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I had to properly hunt for Blocks in a large city centre WHSmiths (bottom shelf, hidden from passing view, next to the model train mags) so I'm just a bit doubtful that someone is likely to stumble across it unless they're a badge wearing AFOL.
While I'd love for the magazine to do well I just wonder if it will struggle without 'exclusive' content. I subscribe to Empire movie magazine because I know they'll have insider interviews and exclusive backstage news before anyone else.
These exclusives usually dripfeed onto their website after the magazine has been out a while, but the dilemma I see blocks magazine having is that they're unlikely to ever reveal something first due to the plethora of other lego sites and leaks.
This leaves them with doing things well. I flicked through the various reviews in the magazine but my problem is I've already read any review I want to about the same sets. If it was a designer interview then there might be some insight I'd be interested to discover, but otherwise it's just another persons opinion. And when I can get that for free online I'm hesitant to pay £5 for that in print format.
As I said, I hope it does do well, and I will continue to flick through any future issues, but it hasn't hooked me yet.
(Just had to replace the family car, can't even buy "sale priced" Lego!)
I'm 28,I check brickset twice a day and occasionally euro bricks and consider myself a little obsessive with lego. Overall the magazine didn't seem to offer me anything new I didn't find online, even the mocs id seen on eurobricks I think so couldn't justify the price.
I will say I think overall though for someone with a more casual interest in Lego may find this publication much more enjoyable. The general composition of the mag is nice and well presented and the articles are written quite well.
it was just the lack of original content for me that let it down for me but without official backing I sympathise this must be hard.
If they were officially backed by Lego though would we trust there reviews?
I think the people who made this mag deserve some applause though for what they have achieved so far with the mag and I'm going to check future issues in the hope theyll have some MOCs I haven't seen and a larger focus on them as their photo shoots of them are well done.
Oh if they were able to package the mag with some interesting Lego I think they could see sales go insane. If that isn't to obvious a point to make.
Probably have to go into Southampton City Centre to find a copy at the weekend.
One issue had quite an interesting article about motorising the Lone Ranger train. I'm sure it's cool but the detailed instructions gave me an overwhelming sense of, 'Can't be arsed!'
So a trip to town centre is required to get a copy of Blocks. Could be worse I suppose.
Had a decent flick through - I have to say it looks really really nice, properly, professionally, done etc. There may be some typos etc but irrespective it looks great - and to me that's far more important. Some of the articles looked interesting - the new elementary one about SNOT particularly grabbed me as did the Zulu photos.
Sadly overall I didn't want to buy it. Maybe it suffers from almost all the contributors being brickset people, making it feel like stuff I've already seen/heard, it certainly suffers from being behind the internet. How long ago did we see the first Tumbler reviews? As Huw mentioned the greenpeace thing was unfortunate timing wise too, especially with the callout. The review of Ideas sets was, well to be frank not half as good as Glenbrickers bits on brickset and will there be the same next month or will everyone choose different favourites? At the same time it all feels a bit cliquey - again the brickset connection and the exosuit article in particular felt over the top. At times it also feels like its trying to hard to fill pages - as others have alluded to the glossary of LEGO terms screams that. It might be I'm not the target audience, but I'm not sure who is. Lego enthusiasts will surely know almost everything a month or more ahead of receiving their copy, but I'm not that sure non-lego enthusiasts would want it either - the guarded inn item might seem out of place to a non enthusiast as it certainly jars with the modern sleek complexity of the tumbler.
Presumably there is a market, as people buy car magazines although do they get new knowledge ahead of print deadlines due to relationships with manufacturers? Perhaps we've just been spoilt with the content we get on brickset covering such a wide range of Lego topics, perhaps Im just tight or maybe for me print is dead. I got five three issues of Top Gear but only two ever got opened. Whilst I can see some would like the ability to hold it, see the images beautifully rendered at 300dpi rather than 72 and keep them for ever, I just see a decision in 18 months of whether to throw the pile of magazines out now or wait another two years until I inevitably decide to make room. Where magazines don't have knowledge ahead of time, and where theres already a large internet presence perhaps a less time sensitive bookazine works better (the plethora of them regarding minecraft, android, raspberry pi etc might suggest so) than what is really an out of date news (as reviews are basically that) based magazine.
That said i hope it succeeds, a lot of time and effort has clearly been put into it and its success can only be good for everyone, hopefully there is a market that will keep buying it and that theres enough quality content to keep it fresh month after month.
