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Transformers Kre-O

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Debuting in 2011 Kre-O Transformers is Hasbro's second foray into Transformers construction sets, after the wildly unsuccessful Built to Rule. This time, Hasbro enlisted help in the form of a partnership with South Korean building block toy manufacturer Oxford. Oxford brought a lot of experience to the table, having manufactured lines of military building block sets for years before the launch of Transformers Kre-O. The previous military themes played right into Hasbro’s plans, contributing many parts based around vehicles and soldiers. Kre-O has since expanded into several of Hasbro’s licensed properties, including Kre-O’s indigenous brand “Cityville”, but this archive will only feature the Transformers releases.

Kre-O entered the scene with a broad variety of Transformers figures and sets, from the introductory price point of ~$10 all the way up to the flagship $60 Optimus Prime set. The sets varied widely in piece count and features, but all followed the same basic premise: the set could construct either an articulated Transformers character figure, or that character’s vehicle mode, with a few pieces left over.

The vehicle builds were fairly comparable in style and detail to contemporary sets by rival brands Lego and Mega-Bloks, and were far better proportioned than Built to Rule. They used fewer unique pieces, reducing development costs drastically, and encouraging more creative play. The robot builds used a variety of hinges and rubberized ball-and-socket joints to achieve some level of poseability, while displaying vehicle parts prominently to give the appearance of transformation. Sets feature extensive sticker sheets that can be used to add more depth and visual interest, while not interfering with the ability of the toy to be disassembled.

All but the smallest sets included “Kreons”, articulated minifigures of drivers or Transformers characters. The Transformer Kreons were very Generation 1 inspired, making them popular with fans. Larger sets included accessories or even mini-vehicles for use by Kreons.

Later sets began to follow themes, such as translucent “energon” pieces. Sets containing a large number of Kreons became commonplace, to satisfy demand for the tiny robots. Larger figures were engineered around increasingly standardized “skeletons” of ball-and-socket bricks, losing the detail and uniqueness of first-wave sets. Eventually, Kre-O began to center entirely around Kreons, introducing blind-packed Kreons with a few small parts to simulate an alternate mode build called “Micro-Changers”. Kreon Combiner sets were introduced with four Micro-Changers that could be built into a larger “gestalt” figure.

While Kre-O Transformers continued through the Robots In Disguise (2015) era, waning popularity of the larger sets ded not bode well for the series. Many first-wave sets saw massive clearances at fractional prices, but new sets continued to be produced, so it is hard to gauge actual sales popularity. To make problems worse, the distribution of larger sets narrowed from mass release, to Toys “Я&dquo; Us exclusives, to the RID sets only appearing in Canada. Although the transformers subline of Kre-O seemed to hang on the longest, it has all but disappeared from toy shelves today.

 

