Backpack Chopper – LEGO Jurassic World Magazine, April 2023

In this crazy world of publishers culling magazines left and right or having two month gaps in their publishing cycle as a cost-saving measure I’m actually quite glad that the LEGO Jurassic World magazine has developed into a reliable cornerstone of this genre. It used to be the other way around with it only appearing rather sporadically at irregular intervals only a few years ago. These days one can look forward to getting a new edition every six or seven weeks at least and though not every issue is a winner, at least the release schedule appears to be stable for the time being. Let’s see what the April 2023 issue has on offer.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, April 2023, Cover

The first comic is of course one more chase story, this time in the form of some sort of Easter egg hunt. Not really anything unexpected that you couldn’t cook up in a school write-up yourself here. Most panels are kind of average, but I was pleasantly surprised by how dynamically the T-Rex was drawn in some of them. If they broke out a few of those poses this could make for some nice posters.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, April 2023, Comic

The second comic is equally unspectacular except for its obvious “dog ate my homework” spin. The presentation just isn’t very original.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, April 2023, Comic

The front poster is quite acceptable and if whoever designs this stuff for/ at Blue Ocean had controlled their own bad instincts a bit more it could have been excellent. As it is it’s slightly missing the mark. We really didn’t need to see the Jurassic Park gate and of course the text placement could be better as well.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, April 2023, Poster

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, April 2023, ExtraThe extra is a massive step down from what we got in the last few issues. I don’t think anyone out there really needs yet another Owen, at least not in this boring standard design. The small Velociraptor also already had been included in a previous issue, so nothing new there, either. The propeller backpack is weird and doesn’t really fit the theme, common as jet packs otherwise may be for super heroes. The only small highlight are the two Blue 1 x 1 liftarms and that’s merely because they have only been introduced last year in the Technic Ferrari Daytona SP3 (42143). It’s always good to have them around in as many colors as possible for those rare situations where you may need to cover and disguise a pin or an axle sticking out somewhere.

As written earlier, not every issue can be amazing, but at least this one isn’t a complete disappointment, either. Still, I’m much more looking forward to the next one already…

Air Boat Chase – LEGO Jurassic World Magazine, May 2022

With so many bad news hammering in on us every day those little moments when you go to the newsagent’s and pick up your favorite print publication(s) have become even more valuable. I always look forward to the LEGO Jurassic World magazine as even when it’s “bad” it gives me that bit of joy. there’s always something to brighten my day, be it the extra or a comic panel that I particularly enjoy. So let’s see whether the May 2022 edition can help us to put on a smile or grin.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, May 2022, Cover

The comic this time is one of those fifty-situations. It’s somewhere between those “infinite sky in a rectangle” variants and my preferred more dynamic panels with varying shapes. Especially the first few pages feel a bit dreary and it only gets better near the end. Somehow you always see when they just struggle with filling the background with all that greenery or other textured details.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, May 2022, Comic

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, May 2022, Comic

The poster once again supports my theory from the last issue about them simply having run out of content and the new stuff not being ready yet, so we get yet another uninspired and poorly executed Photoshop composite. I even chose the backside because the front featuring a T-Rex at night with glowing eyes looks even more ridiculous.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, May 2022, Poster

The extra is one of them small air boats as you find them in Florida and other flat water/ swamp regions all across the globe. It’s also in the comic as part of the chase story. It’s a bit too short and should really have at least two more studs in length, be it just to convey that it doesn’t flip over at every turn for being to short and square-ish, but otherwise it’s a nice and efficient little build. Had they paired it with a more interesting minifigure and not just the five millionth Owen it could have been pretty awesome.

As said in the introduction, I usually enjoy this mag even with shortcomings and this issue meets these criteria just as well. It’s a fun good time and a quick excursion to the newsstand to pick it up is certainly not a bad idea…

Red Dino Bike – LEGO Jurassic World Magazine, July 2021

It’s getting notably hotter outside and the temperatures are slowly getting at me along with my usual health issues, so I’ve been a bit lazy this week, but at least there’s a new issue of the LEGO Jurassic World magazine to take my mind off things a bit. Let’s see what the July 2021 edition has in store for us.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, July 2021, Cover

First off the comic. In the last issue I criticized the somewhat dull and monochromatic nature of things. Thankfully, this time around things are much better and the comic is a lot more colorful and vivid. Story-wise it’s just another chase drama with a minor twist, so nothing new there.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, July 2021, Comic

The main poster follows the design template of the previous ones with a dino surrounded by a brick pattern. By now you could have a line-up of four or five of them side by side and it may actually not look that bad. The one on the reverse would in theory also not be that bad, showing different types of dinosaurs in a jungle environment, but unfortunately it is one of those terrible Photoshop hack jobs. Instead of organically placing the 3D models of the beasts inside a fresh scene, the poster is bashed together from existing separate renders all too recognizably. The lighting and scale of the individual creatures is way too inconsistent.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, July 2021, Poster

