I'm going through my bins of unopened toys - and there are a lot of them - and I found Dreadnok Ripper. The concept Hasbro had here was just the best - you've got a brick figure body that, with paint and a few new parts, can be almost anybody. There were a lot of figures from Transformers, G.I. Joe, and Dungeons & Dragons alongside the less exciting Cityville. We even got Trolls last year, and a mixed, limited assortment of the boys' brands are still showing up at Dollar General, Walgreens, and other dollar/food/drug/value stores. The only items to ship to big box or mainstream toy outlets for the last year or so were Trolls - it's a minor miracle we got G.I. Joe given the franchise's sadly diminishing appeal in the wake of few new fans.
At roughly the same height as LEGO Minifigures and M.U.S.C.L.E. men, Ripper feels larger thanks to its large accessories. The wider range of arm articulation helps, too - it just feels like a bigger figure despite being the same size with only slightly more range.
The figure has a lot of printed detail with the visible chest, necklace, knife, and barely-bared midriff. Kneepads and pockets were added to his pants, as were his beard and sunglasses to the head - but the hair is a separate piece. While he can't hold the soda, it can mount to the stand. The claws open and close, making for a great extra-large accessory for the figure. There's a backpack too - it's just a couple of pieces, but it works nicely to create the illusion of a fully-realized and armed character. LEGO's blind bag figures had a stand and one or two bonus pieces - but this also has the added misfortune of simply not being LEGO.
Despite supposedly being dead, I see the ghost of Kre-O haunting off-the-beaten-path toy outlets with new releases to this very day. I'm surprised too - it's not getting a lot of push, but you can find it a lot of places where LEGO doesn't exist. The quality of the figure is actually pretty good, with an articulated waist and lateral hip and shoulder movement. The wrists rotate, and the arms are a little weird - but the design allows for more clamp-on parts for when they're needed. It's a shame Hasbro won't give these things a little more muscle at retail, because this seems like the perfect kind of toy figure for licenses where LEGO doesn't want to exist.
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