Update (9/29 | 2:30pm EST):
We originally reported in April that there was some information coming from the 2021 LEGO EOL list data that pointed to the impending retirement of LEGO Classic Baseplates. Thanks to Promobricks, we've recently come across new details and information that LEGO wants to avoid any panic buys from occurring. Their statement reads as such:
Over the next few months you will likely see some products with retiring soon branding or perhaps a local retailer reporting that they are no longer able to order certain products. We want to share ahead of time that there is no need to be alarmed about baseplates.
So, as we originally anticipated, these particular set numbers will be retiring by the end of the year, or at the very least will be retiring early 2022. The LEGO representative went on to confirm our initial suspicions:
In 2022, baseplates will be changing from their current plastic packaging to more sustainable paper packaging. Besides packaging, there are no additional changes with the LEGO baseplates and you will still be able to get the same colors and sizes in 2022 that you can purchase today. You can expect to see the new packaging around March 1, 2022.
Although the representative mentions that no additional changes with LEGO Baseplates, aside from packaging, but other reports indicate that in order to make the change The LEGO Group will have to change the set numbers for 2022—which is common practice whenever packaging or release dates change.
Original Post (4/14 | 2:00pm EST):
Based on recent data that has surfaced, and corroborating with some previous information we've found, it seems like the end of life is rapidly approaching for the current line of LEGO Classic Baseplates.
With the current line of Classic Baseplates, we've seen The LEGO Group shift the End of Life (EOL) date multiple times in the past few months—each time, moving the date forward to an earlier end date. As it stands today, the EOL date for the Baseplates is slated for February 2022. What does this mean for future city planning, and is this being done in relation to the new road plates system that launched in January this year?
If you're concerned about the plates disappearing from the LEGO System altogether, it seems very unlikely—which was confirmed with an Official LEGO Group spokesperson back in January:
"What we can share from our conversations is that exiting the studded baseplates is not something we foresee in the near future." -Official LEGO Statement
The spokesperson went on to say, "It is hard to make promises about what the future holds for any product, set, theme or element as tomorrow can always present a new challenge or opportunity . . . For now, there are still multiple baseplate products still in production including Classic sets [and] bricks and pieces. Hopefully this helps ease some concern."
So it doesn't appear that this End of Life day means the end of an era—an era in which baseplates have been the foundation of many LEGO sets and themes dating as far back as the 1960s. What is most likely the case, is that we can expect LEGO to create a new generation of Baseplates with a new element ID or part number, as we've seen them do every few years for the past 50 years. It may even mean that something as simple as the Green Baseplate being produced using renewable sources is the cause of the accelerated retirement date—which would be in line with the company's green initiative.