Blue Bike Chase – LEGO City Magazine, November 2022

Three times in a row! That’s how Blue Ocean got under my skin by including something actual useful in the LEGO City magazine after I announced my abstinence from this publication. So what’s it for this month? Let’s find out!

LEGO Magazine, City, November 2022, Cover

The comic is another police chase story, only this time on a bicycle. It’s also spiced up (no pun intended) with some Halloween-themed stuff and the evil-doers exploiting the situation by doing their mischief during the spooky night.

LEGO Magazine, City, November 2022, Comic

Unfortunately the special holiday is not really put to good use with the emphasis being on the rather mundane police action (and the gangsters not even dressing up for the occasion), so the panels are a bit boring at times in the sense that there’s a lot of “blue night”, but no crazy ghosts, werewolves, vampires or other such creatures.

LEGO Magazine, City, November 2022, Comic

The posters reflect the story as well, but are equally a bit too ordinary and lacking an original twist.

LEGO Magazine, City, November 2022, Poster

The extra that tempted me into buying this issue is of course the Dark Blue BMX bike/ mountain bike frame. This particular bicycle type is still pretty rare and while I have one in Dark Azure from the Hidden Side Newbury Subway (70430)  (oddly enough, I never reviewed it here) and also the Light Bluish Grey one from the Jurassic World Blue & Beta Velociraptor Capture (76946) (too small to make a review worthwhile), it’s always good to have more options at hand. The minifigures are a so-so affair. The positive thing is that the female police officer has a dirtied up face, but her uniform doesn’t reflect the same. It’s just a standard torso and pants. The same could be said for the thief who really is just “Bad guy no. 3” in a standard outfit.

LEGO Magazine, City, November 2022, Extra

To get back to my opening statement: No, my streak won’t go up to four in a row. I definitely won’t be buying the next issue because I have no interest in the extra, which is going to be an ugly forklift with no “special” parts for my collection that would warrant spending the cash. This one is okay if you want a simple way of obtaining the bike vs. buying an overpriced set, but otherwise it doesn’t really offer much that would get me excited.

Yellow Warning – A quick Analysis of LEGO’s new 2022 Color

It’s been a minute since I had an excuse to nerd out about LEGO colors, but with them just adding Neon Yellow to their line-up it’s time to talk. It’s not going to be an ultra deep exploration of everything and I’m just going to share a few thoughts, so don’t expect too much.

Getting the good Stuff – Set 60319

In order to even be able to talk about this new color of course I had to procure a set. It’s still early in the year 2022 and the pieces in these colors have not proliferated enough yet to be easily available on Bricklink or from LEGO‘s own Bricks & Pieces service. Therefore I ordered the Fire Rescue & Police Chase (60319) from the City line of products. It was cheap on Amazon and while certainly not the most exciting set out there, it looked okay for what I had in mind plus some potential for re-using its parts later.

LEGO City, Fire Rescue & Police Chase (60319), Box

The set is pretty much your run-off-the-mill variety and you have seen everything in it done a million times in as many combinations. That doesn’t mean that’s bad and for a theme aimed at being played with by younger kids there is certainly only so much you can experiment with, but it sure isn’t the most glorious aspect of LEGO.

The main attraction is the large fire truck, which is solid enough for some intensive play. The drone on its cargo bed feels a bit pointless in the sense that it just stinks of corporate-mandated “We need to have a drone because it’s hip!”. I’m sure even most kids would have preferred a utility rack or water tank in its place. the smaller black car is the escape vehicle used by the crook lady and while serviceable is still kind of terrible. It has large open areas and gaps, in particular around the mudguards and uses the bare minimum of parts to even hold together. I really thought I had forgotten to add some pieces underneath to cover the gaping holes, but no, there’s really nothing supposed to be there.

LEGO City, Fire Rescue & Police Chase (60319), Overview

In addition to the two cars there is of course a police motorbike. Thankfully it’s printed, so despite being otherwise just a standard model it doesn’t look that bland. The small building represents an electrical power conversion station as you would find it in many areas to branch distribution lines and convert high voltage into household electricity. The front shutter can be opened and there is a “fire” element on a swiveling hinge on the roof that you are supposed to “extinguish” by firing water splotches from the drone and tip it over. There#s also very conveniently a water hydrant nearby. the traffic light is mounted on a ratcheted hinge as well and can be “run over” if you so desire while playing out your gangster chase.

