It’s become apparent that LEGOs, as a brand, are on the rise. With the dizzying array of LEGO licensed video games and the upcoming movie, LEGOs are everywhere. But there are certain things LEGOs won’t do — they know their demographic, and it’s suitably kid-friendly. Enter KRE-O, a LEGO knock-off from Hasbro that’s determined to fill the gap for older gamers who want a little more bite (zombie pun-intended) in their toy blocks.
There’s a few things this set includes that immediately indicate its divergence from your typical LEGOs. For one, the figures are a hybrid between minifigs and the larger figures — they have a one “dot” footprint like the minifigs, but arms and legs like the larger figs. This allows them to wield weapons (pistols and batons), wear helmets, and still take up very little space. This isn’t quite as cool as it sounds, as the figures have very little space to maneuver — lifting an arm can knock off a helmet or hair. But let’s face it, anyone who wants this set wants it for the zombies, and this set delivers: Three zombies (plus a mystery zombie). It’s not really relevant who they are so much as they look like zombies.
The set up for this police station is formidable. There is an anti-zombie computer, as well as a weapons rack and even a mixing station, presumably to create the serum. There are multiple levels of the station, with three entry points that act as gates. Two are to a “zombie pen” to keep the zombies in. The other is a large gate for vehicles in front of the station.
Speaking of vehicles, there’s a police cruiser with the “reverse jaws of life” to capture zombies and plunge a syringe filled with the antidote. There’s also a dual machinegun swivel mount and a large zombie detector on top of the station.
The centerpiece for all this block-building is the “sonic motion” technology. The zombie detector, the gun mount, and three of what can only be described as “surf boards” all come with a protective cover that, when removed, reveals tiny rubber hairs. These rubber hairs act as cushions to make the various objects move when vibrated. And that vibrator is the bottom of the police station.
It consists of an on/off button, a mute button, and two speed buttons. The speed adjusts the pitch of the noises the block makes as well as the vibration. The sounds consist of sirens, zombies moaning, and voice chatter on a walkie talkie. It all sounds bizarre when sped up.
In theory, you place zombies or officers on the surfboards, crank up the speed on the vibrating block, and they sail around the terrain. This probably is more entertaining if it’s limited to zombies, since it’s entirely random as to where they move. But it’s also moot, because it doesn’t work. The blocks, atypical of LEGO, are not smooth. If you smoothed out the entire surface the surf boards MIGHT move. The zombie detector spins like mad, and the gun mount doesn’t do anything. But for the most part, the illusion of movement is about as interesting as the effect you get from those old vibrating football games: it becomes annoying after five minutes.
This is a very detailed and interesting set, but my six year-old was freaked out by the noises and needed plenty of help to put it together. Probably more appropriate for ten-year-olds and the ten-year-old at heart.
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