Funfair Baking – LEGO Friends Magazine, November 2021

At this time of the year there’s really only two possible subjects for the LEGO Friends magazine: Christmas decorations or baking. With the actual holidays being a bit too ways off for Christmas trees, baubles and stars, Blue Ocean opted for the latter – to some degree, at least.

LEGO Magazine, Friends, November 2021, Cover

The comic is centered around this year’s new Magical Funfair theme. I haven’t bought a single set from this series at this point, as the weird combination of predominantly Dark Turquoise, Dark Purple and Black puts me off, but who knows, maybe something falls out of the sky… With that in mind, the comic isn’t really much better for it and coupled with the general lack of drawing finesse it just looks extremely unappealing.

LEGO Magazine, Friends, November 2021, Comic

Returning to the subject of baking we get a coloring picture spread across two pages and there’s another smaller one a few pages further in. There are a few simple puzzles and games as well, of course, but nothing to write home about.

LEGO Magazine, Friends, November 2021, Coloring Page

While I’m not too enthralled by the funfair stuff nor the often botched CG renderings, this time I have to give props to whoever did the poster. It’s really pretty good, both on an abstract artsy level but also when applying my own experience as a 3D artist. The secondary poster on the back is also not too annoying since they had the good sense to not plaster it with ridiculous typography or unrelated fluff.

LEGO Magazine, Friends, November 2021, Poster

The extra is just some random baking equipment like we’ve seen it several times already. given how they went out of their way to advertise the fairground theme I would at least have expected some of the parts to be Dark Turquoise, which would at least have been something fresh.

LEGO Magazine, Friends, November 2021, Extra

Sadly this is another rather boring issue, though at least the poster is excellent. It really bothers me that despite these mags being planned months in advance they never really align with what sets are available at a given time. the disparity between what’s being advertised and what you ultimately get is baffling…

September Rabbit Escape!

In these weird times it is even more regrettable that the LEGO Friends magazine only comes out every other month here in Germany, so it feels like a small eternity since when the last one arrived end of June now that the September issue is here.

LEGO Magazine, Friends, September/ October 2020, Cover

This one weirdly enough is centered around the literal “rabbit out of your hat” theme, with cylinders and rabbits being front and center everywhere such as a quiz on rabbits, the comic and even one of the posters. That doesn’t change the fact that the Friends magazine is seriously falling behind in graphical fidelity compared to the other magazines. Next to those it really looks like it’s from the 1990s.

LEGO Magazine, Friends, September/ October 2020, Rabbits Quiz

On a positive note, in addition to the now standard coloring page in the mag they also make good use of the back cover and include a cut & glue template for a magical cylinder. This certainly adds some value in the activities department and could make for a lovely afternoon with your little ones.

LEGO Magazine, Friends, September/ October 2020, Back Page LEGO Magazine, Friends, September/ October 2020, Buildable Extra

The buildable extra represents a small magician stage also appearing in the comic. It’s nothing too fancy, but done well enough. Interestingly, while I figured the 1 x 2 x 2 slopes in Dark Purple would have been abundantly used in Friends sets, this isn’t actually the case. They are currently only part of two official sets, with all other uses dating much further back. They are not exactly rare, though, but it’s nice to get them this way without much ado. You never know when you might need them.

Despite the unusual subject, this feels like an acceptable issue and offers good enough value overall with the cutout cylinder taking the cake. Perhaps that’s even worth an excursion to the crafts shop to pick up some glittery stuff and build a bigger version and a magic wand from a wooden spoon to boot…