Saturday, January 05 2013 15:58

Review: KRE-O TRANSFORMERS "Battle for Energon" building set

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TRANSFORMERS... oh how I love thee. As a child of the 80s, TRANSFORMERS were a staple of my youth and their influence continues. Sitting to my left as I type this is a one-of-a-kind OPTIMUS PRIME that I got for doing a little viral video for G4's ATTACK OF THE SHOW back in 2007. My point? There's always a TRANSFORMER nearby here at Rock Father HQ. My oldest daughter is just starting to recognize the primary characters in the TF universe, and while it's been a little G1 action peppered with some RESCUE BOTS, she's starting to know what's up. Hence, it was a lot of fun building the new "BATTLE FOR ENERGON" set from Hasbro's TRANSFORMERS Kre-O line.

IMG 0778For those unfamiliar, Kre-O is a line of building bricks released by Hasbro to be compatible with other "major brands" like LEGO and Mega Bloks. In reality, they're created in partnership with Korean maker Oxford, known for their line of brick toys. In fact, the Kre-O boxes feature an Oxford logo on the back, and certain parts even bear the Oxford name embossed upon them. Under Hasbro, Kre-O has launched a successful line of TRANSFORMERS sets, with eyes set on G.I. JOE next (details here). 

IMG 0783One of these 379-piece sets arrived here at Rock Father HQ last month (I did a giveaway, too) and we were excited to dig into it. With Christmas fast-approaching, we didn't get to it as fast as I would've liked, and little Addie bugged me every day until we finally cracked open the set. 

It was packed neatly, with pieces in plastic baggies that needed to be combined for assembly of the set. As the box notes for the real blockheads (no pun intended), "product does not convert," which means you can either build OPTIMUS PRIME and MEGATRON as vehicles or as robots. One new addition to this set is the KREON figures, which are the Kre-O answer the LEGO's popular minifigures. There's a KREON Optimus and Megatron, along with two human counterparts. I dig these little guys.
IMG 0780 
Building took awhile, but was fun and trouble-free. I've had a few people tell me stories about Kre-O/Oxford bricks "popping" apart, but we saw no such issue with this set. Everything fit together just as it should be.
IMG 0785One thing I really enjoy about the "BATTLE FOR ENERGON" building set is that the characters are very articulated when in robot mode. This means that they're easily posed in nearly identical forms to the packaging, which contains the usual "product shown in fantasy situation" disclaimer. As Addie and I built our vehicles and rebuilt them as 'bots, baby Finley observed the action (and enjoyed a bottle) from her nearby high-chair.

Check out the mighty OPTIMUS PRIME VS. MEGATRON on our kitchen table/toy testing facility here at Rock Father HQ...

IMG 0801The real test with any toy is how it holds up after repeat play, and this set is a winner. Addie is still playing with these guys nearly a month later, though Daddy has had to help with reassembly on more than a few occasions. Optimus doesn't really fare well when dropped onto a laminate floor.

Actually, Addie really likes to make these normally-fighting robots "dance" with each other quite a bit.

I've always known that MEGATRON likes to boogie on occasion.

IMG 0809
The only negative I see with this set is that the "Energon" seems to have been stored in a bank vault, which doesn't make a lot of sense to me unless that was a plotline in a TF story at some point. 

Hasbro's Kre-O TRANSFORMERS "Battle for Energon" is available with an MSRP of $39.99 from a variety of retailers. Check out the official site for more details.

The Rock Father Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
FTC Disclosure: A "Battle for Energon" building set was provided to The Rock Father by Hasbro for the purpose of review consideration. All opinions are that of James Zahn with feedback from his daughter. 

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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