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?

Jurassic Madness

The cat, ore more precisely the T. Rex is out of the bag and the long rumoured “big” Jurassic World set has been officially revealed. A lot of people were hoping for a fully decked out Visitor Center build from the first Jurassic Park movie including those fancy Jeeps, but they opted for a super large T.Rex and the equally large entry gate to the actual park ride instead.

And therein lies the problem. To say it’s causing an uproar would perhaps be an exaggeration, but it is definitely divisive. There are of course a few problems with this approach. Even if you discount the disappointment of not getting a building-based set there’s no denying that it will be difficult to get behind the set for many. The biggest issue in my view (and many others’) is of course the gate. It feels for all intents and purposes like superfluous padding. Of the 3120 pieces at least one-third of them appear to go just into this gate and since they are also large ones, they are likely responsible for a good chunk of the 250 Euro price.

What’s worse even are the little miniature scenes crammed into the gate posts and replicating a few iconic scenes from the movie, including the genetic lab, that infamous toilet scene and a few others. In particular this part feels like giving potential buyers that would have been interested in that Visitor Center thing the finger or in other words rubbing salt into their wounds while they ponder what could have been. say what you will, this doesn’t seem a smart decision on LEGO‘s part.

Personally I tend to see things similarly – love the dino, loathe the gate. I’d dig the T.Rex if it was sold separately for around 120 Euro and it would jump to somewhere at the top of my wanted list, but potentially having to buy something at twice the price of which you only really want half the package doesn’t seem like a good prospect. I’d think very hard about buying it even if my finances weren’t as constrained as they are. So overall this is a bit of a disappointment on several levels, sad as it may be…