Thursday, February 16, 2012

Transformers Kre-O: Exclusive Optimus Prime Review

**State of the Toy Union: My display room's a mess!  It's made me really not want to open up any of my recent purchases until I get it cleaned up.  I'm making progress with the packing/tidying up though.  So in the meantime, I'm very sorry for the long pause between reviews.  Enjoy this one though--he couldn't wait! ;)**

Call him an SDCC, a Botcon or a (insert your preferred)Con Exclusive, but for us here in Singapore, he's our Transformers Con 2012 Exclusive Kre-On! (That's what they call a Kre-O figure btw).

Messy room--enter at own peril!
That's right, in a month's time from March 11th to 14th, the bi-annual event is hitting our tiny island nation.  So the awesome people in charge sent over this little fella just to whet my appetite!

Now the idea of building a Transformer out of Legos or any other building blocks is hardly a new one because anyone who's ever laid hands on such toys will have at one point or another tried to do it.  But never has there been an official toy company who's gone out a produced a whole range of them--until now.

And while I have to admit that I was pleasantly when I saw Kre-Os on the shelves in stores, I was less than impressed by the sets.  First up, the robot modes aren't all that accurate to the G1 TF forms they were trying to mimic (and neither are their vehicles modes for that matter).  Second, they came with Kre-On (minifig) versions of themselves.  And that doesn't really make sense, if you catch my drift.  Third: the price. At US$30 a pop for the bigger sets, it was kinda hard to go out on a limb and trust the quality of a new building lock brand.

Still, those Kre-Ons looked pretty darn cute.  And they do have a whole range of them out right now--Optimus, Bumblebee, Mirage, Sideswipe, Megatron, Shockwave, and Prowl, just to name a few off the top of my head.  I had even told the Rangerlord what many have expressed online--if they sold the Kre-Ons separately, I'd grab 'em.  He agreed too.

So you can imagine my delight when the organizers of Transformers Con 2012 sent me this little package.  Now I can't wait for the Con to come.   So I guess I'll just have to settle for filling the time with a review of Kre-On Optimus Prime! ;)



Like: Improved articulation from your "standard minifig."  First up there's an added waist joint, then there's the limbs, which are all ball joints!  Because of the way the figure is though, the joints are restricted, which is just as well since I hear the joints get lose after some play--but so far so good for lil' Prime here.

Like: Customizable parts.  Smokestacks, helmet, legs, torso.  If you get more Kre-Ons you can swap out the parts for sure.

Dislike: That the right leg joint and the right smokestack are a tad looser than the left sides'


Like: That the parts are compatible with Legos!  Prime stands well on Lego pieces but can't quite sit because of the wheels on the side of his legs.  I the wheels weren't in the way he'd fit perfectly.  Accessories clip well into his hands and his gun does the same with Lego minfigs.  But while his helmet fits snugly on a minifig head, the headgear from Legos tends to be a little loose on Prime's bare head.

Unfortunately, that's where the minifig/Kre-On compatibility ends.  Their legs are not interchangeable, nor are their hands.  And though I didn't pop them off for a try, I suspect their are won't fit on each other's torsos either. :(

Dislike: Any Transformer worth anything can transform--this Kre-On obviously can't.  But I can forgive this because he's quite the cute lil' fella.  However the bigger counterparts of Prime and the other characters are quite another matter--sure, they come apart and you can build the vehicle form, but that's cheating. ;P

That's about as close as it gets...
Like: Really sharp tampography.  And what makes Exclusive Prime special is the sweetly rendered Autobot Matrix of Leadership on his chest.


Like: That his ion cannon is customized to look like the one from the cartoon series.  This is probably a more important detail than most care to admit.  I know one of the first few things I look for in any good Optimus figure is his gun and this one does a greatly satisfying job of providing a great likeness.

RATINGS

Aesthetics: 9/10 - There's no mistaking it, this is definitely Optimus Prime--except in Kre-On form.  And when you can recognize a character instantly without having to have a closer look then you know the toy-makers have done a decent job.  But when you don't even have to look closely to realize that it's the matrix in his chest then they've done an excellent job.  From the classic look of the helmet, to the ion cannon, to the wheels on his legs and the tampographed designs, this Kre-On is done superbly!

