#1444: Aliens Mega Construx

COLONIAL MARINE & XENOMORPH

MEGA CONSTRUX HEROES

You know, there was a time when being an Aliens fan wasn’t so easy.  Back when I first saw the film (in the early ‘00s), the only real action figure options were courtesy of Kenner’s hardly film-accurate line from the ‘90s.  As late as 2012, I was excited beyond belief that we were getting things like Pulse Rifles included with some of Hasbro’s Pursuit of Cobra figures.  What a difference 5 years makes.  Of course, even with NECA’s plethora of product, I didn’t really expect to be finding new Aliens toys in the building sets aisle of my local Walmart.  And yet, here we are.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

The Xenomorph and the Colonial Marine are both part of the first series of Mega Bloks Construx Heroes.  The line is taking the basic concept put forward by the Halo Heroes line and applying it to a handful of other licenses.  Also featured in this first series are Picard and a Borg Drone from Star Trek: The Next Generation, as well as He-Man and Skeletor from Masters of the Universe.  But those are hardly as cool as Aliens, right?

COLONIAL MARINE

Rather than focusing on one particular member of the Colonial Marines, Mega Construx has instead gone for a more generic Marine…sort of.  In actuality, he’s this odd amalgam of Hicks and Hudson.  He’s got Hudson’s armor graffiti, but Hicks’ shotgun shells and lack of sleeves.  In a pinch, he works as either.  The figure stands about 2 inches tall and he has 16 points of articulation.  This guy uses the same standard construction as all of the ODSTs I looked at, but with more Colonial Marine specific parts, of course.  The lower legs are new, as is the head, and then he’s got removable chest armor and a helmet, which is pretty fun.  The detail work on the armor is pretty solid for the size and style.  It definitely looks the part.  I appreciate the removable nature of the helmet, though I doubt anyone will be displaying him without it.  This will at least make it easier to make other specific Marines should you want to do that.  The paint on this guy is pretty simple, but gets all of the important details down.  There are a few things left unpainted (like the helmet cam), but it’s pretty decent work as a whole.  The Marine includes his standard issue pulse rifle (which is super, super awesome), his shoulder lamp, a knife, and a display stand.

XENOMORPH

Like the Colonial Marine, the Xeno here goes generic army builder.  Of course, I’m hardly going to complain about that.  I don’t need named Xenos (I’m looking at you, Grid!).  The Xeno is a little taller than the Marine, at about 2 1/4 inches tall, and even gets an extra point of articulation at the base of its tail.  The Xeno uses largely new construction, rather than relying on clip-on pieces.  As with most Xenos these days, this one’s based on the Xeno Warrior as seen in the second film.  It looks pretty awesome, actually.  The Xeno definitely translates really well to the style.  The level of detail work seen here is definielt higher than I’m used to seeing on Mega Bloks, and I’m really impressed.  Also impressive is the paint.  They could have just left the figure solid black, but there’s a nice silver airbrushing, which further highlights the awesomeness of the sculpt.  The Xeno includes a pair of clip-on claw pieces, as well as two different face huggers, one crawling, and one that fits over the face of the Marine. That last one is seriously cool, by the way.  There’s also a display stand, so that’s cool.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

These totally snuck up on me.  I genuinely found out about their existence about an hour before I got them.  They were actually my consolation prize from the day I tried and failed at buying the Force Friday figures early.  I gotta say, these two are pretty darn awesome.  I’d like to see a Ripley and maybe a few more specific Marines.

#1225: ODST Romeo

ODST ROMEO

HALO HEROES (MEGA BLOKS)

romeo1

“Oh Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou, Romeo?”

That’s the question that Juliette and all the other Halo 3: ODST fans have been asking ever since we started getting toys based on the game’s titular team.  McFarlane held the main license at the time, and one by one gave us each member of the team, mixed in with other assortments.  Romeo, the team’s plucky sniper, was slotted to be part of their Halo Universe line, which would be comprised of figures from all of the games, but the line was cancelled rather last-minute, leaving poor Romeo out in the cold.  Fortunately, he’s finally made his way to the toy world, courtesy of our friends over at Mega Bloks.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

