Jim

Review - 60292 Town Center & 60290 Skate Park & 60281 Fire Rescue Helicopter

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  1. 1. What do you think of the new road plates?



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REVIEW - 60292 TOWN CENTER & 60290 SKATE PARK & 60281 FIRE RESCUE HELICOPTER

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INTRODUCTION
Recently TLG offered me "some City sets" to do a review. I didn't know which sets, but when they offer you sets for a review, it's hard to refuse. When I opened the box, I noticed that two of the sets contained the new road plate elements. I am not much of a City builder, but when I saw the new system I was interested to see what it was all about. Therefor, I was happy to receive these sets and start building.

This won't be a full blown review like I usually write for Technic or Star Wars. However, I like to show you the sets and share some of my feelings about the new elements. Usually I apply the stickers, but since I will most likely be donating these sets, I have ommited the stickers, so the new owner can decide whether to apply them or not.

PICTURES
Pictures can be clicked to view hi-res versions. My Flickr album contains all the photos taken for this review.

DISCLAIMER
TLG has provided these sets. It's not my goal to promote these sets. It's my goal to give you an honest opinion about them. Therefore, the opinion in this review is my own and is in no way linked to TLG.

SET INFORMATION
Number: 60292
Title: Town Center
Theme: City
Released: 2021
Part Count: 790
Box Dimensions:  47,5 cm x 37,2 cm x 9,0 cm
Box Weight: 1722 gram
Set Price (RRP): £ 89.99 / $ 99.99 / € 99.99
Price per Part:  £ 0.11 / $ 0.13 / € 0,13
Links: Brickset, Bricklink

Number: 60290
Title: Skate Park
Theme: City
Released: 2021
Part Count: 195
Box Dimensions: 27,8 cm x 25,7 cm x 5,5  cm
Box Weight: 430 gram
Set Price (RRP): £ 24.99 / $ 39.99 / € 29.99
Price per Part:  £ 0.13 / $ 0.21 / € 0,15
Links: Brickset, Bricklink

Number: 60281
Title: Fire Rescue Helicopter
Theme: City
Released: 2021
Part Count: 212
Box Dimensions: 27,8 cm x 25,7 cm x 7,2  cm
Box Weight: 546 gram
Set Price (RRP): £ 24.99 / $ 39.99 / € 29.99
Price per Part:  £ 0.12 / $ 0.19 / € 0,14
Links: Brickset, Bricklink

THE BOXES

60292 - TOWN CENTER
The front of the box shows the Town Center with lots going on. Being a town center that makes sense of course. LEGO sets are all about telling stories and this set is no exception. The right bottom corner shows the deputy's daughter Madison Yea and sanitation worker Shirley Keeper. Apparently, they appear on the hit TV Series City Adventures. I haven't seen any episodes, but my nephews knew what I was talking about when I asked them. TLG probably includes one or two minifigures of the series in the city sets. Gotta catch 'm all.

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The thumbnails below show the contents of the box.

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60290 - SKATE PARK
This set features a cool Skate Park with three dare devils doing awesome tricks on the various objects and a lady promoting and handing out energy drinks. The box tells you that a road plate is included. It seems that the none of the minifigs appear on hit series this time :wink:

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The thumbnails below show the contents of the box.

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60281 - FIRE RESCUE HELICOPTER
This sets contains new fire elements (I think they are new) and spring loaded water shooters to distinguish the fire. There's another celebrity minfig appearing in the set. This time it's Clemmons, the motor bike riding firefighter.

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The thumbnails below show the contents of the box.

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HIGHLIGHTED PARTS
Since this isn't a full blown review, I won't go into every detail of new parts. To be honest; I'm not even sure whether these sets have new parts at all. I assume the fire and water elements are new, since I haven't seem them in other sets yet. Usually we get the smaller flame elements. One thing I do know for sure, is that two of these sets contain the new road plate system, which is interesting enough on itself.

