Kre-O Adventure Team Buggy
As much as I love Kre-O, sometimes the choices they make with their sets are a little strange. Case in point, the Thunderwave Jet Boat set. While it’s probably the second-weakest set, I wanted it because Cutter is one of my favorite Joes. It’s obvious the Thunderwave Jet Boat set was a refugee from the unsuccessful Battleship line Kre-O did to tie in with the equally unsuccessful movie. However, a small jeep with a gun on top came with the Thunderwave. It was a nice little piece of added play value, but I wasn’t sure what to do with it since it didn’t really look like any Joe vehicle I was familiar with. With one added sticker courtesy of the Adventure Team Commander, though, I’ve got a mini-vehicle that I can really get behind and a great way to use two of the Adventure Team guys they’ve done in the Kre-O line. So, without further ado, I’d like to talk about the Adventure Team Buggy and its two Adventure Team members.
The Adventure Team Buggy is a nicely designed little vehicle. Honestly, I wish that Joe Kre-O would have done more of the small bagged sets like the CityVille Kre-O line sometimes did. I think this would be a great way to build the brand a little more and a small vehicle like this with a driver would be a great low-price point way to bring people into the Kre-O brand. The buggy is a small vehicle, but they didn’t cheap out on its design at all. Everything looks very good and that’s the one thing I really like about the smaller Kre-O items. Small Lego sets have really kind of started looking pretty lame. They dump a lot of money into their big sets, but the little sets just don’t seem to get that much attention. To a degree, that philosophy is also prevalent in the smaller items that come with the big Lego sets sometimes too. However, with Kre-O that is definitely not the case. The Adventure Team Buggy is a complete vehicle with a unique design and it looks appropriate for two adventurers to be using, whether they’re hunting for the mummy’s tomb or looking for a crashed alien spaceship. I realize that Hasbro intended this to be paired with the Thunderwave, but the tan is a great nod to the Adventure Team and that logo (which came as a sticker with all three Adventure Team figures from the blind bags) just looks like it belongs on that hood.
Even though it’s supposed to be paired with the boat, it’s also a great stand-alone vehicle. Of course, when you’re going on adventures, sometimes you run into trouble so it helps to have a little added firepower and this has a very nice machine gun mounted to the back. The front seat has a nice spot for the driver, but there’s also enough open space in the back that you can have another figure standing in the back manning the gun. That’s some great design work. There’s also a little bit of extra space to carry extra things like weapons or tools. All in all, the Adventure Team Buggy is a great little piece, it’s just too bad you can’t get your hands on it without buying a more expensive set. I liked what Hasbro did with Kre-O, but at times, I think they kind of dropped the ball with the branding a bit. Part of what always made Lego so successful for me was how well they managed the price points. Yeah, you could drop a lot of cash for some amazing sets, but there were also a lot of really good small sets and that’s something that the Kre-O line kind of lacks across the board and it’s even more problematic for the Joe Kre-Os since they’re a Toys ‘R’ Us exclusive.
The Adventure Team Commander and Land Adventurer are available as blind bagged figures. Their designs are essentially the same, but that shouldn’t come as a surprise since the only thing that really made the Adventure Team figures look different was their clothing. The Adventure Team Commander is wearing a simple set of olive drab fatigues with an adventure team medallion while the Land Adventurer is wearing a set of camouflaged green jungle fatigues with an Adventure Team medallion. It’s clear these guys are adventurers since the look isn’t strictly military, but it’s also clear they’re from the same group of organized adventurers. The other big difference between the Adventure Team guys is their hair color. While the Adventure Team Commander’s hair is brown, the Land Adventurer’s hair is a bit more of a reddish brown.
He’s not a ginger, but they definitely have different shades of hair. Of course, what really drew me to both of the Adventure Team members was their hair piece. I realize that seems odd, but I love the fact that Hasbro went the extra mile and flocked the hair pieces for both of the Adventure Team guys as a great nod to the original fuzzy-headed Joes of yore. I just wish Hasbro could have done some different hair colors for the various Adventure Team members. I don’t know why, but the thought of putting a fuzzy black Afro on Dr. Mindbender’s head really makes me giggle. The Adventure Team guys also each come with two other accessories. Since we’re still talking about G.I. Joes here, each Adventure Team guy has a pistol. Again, it makes sense to be armed when you’re adventuring in the jungle. You never know what you might find. The other accessory is a nice meta-nod to the Joe line’s history. Each one comes with a blank, smooth green brick that you can put a sticker on. The sticker turns it into the box that each Joe originally came in back in the day. I love this little nod to the brand’s history and I like the meta-gag of a Joe holding the box that they came in. The Adventure Team Commander gets one extra piece compared to the Land Adventurer, an extra head. Back in the day, the Adventure Team Commander was a Joe that could talk. To make a reference to that, he has two different heads: one with his mouth shut (which leaves him looking rather stoic) while the mouth on the other one is open like he’s yelling. I prefer the open-mouthed look but your mileage may vary. I just love that since Kre-Os are a modular system they gave you the option to have him either be yelling or stoic
Kre-O is an insidious little brand. I got KansasBrother into it with some of the Transformers stuff and in turn he’s found me quite a few blind bag guys that I’ve had trouble running down (including both Adventure Team guys). It’s just fun. I realize it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but these are Joe sets that I can actually play with. While I love the new stuff that Hasbro has put out, outside the movie lines it’s always seemed more collectable than playable. The Kre-Os on the other hand are all about playing. Do I still hope that the line stays strongly tied to its action figure roots? Of course, that’s what I remember and what I’d like to see. However, until Hasbro does another big roll out for the next movie, I’m more than willing to accept some Kre-O sets to tide me over. I’ll play with them and set up scenes all day. They’re just that fun. Plus, I may not be much of a figure customizer, but with bricks like Kre-O, I can come up with my own ideas for sets just as easily as anyone else.