Dilophosy? – LEGO Jurassic World Magazine, September 2021

Regrettably LEGO don’t quite seem to know what to do with their Jurassic World license other than selling those coveted dinosaurs in otherwise mediocre, yet expensive sets (too expensive for me in most cases), so I take some comfort in the fact that at least the associated magazine is halfway good and mixes things up a bit. That’s especially true again this month.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, September 2021, Cover

One of the problems the series apparently has is that there is not enough momentum with new movies only coming out every once in a blue moon, with the latest Jurassic World – Dominion having been delayed over and over again due to the pandemic, and other content  that could serve as inspiration being scarce just as well. this shows more and more in the comics with the storylines becoming unrealistic and really a bit too ridiculous. Rolling around in the Gyrospheres and chasing escaped dinosaurs gets a bit thin after a while. Again this particular comic also shares the problem of the panels looking rather empty with many panels having very simple backgrounds.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, September 2021, Comic

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, September 2021, Comic

The main poster follows the design paradigm of the previous ones, so it should fit the rest of the line-up. I don’t find the color combination ideal, as with the Indominus rex itself already being pale as the moon the yellow also looks way to milky. A more contrasty color would have been better. Beyond that there’s not much other content safe for a bunch of profiles on the Triceratops and Stygimoloch and a single two-page spread with a game. They can hardly make it any more sparse or can they?

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, September 2021, Poster

As it is, the extra has to pick up the slack for the lackluster content and in this department this issue delivers. Though not nearly as awe-inspiring and surprising as the T-Rex was way back then when they soft-rebooted the mag, the colorful Dilophosaurus is still nice enough. Of course it borrows some of the techniques, but is ultimately a different creature. With 65 parts this is quite a complex build for a magazine freebie, further indicated by the instructions spread across four pages. They would have fitted on three just as well and actually there is an error with the feet in one step, but it’s still more involved than your average City or Friends build.

Admittedly this edition of the LEGO Jurassic World magazine wouldn’t be anything special if it wasn’t for the buildable extra. That’s the only thing I would recommend it for with the rest being a typical case of “Your mileage may vary.” Having all the posters may be worth something to you or your little ones and they may enjoy the comic, but for me it’s beginning to get a bit stale.

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… 😉

Baby Alarm – Baby Elephant Jungle Rescue (41421) and Dr. Wu’s Laboratory – Baby Dinosaurs Breakout (75939)

One of my more specific obsessions with LEGO is that I try to get my hands on as many of the molded animals as I possibly can. Unfortunately the company has the bad habit of putting many of the coolest creatures, be that mammoths, dinosaurs, sharks, polar bears or whatever in rather expensive sets. It’s of course just a sales tactic, but it’s not particularly nice of them, even more so since it means that those animals remain costly even on the secondary market such as Bricklink. So I have to make do with what I can afford and lucky enough, there’s some interesting sets this year with the LEGO Friends Jungle Rescue series and also some new molds for LEGO Jurassic World.

LEGO Friends, Baby Elephant Jungle Rescue (41421), Box

First let’s have a look at the Friends Baby Elephant Jungle Rescue (41421). This is the first set I was actually able to procure because due to the Corona virus crisis product availability for these new releases still isn’t that great, especially when you need to keep an eye on the price. At a regular price of 20 Euro it’s not entirely out of reach, but the typical discounts make this effectively a 15 Euro set, which is even better. For that it’s pretty good, actually. I can tell you that beforehand.

LEGO Friends, Baby Elephant Jungle Rescue (41421), Overview

The main attraction is of course the little blue baby elephant. Some people have complained about it not being grey, but hey, it’s Friends we’re talking about! The Bright Light Blue isn’t that bad, especially when you consider that the mother and sister elephant in the Jungle Rescue Base (41424) are Medium Blue and Lavender, respectively. There’s really no reason to get wound up over this. For me it’s also a bit of a funny coincidence in that it reminds me of some elephants in video games I used to play in the 1990s that similarly used such colors, not “realistic” greys.

LEGO Friends, Baby Elephant Jungle Rescue (41421), Baby Elephant

In the play fantasy of the set the little unlucky elephant is supposed to be caught in a mud puddle somewhere in the jungle under a tree. This is displayed in the main scenery piece. Rather untypical for Friends sets it’s actually executed reasonably well and very usable. It’s also looking nice enough.

