Red Raptor – LEGO Jurassic World Magazine, May 2023

I was really looking forward to this month’s LEGO Jurassic World magazine simply because I like buildable stuff and knew this one wouldn’t disappoint. more on that further down. First let’s take a look at the regular contents for the May 2023 issue.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, May 2023, Cover

The comic, while it would be okay in the overall style, again puts me off with its excessive use of fake Inner Shadow and Bevel layer styles (to the uninitiated: that’s what it’s actually called for real in Photoshop). It not only makes everything look very dark and murky, but personally I’m even offended by the sloppy way it’s applied. The values are all wrong and it is too large and too soft. It’s like they created a preset and threw it on to every image without re-tweaking it to account for different scales.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, May 2023, Comic

In terms of story writing Blue Ocean aren’t going to win any awards, as of course it’s just another escape & chase story. That even goes for the shorter secondary comic. It’s odd that they always play up the hostility and danger when there could be other narratives to explore.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, May 2023, Comic

For the poster I elected to show you the back side, not just because the one on the front is yet another run-of-the-mill hack composition pieced together from existing renderings. sure, this little overview isn’t showing that any special effort was made, either, but at least it meets my standards for acceptable clean design. Funny enough, as another little bit of Photoshop and design wisdom, adding a thin outline or outer glow would have helped with contrast. Some of the Tan-colored areas blend a bit too much with the yellow background and the Quetzalcoatlus with its White body would have benefited from that as well.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, May 2023, Poster

Moving on to the extra, we get a Pyroraptor built from bricks. If the overall appearance looks familiar of course you are not wrong. This is quite similar to the T-Rex and Velociraptor builds we got in past issues, but then at the same time there’s only so much you can do with a given set of elements. It’s almost impossible to avoid that they all look nearly the same. This particular build tries to distinguish itself not only with the colors, but by also trying to hint at the plumage. Jurassic World – Dominion is by all accounts a terrible movie, but at least they started honoring this long-standing knowledge that very likely a lot of dinosaurs had feather-like body coverage, at least in part. Whether they had to invent a whole new species for that is a different question entirely… Anyway, it’s just fine.

With regards to the parts usage we even get a small highlight by ways of the vertical “shield” 1 x 1 modified plate being included in Dark Blue. At this point it literally has only been in the expensive The Ice Castle (43197) sett associated with the Disney sub-theme and therein the Frozen animated movie(s). The horizontal red tooth plates are also not bad and since you get four of each type, the yield isn’t bad. The rest is just a bunch of curved slopes, hinge plates and a few others in pretty standard colors, but you can never have enough of those, either. I’m just wondering why they didn’t go with the wedge slopes on the head like on the previous variations of this critter. It would have made him look more aggressive.

This is a pretty decent issue, in particular since building the model takes more than thirty seconds and thus you feel like you get some value. Unfortunately the comic is a bit of a miss due to that weird shading thing. It would have looked so much better in a more pristine style.

Raptor Relay – LEGO Jurassic World Magazine, October 2022

The Jurassic World magazine for October 2022 is not that great. I can tell you that up front. However, despite this in a more general sense the magazine remains at the top of my list of Blue Ocean‘s publications and I always look forward to it, so let’s have a gander at some of its contents.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, October 2022, Cover

The comic can quickly be summed up as “another issue, another chase”, and to boot, of course we’re still stuck in the actual Jurassic Park and on the island. This is really becoming long in the tooth and boring as heck, even more so since there are so few interesting new dinosaurs. There’s only so many ways you can spin a Velociraptor story.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, October 2022, Comic

The graphical style also once more is of the “lots of blue sky” variety and the panels don’t look that terribly interesting. At this point clearly City and Star Wars have the lead with their much more explosive and varied visual storytelling.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, October 2022, Comic

Another department clearly suffering from the lack of new dino species are the posters, which make you think “Didn’t I see that just two issues ago?”

