Do you watch LEGO City Adventures? Apparently it’s quite popular. And LEGO announced recently that they’re celebrating that success with an exclusive set: 60271 Main Square. This 1518 piece offering is based on the locations and characters from the show, and will be available September 1st. Featuring over a dozen minifigures, there are also builds ranging from limousines to tram cars to City Hall itself. That’s a whole lot of stuff packed into a US $199.99 | CAN $229.99 | UK £169.99 package. But is this City adventure worth the price of admission? Read on and judge for yourself!
The box and contents
This set comes in a large LEGO box, printed with a target age range of ages 6 and up. Like most City-themed sets the graphics are very straightforward. The colors are bright and primary, and the different models are front and center with a smattering of out-of-focus building in the background. Right off the bat you can see that there’s a lot included – there’s very little space that isn’t showcasing something from the set. Six of the minifigures are called along the bottom, and there’s a “Build Together” graphic in the upper right corner. (More on that in a bit.) The back of the box highlights some play ideas, focusing on the more interesting subsets but still managing to cram just about everything into a photo somewhere.
Inside the box are fourteen numbered parts bags, two unnumbered bags containing larger parts, a flier for LEGOLAND, and a bag containing the sticker sheet and instruction books.
Those instruction books mark the point where the building experience gets a little different from other LEGO sets I’ve seen. Instead of one or two large books covering the entire build, this set contains eight different books, each one focusing on a single sub-model. The first six are smaller center-staple books, with the last two being the larger square bound variety.
The “Family Building” aspect of this set is called out on the first few pages of every instruction book. With each sub-model contained in its own instruction book and part bags, the idea is that you can spread things out over a bunch of people. The manuals depict a group of four: two kids, an adult male, and a older grandmotherly type. If you look at who gets what set, Grandma gets cheated a bit as she only gets to build the sound stage. Maybe she’ll finish early and get to help out with City Hall or something. I suppose there’s no reason LEGO would have to show each person getting two of the subsets. It just seemed a little odd to have a 3-2-2-1 distribution. And yes, I know I’m overthinking this.
Book One – The Chase Scene
We’ll follow LEGO’s suggestion and focus on each of the booklets as their own building experience. The first one features three of the characters from LEGO City Adventures, each with a signature vehicle. Together, they let you recreate a chase scene.
First up is Snake Rattler and his motorcycle. The building here is limited to assembling the bike, and attaching the grappling hook to the chain. Both the bike and Snake are the same as they appear in another 2020 City set – 60243 Police Helicopter Chase. We’ll recap the minifigures at the end, so I’ll just mention that the motorcycle is free from stickers or printing, and should fit easily into a custom City landscape.
Next up is LEGO City handyman Harl Hubbs and his utility wagon. The Harl figure uses the same parts as the one in 60232 Garage Center. His vehicle is new, though, and is loaded with fun accessories like a printed popcorn box, mop, TNT bundle, toilet seat, and chain. A bit of interesting building here is that the ladder is held on to the side of the cart thanks to an angled bracket.
The final build is police officer Duke Detain and his pursuit buggy. Duke has the same design as he has in 60242 Police Highway Arrest. The buggy is similar in design to a lot of LEGO ATVs we’ve seen in the past: It’s a solid and functional mini-model, if a bit bland. The only bit of bling is a sticker for the police logo on the hood. I also really don’t care for the 1×1 round transparent blue brick-on-a-stick light. This could easily have been improved by adding a 1×1 round tile to cap it off or something.
Treating this book as its own mini-set, it’s not a bad one. The three vehicles each have their own unique, if simple, builds. They fit in well with the different characters, and there’s certainly enough here to create your own chase scene dramas. My only complaint would be that Duke’s vehicle is a little lackluster.
Book 2 – Freya McCloud and Helicopter
The second instruction book steps you though building fire chief Freya McCloud and her helicopter. This subset features some interesting parts, including a super cute flaming marshmallow printed mug. The mug was previously only available in the 60231 Fire Chief Response Truck. There’s also a new printed tail element. There are stickers on the body of the helicopter, so it’s kind of odd that we got a printed part as well. It’s even more odd when you consider this is the only uniquely printed part in the entire set.
