#1442: Spawn

SPAWN

SPAWN (TODD TOYS)

“The kids like chains.”

-Todd McFarlane

SPWAAAAAAAWWWWN!  He’s X-TREEEEEEME! He’s the hippest dude on the block!  He’s fliggity-fly!  Other goofy and dated phrases as well.  In the ‘90s, Spawn was just like Raymond: everybody loved him.  And why wouldn’t they?  He had all the best stuff.  He was like Batman and Spider-Man and Venom all rolled into one.  And he even had the one thing so heinously lacking from those three: chains!  Kids love those things!  Todd McFarlane used Spawn as one of the main launching points for Image Comics, with the hopes of building a merchandising empire to rival his old employers at Marvel.  He initially shopped Spawn and all associated characters around to various established toy makers, including Mattel, who almost took Todd up.  Ultimately, Todd decided the process was just taking too long, cut out the middle man, and founded Todd Toys* to release the Spawn figures on his own.  I’m looking at one of those early figures today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Spawn was released as part of Spawn Series 1.  He was the main Spawn of that particular series (there was also a Medieval Spawn released), based on Spawn’s standard look at the time, which is more or less the same look he’s had for all the years since.  The figure stands about 6 inches tall and he has 7 points of articulation.  His sculpt was new to him (though pieces of it were used elsewhere later).  For all of Todd’s insistence that his toys were the next step, this figure feels very much like a slightly dumbed down Toy Biz release.  This dude would look right at home with the Spider-Man figures of the same era.  The detail work is all rather on the simplistic side, and the details are a little soft, especially as when compared to Todd’s rather sketchy illustrations from the book.  I mean, admittedly, I sort of like this look a little bit more than Todd’s stuff, since it’s a little bolder this way.  Hands down, the most awkward feature is that damned sentient cape.  It’s big, and it’s floppy, and the “hinges” on the sides don’t really work at all.  Also, unlike every other cape on every other caped figure ever, there’s this weird extra attachment piece that plugs it into his lower back and keeps it elevated above his shoulders in a really awkward way.  When a character whose whole gimmick is his cape looks better without the cape, you may have made a wrong turn at some point.  The paint work on Spawn is okay, but not top notch or anything.  It gets all the basic work down, but most of it’s pretty fuzzy around the edges, and there’s not really anything beyond the very standard color work.  In addition to his removable cape, Spawn also included a….wooden board…with a nail…sticking out of it?  I don’t know Spawn that well, but I don’t recall this being one of his signature items.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I went almost 25 years of my life without a single Spawn figure.  Which…seemed wrong somehow.  I found the standard Spawn at Lost in Time Toys over the summer, and figured why not, right?  He’s okay.  Nothing particularly special or noteworthy.  But this launched a toy company, and had quite an impact on the industry as a whole in the long-run, so it’s a nice piece of history.  And now it’s in my collection.  Woooeeee.

*Todd Toys is now known as McFarlane Toys, due to pressuring from Mattel, who wanted to avoid confusion with Barbie’s younger brother Todd…who they then abandoned.

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#1217: Michone

MICHONE

THE WALKING DEAD (MCFARLANE TOYS)

michone1

So, I guess The Walking Dead TV-show starts up soon.  Or maybe it already started back up.  I don’t actually know, because I haven’t watched the show since about fifteen minutes into this season’s premiere, nor will I be going back.  But, I’ve still got all these figures, so…yeah…  Here’s Michone.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

michone2Michone was released in the first series of McFarlane’s comic-based The Walking Dead line, which hit around the same time as the TV show’s series premiere.  The figure stands about 5 inches tall and has 18 points of articulation.  So, right off the bat, there’s the weird scale thing.  I’ve looked at the TV line and one or two of the comic figures, so the scale’s not new to the site, but it was actually new to this particular line.  It was an odd choice to say the least, since the rest of the industry was doing either 3 3/4 or 6-inch scale at the time.  McFarlane’s gotta be different.  Michone is based on her first appearance from the comics, which is a fairly standard look for her, but at the same time a bit gaudy compared to the character’s look as the series progressed.  The sculpt is alright, I guess.  It certainly wasn’t as bad as some of how of the other figures from the earliest days of this and the TV line.  That being said, while the sculpt isn’t bad, it’s also michone3kind of boring.  The pose is just sort of her standing with her hand holding the katana downwards.  There’s also pretty much no trace of Charlie Adlar’s art style in the sculpt; she instead looks like just some generic sort of super model or something.  Not exactly very indicative of Michone as a character.  I guess it could be worse, though.  She’s not the ultra-hideous figure that the first Rick was.  At the very least, the paint on Michone is actually pretty solid.  The colors are vibrant, which works surprisingly well, and all of the application is very clean.  Miocene was packed with her katana, a power drill, and a spoon.  The sword is pretty much expected, but the drill and spoon are some pretty fun issue specific pieces, even if she didn’t use them in this outfit.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I bought the corresponding Rick figure from this line first, which didn’t really make me want to pursue any of the others.  But, Cosmic Comix had their biggest sale of the year going, and she was 40% off, which was enough for me to go for it.  It’s hard to get super excited about this figure, but she certainly could have been far worse.