In this day and age it's virtually impossible for a print publication to offer anything timely, even the daily papers are full old news you read on BBC news the night before, but people still buy them, although less than they used to, I concede.
Personally, I think there is a market for it but whether it's big enough to sustain it remains to be seen.
I'd still like someone unconnected with it to write a frank review that I can publish on the home page. Any volunteers?
I'd be interested to know what those that like it, want it and have subscribed would say theyre getting for the £5. Obviously to many its peanuts, two coffees or less than a tank of petrol for a whole year but still there must be some value.
As an aside, If there was a bookazine of 50 great Lego mocs and how they're built I'd be all over that. Or even 50 amazing official sets, 10 from each of the last 4.5 decades with little builds in the style of or parts of them. Just something that moves away from the timeliness of news and reviews.
First impressions for me was that I had seen most of the content before, either here or Eurobricks. In fact, my first first impression was - this magazine is in the kids section, next to the lego Chima, WWE and a few pink magazines, is that really the place to put it? Although that is a retailer issue, not editor issue.
I'd probably buy a three monthly bookazine style as cheshirecat describes, sort of a more fleshed out Lego Play style book, with intermediate steps in the building of MOCs, especially showing techniques used to create an effect. I'd probably buy a years worth and stop as no doubt they would get repetitive (just like photography or gardening or recipe magazines do).
That comes from the perspective of someone that reads related content on the internet and - I think also important - cycles to work. I do not sit on a commuter train, so I have little dead time to fill where I might read a magazine.
It is certainly perfectly designed for them with a good chunk of Lego news, reviews and Mocs to keep people interested as they get more involved in the community. I did think the pictures were great quality and thought the blue print was a clever touch. While I found the glossary cringey for a newbie (for want of a better word) would agin find it useful. I think a bit more could be made with the Mocs though. So perhaps for each one, or a theme could be chosen e.g castles and then an interesting feature could be looked at in more detail; with tips to show how to build that, for example, circular towers or getting a good cliff face.
Personally I won't buy it now. But if this was out 5 years ago when I got back into the hobby i certainly would have. And I can see a well meaning relative or friend buying me a subscription to it for Xmas.
I for one really enjoyed it. The interviews and the story behind the Exo-suit were the stand outs for me, I'd love to see more of that kind of content, the stories that you don't get from just looking at a MOC or building a set.
There were only really two disappointments for me.
1. The Arkham Asylum build - There was so little lego content in that compared to masses of screenshots from the Arkham Asylum game that I felt like I was reading a game magazine, It's a nice idea and I could see what the intention was, but it's a Lego Magazine, there needs to be more of the MOC shown per issue than that. If stuff like that is going to be streched out across more than 5 issues I'd say it's poor value for the reader.
2. The Speed Build challenge - I like the concept of this, and I enjoyed it in issue 0, but if it's going to be in every month then I'll skip it. From the pilot issue I was hoping for an occasional feature with different challenges rather than different people doing the same challenge each week with different parts. E.g you could do an Alt build for an established set, speed build mixes max etc.
I'm definitely interested in seeing the next issue but still not sold on it enough to buy a subscription.
I am hoping to get a substantial amount done over the Christmas period, but so far it is being constructed in 'real time,' so the reader is seeing the progress as it happens. If I decide I have not progressed far enough to justify an article in a particular month, the Arkham segment will drop out until there is something to talk about.
That is the plan anyway :o)
I'm still in the process of reading it so when I have I'll post my thoughts.
Seemed to be the only copy on the shelves, so don't know if it was popular, or unpopular.
I'm not new to Lego, although it depends on what you class as new (1,2, 3 yrs?). I enjoy having a hard copy of a magazine that I can read out and about, as well as at home, rather than being fixed to my iPad or laptop. OK, so its £5 a month, but for me its the only magazine subscription I have so I don't mind.
Also interested to learn the the 3rd most owned set is the Star Wars Death Star troopers set. I own a few due to a scene I'm doing at the moment but I'm still shocked to see it that high up.
Good but the problem with nearly every review (regardless of the subject matter) is that it boils down to this.
If you like it, get it!
As some one who stopped buying magazines 10 or so years ago it was a little nostalgic flipping through the pages of a physical publication, which was nice. From what I have read so far I have enjoyed it, but I don't read or watch many set reviews online so some of it was new to me.
I'll probably continue to buy for the time being.
Good luck with it :smile:
That said, I still haven't finished my issue 2.