The helicopter itself is another easy build, as befits the 6+ age range. But it looks good, and has great swoosh-ability. As mentioned earlier, there are a couple of stickers on the rear quarter panels. They do a good job of integrating the design element of yellow stripes that are brick-built into the front and tail sections. I’m not sure what’s up with that net, but I’m guessing it’s a callback to an episode of the show.
This subset also feels like a win. If it had been released by itself as a small City set, I think there would have been decent interest in it. The helicopter is well designed, has a play feature of rotating top and rear propellers, has a cool unique print, and the Freya minifigure is pretty sweet, too. Just wait until you see her dual expression in a bit.
Book Three – Mayor Fleck’s Limousine
Book three is focused on Mayor Fleck’s stretch limousine. At about 26 studs in length, its probably not all that easy to navigate around town, and cornering must be a royal pain. But if you’re going for eye-grabbing transportation, this four-door black beauty probably works just fine. The wheel hubs are gold,with a brick-built accent stripe in yellow. This ride also comes equipped with a driver, who we’ll cover in a bit.
Stickers are used for the front and rear license plates. Not my favorite approach, but it works okay. Seeing the limo from the front or rear does point out just how narrow this build is. The main body is four studs wide, with the wheels and side mirrors (built from hinge plates) stick out a bit further.
The play features of this subset center around opening doors and removable roof sections to expose the limo’s interior. The driver’s area has a printed slope tile for instrumentation, and the passenger compartment has a computer screen and a coffee mug.
The 4-wide build means that both the driver and mayor don’t have a lot of room to move around. The mayor only fits inside at all thanks to the use of 1×2 panels to create clearance so that he can lean back in his Corn outfit. (Yeah, LEGO City is apparently a pretty weird place.)
Adding a limousine to the fleet of City vehicles is a nice idea, but I’m not really sold on this design. It’s a little too narrow, a little too long, and a little too blocky looking. If this had been a solo offering, I have a feeling it would have lingered on the shelves.
Book Four- City Diner
Book four gives us our first part of the Main Square itself. The City Diner is a stand-alone building that reaffirms LEGO City’s love of burgers in a big way. This subsection has some fun parts, including tan quarter circle bricks, a printed cash register slope, and a new 6×6 modified brick in brown. There are also a selection of tile in bright light yellow, parts only available previously in the 60246 City Police Station.
The diner itself is an entertaining little build. Stickers cover up those 2×4 bright light yellow tiles for the City Diner logo, but the brick built giant burger makes up for that sadness. The interior features a service counter, a dining area, and a cooking station. That’s a lot of detail to pack onto an 8×16 baseplate.
And as much as I like to gripe about LEGO’s use of stickers, the advertisements you stick to the diner’s windows are really first rate. Much fun, very wow. They’re shown here with the random townie included with this subset.
This was my favorite build of this set. I love that giant burger on the roof, and the comically oversized burger served to the customers is also a great tiny build. The parts used are easy to reuse in custom creations, too. The only downsides were putting stickers on those tiles, and the minor design quibble that the diner’s chairs are mounted on the floor. It would have been nice to have both seats and the table raised up by a 2×2 round plate or two.
Book Five – Park
Book five adds a bit of family fun to the Main Square. This scene has a four-minifigure family celebrating in the park. There are flags strung between the lampposts, a table of food and presents. In the background there’s a fountain with a statue. The statue is of a handcuffed person in an archer’s cap standing over a sword…I’m not sure what the story is there, but it certainly adds a bit of atmosphere to the scene.
The picnic includes a pie and some cookies, and the gifts are some LEGO bricks. (Pretty much a perfect gift if you ask me.) One odd detail is that the tooth and clip plates used for the flags match for the red and blue versions, but there’s a visible mismatch between the yellow clip and orange flag. It doesn’t stand out too much, but once you know about it it’s hard not to notice. Also irksome is the park benches that sit flush on the baseplate. Maybe in LEGO City sitting on the floor is just the in thing to do.
