Kre-view: Kre-O CityVille Invasion A3247 Haunted Hideaway

Long time no see. Decided to review something appropriate for Halloween. Just happened to have this unopened and thought it was time. This is Kre-O CityVille Invasion Haunted Hideaway.

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I initially had some reserves on buying this. I’ve said before that I know nothing about CityVille and I only picked these up as alternatives to Lego City so my Kreons have a place to hang out. Compared to every other set in this wave, a haunted castle seemed so out of place. It didn’t seem like a place I’d have my Transformers Kreons displayed. But like most of the CityVille sets I have, the right price came along and I grabbed it.

As always, let’s analyze the box front. Nothing too outrageous or odd about this one. We see secret agent man using a curved stake to fight against a vampire who has a sword that’s bigger than his body. A gravestone flies in the air as a skeleton with a scythe also flies while a Ghostbusters ripoff fires a missle at him from his random vehicle.

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The contents of the box

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Stickers – This is one of the more frustrating sticker sheets I’ve applied. One sticker doesn’t seem to go anywhere. Also, they’re the transparent kind which is annoying to apply/center since they’re smaller than their respective pieces. The left section of stickers were hard to discern when looking at the instructions. I wish they were more clear or labeled them. They all have cracks and similarities. Finally, the stickers with smaller details don’t show up on purple pieces that well. Would’ve worked better on gray.

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Front/Back of instruction booklet

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From left to right we have: Baron Batcakes, Skeletron, Agent Holster, Ian A. Allen, and our mystery Kreon called Ectoplaz.

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One of the stranger bunch of names from the CityVille sets I’ve opened. Usually there’s a pun name but there doesn’t seem to be an obvious one. I have no idea what Ian A. Allen as a name is. I know it would’ve been hard for these little guys, but I really wish Baron Batcakes had a cape. Feels awkward for a vampire figure to not have one. Ian A. Allen’s goggles can flip up/down. Ectoplaz glows in the dark and is an awesome name.

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Not that there are new CityVille sets to rectify this, but as always, there’s one display brick despite many figures. To be fair, Lego doesn’t even offer display bricks so I suppose one > none. Still wish the human Kreons had two-sided faces. As interchangeable as the faces are, more expressions would be welcome for more play value. This is a Haunted Hideaway and there isn’t ONE scared expression. I suppose you can borrow from the sets that have such faces, but you get my point.

Let’s take a look at our random vehicle.

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You can see that there is missile you can fire. No, not flick-fire. Kre-O’s too good for that. Like  many CityVille vehicles, this one has EXTREME flames coming out the back. The plastic wheels spin super smooth and I like that. Not much else to say.

Onto the build on the 20×24 plate. Keep in mind that the rubber studs you place on the bottom are greasy so be careful where you play with this because it can leave stains.

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I have to point out that the spider web sticker gets covered up here, so what’s the point?

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As a display piece, it’s pretty cool, but I wish the castle had more bulk or play features. You build it on the sonic motion brick, but look at all that empty space behind the castle. Sure, it’s for Kreons to move, but unless you put up barriers or they perfectly walk into the castle, they’re going to wander off the brick. The glow in the dark spiders are a nice touch.

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One play feature is this purple lever. You can set a CityVille Kreon here, place the tombstone over it, and when you hit the lever, the Kreon will rise from the dead flinging the tombstone. The one downside is that the Kreon stays. I think it would’ve been cooler if the Kreon flew too which is what the box front shows.

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You can lift up this drawbridge but I seriously don’t know what these pieces under it are.

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Next is this crank you can rotate right to make the axe in the castle’s front chop down.

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This back piece of the castle flips up.

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This gate can open.

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Onto the sonic motion brick which comes with an interesting variety of sounds.

-Wind
-“Toccata and Fugue in D minor” (or the ringtone in the first case of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Justice for All)
-Thunder
-Ghoulish wails
-Creaking doors, doors slamming shut
-Cat reowing
-Muwahahahahaha (which the brick sometimes vibrates in unison to which is neat)
-Vehicle vrooming
-Wolf howling
-Two different laser gun sounds

As usual with sonic motion technology, it can be inconsistent. It all comes down to picking the right setting for your play surface. You can check my Skyscraper Mayhem review for how the sonic motion electronics work. Remember not to touch the red hairs on the sonic bricks or expose them to anything but the set or their protective covers. Also, make sure you put a stud in the middle or it won’t work.

The one moving feature to the set is this circle that spins. That works fine.

On the back of the instructions, the greenish color on the base plate is grass, but you never see anybody or the vehicle here in the pictures. Though Kreons always work best on the plate, that implies your guys aren’t supposed to go on the green. That leaves the castle and bridge pieces, right?

Unfortunately the working drawbridge doesn’t play well with moving Kreons. Since it’s not locked down, the vibrations cause it to not be stable. It’s very hard for a Kreon to move from the castle onto the drawbridge. However, if you place a Kreon on the drawbridge, it will move forward and if all goes well, the spinning circle will get your guy going onto the other bridge so it can tumble down the stairs. This was awesome when I first saw it. If only they had somewhere to go afterwards instead of wiping out…

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I’m never one to keep up with this, but for anyone who cares I think there were a lot of new Kre-O parts here I haven’t seen before.

Ultimate Reflections:
A bit underwhelming. This is only the third CityVille set I’ve reviewed, but Skyscraper Mayhem remains the best. I like the look of the set and the sounds they chose. Glow in the dark anything is always a nice touch. I just wish there were more play features, the stickers less annoying, and that half the sonic motion brick wasn’t empty. It definitely needed some barriers. It’s not an auto-recommend, but if you can get a good deal like I did, the kids’ll have some fun with it. I don’t see me using it for display purposes especially since I bought these for my Transformers Kreons.

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Happy Halloween and be safe.

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