November Cage – LEGO Jurassic World Magazine, November 2020

Still one of my favorite LEGO magazines, Jurassic World could come out more frequently if it were up to me. Now that the November issue is here, it seems like forever since the September one was published.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, November 2020, Cover

The basic ingredients are all there as you would expect. The comic feels oddly dark in the sense that there is really a lot of black in the shadows. On the other hand I could totally go for some of the cute Velociraptor poses as a poster one day. otherwise the comic is unremarkable and kind of clunky. The story feels forced and unnatural.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, November 2020, Comic

At least one of the posters is okay, though there appears to be an issue with the image quality. There are visible pixels from insufficient resolution. Either that’s a flub when the low-res placeholder wasn’t substituted correctly before print or they really didn’t have a better version. Kids and regular readers won’t notice, but as a graphics designer this stood out to me.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, November 2020, Poster

The really important part is of course the model included in the mag. As you know from the last issue, this was right from the outset supposed to complement last issues quad, so here we are and indeed get a small trailer with a cage on it to chauffeur around the little dinos.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, November 2020, Extra LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, November 2020, Extra

I have to say the construction is adequate, but not great, to be honest. I was pleasantly surprised that the floor is made up of a 4 x 4 tile modified in Light Bluish Grey, but that is pretty much it. The rest kind of works, but overall feels flimsy. The black fence elements really jiggle around quite a bit and are only held in place by the tiles on top. The ladder elements used for the lid and door also come of easily when you open them.

Worst of all, though, is the fact that the cage is extremely difficult to access. Placing Charlie inside is quite an exercise if you have thick fingers, requiring you to open both grates, and then he will still tip over because there’s no stud to plug him on. On the bright side you indeed get yet another new version of the baby dino previously only available in the T. rex vs Dino-Mech Battle (75983) set. Perhaps the gang will be complete one day?

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, November 2020, Extra combined with previous Extra

While I was looking forward to this issue, I’m still somehow disappointed. The trailer is once again a case of that “If only there were ten more pieces…” thing that always riles me up. In the truest sense of the meaning the cart would only need to be one or two studs longer and perhaps one stud wider plus have something to fixate the little critter and the play value would be much higher. I would imagine fiddling around with this stuff in its current form would eventually even frustrate kids.

The mag is still good value compared to other LEGO magazines, just a bit mediocre this time around. It’s value hinges a lot on having bought the previous magazine, being interested in the little dino or how much you get out of the parts – or any combination of those criteria. For the occasional reader it’s simply not the most interesting proposition.

September Quad

The LEGO Jurassic World magazine comes out way too infrequently for my taste, being that it is one of the better ones and thus more interesting, but I guess we just have to accept that it only rolls out every 2.5 months.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, September 2020, Cover

The latest issue adheres to this relatively high standard once more. The comic is once again drawn reasonably well. Initially when I was just quickly skipping over the pages  the pink and purple panels even threw me off. I really thought they were wrongly inserted from a Friends comic or similar. A second, more thorough glance of course then revealed that this is related to the zapping effect of the electrical stun gun.

The posters are also pretty nice this time with their bright, intense colors and focused design. As a graphics artist I especially like the blue one (“Los! Los! Los!” simply translates to “Go! Go! Go!”) It’s not overstuffed and leaves enough room around the edges to let the center piece “breathe”.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, September 2020, Comic

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, September 2020, ExtraThe little buildable extra and minifigure are nice in that we don’t just get the umpteenth version of Owen Grady, but Vic Hoskins instead, another trainer/ keeper on Isla Nublar and the entertainment park there. The figure so far has only been featured in the T. rex vs Dino-Mech Battle (75983) set, and since that one may not exactly be a hot burner due to the weird mech dino requiring getting used to, it’s a nice way for people to get their hands on this figure without having to buy this set.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, September 2020, Preview

The quad is a pretty mundane and boring affair. If it wasn’t for that little twist with a animal cage trailer coming in the next issue, you could mostly write it off. In fact I’m pretty sure when the new LEGO City magazine comes out in two weeks the quad on that one will be almost exactly the same, just different colors.

Anyway, stretching out the buildable parts across multiple issues is in my opinion a good idea I’ve been vying for for quite a while. If it means that we get better, more complex models I’m all for it. I wouldn’t mind getting e.g. a full-sized Jeep spread out across three or four magazines. The downside to that is of course that it is less marketable to impatient kids who look for more immediate results.

All things considered, this is yet another quite good Jurassic World magazine. If they hadn’t played it so cheap on the quad/ buggy, it could have been even more remarkable, but i guess we’ll have to see how the trailer makes up for it and how the models look when combined.