#1349: Kat & Carter

KAT & CARTER

HALO MINIMATES

I own an amusingly small quantity of Halo Minimates.  How amusingly small?  Well, this will be my third and final Halo Minimates review.  More amusing?  I don’t actually like either of the characters in this set.  Why do I have them?  Read on to find out.  Onto the review!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

This pair was released in the second Toys R Us exclusive series of Halo Minimates, as the resident Halo: Reach pairing in the assortment.

KAT

“As second in command of Noble Team, Lieutenant Commander Kat was considered an exemplary soldier and brilliant cryptanalyst. Even during times of limited intel, her ability to read a situation and react accordingly was considered supernatural, making her invaluable to the team.”

Of the two figures in this set, Kat’s the one I loathe the most.  God does Kat suck.  Especially when she’s driving. She’s like the worst driving AI ever implemented in a video game.  But none of that has anything to do with the figure, I guess.  The figure stands about 2 1/4 inches tall and has 11 points of articulation (she loses one wrist joint and both ankle joints).  She uses the standard ‘mate body, with add-ons for her helmet, chest plate, left shoulder armor and glove, belt, and boots, as well as a unique right arm, which replicates her robotic replacement from the game.  The pieces are on par with the other Halo ‘mates I’ve looked at; not bad overall, but slightly soft around the edges, when it comes to the finer details.  Still, it’s pretty solid.  In terms of paint, Kat’s okay.  The colors seem to match up pretty well with her in-game counterpart, albeit much cleaner than her armor in the game.  Under the armor, there’s a fully detailed face, with hair and everything detailed.  For some reason, the hair has no actual color, but other than that, the detail work is pretty solid.  Kat comes packed with a Magnum handgun.

CARTER

“During the Fall of Reach, Carter was the Commander of an elite team of Spartans referred to as the Noble Team. Charismatic, reassuring, and also known to be cool under pressure, Carter was considered a born leader. He inspired confidence in all of those under his command.”

Okay, so, admittedly, I don’t dislike Carter quite as much as Kat.  Mostly, I just find him sort of “meh,” which isn’t so great when you’re leading a team of fun, colorful characters. I guess not everyone can be Jorge and Emile.  Like Kat, he’s built on the standard body, though he’s got movement on both wrists.  He has add-ons for his helmet, chest armor, gloves, and boots, as well as unique pieces for his upper arms and legs.  He’s a little on the chunky side, but the pieces are generally pretty  nicely sculpted. The paint on Carter is okay; a little on the drab side, and the blue and grey run together, but it’s decent enough.  As with Kat, there’s a fully detailed head under the helmet.  He actually gets hair color, so that’s a nice step up.  Carter includes a DRM battle rifle, which he can only hold with one hand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Okay, Ethan, you don’t like these two, so why do you own them?  Two reasons: 1) I hadn’t yet played the game when I got them, so I didn’t really know the characters, and 2) my local Toys R Us was closing down, and everything was 75% off.  I’m not crazy about the characters, but the figures are actually pretty cool.

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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!

#0954: Vitruvian Hacks Pt 2

ATHENIAN WARRIOR, UNDERWORLD WARRIOR, AMAZON WARRIOR, COLUBRIDA GUARD, STONEFIST, & SKELETON WARRIOR

VITRUVIAN H.A.C.K.S.

BossHacksP2a

Some things are worth the wait. On the list of things I would classify as “worth the wait” are Boss Fight Studios’ Vitruvian H.A.C.K.S. line. In mid-2014, they ran a successful Kickstarter campaign to cover the startup costs for the line. Unfortunately, a few production snags cropped up, causing a number of delays for the line, and pushing the estimated release date back about a year. The first wave of figures (reviewed here) made its way to backers back in March, with the promise that the subsequent three waves would be arriving shortly. Those waves are making their way out to Kickstarter backers now. Today, I’ll be looking at a random assortment of those figures: the Athenian Warrior, Underworld Warrior, Amazon Warrior, Colubrida Guard, Stonefist, and Skeleton Warrior.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

BossHacksP2PackagingOkay, let’s break this down. These figures are all from the first series of Vitruvian H.A.C.K.S. The Athenian Warrior and Underworld Warrior are from Wave 2, and the Amazon Warrior, Colubrida Guard, and Stonefist are from Wave 4. The Skeleton Warrior is a special extra figure, given to backers to make up for the delay in production on the figures. With the exception of the skeleton, all of these figures were stretch-goals from the Kickstarter campaign.

