For decades, LEGO towns and cities have relied on baseplates with studded and smooth sections to represent pavements and roads respectively. From next year, though, the LEGO CITY theme is ditching those classic baseplates for a brand new road plate system.
We can now get a closer look at how that new system will work through 60304 Road Plates. Each 112-piece set includes enough elements to construct a T-junction, complete with traffic lights, lampposts and even a pedestrian crossing. The large road plate segments are all printed, and connected using tiles.
The real beauty behind the new system, though, is that you don’t have to build a T-junction. Where the previous road baseplates restricted you to whatever was printed on the smooth area, the new buildable roads allow you to configure them in whatever layout your heart – or cityscape – desires.
While the LEGO Group has generally phased road baseplates out of sets, the new road plates will feature in a number of LEGO CITY 2021 products. 60291 Family House, 60292 Town Center and 60306 Shopping Street all incorporate the new elements, allowing you to quickly build up your new road network.
Of course, a new system will always be met with hesitancy from veteran fans. And replacing an existing, extensive road layout could prove cost-prohibitive, particularly given 60304 Road Plates retails for £17.99 / $19.99 / €19.49. By contrast, the most recent road baseplate two-packs retailed for £9.99 / $14.99 / €9.74 apiece.
It’s also not yet clear how the LEGO Group will introduce curved roads into the angular new system without large, dedicated elements, but hopefully we’ll find out later in 2021. For now, you can look forward to 60304 Road Plates launching along with many more LEGO CITY sets on January 1.