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KRE-O CityVille Invasion – Introduction

Although our main focus here is LEGO brand products, from time to time I like to show you other brands that are compatible with LEGO that may enhance the LEGO hobby. We regularly review LEGO customizers (these are usually small companies run by LEGO fans who make LEGO compatible accessories) and also look at larger brands that offer interesting products that LEGO fans may take advantage of. 🙂

LEGO Compatible Brand KRE-O

Today I would like to show you a new product-line by KRE-O called CityVille Invasion that I recently had a chance to try out myself. Please note that I review non-LEGO brands solely from the perspective of a LEGO fan, and not on their own merit. This perspective of course come plusses and minuses, but since most of us here are LEGO fans, I believe this is what will be the most beneficial to our readership. What I’m looking for is if a brand can offer anything interesting or unique to a LEGO fan in the form of minifigure accessories (tools, weapons, headgear, etc.), interesting building elements, colors, building-techniques, etc.

KRE-O CityVille Invasion Homepage

KRE-O is a line of construction-toys manufactured by South Korea-based Oxford and marketed by Hasbro. I’m very fond of the Oxford brand as their products are fully compatible with LEGO and are very high quality. Also, they are not just LEGO copycats, but have their own very unique lines. Their fantasy themed sets (similar to LEGO Castle but with heroes and villains from Asian culture) and historic sets are particularly nice. You can see my review on Oxford here: OXFORD – Overview

The first KRE-O products were released back in 2011 with the highly popular and very interesting Transformers sets, followed by Battleship, G.I Joe and Star Trek based sets. This year they have launched KRE-O CityVille Invasion (the line we will focus on here), and next year their sixth product-line will be released based on Dungeons & Dragons.

LEGO Compatible Brand KRE-O sets

KRE-O minifigures are called Kreons. They are different from the traditional Oxford minifigures (which are very similar to LEGO minifigs). Kreons have more joint movement and more possibilities for transformation, however their head (a bit weird with those hardened jaw-lines), headgear and accessories remain fully compatible with LEGO.

KRE-O StarTreck Kreons

Now let’s talk about KRE-O CityVille Invasion. This line is based on the popular CityVille online game series, and introduces what they call “Sonic Motion Technology”, which triggers specific movements in special KREO elements referred to as “Motion Bricks”. Here we are basically talking about a box with batteries that gets attached to a set built on a baseplate, and when the battery-box gets turned on make the entire set vibrate. The vibration is very slight, so you won’t notice it, but the Motion Bricks all have tiny rubbery “hair” at the bottom that picks up the vibration and makes them move. Which of course means that whatever you put on top of the Motion Bricks (minifigs, weapons, small vehicles, etc.) will move too. The battery-box has a controller that allows faster or slower vibration (resulting on faster or slower movement), and also comes with sound-effects.

I’m not particularly interested in the whole Sonic Motion Technology feature, but I think it could be fun for kids. One thing to note is that the Sonic Motion battery-box as well as the Motion Bricks are fully compatible with LEGO. In otherworlds you can incorporate the same movement to a LEGO set that is built on a baseplate (it has to be a large LEGO plate, not the thin waffle-plate). You attach tiny rubber “feet” (they look like 1×1 round LEGO plates with a rubbery bottom) at the bottom of the baseplate to allow vibration (included with KRE-O CityVille Invasion sets), add the battery-box in your creation (fully compatible with LEGO with studs on top and tubes at the bottom), and use the Motion Bricks to make things move around. I can see some interesting LEGO creations happening with these! 🙄

KRE-O CityVille Invasion Police Station Zombie Defense

The KRE-O CityVille Invasion sets introduce a line of micro Kreons that are unique to this theme. These midgety Kreons have the same heads and hands as regular Kreons, but tiny bodies. Which, from a LEGO fan’s perspective means that the heads, headgear and accessories of the micro Kreons are fully compatible with LEGO. This is important and provides many interesting opportunities. The CityVille Invasion is based on an attack by the evil Dr. Mayhem and his supernatural squad to aid him in world domination (including aliens, skeletons and zombies), so many of the micro Kreons have distorted faces with zombified expressions. If you are into zombies and such, you will find a great variety amongst the micro Kreons! KRE-O sets also have a really nice variety of weapons and tools and they are generously added to CityVille Invasion sets.

