Kre-O Transformers Galvatron Factory Battle {Holiday Gift Idea – Giveaway}

Pamela Chan, Contributor

In our home we have never built a complex set of models using small construction pieces. Faced with the chance to build a Kre-O Transformers Galvatron factory battle scene, we knew that we were up for a big challenge. All the more so because our son is at the young end of the age range for using this type of toy.

What We Received

The Kre-O Transformers Galvatron Factory Battle kit contains 388 pieces for seven characters, a dino-bot and two buildings. Of the seven characters, Galvatron is the most impressive due to his size and the design features in his upper torso. This is the only set that comes with the red and blue colours as seen on Optimus Prime. Collectors who know the Transformer series will be able to determine unique details in this kit related to the look of the characters or the type of blaster they are carrying, for example. The Bumblebee and Vehicon characters have magnets on the back which allows you to use a crane to lift them into the air. Two of the three smaller characters are scientists. The factory includes a collapsing catapult.

The age range for the set is 6 – 12 years old. (Although the Kre-O video lists the age as 7 – 14.)

Inside the box the mostly small pieces were divided into bags of similar types of pieces. The smaller characters were in their own small bags. The box has a large, clear photograph of what the finished models will look like. There is also a 65 page manual showing how to build the models and a sheet of stickers that go on some of the pieces.

How We Used the Material

What is the first order of business for an adult when faced with the prospect of helping your child with a 388 piece Kre-O kit? At our house three adults looked at the bags in the box and collectively got a touch stressed out.

“Woa. That’s a lot of pieces.”

“Are they separated?”

“Yes there are.”

“No wait. They’re not.”

“They need to be organized.”

“No they don’t.”

“I’m going to organize them.”

“Don’t bother. It’s not necessary.”

“I’m going to do it anyway.”

Meanwhile one of the adults (we’ll call him Dad) started trying to put the pieces together while our son hovered around the table.  Clearly this plan wasn’t working.

By building session five, our son was working with the material independently and took a very serious approach to the task at hand.

After we got off to a rocky start, we knew that we needed a complete overhaul of how to present the material so that our son/grandson could fully take part and eventually be independent.  Since he has never used this type of set before, his experience using the material is quite different from how a 10 or 12 year old would approach the task. He can do maybe 15 to 20 steps in one sitting. Whereas a tween might stay in his room for hours until he is done.

Set-Up Matters

At least for the younger set, an organized set-up is really helpful while you build the models. In the instructions there is an illustration that advises users to group the material in piles by colours. It is entirely possible that an older child could quickly dig through those colour-coded piles to find the piece that was required. We knew that for our young user – and for the sanity of the adults giving a helping hand – we wanted identical pieces to go in small egg containers with egg cartoons. Some of the larger pieces were set aside in three Tupperware containers.

We also had three more empty Tupperware pieces. One was for finished models such as the smaller characters. One is used to collect the parts for the section of the model that is being built. The last one is used to collected completed parts of a model that will ultimately be put together.

Establishing a Routine

During the early sessions, while getting used to the Kre-O method of building a model, we showed our son how to look at the instructions and identify the pieces that are being requested. He would scan the egg cartons looking for the pieces. We organized the pieces by area so that one carton might be dark grey pieces, for example. If he couldn’t find a piece, then we would give him a description of what he was looking for. If he still couldn’t find the piece, we would help him.

Once all the pieces were collected, we would look at the diagram and then start to build. There is no margin for error. If a piece has to be a certain way, there is probably a reason. If you have to set a piece back with a row around it for other uses, you have to take this into consideration. There are no duplicates for pieces. If you lose a piece, there is no replacement.

In the manual you will see which pieces are required to complete a section and there are photographs showing how to put the pieces together. Looking at the negative and positive space on the manual pages, the photographs of the material required could stand to be bigger. Even with good lighting, it can be hard to see the details sometimes.