The mud is represented by some Dark Tan bricks of different types forming a tray in which a panel is sliding upon some tiles. You’re meant to put the elephant on this contraption and then literally pull it out. The one weak spot here is that the panel itself isn’t locked into place by rails or similar and thus falls out of its position easily. This gets a bit annoying over time and would have been easily avoidable with some extra elements.

LEGO Friends, Baby Elephant Jungle Rescue (41421), Tree, Front Left View

On that same not, a few bricks more would have helped to avoid this feeling of things only being half finished. The many exposed studs on the mud and the tree give the impression that they had to stop to not stretch the brick allotment budget at the cost of things being not fixated as firmly as they possibly might have been. E.g. the Lime Green bamboo stalk element is easy to break of accidentally. It seems to obvious me that they could have clamped it into place with another curved slope on top.

LEGO Friends, Baby Elephant Jungle Rescue (41421), Tree, Front Right View

As I said, the tree is small, but fleshed out enough to convey that idea. Still, I feel that that one extra branch could have been added on top with an arch element. that might also have allowed to add a web for the spider or include a second one. Another idea might have been to include a parrot, a small bird or a nest to cover the top.

LEGO Friends, Baby Elephant Jungle Rescue (41421), Tree, Back Side View

While the front is structured reasonably, the back side is rather plain. The Dark Orange studs are alternate positions for the spider, by the way, but sure enough could have been used for something else.

LEGO Friends, Baby Elephant Jungle Rescue (41421), Vehicle, Front Left View

The rescue vehicle is your standard run-off-the-mill Friends car with the necessary modifications and variations to fit this particular set. It literally has been done a million times and at this point is nothing special. For me it would have made more sense if they had created a somewhat larger pick-up truck with a sufficiently large platform and an actual hoist.

LEGO Friends, Baby Elephant Jungle Rescue (41421), Vehicle, Aft Left View LEGO Friends, Baby Elephant Jungle Rescue (41421), Vehicle, Aft Right View LEGO Friends, Baby Elephant Jungle Rescue (41421), Vehicle, Front Right View

Moving on, the other set is Dr. Wu’s Laboratory – Baby Dinosaurs Breakout (75939). It’s in the same price range as the Friends set, so no extra comments on that. The same rules apply.

LEGO Jurassic World, Dr. Wu's Laboratory (75939), Box

In addition to the two bay dinosaurs the set comes with two minifigures – Dr. Wu and Owen Grady – plus a sizable chunk of lab equipment. The latter often feels like thrown on after the fact, that is it gives the impression of having been constructed around the dinosaurs to bulk up the content of the box, not organically create an environment for the little tykes. It seems they wanted to do the baby dinos, but didn’t quite know what to do with them once the decision was made to create the new molds.

LEGO Jurassic World, Dr. Wu's Laboratory (75939), Overview

LEGO Jurassic World, Dr. Wu's Laboratory (75939), Baby Dinos, Left View

You heard that right, both of the creatures are completely new creations just for this set. I’m pretty sure, though, that we’ll get them in different  colors in other sets down from here on.


LEGO Jurassic World, Dr. Wu's Laboratory (75939), Baby Dinos, Right View

The baby Triceratops would of course mix well with its “parent” in Triceratops Rampage (75937).The Ankylosaurus isn’t an orphan child, either and finds its mom or dad in House of Gyrospheres (75941). This is insofar remarkable as the big version is also a completely new mold debuting in this particular set.


As a small side build there’s a lab table, which to me is actually a bit macabre. With its inverted slopes on the underside and the white “ceramic” tiles on top it more looks like a section table in a pathology lab. On the bright side, they included the transparent orange brick with the mosquito amber print, which is a new item and highly desirable as a decoration piece, not just for this dinosaur stuff.

