While I wasn’t too keen on last year’s Age of Extinction sets, this is the one I was most interested in trying out. The right price came along so I went for it. This is Cell Block Breakout.
Initially, I didn’t take kindly to the Age of Extinction sets. The 2-in-1 sets died with Beast Hunters which while annoying to rebuild, added value to the sets. In AoE, The brick-built dinosaurs weren’t too appealing. Not only that but the dinosaur in each set did not get a Kreon representation. Seems like Hasbro or the Kre-O department just didn’t want to make Dinobot Kreons even for the movie sets. Looking at Kre-O’s future, I’ve lost hope on getting G1 Dinobot Kreons or other long overdue key characters.
Here are some shots of the box. This one still has the handle on top for easy carrying.
Contents of the box
Front and back of the instruction booklet
Now for the Kreons and accessories. As always, one display brick despite multiple Kreons.
I’m not going to lie. We’re all here for this guy. Evasion Mode Optimus Prime really got some attention for his vehicle mode and as a standout toy in the Age of Extinction line. It was reminiscent of the original Generation 1 Optimus vehicle mode and little nods like this are what Transformers fans would appreciate more of in these films. Knowing that, it’s nice to see that he got a Kreon. Much better than that random gold variant in the Grimlock Street Attack set. At least this variant exists in the film.
First thing to take note of are that the helmet and smokestack pieces are done in dull gray which is new for these parts. The usual Optimus smokestacks are more metallic and silver. I’m inspired to make a hate plague-resistant Optimus but sadly there isn’t a torso for that…
I think they did a good job with this one. Seriously, look at all the details they put into the torso print. They even fit the flames in. That said, I’m not a fan of how overly complicated the movie-based Kreons are. Though considering the overly complicated movie designs, this is accurate so I can’t fault Kre-O for that. I will say that the arms are pretty loose on mine and his head won’t face forward due to something blocking it from staying that way. The other Kreon heads in this set aren’t like that. Why did it have to be this one…?
He comes with a back attachment where you can attach a metal round for DINO FORCE TECHNOLOGY!!! which I’ll explain later.
Next is Bumblebee. Normally I’d be complaining about another Bumblebee, but like Evasion Optimus, this is at least a variant in the film. Nothing profound for me to say except I wish he had a more accurate face without the mouth. I also kind of wish some metal was incorporated so you can use him with DINO FORCE TECHNOLOGY!!! He’s the only one you can’t do that with unless you ditch his door backpack.
Speaking of, the door backpack should be black like it is in the movie. I dug around and surprisingly it doesn’t come in black. Well, not plain black anyway. Gave Optimus some tires too since his legs are supposed to have them and this Bumblebee doesn’t.
Finally, the Vehicon. He’s the only one without leg printing but what’s neat is that his helmet has metal and he has the metal round backpack for DINO FORCE TECHNOLOGY!!! I believe the Vehicons are the same across all the sets.
Here’s the cell block mentioned in the set name. It’s where the cool Evasion Optimus sticker goes which is awkward if you stick any other Kreon in there. Unfortunately you can’t stick Bumblebee in there or anyone with big back attachments. Leg tires also won’t fit.
The front piece of clear plastic is where you stick a metal round on top for DINO FORCE TECHNOLOGY!!! It’s not bolted down for easy lifting off.
Here’s a little rotating two-turret cannon with firing missiles. Angle the cannons, push the switches, and the missiles fly. None of that flick-fire stuff. You can have a Kreon stand behind it but it’s kind of lame that there’s no room to place a Kreon on it.
Let’s move on to the Dinobot build. I don’t know who this guy is and the instructions don’t feel like telling me either. He might be Swoop. He might be Strafe (but not Technobot Strafe). What I do know is that the build’s much cooler than I thought.
The two heads are made of a hard rubber and everything’s colored in with great quality. Both mouths can open quite wide so you can see his teeth and that’s awesome. The colors on the overall build do seem like Generation 1 Swoop. Would really cement that in if the head fins were red.
This guy’s huge with a wingspan of a little under 18 inches. The wings are made of a thin, rigid plastic. They’re see-through if you shine light through them but they’ll normally seem silver and reflective. The wings were really scary to put together. There are holes you have to thread a pole through and I kept thinking I’d wreck the wings or leave some huge damage. I did leave some creases but due to the material, they’re not too visible. I can feel them though.
Finally, on to DINO FORCE TECHNOLOGY!!! Under each of this guy’s claws are magnets. You can stick any pieces with metal under the claws and they stick. For this set, you can take the front of the cell block off or pick up either a Vehicon’s head/back or Optimus from the back. Bumblebee just gets to ride him I guess.
I liked this set more than I thought I would when I initially just wanted a cool Optimus variant. I, like most people were turned off by the $20 price tag especially in relation to the 135 piece count. That said, I see where the money went. It comes with two magnet claws, three metal rounds, and the Vehicon helmet has metal. The pterodactyl wings are new and most likely will never be seen again. The new pterodactyl heads are hard rubber and really good quality which definitely will never be re-used. I could be wrong but the satellite dish and clear cell block pieces are new too. Building toys are all about how much they can re-use molds and pieces. When they have to make all-new pieces, it’s not cost-effective especially if they’re only used one time.
I’d also like to mention that Kre-O generally tries to add some new element of play to their sets, even the small ones. I’m always interested in seeing things like Sonic Motion Technology in CityVille, LightTech in Star Trek, and Dino Force Technology here. I think there’s a game for the Dungeons and Dragons sets too. It’s refreshing to see something new in building toys compared to most Lego Super Heroes sets where I question nearly everything in the build and it’s purely the figures that sell the sets. Think I’d rather pay $20 for this than more random, forced vehicles in a Super Heroes set.
I would easily recommend this set. I don’t know how good the dinosaur builds are for the other Age of Extinction sets but this one’s really cool and unique. I’m tempted to check out the others now. Might be hard to pay $20 for it but I can see why it costs so much for the piece count. Definitely pick it up if you can find it cheaper but it was a fun purchase for me.