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Tomopop Review: SDCC exclusive Transformers Kreon Class of 1985

4:00 PM on 07.05.2015 // Jeremy Emerje Crocker

Top of the class

Back in 2011 Hasbro had this novel idea to take on LEGO head to head in the toy aisles by making their own brand of building blocks. Kre-O ended up being a somewhat notorious building system. It premiered as a line of Transformers blocks, but committed the cardinal sin of Transformers: they couldn't transform!

You basically have two sets of instructions; one set of instructions for turning a pile of blocks into a robot and then another set to turn the pile into a vehicle. Not being able to change from robot to vehicle meant the line was quickly panned by Transformers fans and really only appreciated by block fans. The line still exists, but mainly at Toys "R" Us stores if you can find them.

However, Kre-O did have one saving grace: Kreons. They're little block figures like LEGO men made to look like Transformers characters. They come in different shapes and sizes and some even transform (somewhat). They're neat little things that have become very collectable among fans. Last year's Class of 1984 San Diego Comic Con exclusive has more than doubled in price on the aftermarket. It's easy to say they've outshined the blocks that introduced them.

With SDCC only a few days away, let's see how the Kreon Class of 1985 30-pack turned out!

Figure Name: Transformers Kre-O Kreon Class of 1985
Figure Maker: Hasbro
Retail Price: US$59.99
Available at: San Diego Comic Con Hasbrotoyshop.com booth #3329

This is a very big box set, I'd say it's roughly the size of an Xbox One, or one of those big coffee table books. It looks a bit blurry because the outside of the box as sort of lenticular wrapping to make it sparkle so it's hard to get a good focus on it. If you haven't guessed by now the box is made to look like a high school yearbook. The front cover features Grimlock, while the back cover features...

Devastator! Not surprising since they're also offering the massive Titan class Devastator at SDCC this year as well. The top and spine of the box/book also has yearbook stuff on it. 

And there's the inside, 30 figures line the inside of the box, all representing figures released in 1985. There's also a little section on the bottom right full of neat little trinkets that fans of 1980s movies will certainly recognize. This is also a really great way to display the set if you have the space for it. Some of these figures have had Kreons before, but changes have been made to give them a unique look. 

Let's take a look at all 30 figures! Yes, all of them, but it'll be brief I promise.

First up is Alpha Trion. He didn't have a figure in 1985, but he did make his first appearance in the cartoon that year. The figure isn't bad, but he really needs his long beard, otherwise he's just some guy with a lot of white around his mouth. A cape or something would have been good, too. Personally I find him the weakest of the bunch so it can only get better from here!

Astrotrain is looking good in his cartoon colors. When the Triplechanger was released by Hasbro he was mainly in white and looked nothing like his animated self. This is strangely one of the most accurate representations of Astrotrain that Hasbro has released. 

Beachcomber is looking really good here, modeled mainly on his original figure. The upside down and split Autobot symbol is a neat touch, though you'll see it soon enough on other figures. Kinda funny giving him a gun when he's a nature loving pacifist. 

Blaster is pretty near perfect. My only real complaint is that he doesn't have the gray patch on his forehead. Looks a bit more like the Marvel Comics version this way. 

Blitzwing looks just about perfect. Not crazy about the wings wince they were a minor detail on the figure in bot mode. Should have found a way to stick a gun on his back instead.

Not entirely sold on Bombshell here. Body looks great and the face is nice, but the helmet is a no-go. Bombshell had a really distinct head with a gun sticking out and this is not it. This is one of those "if you can't do it right, then don't do it at all" moments. Especially when they didn't do Shrapnel in this set and his head would have been easily imitated.

Cosmos looks pretty good. I do question the helmet choice since he has a head shaped like a really tall flan pudding. A dome helmet would have been better than this. Otherwise, it's good enough. I'll overlook that he doesn't look like a balloon with arms and legs. 

Ah, here's our back cover model, Devastator. Not a bad attempt at trying to make a single Kreon figure look like a combiner. Scavenger and Bonecrusher are only represented by yellow marks on the arms, but still nice. 

Dirge looks great, though he's supposed to have brown wings. If they gave him brown wings, he'd be perfect. 

Grapple is pretty awesome looking. I can do without the leg wheels and wish they could come up with a smaller gun hand. 

Front cover model Grimlock appears! Great representation and glad he comes with his double barreled gun. I do wish you could see his face details a little better with that helmet. 

Hoist is really nice, though he does have that gun hand again, and I wish he didn't have something as identifiable and Soundwave's helmet. 