#1031: Cyborg Ninja

CYBORG NINJA

METAL GEAR SOLID (MCFARLANE)

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In my family, I’m the action figure guy and my brother Christian is the video game guy. The cool thing about those two hobbies is that they have a tendency to overlap, with lots of games getting action figures. I’ve been known to dabble in such figures, but I generally stick to ones from games I’ve actually played. Not so with today’s figure, who comes from Metal Gear Solid, a game from a series of games I’ve never once played. I did watch the “movie” version of the first MGS, though, for what that’s worth. Anyway, despite not playing the game, I like a few of the designs, especially today’s figure, the Cyborg Ninja, better known as Grey Fox!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

GrayFox2Cyborg Ninja was released by McFarlane Toys in 1999, as part of their Metal Gear Solid line. This figure is actually the camouflaged variant of the main figure. There were a number of similar variants in this particular line, but it’s actually pretty sensible for Grey Fox, who spends a good portion of the game cloaked. The figure stands 6 ½ inches tall and he has 16 points of articulation. His articulation is a bit better than a lot of McFarlane’s earlier stuff, but still he’s really only good for a basic standing pose. It’s a shame, since Fox is pretty agile in the game, and it would be cool to do a bit more with the figure. The real killer is those freaking v-hips. V-hips are consistently annoying, no matter the figure. Grey Fox’s sculpt is decent enough, especially since it’s based on the PS1-era graphics of the original game. He looks more or less like the character he’s supposed to be. He lacks the cool detail work that later versions got, but he was also a fraction of the price, so it’s acceptable. I will say that his arms seem a bit short and his legs a bit long, but that could just be a stylization thing. The paintwork on the figure is more detailed than you’d think, given the whole active-camo thing. Every detail of the suit has been outlined in black, so that you can still see what he’s supposed to look like. It’s a nice effect, and makes him feel like a whole figure, rather than just a cheap recolor. Grey Fox included a sword (done to match the rest of the figure), an extra head with the faceplate open, and an extra arm with a rail gun attachment. The extra arm is really cool, because it has an elbow joint, which the normal arm does not. Why they didn’t just put elbow joints on both arms is beyond me, though.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Cyborg Ninja figure was actually my very first exposure to MGS. I saw a picture of the figure in ToyFare and thought he looked kind of cool. It was years before I had any clue who he was or what MGS was. In the last couple of years, Tim’s introduced me to the games, and I still quite like Grey Fox. For my birthday, I took a trip to 2nd Chance Toyz and Tim pointed this figure out to me. I would have preferred the regular version, I think, but this one’s not bad. He’s got the sorts of problems I’d expect from an old McFarlane figure (weird proportions, no movement, fragile, etc.), but he’s still a decent enough figure that I don’t regret getting him.

#0917: Corporal Hicks

CORPORAL HICKS

MOVIE MANIACS (MCFARLANE)

HicksMM1

Do you guys know what day it is? It’s Alien Day! Yes, in celebration of the 30th Anniversary of Aliens, today, April 26th (it’s 4-26, as in LV-426. Clever girl…) is officially Alien Day. There’s some cool contests and such, plus a whole ton of awesome Alien-themed merchandise, and even some showings of the first two films on the big screen. Obviously, I’d be remiss if I didn’t do something to celebrate. I’ve actually reviewed the vast majority of my Aliens collection, but have no fear; I’ve still got a few aces up my sleeve. Today, I’ll be looking back at one of the earliest examples of a figure based on Aliens’ human characters, with McFarlane Toys’ figure of Corporal Hicks. Buckle up guys; this might be a slightly bumpy ride.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

