Frosty Luke – LEGO Star Wars Magazine, January 2023

It’s been one of the warmest New Year’s Eves in history, so the title of this article is diametrical to the real conditions, but it is nonetheless appropriate. In the run-up to the end of year celebrations this was supposed to come out a bit earlier, but somehow it only appeared at my newsstand on Friday and I didn’t get around to finishing my review earlier. Now lets see what the LEGO Star Wars magazine has to offer on this exact first day of the new year.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, January 2023, Cover

The first comic takes a page from the original A New Hope movie in that it presents us with a Millenium Falcon chase through an asteroid field, however this time as part of a cosmic race, whose concept somehow immediately reminded me of Star Trek – Voyager‘s “Drive” episode in the seventh season. Someone certainly took some inspiration. It also makes the comic slightly more interesting since we at least get to see some varied spaceships and characters.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, January 2023, Comic

The second comic as usual serves as the means to introduce the extra and features some icy action on Hoth with some Wampas and a certain Luke Skywalker.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, January 2023, Comic

The posters are quite nice this time. One can never have enough Mustafar-themed ones as the fiery, volcanic glows just look mysterious and cool and Vader with his brooding presence adds to that. The composition feels a bit cheap and could have been done better, but it’s really okay. The back side might be even more interesting to some people. It has a close-up of Luke‘s minifigure head with the Red 5 helmet, which would make for an interesting presentation if you put it up next somewhere to the eponymous set of the helmet.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, January 2023, Poster

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, January 2023, ExtraSince for all intents and purposes it’s extremely unlikely LEGO will revive the Wampa mold any time soon, you knew where this was going when I mentioned the second comic and yes, of course we’re getting the Luke minifigure instead. Regrettably, while it’s actually quite nice, it’s also nothing special. It has been available for a long time in a Microfighters set and just was part of the 2022 LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar (75340). Chances that you already have it therefore are very high and the minifig as such will drop considerably in value. Therefore its real value is more in using it as a basis for a custom figure with a replaced head.

This edition of the mag on the whole is okay, but unless you really don’t have the minifigure and want it badly, there’s no need to rush to the newsstand. That might be a much more appropriate course of action next month, when we will get a much rarer Bo Katan fig.

Falcon Chase – LEGO Star Wars Magazine, February 2022

January flew by quickly and the jumbled up release schedule of the LEGO magazines certainly contributed to that feeling of “Didn’t I write an article just last week?”. Things should be a bit more predictable from here on out, though, and the cycles become more regular. For now let’s have a look at the February 2022 edition of the Star Wars magazine.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, February 2022, Cover

The main comic is back to utter nonsense with the Knights of Ren having a pie (throwing) contest. I really do not like these settings and I’m sure even younger Star Wars fans may not view them favorably, given that they are too silly to fit with the rest of the universe. The secondary comic is equally odd, though in a different way. just not my cup of tea.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, February 2022, Comic

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, February 2022, Comic

The posters are pretty decent. I still wish they’d forego those obnoxious texts in favor of letting the image speak for itself, but at least they didn’t plaster the slogan all over Vader‘s face and everything can be recognized clearly.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, February 2022, Poster

The extra is another version of the Millenium Falcon. It’s a bit too short, but actually pretty accurate overall in terms of proportions. It being so thin took me a while to adapt to, but yes, this is more correct. One just had gotten so used to LEGO‘s “wrong” thicker interpretations across various scales and on older builds.

An interesting tidbit is the half round 4 x 8 plate used twice in the rear section. This element has been around for forever and I have tons of it in Lime Green and Medium Azure from Friends sets, where it is regularly used for water and lawn, but in fact now is the first time ever we are actually getting it in Light Bluish Grey. It’s part of the UCS AT-AT (75313) and the Boutique Hotel (10297) released end of last year/ January, respectively, and here you get a chance to obtain it without spending a ton of money, should you want it. This will also make buying it from secondary markets like Bricklink much more bearable and less costly. There’s also two 1 x 2 plates with side rail in Dark Red hidden inside the hull. I have a few of them from the Madrigal House (43202), but one can never have enough, I suppose.

Despite the strange comics this issue felt satisfying to me, but of course that may be entirely down to my obsessive proclivities with the parts and some of the graphical design. Still, it’s by all means okay.

