In even more proof that the Ninja Turtles are back in a big way, Lego has announced that they’ve snagged the exclusive brick building license for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. This is both a great thing and a bit of a bummer for TMNT fans. On one hand, Lego is far and away the leader in this category of the toy market. That market is constantly growing and Lego remains king.
However for fans who remember Mega Bloks take on the Ninja Turtles franchise a few years back, will recall that they produced a lot of neat sets. Lego may be the leader in the field, but they’re hardly the innovators these days. Their bodies are the most outdated and overrated, lacking the unique sculpting and overall articulation that their competitors are introducing.
Still, with a big rollout at NYCC and a platform as big as Lego, the Ninja Turtles will no doubt thrive in the brick building toy aisles as well as the traditional action figure aisle. The sets shown look pretty good and it’s nice to see Lego adding some unique sculpting. It’s a bit of a shame that they refuse to update their body to match some of their competitor’s in terms of articulation. Regardless of that, TMNT and Lego will make an interesting and presumably great, fit.
Kreon Micro Changers Preview Series
1 3/4 Inch Scale
If there’s two weak areas here at Infinite Hollywood it would be Legos and Transformers. While I have fiddled around with Legos before, our coverage hasn’t been super extensive. Likewise, Transformers has never really been my bag. Outside of Generation 1 and some random episodes of Beast Wars, I’ve never been a Transformer guy. I had a fair amount of Transformers as a kid, but I always though they were either a cool robot or a cool vehicle, but rarely both.
I realize that Transformers have evolved quite a bit in the last few decades and I also understand that they’re probably the second most powerful toy brand behind Star Wars, but nothing much has made me interested in them. At least until the KRE-O stuff came along. KRE-O is Hasbro’s attempt to move into the Lego market. The first KRE-O Transformers products were simple cars and trucks that could be built as either the vehicle or the robot forms.
And then someone realized that nobody buys Legos anymore to build stuff (okay lots probably do, but I digress) and instead people care about the mini figures! And so, like so many other companies, Hasbro began making Kreons, their versions of mini figures. Unfortunately for Transformers, they got off to a slow start, only including Kreons in the HUGE most expensive sets. But finally they’re on board the blind bag concept that everyone loves and are now offering Transformer characters in Kreon mini form at an affordable price and without all those extra bricks nobody wants.
As long as I don’t have to buy a bunch of bricks, I’m happy! To make matters even more interesting, this preview series of the blind bag minis is also the first version of these Kreons that can “transform” into a second mode. Transformers have come full circle. So how do these mini figures rate with a guy who’s not really into Legos or Transformers? Read on…
The packages are simple and mimic every other blind bag on the market. There’s no new ground being broken here people. I guess don’t try to reinvent the wheel if you’re KRE-O. Right now we’ve got Lego, Mega Bloks, K’Nex and a few others flooding the shelves with these blind bag minis. Blind bags are nothing new, they did this in the 80’s with M.U.S.C.L.E. and such, but they’re definitely all the rage these days.
The front shows off colorful cartoon versions of each Kreon in the series, while the back has a pretty basic checklist. It also shows that they’re 2 in 1 with the transforming mode and whatnot. It doesn’t mention anything about rareness or ratio, so I’ll assume they’re evenly packed, I guess. One of the gimmicks of these blind bags “gotta catch em’ all” elements is that some guys are usually a lot harder to find than others.
Inside each guy is wrapped up in a little bag, meaning you have to completely build him. It makes sense for these kind of transforming guys, but having a mini figure dissembled is pretty much par for the course with these types of figures. I’m not really sure why, but I assume if they’re in a bunch of pieces it makes it harder for you to feel on the bag and figure out what you got.
There is also a small instruction sheet with more info on it. This is important because it tells you how to get the Kreon in both forms.
Believe it or not, the first Kreons I was attracted to were not the Transformer ones. Instead I loved the design of the Battleship KRE-O figures. Crazy, right? Of course it’s not really a fair comparison because the Battleship Kreons were out before the Transformer ones. Hasbro sort of kept these Transformers KRE-O mini figures kind of low key for a bit.
Each figure starts out as a bunch of parts and once you decide which way to build him, you either have extra pieces laying around or he’s fully together.
While I’m not a big Transformer guy, I’ve always thought the robots looked cool. Particularly in their robot forms. I feel like the toys never properly replicated their robot forms right, because they looked like something that transformed into a robot, as opposed to actually being a robot… Yeah I get that it’s the whole gimmick, but I still always felt the figures lacked.
But cool looking robots I can dig and Transformers have always had cool looking robots.
Each body is pretty basic, with a Lego-like head. A body that’s similar to Legos (but designed just different enough to not be stealing) and some different tampo prints for details.
It’s nothing revolutionary, but immediately the bright colors and neat robot designs strike me as awesome. I guess it’s just the fact that this a much more colorful property and it doesn’t seem as limited as Lego does in terms of doing something neat with the Kreons.
Note: Some of these Scorponok builds are using two figures, as I ended up with a duplicate of him.
Like Scorponok, who has different hand connectors to his body. He also has translucent parts. There seems to be a lot of translucent stuff in this line. I LOVE TRANSLUCENT STUFF! I would buy a turd if it was translucent plastic. I’m a grown ass man, but I’m not afraid to admit that I am transfixed by translucent toys.
They’re pretty much the exact same scale as Lego mini figures, but smaller than some of the other minis out there. They can interchange parts with Lego, with not much of an issue. That’s one of the pluses of KRE-O.
This allows you to interact Lego parts as well.
Although you can’t interchange the midsection. That’s pretty much the only part that’s constructed differently.