One thing to mention beforehand is that these parts are 100% genuine LEGO. Looking at the picture, it's very hard to see the logo on the studs. Trust me, the logo's are present. Or don't trust me and click the image for a hi-res version of the picture :wink:

So, here it is....the new road plate. Hooooray! Or not so hoooray?! I will discuss that later. Let's look at the new elements first. 

16x16 ROAD PLATE
The main plate of the system is the 16x16 road plate (not sure what the official name is, but I bet it's something like that). The old road plate is 32x32 studs, so 4 of these plates make up a single old plate. The 4x2 cavities (if you will) are meant to create the center broken white line(s) of the roads.The cavities on the side are used to connect plates to each other or to connect buildings or a sidewalk.

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8x16 ROAD PLATE
The secundary plate is the 8x16 road plate. As expected two of these plates make up the bigger version. One of the smaller plates has a printed pedestrian crossing while the other is unprinted. Having different sizes allows for a versatile design, which isn't always made up of 32x32 squares. Without giving my final judgement, I'd say that's a big plus.

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Here's a bottom view of both plates.

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To complete the new system, TLG has introduced these slopes. This design is similar to an existing slope design, with the addition of the protrusion at the side that connects to the road plates.

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These are just 2x4 and 1x4 tiles, but one of them is printed with a line to create the broken line on the road.

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THE COMPLETED MODELS
This section describes the finished models. I haven't included any building pictures, so I won't spoil any details

60292 - Town Center
The Town Center has a lot going on, what obviously the purpose is of this set. The rights shows a pizzeria on the bottom floor, with a little dojo on the first floor. Glass and paper is recycled in LEGO Town, because that's the right thing to do. Having a clean car is also very important. Everything is neat and tidy in LEGO Town :D

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As you can see on the bottom right, the pizza oven is on fire. This fire is built using the common flame parts. Not sure whether the thief set the oven on fire, but he sure got his hand on a pizza.

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As you can see in the picture, the flame parts are very versatile. They can be used as water sprays as well. Don't you hate it when people leave their old paper on the street?!

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I sure hope that seeing eye dog has spotted the biker. The women with baby is having a good time in the park. TLG is all about inclusion, so there's a lot of diversity in this town.

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While the pizza chef is talking to the little girl, the thief is taking a hike with the pizza.

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60290 - Skate Park
This smaller set contains a single new road plate and a bunch of minifigs. There's even a guy in a wheel chair using the ramps. Ride on brother! The park is promoted by Vita Rush, the Red Bull of LEGO Town. They lady with the phone is handing out free cans! Get yours while supplies last.

This is a fun little set and if you are interested in the new road plates, this might be a set to pick up. This set also demonstrates that you can build stuff on the road plates, which gives builders some nice options.

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60281 - Fire Rescue Helicopter
What would LEGO Town be without its own Fire Rescue Helicopter. Looking at the fire elements, the design makes we wonder whether these parts have been used in arctic (or some other theme) sets before. Enlighten me if you know the answer.

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The helicopter has the spring loaded system we usually see in Star Wars. This time it's used to shoot water to distinguish the fire. Kids love shooting stuff, so they will probably love this as well. Add +1 for a helicopter and +1 for fire fighters and I'm sure we have a winner.

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ROAD PLATES
I do like the new road plates, but I am not very fond of the way the designers connect the road plates to the buildings, more specifically to the terrain where the building are built on. I do miss some sort of side walk and I find it rather odd that the terrain is lower than the street, because that's usually not the case. The versatility is the new system is great, but it doesn't look very authentic or realistic. Obviously, this can easily be solved, but I am not a big fan of the out-of-the-box solution.

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Set 60304 - Road Plate which comes with four road plates and a pedestrian crossing. This will set you back around 20 bucks (or euro). This a lot more expensive than the old road plates, but you do get 111 pieces more. I'm not really sure how to compare the value for money of the two solutions. If you are in need of a big city layout, the old plates obviously provide a cheaper solution. However, if you are looking for a versatile and flexible brick built layout, the new system is the better choice. I do prefer the new system, but it needs some work on the sidewalks.