On the games & activities front there’s not much to do with only a bunch of simplistic and insignificant puzzles that wouldn’t stress out a first-grader, but maybe it can at least distract for fifteen minutes.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, July 2021, Game

The extra that comes with this issue is rather unspectacular, but potentially still useful. Sure, nobody needs the 100th Owen, at least not when they’re not really doing anything with him in terms of different prints and components. They could have just left him out for once or thrown in a different character. The motorcycle on the other hand is nice. It’s the same type as the Dark Orange version that came with the City mag a few months ago. Together with the Pearl Dark Grey version from Pigsy’s Food Truck (80009) this completes my collection and I now have it in all three colors it currently exists in. The Red version otherwise only can be found in the hard to come by Monkie Kid polybag or two somewhat costly City sets, so getting it just like that is a good thing. It’s one more example where a little patience has paid off and can save you some money.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, July 2021, Extra

If it wasn’t for the red bike, this issue would unfortunately be very unremarkable. The comic is good, but the rest is somehow lacking and just doesn’t give me that kick. There’s simply that little something special missing that makes me love these magazines. Don’t let this stop you from buying it, though. I’m perhaps just being a bit too picky…

Dino Chopper – LEGO Jurassic World Magazine, May 2021

With the world still under the veil of the pandemic, little moments of joy become ever more important and so I’m always marking the dates on my calendar when a new LEGO magazine is supposed to come out. This week has the Jurassic World issue for May on the menu.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, May 2021, Cover

The comic is a bit lackluster in that the usual chase story (What else could it be?) is missing a few exciting twists and progresses rather predictably. It’s also visually rather boring with large swaths of blue – a blue dinosaur, a blue helicopter, blue sky, blue water. It just doesn’t really jibe with me as it feels rather sterile and many panels are quite empty even.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, May 2021, Comic

There’s very little else to do, with nary any puzzles and quizzes. I’ve already noticed this across most of Blue Ocean‘s mags recently. One can’t help the impression that under the current conditions they can’t quite pull their editorial staff together and are living of existing material and what little new stuff they can produce, stretching it extremely thin. At least the poster is okay and aligns with similarly styled ones in previous editions, so here’s one more for your gallery wall.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, May 2021, Poster

I’ll freely admit it, but the extra, a small baby chopper, made me go “Whuuuttttt?” already when I saw it in the preview in the last issue. Similar items in the City magazine have been pretty low-brow efforts, but this one is just plain ugly. It doesn’t even pretend to be anything else but a lump of bricks slapped together with whatever minimum energy they could muster. And yeah, there’s Owen and the “wrong” Blue again. As if anyone already owning a dozen of these figures would have asked for another one…. *sigh*

This is not a good issue and for all intents and purposes you can safely gloss over it without missing anything. If i wasn’t regularly reviewing it, I would really only buy this mag if there’s nothing else around to satisfy your LEGO fix. Otherwise it’s just disappointing on pretty much every level…

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.

Baby Alarm – Baby Elephant Jungle Rescue (41421) and Dr. Wu’s Laboratory – Baby Dinosaurs Breakout (75939)

One of my more specific obsessions with LEGO is that I try to get my hands on as many of the molded animals as I possibly can. Unfortunately the company has the bad habit of putting many of the coolest creatures, be that mammoths, dinosaurs, sharks, polar bears or whatever in rather expensive sets. It’s of course just a sales tactic, but it’s not particularly nice of them, even more so since it means that those animals remain costly even on the secondary market such as Bricklink. So I have to make do with what I can afford and lucky enough, there’s some interesting sets this year with the LEGO Friends Jungle Rescue series and also some new molds for LEGO Jurassic World.

LEGO Friends, Baby Elephant Jungle Rescue (41421), Box

First let’s have a look at the Friends Baby Elephant Jungle Rescue (41421). This is the first set I was actually able to procure because due to the Corona virus crisis product availability for these new releases still isn’t that great, especially when you need to keep an eye on the price. At a regular price of 20 Euro it’s not entirely out of reach, but the typical discounts make this effectively a 15 Euro set, which is even better. For that it’s pretty good, actually. I can tell you that beforehand.

LEGO Friends, Baby Elephant Jungle Rescue (41421), Overview

The main attraction is of course the little blue baby elephant. Some people have complained about it not being grey, but hey, it’s Friends we’re talking about! The Bright Light Blue isn’t that bad, especially when you consider that the mother and sister elephant in the Jungle Rescue Base (41424) are Medium Blue and Lavender, respectively. There’s really no reason to get wound up over this. For me it’s also a bit of a funny coincidence in that it reminds me of some elephants in video games I used to play in the 1990s that similarly used such colors, not “realistic” greys.

LEGO Friends, Baby Elephant Jungle Rescue (41421), Baby Elephant

In the play fantasy of the set the little unlucky elephant is supposed to be caught in a mud puddle somewhere in the jungle under a tree. This is displayed in the main scenery piece. Rather untypical for Friends sets it’s actually executed reasonably well and very usable. It’s also looking nice enough.

