Feb 27, 2014

Kre-o Dungeons and Dragons Figure Review #2

If you haven't read the first review of the Kre-o Dungeons and Dragons figures, I highly encourage you to check it out. In the first reveiw, I cover a number of generic elements common to all the Kre-o Army Builder Packs, which I won't be repeating here.

That said, let's look at a few more of figures.

First up, from the "good" faction, the Flag Carrier. Overall, I rather like this figure more than I initially thought I would. The head piece, with the helm and chainmail coif is really well sculpted. The blue tabbard pattern is continued from the chest to part way down the legs, but the best feature in my opinion is the spear the flag is attached to. This is an impressive looking weapon, standing more than two minifigs high, with an equally matching oversized blade at the tip. This is clearly a great example of a weapon with reach. There really isn't anything I don't like about this specific figure (I do have some general issues with the Kreons versus Lego minfigs which I talk about later).

Next up is the Orc Axeman. This is another nice figure with printing on the chest and legs that suggest a studded leather armor. Also, the figure has a menacing helm, a snarly face and two axes, one that I would consider a hand axe and the other a battleaxe. The only have one real problem and one quibble, and both are around the weapons.

The battleaxe is a two piece weapon, a blade and a handle. Now this may just a one-off issue, but only the ends of the handle, the very top and very bottom, are actually thick enough for the blade and the figure's hand to firmly grasp. anywhere else in the middle of the handle piece and it just slides along the shaft loosely. This is really a shame because the blade piece is created in such a way that if you had two, you could put them back to back on a handle and have a really nice looking great axe, but not with the handle piece. If I do get a second one, I'll just have to leverage a comparable Lego piece to do the job.

My quibble is around the second axe. This is a one piece mold, but is the same mold used for the axes the Kre-o fireman use. When I first saw it, I immediately firemen and modern axes. I certainly understand why they reused the mold, so it's just more a quibble than a real issue.

For my third figure review, I want to look at the Cleric. This is another really nice figure, with detailed printing on the torso and legs, and great accessories like the large cape, a decorated shield with a dragon head icon, shoulder pauldrons, and a mace. There really isn't anything specific about this figure that I don't like, so this might be a good time to discuss some of the issues I have with Kreons in general.

My biggest complaint about the Kreons is that they don't feel very well held together. What I mean is that the head feels loose when attached to the torso. In face when you go to remove a hair piece or helmet, you're just as likely to pull off the head as well, conversely Lego minifigs have much better "clutch power" (as Lego calls it) in this regard.

The arms, in general, are another area where I have some issues with the Kreons. First, let me praise how much I like their ball and socket design over the Lego minifig arms, which don't have as much option. With the Kreon figures, not only can you move the arms up and down, but you also move them slight side to side. This is especially good for getting them to grip two handed weapons or for more animated poses. The downside of this ball and socket system is that the arms tend to pop out too easily. In the hands of a young child, I can see plenty of armless Kreons after minimal play. It should be noted the legs also suffer this same issue, but to a lesser degree.

Another issue with the arms is the design of the arm itself. Right out of the package, the arms look like they are already wearing pauldrons and bracers. Now this design is standard across all the Kreons, from D&D to Star Trek, to G.I. Joe, but for these fantasy figures, especially savage looking Orcs, it doesn't seem to fit.

Lastly, I don't like the the way the torso connects to the legs. Lego minifigs use two posts to connect torso and legs, the downside here is that the figure can't turn at the waist. Kreons use only one post, and while they can twist at the waist, the more often tend to just twist apart.

Sadly, as much as I want to like the D&D Kreons, I just can't. The quaity of the figures overall is poor, especially when compared to Lego. It does have some nice elements -- weapons, shields, hair pieces -- but so does Lego. And if you're looking for more D&D elements, Lego is actually far superior, with dwarves, goblins, elves, as well as huge monsters like spiders, trolls, and dragons.

For me, I may pick up a few more Kre-o sets (especially with those $3 off coupons in each figure pack), but I'll probably just cannibalize those sets for pieces for my Lego collection.