Hasbro is spreading their Beast Hunters
stuff into the Kre-O line as well. This set based around Optimus is the only set that's out so far, and it's only been spotted at Meijer. But I had to have it for Reasons.
Well, Reason. Finally Hasbro's started giving names to the little human dudes who come with the bigger sets. Usually they're just "driver" or "pilot" or whatever, but this time the human's named and designed after the kid from Transformers: Energon
, Chad "Kicker" Jones
. As were his toys in that toyline, his name is better trademarkable as "Energon Kicker," so there y'go. Another set that's not out yet comes with "Col. Daniel Witwicky," which is Sparkplug Witwicky
's full name and rank in IDW comics. If they keep on throwing awesome pre-existing human dudes into these sets, I am going to be very pleased and also very poorer.
The rest of the set didn't disappoint, either. I really feel like these later Kre-O sets are hitting a groove. The sets from the first year annoyed me as they got more complex. Even the mid-sized sets built its robots from many strata of thin tiles, and as a result they weren't that fun to put together. This Beast Hunters Optimus Prime set avoids that without being a pile of specialized bricks. It feels more efficient and creative.
There was another pleasant surprise: there are two different choices for hands on each wrist. On older sets, there was just a generic fist-block for hands. But here, we get slightly rubberized hands molded into various poses. There's a sword-holding hand and an open-palm-fingers-splayed hand for the right arm and a clenched fist and pointing finger for the left arm. This is the damn coolest thing. I was going to build the truck mode first (it looked cooler) until I saw I had all these hand options.
Even forgetting the hands, the robot mode is a satisfying completed build. Lots of articulation is built into the robot mode, and not just on the limbs and ball-jointed waist. Prime's knee-kibble points foward, you can play with his shoulder stuffs similarly, and the winged backpack with working missile launchers can raise up from his back to position over his shoulders. There's a lot to do. His sword doesn't come with a scabbard, but that's okay, because this is construction block stuff, so just peg it on his thigh.
His truck mode is neat-looking, too, but it sort of sits in the shadow of the awesome robot mode build. It was interesting to discover that the trailer is actually mounted on an articulated ball-jointed arm that comes out of the hitch. The roof is more lightly pegged-in so you can remove it easily to fit a Kreon inside. And, again, missile launchers and deployable wings.
There's an unnamed dragon dude, too. He looks kind of like Lazerback
, but not quite.
The only thing that bugged me about the set was the stickers. The sticker boundaries weren't cut very precisely, and so if you have two stickers which are supposed to have symmetric deco, one of them is sometimes a little offset. It can be a little annoying, especially with the dragon's eyes. You can line up the boundaries of the stickers themselves so they're symmetrical, but one eye will still look a little dippy as it's wandered across the surface of the sticker.