a randomly thrown in colorful parrot or for that matter any other animal casually appearing would indeed be an improvement and enliven the scenery.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, June 2022, Comic

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, June 2022, Comic

The poster(s) is/ are okay, but nothing you haven’t seen before. as so often, it’s just pieced together existing stuff from marketing photos or renders. It’s even a bit frustrating when you consider how they show items that do not even exist or never were available in a Jurassic World set. That T-bone steak piece upsets me every time. If at least they included it as an extra one of those days…!

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, June 2022, Poster

The extra this time is really nice. By that I mean the well-balanced, serene scenery, not so much the value of the parts. In fairness, though, even they have some value, being that they come in useful “natural” colors. The Tan clips on the nest are less widely used than the standard grey versions and always nice to have and so are the two bar elements poking through the eggshells. They could easily have played it cheap and just used the Light Bluish Grey version. Because they didn’t, it actually looks very tasteful and consistent. The only thing that could have made it better would be that instead of yet another Delta they could have included a different mini dinosaur.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, June 2022, Extra

While certainly not the most exciting issue, this one makes up the shortcomings of the print content with a lovable little build. However, it becomes clear that the magazine needs to move on and catch up with reality. You can only milk the same topic so much. An injection of fresh content related to Dominion is definitely needed and from what it looks like, we may get just that in the next edition at least a tiny bit…

Air Boat Chase – LEGO Jurassic World Magazine, May 2022

With so many bad news hammering in on us every day those little moments when you go to the newsagent’s and pick up your favorite print publication(s) have become even more valuable. I always look forward to the LEGO Jurassic World magazine as even when it’s “bad” it gives me that bit of joy. there’s always something to brighten my day, be it the extra or a comic panel that I particularly enjoy. So let’s see whether the May 2022 edition can help us to put on a smile or grin.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, May 2022, Cover

The comic this time is one of those fifty-situations. It’s somewhere between those “infinite sky in a rectangle” variants and my preferred more dynamic panels with varying shapes. Especially the first few pages feel a bit dreary and it only gets better near the end. Somehow you always see when they just struggle with filling the background with all that greenery or other textured details.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, May 2022, Comic

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, May 2022, Comic

The poster once again supports my theory from the last issue about them simply having run out of content and the new stuff not being ready yet, so we get yet another uninspired and poorly executed Photoshop composite. I even chose the backside because the front featuring a T-Rex at night with glowing eyes looks even more ridiculous.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, May 2022, Poster

The extra is one of them small air boats as you find them in Florida and other flat water/ swamp regions all across the globe. It’s also in the comic as part of the chase story. It’s a bit too short and should really have at least two more studs in length, be it just to convey that it doesn’t flip over at every turn for being to short and square-ish, but otherwise it’s a nice and efficient little build. Had they paired it with a more interesting minifigure and not just the five millionth Owen it could have been pretty awesome.

As said in the introduction, I usually enjoy this mag even with shortcomings and this issue meets these criteria just as well. It’s a fun good time and a quick excursion to the newsstand to pick it up is certainly not a bad idea…