LEGO City, Fire Rescue & Police Chase (60319), Notable Elements

The set does not contain too many fancy parts aside from the obvious Neon Yellow recolors, but there are a few interesting highlights. There’s the already mentioned “splat/ splotch” pieces, basically a round 2 x 2 tile with some protrusions and here you get two in Trans Light Blue to simulate water. In a static setup you would use them as puddles most likely. Then there’s also a new cat mold, actually a kitten/ young cat version of the regular one. It’s super cute and actually more appropriate to minifigure scale in terms of size since the normal cats often more feel like lynxes or small mountain lions. Colored hair pieces are also nice to have and then of course inevitably there has to be a new fire helmet in the new color.

For the 20 Euro I paid for this set this feels okay and now two weeks later you can get it even cheaper, but you could definitely find other models that are more attractive. If I wasn’t in such a hurry to satiate my own curiosity I’d definitely have looked into other options, but at least I got a cute kitty out of it…

Analyzing the Color

The set mentioned above contains exactly three (!) 1 x 2 plates in the Neon Yellow color and I used one of them for my little analysis simply because it would be easy to use other such plates for comparisons. It’s pretty much the only LEGO piece that at one point or another was available in any color they ever did and thus lends itself for these types of articles.

The color in question is of course pretty much on everybody’s mind, given that it’s widely used on all manner of rescue and emergency vehicles. Technically it’s RAL 1026 Tageslichtgelb (Daylight Yellow) and its matching counterparts from other color standardization systems. It was unavoidable that one day it would make an appearance in LEGO‘s portfolio, it was just a question of when. Competing toy makers such as Playmobil have had it since forever. Now the real question in a versatile system such as LEGO bricks becomes how useful it would potentially be for other applications outside serving as a primary warning color.

Despite being called Neon Yellow this color has a slightly green-ish tinge which in the real world has something to do with how it is supposed to reflect light in specific ranges of the spectrum. A quick side-by-side comparison with the existing greens and yellows shows that it doesn’t really fit that well with the more regular colors and always sticks out. If at all, it looks the least obtrusive next to the pastel-y Bright Light Yellow and Yellowish Green.The foregone conclusion therefore would have to be that it will be extremely difficult to integrate elements into things like buildings or non-rescue cars unless they are intentionally supposed to be very bright and flamboyant. It’s more likely we’ll see this sprinkled in as the occasional decoration and highlight.

My lousy camera doesn’t do a good job of capturing the colors correctly due to its limited dynamic range, but the intensity of the color is affected massively by the light situation. Under intense light it really pops or even stings the eyes whereas under dusky/ overcast light it exposes a slightly translucent quality where it gets toned down quite a bit. This is also important to keep in mind in context with other colors and can be seen to some degree on the firetruck already. It’s shadowy side makes the color appear slightly duller and the Red seems to bleed into the other bricks. These perceptional phenomena need to be considered carefully similar to when I wrote my article about the Coral back then.

Neon Yellow, Color Comparison

While the Neon Yellow would be a strong contrast color to most others, there are a few where it is “harmonious” in terms of saturation and perceived brightness. Those are of course Coral and then also Bright Green, Dark Azure and Dark Pink. Dark Turquoise might also qualify to some degree, despite its own caveats and how it responds to different light situations. This is a rather abstract theoretical statement, naturally, as the practical integration would still be hugely affected by the ratio in which these colors are actually used. If you get into trouble, though, you should keep these colors in mind as they could be used to soften otherwise very harsh contrasts and can make things look more pleasant.


It would be an exaggeration to say that LEGO go out of their way to make the new color available, but they are introducing it on a rather broad basis with a good variety of pieces. There is a considerable number of City and Friends sets where bits and pieces are done in Neon Yellow. The problem however is that many of these new parts are not necessarily the most useful with many of them being wedge plates, brackets, lesser used brick types or large compound elements like a helicopter hull. On top of it the more regular elements are often only used very sparingly, with some sets only containing two of e.g. a 1 x 4 plate to barely cover what’s needed to represent pin stripes on a car. This is in particular limiting for MOC builders who at this point may not be able to find that particular piece they may need. This will of course improve rather quickly as more and more sets come out, but in the short term it could be difficult to source what you need.

Concluding Thoughts

New colors are always a good thing, but truth be told, despite it being sort of an inevitability based on the market, LEGO‘s competitors and the color being everywhere Neon Yellow would not have been my top priority. Using Bright Light Yellow as a stand-in substitute worked well enough and seemed to work well enough and kids couldn’t have cared less most likely. Most “serious” fans would simply have preferred other colors to be introduced or revived like the much-coveted Sand Red for architectural models or one of my personal pet peeves, a decent realistic plant green.

In the meantime we’ll most definitely be seeing the new color a lot, even when it’s only used on invisible elements inside the models for visual distinction in the building instructions. That’s all well, but I’m really hoping that we’ll be over that soon and LEGO have plans to give us other colors.

