SPARTAN ODST & ACTIVE CAMOUFLAGE ARBITER
What’s this? Halo Minimates? Surely this must be a guest review! Nope, it’s still good ol’ Ethan, doing what he does best. I’ve been steadily getting more and more into the Halo games, which has done a great job of making me check out all of the tons of Halo merch from over the years. Not surprising anyone, one of my first purchases was a set of Minimates. What a shock. So, let’s have a look at the Spartan ODST and Active Camouflage Arbiter.
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
This pair was released in the second series of two-packs in the Halo Minimates line, which were released exclusively at Toys R Us.
SPARTAN ODST (BLUE)
The Spartans are the bread and butter of the Halo franchise, so they cropped up quite a bit in these sets. The figure is about 2 ½ inches tall and features 12 points of articulation (due to the boots). This particular Spartan has the basic Spartan Mark IV armor, but features the ODST (Orbital Drop Shock Trooper) helmet. The ODSTs are themselves not Spartans, just normal guys who assist the Spartans throughout the games, but in Halo 3 (and Halo: Reach) you can customize your Spartan to wear one of their helmets. The figure has quite a few add-ons; ten in all. They are the helmet, torso, shoulder pads, gloves, belt, thigh armor, and boots. The body armor is all the same as the various other base Spartans in the line. It’s quite nicely detailed and fitted pretty nicely to the Minimate body. It’s a little on the bulky side, but that sort of comes with the territory. The helmet is the same one used on the ODST Rookie and the three other Spartan ODSTs. It’s pretty decently handled and matches up well with the armor on the body. If I’m being a bit picky, the visor seems a little thin, but other than that, it’s pretty great. Paint was pretty key on a lot of the Spartans, as it was the main thing that differentiated all of them. This one is, as noted by the name, blue, which is a pretty striking color for a Spartan. The blue is nice and bold and cleanly applied. The gold on the visor is a little sloppy on the edges, but not atrocious. The figure also has some pretty cool detailing on the black under suit, which keeps the figure from being too basic. The Spartan ODST included a battle rifle (which, according to my resident toy gun expert Tim is a Halo 3 battle rifle).
ACTIVE CAMOFLAGE ARBITER
The Covenant Elite certainly don’t intend to let the Spartans have all the fun, not even in the whole “having the main character” department, so, behold, the Arbiter, the second best thing to come out of Halo 2 (after dual-wielding). One of the neat things about the Elite is that their base armor ability is Camo, which makes sneaking around pretty darn easy. This figure replicates that effect. He’s a little taller than the Spartan and has a whole 13 points of articulation, thanks to an extra point at the neck. The Arbiter has 12 non-standard sculpted pieces: helmet, head, neck, chest piece, shoulders, hands, leg armor, and feet. All of these pieces are the same as those used on the other two versions of the character, but that’s certainly not a bad thing, especially for consistency’s sake. The pieces are all very nicely sculpted and they make the Arbiter look sufficiently alien in comparison to a normal ‘mate. It’s a little hard to see some of the sculpted details on this guy, but they’re definitely there and they look pretty cool. Arbiter doesn’t have much in the way of paint, what with being all clear and such, but he does have some faint linework representing his face under the helmet, which is definitely a nice touch. The figure is packed with a pair of energy swords, because what else would you pack with the Arbiter?
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Odd as this might be, I pretty much entirely missed out on Halo Minimates when they were at retail. That said, this is actually my second set of them (I got my first on clearance at Toys R Us, based solely on the fact that they were Minimates). I found this set (along with way too much other stuff) at Yesterday’s Fun, while on vacation. I really like this set because it has two of my favorite things, the Arbiter and ODSTs! It’s actually a pretty fun set!