September 28, 2023

Downtown (60380) Review

I’m building my way through all the summer 2023 LEGO® City sets. I’ve shared my thoughts on quite a few of them already, including the Arctic Explorer Ship, the Arctic Explorer Truck & Mobile Lab, and the Deep Sea Explorer Submarine to name a few. As you can tell, my interest with this wave lies in the more science-related/exploration sets. However, at least one of the cityscape sets intrigued me in the early images of these sets. That was Downtown (60380), with its multistory buildings and over-road walkway. Additionally, it is the largest LEGO® City ever produced. Let’s see if its worth the $260 CAD price tag…

Downtown Set Specifics

  • NAME: Downtown
  • SET #: 60380
  • COST: $259.99 CAD
  • BRICK COUNT: 2010
  • RELEASE DATE: August 1, 2023
Downtown (60380) box contents
The box includes 18 numbered bags, three unnumbered bags, two sticker sheets, and a cardboard folder with five instruction manuals.

Quick Review of the Downtown (60380) Set

  • VALUE: 87% (Very good cost/brick and a decent amount of build time for the price.)
  • BUILD: 75% (The set tries to be too many things and needs to focus on a coherent concept.)
  • MINIFIGURES: 85% (Nice new designs, loads of accessories, good number of characters.)
  • ENTERTAINMENT: 80% (Nice starting point for people getting into city building.)
  • OVERALL SCORE: 82% (Good set.)
What I likedWhat I liked a little less
The set is a good value, even for City.
The overall look of the set is nice.
Great brick selection.
Open backed, façade style buildings.
No elevator or stairs.
Tries to be too many things and needs focus.


VALUE: 87%

Downtown is the most expensive set in the 2023 LEGO® City summer lineup. It costs $259.99 in Canada and includes 2010 bricks. That makes this the largest City set ever released. Over the years, we’ve come to expect that larger sets present a better value because it is similar to buying LEGO® bricks in bulk. While not the best value I have ever seen, Downtown does not disappoint in that regard either. At full price, the sets clocks in at $0.129 CAD/brick. For a City set, the cost/brick is downright amazing. Compared to LEGO® sets in general, the value is not quite as amazing, but it is still good in my books. Consequently, I rate the cost/brick at 91%.

Cost/brick of the Downtown (60380) set compared to LEGO in general and just the City theme.
This chart shows the average cost/brick of LEGO® sets in general, as well as just the City theme compared to the Downtown (60380) set. The average values are based on all the sets reviewed in the past here at True North Bricks and represent the time of publication.

I spent four hours and 23 minutes assembling the Downtown set. At full price, the cost/minute of build time works out to $0.989. That is a decent amount of build time for the price, though once again, not the best I have seen. I rate the build time value at 82%. Averaging this with the cost/brick score gives an overall value grade of 87%. Even at full price, I think the Downtown set is a pretty good value.

BUILD: 75%

As with all City sets, the buildings in the Downtown set are all open backed. That’s already a bit of a downer for me because it limits how you can place them in your custom city layout. Consequently, no City set ever entered my past displays without serious modification. With that said, many City sets provide inspiration for custom modulars. The Downtown set is no exception. When complete, this is set is fun to look at. I love the different facades on the buildings, and I am especially fond of the glass walkway crossing the street. It features a clever clamshell design, allowing you to open and close it for placing Minifigures.

Downtown (60380) walkway

With that said, there are a few things I don’t like about the Downtown set. Firstly, the hotel is only a lobby and one room module. Luckily, new modules are easy to make following the general guidelines laid out in the instructions and using your own bricks. If I was keeping this in my city, I would certainly add more to the hotel. Simply copying the room module creates more of a high-rise as well as a more authentic hotel.

The hotel lobby
The hotel lobby in Downtown (60380).

Secondly, I would make the buildings modular and add stairs and elevators. I get that piece counts need to stay down to keep the price lower. However, the LEGO® Group constantly feels the need to jam pack sets like this with so many features and stories that none of them get the detail they deserve. You could easily eliminate a few builds in this set to make the story more coherent. The first item I’d strike from this set is the smoothie cart. It’s not a very realistic build in my opinion, nor is it very detailed. I built it and immediately thought I could do without it.

The Downtown (60380) smoothie cart

Next is the blogger’s studio. This is a random room connecting to the hotel lobby through the glass walkway. If you’re including a hotel in a set, it needs more than one room. The blogger’s studio is an unnecessary detail that could have been a hotel room. The janitor’s closet is another waste of space. In the advertised setup, it sits next to a little electronics store. I’d much rather have a larger electronics store than an undetailed room with a few yard tools thrown in. When I think janitor’s closet, I don’t think chainsaw, wrench, and shovel. I think cleaning cart, mop, cleaning products, etc. A cleaning space makes sense in the context of a hotel, but it’s not really associated with the hotel in this set, nor does it have items needed to clean the hotel.