Basic Construction Sets

Bumblebee

Optimus Prime

Battle Changers

Autobot Ratchet vs. Soundwave

Blind-Packed Micro Changers

Acid Wing
Collection 2

Airachnid
Collection 1

Alpha Trion
Collection 4

Arcee
Collection 2

Autobot Gears
Age of Extinction
Collection 2

Autobot Groove
Collection 2

Autobot Kup
Collection 4

Autobot Seaspray
Age of Extinction
Collection 2

Autobot Wheelie
Age of Extinction
Collection 2

Barrage
Collection 4
Beachcomber
Collection 3

Blast Off
Collection 1

Blight
Collection 2

Bludgeon
Collection 1

Brake-Neck
Collection 4

Brawn
Collection 4

Bulkhead
Collection 2

Cheetor
Collection 3

Crankstart
Collection 1
Preview Series

Cyclonus
Collection 4

Decepticon Blackarachnia
Age of Extinction
Collection 2

Decepticon Runamuck
Age of Extinction
Collection 2

Decepticon Skalor
Age of Extinction
Collection 2

Demolishor
Collection 4

Dirge
Collection 1

Fangwolf
Age of Extinction
Collection 1

Frostbite
Age of Extinction
Collection 2

Fuselage
Age of Extinction
Collection 2

Galvatron
Preview Series

Guzzle
Collection 3

Hardshell
Collection 2

Highbrow
Age of Extinction
Collection 1

Hoist
Collection 2

Hook
Collection 1

Huffer
Collection 3

Iceberg
Collection 4

Inferno
Collection 1

Insecticon
Collection 1

Jarugar
Age of Extinction
Collection 1

Jetwash
Age of Extinction
Collection 1

Kickback
Collection 3

Long Haul
Collection 3

Lugnut
Collection 2

Mindswipe
Age of Extinction
Collection 1

Misfire
Age of Extinction
Collection 1

Nemesis Prime
Collection 3

Nightbeat
Age of Extinction
Collection 1

Nosecone
Collection 3

Perceptor
Collection 2

Powerglide
Collection 2

Quickslinger
Collection 1

Ramjet
Collection 3

Rampage
Collection 1

Rhinox
Collection 4

Rodimus
Collection 4

Sandstorm
Collection 4

Scattershot
Age of Extinction
Collection 2

Scorponok
Preview Series

Scourge
Collection 2

Seawing
Collection 3
Sharkticon
Collection 3

Silversnout
Age of Extinction
Collection 1

Singe
Collection 1

Skimmer
Age of Extinction
Collection 2

Skrapnel
Age of Extinction
Collection 1

Slipstrike
Collection 4

Spinister
Preview Series

Springer
Collection 1

Sunstorm
Preview Series

Sunstreaker
Age of Extinction
Collection 2

Thrust
Collection 3

Torosaur
Age of Extinction
Collection 1

Trailbreaker
Age of Extinction
Collection 2

Trypticon
Age of Extinction
Collection 1

Vehicon
Collection 2

Warpath
Collection 1

Waspinator
Preview Series

Wingspan Hawk
Age of Extinction
Collection 1

Construction Sets

Autobot Assault Devastator
Quest for Energon
Toys 'R' Us Exclusive

Autobot Jazz

Autobot Ratchet

Battle for Energon
Quest for Energon

Battle Net Bumblebee
Beast Hunters

Beast Blade Optimus Prime
Beast Hunters

Bumblebee

Cell Block Breakout
Age of Extinction

Cycle Chase
Quest for Energon

Decepticon Ambush
Quest for Energon

Destruction Site Devastator
Quest for Energon

Dinobot Charge
Age of Extinction

Dinobot Ride
Toys 'R' Us Exclusive
Age of Extinction

Dragon Assault
Beast Hunters

Galvatron Factory Battle
Age of Extinction

Grimlock Street Attack
Age of Extinction

Grimlock Unleashed
Age of Extinction

Lockdown Air Raid
Age of Extinction

Mech Venom Strike
Beast Hunters

Megatron

Mirage

Optimus Prime

Optimus Prime Dino Hauler
Age of Extinction

Prowl

Ripclaw Strike
Beast Hunters

Rotor Rage
Quest for Energon

Scorn Street Chase
Age of Extinction

Sentinel Prime

Sideswipe

Starscream

Stealth Bumblebee
Quest for Energon

Street Showdown
Quest for Energon

Custom Kreons

Soundwave

Gift Sets

Class of 1984 Kreons
SDCC Exclusive

Class of 85
SDCC Exclusive

Ultimate Kreon Collection 1

Ultimate Kreon Collection 2

Kreons

Matrix Optimus Prime
BotCon 2011
SDCC Exclusive

Micro Changer Combiners

Abominus

Computron

Constructicon Devastator

Decepticon Bruticus

Decepticon Piranacon

Defensor

Grimstone
Toys 'R' Us Exclusive
Age of Extinction

Lazerbolt
Toys 'R' Us Exclusive
Age of Extinction

Menasor

Obsidian
Toys 'R' Us Exclusive
Age of Extinction

Predaking

Superion

Volcanicon
Toys 'R' Us Exclusive
Age of Extinction