HicksMM2Hicks was released in Series 7 of McFarlane’s Movie Maniacs line. By this point, they had more or less given up on keeping true to the “Maniacs” half of the title, but that was a trend that started in Series 4, so no one was super shocked. Corporal Hicks was available two different ways: there was a basic release with a pulse rifle and un-helmeted head, and there was also a McFarlane Collector’s Club version that included a helmeted head, a motion tracker, a face hugger and egg, and a shotgun. My figure is the regular release, so I don’t get all the fun extras. He stands about 7 inches tall and has 9 points of articulation. Those 9 points don’t really amount to much of anything, though, since the figure is sculpted in this odd sort of leaning back/lunging forward pose (also, thanks to the fragility of McFarlane figures, my Hicks’ right shoulder broke sometime between me putting him in storage and taking him out to write this review). The best you can really do is turn his head and slightly change the pose of the arms. But, hey, the lack of movement’s okay, because the sculpt is really great, right? Well, not exactly. The sculpt definitely has its highlights, to be sure; the general level of detail on his uniform is quite good. There are a few inaccuracies, such as the ridges at the center of his chest armor, where it should be smooth, the fitting of the back of his armor to his shoulder blades, and the lack of one of his two belt pouches, but those are small. The main issue? The body that the uniform is resting on. Looking past the weird pose, the arms and legs are huge, way too huge for the torso. The arms in particular are super massive, and almost look misshapen. On top of that the head is a bit too small. Also, while I guess the face sort of looks like Hicks, it’s far from spot on (in fact, I don’t believe they ever officially got Biehn’s likeness rights; they weren’t very good about doing that sort of thing). He’s wearing his headset from later in the film, which makes him different from the NECA figure, but it also creates a slight continuity error, since he’s still got his shoulder lamp, which he’s ditched by the time he gets the headset. If there’s one area that’s pretty solid on this figure, it’s the paint (well, provided you aren’t comparing him to the NECA version). There’s the glaring issue of him being way too pale. He also lacks Hicks’ name at the top of his chest armor. The armored pieces are nice overall, but the camo is slightly off, and lacks the white elements. The camo on his uniform is pretty well-executed, though, and all of the small detail work is nice and tight, if a bit more basic than the NECA figure. Hicks includes his M41A Pulse Rifle (not quite as good as the NECA version, but not bad for the time), a locator, a knife, and a display stand that looks like the flooring of one of the Hadley’s Hope facilities. Later shipments of the figure also included the motion tracker included with the Collector’s Club version, but mine isn’t one of them.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’d actually seen Aliens when this figure was released, and I saw it at retail a few times, but for whatever reason, I didn’t pick it up (I think I was holding out for a Ripley to go with him). A few years later, I ended up getting him as a Christmas gift from my parents. This isn’t a figure that’s aged particularly well, especially in light of the far superior NECA version. Even when he was new, he felt sort of unfinished, due to neither the regular or exclusive versions offering a complete set of accessories. That said, taking him back out to review has reminded me of a lot of the more endearing qualities of the figure. There was a time when he was the best Hicks figure I owned, and I do still have some very fond memories of that.

HicksMM3

#0899: Spartan Buck

SPARTAN BUCK

HALO 5: GUARDIANS (MCFARLANE)

SpartBuck1

Well, as sad as it is to admit, the master Halo license has been passed to Mattel, bringing an end to McFarlane Toys’ eight year run with the franchise.  McFarlane isn’t quite done, though, as they had one last series of Halo 5 figures already in production when the changeover was worked out.  So here’s their last hurrah.

