Timelines: Botcon 2013 KREO Set Toy Reviews

in 2013, Action Figure Review, Botcon, Machine Wars, Timelines

Transformers Timelines

General Information:
Release Year: June 27, 2013
Retailer: Botcon 2013 Exclusive
Price: $30 for set in bag

Images:

With the KREO brand developing more and more prominence in Hasbro's line up of toys, it's no surprise that KREO made its way into the line up of Botcon exclusive figures in 2013. Instead of featuring original KREO characters, this KREO five pack consists of KREON representations of the five characters sold in the larger Botcon 2013 boxed set! This makes for a unique KREO set that won't be featured anywhere else. This review will cover the five KREONs included in this set. Each KREON is just that, a static figure - these are not MicroChangers.

Packaging:
The KREO set for Botcon 2013 was "blind bagged" as a set of five figures inside a larger black pouch. In front was the Botcon logo, affirming the item as an exclusive to the event. Inside the larger pouch, each KREON was packaged individually in a sealed baggie. Once you open the pouches and bags inside, that's it. This isn't reusable packaging, but instead is a larger version of the type of packaging used for the MicroChangers sold at mass retail.

Hoist

Parts:

  • Helmet
  • Head
  • Torso/Arms
  • Waist/Legs
  • Blaster
  • Wheels x 2

Images:

Hoist is perhaps the simplest of the five KREONs in the set. He uses the basic KREON body with two wheels on the legs, a helmet and blaster - that's it. No special parts, no wings etc. In a way it helps him stand out since the other KREONs are more fully decked out with parts. To simulate the "mouthplate" look of "Machine Wars" Hoist's face, the helmet originally developed for Soundwave is used, and given the latitude I apply to KREONs, this works as a KREO interpretation of Hoist.

Hoist is mostly cast in black plastic, with the black plastic on the body being a bit shinier than the wheels. His waist, blaster and fists are brown, taking inspiration from the original "Machine Wars" Hoist. His head is cast in grey with blue visor eyes and a big smile on its face. The helmet covers this up and gives him more of a darker look both in personality and color. Hoist has a good amount of deco on him including brown paint on the crest of his helmet and deco patterns on both his torso and legs. The torso has a pattern printed in white similar to the torso pattern on the main Botcon set including a section that looks like the abdominal muscles on a human and "windows" on the chest. These details are cast in silver. There are yellow and brown lines going up at an angle from the mid-body to the shoulders, which are also details carried over from the larger "Machine Wars" Hoist figures. Finally, he has six sided yellow details on the legs with orange-red outlines, another detail inspired by the larger "Machine Wars" Hoist. Overall, the colors look great and he instantly evokes the character he is meant to be.

This figure has the standard eight points of KREON articulation (head, shoulders, hands, waist and legs). His blaster fits nicely in either hand and I noticed when turning the hands he's not suffering from the "stressed plastic" syndrome some earlier KREONs did. I like the choice of the large blaster in particular since it evokes the long rifle the Hoist from the boxed set carries. All the parts are tight as well.

Megaplex

Parts:

  • Head
  • Helmet
  • Torso/Arms
  • Waist/Legs
  • Sword
  • Cannon
  • Wings piece
  • Stabilizer wings x 2

Images:

In the original "Machine Wars" fiction from 1997 (what little there was), Megaplex was portrayed as the doppleganger for Megatron to divert attention away from the Decepticon leader. The Voyager Class figure in the boxed set was based on the Dreadwing action figure, so elements of that figure's design have been emulated in this KREON.

The base of the KREON is your standard KREO body. To make it distinctive, wings have been added to the back and stabilizers attach to the sides of the legs. His helmet is a layered, sharp looking one (used for other characters previously including Knock Out) and the fusion cannon is appropriate as he is meant to be a "clone" of Megatron, down to his weaponry. The sword is a nice carry over from the Voyager Class toy and looks really cool. Between the two, you have some classic Megatron weaponry being employed by his "clone". Having the wings on his back and the stabilizers on his legs draws an even stronger connection to his larger coutnerpart who has similar details in similar places.

