The 12 days of KRE-OSmas: coming soon!

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Time Traveller
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The 12 days of KRE-OSmas: coming soon!

Post by Time Traveller »

Hey all! Well, being the usual completist that I am, I have recently purchased all 12 of the new Kre-O building toys/figures from target.com.

They are the best thing to happen to Transformers since the last CHUG toys that were actually released.
I'm so impressed, I have decided to do some actual reviews on them, one at a time. Keep an eye out in the reviews area of the forum, and post your thoughts or discussions of the Kre-Os you have bought or seen, here!

Line Synopsis:
Following the trend set by the super-popularity of Lego Star Wars and other cross-collectible building sets, Hasbro has come back from the sorry ashes of Built to Rule with another shot at the plastic brick market.
This time, they've brought the big guns. Built to Rule featured ratchet-jointed chassis plates with posable limbs that could be folded in to make the chassis one solid brick, or folded out for robot mode. That was their major fault, however. The brick dictated graceless modes both robot and alt, and the remaining pieces were usually transformer-shaped and hardly left any room for creative building. They lacked any charm, and furthermore the plastic pieces did not lock together snugly, leaving a trail of miscellaneous gun-bricks and minicon-bricks in their wake. Ultimately, the line failed to create aesthetic or fun vehicles or robots. Poor proportions made their play value low.
Enter Kre-O. Don't get me wrong, most pieces are splitting images of their name brand Lego counterparts, but that's the good thing. Besides, it's worked for MegaBloks for years! The high-quality ABS pieces are fairly simple and familiar bricks and plates for the most part, and no one piece (save the robot's molded rubber head) demands a certain use to be effective. The Kre-O pieces add brick-based ball and socket joints, but very unlike those which have become familiar accessories of series like Bionicle. These have a molded RUBBER ball on the end post of each joint... which fits snugly, grips tightly, and will probably resist wear by friction and play. The first brilliant stroke.
To further one-up their Lego competitors, the Transformers Kre-O come with adorable minifigures called Kreons... but these have articulation! tiny ball joints in the shoulders and hips make the Kreons able to strike adorable battle poses, and their proportions are as endearingly cute as Robot Heroes. Figures are further decorated with wings (either car door or seeker) worn as backpacks, smokestacks or null rays clipped to the arms, and detailed helmets covering plain robotic heads with emotive expressions (Starscream is smirking, Jazz flashes a winning smile, Prime is stern, and Ratchet is very unamused).
With a chest tampo and some simple weapons, they provide a veritable lineup of instantly recognizable classic characters.
Oh, and they come with human drivers too.

So, out of these basic pieces you can build your vehicle, and while the smaller vehicles are approximations, you'll be surprised to find impressive realizations of minifig-scale cars and trucks. Easy instructions use the best of Lego's ides: showing which parts are added with each step, isometric CAD drawings showing the layout, and only adding a few pieces each time.

Fleshed out with snazzy stickers that you apply, and lots of rubber tires, the vehicles are a cool addition to your latest Lego city.

Then, after total dis-assembly to the base components, you may build the robots. The smallest $8 figure is the size of a deluxe, and they work upward from there. These impressive and posable robots don't look out of place among any collection: they are well-proportioned, well-decorated, and strongly evoke their defining features as G1 characters. Everyone has neck, shoulders, elbows, hips, and ankles, and anything over $10 gets you knees and wrists. The head casts look largely based on the classics castings, but scaled up to fit whichever size figure they are on.

LASTLY, I did some research on the backstory here. Turns out, Kre-O figures are largely based on a Seoul, South Korea plastic brick called "Oxford Blocks". They have no previous US market, though collectors seem to import their high-quality military models from Seoul toy shops. Many of the pieces are ported straight from the Oxford Blocks military models, the only notable exceptions being the heads and ball joints. This explains why Hasbro was able to produce not only a high-quality Lego compatible building set overnight, but have time to develop intricate designs that use many of the same pieces for two distinct and uncompromisingly aesthetic modes!

Welcome to America, Oxford. This is the first non-China produced TF toy series since G1, to my knowledge. I hope these figures see exceptional success, and they continue to make more! I'm well and truly excited.
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Countdown
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Post by Countdown »

How are those reviews going? I'm excited to read 'em!
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Cliffjumper
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Post by Cliffjumper »

I thinks me shall get some 8)
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"Look at Megatron. I'm gonna blast that smile off his faceplate".
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Computron
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Post by Computron »

Funny this was here. I just bought Jazz and Mirage. The TRU here in SD had buy 1 get one half off. So normally $11.99 I got both for just less then $20. California sales tax is pretty high. The smaller ones would have fit a budget better but the small OP and BB don't come with the mini figures, well at least they were not listed on the contents. Didn't open them yet. I'll have plenty of time the next three weeks. Though tomorrow seems like a perfect time. I'll take some pics too, though they will be with my phone.
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Post by Time Traveller »

Well, I had intended on posting those reviews while i was away from home, but as it turns out, I got far too busy. I still hope to do so...Hopefully very soon!
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