KRE-O Micro Kreons

Also, the CityVille Invasion micro Kreons work really well as children in LEGO sets (or midgets). You can replace the Kreon heads with regular heads to make them even more compatible. They are very cute. KRE-O also came out with a line of micro Kreon blind bags, called KRE-O CityVille Invasion Population. These are similar to the LEGO Collectible Minifigure bags, and come with two micro Kreons with accessories. So if you don’t want to pick up a whole KRE-O CityVille Invasion set, but you are interested in the micro Kreons, look out for these little baggies at your local toy-store.

LEGO & KRE-O Minifigure Combinations

There are several larger and many smaller sets in the KRE-O CityVille Invasion line. I had a chance to build the #A3250 Police Station Zombie Defense, and the #A3251 Skyscraper Mayhem – these are both larger sets ad give you a good idea about the quality of KRE-O sets. Below are some thoughts from a LEGO fan’s perspective.

KRE-O CityVIlle Invasion Sets

The quality of KRE-O elements is pretty much the same as LEGO’s. The clutch power is good; not too tight, not too loose – although I have found that some of the 1×1 plates and round plates are sometimes a bit loose, but other than that I have no complaints. These are high quality elements you would have trouble distinguishing from LEGO.

In general the colors are nice. Similar to the LEGO color palette, and in fact most colors are the same as LEGO’s. The grays are closer to LEGO’s old gray and the brown to LEGO’s old brown. The only colors I didn’t like are the translucent ones. They look dull and don’t have the shine and brilliance of LEGO’s translucent elements. They also have at least one unique color; bronze, which is quite nice.

The stickers are bad. Like somebody printed them on their home printer when the ink was running low. At least in the sets I got only the minifigs are printed, all other elements are stickered. The printing on the minifigs however is very nice.

KRE-O Micro Kreon Figures

Although most building elements are the same as what you would find in LEGO sets, KRE-O also has a whole range of unique parts. Again; these are fully compatible with LEGO and can provide some interesting possibilities. I particularly like their selection of bars, clips and small bits. And as I have mentioned; the weapons and accessories are really nice. Take a look at the picture below to see what I mean:

LEGO Compatible Interesting KRE-O Elements

As far as the quality and building experience of the sets, don’t expect much. I had a feeling that they were designed by people who were rejected by LEGO as designers. There was nothing interesting in the building experience and some of the details are aesthetically plain ugly. The color-selection (especially in the Skyscraper Mayhem) is awful – with colors clashing all over the place. The final sets do have play-value for children, and the part selection is nice with lots of useful elements, but the sets themselves won’t satisfy the needs of older kids and adults who are looking for quality design and interesting building techniques.

In summary I would say that from a LEGO fan’s perspective it is worth checking out the KRE-O CityVille Invasion sets for the micro-figures, for the minifig tools and weapons, and other unique elements LEGO doesn’t make. You will not be disappointed with the quality. As a LEGO fan I would not spend money on the larger sets, but would focus on the smaller sets and Kreon baggies to get the most unique parts. It may also be worth to try out the Sonic Motion Technology and incorporate it into LEGO creations, if this is something that interest you. If you would like to learn more about KRE-O brand products, here are some useful links:

  • KRE-O main website: here you can see all KRE-O products, including Transformers, G.I. Joe, and Star Treklink
  • KRE-O CityVille Invasion product line: see all the CityVille Invasion sets, Kreons, etc. – link
  • KRE-O Videos: commercials, product details, tutorials, mini-movies, etc. I particularly recommend looking at the tutorials for the Sonic Motion Technology – link
  • KRE-O CityVille Invasion Population blind bags: this is a YouTube video showing off all the micro Kreon figures as well as the codes to get specific ones – link

I hope this review helped you to get a feel for KRE-O products. I recommend that next time you go to Toys’R’Us or another toy-shop you check them out personally. KRE-O CityVille Invasion set are also available on Amazon (just follow the link). And if you have any questions feel free to ask. I have been playing with my own KRE-O sets in the past few weeks, so have some personal experience. Also, if you already got some KRE-O sets I would love to hear your opinion; what you like, what you don’t like. So feel free to share in the comment section below! 😉

{ 60 comments… add one }
  • ~EliteBrick~ October 8, 2013, 10:28 AM

    I like the Sonic Motion, the 2×2 slope, “Cheese” slopes, and the 1×1 double clip (Perfect for MicroSpace)

  • ~EliteBrick~ October 8, 2013, 10:40 AM

    I want the police HQ for the guns!