Spartan Edward Buck, the focus of today’s review, was the one member of Agent Locke’s Team Osiris that wasn’t new to game players.  He first showed up as an ODST in Halo 3: ODST (shocking, I know), and he’s had a few other cameos throughout the series, before making the jump to a Spartan.  In Halo 5, Buck ended up being a replacement for Gabriel Thorne, whose actor wasn’t available to do the game.  Lucky Buck!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

SpartBuck2Spartan Buck is part of the second (and final) series of Halo 5: Guardians figures from McFarlane Toys. He’s the only unique character in the series, which will no doubt prove frustrating to those hoping for Linda and Vale to finish up the game’s main teams.  The figure has 32 points of articulation and stands 5 ½ inches tall.  There seems to have been a gradual creep upwards in scale on this line, as Buck ends up being the largest of the Halo 5 Spartans, despite not being noticeably larger in the game.  Also, he’s got the somewhat questionable hip joints that all the post-Halo 4 figures have gotten, and his general mobility is a bit limited.  However, he still moves on par with the rest of the Halo 5 figures.  Buck wears the Helljumper armor in the game, which is in many ways meant to be a call back to the ODST design (the  name “Helljumper” is even a slang term for ODSTs in the game’s universe).  The armor’s clunky and made to take a beating, just like the ODST armor, and I like the design a lot.  Since we haven’t seen the Helljumper armor before, Buck’s sculpt is new(though it’s mostly shared with the basic Spartan Helljumper figure from this same series).  The sculpt does a pretty nice job of translating the game design into plastic form; it’s a little rough around the edges in a few spots, but there’s a ton of really awesome detail work present here.  Buck gets a knife/sheath on his shoulder and a pair of pouches on his right calf to help set him apart from the basic Helljumper.  Buck’s paintwork is overall pretty great.  There are a few sloppy spots here and there, but not enough to distract from the good.  The best work is definitely on the insignias on his shoulders, both of which are nice and sharp, as is Buck’s name tag.  Buck is packed with a Hydra Launcher and a standard issue Magnum.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

While out and about, I stopped at an out-of-the-way Walgreens, which netted me not only the Walgreens-exclusive Yellow Daredevil, but also this guy.  When Buck was absent from the first series of Halo 5 figures, I was a little bummed, since he’s by far my favorite design from the new game.  I was quite happy to see him show up in the second assortment, but now that he’s out, his arrival is a bit bittersweet.  He’s not a perfect figure, but he’s good enough to make me sad that we won’t be getting the rest of the teams.  Now, I guess all I can do is wait and see what Mattel does with the license.  Yay.

SpartBuck3

#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.

#0848: Master Chief

MASTER CHIEF

HALO 5: GUARDIANS (MCFARLANE)

MasterChief1

If you’ve been following the coverage from Toy Fair, one of the big things announced was Mattel’s acquisition of the full Halo license. Previously, Mattel had the building blocks license, due to their purchase of Mega Blocks. Now they’ll be handling the figures proper as well, taking the license from current holders McFarlane, who have been doing the figures since Halo 3. That also means another scale change (to 6 inches), which is a bit of a frustrating point. Anyway, I actually do have a couple more McFarlane figures on the schedule to be reviewed, which includes the franchise’s main character, Master Chief.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

MasterChief2Master Chief was part of the first series of Halo 5: Guardians figures from McFarlane Toys. He’s one of the main release figures, and is available in all the major places. The figure stands roughly 5 inches tall and has 30 points of articulation. I’m still not sold on the hip joints on these later figures, but Chief manages to have some decent enough movement. Structurally, this figure looks to share most of its parts with the Halo 4 versions of the character. That’s reasonable, since his armor doesn’t appear to have changed all that much between the games. He has a slightly different head, which reflects some damage he has taken to his visor in the meantime. Generally speaking, the quality of the sculpt is downright superb. The detailing is incredibly intensive, which gives the figure a ton of great texture work. About the only complaint I can really think of is the arms, which, like Spartan Fred, seem almost as if they haven’t quite been put all the way together. It’s fine when he’s holding a rifle, but can look odd in a basic standing pose. In addition, there’s the usual complaint about the lack of trigger fingers, but at this point I barely even notice that. Chief’s paint is as much a work of art as the sculpt of the figure. He captures the basic colors of the Chief pretty well, but what really sells the figure is the addition of dry-brushed silver on many of the armored surfaces, which helps to sell Chief’s armor as being sufficiently worn-in. Master Chief includes an assault rifle (with a cool customized deco) and a magnum, both of which can be stowed, either on his thigh or his back.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Well, I had a pretty sizeable Halo collection, and absolutely no Master Chief figures in it. That seemed wrong somehow. I ended up finding him at a Target I stopped by while on a shopping trip with Super Awesome Girlfriend and her best friend. I’m actually really happy with this figure, and I admire the level of detail included. It’s a shame McFarlane won’t be getting to do a full selection of Halo 5 figures.

