Orange Trooper – LEGO Star Wars Magazine, March 2023

February is of course a short month, so here we are already again with the latest LEGO Star Wars magazine for March 2023.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, March 2023, Cover

The first comic has The Mandalorian and Grogu in it, which is a bit unusual, given that last month we got a similar comic already, though it was the shorter one.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, March 2023, Comic

In the second comic we see General Grievous facing off against some Storm Troopers, which of course is a not so subtle hint at the included extra (no, it’s not Grievous)

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, March 2023, Comic

For the poster I picked the back side featuring Yoda‘s unforgettable “Do it or don’t! There is no try!” quote. If the text was slightly smaller it would be even better. The front side has a standard Death Star trench chase scene. That’s okay, just nothing special.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, March 2023, Poster

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, March 2023, ExtraThe extra has some people’s underwear in a knot and to some degree makes them go bonkers. The facts are simple: The  212th Clone Trooper so far has only appeared in the AT-TE Walker (75337) and there are only three in this set. This apparently makes this coveted minifigure quite costly on Bricklink and other secondary markets. That seems to be reason enough for people to buy stacks and stacks of this magazine to deck out their battle dioramas. It’s basically still cheaper to pay 5 Euro for the mag instead of 7 Euro (in an optimistic case; most times it’s around 10 Euro), but it’s still a lot of money to throw around you could just as well on some real sets. It always amazes me how people fall into this “battle pack (substitute) craze”!

That said, the figure itself is just fine and has some detailed prints. With its Orange demarcations it will look distinct to the 501th Storm Troopers with their Blue insignia or the upcoming Dark Purple ones (forgot which unit they are) as well as the many standard white and grey ones. Personally I will be happy that the next issue comes with a buildable extra again, though. I get why people want minifigures, but at the end of the day you clearly cannot cover enough ground to make everybody happy, anyway, for a multitude of reasons. Having something brick-built will make a nice change after four minifigs in a row.

For me this is one of the more enjoyable issues because it doesn’t veer too much in the “silly nonsense” direction with the comics and there’s at least one serviceable poster. If you’re part of the Storm Trooper/ Clone Trooper crowd you cannot avoid buying this, anyway, multiple times if necessary.

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. 😉

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.

Mandalorian AT-AT – LEGO Star Wars Magazine, April 2022

In light of how all over the place some of the LEGO magazines are lately, I appreciate it even more when a reasonably good issue comes out and it seems the LEGO Star Wars mag for April 2022 manages to pull that off.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, April 2022, Cover

The primary comic is based on Boba Fett and presumably somehow ties in with the The Book of Boba Fett and The Mandalorian series, which as usual I don’t know too much about, seeing as I don’t have Disney+ and my information is limited to content snippets and reviews one can find on the internet at large. Anyway, both series heavily rely on revived story arcs, locations and characters from the original Star Wars movies, which also opens up many opportunities to make the comics more interesting with more exotic aliens and unusual vehicles. This is on display here with the lizard-like evil-doer and some Jawas making an appearance.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, April 2022, Comic

The second comic treads more familiar territory with some AT-AT mayhem during the Battle of Hoth. Interspersed between those two bookends are of course a bunch of riddles, puzzles and other activities, but nothing to write home about.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, April 2022, Comic

The posters are quite satisfying this time around and in fact I chose to display the reverse one with Ahsoka here because it’s even better than the one with Darth Maul. I like the friendly and clear color combination and this wouldn’t look bad in most kids’ rooms even if they don’t have one of those dark corners where the other mostly black posters make their mark.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, April 2022, Poster

The extra is an AT-AT mini build. It’s been a while since we had one of those and while personally I wouldn’t have needed yet another version, I don’t mind, either. For understandable reasons the construction is quite similar, but still differing in certain details. Back then they had to bash together the lower sections of the legs from two rounded 1 x 1 hinge plates, but now this has been optimized to use the new solid 1 x 1 piece with opposing bars that was introduced late last year for the Volkswagen T2 Camper Van (10279). This obviously simplifies the build and enhances robustness. My only regret is that they used the Dark Bluish Grey version they had in stock and did not manufacture a new batch in Light Bluish Grey. In addition to this the model comes with some other elements like the 1 x 1 x 2 bracket also introduced in 2021 or the 1 x 2 x 2 SNOT brick, but in the rarer Black color.  They are available in droves in Light Bluish Grey from the many Brickheadz produced over the years, but surprisingly LEGO have only been doing them in some other colors rather recently.