    • admin October 8, 2013, 11:36 AM

      Yeah, the guns are super cool! 😀

  • Fikko3107 October 8, 2013, 10:42 AM

    I always hope LEGO would make double clips, or better yet, adjustable double clips. It would help make a really cool Deathstroke custom figure.

    By the way, admin, have you started on that post of other contributors yet? I’m on holiday and I’ve been unfathomably bored, so I could do that for you…

    • admin October 8, 2013, 11:37 AM

      Fikko, I still haven’t made up my mind if I want to do that as far as other conributors.

  • Kabooshka October 8, 2013, 11:28 AM

    Very intruiging! Never heard of these myself but their cross-compatibility and the featuring of it on this blog could raise a bit of awareness for this and we might even see some even more impressive structures with the use of these new ‘bricks’. Some potential here!

  • benny October 8, 2013, 11:42 AM

    ill give it a pass. why didn’t lego do transformers instead of kre-o I would buy that. also ninjago fans who has heard the ninjago songs “born to be a ninja” and “!ninja go!” they are by the same people that did the theme song

    • Fikko3107 October 8, 2013, 12:02 PM

      That’s because, it won’t be very sensible if a toy company tries to get a license from another toy company to make toys based on the other toy company’s toys…

      • Chi-bacca October 8, 2013, 12:29 PM

        To put it simply transformers and kreo is owned by hasbro 😉

      • Samuel Plahetka July 6, 2016, 7:08 PM

        Kreo manufactures the transformer sets because kreo is owned by Hasbro and Hasbro owns the transformers copyright over most of the world.
        But, Hasbro doesn’t own the cityville invasion copyright and the owner of that copyright has pulled Hasbro’s rights to publish that line due to not paying royalties.
        which may be why most companies shy away from licensing agreements and such. Hard to say for sure.
        On a separate issue, the owner of cityville invasion is currently seeking a licensing agreement for the cityville invasion line. I think he’s planing on starting a comic blog featuring previous and new builds to try to attract potential licensors for that product line. I’m sure he’ll announce something official when it’s ready.

        • admin July 6, 2016, 7:52 PM

          That’s really interesting. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

          • Samuel Plahetka July 6, 2016, 8:05 PM

            No problem. I’ll send the link over when it get’s finished.

  • ninja of stealth October 8, 2013, 12:13 PM

    they are kind of creepy if you ask me! little stubby feet, really long arms, then they look fat (then again, so do LEGO minifigures) I don’t know, they’re really are weird. that’s all I can say. 😯 but they kind of copy LEGO! and megablocks! 😡

    • admin October 8, 2013, 1:19 PM

      LEGO minifigs are also weird – but in a sort of cute way. We are just really used to how they look, but if you show them to a person who never played with LEGO, they often consider minifigs weird too. As far as who is cloning who, LEGO is a clone itself. Something that will haunt LEGO forever. That is why other companies like MB and KRE-O cannot be stopped from making similar products. Just a little bit from LEGO’s dark past. 😉

      • ninja of stealth October 9, 2013, 12:28 PM

        so LEGO isn’t the oldest? 😕

        • admin October 9, 2013, 12:35 PM

          Oh, not by far! Even before Kiddicraft there was another brand called Minibrix with moulded studs to interlock the elements. But this was back in the 1930s before modern plastics were invented, so they were made of rubber. And even Minibrix was not the first one to make interlocking bricks! There were others before them with similar ideas. 😉

  • Carbo October 8, 2013, 2:50 PM

    LEGO is a clone?! 80 Anyway, I may have to give KRE-O a second look. Especially for the Gijoe! 😀

    • admin October 8, 2013, 2:59 PM

      Yep, LEGO is a clone of the brand called Kiddicraft that made the first self-locking bricks back in 1946. LEGO simply took their design without permission and started using it. Therefore LEGO has no rights to the designs of their basic elements. Anybody can freely use them and make similar products. That is one of the resons LEGO has to continue using licensed product-lines – something they actually have the rights to and would have an easier time to defend.

