#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!

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#1159: ODST Rookie & Spartan Hayabusa

ODST ROOKIE & SPARTAN HAYABUSA

HALO MINIMATES

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Hey guys!  For today’s review, I’ll be doing something just a little bit different.  Today marks mine and Super Awesome Girlfriend’s third anniversary, and in honor of the occasion, we’re going to being partnering up for a review!  We’ll be looking at something that combines two of our favorite things: Minimates and Halo!  The set in question is ODST’s main character Rookie and Halo 3’s Hayabusa armor.  I’ll be looking at the Rookie, and Super Awesome Girlfriend will be following up with the Hayabusa. 

Ready Super Awesome Girlfriend?

Yes? O.O

Close enough!  Let’s see how this goes!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

The Rookie and Hayabusa were released as part of the fourth TRU-exclusive series of Halo Minimates.  Both of them are exclusive to this particular two-pack (though there was another Hayabusa released later in a different color scheme).

ODST ROOKIE

odsthayabusa3It’s no secret (Seriously, it’s no secret at all, he geeks out about the armor every time he see it!) that I’m quite a fan of the ODST design.  Recently (well, several months ago, but within the last year), I played through Halo 3: ODST and it’s probably my favorite game in the series.  The only ODST proper to get released as a Minimate was the Rookie.  He’s not my favorite member of the ODST squad from the game (I didn’t really care for him either…), but he’s certainly better than nothing (and still plenty cool).  The Rookie stands about 2 1/2 inches tall and he has 12 points of articulation (the boots remove the ankle articulation).  The figure uses the usual Minimate body as a starting point.  He’s got add-ons for his helmet, chestplate/belt, shoulder pads, thigh armor, gloves/wristbands, and boots.  It’s also worth noting that he uses the special thin waist piece created specifically for the Halo line in order to keep the belts from making them too tall.  The general quality of the sculpted pieces is pretty solid.  The helmet is the same one used on the Spartan ODST; I have some minor issues with it, but by-and-large it looks pretty good.  The rest of the parts capture the general ODST armor pretty nicely, though they do end up making him a bit bulkier than even the Spartans in this same line.  Still, independently he looks pretty awesome, and since scale’s never been totally perfect in ‘mates anyway, I don’t really mind all that much.  The paint on the Rookie is rather on the dull side, but that’s actually accurate to his in-game design, so that’s not a knock against him.  The application is overly pretty clean.  Not the sharpest work ever, but certainly not bad.  The Rookie included his signature silenced SMG, which he can hold decently enough, though not two handed as he does in the game.  I must say, it’s weird reviewing a ‘mate that predates when clear display stands were standard.

SPARTAN HAYABUSA

odsthayabusa2Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve written an action figure review! I should probably catch up…

This isn’t the first Hayabusa figure that I’ve received from Ethan. The other figure is a much larger (blah-blah inches tall? It’s about 5 —Ethan) and is the only other Hayabusa figure that I know of (riiiiiiight Ethan? Apart from color variations, yes). Like the figure above, Haya is about 2 1/2 inches tall with a whopping 12 points of articulation. He has the standard Minimate body with the special Halo waist piece, he puts anorexic skinny to shame, see why it’s different in the section above. He’s got add-ons for his helmet, chestplate/belt, shoulder pads, thigh armor, gloves/wristbands, and boots. Haya’s boots and gloves/wristbands are thinner than previous Spartan minimates. His other add-ons are obviously unique, the Hayabusa armor is much different than your standard Spartan design or any other amor variant. I really enjoy the sculpting of this figure, I believe it’s a pretty good replica of the original armor considering the size of the figure. My favorite part of the figure is the helmet, I believe it’s the most difficult piece to make true to the video game design, but they did a fantastic job of it. It’s my favorite part because it looks like the figure is sporting a white Tom Selleck mustache. I know, it’s an odd thing to note about a figure but what can I say, I’m weird that way. The rest of the armor is also pretty cool, makes him look slick and intimidating. Haya’s paint job is a magnificent shade of bright red, much brighter than other Spartan Minimates. The white accents on the helmet and shoulder pads also help to brighten the red and make the figure POP! The only thing that I’m disappointed about with this figure is that he comes with just your standard battle rifle, which is my least favorite weapon. In the Halo games you can unlock a katana to go with the armor, which would have been wonderful to have. Now, I can understand why they wouldn’t include a katana, because it might’ve been to difficult to do. However, the figure doesn’t even come with an energy sword, one that the Elite’s tend to carry, which I believe would’ve added to his badassatude and definitely shows up in many game shots of the armor. Overall, it’s a pretty stellar figure that triggers the nostalgia and the memories of the hours spent over the summer collecting all the damn skulls to unlock that armor. Some of those memories were fonder than other, all of them had cursing or some childish variant if parents were in the room, it was a difficult armor to get.

