The Lego Room

[Opinion] Review of the new road plates system (2021)

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, wesker said:

https://www.brickfanatics.com/is-the-lego-group-about-to-discontinue-its-traditional-baseplates/

The four classic baseplates are due for retirement by February 2022.

Ok that's interesting that it was another company that made the baseplates (but it makes sense due to the different type of production method), wonder if LEGO will introduce 16x32 and 32x32 Plates (or not if they might have issues like warping)

 

10 hours ago, Padlix said:

There is a rumor going around for Modulars on Baseplates retiring because the current Police Station doesn't come with connection Pins for another Modular on its right Hand Side anymore. Though that might be a bit far fetched I could see them retiring Baseplates since it's even a different production Method than for Standard Bricks. 

I didn't even know before, that Baseplate production was outsourced to another company, but if LEGO is going 100% ABS now (after also changing their transparent plastic) , it makes sense to also switch away from baseplates.

Edited by TeriXeri

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To be fair, I heard the retirememt Date for Baseplqtes has been pushed to a later Date before, so it's still not 100% sure

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On 4/29/2021 at 6:47 PM, TeriXeri said:

but if LEGO is going 100% ABS now

Enlighten me (too many threads to focus on here :) - what are the baseplates made of?

Best
Thorsten

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Posted (edited)
42 minutes ago, Toastie said:

Enlighten me (too many threads to focus on here :) - what are the baseplates made of?

Best
Thorsten

I mostly meant the change from the Polycarbonate to ABS for transparent parts, Baseplates, might even be ABS (looked it up and couldnt find it otherwise), but it certainly uses a very different structure and non-moulded production compared to regular plates. 

I never had a transparent baseplate, but I assume at least those ones might have been Polycarbonate instead of ABS. (16x16 transparent baseplates were made in 2007)

4497482.jpg

I had various baseplates in the past, and older road plates were a lot less smooth, yet very wear-resistant printing (Classic Road Plates like the Classic Space Landing Pad). 

Overall, the difference between road plates over the years was more then just studs and printing.

Some raised baseplates like this one 6024px2.jpg could easily get a small hole at a corner of a raised part, while older ones like the Craters seemed more durable due to not having "sharp" edges.

The late 90s green studs road plates were smoother, but the roads being printed could mean it could happen that there would be a scratch off the paint showing the green underneath , I never had the 2002 version of green road plates but they retired fast, maybe they had a paint scratching issue as wel

 

As far as baseplates retiring entirely, nothing is certain until it actually happens (signals would be if something like the 2022 Modular being on plates instead).

 

Edited by TeriXeri

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Ahh! Thank you, appreciate that info!

18 minutes ago, TeriXeri said:

but it certainly uses a very different structure and non-moulded production compared to regular plates.

Is it really non-moulded? @1974 I believe you may know for sure: Are these plates made from ABS and what is the process of making them, other than moulding?

Phew. Sorry for interrogating. But the more we know in the public domain, the less important become speculations - but more so knowledge.

Just to clarify: I see EB as a central access point of knowledge.

Best
Thorsten

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Vacuum formed. I posted in that other thread about baseplates retiring

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27 minutes ago, TeriXeri said:

never had a transparent baseplate, but I assume at least those ones might have been Polycarbonate instead of ABS. (16x16 transparent baseplates were made in 2007)

4497482.jpg

 

I do have one - yes they are certainly not plain vanilla ABS. However, they are also not plain vanilla PC. Way too soft!!!

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Posted (edited)
36 minutes ago, 1974 said:

I posted in that other thread about baseplates retiring

Folks, would it be of interest for you to create a thread on "polymers used for TLG pieces"? Sort of a high level thread - as many >may< be interested.

I for myself would certainly be.

Best
Thorsten

P.S.: I don't even have a remote idea of what "vacuum formed" means.

Edited by Toastie
Dumb as dirt

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They make them in outer space, that is why they cost so much, lol, sorry couldn't resist.

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20 hours ago, Johnny1360 said:

They make them in outer space, that is why they cost so much

That makes sense! :iamded_lol::roflmao:

:pir-laugh:

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On 4/11/2021 at 12:36 AM, Toastie said:

Really? I don't. Good things should stay and bad things should disappear in a puff of logic

Best
Thorsten

I totally agree, good things should stay ...we are too used to suffering  worsening as a normal evolution of things :hmpf_bad:

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New Elementary recently shared an interview they conducted with the LEGO City and element design teams about the development process for the new road plates. It's got some very good insights about why they saw a need for a new road system and what sort of considerations went into its development.

Apparently, the process of developing a new road system was in the works for over a decade. Some of the big concerns were that road baseplates were too large to include in sets with smaller boxes, and that City sets in general tend to be built on standard-thickness plates rather than baseplates.

The article also helps allay some worries by confirming that there are not currently any plans to stop producing standard baseplates, even though the City theme no longer uses them.

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Hey guys, just a follow-up video to the previous one (excuse the clickbait-y thumbnail lol)

 

 

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Posted (edited)

But are there still available?

Or will they be discontinued?

No one of the summer sets have them, and these are the sets you are going to find at shelves on Xmas

Edited by El Garfio

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Posted (edited)
48 minutes ago, El Garfio said:

But are there still available?

Or will they be discontinued?

No one of the summer sets have them, and these are the sets you are going to find at shelves on Xmas

City Road plates are here to stay, LEGO even said it took them multiple years to develop them.

How long they'll stay? Noone knows, but I would assume at least more then just 1 product cycle which is about 1.5-3 years depending on City set.

