KRE-O Microchangers Spinister Toy Review

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

KRE-O Transformers

General Information:
Release Date: August 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
  • Torso cover
  • Waist/Legs
  • Circular connector piece x 1
  • Handle/connector piece x 1
  • Cannon barrels x 2
  • Cannon barrel extensions x 2
  • Helicopter blades
  • Cannon base
  • Blaster

Images:

*Images above with an asterisk(*) are from both the Official Hasbro KRE-O site and the Official Transformers web site.

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.

The first Micro Changers released were the "Preview" wave, a set of six 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:

  • Crankstart - A1010 (214510)
  • Galvatron - A1008 (214518)
  • Scorponok - A1011 (214511)
  • Spinister - A1007 (214517)
  • Sunstorm - A1009 (214519)
  • Waspinator - A1012 (214512)

Part of the joy with the KRE-O line is the ability to select a diverse set of characters across the spectrum of Transformers universes. In this case, the character here is a fairly obscure one from Generation One: Spinister. Originally a "dual Targetmaster", he more recently appeared as a Botcon exclusive and he's made some appearances in the comic book fiction in recent years. It's nice to get this kind of diversity, and I have a bit of an attachment to this character as he's one of the few Targetmasters I owned as a kid before I became a full on collector.

Vehicle Assembly:

  • Attach the upper body to the lower body.
  • Slide the chest plate on, with the peg sticking up from the back.
  • Attach the head, and then the helmet onto the head facing down.
  • Attach the blaster to the left leg.
  • Attach the handle/connector piece to the right leg.
  • Attach the helicopter blade to the peg on the back.
  • Connect the circular connector piece to the central weapons base.
  • Attach each of the cannon barrel extension pieces (the thin rods) to the weapons base.
  • Attach each cannon end to the extensions.
  • Attach the fully assembled cannon to the chest panel on the underside of the vehicle.

Vehicle Mode:
The original Spinister and his Timelines counterpart were both helicopters in vehicle mode, so this form is quite appropriate. I think with these KREONs there has to be some leeway given since it's essentially a line of recycled parts over and over. In this case Spinister winds up being more of a traditional helicopter with a domed front end (though you will see a cockpit sculpted into the helmet) and blades on top. I do like the creativity behind using the handle/connector piece as a rear rotor. His cannons also look great, really powerful and threatening for such a little guy. In a funny way, the cannons also wind up doubling as skids (or pontoons if you wish). It's cool he also has an extra blaster on the side, making him even more threatening!

Spinister is cast in purple and black plastic. The black color dominates quite a bit in this form but that works for me since enough purple peeks out that you get both colors represented. His blaster is cast in translucent purple, which looks absolutely brilliant. This mode doesn't really involve any paint or deco details, but it still looks cool.

In terms of "action", the helicopter blade is attached to a peg designed to allow it to spin if you push it. Also, the design of the cannon barrel ends allows you to slide them up making the cannons shorter or pulling them towards the front to make the "skids" longer.

Robot Assembly:

  • Attach the upper body to the lower body.
  • Slide the chest plate on, with the peg sticking up from the back.
  • Attach the head, and then the helmet onto the head facing down.
  • Attach the helicopter rotors to the back.
  • Connect the circular connector piece to the central weapons base.
  • Attach each of the cannon barrel extension pieces (the thin rods) to the weapons base.
  • Attach each cannon end to the extensions.
  • Attach the handle/connector piece to the top of the weapons base.
  • Connect each of the weapons to one of his hands.

Robot Mode:
Spinister's robot mode reuses parts from other KREO figures. His helmet is from Mirage, his blaster is from Soundwave and his rotor assembly is from Vortex. With the new colors used however, they don't look like those characters, but rather a new one based on the G1 Targetmaster. It's quite appropriate that Spinister winds up with two weapons in this form, and that one of them is ridiculously huge compared to him. In G1, Spinister was a "dual Targetmaster" who came with two Targetmaster weapons that could combine with one another. This time out, not only does he come with two weapons, but you can combine them into one super weapon as well! I love that a bit of his G1 persona has carried over into this form, and the large weapon fits in with the sense of humor behind the toy line.

The purple color is much more evident in this form thanks to the arms and chest pieces. His head is cast in grey and has mean looking blue eyes and a mouth set in a scowl. The blue eyes are a homage to G1 Spinister, who used this rather light shade of blue on his face as well. Remove the chest armor and you'll see a pattern tampographed onto the torso in black. This pattern is based on the design of G1 Spinister's torso complete with a helicopter cockpit in the center, vents on the side and a Decepticon symbol in the center. I really like these details and wish they didn't have to be covered up like this, but in Spinister's case the chest panel serves a function on both sides so I get why it is included.

While Spinister's arms have no problems holding his gigantic weapon up, he does wind up flopping over from the sheer weight. This isn't a horrible thing, you can just lower it and he sort of leans on it for display, and if you're playing with the figure, whooshing him around with the cannon pointed forward or up works just fine.

Final Thoughts:
Spinister is one of my favorite figures in this assortment. I appreciate the fact that no pieces are left out in either mode, and that he pays homage to a somewhat obscure character from "Transformers" history. I also love how outrageous his cannon weapon is! An awesome little figure!