Space Wedge – LEGO Star Wars Magazine, December 2022

The LEGO Star Wars magazine remains one of the staples of that whole LEGO magazine business and while not always outstanding, it usually has at least something interesting to show. Let’s see if the December 2022 issue lives up to that.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, December 2022, Cover

I’m not a friend of those “Palpatine behaves like a teenager” as you know, so the main comic doesn’t really go down well with me. Too much implausible nonsense and too way off the mainstream canon even if you take a liberal approach and allow for some wackiness.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, December 2022, Comic

The secondary comic isn’t doing much better, in particular since the vehicle it is supposed to promote as the extra, the Imperial Light Destroyer, isn’t really shown that much.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, December 2022, Comic

The poster on the front features Captain Vaughn from the Armored Assault Tank (AAT) (75283) set in all his glory. Stylistically it is similar to the one in the last issue, so they would look nice next to each other. The backside has an X-Wing zooming toward the Death Star, but it’s not nearly as interesting.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, December 2022, Poster

The extra is the Imperial Light Destroyer mentioned earlier. It was introduced in Rebels and recently played a bigger role in The Mandalorian. As you would expect the model is pieced together from a few wedge plates, which is sufficient to match the contour, but does not really provide the necessary volume for the ship’s body. In terms of pieces there isn’t too much special here. There’s a pair of triangular tiles in Light Bluish Grey, which are always nice to have, but the rest is standard fare – with one exception: Inside there’s a Black 1 x 5 plate (!) for the central spine, which I think is the first time ever this element has ever been used in one of those foil packs on any of the LEGO magazines. If you never encountered it up close and personal in a set (since it’s still being used rather sparingly) here’s your chance to get acquainted with this marvel of modern engineering. ­čśë

This edition of the magazine holds very few surprises, but is overall a solid affair. The posters are decent and the comics are serviceable, though I’d prefer them to be a bit more serious and in line with the rest of Star Wars. Though personally I prefer buildable models, fans of minifigures will be pleased that next month there will be another one in the form if a Hoth Luke Skywalker with snow goggles, vest and all.

Mando Unknown – LEGO Star Wars Magazine, August 2022

The current weather conditions really make it hard to even get some simple things done as one just wants to be a lazy slob in that summer heat. That’s why I’m three days late with my review of the latest LEGO Star Wars magazine for August 2022. Had it floating around, but just wasn’t in any way feeling energized enough to actually cobble together an article. Anyway, on to the good stuff.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, August 2022, Cover

The main comic is once again one of those odd ones with otherwise stern characters clowning around. This time it’s Palpatine making a scene. Whether that’s up your alley is entirely up to you, but at least it’s drawn well enough. No real poster bait panels that stand out, though.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, August 2022, Comic

The second comic ties in with the extra as usual and has some Mandalorians dukeing it out in mid-air powered by their jet packs. I wonder what that could mean? ­čśë

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, August 2022, Comic

The poster has Boba Fett sit on the throne at formerly Jabba‘s palace as is apparently part of The Book of Boba Fett mini series’s story arc. The back has C3PO and R2-D2 running from some Jawas and escaping their Sandcrawler.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, August 2022, Poster

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, August 2022, MinifigureAs you would have guessed from my tongue-in-cheek comment earlier, of course we’re getting a minifigure. That makes two in a row after Darth Maul in the last issue. The figure is simply called Mandalorian Loyalist and it’s from the Mandalorian Starfighter (75316) set. This was introduced last year to mixed reception and apparently hasn’t been selling that well, not least of all due to limited distribution, so it’s earmarked to be EOL‘d. That makes it even better to be able to get the minifig on the cheap in this magazine and not having to resort to buying an expensive, yet unattracticve package. How generic the little guy is meant to be can be gleaned from the fact that he doesn’t even have a face, just an unprinted black head under the helmet. The Uzi style blasters seem to have a bit of a renaissance lately and have been in several sets, but it’s always good to have more.

