KRE-O, Hasbro’s in-house building block line has been around for a couple of years now, turning out perfectly nice sets based on Transformers, GI Joe, and the terrible movie Battleship. But what the line lacked was a real show-stopper, something that could make fans of LEGO and Mega Bloks take note, and show that KRE-O isn’t just a wannabe. That moment has arrived in the glorious, white-plastic form of the KRE-O Star Trek Enterprise.
Measuring in at over 18″ from bow to warp nacelle and built from 432 pieces, the Enterprise is the obvious centerpiece of KRE-O’s line celebrating Star Trek Into Darkness. The design of the enterprise has never seemed terribly practical, but it is highly iconic, and the KRE-O designers have done a great job capturing that iconic look. Almost entirely white, with small touches of grey and translucent blue, the Enterprise is a great representation of the newest incarnation of the ship, even if the KRE-O blocks can’t quite capture its sleekness.
432 pieces might seem low for a model of this size, but there are a couple of very good reasons for that. The main hull (battery compartment) and the supports for the warp nacelles are essentially one piece (or several large pieces screwed together),which holds the ship together very solidly. It does limit the detail in the ship’s body and makes it feel blockier, but opting for stability was a solid choice. Similarly, the top of the saucer section is made of only five pieces and the base of the saucer itself is a single large grey plastic piece, which again offers stability and simplicity (and lets the ship’s registry number be printed on the hull, rather than cheaper stickers). Ultimately, those choices mean fewer overall pieces, but it translates to a much stronger ship that will hold together when children are flying it around the living room at warp speed.
Building the Enterprise took a little over an hour, from unboxing to launch, including the help of my children. Parental help will definitely be required for young kids, but children over 10 should have little difficulty at all. It’s not a terribly complex or difficult build, though wading through the sheer volume of pure white pieces does add to the challenge a bit. The only thing that’s missing that would have really rounded out the package was a base or podium to display your ship on, rather than just having to plunk it on the shelf, rather than play with it.
If you do want to play with it however, the Enterprise has a few different features to enjoy. Pushing a button on the underside lights up the warp engines and the deflector dish with a bright blue glow. The top of each warp nacelle also opens up to reveal the machinery inside, while a torpedo launcher above the deflector dish can launch the single torpedo included in the box. Extra torpedos would have been nice as well, since it really feels like that’s going to disappear under a couch or through a vent any second now.
Then of course, there’s the saucer section, which opens up to reveal the Enterprise’s bridge, complete with seats for each of the five Kreon figures included with the set: Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and a pair of generic characters labelled “Specialists.” Now, the first three are obviously iconic characters, and deserve to be on the bridge, but the other two, I have no idea. They might be bad guys, or they might be generic Starfleet characters, but in that case wouldn’t it have been more appropriate for them to be wearing red shirts?
I think it’s also worth pointing out, as my daughter did, that there are no female characters included with the Enterprise. Uhura comes with the Klingon Bird of Prey model, but certainly the Enterprise has to have at least 2 female crew members who could be represented in building block form, right?
Looks aside, there’s one other area where the KRE-O Star Trek Enterprise stands out, and that’s price. Depending on where you purchase it, you’ll likely pay between $50-75 for a set with significant play or display value. If this was a LEGO set, I would be surprised to find it priced below at $100. If KRE-O can combine great design and smart pricing as they do with the Enterprise, that bodes will for the future of the entire product line.
Speaking of the future, as a Star Trek fan, I would love to see this line continue beyond the movie, and introduce different versions of the Enterprise and many other ships from the various TV shows and movies (a Borg cube made out of KRE-O blocks would be vaguely surreal). Unfortunately, I have my doubts about that since the KRE-O sets to be very kid-focused, but when you see some of the obscure choices that Hasbro has made for their KRE-O Transformers mystery packs, you never know.
The GamerPops Recommendation
The KRE-O Star Trek Enterprise really is a thing of beauty, and will look great sitting on a shelf or being flown around your family room. And best of all, it’s not going to fall apart if you look at it, which really ups the play value.
This set also feels like a new high-water mark for KRE-O as a whole, and shows that this line of building blocks might just be ready to earn a spot alongside LEGO and Mega Bloks.
A review set was provided to GamerPops.
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