Disclosure: Hasbro sent me a sample product to facilitate this review. All opinions contained within are my own and have not been influenced in any way.
So, Hasbro has done something quite wonderful with their KRE-O line of building toys. But I bet you are thinking, just what I need – another type of building blocks to add to the kids’ collection. Stop right there, because these are compatible with your favorite building sets (YES!) and have amazingly unique and interactive parts that mimic real movement. I think I am in love.
Hasbro’s KRE-O Transformers: Age of Extinction Grimlock Street Attack features a realistic Grimlock, the T-Rex Dinobot character in the film, Transformers: Age of Extinction. Grimlock has a magnetic piece in his mouth that allows him to capture the Deception Vehicons in his mouth – my son particularly liked that it could grab them by the back or head!
I’ll be honest, my oldest son is analytical and is not as naturally imaginative as his younger brother. But, something changed with him when he was building this set. Because Grimlock and the figurines (called KREONs by KRE-O, and “guys” by my son) have moving parts that resemble people and animals real movement, the goal for these sets is not just the “build”. The goal is to build it so the play can begin. As soon as my son build the set, he was playing, with Grimlock eating everyone he could find and the Gold Knight Optimus Prime leading the way.
What KRE-O Can Do to Help Your Child’s Development
1. Build Fine Motor Skills
In order to build the sets, children need to be able to pick up and assemble small pieces. Fine motor skills take practice, and often boys take longer to develop these skills. The KRE-O Transformers: Age of Extinction Grimlock Street Attack set gives children an opportunity to fine tune these skills.
2. Promote Spatial Awareness
The KRE-O Transformers: Age of Extinction Grimlock Street Attack comes with a clear set of directions which we easy enough for my 5 and a half year old to complete independently (note: he has strong spatial awareness for his age). In order to build the set, children need to identify the piece they need and visualize where it needs to be placed on the model. Spatial awareness is another skill that requires ample practice, and this set gives children 196 opportunities to build their skills!
3. Facilitate Imaginative Play
As a teacher, one of the biggest areas where my students were lacking ability was the act of imaginative play. I would send my students out to the playground, and they would ask me, “Ms. R., what do we do now?” We began brainstorming different types of games they could play. Too often, toys today do the thinking for children. I, personally, bring very few toys into my home that “do the thinking” for my children. The KRE-O Transformers: Age of Extinction Grimlock Street Attack set has multiple features like the leg joints, grasping claw, and magnetic mouth that encourage children to engage thoughtfully with the toy.
4. Develop Independence
To be successful, children need to be able to work independently of an adult for a significant amount of time. Children should develop problem solving skills that allow them to identify a problem and brainstorm solutions BEFORE having to ask an adult for help. The KRE-O Transformers: Age of Extinction Grimlock Street Attack set has all of the elements to promote independent play: clear directions, engaging interaction, and developmentally-appropriate pieces for elementary-aged kids.
My son and I worked together to make a video of the in action:
Totally cool, right!?!?!?