Friday, June 24, 2011

Kre-O Transformers Mirage

QUICK INFO: 
Name: Mirage
Line: Kre-O Transformers (Hasbro)
MSRP: $11.99
Year: 2011


Just like Nintendo has dominated the handheld video game market LEGO has dominated the building block toy market.  That doesn't mean though other companies haven't tried to duplicate LEGO's success and try to get their share.  Hasbro tried getting into the building block market years ago with horrible results.  Some of you may remember their Built To Rule (BTR) toys.  Hasbro used both their Transformers and G.I. Joe properties, but it didn't matter as the quality was inferior to the competition.  A lot of people were surprised to hear that Hasbro was taking another stab at building blocks when they announced a new line called Kre-O.  I believe that is a take on the Latin word Creo which means create.  Most of the sets come with small figures called Kreons and resemble LEGO mini-figures.  I'm not a huge LEGO fan, but I was intrigued enough to pick up one set last weekend when I saw them at the local Toys R Us.  Join me as we look at one half of the Mirage set.


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First off let me say the packaging is really nice.  Yeah, I know most could care less about that.  The building sets come packaged in small cardboard boxes called a Kre-O Container.  Once you cut the seal on the box the top lifts up to reveal the parts inside.  I like how you don't have to rip open the box to get inside.  There is also a little handle on the top of the box for easy transport.  That shiny sticker you see in the upper right corner says the blocks are compatible with leading brands.  I haven't tried Mega Blocks since I don't own any, but these blocks do work with LEGO quite well.

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Some people were turned off from these when they found out you couldn't actually transform these.  To get from one form to another you have to disassemble and then build the other form.  To me it's not a big deal as part of the fun and charm of these sets is the actual construction.  They do take a little bit of time to build so I don't see myself going back and forth a lot.

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Once you open up the box and lift the lid you'll find a few things.  First off there are 3 bags of building blocks, 2 bags for the Kreon figures and a sticker sheet.  Yes, just like with the recent trend with LEGO there are small stickers to apply to certain blocks.  Blah.

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I am happy to report that the instruction booklet is in full color and is easy to decipher once you start to build whatever form you choose.  The booklet is rather thick as well.

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With my busy schedule I've only had the time to build Mirage's vehicle mode...which I might add is quite impressive.  If I had a G1 Mirage toy I'd provide some comparison pictures...but that is one G1 toy that I've (sadly) never owned.  All of the pieces hold together really well and the vehicle has a very solid feel.  The tires are a nice smooth rubber and once assembled roll freely on a smooth surface.  They also appear to stick to the surface ever so slightly like real racing tires.  My only gripe here are the stickers.  Some of them look down right cheesy.  The font is also really lame.  At least you don't have to apply the stickers.  The "26" sticker on the sides and nose of the vehicle look good, but the rest I could've down without.  The large Autobot symbol sticker is applied to a curved piece which is never a good idea.  It is hard to get the sticker on the block without it starting to wrinkle.  If any block were to have the design stamped/painted on it should've been this piece.

Now let's take a look at the reason a lot of people are buying these sets...the Kreon figures.

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It seems that most of the sets come with at least one generic human figure.  In this case you get a race car driver.  OK.  Not the best looking mini-figure, but I guess it'll work for the vehicle mode.  My complaint about this figure is the helmet doesn't fit the head/face very well.  There are shades of some sort painted onto the face and as you can see in the picture the bottom of the helmet does come down quite far enough.

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And finally we have the awesome little Mirage Kreon figure.  What can I say about this little guy other than he is awesome?!  Look at the awesome sculpt of Mirage's helmet.  These figures surprisingly have a good amount of articulation.  The arms/shoulders have a good range of motion as do the legs.  The construction of the figures are nearly identical to that of the LEGO mini-figures.

I had more pictures to share, but for whatever reason Photobucket wouldn't let me upload the edited photos I have so I omitted several.  I'll also apologize for the crappy quality of some of the pictures as I was having trouble with settings on the camera.  That said I think Hasbro has finally figured out the whole building block thing.  Rumor has it that Hasbro paid a good amount of money to a LEGO employee(s) to oversee their Kre-O line to make sure it wasn't a second coming of Built to Rule.  I do plan on building the robot mode at some point in the near future.  I tried to get a good close up of the robot head, but I wasn't able to.  I wanted to show off how awesome the head sculpt was.  I compared it to my Classics Mirage action figure and the sculpts are very close to one another.

If you are a fan of building block kits and like Transformers in any form then I think you may enjoy these.  At this point I only have this set and one other (Jazz), but I plan on picking up a few of the others.  I won't lie when I say that I wish Hasbro would take a cue from LEGO and Mega Blocks and blind package the awesome Kreon figures since that seems to be the main draw for a lot of people.  Perhaps one day we'll see that happen, but for now I'll enjoy building the various Transformer sets.
 

1 comment:

  1. Nice, I'm thinking about picking up Mirage and Jazz this weekend.

    I'm liking the Kre-Os almost as much as the Kreons.

    So much to collect.

    ReplyDelete