Blue Police – LEGO City Magazine, February 2022

Ah, Blue Ocean… One can really smell that they have multiple teams working on their mags and it shows. After the great January 2022 issue of the LEGO City magazine one month later we’re back in more mundane and dreary territory.

LEGO Magazine, City, February 2022, Cover

It’s back to police chasing evildoers and everybody getting entangled in all sorts of unrelated things making their life difficult. Formulaic beyond belief! Stylistically I think the City comics are the best of all the various LEGO magazines, though with complex and detailed panels and interesting perspectives.

LEGO Magazine, City, February 2022, Comic

The “bigheads” are a nice addition and featured on several pages in this outing. Sprinkled in between the comic pages are again a number of puzzles and quizzes, but they’re really not worth mentioning.

LEGO Magazine, City, February 2022, Comic

The same goes for the poster, which also makes it all too obvious that there is a long pre-production period for these publications. It features the “old” police and the associated sets from last year/ two years ago, many of which are now marked for retirement and won’t be around for much longer or already are hard to come by.

LEGO Magazine, City, February 2022, Poster

The minifigure is okay, but the buildable extra is a maximum non-effort by whoever designed it.It really looks more like a golf cart than any police car that could be taken seriously. Something like this might be driven around in some gated retirement community in Florida, but you wouldn’t find it in these parts here. Well, at least the minifigure at least fits inside and I suppose it’s also not bad that it matches with the blue helicopter from last week. Also for me the the 2 x 4 mudguard bricks are a first, as so far I only have them in other colors, but not Blue.

LEGO Magazine, City, February 2022, Extra

Overall this is a weak issue and while it’s serviceable as a bit of filler and distraction in these trying times, it’s not anything essential. Combining it with the helicopter makes things a bit more interesting, but then you’d still need to dig up an extra minifigure from your stock…

Dog Police – LEGO City Magazine, October 2021

I’d need to dig through my minifigure stash and also account for some that I already have given away, but in those short three year that I’m reviewing stuff here on this blog I think I have easily accumulated around 15 personnel without even ever buying a large LEGO City police set. The latest magazine for October adds one more to that.

LEGO Magazine, City, October 2021, Cover

But let’s start at the beginning and have a look at the comic, which – surprise, surprise – is just yet another gangster hunt even if it involves a dog. I have no doubt the kids still love it, bu c’mon, there’s so much else you could do with the police topic!

LEGO Magazine, City, October 2021, Comic

Inevitably that also affects the puzzles and activities, which are limited to matching some patterns and solving mazes. They snuck in half (!) a coloring page as well, but overall there isn’t really that much to do.

LEGO Magazine, City, October 2021, Comic

I like myself a clean, graphical poster and this time actually both the front and back deliver. the quad panel feels a bit too dark, though, due to the rather copious use of black on top of the Dark Blue.

LEGO Magazine, City, October 2021, Poster

The extra is nice and should in particular be attractive to people who haven’t got the dog yet. It’s just the standard German Shepherd that they have used for ages, but that’s just fine. Of course a new print or a different color could have elevated it and made it much more desirable. You know, the “golden” (Tan) with scruffy patches of grey and brown is a very common breed here in Germany and I’m sure many people would love LEGO do it one day.

The police officer is just fine, but of course it’s an American metropolitan police man that’s not necessarily representative of European law enforcement. Would be nice to see that one day, too. That said, of course the funny irony here has to be that the comic in the magazine provides ample inspiration for alternatives. The gangsters alone with their pink and green uniforms or blue hair, respectively, would have been awesome and on one page there is a very British looking mail man with a red uniform that would also have been much more interesting (to me, anyway).

LEGO Magazine, City, October 2021, Extra

All in all this is an okay, but just average issue. I’m especially baffled by how the creators never seem to consider the potential of some of the minor side characters. A little bit of crazy lateral thinking never hurt anyone, you know…

Police again – LEGO City Magazine, April 2021

The first week of any given month is apparently always the busiest in terms of what new LEGO magazines are released, and so here we are with the latest edition of the City mag for April 2021.

LEGO Magazine, City, April 2021, Cover

As I wrote last month already, at least in terms of the included extra I wasn’t that excited about this edition. I really have nothing against motorcycles, but can we please have some variety at least? Even if they merely included a sticker sheet with a police logo this would change things up enough, no matter how much I don’t like them, but the umpteenth plain white bike? That’s just lame. The minifigure is okay and with the light blue shirt fits the rest of the squad while at the same time having a unique utility vest. my little guy had misaligned prints on the head with the left eyebrow bleeding into the eye, so it looks like he took a punch and has a swollen eye/ black eye.