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, October 2022, Poster

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, October 2022, ExtraThe highlight of the magazine once more is the buildable extra, which in the Jurassic World magazine tend to be reasonably decked out. Though the cover sells this as a “(communications) base”, it is of course not. It’s more of a relay or one of the many surveillance points and access points to different areas of the park.  It captures this feeling nicely, even if it is rather small. The “bad guy” Rainn Delacourt is from the Atrociraptor Dinosaur: Bike Chase (76945) set and so is the little raptor with the new print, joining his Pyroraptor buddy from the July edition. A small highlight are the two 1 x 6 dual arches. I have a ton of white ones and a few crazy colors like Dark Pink, but the Light Bluish Grey ones so far have eluded me. LEGO uses this element relatively rarely and often in sets that I don’t buy like expensive Star Wars ones, so it’s nice to have them. It would have been ace if they had thrown in a printed tile like this one for instance to connect the two arches and cover the studs.

As said in my introduction, this certainly isn’t the best edition in the series, but at least the extra is its saving grace. I’d really only get this issue for that reason because the rest unfortunately is very forgettable.

Pyro Raptor Capture – LEGO Jurassic World Magazine, July 2022

Creative cover design is certainly nothing to scoff at, but can’t they keep it at least a bit real? Those Dark Red hot dog pieces are gonna cost you an arm and a leg if you were to recreate that cover shot, given how rare they are. Anyway, on to the actual July edition of the LEGO Jurassic World magazine.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, July 2022, Cover

The comic is one of those 50/ 50 ones where you can’t quite put the finger on what bothers you. Well, in a way you can, but it’s rather subjective. I think my biggest issue here is that the comics make it appear as if those dinosaur parks somehow are mostly heavy plain concrete buildings and jungle, but overall have very little else and are not particularly structured. So here we once more get lots of greys and dull browns with occasional greens popping through. It would probably help a lot if some of the walls would be colored or had some signage and posters.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, July 2022, Comic

With regards to the actual story – it’s of course another chase. The positive here is that we actually get to see a few buildings like the visitor center pyramid and an aviary, not just fences and walls. Apart from that there’s not really much that would differentiate it from other such plot lines of which we had tons before. A school class quietly visiting the dino petting zoo would really be a welcome change of pace…

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, July 2022, Comic

The poster is a play on one of the scenes in the latest Jurassic World – Dominion movie where the silhouette of a T-Rex can be seen on an open air cinema screen. A bit too much of an insider gag if you haven’t seen the film or aren’t following film blogs and YouTube channels like I as a film buff do, so the joke will be lost on most people. On its own merits it’s fine and still impresses. However, one has to question the color choices. The black isn’t really black and instead a dark brown and the reds and yellows look dull. This ruins the contrast IMO. It looks like those thinly printed logos on one of those brown recycled paper shopping bags, but this should definitely look a lot more vibrant and contrast-y.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, July 2022, Poster

For the extra, Blue Ocean are pulling a “Reverse November”, that is November 2020. Back then they brought out another small trailer after having brought out a buggy to tow it in the issue before. We will now get such a vehicle in the August edition. The cage cart itself is reasonably detailed and benefits from having the two leaves and the hot dog as decorations. It makes things so much more lively. The cage elements unfortunately cannot be opened in a way so they touch the ground, so using them as a ladder for the dino to get on and off. You know, it would have been nice had they been offset and mounted on a hinge to reach over the wheels. A minor complaint, though. Overall it’s lovely, not least of all because they included a new version of the baby raptor. That’s a Pyroraptor for you with a purple stripe down its back. If you haven’t bought any of the sets from this year’s wave of new sets this is an easy way of adding the little bugger to your collection without spending too much.

Once more this issue is saved by the inclusion of the extra and how nicely it is designed. The rest is slightly forgettable and lacks this extra touch of finesse I would like to see. I’d even be willing to bet that some kids are a bit tired of the repetitive stories and the Jurassic World universe having become to dark and gritty for its own good. Can’t we simply be enawed by nice dinosaurs like back then when the first Jurassic Park movie came out?