As you might have guessed from my long-winded nerding out about the parts I’m quite happy with this edition and the interesting comic and nice posters certainly help to lift your mood, too. There’s little to complain here and one wished they’d manage to give us such good content every month…

Blue Trooper – LEGO Star Wars Magazine, March 2022

The craziness of current events makes time fly even faster plus there’s still some slight disarray in Blue Ocean‘s publishing schedule, so it’s little surprise that it feels like the last issue of the LEGO Star Wars magazine only came out two weeks ago.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, March 2022, Cover

The comics are really getting a bit stale and weirder by the mile with the March 2022 edition of the mag having yet another spin at Vader engaging in extracurricular activities outside his evil overlord duties. I can hardly believe that anyone finds this truly funny and this can only be excused as being aimed at children who might not know better or don’t care. Still, I wish this would be more connected to the actual goings-ons in the Star Wars universe and have a more serious tone.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, March 2022, Comic

The secondary comic takes a similar spin, but again it’s not really funny.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, March 2022, Comic

The posters are pretty good this time. The first one depicts six of the Knights of Ren in a nicely arranged table. this time, however, the second poster on the reverse side takes the cake, showing a chase scene on Hoth with a Wampa going after our heroes. There’s even a Tauntaun and the power station in the background. With the exception of the Wampa perhaps looking a bit too much like a red-nosed Yeti the poster is very well drawn with a dynamic camera angle and an overall pleasant composition and style.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, March 2022, Poster

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, March 2022, ExtraThe extra is a Storm Trooper minifigure, but not any kind of trooper. It’s one of the more special ones of the 501st Legion. This got a few people’s underwear in a twist when it was previewed in the last issue and while it’s always nice to have a few more of these guys, the 501st Legion Clone Troopers (75280) set is still widely available and with discounts, making this only the second best option to bolster your troops. Unlike with some more exclusive figures from expensive sets (see Palpatine’s grand appearance) there’s no reason to storm the newsstand and buy entire stacks of the magazine just to get enough of the troopers.

The posters and extra are really this issue’s saving grace. Otherwise it devolves a bit too much into cheap comic relief territory, which I think doesn’t really befit Star Wars. not everything needs to be doom & gloom, but at least they should not ridicule central characters so much in my opinion. How do Disney/ Lucasfilm even let them get away with this? *sigh*

V is Victory? – LEGO Star Wars Magazine, April 2021

WordPress are driving me crazy with their forced transition to the Blocks editor, so bear with me if some things look a bit wonky. As an old school WP user I’m still too much used to working within a theme’s design rules and this new-fangled stuff takes some getting used to. Anyway, here we go again with the LEGO Star Wars magazine, this time for April 2021.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, April 2021, Cover

Unlike the wildly fictional concoctions in the last few issues, the comic is a bit more relatable again this time, depicting several encounters Yoda had/ has while roaming the forests of Dagobah. This is very akin to Luke‘s training in The Empire Strikes Back with all sorts of dangerous creatures and a force representation of Darth Vader also making an appearance. Of course there are some liberties here, but at least I like to believe that’s how it could have happened. I’m not an advocate of strict canon, but familiarity and adherence to existing the lore and rules of the Star Wars universe is always a bonus.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, April 2021, Comic

The posters deserve praise this month. Not only are they stylistically similar to the Storm Trooper chart from last month, but also both of them are actually good. To top it off, they even tell a story with Luke and Vader facing each other as exploded minifigures. Of course the downside to that is that you will actually have to buy two magazines if you want to put up both posters in the way depicted here.