Working Independently

Initially my son worked with his 9 year old cousin as she opened the kit and showed him how to put the figurines together.  His first effort to try making the models was with his grandmother. Later on he worked with me twice and then with his father twice.  He and his father were keen to finish the model together.  Twice before the final building session, my son worked independently – only asking for help if he couldn’t snap a piece together.

Other than snapping hard-to-snap pieces together, an adult would help oversee his work in case he put a piece on backwards or missed the placement in the correct location.  By working with different people, my son gained the confidence to try building the models by himself.  Using well sorted out material and empty Tupperware to hold material and constructed parts helped.  If they don’t exist already, Kre-O could consider making parts storage and sorting trays that can be  used while building their sets.

Our Conclusions

For our son the challenge of looking at diagrams, understanding what was required, finding the right piece and construction models was highly appealing.  Every day he would ask to work on his Kre-O. We stored the egg cartons and Tupperware containers – some with finished models – in a cardboard box that could be easily tucked away.

Once the models were finished, they were placed in the same box. The roof has been taken off and one of the sides has been flipped down.  This is another product that Kre-O could consider making.  A display stage helps to keep all the finished models organized.  It would also be useful if there was one larger board that you could snap the other models on to. This would help to keep them from falling down.

Transformer models and story lines featuring battles, flame blasters or types of guns.  For parents who are not keen on having their boys use toys depicting guns, there is always the option to remove the guns and keep the flame blasters.  The latter is clearly a fantastical notion while guns might have more real life associations.  This is a matter of personal preference.  Many boys are drawn to these story lines and to these characters, along with the good guy versus bad guy focus.  Some girls like the Transformer stories too.  They like to receive robots and would enjoy putting this kit type of together.  Our son’s twin sister didn’t show an interest in putting the model pieces together.  This was interesting to me as she does like building with other building sets.  However, once the models were put together, she has enjoyed sitting in front of the display area with her brother as they act out made up story lines.

Before trying this kit I might have assumed that my son isn’t ready to use this type of complex construction set.  Now that we have seen how much he enjoyed working with this type of challenge, another kit of some type has been pencilled in on his Christmas shopping list.

Related

Kre-O Transformer website

Kre-O Transformer Galvatron Factory Battle ad video

THE GIVEAWAY

Win it: One lucky Canadian reader will win a Kre-O Transformers Galvatron Factory Battle (valued at $44.99).  Enter to WIN below via Rafflecopter. Good Luck!

Disclosure: I received a sample of a product to facilitate my review. No other compensation was provided and all views and opinions stated on this post are 100% my own.

 photo giftguide2014_zps576eefab.jpg

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86 responses to “Kre-O Transformers Galvatron Factory Battle {Holiday Gift Idea – Giveaway}”

  1. Amanda Neilson — November 6, 2014 @ 10:17 am (#)

    I love how you organized them! Never would have considered an egg carton! Wonderful idea!

    Reply

  2. Jeannie — November 6, 2014 @ 10:25 am (#)

    I like that my son can work on this independently if he wanted or we could work on it together. Building this would also work on his hand eye coordination too!

    Reply

  3. Juliee+Fitze — November 6, 2014 @ 10:30 am (#)

    I like that you can remove the guns.

    Reply

  4. Suzie+M — November 6, 2014 @ 10:31 am (#)

    I like the appeal it holds & there is no video screen

    Reply

  5. Sara Strand — November 6, 2014 @ 10:38 am (#)

    My son would love this!!

    Reply

  6. josephine evans — November 6, 2014 @ 11:23 am (#)

    Fun creative activity for children! Gets the creative juices flowing!

    Reply

  7. LILLIAN BROWN — November 6, 2014 @ 11:25 am (#)

    I like that my grandchildren can work on this independently

    Reply

  8. Angela+Mitchell — November 6, 2014 @ 12:05 pm (#)

    Oh I like how you had it all organized! I think my husband and daughter would really enjoy the challenge of it and that it would be something they could enjoy doing together.

