Soda Stunt Chase – LEGO City Magazine, September 2021

It’s a bit of an odd month where time appears a bit misaligned since many magazines come out a week early. Perhaps Blue Ocean‘s internal holiday schedule necessitates this, but it’s really strange because it almost feels like we get two issues in the same month. This even shows in an advert in the latest LEGO City magazine promoting the Jurassic World issue as “already available”, though it only comes out next week. A clear indication that originally they had other plans. Anyway, since the mag is here already, let’s have a look.

LEGO Magazine, City, September 2021, Cover

The comic is yet again a chase scenario, this time wrapped into a movie-related story with a crook hiding on set and fake mustaches playing a major role. As usual that’s not reinventing the wheel, but serviceable for what it is supposed to be. I had a bit of a personal revelation moment as the Camper Van (31108) trailer makes an appearance and has been conveniently scaled to fit minifigure scale, when in fact it’s quite a bit larger as I was mentioning in my review.

LEGO Magazine, City, September 2021, Comic

LEGO Magazine, City, September 2021, Comic

There are a few scatter shot puzzles and info pages just as well, of course, but I did not find anything standing out that would be worth mentioning for originality or providing a challenge. the posters on the other hand are very tolerable this time with not too much extraneous garbage clogging up the picture. The main poster would be even better had they chosen a color other than white for the color splotches and tread, so it wouldn’t blend with the minifigure as much and offer a bit more contrast instead of “whitening out”.

LEGO Magazine, City, September 2021, Poster

The buggy is more or less just another run-of-the-mill design similar to what we already had two months ago. The designers really have gotten lazy and just don’t seem to give damn. If at least they had given us the Dark Azure wheel hubs from the Stunt Team (60255) set… Incidentally, the driver minifigure appears to be straight from this set, just with a different head and helmet. Okay, but nothing special, either, considering that lately LEGO have revived their fake Vita Rush soda brand and the printed torsos are a dime a dozen. I’m wondering why they didn’t even include a mustache element, given how present it is in the comic.

LEGO Magazine, City, September 2021, Extra

All things considered this is a bit of a weak issue and doesn’t really offer that much. It’s certainly okay, but I really wish they would have exploited the potential better. In fact I almost think giving us the mustachioed character from the comic might have been more fun. Or maybe even a two-pack of characters with the very stereotypically french looking gangster as well…

Magnetic Dive – LEGO City Magazine, August 2021

It has become standard practice for the LEGO City magazines to go for a dive in the summer-ish editions and this year is not an exception. Yes, pretty much exactly after one year we are getting another underwater-centric issue featuring a diver.

LEGO Magazine, City, August 2021, Cover

The overall repetitive nature of the subject matter notwithstanding, the story of the comic is okay, though again perhaps a bit too wacky and overstuffed for its own good. I find it hard to imagine how kids are supposed to keep the story straight. You’re on a sunny beach one moment, then suddenly underwater and then there is a weird twist with a big horseshoe magnet. not my kettle of fish, no pun intended.

LEGO Magazine, City, August 2021, Comic

On the bright side, the oceanic scenes look great and I’m really waiting for someone at Blue Ocean and LEGO to see the light and use those for a poster one day.

LEGO Magazine, City, August 2021, Comic

Speaking of which… The posters are acceptable and in fact the one on the reverse page is probably even better than the one shown here. Outside that there’s not much to do bar the usual super simplistic puzzles and some promotional pages on sets and some minifigures’ “history”, but I guess you’re not buying this mag for intellectual content.

LEGO Magazine, City, August 2021, Poster

The diver is interesting in that it appears to be a completely new figure so far not yet contained in any set. Its design is similar to the older Deep Sea Explorer series, but with some notable differences, so I don’t quite know what to make of it. It would be funny if LEGO put out a figure before it was ever properly introduced in a full set. The rest isn’t really worth mentioning. It would have been much cooler if instead of the old and overused big crab they had included the hermit crab from last year’s collectible minifigure series at least.

LEGO Magazine, City, August 2021, Extra

As far as “summer editions” go, this one is okay, but of course nowhere near as impressive as the one with shark last year. On a general note it seems they should mix up the formula a bit. Clearly there’s enough summer and outdoor activities they can borrow from and from having a guy sunbathing at the beach to the highly desirable swimming innertube to an ice stand there would be so much to choose from. There’s even a good chance people would be perfectly content with the printed “can” or the wheelchair skater from the Skate Park (60290). You know, just something different at all…

All I see is Rainbows! – LEGO City Magazine, July 2021

The weather has been much more regular this year with more rain making for a fresh, flowery spring and wouldn’t you know it, the grass is growing rapidly everywhere just as well. Everybody is dusting off their lawnmower tractors and since most of them can also be fitted with other utility attachments such as sweeper brushes this makes for an interesting story hook in the LEGO City magazine for July 2021.

LEGO Magazine, City, July 2021, Cover

This little twist gets another twist with the comic being based around some mysterious rainbow-colored mass, identified as ice, flooding the city and needing to be cleared out. Not only are people encouraged to eat as much as they can, but this also requires some technical assistance with the mentioned little tractor. Not the most credible story, but there you go.

The more interesting thing is the actual rainbow theme itself. With June also being (LGBTIQ+) pride month, this is either the weirdest cosmic coincidence in the universe or the boldest prank someone pulled on his editor in chief under his very nose. It’s of course not that relevant for the kids and one shouldn’t get carried away with too wild theories, but as a gay person myself I just had to giggle and had to mention it here.

The whole thing is repeated on the poster and I was half expecting the protagonist to wave a rainbow flag. On the bright side, they feature a wheelchair-bound character and inclusion and integration of special needs people is just as important a societal issue, so props for that. One would hope that things like that become more frequent in the LEGO world as some kind of “new normal”.

LEGO Magazine, City, July 2021, Poster

Unfortunately the little tractor makes for a rather lackluster buildable extra, as really nobody went out of their way here in a very obvious fashion. This is as basic as they come. The model is way too stubby, meaning too flat and too short and feels more like a DIY conversion of a small pushable lawnmower (such as they use them for those weird fun racing contests) than a genuine utility tractor for serious work.

If it wasn’t for the rainbow theme that really gave me some kick and put a broad grin on my face this would be an utterly forgettable issue. It really hasn’t anything extraordinary to offer and doesn’t even try to do something special. You know, they could have thrown in a bunch or random 1 x 2 plates in all those rainbow colors or even as transparent versions for the tractor to clean up at least. You’re really not missing anything if you decide to skip over this issue…