Mando Fighter – LEGO Star Wars Magazine, June 2022

Just this week we had this year’s Star Wars Celebration and the sheer number of announcements of new series, movies, books and of course merchandise makes my head spin. Because of that it seems certain that the LEGO Star Wars magazine is here to stay for many more years and given the amount of content they could even produce a second line perhaps more aimed at adults and with more serious extras. Anyway, for now the existing series will have to do, so let’s see what the June issue provides.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, June 2022, Cover

Let me start by saying that I really, really love the primary comic this time. Sure, the story is  ridiculous again, but look at how colorful it is! There’s literally a new color scheme on every page ranging from yellow/ gold to blue to purple to pink to green. It’s fantastic! Perhaps a bit too much for some people, but totally up my alley.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, June 2022, Comic

The second comic of course is referencing the extra – like a lot – which is the Razor Crest or The Mandalorian’s Starship as it was called for a while when Lucasfilm/ Disney forgot to register the trademark and someone else had snatched up the name. *lol* It’s more conventional and not nearly as flamboyant, but it serves its purpose.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, June 2022, Comic

The Razor Crest also makes an appearance on a coloring page, but unfortunately it’s really just the upper third and rather tiny. The reasoning behind this eludes me. For me it’s simply too small and I find the already filled in background distracting or else I might actually have spent an evening or two coloring and shading it if it was a full page or double spread with just the lines. On the other hand the smallness is an issue for kids who may not be able to stay within the lines, even more so since this is a rather detailed drawing with many studs and bits and not e.g. a smooth Naboo Starfighter.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, June 2022, Coloring Image

The posters are rather *meh* in the sense that they feel like you’ve seen it a million times, though at least they appear okay from a technical point of view. At least there’s no obvious Photoshop hackery or skewed colors.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, June 2022, Poster

As mentioned before, the extra is the Mandalorian‘s original vessel from season one. Well, at least it’s supposed to be because just like LEGO have yet to produce a bigger version that even comes close to resembling the genuine article, this one also barely bears any actual similarities. All the problems that plague the other model renditions are also present here – not enough separation (or exactly none at all in this case) of the engine pods, the fuselage not being tall enough and lacking the typical forward inclination and a few other things. I won’t complain about a freebie, naturally, but I’m sure even in such a limited format it would be possible to construct something that comes closer to the one in the series.

This is not a bad issue by any means, but I find myself again regretting Blue Ocean not going the full mile on some things and squandering the potential. Will we ever see a near perfect issue in this series? I’m not too sure about that…

Gunship incoming! – LEGO Star Wars Magazine, December 2021

The monthly cycle of LEGO-related publications begins anew and so here we are having a look at the December issue for the Star Wars magazine, as apparently with it coming out at the end of the preceding month it always kind of is the first in the ones I review here on my blog.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, December 2021, Cover

Last month’s main comic was pretty decent, which makes it even more apparent how weak and uninspired the one for this issue issue. I could of course endlessly repeat my criticisms of dumb stories, lack of dynamic perspective, too much white, too much sky and so on, but suffice it to say that this just isn’t that good.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, December 2021, Comic

The secondary comic fares better, but that’s easy enough, given that the shape of certain vehicles and the droids is generally more interesting to begin with. The puzzles and quizzes sandwiched between those two comics literally book-ending the mag are not worth a second mention as usual, either.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, December 2021, Comic

The posters have me stumped this time. The front poster is the umpteenth cheap rehash of Kylo Ren and his fractured helmet whereas the back is a really adorable spin on The Mandalorian with The Child (or Grogu, as he has become known as ever since) popping out of a gift box. This is beyond cute and I’m likely actually going to hang it up in the spirit of the season.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, December 2021, Poster

The extra is what’s commonly known just as “that gunship” (from Attack of the Clones where it was first introduced) and more precisely referred to as the LAAT (Low Altitude Assault Transport), i.e. the Star Wars version of an armored infantry tank/ troop transporter. When the movies were fresh LEGO did a number of sets, but these days outside the large and expensive UCS Republic Gunship (75309) there aren’t any official offerings. I’m pretty sure you could find a ton of custom MOCs, though, if you set your mind to it and do a search.

Given the cost building a larger version would entail one way or the other, this small extra is as good as it gets for me for the time being. The tiny model captures the overall silhouette well enough, but inevitably is light on the details. Most notably this affects the canopy and glass cupola pieces, which are just plugged on transparent round tiles. At the risk of beating this to death this is again a matter of scale and a few more and different pieces might have provided a more “realistic” look. I for instance think that this would have been a good opportunity to use this element in plain Trans Clear for the wing domes at least.

While it’s a mixed bag for me, the Christmas-y poster certainly saves this issue. It just fits my mood. Otherwise there’s unfortunately not really much to write home about.

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… 😉

Jedi Fighter – LEGO Star Wars Magazine, December 2020

After the craziness of the last issue of the LEGO Star Wars magazine – I’ve literally seen pictures on Facebook from people having bought twenty or more – we’re now back on more normal, more mundane territory again.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, December 2020, Cover

The main comic takes us back to Endor and portrays some hijinx that believably could have happened off-screen in The Return of the Jedi. I definitely prefer this type of story rather than some wildly crazy, concocted stories that don’t fit the story and lore as I know it. The second comic is just that and inevitably ties in with the extra that comes with the mag, Obi-Wan‘s Jedi Interceptor.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, December 2020, Comic

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, December 2020, Extra The model of said fighter is okay, but pretty unspectacular. That were of course true even if you bought a bigger set and an inherent strength or weakness with the slick, yet somewhat boring overall design. After all, it’s just a big barrel cockpit with some wings and huge flaps. Therefore for me the only real value in parts are the Dark Red ones. Not particularly rare, but it’s a nice color to have as it’s useful for many different applications.

A highlight this month are the posters, which satisfy my designer’s taste buds. They’re nice graphical designs and reasonably balanced with the only caveat being whether or not you could get over LEGO‘s version of The Child‘s all too alien-baby looking black eyes. I really wish they’d include those hazel-colored irises to make it look a little less terrifying.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, December 2020, Poster A LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, December 2020, Poster B

Not much going on in the activities department this time around, though, with only some super simple games providing a bit of engagement. As it is, this issue enjoyable enough for a few minutes, but offers no longer-lasting distraction from the current misery around us.