The main color on this figure is dark grey, with the waist and fist sections being teal. The helmet on the head is translucent blue (a really nice touch) while the head piece is white. The Fusion Cannon is blue and his sword is teal, matching his hands. His deco is really nicely done. The face has deep red eyes with a grimmace on his mouth showing he means business! The torso has patterns printed onto it that resemble the front of the jet vehicle mode, down to the white cockpit in the center and teal patterns near the waist. Even the legs have detailing including sharp blue lines, similar to the armor on the Voyager Class figure. Even his feet are painted with teal trapezoids, essentially giving him "feet". Although the figure does not change into anything, it does still have the black stripe deco on the wings that is featured prominently on the Voyager Class toy in vehicle form, solidifying its connection to the "Machine Wars" toys of past and present.

All the joints on Megaplex are nice and tight and he holds the weapons without a problem. My only concern is that the right forearm showed a bit of stress once I moved the hands. This is mostly an issue with the older KREON tools and I believe has been corrected in more recent releases. Still, since this was a limited release, be careful!

Obsidian

Parts:

  • Head
  • Helmet
  • Torso/Arms
  • Waist/Legs
  • Blasters x 2
  • Rotors x 2
  • Rotor bases x 2

Images:

Obsidian was not part of the original "Machine Wars" line up, but rather the character was introduced in the 2000 "Beast Machines" series. Still, he was worked into this storyline as a good guy, acting as a General leading warriors against the Decepticons to defend Cybertron. He also stands out as one of the KREONs in this set with a ton of parts!

Obsidian's "real" form is a bit tough to replicate as a KREON, so this little guy has been done as a rather liberal interpretation of the character. His center body is a standard KREON body using the helmet originally used for characters such as Prowl and Bluestreak with a crest on the top of the head and "horns" coming out the sides. It's not exactly what you'd expect for Obsidian's more flat head design, but it does have some greebles on the sides of the helmet that evoke some of Obsidian's head design (I'm really being liberal here with that interpretation). The rotors attach to the arms in this case, simulating Obsidian's "rotor hands", but in this case they're more like rotor shields of some sort facing outward from the arms, not forward. Instead, he has regular KREON hands holding two blasters, giving him a good amount of firepower! Again, this is a rather liberal interpretation of the character, but it works well enough in spirit.

Unlike the Voyager Class figure used in the Botcon 2013 boxed set, this Obsidian's colors are based on the "Beast Machines" Obsidian action figure. These include two shades of green (dark and bright) and orange. The main body of this figure is mostly the brighter green with dark green on the legs. The rotors on the arms are orange, offering up another of "Beast Machines" Obsidian's primary colors. Paint applications include dark green on the forearms, orange on the helmet section and light green on the feet. The head piece is black with red eyes and gritted teeth, again a liberal interpretation of the character's real look.

What is most impressive are the tampographs on the torso and legs. There's a lot of detail on the chest, all forming a rough cockpit like shape with tons of line detail. The legs have yellow lines with black outlines on them. Add to that yellow details on his shoulders and mid-arm sections and this winds up being much more detail than your average KREON!

Obsidian is really one impressive KREON. Sure he's not 100% faithful to the Botcon toy or even the original. Instead, he's a bit of a mash up of both and the sensibilities of a KREON. I love all the extra blasters he has and the tampographs are fantastic.

Skywarp

Parts:

  • Head
  • Helmet
  • Torso/Arms
  • Waist/Legs (two separate pieces)
  • Blasters x 2
  • Stabilizer wings x 2
  • Wings piece

Images:

Skywarp was one of the original Decepticons that were a part of the 1997 "Machine Wars" toy line. There, he moved away from his characteristic black/purple color scheme and went the other direction, taking on the colors of white and red and a new jet mode. This figure pays homage to that and the Skywarp figure from the "Machine Wars" boxed set at Botcon 2013.