This is another subset that works very well as a self-contained mini set. It’s easy to imagine an alternate reality where this was released as a “Summer Party in the Park” seasonal set. There’s a good mix of minifigures and accessories, and the park setting is just big enough to fit everyone if you wanted to display things together.
Book Six – Stage
Next up is a stage for LEGO City musician Poppy Starr. Poppy made her first appearance in set 60262 Passenger Airplane but gets an all new wardrobe here.
The stage itself is pretty minimal, featuring a couple of turning speakers, a mic stand, and some adjustable lights made from 1×1 round plate in transparent red, yellow, and blue. It looks particularly sparse from the back, with the under-stage area exposed. But I suppose stages are meant to be viewed from the front, so I’ll give LEGO a pass on this one.
This set works well when integrated into the larger Main Square complex, but as a stand-alone offering it’s pretty weak. The minifigure is nice, and you do have a clear idea of what you’re looking at, but there’s nothing special going on here. The promotional photos and box art show the stage set up next to the park, which makes things a lot nicer.
Book Seven – Tram
Okay, I have some mixed feelings about this next section. Book seven spans three parts bags to build a tram and station. The tram looks great, the station looks great, but there are no tracks to run things on. As a result I kept having flashback to Inception when the freight train smashes through the downtown intersection. I suppose adding track would have raised the price point on this set even higher, though. And unless they added a lot of track, I’d probably be griping about a tram that could only drive in a tiny circle. So let’s just pretend it runs on invisible rails and move on.
The tram is made from three main sections. The two ends are identical builds that feature a removable front end and roof, opening doors and front windscreen, two passenger seats and a driver’s station. The tram logos are stickers. A single driver is included, but he can’t really reach any of the controls as designed. This is another case where a couple of extra plates (this time to lift the control panel up) would have improved the look a bit.
The center section is essentially just a pivot point for the two driver compartments. I can see builders expanding this subset with their own custom passenger areas, and using these smaller joins to keep things flexible. As it is, this tram fits just four commuters…and due to the building style in the interior they can’t move between compartments even if they wanted to. Good thing, too, as when taking a curve there’s a scary level of gap between the edges of the tram walls.
The other portion of this subset is the tram station. It comes with a commuter and bicycle, and a stand that hold a soda machine, ticket kiosk, and a train schedule display. The sodas are 1×1 round brick printed with a VITA RUSH logo, and the vending machine uses a couple of stickers for the controls. The transit logo and schedule are also sticker-based.
The station looks good from the front, but the rear is again a bit lackluster. Again, it’s not really meant to be seen from this angle, so that’s not a big minus.
Overall, this is a fun build. There’s a decent amount of hinges and functionality in the tram, and the station is functional. The lack of tracks is still a big downer, though. If this had been a stand alone set, those would have been a requirement.
Book Eight – City Hall
We’ve reached the home stretch with book eight and City Hall. This model spans the last five part bags, and is the heftiest build in the set. From the front, it looks okay. It’s nowhere as detailed as any of the Town modulars, but what detail there is looks pretty good. All of the windows are filled with transparent light blue panels, and the small statue above the door is well constructed. The clock face is just a sticker, though. This section comes with Mayor Fleck in his signature Corn costume, a cat, and a seagull.
From the back you can see the play areas of the building. The main room on first floor features the key to the city, while the side rooms have a trophy and chalice on display. The second level has the Mayor’s office, complete with laptop, umbrella, and briefcase minifigure accessories.
A couple of other fun details to call out are the rotating “lasers” that protect the key to the city, and this sticker on the outside wall.
Although this was the largest and most complex part of this set, it was also the most unimpressive for me. The need to keep this build suitable for younger builders means that there was almost no detailed building for the exterior, and the basic framework of the walls was most just stacking tall bricks on top of each other. For what it is, it’s a nice looking building, but it just cries out to be something more majestic.
