G.I. Joe Kre-O - Kre-On Mini Figures Wave 3
For every new assortment of Kre-On mini figures that gets released I feel like I should be going even more in depth with the per-figure reviews because they get considerably different and more unique with each wave. Ultimately, though, I continue to do one review for the entire wave, as I don't think the per-figure tweaks necessitate dedicated reviews for each Kre-On.
I will say this, though, the difference between Wave 2 and Wave 1 was absolutely striking, and while the step up between Waves 2 and 3 isn't quite as dramatic, it is still very evident and the end result is a spectacular assortment of a dozen awesome and fun Kre-Ons.
First and foremost, we have a trio of great old school Joes, Doc, Footloose, and Lady Jaye. Each of these three figures is portrayed really well. Doc has a great stretcher, as well as his tripod flare gun, and helmet, complete with red cross symbol. Those green sunglasses are perfect, and he makes for a great addition to the pre-1985 Joe roster. Footloose has a nice allotment of tightly decoed camouflage throughout his uniform as well as his trusty machine gun, backpack, and helmet. He completely looks the part of an Infantry trooper. Lady Jaye is such an important character to the G.I. Joe mythos, and she's done quite nicely here, with her blue ball cap, neat javelin, and backpack. The cool thing, too, is if you prefer a more animated-accurate version of Lady Jaye, you can buy an extra Mike Power (Atomic Man) mini figure and use his hair!
Along with these previous figures, Low Light makes for another fantastic vintage character now brought to Kre-On form. I am really impressed with the intricate design work on his torso with the pouches, zipper and other paint work. Fantastic. He has a great sniper rifle, a backpack, and even a G.I. Joe themed MRE (Meal Ready to Eat)! Along with Low Light we have Nunchuk, the first G.I. Joe Ninje Force operative, all set to go solo against Slice and Dice. He's got some great camouflage work as well, and the black hood approximates his head cloth nicely, too. The third figure I'm going to talk about is far and away the star of this entire third assortment. Mike Power, The Atomic Man! He is such a cool figure and I love the translucent plastic they used on the leg and arm in order to duplicate the original look. It is just fantastic! Add on to that his great hand-held helicopter, and this is one awesome Kre-On mini figure. Probably my favorite of this entire third wave!
Along with the half-dozen G.I. Joe members in this third wave of Kre-Ons, we have six evil Cobra operatives, too. Starting off the Cobra side is the Jet Pack Trooper, which is another terrific new Cobra Trooper for the Kre-On ranks. I love how we've gotten so many different Cobra troopers, mostly slightly customized versions of the more standard "blue pajama" trooper. There have been "Jet Pack Troopers" released throughout various times in recent G.I. Joe history, but this figure manages to look just a little bit different, and I really like the jet pack that comes with him. It's almost a miniature little vehicle in and of itself and works well. Another troop builder in this assortment is the "Night Creeper" which is a figure I have a real affinity for. I'm an unabashed fan of the 90s, and I really love the Night Creeper's purpose and figure design. To prove that, you need only look at my Wave 3 Kre-Ons and see that the Night Creeper is the only one I've troop built! He's not a trooper, but Scrap Iron is an equally crucial member of the Cobra cadre, and like the other entries in Wave 3, Hasbro does fantastic work with this one. I love the facial scarring, barely hidden by smoke colored goggles and the great looking red webgear. I'll admit the rocket launcher is a bit of a weird element here, not really resembling the classic (and also not standing very well on its tiny platform). It's not a huge issue, but kind of an off choice.
The last three figures are three more Cobra members... well, two Cobra members and a Dreadnok. Even though the Kre-O folks call him a "Polar Assault Eel" the truth is, as we all know, it's a "Snow Serpent". Now, unfortunately, the one and only Snow Serpent I've managed to get my hands on has a paint error on the head, and the facemask is offset annoyingly. That makes this particular figure a bit disappointing, but I recognize that they're not all like that. I actually much prefer the figure without the thick arctic coat on, as it looks a lot more vintage accurate. He's got his mortar and AK-47 and is really a good looking addition to the Cobra roster. I'm hoping he's not too tough to come across, as I'd love to get one with the corrected facemask. We also add to our Dreadnok ranks with Torch. First and foremost, I'm glad they worked up a different torch/flamethrower rig for him, and this one works really nicely. It's shorter and stubbier, but functions quite well. The Dreadnok "look" is there, too, and he looks awesome standing next to Ripper. Now I need me some Zartan and Buzzer! Of course, rounding off the assortment is Xamot, one of the Crimson Twins. His brother is slated to come with the Terror Drome, a fact which might bug me, except for the fact that the Terror Drome looks so flat out awesome that I'm certain I'll buy it regardless. He has a cool removable shoulder guard, a really great looking deco, and little pink scar across his cheek. I really like his laser gun (more than his larger 3 3/4" counterpart!) and the inclusion of a zip line was a neat nod to the vintage figure, too.
What can I say? I have grown to be a huge fan of these little mini figure buggers, and I'm thrilled that Hasbro has continued producing them, even while dialing back the larger G.I. Joe assortments. The Kre-O sets and Kre-Ons make for a really awesome minitiature version of a Real American Hero. The formula they're using to blend cuteness, an awesome 80s aesthetic, and real world ARAH accuracy is nearly flawless, especially in their third series of these great figures. I'm finding almost nothing to complain about here. Looking forward to Wave 4, and hopefully we have even more to look forward to in the future!
Warning - HOLY CRAP tons of pictures below!