AIR ASSAULT SPARTAN
HALO: REACH (MCFARLANE)
Hey look! More Halo! A certain writer seems to have gone on a bit of a buying spree…
So, one of the coolest things about Halo: Reach was just how much say the player had in what Noble 6 looked like. You could customize your character to have any combination of several dozen armor sets, and your character would appear that way in the main game, even during cutscenes. Because of that, 6 looked different for every player. Cool in-game, but how do you translate that to merchandising. Well, most merchandise had the basic Mark V armor in a basic dark grey (a look dubbed Blandy McBlanderpants by Tim), which isn’t the most exciting thing. McFarlane Toys decided to offer the best of both worlds, with both the basic Mark V Noble 6 in the main line (seen here), as well as a series of deluxe figures with multiple armor sets, allowing the collector to build their own Spartan, just like in the game! I’ll be looking at one of those sets today.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
The Air Assault Spartan was released alongside the fourth series of McFarlane’s Halo: Reach line. It’s titled “Air Assault” due to that being the armor set it’s wearing in the package, but it also features pieces to the ODST, EVA, and CQC armors. No points for guessing which armor set I bought this for. The figure stands about 5 inches tall and has 34 points of articulation. The AA Spartan uses the same articulation scheme as Spartan Jorge. This is definitely the best set-up McFarlane’s used on the Halo figures. God only knows why they abandoned it, but the figure definitely benefits from having it. Sculpturally, the figure uses the basic Mark V Spartan body used by most of the line, which features an assortment of ports and such to allow for various armor pieces to be attached. The figure looks a little goofy without the chest piece, but it’s not meant to be viewed that way. The underlying body is pretty nicely proportioned and has a fair bit of texture and detail work, which is pulled right from the game models. The one real drawback of the sculpt is the hands; they’re just a simple grip, with no trigger finger separation or anything, which means they’re a real pain to use for holding, say, a gun. Which is a bit frustrating for a figure from a franchise where the main characters are pretty much always carrying guns. So, that’s the basic body, what about the armor? Well, the basic armor set is the Air Assault armor. This is the sleekest of the armors available here, which makes sense, given the name, and it’s probably my second favorite of those included. Next, there’s the ODST armor, which is my personal favorite. It’s modelled after the armor worn by the Orbital Drop Shock Troopers (like Mickey), but, amazingly enough, none of these parts are re-used from prior ODST figures. The helmet is more angular than past versions, especially on the visor. I do with the head was just a little bit bigger, but it’s not terrible as is. Next is the EVA armor, one of the more consistently available Halo armors. The helmet is definitely this armor’s strongest trait. The shoulders are weird, and don’t sit as well as I might like on the figure. The last full armor set is the CQC (Not to be confused with the CQB armor from the same game). I’m not much of a fan of the helmet on this one, but the torso with the pouches is definitely cool, and very well sculpted to boot. The figure also included an extra helmet, the MP helmet, which is easily my least favorite in the set. Of course, I don’t like the design in the game, so it’s at the very least accurate. The paintwork on the figure and various armor parts is top notch. The figure was available in both Blue and Steel color schemes. I went with Steel. It has a nice brushed effect to it, which makes it look nice and weathered, and all the armor sets have great work on the insignias and such. Apart from the armor sets, the figure includes no accessories, but McFarlane was kind enough to offer a weapons pack around the same time.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
So, after being sufficiently pulled into Mcfarlane’s Halo stuff, I figured I might as well have fun with it. This set had a few of the parts I used on my in-game Noble 6, so I went ahead and ordered it from Amazon. It’s certainly a fun set, and it even allowed me to salvage the “junk” Carter and 6 I got with my Jorge figure, effectively giving me three new figures in one purchase!