Bo-Bo-Bo Katan(a)? – LEGO Star Wars Magazine, February 2023

It seems like Christmas was only yesterday, yet here we are again already one month into the new year with the LEGO Star Wars magazine for February 2023 knocking on the door.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, February 2023, Cover

The main comic is yet again one of those stupid “Vader gets himself into trouble” things that I don’t look particularly favorably at. It just doesn’t do it for me, no matter how well the panels are composed and drawn.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, February 2023, Comic

The second one is more realistic and shows an encounter on one of the barren worlds as they are see in the The Mandalorian series. As you would expect, it also serves as the glue that brings the mag and extra together.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, February 2023, Comic

The posters are okay in that they’re not too ugly and not covered in pointless text and fake effects, but at the same time we definitely had better ones just as well.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, February 2023, PosterLEGO Magazine, Star Wars, February 2023, ExtraThe inevitable extra is Bo-Katan Kryze in minifigure format. Apparently she’s been in some animated Star Wars series as well and was introduced in season 2 of The Mandalorian. Since Disney+ subscriptions don’t fall out of the sky I still haven’t seen any of that beyond what the various trailers and snippets on YouTube reveal, but it’s notable insofar as the character is played by the great Katee Sackhoff who really made a splash in the early 2000s as the cocky Starbuck in the Battlestar Galactica series remake.

The figure is remarkable in that previously it was only available in the Mandalorian Starfighter (75316) set. The set itself clearly wasn’t a hit with audiences, but the figures are in high demand and thus relatively costly on the secondhand markets. The inclusion in the mag should mitigate the situation a bit. The other interesting observation here is that the package comes with the small foil bag for the helmet shields and visor “hammer”. Why am I telling you this? Obviously this little gimmick isn’t included in the latest Microfighter Boba Fett’s Starship (75344). Therefore buying this magazine would be a simple way to fix this omission and also give you two more spares to possibly repair other such appendages on other minifigures.

As so often the extra saves the day on an otherwise just average magazine and if minifigures are your thing, then next month will be another treat with a 212th Clone Trooper. I have a feeling this will be one of those issues that some people will buy in stacks to deck out their dioramas and displays with walkers…

Frosty Luke – LEGO Star Wars Magazine, January 2023

It’s been one of the warmest New Year’s Eves in history, so the title of this article is diametrical to the real conditions, but it is nonetheless appropriate. In the run-up to the end of year celebrations this was supposed to come out a bit earlier, but somehow it only appeared at my newsstand on Friday and I didn’t get around to finishing my review earlier. Now lets see what the LEGO Star Wars magazine has to offer on this exact first day of the new year.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, January 2023, Cover

The first comic takes a page from the original A New Hope movie in that it presents us with a Millenium Falcon chase through an asteroid field, however this time as part of a cosmic race, whose concept somehow immediately reminded me of Star Trek – Voyager‘s “Drive” episode in the seventh season. Someone certainly took some inspiration. It also makes the comic slightly more interesting since we at least get to see some varied spaceships and characters.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, January 2023, Comic

The second comic as usual serves as the means to introduce the extra and features some icy action on Hoth with some Wampas and a certain Luke Skywalker.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, January 2023, Comic

The posters are quite nice this time. One can never have enough Mustafar-themed ones as the fiery, volcanic glows just look mysterious and cool and Vader with his brooding presence adds to that. The composition feels a bit cheap and could have been done better, but it’s really okay. The back side might be even more interesting to some people. It has a close-up of Luke‘s minifigure head with the Red 5 helmet, which would make for an interesting presentation if you put it up next somewhere to the eponymous set of the helmet.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, January 2023, Poster

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, January 2023, ExtraSince for all intents and purposes it’s extremely unlikely LEGO will revive the Wampa mold any time soon, you knew where this was going when I mentioned the second comic and yes, of course we’re getting the Luke minifigure instead. Regrettably, while it’s actually quite nice, it’s also nothing special. It has been available for a long time in a Microfighters set and just was part of the 2022 LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar (75340). Chances that you already have it therefore are very high and the minifig as such will drop considerably in value. Therefore its real value is more in using it as a basis for a custom figure with a replaced head.

This edition of the mag on the whole is okay, but unless you really don’t have the minifigure and want it badly, there’s no need to rush to the newsstand. That might be a much more appropriate course of action next month, when we will get a much rarer Bo Katan fig.