The extra is a V-Wing fighter. Don’t ask me too much, as I have yet to manage to actually consistently watch The Clone Wars and catch up with its story and details, but apparently these fighters appear quite a lot there and are kind of important. Otherwise LEGO might have glossed over them and not done several models, obviously. as far as I know this is the first time it has been done as such a mini-model, though, so it’s something new.

The build is not particularly elaborate, but seems to capture the shapes well enough. The highlight are of course the Dark Red shield tiles, which so far only have appeared in the UCS A-Wing Starfighter (75275) and the smaller LEGO Super Heroes Hulkbuster (76164) set, making them a bit of a rarity item. The same goes for the curved slope, though it isn’t quite as scarce. On top of it you get five (!) full left/ right pairs of the 2 x 4 wedge tiles in Light Bluish Grey. Not a bad yield for such a small model!

On a funny side note, I was immediately reminded of Nintendo‘s Starfox games when I accidentally whacked the vertical air foils out of alignment. The details would need some refinement, naturally, but it’s surprising how similar the fighters look.

On the whole this is a fantastic issue providing some good value. A decent comic, some superb posters and a model that despite its simplicity looks cool. what more can you ask for? The only thing where it falls short is the activities/ puzzles, which are few and far inbetween…

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.

Post-Christmas Double – LEGO Star Wars and Jurassic World Magazine, January 2021

The festive season this year has resulted in a bit of an odd timing for the release schedule of some of the various LEGO magazines, so this week the newsstands are full with new issues. That’s why I’m going to wrap two of them into a single article to not drag things out too much. Let’s begin with the LEGO Star Wars one.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, January 2021, Cover

It comes in with relatively little fanfare, by which I mostly mean its utter lack of something genuinely fresh and innovative. In fact I intentionally chose the sample pages from the second, shorter comic because at least the raspberry-like pink fruits give it some pop. The bigger one is for the umpteenth time about Storm Trooper target practice, this time packed into a winter-y scenario. The posters are not worth talking about and feel like unused older designs and even if they aren’t, they’re just not good. Once more this issue is also very light on puzzles, so not much to do, either.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, January 2021, Comic

The buildable model is yet another TIE Fighter, this time as the TIE Interceptor flavor more commonly seen in the newer movies. It distinguishes itself mostly by using this old clunker in a quite creative fashion and I must admit that at first it looks extremely lazy, but works surprisingly well, all things considered. It’s in fact even a bit of a missed opportunity that they didn’t actually include a printed transparent dish for the cockpit front, as due to the construction there’s a small hollow inside that would have perfectly passed as the pilot’s little cubicle office. BTW, the foil pack (and a free sample pack of the latest Ninjago trading cards) was stuck on using some very strong tape and that’s why I shredded the cover. It just wouldn’t peel off without damage.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, January 2021, Extra a  LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, January 2021, Extra b

On to more interesting things, we have the latest edition of the LEGO Jurassic World mag. Okay, the comic isn’t that exciting, either, it merely being yet another dinosaur chase, but at least one of the posters is halfway decent. The puzzles and activities are also pretty thin, so not much to report there as well.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, January 2021, Cover

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, January 2021, Comic

The comic stubbing your nose at the featured Stegosaurus of course has a clear reason, that being the inclusion of the herbivore in model form. Some describe them as one the dumbest dinosaur species, given their super small brain, but I suppose that doesn’t make him any less appealing at least in terms of the appearance. Those large, pointed armor plates sure are impressive as is the spiked, mace-like tail. I vividly remember when as kids we used to watch this old Czechoslovakian movie, prominently featuring a Stego vs. T-Rex fight.