Hothian Winter – LEGO Star Wars Magazine, January 2022

Wouldn’t you believe it? We actually had a bit of snow on Christmas this year! Really only a thin layer, but better than nothing. That makes it kind of fitting that the January 2022 issue of the LEGO Star Wars magazine takes us back to Hoth and its snow and ice covered regions.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, January 2022, Cover

The first comic starts out on the opposite side of the temperature spectrum, though, taking us to the jungle planet of Quatal after Luke crashes there. Naturally, as he tries to escape and get off the planet, the usual running away from imperial pursuers and dangerous animals ensues. The blue monster seen in the image is a bit funny and really looks to me like the artist had a bit of fun  exploring what a mutated Stitch (from the Lilo & Stitch movies, of course) might look like. The similarities are really striking and I can’t un-see them.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, January 2022, Comic

The second comic references the extra and is based around a group of Snowtroopers getting lost in the endless white void during the Battle of Hoth.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, January 2022, Comic

The posters are a bit of a misfire, unfortunately. The one depicted here with Darth Vader is simply too dark and the overly bright type and light saber completely distract from Vader himself. This clearly would have needed some work to enhance the contrast and balance out the overall appearance. The second with Han Solo and Chewbacca in the cockpit of the Millenium Falcon suffers from being doctored, i.e. the cockpit frame being just a 2D background artwork created after the fact instead of being integrally rendered in 3D with the figures.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, January 2022, Poster

The extra has been causing a bit of a stir and gotten a few people very tizzy due to it being being a female Snowtrooper/ Snowtrooperess minifigure. Not only is the latter an interesting tidbit, with all previous such characters having had the male generic “angry clone” face (or unprinted black heads), but also the fact that this lady otherwise could only be found in the huge UCS AT-AT (75313) only released in November. Considering that this big model has a full 40 seats and only a few of them are covered with minifigures, clearly there is a market to buy more – a lot more. People lucky enough to be able to afford this certainly should make it a point to buy this magazine once at least.

The value of this issue for adults hugely depends on how much you are after the minifigure, but on the bright side at least the comics are pretty decent and can give a bit of enjoyment. the rest isn’t really worth mentioning with a lot of bad Photoshop work hurting my eyes and the activities and puzzles being bland. I would predict, however, that the minifigure alone will be attractive to anyone owning an AT-AT model, big or small, and thus sell stacks and stacks of this issue…

Aerial Battle Fun – LEGO Star Wars Magazine, July 2021

The summer heat has waned off a bit this week and things have become a bit more enjoyable, despite me still feeling like a lazy slob a lot of the time. At least the various LEGO magazines arrive on schedule, so let’s see what the latest edition of the Star Wars version has in store.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, July 2021, Cover

Jumping right in with the comics, we get a quite epic aerial battle between some TIE Fighters and X-Wings in the main one and the Millenium Falcon is involved, too. It’s still a bit weird and not adhering to the main canon very well, but still way better than those weird Vader stories. It’s also visually very pleasing with lots of nice blue sky shades, but at the same time the panels not looking empty as I criticized for one of the Jurassic World magazines not so long ago.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, July 2021, Comic

The second comic takes a play at the training scenes with Rey and BB-8 at the beginning of The Rise of Skywalker and is equally acceptable, not just because it serves as the tie-in for the extra, which of course are our two protagonists in minifigure format.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, July 2021, Comic

I’m just gonna say it: The posters are both terrible. It’s what I call uninspired hack jobs. One is cobbled together from existing stock photos. Nothing wrong with that and people do it all the time, but you can literally see that exactly zero effort went into it. Even I could probably bash this together in five minutes. They could at least have properly layered and color corrected the “ghost” overlay instead of just reducing opacity. The backside poster doesn’t fare much better. Though graphical in nature and playing with the idea of a brick mosaic, it just doesn’t look good.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, July 2021, Poster

That being the case, I wish they had used the wimmelpicture instead and ideally as an XXL print at that. The shameless promotion for the Mos Eisley Cantina (75290) and a few other sets aside, it has some interesting and funny details and would look gorgeous as a decently oversize poster. There’s always the chance they may do so in the future, of course, so not all hope is in vain.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, July 2021, Wimmelpicture

The minifigures of Rey and BB-8 at this point feel like clearing leftovers from their stockpile. The funny thing is that  the movie may be only one and a half year in the past, but it already feels like an eternity, yet at the same time it’s to early to celebrate any anniversary and anyone who bought several of the sets is probably sitting on piles of Reys. Surprisingly the BB-8 has a decent value, though, as this new version with the larger eye has not been in that many sets. At the same time, my old version with the smaller eye which I got kind of accidentally with this set seems to be equally coveted. At least it’s rather pricey on Bricklink. Go, figure!

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, July 2021, Extra

All things considered this is an okay issue, but it doesn’t make the globe spin faster. I’m particularly miffed that some good ideas were not used and for the extra they could at least have thrown in one of them palm leaves and a Dark Tan plate or something to create a little patch of the training jungle and make it more enticing. With that in mind, a lot of people are already much more excited about the next issue, which will include a Sith Trooper and as usual some people have already vowed to buy it in bulk… We’ll see how that works out!