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*

Falcon Chase – LEGO Star Wars Magazine, February 2022

January flew by quickly and the jumbled up release schedule of the LEGO magazines certainly contributed to that feeling of “Didn’t I write an article just last week?”. Things should be a bit more predictable from here on out, though, and the cycles become more regular. For now let’s have a look at the February 2022 edition of the Star Wars magazine.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, February 2022, Cover

The main comic is back to utter nonsense with the Knights of Ren having a pie (throwing) contest. I really do not like these settings and I’m sure even younger Star Wars fans may not view them favorably, given that they are too silly to fit with the rest of the universe. The secondary comic is equally odd, though in a different way. just not my cup of tea.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, February 2022, Comic

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, February 2022, Comic

The posters are pretty decent. I still wish they’d forego those obnoxious texts in favor of letting the image speak for itself, but at least they didn’t plaster the slogan all over Vader‘s face and everything can be recognized clearly.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, February 2022, Poster

The extra is another version of the Millenium Falcon. It’s a bit too short, but actually pretty accurate overall in terms of proportions. It being so thin took me a while to adapt to, but yes, this is more correct. One just had gotten so used to LEGO‘s “wrong” thicker interpretations across various scales and on older builds.

An interesting tidbit is the half round 4 x 8 plate used twice in the rear section. This element has been around for forever and I have tons of it in Lime Green and Medium Azure from Friends sets, where it is regularly used for water and lawn, but in fact now is the first time ever we are actually getting it in Light Bluish Grey. It’s part of the UCS AT-AT (75313) and the Boutique Hotel (10297) released end of last year/ January, respectively, and here you get a chance to obtain it without spending a ton of money, should you want it. This will also make buying it from secondary markets like Bricklink much more bearable and less costly. There’s also two 1 x 2 plates with side rail in Dark Red hidden inside the hull. I have a few of them from the Madrigal House (43202), but one can never have enough, I suppose.

Despite the strange comics this issue felt satisfying to me, but of course that may be entirely down to my obsessive proclivities with the parts and some of the graphical design. Still, it’s by all means okay.

Hothian Winter – LEGO Star Wars Magazine, January 2022

Wouldn’t you believe it? We actually had a bit of snow on Christmas this year! Really only a thin layer, but better than nothing. That makes it kind of fitting that the January 2022 issue of the LEGO Star Wars magazine takes us back to Hoth and its snow and ice covered regions.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, January 2022, Cover

The first comic starts out on the opposite side of the temperature spectrum, though, taking us to the jungle planet of Quatal after Luke crashes there. Naturally, as he tries to escape and get off the planet, the usual running away from imperial pursuers and dangerous animals ensues. The blue monster seen in the image is a bit funny and really looks to me like the artist had a bit of fun  exploring what a mutated Stitch (from the Lilo & Stitch movies, of course) might look like. The similarities are really striking and I can’t un-see them.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, January 2022, Comic

The second comic references the extra and is based around a group of Snowtroopers getting lost in the endless white void during the Battle of Hoth.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, January 2022, Comic

The posters are a bit of a misfire, unfortunately. The one depicted here with Darth Vader is simply too dark and the overly bright type and light saber completely distract from Vader himself. This clearly would have needed some work to enhance the contrast and balance out the overall appearance. The second with Han Solo and Chewbacca in the cockpit of the Millenium Falcon suffers from being doctored, i.e. the cockpit frame being just a 2D background artwork created after the fact instead of being integrally rendered in 3D with the figures.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, January 2022, Poster

The extra has been causing a bit of a stir and gotten a few people very tizzy due to it being being a female Snowtrooper/ Snowtrooperess minifigure. Not only is the latter an interesting tidbit, with all previous such characters having had the male generic “angry clone” face (or unprinted black heads), but also the fact that this lady otherwise could only be found in the huge UCS AT-AT (75313) only released in November. Considering that this big model has a full 40 seats and only a few of them are covered with minifigures, clearly there is a market to buy more – a lot more. People lucky enough to be able to afford this certainly should make it a point to buy this magazine once at least.

