In the past couple of weeks, we have been going through the 2021 LEGO City sets featuring the new road plate system. If you haven’t been following this series, we talked about the #60304 LEGO City Road Plates starter set, and the #60290 LEGO City Skate Park in 2021 LEGO City Road Plates System Review – Part 1, the #60291 LEGO City Family House in 2021 LEGO City Road Plates System Review – Part 2, and the #60306 LEGO City Shopping Street in 2021 LEGO City Road Plates System Review – Part 3. Today, we will take a look at the final set in the collection; the #60292 LEGO City Town Center.
As we discussed previously, what ties together all these sets is the new road plates system. The new road plates provide a modular system for building customized roads, and you can also use them in other applications where large building elements are needed. They come in 16×16 studs and 8×16 studs sizes, and are available in printed and unprinted versions. The top surface of the road plates is mostly smooth, but there are some strategically placed indentations with studs as connection points, and tubes on the bottom for further connections. We discussed the strengths of the new system, including its modularity and customization options, as well as its weaknesses like the flimsy connections between road plates, and the unsightly seams around the indentations (when filled with tiles).
The #60292 LEGO City Town Center is the largest amongst the five LEGO City sets with road plates both in terms of piece-count and price. It features a two-story building with a pizza restaurant on the first floor, a martial arts dojo on the second floor, and a rooftop garden. The set also includes a recycling station, a car wash, an electric vehicle charging station, and a small park with a kids’ ride. There are also several vehicles in the set; a recycling truck, a small electric vehicle, a road bike, and a motorcycle.
The eight minifigs include six generic city residents as well as two named characters from the LEGO City Adventures TV series; Shirley Keeper, and Madison. In addition, we get a baby, and the new dog which also appeared in the #60291 LEGO City Family House in another color. The dog in this set appears to be a service dog with a harness, guiding a disabled person. When built, the LEGO City Town Center measures over 9.5 in. (24 cm) high, 16 in. (41 cm) wide, and 17.5 in. (44 cm) deep. The total piece count is 790, and the price is $99.99. It will be available on January 1st at the LEGO City section of the Online LEGO Shop.
Just like the #60306 LEGO City Shopping Street, the LEGO City Town Center also comes with five building instructions. This nicely separates out the different areas of the set, and it also allows several kids to work on the set at the same time. There is also sticker-sheet with 21 stickers to decorate various parts of the set.
INSTRUCTION BOOK #1 – STREET LAYOUT
This set starts out by assembling four of the minifigs, the bike, the motorcycle, the small blue vehicle, the charging station, and the entire street. This allows kids (and adults) to try out the new road plate system before building anything else. It’s interesting to note that the street has the exact same layout as the one in the #60304 LEGO City Road Plates starter set with three 16×16 road plates, two 8×16 road plates (one of them with a printed cross-walk), and six sloped ramps. The only difference is that in this set there are no speed bumps (it’s easy to include them though as they are just simple 2×4 double slopes in yellow).
At the back of this booklet there is a nice layout that combines four of the five 2021 LEGO City sets featuring the new road plates. I’m not sure why the and the #60306 LEGO City Shopping Street wasn’t included, but otherwise it’s a nice display.
INSTRUCTION BOOK #2 – CAR WASH
This car wash is built separately on a standard 16×16 plate. The walls are built with the same translucent-blue pieces as we have seen in the #60291 LEGO City Family House. They give the building a nice and modern look as well as easy visibility of the inside. The most interesting feature of the car wash is the two arms, which are attached with rubbery LEGO Technic connectors, and allow cars of various sizes to pass through. Another feature that automatically adjusts to the height of a vehicle is the water jets above. Both are simple but clever mechanisms that work with compact cars to large vehicles. Fun fact; both the tiny blue car and the recycling truck can go through the car wash, as well as all the other cars in the new LEGO City collection. I’m certain that this part of the set is going to be used a lot by kids, and it’s attractive enough for adult builders as well.
INSTRUCTION BOOK #3 – RECYCLING TRUCK
The recycling truck is an attractive six-stud-wide vehicle with a flat bed and a small crane attachment. It is meant to lift and carry the recycling containers, but you can also use it to carry other large cargo. I especially like how the front of the vehicle is built with a new 3×4 rounded slope piece with ridges. It is going to be an excellent piece for texturing mechs and the like. I like this vehicle a lot. It’s basic but very useful with a nice color-scheme and good playability.
INSTRUCTION BOOK #4 – PARK & RECYCLING STATION
This booklet features two small sections of the set, both built on 8×16 plates. The first one you build is the recycling station with two containers. They are built the same way, except for the slots where you deposit recyclables. The blue container is meant to recycle paper items and have a 2-stud wide slot (we get plenty of pizza boxes in this set to drop through the slot). The green container is for glass with a rounded slot, and we get three bottles in different colors to recycle. This is yet another well thought out and executed part of the set.
The other small section is the park, featuring a tree, a park bench, and a kids’ ride with googly eyes (I think it might be dragon? Or perhaps a caterpillar? I’m not sure.). It’s cute and it can rock back and forth. This is also the instruction booklet where you assemble the mom with a baby carrier and the assumedly blind person with the service dog. Both the baby carrier and the dog’s handle attachment are awesome little accessories.
At the back of this booklet, there is a reference page with all of the characters from the LEGO City Adventures TV series and the set(s) they appeared in.
INSTRUCTION BOOK #5 – THE PIZZERIA & DOJO
This instruction booklet is the largest with almost a hundred pages and comes with a thicker cover (like what you find in premium sets). The pizzeria/dojo is built on another 16×16 standard plate. The pizzeria is only six studs deep, but the space is used very well featuring a nice pizza oven and a counter with the new printed cash register slope we have seen in the #60306 LEGO City Shopping Street as well. The front of the pizzeria is attractively detailed with three stickers. The pizzeria can be accessed from the back, and, because the second floor is removable, it can also be accessed from the top. There is also a small side building next to the pizzeria featuring a stack of used pizza boxes and a dumpster fire!
On the second floor is a tiny dojo. This space is also very small, but it does manage to fit a barrel with a couple of swords, a kendo helmet on display, and a mat. A stickered sign hangs outside the windows with the name; Dragon Dojo. I feel that this part of the building is not used as efficiently, but nonetheless it looks attractive through the arched windows. The dojo also has a removable roof, making it accessible both from the back and the top.
The building is capped off with a small rooftop garden featuring a small cherry tree and vegetable garden. It’s a wonderfully attractive use of such a small space. The decorative elements along the roofline are also very nice.
In front of the pizzeria, there is a nicely pawed pathway, a single table, and a fence line to separate the building from the busy street. You could possibly place extra tables and seating here.
In summary, I would say that pretty much every single element of the #60292 LEGO City Town Center is well designed, attractive, useful, and playable. It wasn’t my number one choice when I first saw the 2021 LEGO City sets. I liked the look of the #60291 LEGO City Family House and the #60306 LEGO City Shopping Street more, but both of those sets have some weaknesses that dampened my enthusiasm once I had the chance to build them. The #60292 LEGO City Town Center is pretty much flawless and the only one in the new collection where I feel the price is fair for what you get. If you want to check out this set as well as the rest of the 2021 LEGO City sets, visit the LEGO City section of the Online LEGO Shop.
What do you think? How do you like the new LEGO City road plate system? Are you planning to give it a try? And how do you like the town center? Feel free to share your thoughts and discuss in the comment section below!
And you might also like to check out the following related posts: