Back in 2020, LEGO Star Wars released a set said to be the most fan-requested at the time. It was a set depicting the Clone War-era 501st Legion Clone Troopers (75280). It featured four Republic Clone Troopers with two of their vehicles, squaring off against two Separatist Battle Droids. The 501st Legion happens to share its number-name with the global “Star Wars” fan club/organization of Imperial Stormtrooper/variant enactors. That would explain the fan appeal somewhat. Clone Trooper minifigures in 501st colors are also uncommon enough. But now, those looking for 501st Clones beyond just buying set 75280 may have an alternative from Europe’s LEGO magazines.
According to Brick Fanatics, Clone Trooper minifig collectors must mark the March 2022 issue of UK-Europe’s “LEGO Star Wars Magazine.” Issue 81 of this official LEGO publication by Immediate Media will include a 501st Legion Clone Trooper minifigure. It’s the same minifig as included in the Clone Troopers set (75280) two years ago. If the £24.99/€29.99 asking price of the set is too much for UK/European collectors, the magazine’s somewhat cheaper. Three copies of the upcoming March issue (£4.25/€4.50) would run to only £12.75/€13.50. True, you miss out on the set’s vehicles (and one Clone Jet Trooper). but if you only need the minifigures then it’s fair enough come March.
Immediate Media publishes official LEGO magazines monthly in UK and Europe. The latter gets new issues a month ahead of the UK. So the March issue of “LEGO Star Wars Magazine” in the UK actually releases February in European newsstands. The current UK issue has a free Imperial Snowtrooper. Meanwhile the current release in Europe includes a micro-Millennium Falcon build.