CHECKPOINT ALPHA (KRE-O)

Kreo-Alpha attackG. I. JOE /KRE-O

Just 14 more days until G.I. Joe: Retaliation hits theaters!!!!!  Unfortunately my excitement had been somewhat dampened by the fact that I couldn’t find any new G.I. Joe product anywhere.  I’ve been visiting multiple Wal-marts and Toys R Us’ at least once a week in hopes of finding new figures.  It’s been killing me seeing all the other Joe news and review sites showing off their new Retaliation figures which they’ve had for weeks now.  I finally caved this past weekend and ordered wave 2 of the movie figures online from Big Bad Toy Store.  Ordering online is quick and easy but it’s more expensive and part of the fun of collecting is “the hunt”.  However, failed hunts are only fun for so long.  So I am pleased to say that I should have some new Retaliation figures to review leading up to the release of the movie.Kreo-Law

I told myself I wouldn’t get into collecting them when I first saw images of them online, at least not with vigor, but the other items that I’ve been hunting for recently are the new G.I. Joe KRE-O sets.  KRE-O is Hasbro’s in-house Lego knock-off which is fully compatible and virtually identical to the real deal.  The promotional images of these sets did get me pretty excited but I knew I couldn’t let myself be swayed into collecting them.  I’m running out of room in my man cave as it is and building blocks has never really been my thing.  But damn they looked cool.  I love the original 80’s Real American Hero line.  And I love the modern Joe action figures which I feel present a more detailed, and realistic, and maybe grittier version of those 80s figures.  As a grown man I appreciate that my favorite toy line has matured.  KRE-Os are the complete opposite.  The KRE-O line is loaded with vehicles and bases, the colors are bright and the characters are downright adorable.  I didn’t think a brick-based cutesy line like this would hold so much appeal to me but I have to admit I’ve been won over.  Over the past few weeks I’ve watched as other sites have shared their thoughts on these new Toys R Us exclusive Joe KRE-Os and I’ve been wanting to get in on the action.  There are multiple sets available in a variety of sizes and price points and then there are also blind packed individual figures.  I told myself that I should try to have some restraint and only buy the blind packs, and maybe the HISS tank set when it’s released eventually.Kreo-Firefly

Well Andrew texted me last Thursday to tell me that he was in Toys R Us and that they had the KRE-O sets.  He picked up two of the cheaper sets himself.   As soon as I got home from work I made the trek over to Dartmouth and there they were.  My Toys R Us did not get any of the blind packs in, and it’s the only Toys R Us in the province so I was S.O.L on that front.  This meant I was going to have to buy some of the larger play sets to satisfy my craving for new Joe goodness.  I got the two cheapest ones, the same ones Andrew got because I’ll be damned if he has Joes that I don’t, and I also picked up two larger sets.  On the way out the door I impulse bought 5 of the blind packed Transformer Kre-Os as well. Kreo-alpha real

The 4 sets I bought were: The G.I. Joe Battle Platform or Air/Sea Base as I referred to it as a kid.  This set includes Cobra Commander, Duke and 2 Cobra Troopers.  I also bought the Joe’s boat (why isn’t it a hovercraft Hasbro?) which included Cutter, Stalker and Copperhead.  I bought the Ninja Showdown set that comes with Snake Eyes, Storm Shadow and 2 red ninjas and finally I bought this set: Check Point Alpha.

Kreo-Alpha backThis set was the cheapest of the bunch, only $12 and my favorite of the bunch.  Checkpoint Alpha is exactly what it sounds like, a military checkpoint.  The kind you’d see along the road or at the front gates of a military installation.  There was a Checkpoint Alpha set released as part of the RAH line back in 1985.  It was one of the more affordable play sets back then too.  Doug owned it and we both loved it.  It was just one of those little things that anybody could afford and it just made the Joe’s little world seem that much more real.   This KRE-O version is a fantastic representation of the original and it serves the same purpose of fleshing out the world and giving kids who can’t afford the bigger sets a very cool base of operations for their Joes. Kreo-Order

The tower is pretty much exactly how I remember the original.  It’s got a little laptop computer inside, a search light, a ladder and 2 levels of play.  It also comes with a separate rail fence.  The original had a swinging fence attached to the base which is the only thing I’m sad to see is absent.  The original Checkpoint didn’t come with any figures, this one provides much more bang for your buck by giving you the Joe team’s Law, his dog Order, the Cobra saboteur Firefly and a motorcycle.  I actually can’t believe this set only cost me $12 especially considering the price most little Lego sets go for.  I love this set.  Building this was so much fun and it brought back nostalgic memories of snapping together my old Joe vehicles (modern vehicles come pre-assembled) as well as my days of playing Castle Lego.  I’m actually looking forward to having my nephews over to play with these sometime.