Otherwise, I like this set. None of the shops are particularly detailed, but the signage for them is nice and you can expand them with your own bricks. Advanced builders will not learn any new techniques, but the designs and brick-use might inspire future builds. Additionally, this is a great parts box. The assortment of pieces is diverse, and even comes with a few rarer and unique elements. While these pieces may get more common over time, the general selection will bolster your brick collection well. However, since a major draw for this set is the brick selection and not the build itself, and it lacks coherence by trying to be too many things, I rate the overall build experience at 75%.

The T. rex costume from Minifigures Series 24 gets a recolor in Downtown (60380).


Downtown offers a refreshing selection of minifigs. Interestingly, many of the prints are relatively new as I am writing this. In fact, some are presently unique to this set. While these elements will likely become more common in time, it is nice to get such an influx of new parts in one set. They will certainly add a splash of new looks to your collection.

Of the characters, all have front and back torso printing. Additionally, eight have double-sided faces and two feature leg printing. However, two of the characters are stumpy children with unmoving legs… those who’ve been reading my reviews for some time know how much I dislike those. You get around 55 different accessories though. Those always improve the minifig selection and help with storytelling. The sheer number of accessories makes up for the lack of printing on certain minifigure elements, as well as the stumpy legs.

Downtown (60380) comic book shop


  • 1 x violin
  • 1 x suitcase
  • 2 x cat ears headband
  • 1 x wand set
  • 2 x chopsticks
  • 1 x broom
  • 1 x shoulder armor
  • 1 x pizza
  • 2 x boat oar
  • 2 x bowl
  • 1 x pot
  • 1 x cleaver
  • 3 x strawberry tile (1×1)
  • 1 x future space helmet
  • 1 x calculator tile (1×1)
  • 1 x robotic hand
  • 2 x microfig
  • 1 x wrench
  • 1 x saw
  • 1 x shovel
  • 1 x crate
  • 4 x cell phone tile (1×2)
  • 2 x vinyl record
  • 1 x control panel (1×2)
  • 1 x dog
  • 1 x parrot
  • 1 x gauge tile (1×1)
  • 1 x garbage can
  • 1 x white bird
  • 1 x scooter
  • 1 x scooter helmet
  • 1 x baby bottle
  • 1 x extra hairpiece
  • 1 x T. rex mask
  • 2 x scissors
  • 1 x hairbrush
  • 2 x headphones
  • 3 x microphone
  • 2 x whisk

One of the downsides to larger sets like this is the proportionally smaller number of Minifigures. Sets with fewer bricks tend to come with more characters. Additionally, City is a theme known for high minifig counts in sets. Downtown performs rather poorly when examining the number of figs you get in relation to brick count compared to other City sets. Conversely, compared to LEGO® sets in general it does pretty well. In summary, we can say that for a City set, despite including 14 minifigs, Downtown does not have a very high Minifigure count. However, compared to LEGO® sets in general, it gives quite a few. Considering the fig count and designs, I rate the overall Minifigure score at 85%.


I enjoyed building Downtown and I gained some inspiration from it for future builds. I also like the brick selection. However, I will not keep this set built. It requires too much modification for it to be display worthy in my limited real estate environment. If I was still building a LEGO® city in my LEGO® room, I could see myself modifying this set and including it though. It has a neat futuristic vibe that would go well with the upper levels of the Ninjago city sets. That glass walkway would look great above a river canal with the older style buildings underneath. However, I am not currently building a LEGO® city, so this set will be disassembled and sorted into my brick collection. Kids might like this set, and it provides a good starting point for anyone journeying into city building. I rate the entertainment at 80%.

Downtown (60380) vet office


Downtown is a good set overall that will serve individuals who are starting to build a LEGO® city, or those who want a little inspiration for future builds in an existing city. Most of the fun you’ll get will be modifying this set to suit your needs and layout. Additionally, you get some new minifig designs to add flavor to your population. Despite being high, the price is not bad for what you get. My main complaint with this set is that it falls into the typical LEGO® trap of trying to be too many things at once. The hotel needs more detail, and some of the other side rooms and builds could have been scrapped to free up the bricks. What do you think of the Downtown set? Let me know in the comments or reach out on social media.

Until next time,


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