    Reply

  9. Andrea+Amy — November 6, 2014 @ 12:20 pm (#)

    I like how it would inspire creativity AND independence 🙂

    Reply

  10. JIll — November 6, 2014 @ 12:32 pm (#)

    I like that there are multiple characters. My three boys should all be able to play with it together.

    Reply

  11. Carolle H — November 6, 2014 @ 12:42 pm (#)

    Love thats its not a video games

    Reply

  12. Anne+Taylor — November 6, 2014 @ 12:43 pm (#)

    I love this because it works on creativity and fine motor skills

    Reply

  13. Maegan Morin — November 6, 2014 @ 12:52 pm (#)

    My son LOVES Transformers and Construction sets. So to put them together would make his Christmas! This would be the perfect gift for him.

    Reply

  14. SweetPanda — November 6, 2014 @ 1:12 pm (#)

    I love that it can help kids to work independently and it will also help kids to build up their patience

    Reply

  15. Clair+P — November 6, 2014 @ 1:20 pm (#)

    I love that my son would be able to do this on his own, give him hours of something to do that he would enjoy

    Reply

  16. Athena — November 6, 2014 @ 3:32 pm (#)

    It’s something I know my Son would love

    Reply

  17. missbobloblaw — November 6, 2014 @ 4:09 pm (#)

    I love how many characters come with the kit!

    Reply

  18. Tiffany Rotulo — November 6, 2014 @ 6:12 pm (#)

    My son lives Kre-o and Transformers, the perfect combination. Thanks for the great review.

    Reply

  19. Lee-Ann — November 6, 2014 @ 6:35 pm (#)

    I love, love, love the organization! Holy moly..why didn’t they do this years ago?

    Reply

  20. Silvia D — November 6, 2014 @ 7:45 pm (#)

    I like that it lets the child use his/her imagination and has hours of fun for them.

    Reply

  21. JaimeeM — November 6, 2014 @ 8:00 pm (#)

    My son went to a toys r us make and take with kreo transformers. He loved it! So I know hed love this

    Reply

  22. William C. — November 6, 2014 @ 8:20 pm (#)

    It’s a great addition to the variety of Lego my grand kids have.

    Reply

  23. Bernice — November 6, 2014 @ 9:02 pm (#)

    i love that its a hands on build it them selves toy and that they’ll have hours of fun

    Reply

  24. Dayna+Wilson — November 6, 2014 @ 9:05 pm (#)

    I like the creativity and storytelling it inspires.

    Reply

  25. Kimberly B — November 6, 2014 @ 9:14 pm (#)

    I love that it promotes spending time creating with your children.

    Reply

  26. Jenn Erin — November 7, 2014 @ 3:21 am (#)

    I love that it requires time and attention! It will keep my nephew occupied and distracted from the TV!

    Reply

  27. lori+b — November 7, 2014 @ 8:35 am (#)

    this would be great on a rainy day, can spend lots of time creating

    Reply

  28. Salma — November 7, 2014 @ 9:10 am (#)

    Oh my gosh, my son would love this!! He’s loves building and he loves transformers so it’s the perfect combo!

    Reply

  29. Florence C — November 7, 2014 @ 11:20 am (#)

    I like how the kids get to be creative with the toys. My grandson is a big transformer fan.

    Reply

  30. Chantal thibault — November 7, 2014 @ 1:24 pm (#)

    I like how creative one could be.. As well as the organisation.

    Reply

  31. Wendy hutton — November 7, 2014 @ 1:29 pm (#)

    I like that it has the option to remove the guns if you don’t want the kids to play with them

    Reply

  32. jan — November 7, 2014 @ 2:55 pm (#)

    love that it would keep them busy for so long by being challenging.

    Reply

  33. DeeDee — November 7, 2014 @ 6:04 pm (#)

    WOW, what kid wouldn’t love this!