Poseability: 8/10 - Simply delightful!  Even though I thought the ball joints were severely limited, upon playing around with the fig I realized what a big difference even the smallest range of motion can make, especially in this scale.  Optimus can twist at the waist, stand with his feet wide, pose looking like he's in mid stride, point his gun somewhat sideways, and have his arms look like they're really swinging.  I'd say Prime's poseability is the one feature of his that surprised me the most!

Fun: 7/10 - Even with just 8 points of articulation, I really enjoyed what I could get out of this guy.  The customizability of the figure will also prove to be lots of fun once you can get your hands on more accessories. (I'm thinking a gold ax-hand at least...)  It'll also be more fun if you could get your hands on just the Kre-Ons instead of buying whole sets.  That's in the works, I hear.  But for now this is a 7 because you can't.


What saves Kre-Ons and Kre-Os right now is their compatibility with other "leading brick-building brands," as they claim on the packaging of this here figure.  I can gather all my loose Lego and start building a Teletran-1 or an Ark or even an Omega Supreme for all my TF Kre-Ons.  But eventually, I'd like to see an Omega Supreme set, or a Metroplex Set, or the awesomeness that would be a Unicron set.  Better yet if these and any new sets can transform without first coming apart.  Aw yeah.

Value: 7/10 - It's okay if you like the large Kre-O "figure" that comes with the Kre-Ons (or is that vice versa? ;P) But until they offer the little guys without the sets or with a set that is the Ark or Metroplex or Unicron, I won't be spending too much money on these guys.  But once they get the sets right and start to release the individual Kre-Ons, then it should be worth your while.

Overall: 7.75/10 - Kre-O sets don't look that appetizing for now but Kre-Ons like Optimus look so good I can't wait for Hasbro to sell them individually.  Heck, I would even get them if they were sold blind-bagged.  That's how good the Kre-Ons are--just like a minifig but with better articulation and about as pretty to look at. Sure, they might have some problems like loose joints, weird set selection, and the not-so-pretty-as-yet big-block characters, but I'm sure things can only get better, especially if they've done so great with the mini Kre-Ons right out of the blocks. (Ooh, a pun! :P)



Owned by (the) Force!

14 comments:

  1. Picked up this wonderful little fellow myself at our local K-Mart and for $5 what a deal. : )

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    1. i got mine for free and i got 2 at Botocon(transformers convention) in 2011 that is when we as TF fanns saw it first!
      the next sets is Battleship then transormers,Startrack, and i heard rumors plus hasbros is think about it too GI JOE set too! i love these set way more than lego!

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    2. Yup, yup, Botcon is indeed a cool place to be...I imagine any con would be, since I can only dream of being there. Lol.

      Yes, Battleship Kre-Os are just sitting here on the shelves of the stores in Singapore. I hope this doesn't stop them from bringing in the new stuff you mentioned--Star Trek? That would be cool! :) And GI Joe would probably be right on the money seeing as how it's a Hasbro brand as well. But with the movie postponed, hopefully we'll see Joe Kre-Os sooner rather than later...

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  2. Oh, awesome! What a deal indeed. :)

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  3. Ha ha, awesome review -- and very entertaining to read! I totally want one of these little guys now. :D

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    1. Heh, thanks Wes! Funny thing--I think Kre-O was the brand that used to produce Lego "knockoffs" or so I heard. Maybe that's why you want a Kre-On! ;P

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  4. Awesome review as usual! Although not pretty much into Blocks though!!! Was wondering what happen, as it was a really long time since your last review!!!

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    1. Thanks! Yeah, it was. Hopefully as the son grows older I'll be able to get back to posting more. That and me having to tidy up the toy room! ;)

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  5. LOL, when your son grows up your room would be double the mess! LittleDragonBane :) Looking forward to the next review! hopefully would be star wars or marvel related!!!

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    1. Yes, it will be. As in the room will be even more messy. Lol. The next review might very well be a Star wars figure! ;P

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  6. Not much of a Lego fan but seeing this little Optimus Prime might just turn me into getting a collection set.

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    1. Yeah, now might be a good time too. I'm starting to see them slowly go on clearance. :)

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