May 8, 2013

[Toys] Kre-O Star Trek Micro Build Starships - Wave 1

I've originally got into the Kre-O toyline because of their primary Transformers imprint. It was a fun combination of two things that I love - LEGO-style toys and of course Transformers.

Based on that initial success, Hasbro has been expanding their Kre-O lines with more of their licensed properties including Battleship and G.I. Joe. And now they finally have Star Trek Kre-O sets based on the 2009 reboot Star Trek movie universe and the upcoming sequel.

So yeah, my Trekkie nature won over (especially with the help of my partner, Tobie) and I picked up their four different mini-kits featuring various ships from the first movie. Locally each one will set you back PHP 679.75 at retail prices and they're roughly 30-40 pieces each.

There are four different kits in total - the U.S.S. Enterprise, a Klingon D7 Battlecruiser, the U.S.S. Kelvin and Spock's Jellyfish ship.

First up is the U.S.S. Enterprise (Item #A3368) herself - the flagship of the fleet. It has a total of 39 pieces, including the signature LightTech stand that all the figures come with. You can largely ignore this little gimmick - all it does is light up the base with an LED brick at the base and not much else. It does not translate into lighting up any parts of the ship itself.

For a rather small figure - just over 6 inches long from the front of the saucer section to the tips of the nacelles. It has a nice level of detail with the addition of little transparent pieces to represent the glowing parts and even some gray pieces to sort of mark the shuttle bay. I'm still rather weirded out by the length of the nacelles though - they seem ridiculously long for the ship. Even when I look back at the movie-design for the Enterprise, they still didn't look as long as that when you factor in the scale.

I do wish they had used a grayer color set as opposed to the stark white bricks that they ended up using though.

The next figure in the series is the Klingon D7 Battlecruiser (Item #A3369) - a rather iconic figure dating back to the original series. For the entire line, this 39-piece ship is the only one that you could tag as an antagonist, given traditional Klingon alignment in this period.

The ship is about 4.5 inches long from the crew section to the rear engines. I liked the level of detail that went into this relatively simple figure and this is probably my favorite in the line thus far. Or maybe I'm just in love with the classic profile of the D7 - I can't wait to see them adapt one of the Bird of Prey designs into this Kre-O format.

The little claw-like protrusions do add an interesting level of menace to the ship as the bricks don't always lend themselves welly to creating pointy bits for a ship of this scale. So I really appreciated this touch on the design aesthetic.

The next figure is my least-favorite in the series - the U.S.S. Kelvin (Item #A3370). This 34-piece figure is definitely one of the simpler ones given the Kelvin was always a rather simple ship compared to all the others. It was largely a science vessel after all.

Maybe I'm just not a fan of single-nacelle vessels. Or maybe the design just felt rather boring with that single nacelle being very prone to falling off with the slightest nudge. They did put some effort into making the construction of this ship still seem different from how the Enterprise was done, but on the whole it was still rather boring. He's a spoon with the fine of a fork on top. There's not much else to be said about it.

But the grey bricks were sort of interesting, although perhaps a little too dark as far as shades of gray are concerned.

The last ship in this first wave is the Jellyfish (Item #A3371), which admittedly is a weird name for the ship. But if you ever read the prequel comics released before the movie, then you'll know that the Jellyfish name is oddly canonical. This 42-piece ship is the only kit with an attempt at moving parts, which reflects how the Jellyfish itself was the only ship we had scene with so many moving bits in the movie.

The ship itself is pretty cute - a nice approximation of the original model for the movie vessel. But at the same time, the design was rather flimsy, with the rotating tail easily snapping off whenever you try to rotate it. I know implementing such a design is never easy, especially for small kits like this, but I still feel they could have done better.

I also wish the ship had been designed so that it could be mounted vertically, which is how it typically appeared in the movie. Instead you had no choice but to mount it on its side, which makes it look a lot like the underwater ship used in The Phantom Menace. And that's not meant as a compliment.

Prior to this my greater focus were the litle Kreons that come with the various kits. So this was my biggest exposure to more of how Hasbro has been handling the construction design for these toys. I have to admit that I'm not too happy with the stability of their designs. Too many bits tend to fall off when you apply a little more pressure than normal - something that I think LEGO has learned to address rather well over the years. Thus these kits are best used for display purposes and not for any actual play - ironic for kits that are marketed for the age 6-12 segment.

As for my official ratings? Here we go:

  • U.S.S. Enterprise - 4/5
  • Klingon D7 Battlecruiser - 4.5/5
  • U.S.S. Kelvin - 2/5
  • Jellyfish - 3.5/5

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