Explorer-ing… Spiders – LEGO Explorer Magazine, November 2022

The weird logic of magazine publishers eludes me. The latest issue of the LEGO Explorer magazine is clearly very Halloween-centric, yet at the same time it came out a week to late here in Germany. See the problem? I honestly don’t get why they don’t give themselves more of a safety margin. Even if this may work for the UK version, which comes one week earlier, it just doesn’t make much sense here. The only consolation is that Halloween is nowhere near as important a holiday around these parts, so not too many will be disappointed. Still, it’s an unnecessary oversight/ lapse of foresight.

LEGO Magazine, LEGO Explorer, November 2022, Cover

In keeping with the scary theme this one is all about spiders (mostly). This will really creep out a lot of people and while I have grown to appreciate these eight-legged freaks and even find some of them quite beautiful, I’m also as arachnophobic as the next guy. I can handle “cute” jumping spiders or small ghost spiders, but I’m really put off by most bigger species. I’m actually pretty glad that in our part of the world we don’t have to put up with Tarantulas, Banana Spiders or Black Widows (usually).

LEGO Magazine, LEGO Explorer, November 2022, Info Page

The comic takes a spin on the “mad scientist creating monsters” trope and things of course go terribly wrong. Unfortunately the potential is not fully exploited and overall the comic is a bit tame.

LEGO Magazine, LEGO Explorer, November 2022, Comic

The poster features more creatures that give some people the heebie-jeebies such as snakes, crocodiles and several underwater creatures like a Spider Crab or the angler fish from the Deep Sea Creatures (31088) set.

LEGO Magazine, LEGO Explorer, November 2022, Poster

The back cover has a neat little extra in the form of a door hanger, but as noted in my intro it comes a bit too late for really counting as a Halloween gimmick.

LEGO Magazine, LEGO Explorer, November 2022, Door Hanger

The extra is a really quite disgusting spider with big fangs, long legs and a sizeable “butt”. This is nice and to make it even more realistic they even went out of their way to include all eight legs despite the small scale. The legs are Black, the underbelly is Reddish Brown and the back Dark Brown. My cheap camera and the inadequate kitchen table lighting on an overcast day just make everything look dark.

The narrow focus of the magazine makes this a good one for me. There isn’t too much sidetracking and everything is consistently based around monsters and Halloween. Regrettably the issue does not contain a preview for the next one, so I’m not sure if this is the last one we got. I’d hate this to be a case of “Another one bites the dust.”. Recognizably the mag is struggling to attract buyers, but I’d hate to see it go just because not enough people purchase it. On the other hand they’re still offering subscriptions, so I’m a bit confused on the matter. Perhaps it will relaunch in a different form next year? We’ll have to see, I guess!

Explorer-ing… Treasures – LEGO Explorer Magazine, August 2022

Unlike most people I never had much interest in adventure-centric themes such as pirates when I was a kid, so I’m always skeptical or even adverse when someone is trying to play on that nostalgia. That doesn’t mean I don’t get the appeal, but it just isn’t for me (mostly) bar the occasional review of a LEGO set like the Pirate Ship (31109). Many others of course love this stuff, so the latest issue of the LEGO Explorer magazine should please them.

LEGO Magazine, LEGO Explorer, August 2022, Cover

The topic of the day is treasure hunting in the broadest sense and that encompasses everything from pirates chasing gold dublones to archaeologists searching for artifacts. This is covered briefly on some info pages, if only in a somewhat superficial way. With the target demographic in mind it’s probably okay, though.

LEGO Magazine, LEGO Explorer, August 2022, Info Page

The comic is based around a chase inside an Egyptian pyramid and since in this magazine the comics aren’t drawn out across too many pages and thus a quick enjoyable read.  Less is sometimes better!

LEGO Magazine, LEGO Explorer, August 2022, Comic

The poster is unfortunately just another advertisement in disguise and I really wish they would stop doing this, especially when the sets are no longer on the market and cannot be obtained easily and cost-efficiently through regular channels.

LEGO Magazine, LEGO Explorer, August 2022, Poster

LEGO Magazine, LEGO Explorer, August 2022, ExtraAll of this is of course leading up to the extra, which unsurprisingly is a little (pirate) ship. I’m not the biggest fan of micro/ nano scale stuff, but for what you can expect from a magazine freebie this is adequate enough. Interestingly it is still one of the few models to feature this inverted curved slope in Reddish Brown as it was introduced back then when I did my review of Moana’s Bot (43170). In addition, I got another extra this time. Clearly Ehapa are trying to get rid of surplus stock and stick a second poly bag on to their magazines just like Blue Ocean do occasionally. Mine was the penguin from early last year, but you may get a different one.

Overall this has been some decent value even if I’m not into the subject matter that much. Getting a second extra alone is worth it.