LEGO Jurassic World, Dr. Wu's Laboratory (75939), Table, Right View LEGO Jurassic World, Dr. Wu's Laboratory (75939), Table, Left View

As I wrote already, the lab itself looks kinda *meh*. In my case it looks even more bland because I never use the stickers, yet the set relies heavily on them to represent large computer/ video screens. That’s perhaps my biggest peeve here – they could at least have included one of the screens as an actual print to spice things up. More generally speaking, that’s also the one thing I feel is missing – just one more small extra. I could for instance also have gone for eggs in Light Bluish Grey with brown speckles. that would have been pretty awesome!

LEGO Jurassic World, Dr. Wu's Laboratory (75939), Lab, Front View

Things don’t look much better from the back side, further seemingly reinforcing my point of this being mostly an afterthought.

LEGO Jurassic World, Dr. Wu's Laboratory (75939), Lab, Back Side View

Overall both sets are what they are – meant to sell the animals with everything around them being just a “free” extra. The Friends one surprisingly manages to fare much, much better in terms of actual usefulness and play value. The Jurassic World set on the other set would be rather disposable if it wasn’t the only way to get the new dino babies. It’s very forgettable, but hey, at least some new Dark Blue parts for my collection….! The consolation here is that the animals are executed superbly, so I don’t mind the rest being mediocre.

July Hatchling

I’m always looking forward to the LEGO Jurassic World magazine and it is still my favorite of all the LEGO magazines at this point. The July issue sure doesn’t disappoint and lives up to this high standard once again.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, July 2020, Cover

As usual let’s begin with the included buildable pieces. These come in the form of a small hatching station and it’s positively awesome. The most important news is that it includes a new variant of the small dino. While previously only the Sand Green/ Dark Blue print and Dark Orange/ Dark Brown print versions have been used in polybags and on the magazine, now we get Echo in his Medium Dark Flesh/ Dark Green print glory. This is pretty remarkable, considering that so far it has only appeared in the T. rex vs Dino-Mech (75938) set, which is also fittingly being “advertorialised” on a dual page.

The rest of the pieces is just as useful with the round cracked egg/ crown piece in White, some 1 x 1 plates with clips in Bright Green and even the 75 deg. Dark Blue slopes. Yes, they are the complimentary, meaning you get the regular version and the inverted one to build this slightly slanted holder for the heating lamps. This is again pretty noteworthy, as some those parts are technically a bit rare (the inverted slope in fact only having been done for the The Rexcelsior! (70839) set from The LEGO Movie 2 previously), yet their coloration makes them widely usable and thus desirable.

Inside the magazine there’s a pretty nice Triceratops poster. The comic is quite decent, too and there’s enough puzzles/ activities, so all round this is once more a nice issue and from the preview the next one isn’t going to be that bad, either, when it comes out in August. Something to look forward to again, indeed…!

Baby Triceratops?

I was really pleased in which direction the LEGO Jurassic World magazine was heading with the amazing T-Rex in the last issue, so understandably I was looking forward to the current March issue.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, March 2020, Cover

Of course for me the most exciting part is once again the pretty elaborate buildable dino model, this time for a Triceratops. At 65 parts it’s pretty much on par with some commercial polybag editions and by itself represents enough value to warrant a purches of the magazine.

Stylistically it takes a cue or two from the B-model Triceratops in the Mighty Dinosaurs (31058) set, which itself has been around for several years now and has become a staple of the Creator 3in1 series. Next too each other the similarities between the larger and the smaller model are easily apparent and the latter could even function as a child to the former.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, March 2020, Comparison with Set 31058

With a bit of effort one could make this even more consistent by e.g. modifying the building style on the legs of the big guy to be more like the ones of the small guy or vice versa. Even if you just leave them as is, they are both nice models in their own right despite their simplified nature.

Beyond that the magazine has a nice comic, including a good rendition of the Triceratops itself, though in a different color, so the connection is definitely there. The games are too few and too simple for my taste. The posters are oddly framed and feel strangely overcrowded with large text occupying a good chunk of the space and the edges coming dangerously close to the depicted characters.

For me as a graphics artist a bit of a *grmpf* moment, since I value my whitespace and sufficient bleed to let artwork “breathe”, though of course I far too often mess up my own photos and then have to crop them too tightly as well. No shame in admitting that 🙂 In any case, this is another well done edition in this series and if they keep up that level of quality then I’m all for it. Definitely check it out!