Overall this is an okay issue, but as someone who isn’t collecting minifigures the value is of course limited. That’s why I’m already looking forward to the next issue that will have a buildable vessel from the vast selection of space ships in the Star Wars universe again…

Ketchup Trooper – LEGO Star Wars Magazine, August 2021

This month feels like it has passed particularly quickly and so here we are already again with the latest LEGO Star Wars magazine for August.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, August 2021, Cover

The comics are again a bit of an acquired taste as it’s back to weird clownery by the evil guys, this time Kylo Ren and Palpatine, and mixing scenarios from different episodes and eras of Star Wars. It’s a bit odd that they keep doing that, as Blue Ocean actually recently did their own survey which indicated that around 44% of all of their magazines are read by adults. I would bet this number is even higher for this one. So perhaps they really need to “grow up”, shift the target age range towards adolescents and grown-ups and stick to canon?

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, August 2021, Comic

Anyway, the comics are not bad stylistically and the secondary one provides a comical, though rather low-brow and predictable explanation as to why Sith Troopers wear red armor. Sandwiched inbetween the two comics are of course a few other pages with puzzles, games, reader feedback and so on, but really nothing special. The games may occupy two pages at times, but ultimately they are still simple “find the way” puzzles, not demanding trivia quizzes.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, August 2021, Comic

At least one of the posters could have been pretty good, the main one depicted here, but I feel that they went a bit overboard with the vignette/ darkening effect. It very much sucks out the life of everything. Even the lightsabers aren’t really glowing. If I were to put it up I’d likely at least cut off a bit of the dark areas to make it pop a little more.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, August 2021, Poster

The minifigures are a case of old meeting the new with the Finn character being a version included e.g. in the Jakku Quadjumper (75178), one of the first sets I reviewed here on this blog. The Sith Trooper on the other hand is from last year’s eponymous battle pack (75266). As always with these things, the value of these figures to you personally will depend on what you have in mind and how much you are a fan of a given Star Wars film. Since The Rise of Skywalker wasn’t that popular with fans, though, I doubt there’s that much demand for additional red troopers, either.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, August 2021, Minifigures

This issue is a bit of a wild ride again and doesn’t have a recognizable through-line nor does it boast anything extraordinary that you shouldn’t miss. As such it will still provide a bit of diversion on the beach during your summer holiday and the sand may even tempt you into re-playing some Jakku scenes, but overall you’re not missing much. Nothing to lose sleep about if you should be unable to obtain this item while away from home…

Yellow Eyes of Evil – LEGO Star Wars Magazine, March 2021

Time is flowing by fast and February is the shortest month of the year to boot, so here we go again already with the latest LEGO Star Wars magazine for March 2021.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, March 2021, Cover

This one yet again comes with a free sticker album, but i wasn’t compelled to actually collect in September last year and I’m not compelled now. I know it’s a huge market, but I couldn’t be bothered. The poor parents who have to take tens or hundreds of Euro extra to the newsstand every month for trading cards and sticker packs! with Ninjago, Jurassic World and Star Wars having such series you can spend a small fortune on this alone, not to speak of soccer cards and other lines of collectibles and toy magazines. Just crazy!

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, March 2021, Comic

The comics are drawn nicely, but have not the least bit to do with actual Star Wars lore this time. the one thing that really surprised me was the poster, well, its back side to be exact. The slightly abstract graphical style is wonderful and just effective. In fact having a full line-up of all Storm Trooper minifigures released so far might even make for an awesome commercial poster. It would have to be pretty huge, though, so perhaps the best we can hope for is more such small posters in future mags. The only thing that slightly bothered me is of course the thin paper and some nasty print artifacts from air bubbles and dust. you can even see the white specks in the photo.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, March 2021, Poster

The minifigure is naturally the highlight of this edition, featuring the one and only Emperor Palpatine. He comes as the version also found in the Death Star Final Duel (75291), a rather expensive set that I likely wouldn’t ever buy unless it really came with 70% discount or something like that. Since many people are in the same boat and old Palps hasn’t been in that many sets to begin with, no matter his guise, this will make many Star Wars aficionados happy. Even I was surprised how different the figure actually feels with the pale Tan skin and the piercing yellow eyes. It’s genuinely well done.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, March 2021, Minifigure

Overall this is quite a worthwhile issue to buy for at least two reasons – the poster and minifigure – even if you’re not the ultimate Star Wars fan. It just feels like you’re getting some good value here.