I was actually so impressed with the sets that I went back the next day and bought 4 more.  I also bought the rest of the blind bagged Transformers so I suddenly find myself with a rather large KRE-O collection.  I highly recommend you pick these up, whether you’re a Lego fan, a Joe fan or both.  My pictures don’t do them justice.  I had trouble avoiding glare on the flat surfaces.  If you like what you see check out other online reviews as there are others out there with far superior photography skills better able to showcase all of the fun little details on these figures and play sets.  8 out of 10.

My guinea pig Winkerton wanted to check out my sweet new KRE-O collection.

My guinea pig Winkerton wanted to check out my sweet new KRE-O collection.

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About mike's collection

I'm a dude that collects toys and writes. I figured I'd combine my hobbies.

Posted on March 14, 2013, in G.I. Joe and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. yo kreoooooooooooooooo

  2. really pretty damn jealous I am

  3. I agree with you, Mike. I was originally not going to get too deep into Kre-O. I saved up a coupon for Toys ‘R’ Us for the Thunderwave Boat (since as a Kansan, I have always loved Cutter since his birthplace and mine were the same) but then I walked in the door a few weeks ago and Kre-O was buy one get one 50% off…I picked up the Thunderwave and the Cobra Armored Assault set , and I’ve been hooked ever since. I don’t live too close to a Toys ‘R’ Us, so I haven’t picked up additional sets yet, but man, do I want to.

    • The two sets you got are both amazing. I love all the little compartments and moving parts. the only one i didn’t pick up yet is the helicopter with Wild Bill. I will eventually but I had to draw the line somewhere.

  4. No no no no!!!! I’ve managed to resist the Star Wars, Marvel and DC Lego sets so far. No room for anything resembling a playset. And just buying the figure buy themselves on Ebay can be stupidly expensive. Now you go and let me know there’s Joe versions. You are an evil evil little man. Just for being evil you must rewatch Dark Shadows 20 more times.

    • Ha. Sorry Paul. They really are great figures though, not as expensive as I thought they’d be, and even the battle platform is only about the size of a DVD case so it doesn’t take up that much room. I’m afraid i must recommend you buy them. i resisted all of those other brands as well but I’m powerless against G.I. Joe. And I’m quite sure that i will never watch Dark Shadows ever again. That was brutal.

  5. I bought Alex Checkpoint Alpha the day after you showed him. He was pretty excited. He likes the Snake Armour the best though

  6. Doubt Hasbro UK will release this line in the UK, haven’t seen it anywhere so far anyway. As for the film the trailer for it is only shown on one of the UK digital channels called ITV4 whose target market is males aged 25 – 40. Paramount UK probably don’t have any confidence in the film as the trailer is only shown in the very early hours of the morning…Kudos to Hasbro UK for ruining a once extremely strong and well known brand over here too. I blame the so called ‘genius’ Media Planners and Buyers and Ad Execs who handle Hasbro UK’s account – predominantly young, pretty bimbos who know nothing and yet are employed by such companies, they don’t really understand boys toys brands really but hey, what the hell do I know?

    As for this Kreo stuff, it annoys me Hasbro can make them look like the classic ARAH era stuff and yet can’t focus properly on a continued new sculpt / 30th style line in line with the same ethos as their Star Wars line, they have their Clone Wars line, their classic line etc so why can’t Hasbro follow that business model and keep that instead of making a ‘new’ line of Joe toys then ceasing it after say a year or two for something else, by continually shifting the line people get fed up and move onto other things non Joe…If Hasbro ‘can’ make classic based Kreo, they can easily do classic based new sculpt Joes and Cobras as well as vehicles…again, hell, what do I know…?

    • I hear ya regarding the constant changing of the over all Joe look and theme. I wish they would continue the 25th anniversary line so that all characters had a modern style figure. Instead i’m forced to shell out hundreds of dollars on convention exclusives to complete my set. I wouldn’t care if they had KRE-O and sigma six and movie based figures as well, just so long as they continued with the main line.

      That being said, these Kre-os are a fun departure from my usual action figure purchases. I picked up the Dragonfly yesterday, the last set I needed. Off to build it now. 🙂

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