      • Fikko3107 October 9, 2013, 3:28 AM

        Really? Didn’t LEGO bought the patent somewhere along the way?

        • Håkan October 9, 2013, 5:41 AM

          I heard that the patents have expired, but I’m not sure if the Kiddicraft blocks had anything to do with it. Since then, Lego has tried a few times to compete legally on copyright, but most court rulings have been in their opponents’ favor.

          • admin October 9, 2013, 9:42 AM

            Hakan, this is LEGO’s well documented and researched history. It is unfortunate, but it explains why LEGO can’t own the rights to their basic brick shapes and why they keep loosing in court. The iconic brick-shape that they are well-known for was not theirs in the first place. Kiddicraft went out of business a long time ago – mostly for the reason they didn’t have the money to fight a giant like LEGO. It is always the winners who write history; “his story”, but it is best to preserve the truth. Being fanboys/girls of a particular brand and forget what actually happened will only harm us. In fact we would reinforce the fact that the little guy with no money almost always gets the short end of the stick. Don’t forget that LEGO is after all a money-making operation with the owners being billionaires. They are not running a charity. 😉

            • Håkan October 9, 2013, 11:40 AM

              So, if I get you right, the fact that Kiddicraft existed before Lego prevented Lego from renewing their patents?

              • admin October 9, 2013, 12:15 PM

                Hakan, at some point, when Kiddicraft was already going under, and after the death of the founder, LEGO did purchase the rights to the Kiddicraft patents. As far as renewing patents, that is a very expensive process and sometimes LEGO doesn’t pursue it. They let some of their patents expire at which point they are fair game for anyone to use. So calling all companies who use LEGO compatible products evil is just wrong. LEGO made the business decision not to renew their patents, so it is completely legal for others to use them. Imitation is the greatest form of flattery. 😉

                I would add here though that blatantly copying LEGO sets, LEGO boxes and LEGO designs is a completely different matter (I have written about those lame Ninjato, Ninjaman, Ghima and Chim sets coming out of China before). LEGO has every right to pursue them legally, but whether they will actually do it is another matter. Legal litigation is an expensive process also. And since the Chinese clones rarely get out of China, it may not make sense for LEGO to fight them. However now that LEGO is planning to move into Asia more agressively, it may become an entirely different matter. We shall see if LEGO is ready to deal with the nightmare of Chinese bootlegs (a.k.a. “bootlegos”). 😐

                • Håkan October 9, 2013, 3:42 PM

                  So, my first impression was right. Lego could have renewed the patents, but they decided not to, and now they have to face the consequences…

                  A few of those bootlegos actually seem to be quite decent, but a lot of them are of quite horrible quality on all levels…

                  • admin October 9, 2013, 5:11 PM

                    Hakan, some of their patents they didn’t renew, and some of them they couldn’t get in the first place because the design wasn’t theirs to begin with. 😉

        • admin October 9, 2013, 9:32 AM

          Nope. They couldn’t. Kiddiecraft never agreed, and you can’t force for someone to sell you goods thaty you have already stolen…

          • Fikko3107 October 9, 2013, 11:10 AM

            Wait…LEGO’s earliest venture to building blocks WERE plagiarizing Kiddicraft, yes, (Now I remember.) but the whole tubes-at-the-bottom system were completely original from LEGO, right?

            • admin October 9, 2013, 12:02 PM

              Yes, as far as I know, although the original LEGO bricks were pretty much exactly like Kiddicraft’s, later they added the tubes. I actually have a couple very early LEGO bricks with no studs at the bottom and the characteristic slit at the sides where you could insert windows and such. There is a very good article at the following link about the history of Kiddicraft and their relationship with LEGO: http://www.hilarypagetoys.com/history.php?his_id=4

  • Carbo October 8, 2013, 2:50 PM

    Whoops. Admin, if it’s not too much trouble, can you please fix my smileys? Thanks!

