Review of the best road plate for your city
Official LEGO road plates are, in a word, overpriced. Right now if you wanted to purchase a straight section of road for your city you would need to pay LEGO £10.49 for the straight section that you wanted, and receive a crossroads that you didn’t. Most resellers will charge around ten to sixteen pounds per straight road plate which is why clone brand versions of the same piece are so appealing.
This is the rather basic Straight Road Base Plate from Blox that I bought for about £2 and it is the best alternative available. It comes packaged in a resealable plastic bag that is clear cellophane on one side to see the road beneath and a printed design on the back. As per all of the Blox sets, note the small section saying “compatible with leading brands” in the top right hand corner.
Another interesting addition to the packaging is the cool looking dude holding up the bar code which I haven’t encountered on any of their sets before. Despite looking suspiciously similar to Jack Stone it’s nice to see packaging breaking the fourth wall like that.
Outside of its packaging the base plate matches the standard LEGO dimensions of 32 studs by 32 studs long and is thicker than I had initially anticipated. This Blox road plate is actually a plate in thickness and is not thinner like LEGO road plates. The road printed on top is also larger than expected because each lane is one stud larger than the LEGO version, resulting in the paths being one stud thinner each side totalling five studs from edge to road.
The advantage of this being a plate in thickness is that it has tubes underneath so it can be placed upon a studded surface. The corners feature a 3x3 section where you can insert a stud anywhere on that square. From there the tubes extend by missing one tube and having one after that until the pattern has repeated to the other side. The middle of the road plate also features a heavily populated area of tubes resulting in a 4x3 section where a stud can be inserted.
Flipping the plate right-side up again the studs on top, although slightly larger than LEGO, fit perfectly into any LEGO piece that will receive them. As you can see in the picture a simple 2x6 plate attached to the top or bottom can support the piece without stressing either part. The connections aren’t tight either even though Blox studs look a little larger.
The printing is fairly standard as well with simple white lines down each side and a serrated lane divider going through the middle. Compared to a LEGO design we are missing the storm drains printed on either side and we gain more white paint at the edges, even if the lines are thinner. The main selling point of this Blox plate however is the price and the fact that you can secure the plate via studs from underneath.
As a demonstration of its usefulness I’ve gone ahead and placed it on a studded LEGO base plate and added in a few bits of scenery just to show how versatile this plate can be. As you can see it blends in with the natural environment and the extra width makes it perfect for the larger vehicles we see LEGO producing today. No matter how thick you like your road plates I would say that this is the perfect solution to the price issue The LEGO Group is forcing us into. The plastic is strong, durable and matches LEGO colours so there's no reason not to consider it. If you are after a cheaper alternative to official road plates then this is definitely going to be a worthwhile purchase, especially because you can buy almost six for the same price as one LEGO road plate.
Click here if you'd like to purchase the piece in the UK and let us know the other countries that you can find the set.
So what do you think? Do you know of a better, cheaper alternative or have a reason not to love this simple piece? Let us know in the comment section down below or speak to us on social media via the CONTACTS page.