#0866: Spartan Athlon

SPARTAN ATHLON

HALO 5: GUARDIANS (MCFARLANE)

AthlonWal1

One of the things that makes the Halo license so appealing to toy companies is that, thanks to armor customizableity, you can generally get several different figures out of one Spartan Armor mold via repaints. McFarlane Toys in particular exploited this during their tenure with the license, while at the same time using these repaints to give their most supportive retailers exclusive figures. The Halo 5 line was pretty egregious about it, with half of the Spartans in the first series being offered in two distinct paint schemes. I’ve already looked at one variation of the Athlon, but why not look at another?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

AthlonWal2Like the prior Athlon, this figure was released as part of the first series of Halo 5 figures from McFarlane. This particular version was exclusive to Walgreens. The figure is roughly 5 inches in height and he’s got 32 points of articulation. The sculpt is the same one used on the prior Athlon figure. I liked it there, and I like it here. It’s nice and clean, has plenty of details, and sums up the design from the game pretty well. The main selling point of this figure is his paint job. Instead of the bumblebee-like yellow and black, this figure is blue and off-white. It’s definitely a more appealing color combo, if I do say so myself. Also, instead of a dark blue visor, this one gets a more standard gold visor. If I’m honest, that part doesn’t look quite as clean. It’s not bad, but it’s a little flatter than I’d like. In general, I like the color choices on this figure better, but the actual application of the paint seems to be a slight step down. There’s a fair amount of slop and bleed over, which is just a bit more noticeable on a cleaner Spartan design such as the Athlon. It’s not terrible, but it’s a noticeable step down from the other Athlon. Another area of difference between the two figures is the accessories selection. He includes the same basic Magnum (included with all the first series Spartans), but he’s traded out the assault rifle for an SMG, which is a change I’m definitely okay with!

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

None of the Walgreens near me had this particular figure in stock, so I didn’t get him until I was on vacation with my family over the winter holiday. I was actually pretty excited to find him, as this color scheme is definitely my preferred of the two available. Ultimately, the quality of this figure isn’t quite as high as the normal release, which is a bit of a bummer. However, this is still a pretty solid figure, and he adds enough new to make him worth the purchase.

#0742: Spartan Athlon

SPARTAN ATHLON

HALO 5

Athlon1

Hey, look! Another Halo review! So, in my review of the recent Spartan Fred figure, I lambasted 343 Industries’ decision to not include any local multi-player in Halo 5. I won’t get into the specifics again, but I still think it kind of sucks, especially now that the game is actually out. But, as I said, the game has been released, so the decision’s highly unlikely to be reversed at this point, barring some sort of patch later on. Anyway, opinion of the actual game aside, I still like a lot of the new designs coming from the game. One of the new basic armors in the game is the Athlon armor, which I’ll be taking a look at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Athlon2The Spartan Athlon is part of the first series of McFarlane Toys’ Halo 5 figures. Unlike all of the other regular release figures in the series, the Athlon is not a specific, named character, but is instead just a generic Spartan. The figure is just over 5 inches tall and has 32 points of articulation. Unfortunately, the figure still gets saddled with the down-graded hip joints that first appeared on the Halo 4 figures, however, they do seem to offer a much better range of motion than other figures with the same joint design. It could be worse. In contrast to the bulky, tank-like Centurion armor sported by Spartan Fred, the Athlon has a much sleeker, more streamlined look. Clearly, this is an armor build more for speed and agility, which is befitting of an armor named “Athlon.” Really, it almost looks like a futuristic sports player, more so than a soldier. The sculpt is a lot smoother and cleaner than other Spartans from this series, which works well with the design, but there are a few nice spots of texture work, especially on the underlying bodysuit and the hexagonal assembly of the visor. The shoulder pads sit a little low for my liking, but aside from that, the figure looks pretty great. The joints of the figure don’t stick out the way Fred’s did, which is definitely a plus, and the overall proportions of the Athlon are very realistically handled and well-balanced. As a basic armor set, the Athlon has no specific color-scheme in the game, so the colors and other details have been randomly assigned. Rumor has it that this particular color set was chosen by MC Toys’ head honcho Todd McFarlane himself. At first glance, I really wasn’t a fan of the yellow and black; I thought he looked a bit like a bumblebee.  However, in hand, it actually works pretty well. The bright, bold colors and numbers on his helmet and shoulders kind of add to the sports theme set by the rest of the armor, which makes the whole thing work out a bit better. The paint is generally applied nicely, and I like the slight metallic sheen of the whole figure. The Athlon is packed with a basic Magnum, as well as the standard issue assault rifle, painted up in a slightly tweaked color-scheme. He can hold both alright (though he still really could use some trigger fingers) and both can be plugged into his thigh or back for stowage.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I found this figure at the same time as Fred. Fred was definitely the one I was more looking forward to of the two, but I thought the Athlon looked cool enough to warrant purchasing. This is a pretty fun figure, and it’s definitely a slightly more stand-out armor set.