Guest Review #0036: Altair Idn-La’Ahad

ALTAIR IBN-LA’AHAD

ASSASSIN’S CREED (MCFARLANE)

Altair1

The following is a guest review by my Super Awesome Girlfriend, Jessica Headlee.  For more from Jess, check out her book review blog, Of Books and Pen.

Altair was the assassin that started the Assassin’s Creed franchise and he is the first ancestor that Desmond Miles relives through an animus. Altair was the main character of only one platform game and one or two mobile games. In a few of the later games he did appear briefly within the story, and a few times the players could play as the original assassin for a time within the main story. Within the games, Altair is credited with being the master behind the Assassin’s Order that Ezio Auditore is introduced to in the second game.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Altair2The Altair figure is part of the 3rd series of McFarlane Toys’ Assassin’s Creed line. He is about 5 inches tall with 24 points of articulation. The outfit this figure is wearing is a good replication of the one from the first game. The figure is well textured, giving the appearance of rough linen, which has been added to by the shadowing done by the paint. The boots, trousers, sleeves, and hood also include natural folds, which adds to realism of the figure. I also enjoy the detailing of the belt, pouches, and arm guards, including the silver coloring on the buckles and the sword’s sheath. The paint of the figure is well enough, the only mistakes that I found were around the red sash, where stray bits of red paint got on the white of the robe.

While playing the game and seeing Altair in later installments I don’t believe I ever saw his face. In the games the hood was always up and shadowed his face so that you couldn’t see more than the lower half. The only time you see most of his face is in the promotional videos and pictures, and possibly in the intro of the first game before you get to the main menu. With this figure you can clearly see the face, which I expected. However, the face bothers me a little. It’s a nicely sculpted face, don’t get me wrong, but it looks too much like Desmond Miles to me. I understand that Altair is Desmond’s ancestor, but I never pictured him to be the spitting image of a descendent several centuries in the future. From the few glimpses of most of his face I never pictured him looking exactly like Desmond. All that aside, the face of the figure is fine, including the faint scar on his lips and the stubble of his facial hair.

Along with the figure came a collection of accessories that Altair had within the game. The two hidden blades are simple in design, just like in the game, one in the resting position and the other in the fully extended position. The famous Altair sword, one that makes me geek out completely, has a simple look as well, with subtle detailing in the hilt. The sword also fits rather well within the figure’s nicely sculpted sheath. Finally, the figure comes with four small throwing knives shaped like they were in the game with little markings on the hilt. The knives fit well enough in their sheaths on the belt, however, occasionally the knives on the upper part of the belt will pop out of the holders when the figure’s arms move and bump into them. Unfortunately, the figure does not come with the long dagger that Altair could use in battle, which is a little bit of a shame. Overall, the figure is a well-made representation of one of my favorite assassins from the franchise.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Altair was given to me by my super awesome boyfriend, Ethan, for Christmas this year. He’s always so attentive, he was there when I bought a different Assassin’s Creed figure and later asked me about all of my favorite characters. Let’s say a few months later I got a handful of new Assassin’s Creed figures, including Altair. The figure is fantastic and I’m happy to add him to my growing collection of action figures.

#0780: Spartan Technician

SPARTAN TECHNICIAN

HALO 5: GUARDIANS (MCFARLANE)

SpartanTech2

Wow, another Halo review? Already? Yeah, but this is the last one for a little while. So enjoy it, you hypothetical questioners of my reviews, you. I have not played Halo 5 yet (and I don’t intend to unless they do some really major patches and DLCs), but I did get pretty swept up in the hype train that was the tie-in toys. I’ve already looked at Fred and the Athlon armor, so today I’ll be wrapping up my <current> Halo 5 collection with at the Spartan Technician.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