Each guy has a unique build. While I’m not really much into the “Transformer” part, it does give these guys added value. Scorponok’s two builds are kind of unique. He definitely has some real pop with his claw hands and stinging tail. I had a lot of fun swapping parts around with him.
Galvatron’s vehicle mode is kind of stupid though. It’s sort of similar to the G1 version, but it’s a pretty big stretch. I guess you shouldn’t expect these guys to transform into anything great. At least you could sort of use him as a vehicle if you wanted.
Supposedly in his robot mode you can connect this crap to his back, but it does not work. That’s one area where I did find some trouble with these guys. Some of the stuff that they’re supposed to do feels a bit weak.
As does the plastic at points. One of my figures has a pretty loose shoulder and several times as I was popping parts in and out, stress marks appeared. I’ve owned a lot of Legos through the years and never, ever had a stress mark appear, so that’s pretty alarming.
The one problem I have with the Lego mini figure movement is the articulation. While I’m hardly an articulation eliteist, I do think that the Lego model is starting to show it’s age. Kreons offer a nice little update to that basic concept.
You can do a lot more with the KRE-O mini figures than you can a Lego. Of course, the robots and the vehicles have different levels or articulation, but all the basic Kreons have the same articulation.
This means you’re going to get a lot more poses out of these guys.
Obviously it’s kind of hard to say that these guys come with accessories, since everything is sort of built into their design.
However Galvatron most definitely does come with a shoulder cannon and I can’t tell you how in love with it I am. It’s such a neat little recreation of the vintage Transformer cannons. Kudos Hasbro!
He also has wheels that can plug into the side of his legs. Everyone has holes on their legs for wheels, in case their vehicle mode used wheels. I don’t care for the look of the wheels on him, but it’s pretty neat that they’re there. It’s also cool that you can remove them.
The ability to mix and match parts to create new bots and such, is something I really like about these figures. I realize you can do that with a lot of Legos and stuff too, but it just exudes some awesome play elements in these Transformers KRE-Os.
I was even building stuff with the extra bricks and pieces. It was like the old days again!
Value is sort of tricky, because although these guys have a lot of play value and they’re generally inexpensive at $3 a pop… They’re blind bags. So in my case, I spent $9 but only got two different figures. I guess one nice element here is that since they’re Transformers, you can make new robots out of them. As opposed to say if you got two Lego fishermen or something.
Packaging – 7
Sculpting – 8
Paint – 8
Articulation – 8
Accessories – Shoulder Cannon, Vehicle/Beast Mode
Value – 8
Overall – 8 out of 10
With the exuberant colors and neat designs, the Transformers KRE-O Kreons are a lot of fun. Giving these guys the extra transforming modes and lots of fun little details definitely makes even a guy who’s not big into Legos or Transformers, enjoy these little guys. Both Galvatron and Scorponok are really neat little desktop toys.
Being able to change these guys around and use them in different ways, definitely adds to their uniqueness compared to pretty much all the other mini figures on the market. Certainly Lego has embraced this idea for years, but the Transformers property definitely gives KRE-O new legs in this area. If the figure plastic quality can live up to the potential of the lines, KRE-O may be a nice challenger to the Lego monopoly.
It’s all over but the crying now. Twenty four long days to get here and each and every day I’ve had a new post reviewing this crap. I deserve a medal or something. So now the first ever epic Infinite Hollywood Lego Advent Calendar (and my first Advent Calendar of my whole life!) comes to a close. Join us and leave a comment, won’t you?
Like you didn’t see THAT coming!
Here’s Santa’s sack…
And here’s the man himself. Santa Claus! Kris Kringle! Sinterklaas! Pere Noel! Babbo Natale! Pelznickel!
He comes with a bag and a couple of brick gifts. That hat is old school. This is like, your Grandfather’s Santa… Maybe even Santy Claus!
He also comes with a pretty swank fireplace with chimney. It has a couple of orange ambers for flames. I added some other stuff from my stockpile of useless extras.
Santa enjoys a good brew.
And that’s it! 24 Days of Lego Advent! I hope you had as much fun as I did… Actually I hope you had a lot more fun. This was torture. Okay, it wasn’t THAT bad… It had it’s moments. Like any good Christmas celebration.
Merry Christmas (Eve!) Everyone!
One day left to go. This thing is almost over. Are we going to go out with a bang or a whimper? Or perhaps a bark?
It’s a mutt!
Wait for it…
Wait for it…
It’s a doggie bag!
He has no articulation, but oddly a peg so people can stand on him. I don’t even know what to think anymore. Also he has an extra bone. That’s useful I guess?
I’m sure I would have been more excited 10 or 15 days ago. Right now I’m writing this at 7 in the morning and I haven’t had any sleep in many, many hours. Because I’ve practically killed myself this holiday season and this crummy little dog is not worth staying up this late to review stuff… Also I built my own damn dog back on Day 12 and Block-Boo kicks this dog’s ass!
It’s almost Christmas and this Lego Advent Calendar only has two days left. Today we get an actual winter item, but is it deja vu?!
Seriously I just got one of these a couple of days ago.
WHAT’S IN THE
Seriously, they just gave me a snowmobile a few days ago. Don’t you think if you were going to give two of those away you couldn’t have spaced it out a bit more?!
Sure this one is blue and white, because everything in this stupid Lego advent has to be Police themed but seriously… HEY LOOK! It’s another bonus ski!
Now I can complete my set!
Pick your favorite color!
The bonus ski is the best part. And screw you Lego, I won’t do a Police chase. I’m done playing cops and robbers.
Tomorrow… More snowmobiles?!