 

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Marcel Steeman posted his idea for bike lanes on LEGO Ideas. I like the idea, but it could be a bit smaller. Would be nice to see TLG provide slopes which are 6 wide, instead of 8, but that would make it harder to connect different sections. So, maybe even smaller 4 wide slopes with a 2 wide protrusion.

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PRICE
I was wondering whether the new system makes a set significantly more expensive. Looking at other sets, like the 60306 - Shopping Street, I started counting the parts used for the roads. A rough estimate is that the roads consist of 30-odd parts. This leaves us with approximately 500 non-road parts (the set has 533 parts). The price of the set is 70 euro. That does feel a bit steep. I'm missing 20 euro somewhere.

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Let's compare the Town Center to the 60203 - Ski Resort, which is a set with a similar kind of part distribution, some buildings, vehicles and minifigures.

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This set has 806 parts and costs 80 euro. The Town Center has 790 parts and costs 100 euro. Again, a 20 euro difference. I know the comparing sets based on part count isn't entirely fair, but it's hard to ignore the fact that the Ski Resort is 20 euro cheaper than the Town Center. And it's hard to ignore that the Shopping Street costs 70 euro, while it's basically a 50 euro set.

EXTRA INFORMATION
If you are looking for more information or some in-depth reviews, check out this and this article on New Elementary.

COMBINED MODELS
I have been toying around with the sake park and combining the three sets to make a bigger town.

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Combining these three sets, results in a ton of playability.

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Two fire fighting moto bikers ready for some...fire fighting. And pizza maybe. Don't forget to grab your free soda.

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Is that construction worker hitting on the woman with the baby?! I sure hope daddy is not around.

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The energy drink lady sure has a cool car.

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THE VERDICT
My verdict is that I like the new road plates. I do prefer a brick-built solution over the older thin base plates. Am I in love with new system? Not yet, and that's because I am not fond of the way how the roads are connected to the buildings. And the new system lacks a sidewalk, which I really mis. A sidewalk provides so many ways to make your town or city more realistic. This isn't a huge disaster, since a sidewalk can easily be added. But I was hoping that TLG provides a solution out-of-the-box. Obviously this wouldn't make sets even more expensive.

I do wonder whether TLG has considered placing holes here and there, so you can create a power grid for lights?!

Universal praise for the new system? Not entirely. Would I switch to the new system when building a town or connecting my modulars? Absolutely!

PROS

  • Lots of options to make unique versatile designs
  • The option to build wider street (or smaller streets)
  • New system looks a lot better (imho) than the ancient base plates
  • Brick-built solution, so road plates can be customised

CONS

  • The new systems seems to push the price up
  • Considerable investment to replace your old system if you have already built a big city
  • No out-of-the-box sidewalk
  • Streets are positioned higher than buildings, instead of lower
  • No option to pass through small wires under the road plates (would have been nice)

 

Thanks you for reading this review. All pictures can be found here.

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Thanks for the review! The new plates look decent but I prefer the old ones...

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22 minutes ago, JintaiZ said:

Thanks for the review! The new plates look decent but I prefer the old ones...

For what reason?

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2 minutes ago, Jim said:

For what reason?

Old road plates offers better value and looks better with the modular buildings.

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Thx for the review, great images :)

I like the idea, but it is difficult to implement with the parts provided. So 8 or 12 or even more tiles per set would increase the useability a lot (maybe some in white for better scaling).

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51 minutes ago, JintaiZ said:

Old road plates offers better value and looks better with the modular buildings.

I agree the modulars do need some adjustment before working nicely with these new plates.

5 minutes ago, Gimmick said:

I like the idea, but it is difficult to implement with the parts provided. So 8 or 12 or even more tiles per set would increase the useability a lot (maybe some in white for better scaling).

Agreed. I like the parts, but I do have the feeling that the system is not yet complete.

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Your price complaint is a joke, this isn't an unbiased review. You came in thinking the new road plates were expensive and set out to 'prove' it. I can prove they aren't.