  • Carbo October 8, 2013, 3:03 PM


  • Andy at www.smallplasticbricks.com October 8, 2013, 3:13 PM

    I’ve handled other brands’ products, and they always feel lesser quality than Lego. I guess I’m a Lego purist. To me, physical modifications, customizing, and brand mixing is a sin! 😉

    • admin October 8, 2013, 3:43 PM

      Andy, I understand what you mean. I only use LEGO myself for building, however I also like to check out unique elements, and especially minifigure parts and accessories from other brands. They provide some nice options and opportunities to enhance my LEGO creations.

      I can tell you from first hand experience though that there are very few brands that has the quality of LEGO. Maybe two or three? The rest are complete garbage. And even the good quality ones are often lacking in the design department. After I built these those KRE-O sets, it was so nice to go back to my recently built LEGO MBA models with their gorgeous colors and surprising techniques.

      There is nothing wrong with the quality of KRE-O, but as I mentioned in the post, the color choices and uninspired design was a turn-off for me. I have never seen a LEGO-like brand make something awesome like the LEGO Modulars, LEGO Technic, or other advanced LEGO sets. The best they come to in design is LEGO’s cheaper sets made for kiddies. “Only the best is good enough!” 😉

      • Lloydguy October 8, 2013, 4:10 PM

        I think LEGO is the only* good brick product. anything else (including kiddicraft) is the -BEEEEEEEP-+ thing ever

        *should be in bold
        +should be in italics

      • benny October 8, 2013, 4:26 PM

        my friend had a lego technic, one of his first sets. he wasnt and still isnt a lego fan but it was so complicated he got me to build it

        • admin October 8, 2013, 8:04 PM

          Yeah, Technic is hard to start out with. It is a very different system, and if you are not into mechanical engineering you might not get into it.

      • Håkan October 8, 2013, 5:33 PM

        I bought some second hand Cobi, which I found pretty good, and with certain unique parts that would be generally useful.

        But most of the better quality clones seem to cost about as much as Lego, so they don’t really seem to be that good a deal. And here in Sweden, the import costs seem to be quite high, since there are few clone brands widely available.

        (There used to be a Swedish clone brand called Byggis with licenses such as TMNT and Jurassic Park. Although of rather decent quality, it’s not really notable for much else than including a lot of greens and browns before Lego did themselves. If some modern clone brand would include a good deal for a lot of pinks, purples and pastels now, I might consider buying that, too. I have a thing for neglected colors.)

        • admin October 8, 2013, 8:06 PM

          Hakan, that’s a very good point. Real quality clone-brands almost always cost the same or even more as LEGO. I have been eyeing some Cobi sent myself. 🙂

  • Chris of Yoda Archives October 8, 2013, 5:21 PM

    If you are looking for some of these set check your mailbox. In our mail today was a coupon insert. There were Hasbro coupons in it including $5 off the police station (#A3250) or the Haunted Hideaway (A3247).

    I have built a KRE-O transformer set. They were better quality than the other clone brands. I have some of the Kreons. I don’t like the legs they just don’t feel stable. The torso painting is not as detailed as they could be. But they are nice figs.

    • admin October 8, 2013, 8:05 PM

      Chris, thanks for sharing that! I have been curious about the KRE-O Transformer sets myself and might pick up one of the smaller ones. I don’t like the regular size Kreons, but I do like these micro guys.

  • limmy from neoape October 8, 2013, 6:27 PM

    Great article on these Cityville sets. I started collecting these since it was an easy way to get weapons for my minifigures. The only thing I would add are the blind bag codes:

    31401 21 – Agent Stealth & Roboticus
    31401 22 – Toxic Zombie & Hazmat Henry
    31401 23 – Steve Timber & Willy Werewolf
    31401 24 – Mike Medic & Zombie Medic
    31401 75 – Sgt. Drill & Zombie Soldier
    31401 76 – Zombie Outlaw & Sheriff Fastdraw
    31401 77 – Wavecrawler & Walter Wetsuit
    31401 78 – Capt. Firebreak & Red Blaze

    • admin October 8, 2013, 8:08 PM

      Limmy, thanks for that! I did include a video-link with all the codes, but it is nice to have them here as well. Those blind bags are a great way to get the micro-Kreons, and yeah, their weapons and accessories are really fun! 🙂