SpartanTech1The Spartan Technician is part of the first series of Halo 5 figures from McFarlane Toys. This particular figure was Toys R Us’s exclusive figure from the assortment. Like the Athlon, the Spartan Technician isn’t an actual character, but rather an armor set from the game. The figure is about 5 inches tall and has 30 points of articulation. For some reason, the mid foot movement has been cut, which is slightly frustrating. Structurally, the Spartan Technician is the same as fellow series 1 figure Spartan Tanaka. Given than Tanaka wears the Technician armor, this is a warranted sharing of parts. It also means that this is actually a female spartan, which is cool, since we don’t have a lot of those. The Technician is kind of a clunky, utilitarian design, which is an interesting change of pace. It’s not quite as bulky as, say, Fred, but the focus does seem to be on functionality over design, so this one’s really not sleek at all.  There’s a lot of obvious mechanics, exposed wiring, and random protrusions. It makes for an armor that is pretty effectively different than the others, as well as making for a pretty interesting looking figure. The sculpt translates the design quite well, and has a nice amount of texturing and the like. The underlying body is nicely handled, with more realistic proportions than are usually afforded to female video game characters. The figure clearly has some feminine characteristics, but there’s nothing super overt, as should be the case when dealing with a heavily armored super soldier. The Technician’s paint is what sets her apart from Spartan Tanaka. While Tanaka was a more subdued set of greys, the Technician is a deep green. It’s rather striking and stands out rather nicely from the rest of the assortment (barring maybe the Athlon). The paint is overall very well done, and the washes on the armored parts in particular do a really great job of showcasing the sculpt’s details. The Technician is packed with a battle rifle and a Magnum. Both are very well sculpted, and they have the usual tabs for stowage on the figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Technician is officially the last piece of Halo merch I’ve gotten. I picked her up while out and about for my brother’s birthday, back in August. I like green, so when I saw the Technician on the back of Fred and Athlon’s boxes, I knew I wanted to track her down. Ultimately, I’m not sure she’s quite as much fun as the other two, but I still like her quite a bit, so I’m glad I got one. And now begins the wait for Spartan Buck and the rest of series 2.

SpartanTech3

#0777: Combat Elite

COMBAT ELITE

HALO 3 (MCFARLANE)

EliteMags1

When I think Halo, my mind tends to immediately jump to the Spartans, who are the protagonists of <most> of the games in the series. The main character, Master Chief, is one of them, and the default settings for players in multiplayer games always have the player as a Spartan. They tend to get pushed to the forefront. With the exception of the three ODST reviews, all of my Halo reviews so far have looked at the Spartans. But, what good are a bunch of armored heroes without a foe to face off against? My personal favorites of those foes are the Covenant Elite, who make for the best direct parallel to the Spartans. So, let’s have a look at one of them, shall we?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

EliteMags2This particular Combat Elite was released as part of a Team Slayer two-pack in McFarlane Toys’ Halo 3 line. He was originally packed with a Blue Mk VI Spartan. The figure stands about 5 inches tall and has 25 points of articulation. In the games, the Elite are noticeably larger than the already massive Spartans, but that’s not quite the case with this particular figure, at least when compared to the Spartans I have from Reach, 4, and 5. To be fair to McFarlane, the scale is noticeably smaller on the Spartans from 3, so this figure would probably look a lot more menacing with them. As is, he’s not terrible, truth be told; he’s about the same height as the average newer Spartan, and he’s a bit bulkier, so it works. Just don’t put him next to, say, Jorge. He looks even better with the ODSTs! As far as sculpt goes, he’s got the same basic sculpt as all the Halo 3 Combat Elites. It’s perhaps not as fantastic as some of the more recent stuff, but it’s still no slouch. The armored parts are very clean, sharp, and mechanically detailed, and the underlying areas are covered with tons of fantastic texturing. I’d say he looks like he stepped right out of the game, but I think he might even be better than the game in terms of detail. I will say the wrists look really skinny, especially in comparison to the rest of him, but that’s my only real complaint. Paint is kind of important on a lot of these figures, since it’s the one thing that sets them apart. This Elite’s color scheme is a nice red/purple combo, which looks really sharp. And it’s not just solid red, solid purple either. No, there’s a lot of great variation in the color coded areas, which adds a nice level of depth to the figure. Plus, he’s got some great wash work to help accentuate the sculpt, which does its job well. I also love the glossy finish on the armored parts; it gives him some nice pop. The Elite’s one accessory is a standard plasma rifle, which is admirably sculpted, and sits well in his hands.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Combat Elite was the last piece of my Halo buying spree from this past summer. I actually got him at the same time as the recently reviewed Rookie figure. After getting that many Spartans and ODSTs, I figured I needed at least one of the Elite. So, I was looking at the various options, and this guy caught my eye. I like the color scheme, because it makes him look kinda like Magneto, so that’s kind of become his name, for me at least. I’m glad I picked this guy up, because he’s a lot of fun!

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