DEVASTATOR (Kre-O) (2013)
Hey everyone. I hope you all had a Merry Christmas/Happy Holiday. I got lots of cool new toys to tell you about but before I get around to reviewing them I want to post this review that I wrote earlier this week but didn’t have a chance to post.
In my last post I reviewed the Kre-O Battle Android Trooper (B.A.T.). I wrote that at least one Kre-O block figure was bound to make my year-end “best of” list and that the BAT was a top contender for that slot. All Kre-Os basically have the same body construction (standard Lego-man) so the only thing that really gave the BAT a leg up on the other figures was his paint job.
But after posting that I review I remembered that, in fact, not all Kre-O figures do have the same body type. Somehow the Transformer combiners (or Micro-Changers as they’re called in the Kre-O world) completely slipped my mind at the time. And so, if only one Kre-O is gonna make my “best of” list I’d be remiss not to give that slot to Devastator.
If you’re a Transformer fan than I’m sure you’re familiar with the combiner concept. You take a bunch of small robots and stick them together to make one big robot. The Transformers universe is littered with them. The all airplane team of Aerialbots merge to create Superion, the race car team of Stunticons merge to create Menasor, and the military team of Combaticons merge to create Bruticus (who made my best of list last year).
Being the first, the Devastator toy had a few issues that later Combiners didn’t have because Hasbro had worked out the kinks by then. The biggest change in the construction was that there were 6 Constructicons instead of the teams of 5 that made up all of the later combiners. There was Scrapper, Scavenger, Mix Master, and Bone Crusher who served as limbs, Long Haul as the lower torso and Hook as the upper body and head. I owned them all as a kid and while I preferred some of them over others I really liked the whole team. All 6 had unique looks, transformed into real world construction vehicles, and were given distinct personalities. The problem with there being 6 figures and having two of them combine to make the torso was that it made the figure very unstable. The Devestator toy of old could not take a hit to the chest otherwise he’d crumble apart. The whole thing was very delicate. Later combiner sets always consisted of one larger figure who formed the whole torso and 4 smaller figures which formed the limbs. Hasbro also improved the mechanism that locked the components together making combiners like Defensor and Computron much more stable and fun to play with.
One aspect of the Constructicons that I really liked was their unified color scheme. They were all bright green and purple which maybe wasn’t the most realistic color choice but it looked cool. Later combiners all had mismatched colors and looked much more cobbled together. The Constructicons could clearly be identified as a team even when they weren’t merged together.
When it comes to these Kre-O Combiners/Micro-Changers Hasbro has simplified things further. Instead of 5 robots, each Combiner is made up of only 4. I’m not sure why they did this. Even if it is possible to make a decent combiner with only 4 figures (which apparently it is) it means that at least 1 key character is being omitted from each package and in Devestator’s case, 2. I really wish Hasbro had worked it out so that all 5 figures were included in each of their combiner packs. I would have been okay with them whittling down the Constucticons to a group of 5 but 4 is just two drastic.
On the plus side, Hasbro has been good about releasing the missing characters from these sets in individual blind packs. Therefore, if you choose to display your Combiner teams as separate bots you won’t be missing anybody. This Devastator combiner set included Mix Master, Scavenger, Scrapper, and Bonecrusher. I bought Hook separately in a blind pack but I still need a Long Haul to have the whole gang.
Now let’s talk about this figure because it is awesome. I have a few of these Micro-Changer sets and Devastator is by far my favorite. He looks the most faithful to his original Generation 1 design. I’m really impressed by how well this figure is put together. As I was building it I kept thinking “oh wow, that’s so cool.” The old Devestator toy had hooks and cranes and smokestacks poking off of him in weird places because there was nowhere to hide them. It would have been easy to make a tall green and purple block figure with minimal detail that still looked like Devastator but the designers have recreated so many of those little details like smokestacks and lights which really add to the authenticity of this figure. This figure is also very well articulated and can be posed several different ways.
If there’s one element I don’t love it’s his hands. Each hand consists of a mini figures legs so it looks as though Devastator has claws or just two giant figures. It’s a small gripe and overall this is a really impressive little toy. 9 out of 10.