The value of this issue for adults hugely depends on how much you are after the minifigure, but on the bright side at least the comics are pretty decent and can give a bit of enjoyment. the rest isn’t really worth mentioning with a lot of bad Photoshop work hurting my eyes and the activities and puzzles being bland. I would predict, however, that the minifigure alone will be attractive to anyone owning an AT-AT model, big or small, and thus sell stacks and stacks of this issue…

Wheely Tank – LEGO Star Wars Magazine, October 2021

I’ve been out of town for a few days, so I’m a bit late with my article, but I guess two days isn’t that bad and there’s still plenty of time to get the latest LEGO Star Wars magazine should you decide that what you see here is to your liking.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, October 2021, Cover

In the main comic Vader once again becomes the subject of ridicule in a weird chase across planets while at the same time being busy with homemaking and his ambitions as the TV star in his own show. Whether you like it is of course up to you, but I’m just puzzled by them taking such liberties even if you concede that not everything to do with the black man needs to be doom & gloom.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, October 2021, Comic

The secondary comic inevitably connects with the extra, the Clone Turbo Tank or Heavy Assault Vehicle HAV A6 as it is called more correctly, even if in fact it is more of a glorified infantry troop transporter like the Russian BTR-80, not an actual tank or truck-based vehicle.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, October 2021, Comic

The poster is one of those situations where the disconnect between the original artwork and the slapped-on text becomes evident. Of course they do so to produce the localized versions for different countries/ regions, but my feeling is that a simple “501st”, possibly with the battalion’s crest would have worked better with the specific point being that the lettering cuts off too much of the helmet.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, October 2021, Poster

Other LEGO magazines from Blue Ocean have been doing it for a while already and it seems that the Star Wars one is now following suit and also offering coloring pages. Whether this will become a permanent fixture remains to be seen, of course. for an October issue it is more than adequate to have a Halloween them and Grievous with his many Jack-O-Lantern buckets is a fitting subject, if a tad on the small-ish side. Your kids will be done with it rather fast and the few simple puzzles on the preceding pages won’t extend the time they are occupied by much.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, October 2021, Coloring

The extra is the aforementioned Turbo Tank in miniature form. The vehicle itself never struck me as particularly attractive, so I never took much interest in the bigger LEGO versions with their somewhat flimsy and lofty construction, making this my first rendition of this vehicle. It can be seen quite a bit in Attack of the Clones and the Clone Wars series and plays some role there, but as a lightly armed support vehicle it doesn’t really do that much.

The model is okay, though I wish they had settled on a different approach for the wheels. Maybe it might be time they produced a plastic wheel mimicking small tires like this one to represent the ones used on the larger models. The Dark Bluish Grey 2 x 2 round bricks of which you get ten (!) just with this model are serviceable, but just don’t look particularly believable. Other than that there is a number of other pieces in greys and Black such as this T-shaped bracket and a bunch of different slopes. All usable stuff, just nothing too extraordinary.

Overall this is a well-rounded issue that manages to convince on multiple fronts, give or take a few minor criticisms. There have definitely been a lot worse editions in the past and you’re getting a good value for your money here, in particular with the model turning out larger than average due to it using some voluminous parts.

TIE Bombastic – LEGO Star Wars Magazine, May 2021

After last month’s surprisingly nice V-Wing edition, we’re now back in more mundane territory with the latest issue of the LEGO Star Wars magazine for May 2021.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, May 2021, Cover

That level of ordinary is true both for the model (more on it later) as well as the rest of the content. Where we got a nice comic that actually made some sense in the lore of the greater Star Wars universe, it’s now back to weird hijinx with Darth Vader. It’s almost tragic how such an iconic character gets ridiculed over and over.

Apart from the comic there is little to nothing to do. Aside from the many advertisements/ advertorials sprinkled in, there are literally only two (!) pages of activities, one with a labyrinth and the other with a “find the match” puzzle. The posters are okay in the grand scheme of things, I guess, but of course do not compare to the graphical finesse of the ones in the last two issues and therefore certainly feel like a step down.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, May 2021, Poster

The TIE Bomber mini model pretty much follows the standard pattern of every other such model and I’m slowly beginning to really be offended by the low effort. In particular the inverted sloped bracket pieces are getting on my nerves as they really look extremely unattractive. If at least they had prints for the radiator patterns! Similarly, the double fuselage looks underwhelming with its all too obvious cylindrical pieces. I really feel they need to sit down and come up with a new way to build these vessels.

Say what you will, but this is simply a lame issue. You can totally skip over this without even feeling the slightest bit guilty over having missed something. i seriously hope the next edition will turn out better and gets me more pumped… 

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…

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.