Blog #21: Toy Reviews: Transformers Kre-O

I’m going to go a little more in depth reviewing the Transformers Kre-O toys than I usually do since I don’t see a huge amount of interest in these and they probably won’t be reviewed much.  If you don’t know, Kre-O is Hasbro’s new line of Lego-like building toys.  Transformers is the first brand to get the Kre-O treatment.

First off, I’d like to say that I do like these toys and will mention a lot of things I like about them.  Unfortunately, with the number of complaints I have, you may conclude that I hate them.  Not true.  It’s just that little things could have made them SO much better.

Before I get into the specific toys, here are some things I like about them:

1. They are a million percent better than Built To Rule.  Then Energon BTRs were a huge improvement over the Armada BTRs, but Kre-O leaves BTR in the dust.

2. They decided not to make them transform.  You build the vehicle, then take it apart and build the robot.  This is a huge improvement since BTR’s almost always fell apart while being transformed.

3. I LOVE how they incorporated design elements from different lines into these.  Mini-figures are all G1-Based, but there is G1, Animated, Classics, and Movie elements to the constructible toys.

4. Mini-Figure robots!  These are so cool.  They should just do an entire line of these.  They have *slightly* more freeing leg and shoulder joints than Lego mini-figures for those of you who love articulation.

Here are some things I don’t like:

1. Stickers are awful.  The backgrounds don’t match the plastic.  Some aren’t too bad (you can’t expect them to be perfect) but some are just horrible.  Also, some are cut to the wrong size to fit on the parts.

2. Toys very out of proportion (long legs with small bodies, heads too small, shoulders too low, fists the same size as heads, etc.).  It’s not terrible on most, but some of it could have been addressed during the design process.  I’m not expecting perfect reproductions of the toys, but I can’t imagine how anyone looked at them and didn’t think there was a problem.

3. There are parts left over after building robots (I haven’t built the cars and am not planning to, but I can only assume there are parts left over there as well).  It shouldn’t have been too hard to build these parts into something else, a little weapons platform perhaps, or just add the parts on the back of the figure.  More later.

4. Some painted face details are too high or too low on the mini-figure heads.  This is just poor quality control.  It’s a shame.

5. Instructions suck especially in regards to stickers.  Often there are left over sticker that should go somewhere, but it’s not in the instructions, or it tells you to put on stickers that you don’t have.  There are some miscolored bricks in the instructions too, and sometimes the picture doesn’t quite match the way it should.

6. Very few of the constructible toys have weapons, and for those that do, the weapons aren’t very good.

7. They take so long to build the robot that I can’t see kids bothering to build the vehicle, or vice versa.  While the non-transformations make for better, sturdier toys, I think they would have done better to make them smaller scale and give you both the robot and vehicle to build.  I’m hoping they go on clearance, so I can pick up another set.  They are just too expensive at full price, but they don’t seem to be moving at all, so I’m hopeful.

Now for the toys.

Small Optimus Prime: Not bad, one of the better ones.  Only a coupe of parts left over that were easily put on his back.  It’s sort of a cross between G1 Optimus and Animated Optimus in design.  Could have used a gun.

Small Bumblebee: Again, there were a few parts left over that were easily put on his back.  Clearly based on Classics Bumblebee.  Could have used the trailer, but nice all around.

Mirage: The driver’s helmet covers half his glasses.  It looks dumb.  Not sure if I just got a bad one.  Comes with awesome G1 Mirage mini-figure.  Car is clearly based on G1 Mirage.  Could have used gun and shoulder launcher.  A few leftover parts I added to his back.

Jazz: I really like what they did hear.  The vehicle appears based on G1 Jazz, and the coloring of the sticker matches, as done his head sculpt.  However, instead of being white he is silver, so he’s a cross between G1 and Movie Jazz.  Nice.  Again, could have used a gun and shoulder launcher.  G1 Jazz mini-figure.  A few leftover parts I added to his back.

Prowl: G1 based, as is the mini-figure.  My only real complaint about him is that his shoulders are so far below his head, that it just looks ridiculous.  Has a lame attempt at shoulder missiles and no gun.  Here’s where the extra parts got annoying, there were quite a few of them.  I turned them into a sort of backpack for the figure, but I wonder why they didn’t do this as part of the instructions, or better yet, turn it into a little weapons platform.  Would have just needed a couple of missile launchers and something for them to rotate and pivot on.  It would have been easy.

Ratchet: Mini-figure is based on G1, but his face is painted too high on the head so the helmet covers his eyes, and that kind of sucks.  Vehicle looks like a cross between Animated and Movie Ratchet in Animated colors.  I added the extra parts as a backpack.

Sideswipe: Here is where the sticker coloring is worst.  The red on the stickers isn’t even close to the plastic.  It’s as bad if not worse than Cybertron Deluxe Excellion’s doors (who looked like he was cobbled together in a junkyard.  This is just sloppy coloring.  G1 based, but no shoulder gun.  Has very blocky gun, the only toy that does.  Mini-figure is G1.  I added extra parts as backpack.  Could use shoulder gun.

Bumblebee:  Very nice.  Comes with G1 Bumblebee and Red Alert mini-figures.  Construction toy clearly movie based.  Nice, but lots of extra parts become a rather heavy backpack.  This would have been the perfect opportunity to make something out of the parts, but they didn’t.

Starscream: One of the two I haven’t found yet.

Megatron: Dark of the moon based toy (truck) with G1 Megatron and Shockwave mini-figures (awesome).  His shoulders are slightly low, but it’s not too bad.  Again I made extra parts into a backpack.  Has a shoulder launcher.

Sentinel Prime: The other one I haven’t found yet.  Last I heard, no one had.

Optimus Prime: Based on Dark of the Moon with the trailer, while the mini-figures are G1 Skywarp, G1 blue Bluestreak, and G1 Optimus Prime.  This toy had so many parts left over that they built some of it into a completely pathetic base.  If they had added a few weapons and used ALL of the extra parts, they could have built a great weapons platform.  No gun.

So, there you have it.  I do like them, I just think they needed a little more work and a little more care in design.  Some of the things left out just leave me shaking my head.

Thanks for reading!

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About lmb3

I’m 36 years old, and I work in network tech support for a public school system. I am a huge fan of Star Trek, Transformers, Harry Potter, and Marvel Comics as well as numerous other fandoms. I’m a big sports fan, especially the Boston Red Sox and the New England Patriots. I collect toys (mostly Transformers but other stuff too), comic books, and Red Sox baseball cards. I watch an obscene amount of television and love going to the movies. I am hopelessly addicted to Wizard Rock and I write Harry Potter Fanfiction, though these days I am working on a couple of different original YA novels.
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1 Response to Blog #21: Toy Reviews: Transformers Kre-O

  1. Armchair warrior needs food badly says:

    It’s difficult for me to accept any lego transformer building sets that don’t transform, as I was making ones that did when I was 12 🙂 That was an epoch ago, believe me. Having said that, I would buy these for the G1 mini-figures. I don’t suppose anyone would buy the rest of the set for half-price if the figure was missing, would they?

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