In January 2021, the LEGO® Group released a number of new city sets featuring a new style of road plate. Previously, roads were standard 32×32 baseplates. The plates featured a smooth section with road lines printed on. The new style is a largely smooth 16×16 plate. It has four indented 2×4 sections of studs in the center and eight 1×4 indented stud sections around the edges. These allow for customization of the road printing and connection with other road sections or sidewalks. This week, True North Bricks is taking a look at several City theme sets, many of which feature these new roads. I want to see what they are like and how they compare the older style. Up first, we have Skate Park (60290). Incidentally, this set is also the True North Bricks July 2021 Giveaway set. Click the link below for details.
NOTE: The LEGO® Group provided this set for review. However, the provision of products does not guarantee a favorable review. I will use my usual rating system (click here for more information) and provide my honest opinion.
SKATE PARK SUMMARY
- NAME: Skate Park
- SET #: 60290
- THEME: City
- COST: $49.99 CAD
- BRICK COUNT: 195
- MINIFIGURES: 4
- RELEASE DATE: January 1, 2021
SKATE PARK QUICK REVIEW
- VALUE: 44% (This set is really expensive in terms of brick count and build time.)
- BUILD: 75% (No major new build techniques or designs, but you get a new road plate.)
- MINIFIGURES: 92% (An excellent number of good Minifigures.)
- ENTERTAINMENT: 75% (Good filler for MOC cities, but mostly a parts kit for me.)
- OVERALL SCORE: 72%
SKATE PARK (60290) REVIEW
Skate Park costs $49.99 in Canada and consists of 195 pieces. Consequently, the cost-per-brick is $0.26… ouch. By comparison, my average cost-per-brick across all LEGO® themes is currently $0.138. This set costs about double per brick. It is worth mentioning that City sets tend to cost a lot per piece. However, even in a theme specific comparison, Skate Park performs poorly. My average cost-per-brick for the City theme is $0.173. Perhaps the new road plates are costly to produce, who knows. Regardless, I rate the cost-per-brick for Skate Park at 45%.
This set took me 29 minutes to build from start to finish. At $49.99, the cost-per-minute of build time is $1.72. Ouch again. By comparison, my average across all LEGO® themes is currently $0.839/minute, while for City specifically, it sits at $1.05/minute. Sadly, you do not get a lot of build time for the price of this set. I rate the build time value at 42%. Averaging this with the cost-per-brick score gives an overall value rating of 44%.
There is not a lot to assemble with Skate Park. There is a car and a few ramps and railings for Minifigures to trick-out on. The largest piece is the new road plate (you get one in this set). The car is typical City-theme fare. It is a one-seater with a removable roof for Minifigure access. Unfortunately, the vehicle does not have opening doors for Minifigures to use. Interestingly, Skate Park has a side story with a Minifigure promoting a brand of drink called “Vita Rush”. The car features the brand logo and has cans of the drink read to distribute off the back. It is an okay build. However, as my LEGO® city fills with nicer Speed Champions cars, I have little need for these more childish City cars.
The actual park is simple, but nice. It provides nice filler for a park in your LEGO® city displays. Additionally, it adds to halfpipes from previous sets, such as the one in Capital City. The customization potential of the road plate also allows you to customize your park layout, which is nice. However, I am neither here nor there about this set. I was not looking to create a skate park in my city, so the main draw here is another new road plate for me. You do not acquire many new build techniques either. The highlight for me was a new water bottle design. It is so simple yet so realistic at the same time. I can’t believe I never thought of it before. Overall, this set is satisfactory, I rate it at 75%.
Skate Park includes four Minifigures. One of them is a stumpy child character with un-moving legs, two are adults, and one is a child character with the newer moving legs. I wish both child characters had the moving legs. A set like this needs poseable characters. Very few kits lend themselves well to those stumpy, un-moving legs in my opinion. I have said it before, and I will say it again: the LEGO® Group needs to get rid of the un-moving leg pieces. On the plus side, the set tries at inclusivity with a stunt-wheelchair character. I quite like that.
Otherwise, the minifigs all feature front and back torso printing. Only one of them has a double-sided face, and none have any leg printing. Where accessories are concerned, the set includes some printed tiles (six can tops and a cell phone), a bike, a wheelchair, a skateboard, and a Vita Rush printed 1×1 brick (used as a water bottle). I rate these character designs at 85%.
Four Minifigures in a set containing 195 bricks is excellent. Comparatively, my average across all LEGO® themes is 168 bricks/fig, whereas the City theme sits at 84 bricks/fig. There is no doubt that you get a lot of characters for a set of this size. I rate that at 99%. Averaging this with the design score gives an overall Minifigure rating of 92%.
I will probably not keep Skate Park assembled as intended. My goal is to acquire many of these new street plates and really test them out together as a length of road. While not the cheapest option for getting the new plates, Skate Park is also not the most expensive. The repurposing potential for these plates is excellent though. I like that you can build under them as well as above. Plus, you acquire a number of reusable bricks for other projects and good townsfolk to fill your city displays. I can see this set working in MOC park displays, and being of interest to people who use these types of recreational facilities in the real world. I do not love it, but I do not hate it either. For me, the set is satisfactory, and I rate it at 75%.
OVERALL SCORE: 72%
The highlight of Skate Park (60290) is really the Minifigures and the new road plate. I find the kit is quite expensive for what you actually get. The cost-per-brick is double what I usually expect, and the build time is low. Additionally, the design does not offer anything really new or unique other than a small but amazing water bottle. We have seen variations of most inclusions in this set before. Ultimately, Skate Park is a satisfactory set, but I would wait for a sale before picking one up. Alternatively, you can win one for free in the July 2021 True North Bricks giveaway. The LEGO® Group sent me two of these. While it might not be the greatest set, it is okay, and who would say no to free bricks and Minifigures? What do you think of Skate Park (60290)? Comment below or reach out on social media.
Until next time,
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