The model captures the proportions well enough, though personally I would have wished it was slightly bigger. Though the color scheme is consistent with the earlier Triceratops and by extension the Mighty Dinosaurs (31058) set I also would have loved the colors to be somewhat more realistic. Those armor plates definitely weren’t grey! Either they were extremely colorful to serve as signal posts for peers and potential mating partners, were patterned and camouflaged to confuse the enemies or covered with meshes of blood vessels and skin to regulate body temperature. Whichever explanation you prefer, there would have been many better color choices.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, January 2021, Extra a  LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, January 2021, Extra b

As it is, you do get these six Dark Bluish Grey flag pieces and they’re attached using the same number of Green hinges (plus another two to which the neck and tail clip on) and you also get a whole lot of 1 x 1 pin hole bricks, also in Green. On the other hand there’s the Tan pieces such as the 1 x 2 inverted curved slopes and my highlight, the three T-style brackets. At least those should be more universally useful. All things considered I’m not complaining, though. The parts yield is good.

Overall nothing special for the end of the year in both magazines, but things do look a bit better for the upcoming issues. Some people already have the shorts in a knot for the green Mandalorian from the The Mandalorian Battle Pack (75267) coming to the Star Wars magazine and the next Jurassic World also looks okay according to the preview page, but I’m not going to spoil that one for you… 😉

The Not-AAT – LEGO Star Wars, Armored Assault Tank [AAT] (75283)

My love-hate relationship with LEGO Star Wars is really getting weirder with every set I buy as I’m realizing that despite new stuff being added e.g. based on the The Mandalorian series I realize I care less and less. I totally blame this on the sets becoming less attractive in terms of construction and how they ultimately look while prices reaching crazy levels. That is at least in the lower price tiers I move around.

LEGO Star Wars, Armored Assault Tank (AAT) (75283), Box

The Armored Assault Tank [AAT] (75283) is one such case, unfortunately. The version, or more specifically color variant in this set, can be briefly seen in the Revenge of the Sith Kashyyyk attack sequence in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment and I’m pretty sure it also appears in The Clone Wars and other later materials based on the prequels. The more regular ocre-/ tan-colored version is of course more prominent, be that the final battle in The Phantom Menace or other such occasions. However, despite all this there is surprisingly little information on the vehicle, except for one thing that is certain:

AAT mini Mk. IV e or what?

LEGO Star Wars, Armored Assault Tank (AAT) (75283), Overview

The elephant in the room is of course that this has nothing to do with a “real” AAT as actually present in the movies and series – not by any stretch of the imagination. If at all, this would qualify as a heavily redesigned next version, a smaller side version or simply a newly constructed vehicle based on the same principles. The irony here is that in fact I quite like it to some degree, as the larger turret and less ellipsoid overall appearance give it its own unique and distinct look, but it just bears zero resemblance to the original vehicles. It might still have looked cool next to its bigger brothers, though.

The Minifigures

One of the reasons I got over myself and bought the set are – drumroll – for this rare occasion the minifigures. As you know from other posts I don’t proactively collect them, but if I stumble upon one that I like and may want to use later, I keep them around.

Of course the main appeal here is Ahsoka. she had been done a couple of times in the past, but I feel that this is the first time ever her specific appearance with in particular her striped hood has been captured correctly. Can’t help it, but the figure just is extremely nice. Predictably, its popularity can only grow now that the character has appeared in The Mandalorian and a dedicated Ahsoka series has been announced for Disney+ as well. I’m pretty sure we’ll see lots of different versions from here on, but this is a good basis, no matter what.

In addition to Ahsoka herself we also get her personal bodyguard/ companion clone trooper for the first time, making this even more desirable. I’ve seen people on Facebook buying the set just for that and prices on Bricklink are also pretty crazy already. Finally there are two more Kashyyk droids, which are also kind of rare and fetch a good price. Earlier this year I sold some to someone intent on building a diorama with entire squadrons of them and apparently he had swept clean a lot of the market from the more affordable resellers already. So for all intents and purposes, it could be pretty easy to re-finance the whole set if you find people interested in the figures that you could sell them to.

LEGO Star Wars, Armored Assault Tank (AAT) (75283), Minifigures

Parts Cornucopia

In my world figures are nice, but parts that expand my portfolio are better, so let’s have a look at that as well. As you may guess from the sub-headline, the set doesn’t fare badly in this department. Many of the pieces, while not necessarily exclusive to this set, are relatively rare and either appear for the first time at all, have not been available in a long time or only in a handful of sets or are included in more significant numbers than previously in other sets. The individual parts are:

As always the point for me is to get as many of those pieces in one place instead of having to scrape them together from Bricklink or other sources at even greater cost and in that regard this set delivers. For me even more so since it has a few other parts that I didn’t have before like the curved wedges in Light Bluish Grey or the Dark Blue dishes. It’s all good stuff to have around just in case you may need it one day and you can’t go wrong with it.

LEGO Star Wars, Armored Assault Tank (AAT) (75283), Front Left View

The Price is still wrong

In light of the previous two chapters one might think that this is good value for money, but sadly it is not. For a bunch of pieces that essentially would fit into the volume of a slightly enlarged Rubik’s Cube, meaning a very small model that without its protruding gun barrels is 15 cm long, 15 cm wide and 15 cm tall, LEGO want you to pony up 40 Euro. That’s a big “No, Sir!” on my part and I can only once more conclude that they are pulling the prices for their sets out of their asses or throwing the dice in a drinking game. It’s just not worth that and seems ridiculous.

So once more I was biding my time until the set was closer to what I wanted it to be. At around 27 Euro I took the plunge, though I would have preferred for it to drop below the 25 Euro threshold. However, in the craziness that the year 2020 that seemed unlikely, given that there are genuine supply problems with LEGO vs. an extraordinarily high demand and so I didn’t put it off too long in order to not lose the advantage. Still, let me make it clear that I think that 25 Euro is actually the “real” price I would like to see this being sold for. Aside from a few larger parts and the minifigures there’s just not enough volume to justify more.

Deceitful Appearances

The reason why the model lacks volume and by extension thus can never be even close to an accurate representation of the real thing quickly becomes apparent when you swivel around it and view it from different angles. What looks okay from the front such as the big curved armored hull quickly falls apart when viewed from its rear side. It lacks all the transitional areas and worst of all exposes the raw underlying construction. This continues throughout the mid section of the turret, which similarly only looks good from the front, but when viewed from behind just looks like they ran out of pieces to cover it up.

LEGO Star Wars, Armored Assault Tank (AAT) (75283), Aft Left View

Worse, still, this section is not accessible from the rear because due to the small size of the model they had to use the space for a double-width window frame that acts as the support for the top section.

LEGO Star Wars, Armored Assault Tank (AAT) (75283), Aft Right View

As hinted earlier, the turret is way to big, most notably simply too wide. However, you have to give the designers some props for at least trying. The problem here is that on the real thing this is a very complicated shape with complex curvatures situated very far aft on the vehicle. In fact from a “real” military standpoint this probably would not make a lick of sense on an actual tank with it tipping over every time the turret is rotated off-center or from the recoil when it fires a charge. It’s one of those fictional things that would easily be defeated by actual physics.

LEGO Star Wars, Armored Assault Tank (AAT) (75283), Front Right View

Anyway, for all intents and purposes the turret should not be any wider than the extended handle it’s situated on and I feel that this is a typical case where the LEGO side of things got too much in the way. I think they were too bent on making the cannon movable and then ran into trouble getting enough stability in there, so they had to make things bigger. See what happened here?

LEGO Star Wars, Armored Assault Tank (AAT) (75283), Left View with elevated Gun

The gun can be elevated and swiveled around 180 degrees, but as I mentioned that probably isn’t realistic to begin with and in the movies I haven’t seen the tanks fire anything but directly forward. It’s a nice play feature for the kids at least, but really not much more than that. On some level that also extends to “those other guns”, which are actually range finders and small lasers for self defense. they look rather crude on the model and the ugly black color doesn’t help. At least I’m glad they didn’t eliminate all antennas because, as you know, all the droids are remotely connected to their control ships in orbit. The silver rapier sticks out a bit too much, though.

LEGO Star Wars, Armored Assault Tank (AAT) (75283), Left Top View with elevated Gun

Adding to the play value is the ability to at least place the two droids that come with the set in the interior. Not in the technically correct positions, but let’s be grateful for small things.

