G.I. Joe Convention 2014 - Zombie Initiative Kre-O 7 Pack
I was a bit concerned when the Kre-O Night Force pack didn't sell out that this spelled doom and gloom for the chances of future Kre-O releases at other conventions. Turns out, I needn't have worried, because not only did we get a great E.C.O. Force Kre-O set this year at JoeCon, but it actually sold out at the show! While I would never want the Collectors Club to potentially sacrifice 4" offerings for Kre-O offerings at any Convention, I think the Kre-O stuff makes for some terrific supplementary items that appeal to a certain demographic and also provide me with something great to bring home to the kids as well.
I'm not going to cover this year's Kre-O set piece-by-piece, but I want to give an overall idea of the execution this year, which was simply terrific.
First of all, let's look at the E.C.O. Force figures, which immediately provide some awesome character in the Kre-O format. If you told me that we'd actually have Eco Warrior updates before we even got a mainstream Zartan release for Kre-O I would have said you were insane, but here we are.
Flint is a terrific miniaturized update, featuring the familiar green and yellow look as the larger sized convention figure, with really great looking webgear. He has his yellow helmet as well as a beret, and is just a fun looking mini figure.
Clean Sweep is another great mini update with just the right hints from the Data-Viper inspired uniform, and he's got the whole two-face thing going on with one side of his head providing the silver visor for his hooded clean suit, and the other side giving us some angry moustache action. He even comes with the submachine gun and briefcase. Love it.
Ozone is another really awesome mini figure with a gas mask and his very unique chest grenade cannister look. He comes with the very overly complex and convoluted flamethrower/laser rifle system that figures like Flash and Blowtorch come with, which honestly I hate just a little bit, but the figure itself is pretty boss. Also, equally angry.
Three of the other mini figures in this 7 pack are all labeled "Toxo Zombie" though they can also (kind of) pass for straight Toxo Vipers. I say kind of, because they all have the permanent zombie flesh arm, even though the head can rotate to reveal either a red facemask from the Viper, or the awesomely disturbing, yet comical little Kre-On zombie face. Using the Bumblebee style horned helmet for the Toxo-Viper look is a streak of brilliance.
I've become really fascinated by the different elements that go into designing Kre-On figures, and I really wonder how the Club designs this deco. If it's just Lanny and/or David Lane they do some spectacular work, as the Kre-O aesthetics are very unique, and it takes a pretty well trained eye to look at the uber-realism of the 4" figure parts and somehow distill it effectively to the Kre-On body design type.
Last, but not least, the Kre-O 7 Pack includes the business suit Joe Colton, which is a terrific touch. He can work alongside the Land and Air Adventurer, not to mention Mike Power, and quite suddenly the Kre-O collection is growing with fantastic 12" scale vintage homages. Colton's business suit deco is quite effective, and makes for a great addition to any Kre-O collection. He comes complete with an impressive weapons rack as well, all decked out with some great guns.
As I've already said, to me, the Real American Hero Convention stuff is absolutely my bread and butter, but as long as the Club keeps doing the Kre-O supplements, I'll keep buying. These mini figures are priceless and provide a really terrific addition to some already fun and exciting convention sets. With large scale stuff like the Terror Drome incoming, not to mention Series 3 and 4 of the mini figures, there's a lot of Kre-O love out there in 2014, and I'm extremely pleased that the Club has hopped on that bandwagon and is riding it for all its worth. This is some great stuff.