romeo2Following the trend started by ODST Buck, ODST Romeo is the resident ODST presence for the second series of Halo Heroes.  The figure stands about 2 inches tall and he has 16 points of articulation.  Like Buck before him, Romeo is really just a slight variation on the standard ODST look, and as such is built on the same basic body as both Buck and the Copper ODST from the Drop Pods series.  That being said, he’s probably the most unique of the ODSTs we meet in the game, so he gets his fair share of newer pieces.  His head has been tweaked to add Romeo’s signature goggles (easily the coolest part of his design), which are comically large, but that’s in keeping with the style of these little guys.  He also sports just a single shoulder pad (allowing him to better hold his sniper rifle), which is a different design than the base ODST shoulder armor used on both prior figures (and the ODST Rookie, which I never got around to reviewing).  As with all the prior figures, the shoulder, torso, and thigh armor is all removable.  The Heroes line is notable for the slightly stepped up paintwork the figures sport.  Romeo features mostly basic color work, but it’s all pretty cleanly applied and it matches up with his in game look.  It also mostly matches Buck and the Rookie for the shared colors, with the only real difference being the color of the visor, which is a more vibrant blue on Romeo than it was on the others.  If I’m honest, I think I like the color they chose for Romeo a bit more, and it’s not like it’s completely implausible that his visor is just a slightly different color than everyone else’s.  Romeo is packed with his sniper rifle (with actual paint ops, like the rest of the Heroes weapons), as well as the same three-piece display stand included with the rest of the Series 2 figures.  I’m not sure I like the orange as much as the blue for the stand, but that’s minor.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The first series of Halo Heroes snuck up on me, but I knew the second series was coming.  While I could take or leave the rest of the assortment, I knew I was getting Romeo.  The guy’s probably my favorite member of the team (and that’s saying something, given that he’s on the same team as characters voiced by Alan Tudyk and Nathan Fillion), and I was really bummed that his McFarlane figure wasn’t released.  Seems I wasn’t the only one, as Romeo was pretty consistently the first figure to go from cases of Series 2.  I did finally manage to track one down last summer while on vacation with my family, so that was a relief.  I quite like this figure, and I’m happy to have another piece of the team!

#0895: Spartan Vale

SPARTAN VALE

HALO HEROES (MEGA BLOKS)

Vale1

One of the main dynamics of Halo 5 is the presence of two distinct teams of Spartans, whom the player alternates between as they progress through the level. Series lead Master Chief was given a team made up of previously established characters from expanded universe stories. However, excepting fan-favorite Edward Buck, Spartan Locke’s team was made up of newcomers, including today’s focus, Spartan Olympia Vale. Vale had the misfortune of being the only member of Spartan Locke’s team not to make it into McFarlane’s line of figures, but she did manage to get a figure in the Mega Bloks line, so she wasn’t totally overlooked.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Vale2Spartan Vale was released in Series 1 of Mega Bloks’ new blister-packed line of single figures, Halo Heroes. The figure stands about 2 inches tall and has 16 points of articulation. She’s based on her appearance in Halo 5, which I do believe is her only official appearance to date. In the game, Vale wears the Copperhead armor, though it was actually designed for her, and she’s the first Mega Bloks figure to sport it. As such, she’s got a lot of new parts. The sculpt does a pretty nice job of translating her look into the Mega Bloks style. She’s even more stylized than the last two figures; in the game, her design is fairly sleek and streamlined, but here it’s a bit more clunky, due to the nature of how these figures are constructed. It’s still pretty clear who this is supposed to be (if you’re familiar with the game, anyway) and the design looks pretty cool. Vale has a removable chest piece and thigh armor, like her compatriots, but she foregoes clip-on shoulder pads in favor of painted on parts, which aid in streamlining her just the tiniest bit. Vale’s paint is probably the least exciting of the three Halo Heroes figures I’ve looked at so far, mostly due to her in-game design just not having as many necessary details. Still, what’s there is pretty nicely handled, and she looks like a good match to her game counterpart. Vale is packed with an SMG, a plasma pistol, and a three-piece display stand. I love that the SMG is painted, but I wish the plasma pistol had gotten a few details too.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Vale is third and final figure I picked up on the trip that netted me Buck and Thorne. I don’t have quite the same attachment to her that I do to the others (due to not having played Halo 5 and her not having any other figures), but I think her design is a pretty cool one. I would have loved to get a full-scale version of her, but this figure is certainly an acceptable consolation prize.

#0894: Spartan Thorne

SPARTAN THORNE

HALO HEROES (MEGA BLOKS)

ThorneMB1

The main character of the Halo series is John-117, aka Master Chief. Well, he’s the main character in the main games in the series, anyway. However, the series has spawned a few off-shoot games, each with their own protagonist. Halo 3: ODST had the Rookie and Halo Reach had Noble 6. While the Spartan Ops levels in Halo 4 just had the player using their basic multiplayer appearance, the animated shorts that went along with said levels needed a unique protagonist, so they created Spartan Gabriel Thorne. He just found his way to Mega Bloks form, and I’ll be reviewing that figure today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