Inferno is much like Grapple, just in red. He does have a different face so that's good. The annoying gun hand comes back again as well. 

Jetfire is really great. He's based on his figure version and not the cartoon version where he was known as Skyfire. Not sure about the black helmet, since the original had an entirely white head with black antennae. I think I'd have preferred a while helmet instead. 

Kickback looks like Kickback. It's one of the best likenesses in the set. 

Omega Supreme is a very nice attempt. I don't know if sticking a scuba mask and tank on him is something I would have done, but it works, mostly. The white things are supposed to be tank tracks and they're completely pointless since they weren't on the original figure or any media like this. Instead, he had large quarter circle wings on his back. Claw hand is good enough, but this figure actually gets the gun hand right. I wish the others had this gun. 

Powerglide is pretty good. Head's a little tall, but it's a nice attempt. 

Ramjet is nice, but he's the only jet missing wings for some reason. I know he had some unusual wings on the original figure, but they could have still faked it. 

No complaints here with Red Alert. I do wonder how long they debated giving him a red head like the cartoon or the black head like the figure. 

Seaspray turned out nice, though the yellow on the blue legs turned green which is too bad. 

Skids is probably my favorite from the set. He's colorful with lots of painted detail, doors on his back, and big guns on his arms. I really have no complaints; I think someone put a lot of care into making him look right. 

Here's Dinobot number two, Slog. Actually, it's Sludge the brontosaurus, but Hasbro lost the name rights. Going by this set, it seems they've lost three of the Dinobot names for future figures. We got a hint of that during the fourth movie, and it wasn't just Michael Bay being strange about names. 

Most disappointing of the Dinobot renames is Slag now being Slug since slag is now a Transformers curse word. Couldn't they just stop saying it and let poor Slag keep his name? Figure is nice enough anyway.

Smokescreen is also a great one; check out the windows on his legs. Like with Skids, it's hard to go wrong with the doors. 

Hey, Snarl gets to keep his name! He's got a decent likeness in the head and body. They tried to imitate the plates on his legs with gold lines; it works well enough. 

Swoop wasn't as lucky as Snarl and has now been renamed Strafe. That's too bad because we've already got a character named Strafe and now things are getting confusing. Ignoring the name, it's a fair likeness to the original toy rather than the blue cartoon model. What I don't get is why they gave him the bird helmet when this figure doesn't transform. Would have been great with a different helmet. 

There's Thrust, the last of our Conehead team. Probably the best of the group since his wings are basically the right color. 

Topspin is kinda hard to do wrong since his figure didn't have a ton of details to begin with. I do like the chest art. Too bad his partner Twin Twist is missing from the set.

Tracks looks pretty great with really cool body art. He also has wings, so the attention to detail is a good fit. 

And the last figure is Warpath! No real complaints here; he even has his chest canon. I do think painting his feet gray like tank treads would have been a good idea.

So that's the figures, let's take a look at the little bonus trinkets in the set. 

Here's Grimlock in a letterman jacket with the Dinobot team. I figure the Autobot cover model would wear this.

Meanwhile the Decepticon cover model gets a denim jacket. The jocks wore letterman jackets while the bad boys wear denim. That's just the way things worked in the '80s.

Guess the movie! OK, it's probably not that hard; there aren't a lot of movies where a sports almanac is important. The three Back to the Future references here include the almanac, a Doc Brown wig, and a page of the newspaper featuring the clock tower. 

Also a reference to BTTF is this "JetFire be good" album that at first had me wondering why there was a CD in the set until I made the connection. 

How about some Goonies references? Here's not-Chunk with the treasure map and not-Sloth with a not-Baby Ruth bar. 

I'm going to guess this detention notice is from the Breakfast Club because I can't think of any other movies from 1985 where that would be a thing. 

I haven't yet figured out what these coins go with. They're numbered 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50. They might be treasure from Goonies or could be arcade tokens. I have no idea. 

Last piece is a box of Unicron Crunch cereal. Probably just a fun '80s prop. 

So that's the set of 30 figures with a bunch of fun little parodies of different '80s movies. It's a good set, but great if you're a Kreon collector. US$59.99 is a lot of money for a set of Kreons, but it comes to only US$2 per figure which is a heck of a deal. I think if I was a teacher giving Hasbro's art project here a grade, it would be an easy A-. 

[Massive thanks to Hasbro for the review sample!]

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Jeremy Emerje Crocker, Associate Editor
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Jeremy Crocker here, probably better known around the net as Emerje, I'm an associate editor here at Tomopop. I've been an avid figure collector my entire life. There's no time when I can remembe... more   |   staff directory





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