 City sets have never made any sense on price. 60281 is $40 and only has 212 pieces, that should be a $20-$25 set. I'm missing $20 somewhere. 60245, Monster Truck Heist is the same price as the new Modern House 60291, yet has 25 less pieces and no road plates. Last year's Police Station was $100, has 743 pieces and 7 figures. Yet 60292, Town Centre has 790 pieces, a ton of the new road plates and 9-10 figures for $100.

 

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4 hours ago, Jim said:

PROS

  • Lots of options to make unique versatile designs
  • The option to build wider street (or smaller streets)
  • New system looks a lot better (imho) than the ancient base plates

Yes to all of this, especially the ancient part. They got cobwebs, creaks, are crumbling and very crusty.

Excellent review and photos.

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Thanks for the reviews. I don't have much interest in city sets or the road plates. Although I don't hate these as much as I thought I would.

we MILS our roads for our layout, so it's a bit more brick intensive. But these look good for the immediate play value. As for sidewalk, yes you'll have to build up the connecting plate by a few plates and then tile above that to give a curb/sidewalk. But it has potential to look good, just costly.

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4 hours ago, Maple said:

Your price complaint is a joke, this isn't an unbiased review. You came in thinking the new road plates were expensive and set out to 'prove' it. 

Wow. Just Wow. Not sure why you feel the need to attack someone online with faulty accusations, but I recommend toning it down and engage in a cvilized discussion. 

We are not in court, so I don't need to prove anything. I have not complained in my review at all. Nor have I mentioned that I would not buy the sets because of the price. I have even stated that I like the new system and that I would absolutely (with exclamation mark) switch to the new system. But I do think the new system comes at a price. That's all.

2 hours ago, koalayummies said:

Yes to all of this, especially the ancient part. They got cobwebs, creaks, are crumbling and very crusty.

Excellent review and photos.

Thanks

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Thank you for your review @Jim. And for the excellent photographs of the sets. I agree the sidewalks could be improved.

I don't have any modulars so I have no problems with height, and my city is built between 1 and 2 bricks high so they are easily integrated regardless of sidewalks.

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I don't mind the new baseplates (bought the shopping street and the town centre) but I wont be using them in my city stuff since that's all done with baseplates (and needs to line up with other people also working on the same combined train display)

I do wish they would make parts for that bike lane (the 2 x 4 with the bike print and the other dark azure tiles) more widely available so its easier to expand it without having to buy multiple copies of the shopping street.

Also I don't think Vita Rush is meant to be an energy drink in the vein of Red Bull but instead more of a fruit juice blend or something else intended to be healthy or at least healthyish (hence the fruit in the logo)

I don't think LEGO would want their City line to be associated with energy drinks given all the reports of how bad those things are for kids.

 

EDIT:

The official description for the skate park does call it a "soda" (so probably something similar to Fanta I guess)

Edited by jonwil

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2 hours ago, jonwil said:

Also I don't think Vita Rush is meant to be an energy drink in the vein of Red Bull but instead more of a fruit juice blend or something else intended to be healthy or at least healthyish (hence the fruit in the logo)

Yeah, you are probably right. I immediately associated it with an energy drink, but a fruit drink/soda makes more sense. Although, an average fruit drink (or Fanta) almost contains as much suger as Red Bull, but that's entirely different discussion :tongue:

 

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I think of Vita Rush as basically orange flavored Red Bull with the whole 'Xtreme Sports' branding

 

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Excellent review, really nice photography, and very good assessment.

With regard to the road plates: I find them way too shiny. It looks like everything is either wet, polished or glazed over with some sort of super shiny glossy protective layer. All things on the surface actually mirror on the surface. Which - for me - renders the whole display much more "static", "unreal" or whatever I should call it - don't know. Which means I like the old ones better.

Best and thanks again for the review!

Thorsten

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Yup, that’s true. Very prone to grease marks etc.

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Great review!

I've got some of the new road plates along with the City Center and I like the roads a lot more than the old baseplates. I have build mutiple different cities with my kids the last month, because its so easy to rearrange. 

