KRE-O Microchangers Bludgeon Review

in 2012, Action Figure Review, Decepticon, Generation One, KRE-O, Pretender, Microchangers

KRE-O Transformers

General Information:
Release Date: December 2012
Price Point: $2.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Parts List:

  • Helmet
  • Head
  • Torso/arms x 2
  • Waist/Legs
  • Chest armor
  • Treads x 2
  • Cannon barrel
  • Cannon end
  • Sword
  • KREO brick/Display Stand

Images:

One of the biggest demands made by fans after KRE-O was revealed was the chance to purchase the cute little KREON figures separate from the larger (and more pricey) playsets. Hasbro listened, and in 2012 the "Microchangers" sub-line of KRE-O was released. This sub-line focuses on the KREONs themselves instead of larger playsets. Assembling and reassembling is still part of the play factor, but these guys are a lot faster to convert from one form to the other given their small size and limited parts. For the most part, these are recycled parts from other figures in new colors and put together in creative ways to represent characters spanning different eras of "Transformers" history.

This "wave one" of Micro Changers was made up of a set of twelve characters who were "blind packed" in bags in a cardboard box case. On the surface, it appears you just have to keep buying these until yo have tons of extras, but in fact each KREON has a code printed on the bag that tells you just who is who. The codes for this assortment break down as follows:

  • Singe (22981 40)
  • Inferno (22981 41)
  • Autobot Springer (22981 42)
  • Warpath (22981 43)
  • Quickslinger (22981 44)
  • Rampage (22981 45)
  • Insecticon (22981 46)
  • Blast Off (22981 47)
  • Decepticon Hook (22981 48)
  • Dirge (22981 49)
  • Airachnid (22981 50)
  • Decepticon Bludgeon (22981 51)

Vehicle Assembly:

  • Attach the waist/legs section to the torso/arms section.
  • Slide the chest armor piece over the torso with the side that has a hole facing up.
  • Attach the head, then slide the helmet over it so it covers the face.
  • Attach the treads to the arms on the sides.
  • Connect the two cannon pieces.
  • Attach the cannon piece to the hole on the chest armor.

Vehicle Mode:
Being a tank in vehicle mode, Bludgeon shares a lot of design aspects with Warpath. In deed, three of the key parts for this mode (the end of the cannon and the treads) are shared between this character and Warpath. However, the cannon barrel itself is one piece with a peg at the end instead of a tube connecting to a turret base. Still, the overall shape is that of a robot resting on the treads with the robot legs angled in the front to form the front end of the tank. This mode is quite appropriate as Bludgeon was a tank in Generation One. The familiar "Samurai armor" design most people know was actually his "outer shell", hiding the robot inside.

KREON Bludgeon has two of the key colors of G1 Bludgeon: brown and orange. Black helps offer some balance to the bright orange color and in the spirit of the era Bludgeon originated from, his tank cannon/base and treads are an aqua blue color and the end of his cannon is purple. The colors work together nicely to make him distinctive from a lot of the darker colored Decepticons in the line and looks great. The brighter colors really pop while he remains distinctively "Bludgeon" in appearance.

For a bit of functionality, you can turn the cannon around in a circle and since the legs are in the front, you can attach weapons from other KREONs to the sides of the legs to give him additional weaponry.

Robot Assembly:

  • Attach the waist/legs section to the torso/arms section.
  • Slide the chest armor piece over the torso with the side that has the hole facing back.
  • Attach the head, then slide the helmet on.
  • Attach the treads to the arms.
  • Slide the sword into one of his hands.

Robot Mode:
Apart from the pieces he shares with most KREONs and Warpath, Bludgeon uses Megatron's helmet which fits in with his Japanese inspired design elements from the G1 toy. During the course of reviewing various KREONs, I found one of the pieces developed is a "chest armor" piece that only covers one side at a time, and I really wish that piece had been used here. Bludgeon's torso detail is a tampograph representing the "armor" from his G1 Pretender shell. That detailing is quite important for the visual appeal of the character, and hiding it here with the black chest plate is just wrong. Instead of saying "He'd look better without the chest armor on", I'll say instead that he needs to use a different chest armor piece that doesn't cover both sides. If Blast Off can have it, why can't Bludgeon? That said, I do appreciate the white head piece with the "skull" deco on it. It looks creepy and somewhat silly all at the same time.

The colors in this mode work well thanks to the constrast between his bright blue and orange parts with the other darker parts such as the helmet.

In terms of play value, I love the sword accessory. While the original figure only came with blasters, his comic book portrayal by Simon Furman and Andrew Wildman frequently showed him using a sword to fight. If you want him to have a blaster, his tank cannon can detach from his back and fit into his hand.

Final Thoughts:
Bludgeon is one of my favorite KREONs so far. I love the semi-creepy yet goofy "skull face" and the sword and chest tampograph really help make the figure. Any G1 fan should hunt this cute little guy down!