    Reply

  34. Elizabeth+Matthiesen — November 7, 2014 @ 9:13 pm (#)

    The egg carton is a great idea for sorting. This is a great toy to keep kids occupied for hours at a time – well for a while anyway. I remember trying to sort Lego stones many moons ago – an horrendous task 🙂

    Reply

  35. Elva+Roberts — November 8, 2014 @ 8:12 am (#)

    I like the fact that my grandson would find it very challenging and he would enjoy this immensely.

    Reply

  36. Nicole B — November 8, 2014 @ 12:01 pm (#)

    I love the organized set up

    Reply

  37. melissa m — November 8, 2014 @ 3:45 pm (#)

    its organized, for independent play and the guns are removable

    Reply

  38. Lisa+H — November 8, 2014 @ 7:12 pm (#)

    I like that it is different from other toys and leads children to creative play.

    Reply

  39. Marla — November 8, 2014 @ 7:12 pm (#)

    My nephew would love this. Loves transformers and building

    Reply

  40. Jonnie — November 8, 2014 @ 9:24 pm (#)

    I really like that it incorporates so many skills. Hand-eye coordination, following directions, sorting, etc.

    Reply

  41. Alison K — November 8, 2014 @ 10:21 pm (#)

    What I like about the “win a Kre-O Transformers Galvatron Factory Battle” the most, is the fact it doesn’t need batteries & encourages self thought and/or group participation.

    Reply

  42. Heather Howard — November 9, 2014 @ 6:44 am (#)

    I like the fact that dad was sitting and helping! Great bonding time! We need more of that around here!

    Reply

  43. Toby — November 9, 2014 @ 10:15 am (#)

    They’re creating something and having fun and learning while doing it!

    Reply

  44. SueSueper — November 9, 2014 @ 12:13 pm (#)

    I like that the kids can read and follow instructions. Important tasks to master, even for when they are older.

    Reply

  45. Tina+F — November 9, 2014 @ 3:20 pm (#)

    I like that the kids can do this by themselves and use their imagination and it helps to build their motor skills

    Reply

  46. Karla+Sceviour — November 9, 2014 @ 4:25 pm (#)

    I love the creativity and imagination it gives kids,instead of being glued to video games.

    Reply

  47. Viv+Sluys — November 9, 2014 @ 4:37 pm (#)

    My nephews love this sort of thing. I like that they are challenging but the instructions are doable by kids if they take the time for it.

    Reply

  48. Leslie+Brooks — November 10, 2014 @ 8:46 am (#)

    simply because it is transformers

    Reply

  49. Tammy Dalley — November 10, 2014 @ 12:19 pm (#)

    My boys loves Kre-o I love how they can use their creativity and imagination!

    Reply

  50. diane+welburn — November 10, 2014 @ 12:45 pm (#)

    allows kids to be creative

    Reply

  51. ivy pluchinsky — November 10, 2014 @ 1:08 pm (#)

    My niece or godson would love this

    Reply

  52. Jenny — November 10, 2014 @ 2:55 pm (#)

    I love that it takes time and patience to build – it will help the kids to develop that. And that the finished product will sure to be a crowd pleaser and worth it

    Reply

  53. anna key — November 10, 2014 @ 3:19 pm (#)

    I love that you can create seven characters!

    Reply

  54. Donna Allen — November 10, 2014 @ 5:07 pm (#)

    My grandson would love these, he would be able to use his creativity and imagination!

    Reply

  55. maria — November 10, 2014 @ 5:08 pm (#)

    I like that it’s creative play.

    Reply

  56. Londia — November 11, 2014 @ 11:52 am (#)

    It would help my son use his imagination and building something which he would enjoy.

    Reply

  57. Amy+C — November 11, 2014 @ 3:09 pm (#)

    I like that it inspires creativity.

    Reply

  58. Ashley J — November 11, 2014 @ 5:46 pm (#)

    My second oldest nephew would love this

    Reply

  59. holly+o'gorman — November 12, 2014 @ 2:50 pm (#)

    I like that it promotes fine motor skills.

