Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Kre-O Transformers Microchangers -- Preview Series

Company: Hasbro
Year: 2012

RRP: see below

In my previous Micro-Changers review, I mentioned that Collection 4 was the first set I’d seen in Australia…or at least, in Sydney. But lo and behold, I came across a few Collection 3 bags in a local Big W shortly after publishing that article. Swiftly consulting OAFE’s decoder, I decided to pass on them – Nemesis Prime looked cool, but I knew his vehicle mode would be rubbish. And Sharkticons have just never grabbed me in the way they do some of my friends. But looking scanning over the list, I also spied the Preview Series from 2012 – a set of six Decepticons, released as a teaser. Collection Zero, if you will.

“No chance of finding them,” I thought to myself. “They came out almost two years ago, and they would have been some kind of American exclusive.”
Well, I was in for a big shock – the next department store I walked into had them and they were only $2AUD each. Sometimes God will send you a pick-me-up in the most obscure ways.

I ended up buying three, in total – Galvatron, Scorponok and Sunstorm. Some will ask why I didn’t buy the other three (Spinister, Waspinator and Crankstart) when I could have had them all for a mere $12, but it was mostly came down to their designs just not grabbing me as much. I just don’t have the completist bug as severely as I used to.
So, how do these bad boys compare to collection four?


Galvatron has a great base body, and I like his lavender colour. However, his backpack is quite clunky, and its base attachment spent a lot of time popping off when I first put him together. His arms are also a little wonkier than I'd like -- they don't sit up too well.

His alt mode is okay – in theory. It’s a big artillery-looking cannon, much as he had back in ye olden days of the G1 cartoon. Unfortunately, you cannot get it to stand upright. It’s very front-heavy and just keeps toppling over. Hence the absence of a photo.  

Verdict: Least favourite of the three I picked up, but he’s still a pretty cool bot.

Sunstorm is what we’ve heard – bot mode cool, alt mode not so much. While the plane definitely works better than the cars we saw in collection four, it doesn’t work quite as well as I’d hoped – the waist is fairly wonky. Sandstorm’s helicopter remains my favourite flying alt mode at this time. 
He also comes with what I assume is some kind of gun. It’s pretty bizarre, and doesn’t look like a gun in the conventional sense, but I still like it.

Verdict: Possibly my favourite of the three I picked up. Sunstorms’ green counterpart Acid Wing (Acid Storm) is in the mail from eBay at the moment, and it will be cool seeing them displayed together.

Scorponok is a really cool bot design. Unfortunately, his claws were actually quite difficult to fit onto the Kreon arms, and you can see the white stress marks from where I had to essentially force them on. I was worried they’d either break or just pop straight off again. However, now that he’s together I’m quite pleased with him – his transparent purple claws are surprisingly menacing for such a cutesy design.
The alt mode? Sigh…I’m sounding like a broken record here, but again I find myself being fairly unimpressed with it. I think the cars are more visually appealing, even if they don’t work as well.

Verdict: Awesome bot mode. Ordinary alt mode. Still one of the best bot TF Kreons, once you get him assembled. Easily the best colour scheme of the TF Kreons I currently own – you can’t go wrong with green and purple.  

Paint is noticeably better on this series than on Collection Four. Though it doesn’t use intricate tampos in the same way, they don’t suffer as a result of simplicity – and I’d happily sacrifice additional detail for better overall paint execution. I assume we’ll see a Collection Five soon enough, so we’ll see how that one goes. 

Though I may sound underwhelmed above, I’ve actually had a lot of fun playing them since I bought them. I don’t regret buying them – they’re cutesy and a lot of fun just to have lying around the place. Much like their later counterparts, these Micro-Changers are cute and endearing in bot mode, but pretty ordinary in their alt mode. Obviously I enjoyed them enough to have bought more than my initial purchase from collection four, but I certainly don’t see myself spending much more on the line. Maybe the odd character, if they really grab me.

But on related news, I am excited for Kre-O’s Dungeons and Dragons blind bags. While collection one isn’t grabbing me, I think it’s a really cool concept and am looking forward to seeing what future ranges bring. DnD doesn’t get a lot of merchandising love outside of core materials, so it’s nice to see it turning up in this format.


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