LEGO Magazine, City, April 2021, Extra

The comic is another overblown heist story to “sell” the bike and give it some context, but its overall acceptable. Funny enough it even carries the seeds of potential alternative extras. I would have loved the one-man submersible vehicle and I also would have been happy with a bunch of pink balloons lifting a Dark Brown treasure chest or piece of a ship wreck. See what I’m getting at? It’s not that the creativity isn’t there, it just seems the people in charge don’t see it and always settle on the smallest and easiest possible option.

LEGO Magazine, City, April 2021, Comic

LEGO Magazine, City, April 2021, Comic

The rest of the magazine follows the established pattern. The poster shown would be quite nice if only they had opted for a different background tint. The excessive use of blue shades makes it look oddly flat and I almost thought they ran out of magenta ink during the print run, leaving only the cyan and yellow. Something like a purple night sky or a dark red sunset would clearly have helped a lot to improve contrast.

LEGO Magazine, City, April 2021, Poster 

On an interesting side note, the “Criminal File” this time is on Daisy Kaboom. I got mine in the LEGO City Christmas calendar and immediately recognized her with the unique hair piece with the orange-colored tip. Of course it has also become a bit of an in-joke to call her Walmart-Karen. Even the LEGO world isn’t isolated from real world events.

On the whole this isn’t the greatest of issues, with the most disappointing thing being indeed the wasted potential to bring something fresh and cool to the series. As usual kids won’t mind or even notice, but it would just be nice.

Chopper Time! – LEGO City Magazine, February 2021

Different year, same subject. I guess that’s basically what you could say about the police-themed LEGO City sets. Of course this topic is a staple of the series and while this magazine is based on last year’s wave, we’re already getting new sets this year. The transition/ integration will be pretty seamless, I’d wager, so even the old sets will have their value. Let’s see what the February issue of the companion magazine has on offer therefore.

LEGO Magazine, City, February 2021, Cover

The comic is still mostly based on the money heist theme that dominated/ dominates the current wave, whereas the new sets for 2021 seem to head into a slightly different direction, which is already hinted at as well. I’ll not spoil it here and leave it to everyone to discover on their own, but it’s a funny twist. One can only hope the humor carries over to the physical set(s).

LEGO Magazine, City, February 2021, Comic

The poster would be okay, but unfortunately the English “Never Stop!” doesn’t at all translate that directly to German in an elegant fashion, so the “Niemals Stoppen” reminds me of a hacky translation done by a fifth-grader in his second year of learning the language. Makes me wonder who’s doing this stuff at Blue Ocean, as the proper way to do it would have been easy enough – you turn it into a question: “Stoppen? Niemals!” Done! So I guess the poster is a bust, after all. At least the mag manages to retain a decent number of activities, puzzles and quizzes, which in these times should be a welcome distraction for your kids when they get tired of all that homeschooling under lockdown conditions.

LEGO Magazine, City, February 2021, Poster

The buildable extra is not much to write home about, as it only uses some very, very basic techniques and for that reason also doesn’t include any fancy parts worth mentioning, but overall it’s okay. It’s decently sized and sufficiently conveys the idea of that baby-sized James Bond helicopter from You only live twice, used here as a mobile police unit. The pilot adds another police offer to the squad, but unfortunately neither has an alternate face nor an extra hair piece.

LEGO Magazine, City, February 2021, Extra

While not super exciting, this issue offers some acceptable value and for that at least it’s worth picking up. For my own personal taste it’s a bit stale, so I’m hoping they’ll move on to the new stuff soon-ish and we might get some cool gangster figure and such.

December Barricade – LEGO City Magazine, December 2020

Sometimes the world currently appears like a void void in the time-space-continuum where the concept of time has no meaning any longer due to the craziness surrounding us everywhere and the passing of another month feels like only a week has gone by. At least I sometimes can’t help but think “Didn’t I just write that review a few days ago?” with the memories of the actual process still being fresh in my mind. So despite my own perception the calendar dictates that indeed it has been a month and it is now time to look at the fresh December issue of the LEGO City magazine.

LEGO Magazine, City, December 2020, Cover

This one is again centered on the standard police stuff we get three times a year, but that’s okay, I suppose. The comic is styled accordingly, with the psychedelic-looking panel below being a scene where the officer is pulled into a baggage check X-ray machine at the airport and experiences some sort of alternate (virtual) reality inside. I almost wish this was one of the posters instead of the pretty naff actual ones.