The mud is represented by some Dark Tan bricks of different types forming a tray in which a panel is sliding upon some tiles. You’re meant to put the elephant on this contraption and then literally pull it out. The one weak spot here is that the panel itself isn’t locked into place by rails or similar and thus falls out of its position easily. This gets a bit annoying over time and would have been easily avoidable with some extra elements.

LEGO Friends, Baby Elephant Jungle Rescue (41421), Tree, Front Left View

On that same not, a few bricks more would have helped to avoid this feeling of things only being half finished. The many exposed studs on the mud and the tree give the impression that they had to stop to not stretch the brick allotment budget at the cost of things being not fixated as firmly as they possibly might have been. E.g. the Lime Green bamboo stalk element is easy to break of accidentally. It seems to obvious me that they could have clamped it into place with another curved slope on top.

LEGO Friends, Baby Elephant Jungle Rescue (41421), Tree, Front Right View

As I said, the tree is small, but fleshed out enough to convey that idea. Still, I feel that that one extra branch could have been added on top with an arch element. that might also have allowed to add a web for the spider or include a second one. Another idea might have been to include a parrot, a small bird or a nest to cover the top.

LEGO Friends, Baby Elephant Jungle Rescue (41421), Tree, Back Side View

While the front is structured reasonably, the back side is rather plain. The Dark Orange studs are alternate positions for the spider, by the way, but sure enough could have been used for something else.

LEGO Friends, Baby Elephant Jungle Rescue (41421), Vehicle, Front Left View

The rescue vehicle is your standard run-off-the-mill Friends car with the necessary modifications and variations to fit this particular set. It literally has been done a million times and at this point is nothing special. For me it would have made more sense if they had created a somewhat larger pick-up truck with a sufficiently large platform and an actual hoist.

LEGO Friends, Baby Elephant Jungle Rescue (41421), Vehicle, Aft Left View LEGO Friends, Baby Elephant Jungle Rescue (41421), Vehicle, Aft Right View LEGO Friends, Baby Elephant Jungle Rescue (41421), Vehicle, Front Right View

Moving on, the other set is Dr. Wu’s Laboratory – Baby Dinosaurs Breakout (75939). It’s in the same price range as the Friends set, so no extra comments on that. The same rules apply.

LEGO Jurassic World, Dr. Wu's Laboratory (75939), Box

In addition to the two bay dinosaurs the set comes with two minifigures – Dr. Wu and Owen Grady – plus a sizable chunk of lab equipment. The latter often feels like thrown on after the fact, that is it gives the impression of having been constructed around the dinosaurs to bulk up the content of the box, not organically create an environment for the little tykes. It seems they wanted to do the baby dinos, but didn’t quite know what to do with them once the decision was made to create the new molds.

LEGO Jurassic World, Dr. Wu's Laboratory (75939), Overview

LEGO Jurassic World, Dr. Wu's Laboratory (75939), Baby Dinos, Left View

You heard that right, both of the creatures are completely new creations just for this set. I’m pretty sure, though, that we’ll get them in different  colors in other sets down from here on.


LEGO Jurassic World, Dr. Wu's Laboratory (75939), Baby Dinos, Right View

The baby Triceratops would of course mix well with its “parent” in Triceratops Rampage (75937).The Ankylosaurus isn’t an orphan child, either and finds its mom or dad in House of Gyrospheres (75941). This is insofar remarkable as the big version is also a completely new mold debuting in this particular set.


As a small side build there’s a lab table, which to me is actually a bit macabre. With its inverted slopes on the underside and the white “ceramic” tiles on top it more looks like a section table in a pathology lab. On the bright side, they included the transparent orange brick with the mosquito amber print, which is a new item and highly desirable as a decoration piece, not just for this dinosaur stuff.

LEGO Jurassic World, Dr. Wu's Laboratory (75939), Table, Right View LEGO Jurassic World, Dr. Wu's Laboratory (75939), Table, Left View

As I wrote already, the lab itself looks kinda *meh*. In my case it looks even more bland because I never use the stickers, yet the set relies heavily on them to represent large computer/ video screens. That’s perhaps my biggest peeve here – they could at least have included one of the screens as an actual print to spice things up. More generally speaking, that’s also the one thing I feel is missing – just one more small extra. I could for instance also have gone for eggs in Light Bluish Grey with brown speckles. that would have been pretty awesome!

LEGO Jurassic World, Dr. Wu's Laboratory (75939), Lab, Front View

Things don’t look much better from the back side, further seemingly reinforcing my point of this being mostly an afterthought.

LEGO Jurassic World, Dr. Wu's Laboratory (75939), Lab, Back Side View

Overall both sets are what they are – meant to sell the animals with everything around them being just a “free” extra. The Friends one surprisingly manages to fare much, much better in terms of actual usefulness and play value. The Jurassic World set on the other set would be rather disposable if it wasn’t the only way to get the new dino babies. It’s very forgettable, but hey, at least some new Dark Blue parts for my collection….! The consolation here is that the animals are executed superbly, so I don’t mind the rest being mediocre.