Skywarp uses many of the samepieces as Megaplex, including the wings piece so he has wings on his back and the stabilizers plugged into the legs. For weapons, he uses the Seeker "rifles" that connect to the arms. Instead of the standard "Seeker" helmet, he uses the helmet normally used on KREON Megatron, giving him the rounded head shape that comes from the 1997 "Machine Wars" Skywarp figure. The shape of the figure isn't exactly like that of the Botcon toy, and indeed it probably has more in common with the 1997 version, but the idea of a winged warrior is intact and often, it's the "spirit" of a character that KREO pays homage to not slavish fidelity to the form of the original.

Skywarp has some great coloring going on here. Most of the figure is cast in white, serving as a canvas for everything else. The head is solid yellow while the helmet is translucent yellow. The weapons are cast in purple, bringing in some of his classic colors. His elbow area is painted black while red stripes are worked onto his helmet's crest and the wings on his back. Now here's a neat thing: Skywarp has two waist/leg pieces. One has a purple spray paint pattern on it, representing his "teleportation" effect. The other legs have red tampographs on them to go along with the ones on his face and torso.

So what about the tampograph on the torso? Well, frankly it looks great. Keep in mind, the Botcon 2013 Skywarp is based on the "Revenge of the Fallen" Dirge's sculpt so it looks a bit different than the typical Seeker. Here, those details are reflected including a yellow cockpit in the center, red lines angling up and the turbine/gear like details on the chest. The head even has the grey visor eyes like the head on the 2013 and 1997 toys, truly offering strong ties to the "Machine Wars" line, even if the body structure is not exactly like that of the Botcon 2013 figure.

Skywarp is one of my favorite pieces from this pack. I love the extra pair of legs paying homage to his key ability and how closely he resembles the real two figures he's based on.

Strika

Parts:

  • Head
  • Helmet/tanks
  • Goggles
  • Tank treads x 2
  • Torso/Arms
  • Waist/Legs

Images:

Unlike most of the other toys in this set, Strika was not a part of "Machine Wars" in 1997. Instead, the character was introduced alongside Obsidian in 2000's "Beast Machines" series. Shown as a large, hulking robot she had a powerful six wheeled form that looked just as dangerous as her robot form. For her Botcon 2013 reimagining, she has been given the appropriate form of a tank and an equally imposing looking robot form. This KREON follows the Botcon 2013 Strika's design.

The most interesting part of this KREON design is the use of a part from the "Battleship" KREON line, namely a helmet/scuba mask and goggles set. This large piece actually forms a helmet around the head that does bear some resemblance to Strika's rather distinct head design which includes a rounded head and a mouth piece towards the front of the head. Her tank mode is alluded to using the treads on the arms. Be careful however, the goggles attach to the helmet section, but they pop off fairly easily.

Most of this figure is cast in dark purple plastic. The helmet, hands and waist are grey with the treads cast in black. The goggles on the helmet are translucent yellow. Paint applications include grey on the elbows and black on the feet. The tampograph patterns on the torso are based on the Botcon 2013's body, which basically has tank parts on it including a barrel in the center. The legs have yellow tampographs on them, adding more detail. One of the nicest touches can be found on the "breather" piece on the helmet, which is painted black in the middle and gold on the edges. The robot eyes are red. Overall it's an awesome looking color scheme and I love the way the Battleship pieces were repurposed to give Strika her distinctive look and bulk.

One bit of warning, the wrist area on the forearms showed signs of stressing as soon as I moved the hands a bit, so be warned.

Final Thoughts:
Overall I love the idea behind this set and wouldn't mind if we got it from now on. It takes a special kind of creativity to "make" characters out of existing KREON parts but for the most part this set is very successful. Also, for $30 it was totally worth it and I love having these guys as part of my KREO collection! My only complaint is the stressing happening on the forearms of a couple of the figures.