Green Mando – LEGO Star Wars Magazine, February 2021

The LEGO Star Wars magazine seems to have bit of a good run at the moment with its selection of minifigures, so the February 2021 issue was something many people got a bit crazy about already last month when their eyes spied on the preview page what was to come.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, February 2021, Cover

All the fuss is of course about the little green guy who is one of them Mandalorians. With the TV/ streaming series The Mandalorian being extremely popular and expanding the lore around this people of guns-for-hire and bounty hunters, it seems inevitable that this would ripple through to the LEGO universe and people are always looking to expand their collection of these guys to populate their dioramas and vehicles.

This particular one is the same from last year’s Mandalorian Battle Pack (75267) which I incidentally happen to have bought when it was on discount during a weekly promo in one of our local grocery stores, so it’s not exactly new, but make no mistake – those figures are excellent with their finely detailed prints and overall colorful appearance. Even if you just use the components to customize other figures or swap out parts this will be useful. Also very useful is the inclusion of a blaster (forgot to add it for the photo), the dark brown cape and a full bag of visors and shields, which also would fit on some other minifigure helmets and could be helpful to add some variety. All round pretty neat.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, February 2021, Minifigure

As usual, the minifigure hero is also featured as the protagonist of one of the comics, in this case the shorter one, and while it tries to play on the Mandalorians‘ obsession with their custom-made armor, this one feels a bit forced. It’s simply unlikely that a bunch of training ball droids would be able to do any serious damage to a Beskar plate.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, February 2021, Comic

The other, larger comic sees Vader trying to run his own TV studio to entertain Palpatine and the troops and of course all sorts of hijinx ensue. Him trying to (unsuccessfully) do a Martha Stewart and running around with a pink apron is just up my alley.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, February 2021, Comic

The posters are okay, with my preferred one indeed being the front one shown here, which takes more than a clue from the cinematic poster for The Last Jedi. The puzzles are once more a bit too simplistic for my taste, but apparently I’m way past the target demographic. they really won’t keep you kid busy for long, though.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, February 2021, Poster

All things considered this is a pretty nice issue, in particular with the minifigure being so useful in so many ways. The comics are also okay and even the posters are reasonably tasteful, so there’s a lot to like here. The next edition should be even better yet, given that it will come with a Palpatine minifigure. This again already has some fans in a tizzy and I must also admit that I’m a bit excited. I never had the interest or opportunity to buy a set where he’s included, so I look forward to getting Ol’ Yellow Eyes as well. Might be useful for building contest season, you know… ­čśë

Praetorian May

Despite the overall slowness of the world in the ongoing crisis months fly by quickly and here we are again with the LEGO Star Wars magazine, this time for May 2020.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, May 2020, Cover

People got quite a bit excited about this issue already when it was previewed last month and subscribers who got it a few days earlier were equally jazzed. The reason everyone got pumped is of course the inclusion of the Praetorian Guard from The Last Jedi. Those figures have only ever been included in two sets and at least Snoke’s Throne Room (75216) has been so heavy on the expensive overpriced side, these minifigs fetch crazy prices. It’s only natural people were vying for more, making the magazine highly coveted. The figure is a hybrid of different parts from other Praetorians, making it even more desirable and somewhat unique.

The comic revolves around Han Solo and Captain Rex from The Clone Wars, but since I never have watched the full series I can’t tell you how it fits story wise or if it is in any other way good and valid. The posters are okay. I particularly like the one with Palpatine looming in the background, but that in and of itself is of course a tired trope. When does he not look menacingly cool? ­čśë Unfortunately there’s not much in the way of activities like puzzles this time, which would have made for a little distraction and easement of stressed-out parents’ pain.

Next month will feature a buildable model again, which is an A-Wing and it so happens that just this week its big UCS version (75275) was announced. Certainly more than just a coincidence…