ATHENIAN WARRIOR – DEFENDER OF ATHENS

BossHacksP2cIn my last Boss Fight review, I made it a point to give each of the army builder characters an actual name. So, what the heck, why not continue the trend? I’m gonna call this guy Burt. Burt’s an Athenian Warrior, which would technically make him an enemy of Lenny the Spartan Warrior from Wave 1. However, the backstory of the line has the forces joining together to fight the Gorgon army. So, they’re all buddies now! The figure stands about 4 inches tall and he has 25 points of articulation. Burt uses the same basic male body we saw on the Spartan and Cursed Spartan from Wave 1. Burt uses the bald, bearless head (same as the Cursed Spartan), which works pretty decently. He has new armor pieces, which are different from the Spartan pieces, but similar enough that they believably share a common ancestry. The Athenian armor is much more ornate than the utilitarian Spartan armor, and it has a BossHacksP2llot of really great little details, and even a spot on his back to store a sword or spear. There’s also far more texturing this time, which adds some more depth to the design. The main Athenian helmet is similar to the Spartan design, but the Mohawk is going the opposite direction, and it is once again a bit more ornate. There’s also a second helmet, which is far more simplistic and sleek, and offers a bit of variety, should you want to army build. The paint on Burt is decent, but probably the weakest of the figures I’ve gotten. The colors are all pretty vibrant, and there’s lots of really cool detail work. The main issue with my figure is the eyes, which are just off enough to make him look slightly weird. Burt includes a sword, spear, shield, sheath, a spare set of hands, and a display stand.

UNDERWORLD WARRIOR – HADES ARMY

BossHacksP2eAfter covering the real world armies of Athens and Sparta, Boss Fight decided to also get into some of the armies of some of the gods. Hades, god of the Underworld, apparently decided he wanted to get in on the fight with the Gorgons and created his own Underworld-dwelling army. Iggy here (props to Super Awesome Girlfriend for the name) is a member of said army. Now, you might have noticed some similarities to Wave 1’s Cursed Spartan. This is actually intentional. According to the backstory presented on the package, Iggy started his life as a Cursed Spartan, who was imbued with additional powers by Hades, in exchange for his service. BossHacksP2iStructurally, this figure is identical to the Cursed Spartan. I loved that figure’s sculpt, and I still love it here. To change things up, Iggy gets a new paint job, which adds a molten rock motif. The detailing is simple, but quite effective. The bright orange and yellow is surprisingly convincing as cracking molten rock. Iggy includes two swords (long and short), a sheath, a spear, a shield, an extra pair of hands, and a display stand.

AMAZON WARRIOR – ARES ARMY

BossHacksP2dAmazon’s are a pretty common occurrence in mythology and fiction in general, so it’s not a huge shock to see the concept appear in this line.  Apparently, they’re working for Ares. I mean, I guess that works. Not the God I would have placed them with, but I can’t really complain. The Amazon (who I’ve decided to name Linda) stands just shy of 4 inches tall and has 25 points of articulation. This marks the first time we’ve seen the full female body, legs and all. It feels pretty comparable to the male body, though it’s worth noting that the ankle articulation is a different design. It’s similar to some of Hasbro’s more recent Marvel Legends articulation. I honestly can’t say which layout I prefer. Linda has a new head, which has BossHacksP2jshort hair. It works pretty well, and it looks convincingly tough. The Amazonian armor is fairly similar to the Spartan armor in terms of design. The figure re-uses the Spartan Warrior’s helmet, as well as the Coral Gorgon’s chest armor and wrist bracers. She gets a new skirt piece and shin guards, which are rather similar to the Spartan pieces. The skirt has a small loop, which can hold one of her weapons. The paint on Linda is pretty impressive. The armor more or less matches up with the Spartan colors, though the gold appears to be a little brighter. The tribal tattoos on the arms and legs are quite nicely detailed, and add an awesome uniqueness to the design, and they even continue onto her shoulders, under the armor. Linda includes long and short swords, a spear, a shield (which is by far my favorite shield design in the set), a spare set of hands, and a display stand.