THE US HALF OF THE EQUATION

I picked up this set from Yesterday’s Fun, while on vacation this year.  I’ve got a real soft spot for the ODSTs and I knew Jess really liked the Hayabusa, so the pairing was really quite convenient.  I know I was pretty happy wth the final product.  How ‘bout you, Super Awesome Girlfriend?

I really do love this figure! Hayabusa is by far my favorite Halo armor. Me and a friend of mine spent the majority of our summer in Middle School trying to get this armor in Halo 3. It took a lot of time, cursing, and Googling to find those skulls. We spent most of our time not in finding the skulls but getting to them without dying, our older siblings and parents had a lot of fun watching us and hearing our outbursts. This armor will always hold a special place in my heart, mostly because of them memories that went with it. As for figures, I have to agree with Ethan and say that I’m happy with the final product, really happy!

#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

#0773: The Rookie

THE ROOKIE

HALO 3 (MCFARLANE TOYS)

RookieODST1

One of the more distinct things about Halo 3’s spin-off, Halo 3: ODST, was the diverse team of ODSTs that make up most of the game’s cast. Because of this, it can be easy to overlook the main player character from the game, simply named The Rookie. Of course, it could also be due to him being totally voiceless (aside from some heavy breathing). That might have had an effect. He was hardly overlooked in terms of toys, though, and he got three separate figures just from McFarlane alone. Today, I’ll be taking a look at the first of those.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

RookieODST2The Rookie was released as part of Series 6 of McFarlane’s Halo 3 line. He’s the second ODST soldier to see release in the line, but the first of the actual ODST characters to show up. The figure stands roughly 4 ½ inches tall and has 26 points of articulation. Unsurprisingly, this figure has more than a few parts in common with ODST Mickey. The base body on the two is pretty much identical, which is fine by me. The sculpt is still very well detailed, and the armor looks to be a pretty spot on recreation of the game armor. There are a few notable differences between the two figures, though. Where Mickey had asymmetrical shoulder pads, the Rookie has two that match. Nothing really special there, just the same shoulder pad used on both sides. He’s also got a more traditional pack on his back in place of the more tech-y thing Mickey was sporting. His right shin does not have the extra rounds seen on Mickey, but he does have a few extra pouches taped there. He’s also got another pair of pouches attached to his left thigh (seriously, what’s with all the pouches? Was Rob Liefeld involved?) and a spare grenade on the left of his belt. The Rookie is generally more balanced and symmetrical than Mickey. The most jarring change between the two figures, at least for me, is the head. The Rookie’s head isn’t simply Mickey’s with the camera removed, it’s a totally different sculpt. It’s a lot thinner, almost like it was squashed or something, and just generally doesn’t look as good. It’s passable, but could be better. The paint on the Rookie is kind of an issue, but not from a quality standpoint. The quality is fine; everything is pretty clean and the metallics look pretty awesome. However, there are a few inaccuracies with the colors chosen. Overall, he feels a little on the green side for the Rookie, who was a more subdued color in the game. In addition, he lacks the Rookie’s white helmet stripe, and the color of the chest plate is a bit too dark. The Rookie was packed with his signature suppressed SMG, as well as a piece of the build-an-insigna thing that McFaralne did.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Rookie was one of the last purchases in my grand Halo action figure splurge over the summer. He was bought from the same eBay seller from whom I got a lot of my other figures, for a surprisingly reasonable price given the aftermarket value on this figure. He’s not quite as strong a figure as Mickey, but I’m still happy to have him, and he looks pretty sweet with the rest of my Halo stuff!

RookieODST3

#0749: Jetpack ODST

JETPACK ODST

HALO: REACH

ODSTJet1

In addition to making it pretty clear that I’ve gotten quite into the Halo series, I’ve also mentioned once or twice before how the Orbital Drop Shock Troopers, aka the ODSTs, are one of my favorite parts of the series. Since Halo 2, these guys have shown up with a fair bit of regularity, including in the pretty awesome Halo: Reach campaign, where they assist Noble Team for a few levels, which seems to have been enough to warrant one of them getting an action figure in the accompanying toy line. I’ll be looking at that figure today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