One of the big draws for this set is likely to be the 14 minifigures based on characters from LEGO City Adventures. And if you count the statue in the park, that total goes up to 15. Plus a cat and seagull. Cramming them all into a single shot gives you an idea of the sheer volume of figures you get.
As mentioned above, the guys from the chase scene section are all available in other sets. Handyman Harl Hubbs is the most elaborate with two expressions, a dual-sided print on his torso, printed legs and a utility belt. Officer Duke Detain also has a dual sided face and torso, and has dual-molded short sleeve arms. Snake Rattler is the most basic with just a dual sided torso.
Fire Chief Freya McCloud has a dual molded hat/hair combo, two expressions, and a dual sided torso print. The limo driver has a single expression and a common outfit. Her hair is a bit more uncommon, only appearing in black once before. Poppy has appeared before (in set 60262 Passenger Airplane) but her dual-sided outfit is brand new.
Freya has my favorite dual expression of this set – having apparently managed to splash her coffee into her face. Thank goodness she was wearing safety glasses!
The part set comes with the family of four. All feature dual sided torso printing, and everyone but propeller-hat wearing Billy has two expressions.
Rounding out the more common townspeople are the tram conductor, commuter, and customer from the City Diner. The customer has two expressions, but the other two have only one. All have dual sided torso prints.
The commuter also has this cool little detail – a Bluetooth headset, or as some of our readers have noted, a hearing aid!
The last “official” minifigure in the set is this unique Mayor Fleck. Apparently he always wears the Corn costume but never comments on it. If that’s truly the case, it’s kind of shocking that we get a printed dual-sided torso under the costume featuring a golden “#1 Mayor” sash. The mayor only has a single expression, though.
Fans of LEGO collectible minifigures will likely recognize the mayor’s costume as a recolor of Corn Cob Guy from Series 17. I think the dark green husk and darker shade of yellow looks a little nicer. Obviously the mayor was able to spring for the deluxe version.
Last, and in this case probably least, are these “not quite minifigure” inclusions. The park section comes with a grey statue, and the City Hall subset comes with a seagull and cat. I included the giant burger from the City Diner as I just really like it and felt like reminding you that it exists.
Conclusion and recommendation
Wow, that was a lot of stuff to talk about! This is a pretty massive set, all things considered. At a $199.99 USD price point, though, I have to wonder if it’s really worth the cost. At 1518 pieces, this set comes in at a very hefty 13 cents per part – a very high cost for a LEGO set that doesn’t have to cover licensing fees. To some, the 14+ minifigures will make this seem like a better deal, but even there I have some concerns. If you convert all the minifigures to “Build a mini” price of $3 each, and do some math to remove the $42 and 56 parts from the equation, this set is still at nearly 11 cents per piece. That’s really way too much, in my opinion. If you’re looking for parts packs, I suggest you either wait for this to go on sale, or just look elsewhere. Ditto if you’re looking for a challenging or interesting build experience. This set is aimed at “6+” and holds very true to that age range.
If you’re a LEGO City Adventures fan, though, or someone looking for a big set you can build with friends, this might just be the set for you. When you’re done you have a wide array of play options spanning several vehicles and playsets. There are a lot of cool minifigures, and the compartmentalized builds would be very easy to share out at a birthday party or other group event.
So, at the end of the day, if you’re a younger builder or a City Adventures fan, you’ll probably be happy with this even at full retail. If you’re not in those demographics, wait for a sale, or pick up some City sets that focus on just the sub-themes that appeal to you.
In the meantime, though, I have to go. That tram just smashed into the limo. Again.
60271 Main Square will be available September 1st at LEGO stores and LEGO Shop Online for US $199.99 | CAN $229.99 | UK £169.99. It will also be available via third-party sellers on (XXX LINK)Amazon and eBay.
The LEGO Group sent The Brothers Brick an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.
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