ThorneMB2Like ODST Buck, Spartan Thorne is part of the first series of Halo Heroes, Mega Bloks’ new blister-packed line of single figures. The figure is roughly 2 inches in height and he has 16 points of articulation. He’s based on Thorne’s only appearance, Halo 4: Spartan Ops, where he was wearing a modified version of the Rookie armor. Since he just uses the basic armor, he shares his sculpt with all the prior Rookie armored figures. The design is a little more noticeably stylized than the ODSTs, but it’s translated pretty well, and there’s a ton of great texturing and small detail work. The chest, shoulder, and thigh armor is all removable, but stays in place very securely. The underlying body is a bit different that the ODST body; the musculature is a little more defined, and there’s some extra “tech-y” detailing. Technically, as a Spartan, Thorne should stand a bit taller than the ODSTs, but here he’s the same height. However, this is kind of forgivable, since one of Mega Bloks’ big things in interchangeability, and they wouldn’t be quite as interchangeable if they were different sizes. Continuing what we saw with Buck, Thorne is a bit more detailed than the usual Mega Bloks figure. He’s mostly just cast in the appropriate colors, but he’s got some nice accent lines to spice him up a bit, as well a cool insignia on his left shoulder. Thorne includes a three-piece display stand and a Promethean Suppressor. The gun gets extra painted details, which are pretty cool, but it’s also got a big nub where it was originally attached to a Promethean Knight, which is kind of annoying.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I picked up this guy at the same time as Buck. Thorne has the notoriety of being my first ever McFarlane Toys Halo figure, so I have a bit of a soft spot for the guy. While I’m not sure he’s as much of a standout as Buck was, I do really like this figure, and he’s a whole lot of fun!

#0893: Buck (ODST)

BUCK (ODST)

HALO HEROES (MEGA BLOKS)

BuckODST1

A little over a year ago, I wrote my very first Halo-themed toy. It was an ODST, which, as anyone who has followed my Halo reviews can tell you, is one of my very favorite designs/concepts from the games.  That particular toy came from the Mega Bloks Halo line, possibly the cheapest and most expansive collection of Halo figures on the market. The figures are offered with larger building sets, as well as in blind packaging, but very recently, they started offering them in more conventional blister-style packaging, under the new heading Halo Heroes. Characters from throughout the franchise are being offered. Today, I’ll be looking at one of the older characters in the set, ODST Buck.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

BuckODST2Buck was released in Series 1 of the Halo Heroes line. The figure is about 2 inches tall and has 16 points of articulation. In case the name didn’t clue you in, this particular Buck is based on his appearance in Halo 3: ODST, where he serves as the commanding officer (well, until ONI Dare butts in) of the group of ODSTs that serve as the story’s protagonists. Buck’s design is a slight variation of the basic ODST design, and as such, this figure uses a lot of the same pieces as the previously reviewed copper ODST from the Drop Pods series. He has a slightly tweaked head (which adds an antenna to the side of the helmet) and his chest armor also has an extra nub so that his knife can be mounted there. The rest of the figure is sculpturally identical to the other ODSTs. The basic sculpt is pretty nicely done; the proportions are a fair bit less skewed than other minifigures. That can look really strange for some characters, but it doesn’t look bad on a mostly armored character. His torso, shoulder, and thigh armor is all removable, should you feel the need to do that, but the figure definitely looks better all armored up. Buck’s paint is more detailed than a lot of the Halo Mega Bloks; it’s an accurate depiction of his look from the game, and he matches up quite nicely with the previously released Rookie minifigure. The actual application isn’t super clean, but it’s certainly passable. Buck includes an assault rifle, a knife, and a three-piece display stand. The rifle is fully painted, which is an awesome change, and the new stand is definitely an improvement on the standard block prior figures have had.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Buck was a rare surprise find. I was at Walmart, picking up some stuff (after being snowed-in for four days in January), and just happened to see the small display with these figures. Obviously, I wasn’t going to turn down another ODST, right? Buck’s not super different from the prior ODSTs I’ve gotten (in fact, he’s nearly identical to the Rookie), but I like the character, and the few small changes and extra details really make this guy feel worth it.

BuckODST3

Guest Review # 0033: Emile & Mongoose

EMILE & MONGOOSE

HALO MEGA BLOKS

Emil&Mongoose1

The following is a guest review by Tim Marron. For more from Tim, check out Timsical Thoughts and Tim’s Blarg.