    Reply

  60. Irene Eichler — November 13, 2014 @ 12:13 pm (#)

    I like that it is a creative toy !

    Reply

  61. Angie Andrews — November 14, 2014 @ 12:06 pm (#)

    i love that this would help to improve my sons fine motor skills and imagination

    Reply

  62. Stephanie+LaPlante — November 15, 2014 @ 2:53 pm (#)

    I love how it encourages creativity and imagination. So cool!

    Reply

  63. Brenda+Lacourciere — November 17, 2014 @ 3:01 am (#)

    I like that it is not any kind of electronics. we are trying to get away from that.

    Reply

  64. Julie+Farmer — November 17, 2014 @ 7:55 am (#)

    I love how it encourages kids to use their imagination

    Reply

  65. Anna+W — November 17, 2014 @ 8:08 am (#)

    I like that it looks like a challange, my kids enjoy projects like this that they need to really think about.

    Reply

  66. leanne — November 17, 2014 @ 9:25 pm (#)

    I love that they can be creative with it.

    Reply

  67. Jennpup (@jennpup) — November 18, 2014 @ 11:09 am (#)

    I love that its complex enough to require a bit of brain power and some collaborative play! 🙂

    Reply

  68. Trevor — November 19, 2014 @ 8:45 am (#)

    My nephew ( and his dad ) would LOVE this!

    Reply

  69. Lindsay Cyr — November 20, 2014 @ 7:09 am (#)

    I love that this type of toy allows children to use their imagination as well as it helps develop their fine motor skills.

    Reply

  70. Jeanette+Jackson — November 20, 2014 @ 5:30 pm (#)

    I like the endless ways to play with this toy.

    Reply

  71. Erika E — November 22, 2014 @ 3:04 pm (#)

    I like how big the kit is. It would keep my son happily playing for hours.

    Reply

  72. Deb Dorrington — November 24, 2014 @ 1:44 pm (#)

    I like that you can remove the guns if you want to..

    Reply

  73. Erika+Belanger — November 24, 2014 @ 7:58 pm (#)

    I like all the possibilities !!

    Reply

  74. Lisa+Smith — November 24, 2014 @ 8:03 pm (#)

    I like the imagination play possibilities

    Reply

  75. elaing8 — November 24, 2014 @ 8:06 pm (#)

    I like that the instructions show pictures and how to build it step by step.

    Reply

  76. Wanda+Tracey — November 24, 2014 @ 10:30 pm (#)

    I love them because they stir kids imaginations to build and because my two grandsons work together for hours a day with them.

    Reply

  77. kristy e — November 25, 2014 @ 7:05 pm (#)

    I love that it promotes creativity

    Reply

  78. darci — November 25, 2014 @ 10:14 pm (#)

    my nephew would love this and I like that you can take some parts out of the mix

    Reply

  79. Jennie Yuen — November 27, 2014 @ 9:32 am (#)

    I love that it’s something my son can build and learn as well as learning to organize the pieces.

    Reply

  80. Julie+Bolduc — November 27, 2014 @ 10:48 am (#)

    I like that you can help your child put it together

    Reply

  81. Carolsue — November 28, 2014 @ 2:30 am (#)

    I’d like this for my son because it would be a challenge for him and bring out his creativity — not to mention how much he would enjoy it.

    Reply

  82. eleanor — November 29, 2014 @ 3:46 pm (#)

    I like it takes creativity and persistence to build this set and I also like that the guns can be removed.

    Reply

  83. Jenn M — November 30, 2014 @ 7:30 am (#)

    wow it is huge and inspire creativity.

    Reply

  84. Darci — December 1, 2014 @ 10:34 am (#)

    love the creativity component

    Reply

  85. Carol+Denny — December 3, 2014 @ 3:59 am (#)

    My grandson would like it!

    Reply

  86. valerie theberge — December 3, 2014 @ 5:49 am (#)

    I like how it would inspire creativity!

    Reply

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