LEGO Magazine, City, December 2020, Comic

The puzzles are placed throughout the publication in such a manner that they reference events on the previous page in the comic like e.g. figuring out the flow of the baggage conveyors that were shown before. While this gives the puzzles some context and may make it easier for kids to solve them, I think it interrupts the flow of the comic a bit too much. Having this bundled near the middle of the magazine may not have been ideal, but perhaps this kind of placement isn’t that good, either.

LEGO Magazine, City, December 2020, Extra

The minifigure is what you would expect – a standard patrol cop with the only original thing about it being the choice of some curly hair and the thick eyebrows. Can’t help it, but the “Bogdan and the eyebrows of evil.” gag from Breaking Bad just keeps coming up in my mind every time I see something like this. It’s really a bit unusual.

The buildable pieces aren’t that special, but at least the yellow tile with the printed black stripes is nice to have. You never know when you’re gonna need them. The (mobile) barricade itself likely wouldn’t work at all and to me looks odd in that it feels like a police car light bar and a truck rear bumper mixed together. They could have added a few more details or designed it differently.

Overall an okay issue, just not a great one, even more so when it succeeds an excellent one like the last. Now that I think about it, it would probably have made more sense if the included a bunch of suitcases and bags to tie in with the story and games instead of concocting yet another gangster chase…

May Gangster Chase

While hunting down the more exotic flavors of the LEGO magazines like Disney Princess isn’t easy, at least the more regular versions like the one for City make it to my local newsstand without a hitch every month.

LEGO Magazine, City, May 2020, Cover

The May issue comes with a double minifigure pack this time, but at the cost of not much else in the parts & pieces department, understandably. Rooted in the police theme this allows you to play out your favorite chase scenes, being that you get a police officer and an actual gangster/ bandit/ criminal/ prison escapee or however you like to call it.

This could even be based on the comic since it deals with that exact scenario or could be your own freely invented story, of course. The dynamic pair relationship is also retained in the posters, with either side of them having one of the characters in the foreground and the other in the back. This allows you to choose your favorite version.

Overall this edition is quite nice for the simple fact that it’s designed around a singular theme consistently and that makes it quite enjoyable even if the subject matter has been done to death, admittedly.

February White (K)Night

After last month’s brief intermezzo with some wood chopping it’s now back to police work (and next month firefighting) in the LEGO City magazine.

LEGO Magazine, City, February 2020, Cover

With the buildable parts once more we’re getting a superbike body. Thanks to this magazine and a Ninjago set I bought once I now have them in Black, Red and White. This almost makes me want to sit down and design some custom prints/ stickers, as sadly just like the pizza delivery version this is just unprinted. On such a large surface area it simply looks very plain and boring. If I ever were to e.g. build a motorcycle shop I’d definitely do something about this to make them look more attractive and even just a police patrol roaming the streets would benefit from some markings.

The rest of the magazine is just the usual stuff, though I was surprised to find a coloring picture on one page. Are we perhaps seeing a new trend, given that this was also the case in Friends recently? On a side note, the mag nicely illustrates why having named characters is not a good idea in the LEGO world. Duke DeTain? My ass! This kind of word play simply isn’t flying in German and the gag will be lost on many…

November Speed Trap

I don’t suppose that the LEGO City would be a multi-part series of fictional writing with a contiguous story, but as chance will have it, and that’s likely really just totally coincidental, one could see some greater story threads going on in the November issue.

LEGO Magazine, City, November 2019, Cover

If you care to remember, last month’s edition was all about fast pizza delivery and now imagine if that guy took things a bit too far and got caught in a traffic control. Yupp, the young police officer lady with her laser speed gun would sure have to say a thing or two to him. It could in its own way make for a brilliant play scenario and I think it would be fantastic if the magazine took that approach more often, unintended as this may have been. It would definitely be more attractive than just seemingly randomly firing out figures from the different sub-series.

Of course the female officer matches up with the rest of the ones we’ve gotten in the last few months, so at this point you could have about three or four of them to open up your own little police station without actually ever having bought a set. The buildable pieces don’t live up to that, though, and it seems we’re getting fewer and fewer with every issue. regrettably the various LEGO magazines are really becoming more minifigure packs with some extras than the other way around.

If donuts are your thing, then the comic is absolutely right for you as it’s built around the big sign from the Donut Shop Opening (60233) getting stolen. Funny enough I would in fact love to own the set for those special pieces since I have an idea floating in my head where such a large donut might come in handy. It’s just a bit on the expensive side only for that… Anyway, I digress. The rest of the magazine is okay and in particular the puzzles are a bit more demanding again this time, so those little brain teasers should give your kids something to do for a while on a bad weather fall afternoon.