I found the new Transformers Lego...err..I mean 'Kre-O' construction sets at Toys-R-Us yesterday. They had most of them (no Starscream though) with their Transformer movie display up front. The sets come in a few different sizes/price points, starting at about $8.99. I looked them all over for a while and decided to bite - settling on Mirage for $12.99.
I settled on Mirage for a couple reasons. One - the price. less than fifteen bucks for this set is a pretty good price and tough to complain about. I haven't seen these at Target or anywhere else, so I don't know how that price compares to other retail outlets, but I can't complain about paying $12.99 for a 119 piece construction set.
Second, his vehicle mode is pretty accurate to his cartoon counterpart. The other sets at this price point, namely Jazz and Bumblebee, have vehicle modes that don't accurately represent their cartoon modes; they are actually pretty blocky looking based on the box art/photos. Maybe they look better in person. I don't know, that's for some other toy blogger to find out.
But Mirage here sure is a cool looking F-1 racecar!
Of course a huge selling point for these sets are their G-1 cartoon counterpart mini-figures. There were a couple sets at a lower price point that did not include mini-figures (and some at higher price points which include a handful of them) but this price point quite fairly includes a Mirage mini-figure (with gun!)...
...and a racecar driver mini-figure too.
The figures are similar to Lego mini-figures but with different engineering to avoid copyright infringement. In my opinion, they are a little over engineered - ball jointed arms and hips aren't really necessary, and the helmet on the driver doesn't fit snug and his goggles don't line up perfectly, but oh well. They are still pretty darn neat!
I wasn't sure how the robot mode would work out but I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised. Mirage looks like Mirage, he is solid and stable and even has jointed elbows, shoulders, hips and ankles. Nice!
In addition, his head sculpt is pretty cool and will probably be used by customizers looking to make a Mirage out of some existing Transformer toy, or may even be used in the future by Hasbro for some repaint or other. Who knows?
I really like this set. The Kre-O pieces are Lego compatible and feel pretty solid and well made. You can sit Mirage inside Mirage for a neat display. Rubber wheels and a racecar driver figure add to the value. And the fact that one set turns into two things (robot and vehicle) makes up for one of my biggest issues with pre-fab Lego sets, the fact that you can only make one thing with each set!
The mini-figures are fun and a big selling point too. And they are the same size as Lego mini-figures, so they are compatible with those fellows too.