      • Samuel Plahetka July 6, 2016, 7:34 PM

        The creator of cityville invasion pushed for the codes on the blind bags, as well as the instructions that were “universal” in the blind bags (basically to cut down costs, instead of printing 8 instructions in a custom size, print one in a standred size)
        And he had hoped the accessories that you couldn’t find in Lego sets would bring more sales to the series.
        And I have heard he has chronic nightmares about zombies :p

        • admin July 6, 2016, 7:53 PM

          Oh… that’s scary… I sometimes have nightmares, but nothing as scary as one with zombies! Poor guy! 🙁

  • Ike October 9, 2013, 12:38 AM

    First reaction- “Yuck! it’s not LEGO!” After seeing accessories- “woah… love it” “NO! you hypocrite, you can’t love it, it’s not LEGO!” “but I could use those parts! and look at the guns! they’re awesome.” “You can do anything with LEGO that you can do with Kre-o, and make your own guns, using those is cheating” “look at the colors, Star trek!” “NO!”

  • Brick Boy October 9, 2013, 7:08 AM

    I agree some of the weapons are interesting…but KRE-O, Megabloks, or other clone bricks are always going to be of a lesser quality.
    So despite my lust for more of a weapons selection, I’ll NEVER buy KRE-O junk:/

    • admin October 9, 2013, 9:48 AM

      Brick Boy, it is fine to choose whatever brand you want, but to call KRE-O junk is not fair. They are certainly not making junk. The brand is very good in their own right, with their own themes and licensed products. My preferred brand is LEGO as well, but there is nothing wrong with people choosing other brands. In fact having several brands on the market only forces LEGO to keep up their standards. If they would be the only guys on the block, their quality would certainly slip. In fact, if you know LEGO’s history, you have seen that already. So having some competition and having fans who demand quality and reminds LEGO that “Only the best is good enough” will only keep LEGO on their toes. 😉

      • Brick Boy October 9, 2013, 9:28 PM

        Thank you for opening my eyes Admin=) I really see how having other brands helps LEGO be the best!

        • admin October 9, 2013, 9:40 PM

          Yeah, LEGO is awesome! We all agree that it’s the best! 😛

  • Im a Fanboy October 9, 2013, 5:38 PM

    Kreo is nice but the quality of it is nothing near the high quality LEGO bricks.They are still higher quality than megablocks.Im more of a brand loyalty person.LEGO OR KREO?LEGO.APPLE OR SAMSUNG?Apple.When I bought a KREO set 10 pieces were missing from it,and its a 80 piece set.

    • admin October 9, 2013, 7:29 PM

      This just reminds me I forgot to mention something in the review; although I didn’t experience missing pieces, I did note that the sets didn’t contain any extra pieces at all. LEGO usually gives you a few extras of the small parts.

      • Chris of Yoda Archives October 12, 2013, 12:38 AM

        The KRE-O set I bought was opened but was on clearance. I checked it out, it didn’t have an instruction booklet but it looked to have the correct amount of pieces. I figure I could get instructions online and bought the set. The only thing missing were decals. Hasbro was very helpful in replacing them.

        • admin October 12, 2013, 9:08 AM

          Chris, yeah, their customer service is good. Were you able to get instructions online? I’m not that familiar with their website as these were the first sets I got from them.

  • Bohrok Tru October 10, 2013, 3:15 PM

    B…B…BB….BL…..BLASPHEMY!!!!!!! -faints-

    lol jk, the weapons/tools are cool

  • Alysha April 30, 2015, 10:47 AM

    My son has the kre-o transformers set bumblebee and a red one but neither bad instructions to build them . Can’t find any online . Please help

    • admin April 30, 2015, 12:28 PM

      Alysha, I would suggest to call KRE-O directly. They may be able to provide you replacement instructions.

  • Samuel Plahetka July 6, 2016, 7:42 PM

    This isn’t the customer service email, but if you send an email to csr@hasbro.com and ask them to forward your email to customer service they will. I haven’t had to talk to customer service for a while, but they can tell you where to find the instructions.
    They have them online somewhere on Hasbro.com but it’s exceptionally difficult to find without help.

    • admin July 6, 2016, 7:54 PM

      Samuel, thanks for the info! 🙂

      • Samuel Plahetka July 6, 2016, 8:12 PM

        Not a problem either.
        (Csr actually stands for corporate social responsibility but they don’t get anywhere near the volume of email that customer service does.)

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