LEGO Star Wars, Armored Assault Tank (AAT) (75283), Interior Details


Concluding Thoughts

Unfortunately this set fits the recent pattern of overpriced Star Wars sets whose value is primarily driven by the minifigures included while the models at best are adequate, but not great renditions of the originals they represent. This scheme becomes even more devious when figures are scattered across different sets. That is thankfully not the case here at least with no other specific The Clone Wars sets being available and requiring you to take out the purse just to get some company for Ahsoka, but this doesn’t make the situation any less unfulfilling.

As I already wrote, the tank itself is just fine. It just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense in the Star Wars universe and even on it’s strict LEGO merits merely comes across as an uninspired run-off-the-mill job more than anything the designers put much effort in. It’s what in the media and graphics design industry we would call an “intern job” hacked together on a lazy afternoon, or in this case a recycled design from a few years ago that wasn’t correct then and isn’t correct now despite minor modifications and updates thanks to new parts.

The irony here is of course that I can neither advise pro or against the set, as it has its merits. Some will love the minifigs, others like me may see this as a good chance to rake in some interesting pieces and all the combinations inbetween. The only thing you really need to wipe from you mind is that the model has anything to do with a Star Wars AAT and in that regard it’s a complete fail.

August Trooper

Time seems oddly compressed to me at the moment and so it feels like *swoosh* only a week went by when in actuality another month has passed. I guess the Corona virus craziness we still live through is changing the perception of time. Anyway, here we go with the August edition of the LEGO Star Wars magazine.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, August 2020, Cover

As I wrote last month already, this issue was hotly anticipated by many because of course – Storm Trooper. Personally I’m not that guy, but I do understand the appeal of putting this up in a diorama or just arranging large grids of these figures for entire battalions. So what was bound to happen, indeed happened – many, many people bought the magazine in bulk. There are “haul” photos where some of them really have bought up a newsstand’s entire supply. This will make it very difficult to obtain this magazine in some areas simply because it’s sold out.

The minifigure itself is a newer generation type with the reworked 2018/ 2019 dual-molded helmet. The print is interesting in that the trooper has torn pants with a rip on one of the legs where the knee protector would be. That’s a neat little touch and makes it all the more interesting. I haven’t seen this personally and was too lazy to do some deeper research, but I’m sure it has been used in a set at some point, just in combination with a different torso and helmet maybe or a different additional print. Still, nice to have.

The figure is naturally used in one of the comics (the shorter one) to explain its background. The other one is retro-themed and takes us to Tatooine and Mos Eisley with several familiar characters making an appearance. The puzzles are okay as is the Vader poster while the alternate back side with Han Solo and Chewbacca is pretty forgettable on the other hand. Either way, a lot of people probably won’t notice, being on the hunt for the minifigure.

September Trooper

With the magic 50th issue in August, the race up to the next fifty is now on with the September edition of the LEGO Star Wars magazine.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, September 2019, Cover

To celebrate that anniversary, belated as it may be, someone figured it might be a good idea to include a Stormtrooper minifigure. People are clamoring for this all the time and this seems to be so much in demand, they likely could bundle another variant with every second issue without the subject ever being covered to the point of getting stale. In this instance it’s not the “cool one”, though, with it actually being a First Order version rather than one from the original first movies, which most aficionados still prefer.

Still, not a bad move if you have bought any of the sets for one of the movies in the last three or four years and want to bolster your troops. In fact I would predict that quite a few people will buy more than one copy of the mag. With those figures being in such high demand everywhere, prices on Bricklink are not necessarily cost-effective to build larger line-ups and in the end the math could add up, even if paying 4 Euro for a figure may seem steep at first.

The rest of the magazine once more is indicative of the meandering back and forth between “barely acceptable” to “okay” to “almost good” in terms of the quality of the comics, posters and puzzles, all very apparently depending on which team took responsibility for any given month. This one falls in the upper half of this range and therefore isn’t that bad. I always like it when in particular the puzzles are reasonably complex and not dumbed down as if only three-year-olds read the mag.