They are actually in the summer sets, just not in grey.

Winter 2021 were very City/Town focused, and LEGO pretty much went all-in on the road plate sets, and there's still a Stunt-Bike wave of sets that might come later this year.

Also LEGO tends to release a bigger set later in a year as well, like the Capital City in 2018, Ski Resort in 2019, or Main Square in 2020.

The benefit of road plates vs baseplates are that they can be in smaller sets as well, even if it's just 1 8x16 section for a cheaper set, it can add up over time, and as they release more colors, they become more then just roads.

 

Edited by TeriXeri

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4 hours ago, El Garfio said:

But are there still available?

Or will they be discontinued?

No one of the summer sets have them, and these are the sets you are going to find at shelves on Xmas

At least two of the Wildlife Rescue sets DO include the 8x16 road plates as rivers and mudflats, in colors like Sand Yellow and Dark Azure.

Moreover, there are still a LOT of summer sets we haven’t seen yet, including at least one more Wildlife Rescue set and the entire Stunt Show subtheme — the latter of which I think would be especially likely to use new road plates for stuff like dirt tracks or stunt ramps.

And anyhow, the designs for this year’s summer sets would have been set in stone long before LEGO had any sort of knowledge of how the first wave was performing! So it’s a bit early to draw any conclusions from the lack of road plates in sets which, for the most part, would not have any reason to include roads!

Plus, the old road baseplates haven’t appeared in ANY sets besides the stand-alone supplementary packs for more than a decade. So if a lack of appearances in new sets were an indictment of this system, the same could surely be said for the one it replaced as well.

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most of us know that Classic baseplates will be retired in Feb 2022. 

And the new road plates were introduced back in 2021. I haven’t bought these sets that includes the new road plates but I would plan to buy one Wildlife Rescue set with lion and his cub. And see how it goes. 

I finsihed building Diagon Alley set back in March 2021. I remember feeling nervous about lifting the four individual standalone buildings with my own hands because these buildings are pretty heavy. I think the new road plates may support standalone buildings. I mean, I wonder if modular buildings will have road plate eventually.

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15 hours ago, DBlegonerd7 said:

I finsihed building Diagon Alley set back in March 2021. I remember feeling nervous about lifting the four individual standalone buildings with my own hands because these buildings are pretty heavy. I think the new road plates may support standalone buildings. I mean, I wonder if modular buildings will have road plate eventually.

Even if they were on plates, you would need 2 hands to carry them. Anything otherwise is asking for an accident. 

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, The Jersey Brick Guy said:

Even if they were on plates, you would need 2 hands to carry them. Anything otherwise is asking for an accident. 

Well yeah. I mean, plates are little flexible and buildings are little heavy. 

10 hours ago, gotoAndLego said:

MY only problem with new road plates is that there are no curves.

That’s true. I would assume Lego may create a new road plate that feature a curved road eventually. 

Edited by DBlegonerd7

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13 minutes ago, DBlegonerd7 said:

That’s true. I would assume Lego may create a new road plate that feature a curved road eventually. 

Agreed — especially for racetracks, since those tend to be a lot "curvier" than a lot of City streets, and would likely be every bit as "cool" to City-loving kids as ordinary roads are. During my childhood in the 90s, there were loads of racing-related sets in the Town theme. Lately, between last year's Turbo Wheels subtheme and this year's Stunt Show subtheme, the City theme has been getting more into that sort of stuff as well.

And truth be told, I'd be especially excited for a more gradual curve option that opens up the possibility of more varied road or racetrack layouts, like you've always been able to do with LEGO train tracks (or with the racetrack system from the 2002–2003 Racers sets). That said, "off-grid" layouts present a lot of issues for building sidewalks and other roadside features or expanding the width of the roads themselves. So I wouldn't be entirely surprised if LEGO continued to stick with 90-degree curves just for simplicity's sake.

Regardless, after hoping for a new road system for so long and getting one that surpassed most of my expectations, I can't help but have high hopes for the future of this road system, particularly its potential to enable new creative options that traditional road baseplates never really allowed for.

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1 hour ago, Aanchir said:

And truth be told, I'd be especially excited for a more gradual curve option that opens up the possibility of more varied road or racetrack layouts, like you've always been able to do with LEGO train tracks (or with the racetrack system from the 2002–2003 Racers sets). That said, "off-grid" layouts present a lot of issues for building sidewalks and other roadside features or expanding the width of the roads themselves. So I wouldn't be entirely surprised if LEGO continued to stick with 90-degree curves just for simplicity's sake.

I think a 45 degree curve, which has studs on the bottom that allow it to remain in line with baseplates, and the studs on top also in line with straight plates, but angled off like any wedge plate at the join to give the curve option.

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I agree, since Lego switched roadplates, they should switch modular plates too.

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On 5/13/2021 at 3:23 AM, Aanchir said:

Agreed — especially for racetracks, since those tend to be a lot "curvier" than a lot of City streets

Well, I am used to see a lot of curved city streets here in Denmark - cities in Europe tend to be less rectangular than cities in America. 

So I really lack the curves in this new concept. 

I am probably one of the only ones, who loved set 6600  6600-2: Highway Construction | Brickset: LEGO set guide and database - as there were both straight, curved, and elevated roads here, making for a lot of creative possibilities. 

And yes, if should ever want to switch to the new baseplates (I only bought 60304 out of curiosity), I would also want sets with roadplates and tiles only, no accessories. 

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