In 2003, Hasbro introduced their "Built to Rule" toys, low-rent Lego knockoffs produced in-house. The toys were terrible and the line folded within a year, mourned by no one. Apparently not willing to let a bad idea rest in the trash heap it so rightfully deserved, Hasbro is trying again, this time with Kre-O.
I am Optimus Prime. I do not care for the hijinks of the other Kreon robots. It is our responsibility to ensure that all brick-made beings are able to live in freedom. I do not have time for pranks.
Sending Bumblebee on missions so I can get some work done instead of worrying about whose bricks he'll rearrange next.
To defeat the Decepticons and retire somewhere an idling truck will be accepted.
I once had a cyberdog named Magnus. He was great.
Hasbro introduced Kre-O at BotCon 2011, giving away an exclusive Optimus Prime available there and nowhere else. Oh, except that the figure was accidentally included in the first shipments of the real Optimus Prime set. And they gave it away at SDCC. And it was a freebie included with some orders from Hasbro Toy Shop. But yes, it's exclusive to BotCon!
The figure is sold in a rectangular red box with eight cirles embossed on the top - a pattern meant to suggest a 4x2 block. The front hinges open to reveal two things: first, a catalogue of the first series of Transformers Kre-O releases; second, that about 75% of the packaging is just wasted space, since the figure is just jammed off to one side and the rest is as empty as the meeting of the Skids and Mudflap Fan Club. Prime is held in a plastic clamshell rubber cemented into the tray. Since the ends of the box are glued shut tightly, the only way to get him out is pull him straight out the front.
The Kre-O figures, which are known as Kre-Ons, follow the Lego minifigure model more closely than the Minimate model. The base body is just over 1⅝" tall, though Prime's helmet pushes him a little higher. The articulation is better on these figures than on Lego's though: you're familiar with how a Lego minifigure moves at the Big Five plus wrists, and they're all swivels? Well, a Kre-On has swivel joints at the neck, wrists and waist (yes, waist, so he's already one up on the Legos), plus balljoints for the shoulders and hips. Those small changes mean a lot more fun poses.
Prime is a mixture of paint masks and unique molds. For instance, the smoke stacks on his arms and the tires on his legs are all separate pieces, just like his helmet. The details on his chest and the face behind his mouthplate? All tampographed on. It actually strikes a very nice balance between specific and generic. The bulk of his body is molded in color: he has a red torso and arms, blue hands and legs, and a gray crotch. The thing that makes this figure an "exclusive," wink wink, is the exposed Matrix of Leadership painted on his chest; the normal version is meant to have the usual windshield.
The figure includes his Ion Cannon, which he can hold in either hand. They also threw in a black 4x2 brick for him to stand on, which means we get an idea of what the actual blocks will be like. The plastic is sturdy, very much like real Legos. They're apparently made in Korea and China by a company called Oxford, and Oxford has created some top-notch Lego knockoffs, here, and the two brands will be able to integrate.
Optimus Prime is a fun little figure, and if Hasbro were selling these Kre-Ons by themselves, instead of in packs with big, expensive building sets that look pretty underwhelming, I'd get the whole range.