ODSTJet3The Jetpack ODST was released in Series 3 of McFarlane Toys’ Halo: Reach line. His design is based on the working design (though not quite the final design) of the “Bullfrog” ODSTs from Reach, which is really just a merging of the original ODST design with that of the more basic USNC Trooper. The figure stands 4 ¾ inches tall (a little bigger than the other ODSTs) and has 24 points of articulation. He’s missing a few articulation points present on just about every other Halo figure; most notably, he has no bicep movement, which severely hinders his ability to hold stuff. Given that there’s a strap on his bicep that could have easily hidden a cut joint, I can’t imagine why McFarlane opted to leave this joint out. There actually aren’t a whole lot of new parts to this figure. His base body is repurposed from the Reach USNC Medic, with the shoulder pads from the USNC Radio Operator, the head from ODST Mickey, and the basic Reach jetpack. He’s got a few extra pouches glued on in a few spots, and an extra collar piece, which appears to be new. Regardless of whether their new or not, all of the parts used here are pretty nicely sculpted. The details and texturing are superbly handled, and help make this guy look like a real person. The collar piece renders the neck movement almost inert, but it’s easily removed, should you so choose. The hip joints are a bit awkward looking, and there’s the previously mentioned issue with ODSTJet2the arm movement, but the overall look of the figure is pretty cool. Like all of the other Reach figures, the Jetpack ODST’s hands aren’t molded to properly hold a weapon, but they do alright. The paintwork on the Jetpack ODST is overall pretty great, but there’s one major issue: the visor. In Reach, the ODST’s visor gave off a faint glow, which somewhat illuminated the surrounding areas of the helmet. On this figure, McFarlane just painted the visor and all its surrounding areas a straight metallic blue. You can still clearly make out the outline of the visor on the sculpt, but the paint just goes straight over it, which just ends up looking really sloppy. Aside from that, the paint is actually really nicely handled. There are lots of nice smaller details and insignias on the armor, and plenty of washes and dry brushing to help bring out the sculpts details. In addition to the titular jetpack piece (which is removable), the ODST includes a basic Magnum handgun.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

After picking up Mickey and thoroughly the figure, I decided to take advantage of his seller’s rather substantial selection of well-priced loose Halo figures, which included this guy here. I will admit to being a little letdown by this guy when he first arrived, mostly due to the movement issues and him just not being quite as good a figure as Mickey, but he’s grown on me over time. He’s not my favorite Halo figure, but he’s really not bad.

ODSTJet4

#0713: Air Assault Spartan

AIR ASSAULT SPARTAN

HALO: REACH (MCFARLANE)

NobleArmor1

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

NobleArmor2The 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!

NobleArmor3

#0704: Mickey

MICKEY

HALO: ANNIVERSARY (MCFARLANE)

Mickey

Over the course of the last several months, I’ve gotten pretty well sucked into the Halo games. I really have come to enjoy them. One of my favorite parts of the games are the Orbital Drop Shock Troopers, or ODSTs, who sometimes assist the game’s Spartan lead, Master Chief. The ODSTs actually had their own game, Halo 3: ODST (that I am still currently playing my way through. I get distracted…), which gave us a whole team of named ODSTs, each with a unique design. As an added bonus, three members of the team were voiced by Firefly alums Nathan Fillion, Adam Baldwin, and Alan Tudyk. Alan Tudyk, known for playing the plucky, upbeat, sometimes panicky pilot on Firefly, played ODST Michael “Mickey” Crespo, the team’s plucky, upbeat, sometimes panicky pilot (well, he flies a few of the ships, anyway).

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Mickey2Mickey was released in the second series of McFarlane’s Halo: Anniversary line, which was released to coincide with the special 10th anniversary re-release of Halo: CE. The figure stands 4 ½ inches tall and has 26 points of articulation. He’s a good half an inch smaller than Spartan Thorne, but that’s actually accurate to their respective heights. The articulation scheme is also a bit different than Thorne’s. Some of it, such as the wrists and shoulders, is a bit more primitive, but other parts, such as the hip articulation, are actually a far better design. It’s an interesting assortment of joints. Structurally, Mickey has a lot of pieces in common with the Halo 3 line’s version of the Rookie, which is sensible, given they’re both ODSTs and all. The sculpt is really nicely done, with a ton of detail work and some very intricate work on the armored pieces. He’s also the spitting image of his in-game counterpart, which is always a good thing. I really love all of the patchwork details of the armor, especially the little add-ons like the ammo strapped to his calf. The little details really make this guy work. The paint accents the sculpt marvelously, Mickey5showing off all the various bits of armor quite well. The best part of it is once again the little details, in this case the small things printed on his armor, such as the emblems and writing on his chest. They even got the piece of tape on his helmet with his name handwritten on it. That’s really cool! Mickey was packed with his rocket launcher, which is his primary weapon from the game. It’s just as nicely detailed as the rest of him, and even has instructions on use written on the side. It does have one small piece broken off, but that’s not the worst thing. He also included a piece of the “Build-A-Logo” thing, but mine didn’t have that.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

After really liking Spartan Thorne, I decided to dive headfirst into McFarlane’s Halo line. Since I like the ODST design so much, I figured one of them would be a good starting point. Of course, most of them are on the pricier side now. Fortunately, I was able to find Mickey, courtesy of a seller on eBay who had a large selection of Halo figures loose. Thorne may have been cool, but Mickey’s even cooler, and definitely gets my vote for personal favorite!

Mickey4

#0660: Spartan ODST & Active Camouflage Arbiter

SPARTAN ODST & ACTIVE CAMOUFLAGE ARBITER

HALO MINIMATES

ODST&Arbiter1

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)

ODST&Arbiter2The 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

ODST&Arbiter3The 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!

#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!