A bike path as an Extras set would be cool, and perhaps a sidewalk accesories too. 

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I made these reviews (60290 / 60292) for the french community Brickpirate.

The conclusion is almost the same as mine, we generally agree from what I see, all over the world...

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1 hour ago, Stephle59 said:

The conclusion is almost the same as mine, we generally agree from what I see, all over the world...

It makes sense, because the flaws are obvious. So nice try, time to make version 1.1 :laugh:

1 hour ago, jpx said:

I've got some of the new road plates along with the City Center and I like the roads a lot more than the old baseplates. I have build mutiple different cities with my kids the last month, because its so easy to rearrange. 

That is a big plus indeed!!

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2 hours ago, Jim said:

It makes sense, because the flaws are obvious. So nice try, time to make version 1.1 :laugh:

Oh yeah, I agree with you :blush:

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Overall, I think the new road plates are great. I hope they come out with more add-on packs for bike lanes and sidewalks. And for kids, I think the road set including the streetlights, signs, etc is a big plus. That may be wasted parts for the AFOLs making huge layouts, but for the target market of kids, that's fantastic and doesn't add too much to the cost. 

On the city center, I'm not loving the overall look of the pizza/dojo building. I think the seeing-eye dog looks fantastic. I also love the mom/baby/bench/playground thing section. Again, cute, well made, and something different than the standard fire/police.

On the skate park - overall, love it. I wish it didn't include the vehicle though. That seems like it doesn't fit and just increases the price. I'd rather not have it - there's TONS of similar vehicles out there. Not every set has to have a car! 

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Besides being expensive and replacing the old plates people have collected my main problem with those new streets is why they are so narrow? City cars get bigger and bigger, yet the streets get smaller? To be fair i also do not care for city.

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Them being smaller makes them fit in with the 16x16 grid and allows them to be used with normal plates for bases that were not possible in the past. They also can now be included with sets that would have needed way bigger boxes in the past.
If you add all the extra stuff you get with the plates then it is not very expensive. 20€ RRP noone pays by now... the price already seems to level out at around 16€ then consider the green stuff and the lamps which are the equivalent of 2 eXtra packs and we are at around 9-8 € for a very modular street that is only a bit shorter than the previous two plates for around the same price.

Them being that narrow also allows to place two of them side by side and create wider streets. 

In the end we get a road system that is extremly modular.

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3 hours ago, mon-o-mat said:

Besides being expensive and replacing the old plates people have collected my main problem with those new streets is why they are so narrow? City cars get bigger and bigger, yet the streets get smaller? To be fair i also do not care for city.

What gives you the idea that City cars have been getting "bigger and bigger"? All in all, the scale of City cars and trucks has stayed pretty consistent for about eight years now:

  • four or five studs wide for quad bikes and small cars or trucks (e.g. 3177)
  • six or seven studs wide for large/high-performance cars, SUVs, mid-size trucks, and buses (e.g. 7245, 7635, and 60007)
  • eight studs wide for heavy-duty trucks (e.g. 7900, 4205 , and 60025)

Moreover, the width of the new road system can easily be adjusted to accommodate larger vehicles by adding basic tiles along the sides, or potentially even doubled for airport runways or for roads in themes like Agents, Ninjago, and World Racers that have a more exaggerated scale.

By comparison, the only way to change the width of roads in the previous system could only be expanded widened by introducing a new baseplate mold, thereby newer road baseplates incompatible with older ones. LEGO did this three times: in 1986, 1997, and 2002.

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13 hours ago, mon-o-mat said:

Besides being expensive and replacing the old plates people have collected my main problem with those new streets is why they are so narrow?

Its not like the classic road plates were cheap, and to me you always got one you had no use for anyway.. Regarding them being narrow, the beauty of the new road plates is, you can easily expand the width of the road using tiles! This enables you to create busstops, Refuge Islands, speedbumps and what have you in a real city, much more easy than using the classic road plates. I can only see possibilities with these new road plates, not limitations :) 

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