RANGER ELITE (SANGHEILI)
When it comes to video games, two of the traits I tend to look for are the presence of shootbangs, and a high level of polish. I don’t mean that in the sense of the game being thoroughly tested and fine-tuned, although that is also desirable. No, I mean it’s got lots of shiny things. As many of you probably know, the Halo franchise meets both of these criteria consistently across titles and it is from this series that today’s figure comes. I’ll be taking a look at the Ranger Elite from Halo Reach, the origin story of the Halo universe.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
For those of you not familiar with the Halo games or lore, Elites, or Sangheili if you really want to show off, are a species of alien that are part of a military coalition known as the Covenant. This specific figure is part of McFarlane Toys’ fifth series of Halo Reach action figures and depicts an Elite in the Ranger armor. He features 25 points of articulation and stands about 6″ tall, when you can get him to stand, that is. The sculpt is pretty accurate to the look from the game and is mostly original apart from the feet, hands, and lower torso which are reused from all previous Halo Reach Elites. There are some seam lines and kibble, but anyone handy with an X-acto knife should be able to remedy these easily enough. I do appreciate how the Elite’s face can be partially seen underneath the transparent visor of his helmet instead of, say, having the visor be painted on opaque… and the wrong color. I’m looking at you, DC Direct (see my review of their Tali’Zorah figure). The sculpting does start to be an issue when it runs into certain areas of articulation on the figure. Places like the knees and elbows are sculpted to match as closely as possible to the shape of the character model in the game. However, the simple hinge joint they used on the figure aren’t entirely compatible which results in the knee caps and elbows peeling away from the rest of the arm or leg when you bend the joint. This forms weird little spikes that aren’t meant to be there and can be a little pinchy if you aren’t paying attention. The paint is decent although hardcore collectors will notice some serious areas of slop and bleed over. That being said, the average casual collector such as myself will be totally fine with the paint which has a nice variety of textures like metallic and even pearlescent in some areas. The Ranger Elite comes with a Focus Rifle, Plasma Grenade, and back plate that can be removed to attach a jetpack from one of the other figures in this line. I would have liked a stand of some kind because he is a touch on the wobbly side, but it’s not that big of a deal given that this is probably the most toy-ish action figure I have. This guy isn’t meant to be stood up on a shelf, he’s meant to be played with, and I kinda like that.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
This figure was maybe one of my most impulsive impulse buys. I got him from Toys-R-Us, where I had gone initially to browse the Nerf aisle (ask me about my Nerf collection, I dare you) in search of an early release. I only saw it as I was wandering back through the store. The combination of my favorite Halo armor design along with one of my favorite weapon designs both in one box caused an involuntary reflex in which I took the figure to the checkout, purchased it, and walked back to the car. Ok, maybe it wasn’t involuntary but I am glad to have the figure. It does have its issues as a figure, but as a toy, I give it a resounding BLARG of triumph.