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It appears that the LEGO Xtra play mats come in three different varieties:

road

road back

water

part

It is clear that these are physically compatible, but are these intended to be used together, or are the three locales generally meant to be used independently?

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If you mean the different designs (paved road, beach, grassy park) creating a continuous landscape that seamlessly flow into each other, no, that's not the case. However, each of the playmats is double sided with different but compatible designs. So, you could make the paved road, beach, and grassy park longer by purchasing extras of the same landscape and using both sides to create variety. (You would need two 2-packs of the same set to take advantage of all four printed sides.)

While the different landscapes don't fit seamlessly with each other, you could make it work by placing some structure or additional brick-built landscapes at the seams to hide the lack of continuity. For example, between the paved road and the beach, you can place a row of houses on top of the seams to blend the landscapes.

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As TheBrickBlogger said, they don't tessellate seamlessly on every side, but they are in fact designed to be used together, at least as shown in the instructions in the LEGO xtra polybags. Each polybag seems to feature a different layout with a unique combination of sides of each playmat piece as well; for instance, here's what's on the other side of the instructions for 40311 Traffic Lights and 40312 Streetlamps:

If you're really bothered by the seams, then yes you could easily cover them up with buildings and other objects. But honestly, it doesn't seem that bad to me. It's clear that the Sea Playmat, at least, is intended to be placed with the water towards the very edge of a layout, though. And you don't get very much water, since none of the sides have just water that you could tile endlessly.

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