COLUBRIDA GUARD – GORGON HORDE

BossHacksP2bRemember how the Underworld Warrior was pretty much a straight re-use of the Cursed Spartan? Well, the Colubrida Guard is structurally the same as Wave 1’s Coral Gorgon. Once again, there’s a good explanation: the Colubrida Guard are the lieutenants of the Gorgon army, and are supposed to be similar to the other Gorgons in design. The main difference between the two figures is the paint. The Colubrida Guard trades in the more subdued red of the Coral Gorgon for a near neon-orange shade. Seriously, this thing practically glows! It’s a fantastic shade, BossHacksP2mand it makes the figure pop right to the front of any set up. Contrasting the immensely bright coloring of the actual Gorgon, the armor has been changed from gold to an almost black shade of metallic grey. The Colubrida Guard includes two swords, a sheath, a shield, extra hands, and a display stand. The swords and sheath are done up to match the Cursed Spartan, indicating that the Guards have been stealing their weapons from Medusa’s victims. That’s a pretty awesome touch!

STONEFIST –GORGON HUNTER

BossHacksP2nHere’s one figure I don’t have to name, because he’s already got one! He’s STONEFIST! THE GORGON HUNTER! This dude’s a badass, let me tell you. He’s an Athenian Warrior who came face to face with Medusa and survived the ordeal but slicing out his own eyes. This resulted in his left arm being turned to unbreakable stone and also gave him super-human senses. This guy’s pretty much the Greek Myth version of Daredevil. Stonefist is the same as the Athenian Warrior in terms of construction, though he only gets the less ornate helmet. Also, worth noting: my figure ended up with two left shoulders. It’s a rather minor difference, and not enough to ruin the figure, but it’s slightly noticeable. Stonefist’s color scheme has been tweaked ever so slightly from the basic Athenian look. Obviously, BossHacksP2kthere’s the “stone fist,” which is achieved by painting his left arm up like one of the Cursed Spartans. He’s also fairly pale, and has noticeable scaring over his eyes. The color scheme of his armor has also been changed a bit: they’ve added a bit of blue, which, when interacting with the red, makes him look a little like a super hero. The gold is all slightly tarnished, and he’s done a bit of tweaking to his helmet, adding some graffiti to the front, sort of like a WWII fighter plane. Stonefist includes three swords (one of each type we’ve seen so far), a spear, a sheath, a shield (same design as the Athenian’s, but with the eyes scratched out. Nice touch), extra hands, and a display stand.

SKELETON WARRIOR – PINK

BossHacksP2fLast up, it’s the figure I wasn’t expecting, the Skeleton Warrior. Not to be confused with the Skeleton Warriors (danananuhnuuuu)!  So, Freleng here is just a basic skeleton, but he’s been done in pink. Why he’s pink is anyone’s guess; maybe he’s made of bubble gum. The figure is about 4 inches tall and has 28 points of articulation (including BossHacksp2han articulated jaw!). The sculpt of the figure is a fairly realistic take on a skeleton, and it’s appropriately sized to fit within the basic male body. The parts aren’t quite cross compatible, but I imagine you could do some swapping with minor customization. Freleng includes a basic display stand, done up in the same shade of pink as him. He also has a set of 6 clear add-on pieces. Two of them attach to the feet and are used to secure him to the stand. The other four can be attached to the arms and legs, to allow him to wear the armor off of one of the basic male bodies. Undead army FTW!

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Amazon and Underworld Warrior were the remaining two figures from my Kickstarter pledge, but I actually got the other three main release figures via Boss Fight’s online store. As cool as the Wave 1 figures were, these were the ones I was really looking forward to. My favorite of the bunch is probably Stonefist, just because I really like the concept. The Amazon is no slouch, though. The Colubrida Guard and Underworld Warrior aren’t much different from the Coral Gorgon and the Cursed Spartan, but the changes make both figures a bit more exciting. The Athenian isn’t super exciting, but I think a lot of that has to do with how similar he is to Stonefist. The real surprise star for me, though, is the Skeleton. He’s just the freebie figure, but he’s surprisingly mobile, and just a whole lot of fun to mess with. All-in-all, this is yet another fantastic set of figures. I can’t wait to get more from Boss Fight!

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#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.

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#0895: Spartan Vale

SPARTAN VALE

HALO HEROES (MEGA BLOKS)

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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)

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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!

#0866: Spartan Athlon

SPARTAN ATHLON

HALO 5: GUARDIANS (MCFARLANE)

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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.

#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

#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.