Hasbro expands their KRE-O brand this year with the much talked about Star Trek license and finally releases sets based on thier GI Joe property, but that's not all they're up to. Check out the full report after the jump if you're interested in what LEGO's latest "serious" competition is doing in 2013.
Honestly, I don't pay much attention to LEGO's competition. Occasionally I lament a license I'd like to see them have going to a competitor, or I'll notice a part I wish LEGO made as I pass by another brand. Star Trek is one of those licenses that will get my attention and then leave me crying myself to sleep at night, because it's not LEGO.
As much as I'd love for LEGO to get all the licenses, it's not going to happen. Hasbro seems to be following the LEGO Star Wars model on this one and it's at least interesting if totally disheartening. First off, Star Trek encorporates the brand new Light Tech
feature and they're planning on shoving it down your throat because LIGHT TECH!
Light Tech will be in the vehicles as seen above and in the individual sets as well. One tiny set has it in Kirk's Space Diving helmet
and at least it seems as though the batteries will be replaceable, even in the Kreons. Light Tech is so important in this launch that it has even been added to the bases of the new miniship sub theme. I have to admit, I wish I disliked these more.
With vehicles, play-sets, miniships and Kreon packs, they're covering a lot of ground on this one and it's all enhanced by the revolutionary... LIGHT TECH! Why didn't somebady think of this before?
The second new launch is the long awaited (as long as KRE-O has been around anyway) GI Joe. They had very little on hand, with the majority of the Kreons only on the wall display. The sets they did have were incomplete and that was a disappointment because the stand-out model I saw in the presentation was the HISS Tank, which was MIA on display. Sorry, Nick.
I was a huge GI Joe fan as a kid. The majority of my toys were Joe's, but these don't appeal to me at all. One thing that really bugs me about the brand is the Kreons and their big, blocky shoulders. It makes sense with the Tranformers. They're robots with big, blocky shoulders. Spock is not and neither is Snake Eyes.
Transformers KRE-O will continue to roll out and will offer some new products along with the standard sets and individually packed Kreons. There will be new customizable Kreons with fancy chrome and transparent parts and weapons that can be set up as a mini armoury and switched around to create your own combinations. Also, there will be Transformers tubs (there could have been already for all I know), which seems like a great idea to me. Please, no links to the Dark Side Bucket on CUUSOO, that's not exactly what I had in mind.
There are more Transformers pics in the Hasbro set
for your viewing..... uhhh... let's say pleasure.
Last up was a bit of a curve ball for me. I'd heard of the new Construct-Bots line, but figured it would be the Hero Factory equivalent of KRE-O. Not quite though.
Hero Factory-ish yes, but Construct-Bots is it's own seperate identity and does not appear to be compatible with KRE-O. It's almost like they answered the complaints that Transformers KRE-O doesn't actually transform by not fixing the issue and just moving on to the next line, while keeping KRE-O exactly the way it is. Problem solved!
The sets are self conatined, come in three sizes (S-M-L basiclly) and even have individual storage containers included. The models transform and many come with extra parts, so you can create multiple forms for specific characters. Also, all the parts are interchangable with the other sets, so you can create your own custom model and then try to figure out how to transform it. One plus for the older generation is that they've based the heads on the original G1 looks. They aren't perfect copies, but you'll get the idea.
So that's what Hasbro is bringing to the table. While I'm not a fan of the "knock-off" brands I enjoyed the Hasbro event anyway for the other Transformer, GI Joe, Star Wars and Marvel toys and viewed the whole event as an eye opening experience.
Thoughts? Comments? Have at it.