Is Mega Bloks one word or two? I can never remember. It’s never been a big interest of mine, being the devout Lego purist I am. However, the one thing Mega Blocks does have over Lego is the Halo license and that is something I can get behind. If you saw my review of the Noble Team Minimates, you most likely caught on to my attitude toward Spartan Emile from Halo: Reach. If you didn’t, no worries, I’ll catch you up. “DUUUUUUUUUDE, EMILE IS GETTING THIS DONE!” Got all of that? Good. Anyway, today I’ll be looking at the MegaBlox incarnation of the true hero of the Haloverse, Emile himself, and he even comes with a sweet Mongoose ATV. Let’s get into it.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

EMILE

Emil&Mongoose3Skull face. That’s how you know this guy is serious. He’s got a skull face on his helmet face to protect his face face. Being his only appearance, this figure is based on Emile’s look from Halo Reach. He stands about 2 inches tall and features 16 points of articulation. He’s built on the “new(er) super posable” mini-figure body with a unique head and addons for his armor parts. The sculpt work is decent and pretty close to the in game assets though some of the smaller details are a little soft. Also, while the armor on Emile’s right shoulder is technically correct, it is missing the sheath for his trademark big knife which is a bit of a shame. The head does seem a little small on close inspection but if it were any bigger it would really limit the movement in his neck, so it’s forgivable. Plus, it makes him look super jacked-up and imposing… for a Mega Brix figure. There isn’t much to speak of in terms of paint. Most of Emile is cast in the appropriately colored plastic. His helmet is really the only substantial painted area with his visor done in a nice metallic gold. The aforementioned skull-face-over-his-face-face is painted in silver but is a little hard to see without actually holding the figure in-hand. Despite the lack of sheath, Emile does come with his big knife and a shotgun. I would have been happy with just that, but no, Emile doesn’t stop there.

THE MONGOOSE

Emil&Mongoose2He comes with a Mongoose ATV so he can get into a fight faster, blowing stuff up and stabbing what’s left. As you can probably guess given this is a Super Cubez review, the Mongoose is built of small bricks and plates and whatnot. All assembled, it is about 4 3/4 inches long, 2 inches wide, and 1 1/2 inches tall. When you consider that this is a building toy, it does actually look pretty good and as close to the source material as can be expected, especially at this scale. In addition to different colors of bricks, some pieces feature painted UNSC logos and other markings that you would expect. Emile can sit pretty securely on it and in a way that looks natural. The Mongoose doesn’t have any accessories of it’s own since it’s already kind of an accessory, but it does have a platform and handle on the back end if another Spartan happened to show up.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I don’t even remember when I got this set. That’s how long ago it was. My best guess was around the time Ethan reviewed his UNSC Soldier ODST figure. I just know at the time I wasn’t really into Ultra Chunx, but the set featured Emile so how could I say no? Since then I seem to have amassed a small army of various Halo mini-figures so I’d say it left a good impression on me.

#0471: USNC Soldier ODST

USNC SOLDIER ODST

HALO (MEGA BLOCKS)

I’m relatively new to Halo. I remember Halo 2 being released, and I even had an Xbox at the time, but I never got into it. The majority of my exposure to the game was the small handful of multiplayer games I’d played with friends who owned the game. However, over the holidays my brother got an Xbox One, as well as a copy of The Master Chief Collection, so we’ve been steadily playing through the co-op versions of the first four games. Now, I’ve grown more familiar with the franchise and I actually kind of like the designs enough to pick up a few toys here and there. My first foray into the world of Halo toys is minifigures, but, shocking every one, it’s not Minimates, it’s the current set of Halo minifigures from Mega Blocks.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The USNC Soldier ODST, here forth referred to as “ODST Guy,” was released as part of the second assortment of Halo Drop Pods, one of the many, many, many ways that Mega Blocks is distributing their figures. The ODST guy is available in both copper and blue. In case you couldn’t tell, this is the copper version.  The figure is roughly 2 inches tall and features 16 points of articulation. He’s based on the basic ODST design, seen in Halo 3 ODST, as well as briefly in Halo 2. The ODST design is a little different from the basic Spartan design, as it’s meant to be just a normal guy in the armor as opposed to a genetically engineered Spartan. The figure’s sculpt is shared with all of the versions of the ODST guy, and it’s pretty good. Each of the armored pieces (apart from the helmet) can be removed, and they’re each nicely sculpted and accurate to the source material. The underlying/head is also well sculpted. The interesting thing about Mega Blocks minifigures, in comparison to other minifigures, is that they’re proportions are only the slightest bit tweaked. The hands and feet are a bit larger than usual and figure is a little bit stockier over all, but that’s about it. On a figure like the ODST guy, it almost isn’t noticeable that the proportions have been changed. The figure’s paint is fairly basic, with most of the work being on the head and hands, but what’s there is well applied. The blue used for the visor is really nice, and all of the colors seem well chosen. The figure includes a bronze drop pod (which he comes packaged in), a basic Mega Block piece with the Halo logo, which serves as a stand, and a suppressed SMG.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The ODST guy was picked up while I was out looking for the new Bionicle line with my boy Tim. We decided to stop by Toys R Us, and Tim found an Emile from the same line. I didn’t want to miss out on the Halo fun, so I picked up this guy. The ODST design is pretty cool, and I really love the suppressed SMG, so this figure’s a pretty great fit for me. Mega Blocks still don’t surpass Minimates, but they’re getting pretty close!