KRE-O Microchangers Springer Review

in 2012, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Generation One, KRE-O, 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
  • Torso cover
  • Waist/Legs
  • Skids connector piece
  • Rotor blades
  • Tail rotor/chest piece
  • Swords x 2

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.

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)

One Autobot who became a bit obsure for a while is Springer. He was featured in the 1986 animted "Transformers: The Movie" theatrical film and then featured heavily in the third season of the "Transformers" television show. After that, the character was relegated to appearances here and there in media (mostly comic books) until recently. In recent years, the character has re-emerged both in comic book and toy form, often as a redeco of someone else.

Vehicle Assembly:

  • Attach the torso cover piece so the peg is sticking out the back.
  • Attach the head to the neck.
  • Slide the helmet over the head.
  • Connect the lower body to the upper body.
  • Attach the rotor blades to the peg on the torso piece.
  • Attach each sword handle to one of the C clips on the Skids connector piece.
  • Attach the rear rotor piece to the back of the left foot.

Vehicle Mode:
In Generation One, Springer actually had two vehicle modes, a car and a helicopter. This made him one of the "Triple Changers" (who were rarities at the time). This vehicle mode represents his helicopter mode, and it does a pretty nice job of it. Perhaps my favorite touches are the use of his swords as skids for the vehicle and the small piece that attaches to the back, serving as a rear rotor. Another nice touch is the way the main rotor blades can actually spin and aren't stuck in place. The front end is very blocky thanks to the helmet on the head, but it sort of works too as Springer's front end was always rectangular in shape and not the most aerodynamic looking thing around.

Springer is cast in green, yellow, light grey and dark grey plastic: all colors taken directly from the character's Generation One incarnation. The green makes up most of the upper body except the torso cover, which is yellow. The rotor blades and skids are light grey while the rest of the vehicle is dark grey. These colors work well together and honestly unless I had seen G1 Springer since I was a kid, they're not colors I would normally put together.

Robot Assembly:

  • Attach the torso cover so the peg is facing back.
  • Attach the head to the neck.
  • Slide the helmet over the head.
  • Attach the rotor piece to the back.
  • Attach the lower body to the upper body.
  • Attach the rear rotor piece to the chest (with the tube part facing down).
  • Each hand can hold one of the swords.

Robot Mode:
Springer's robot mode is basically the vehicle mode standing up and a couple parts shifted around (or not used). His helmet is a recycled helmet that is seen on other Micr-Changers such as Crankstart and Windcharger with a mostly squarish design. I can't help but think perhaps a more curved helmet such as the one used for Insecticon might have worked better since Springer's G1 head design actually had a lot of curved designs on it. Still, it's hard to mistake who this character represents. The piece attached to his torso armor is a stand-in for the chest panel his G1 counterpart had and the use of swords as his weapons makes sense as G1 Springer would turn his rotor blades into a sword. The sculpt for these swords was also used for Decepticon Bludgeon, hence their "Katana" style appearance.

In this form, you get to see more green and light grey. The green is mostly on the upper body and waist. The head is cast in light grey. When properly assembled, the only deco you see are his eyes and mouth, set in a grim expression (I would have preferred perhaps a grin reflecting his sarcastic nature). Take the chest panel off however and you'll see a yellow and grey tampograph with a design based on the chest from the G1 version of the character complete with distinct vertical lines in the middle and an Autobot symbol in the center.

Final Thoughts:
Springer is a cool little KREO version of the G1 character. My main reservations about the figure involve covering up the chest design (but that kind of goes for a lot of these guys) and my preference for a different helmet instead of the one chosen. Still, it's distinctly "Springer" in design and I'm a sucker for sword accessories (and he's got two of'em!). Recommended!