ODST ROOKIE (with DROP POD)
WORLD OF HALO (JAZWARES)
I’m a sucker for side characters, and that’s no more true than the Halo franchise’s plucky group of not-quite-Spartans, the Orbital Drop Shock Troopers, better known as the ODSTs, who got their own focus in Halo 3: ODST, a spin-off released in 2009. It follows a squad of them through events bridging Halo 2 and Halo 3, and it’s a rather unique game within the context of the franchise. The ODSTs are not without their own merchandising coverage, though they’ve been a little bit absent from the toy coverage in the last couple of years. But, hey, it looks like things might just be changing. And here’s a look at our favorite silent protagonist, the Rookie!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
The ODST Rookie is part of Jazwares’ World of Halo line, the smaller scale of their two lines. He’s a deluxe-sized item, and appears to be part of Jazwares’ new product for 2023. Distribution’s been a bit iffy on the line, so it’s tricky to tell. He’s technically the second ODST in the line, though, again, with the distribution, it’s been hard to track. The figure stands just shy of 4 inches tall and he has 27 points of articulation. The articulation scheme on this figure is fairly similar to Jazwares’ Fortnite line of the same scale and style. With the exception of the elbows, which are a bit restricted, the movement’s all pretty good. The Rookie’s sculpt is a pretty solid one. It doesn’t quite have the crispness of some of the McFarlane ODST sculpts, but it still gets all of the details of note, capturing all of the little tacked-on elements of his design quite well. His build is just a bit bulkier than other ODST figures, keeping in line with the other Jazwares sculpts, much like the Fortnite figures. Some of the proportions aren’t an exact match for the game models, and I’m not 100% sold on the exact shaping on the helmet (it took McFarlane a few tries to get that one right, too), but the overall structure of the figure really works. The Rookie’s paint work is generally pretty decent. His colors in the game are all rather subdued, and that’s true of the figure as well. The differences between the greys and black are a bit more pronounced here than in the actual game, but I don’t mind that so much, especially given the general stylings of how Jazwares has been handling the line. The general layout of the colors mostly matches up; the chest plate’s supposed to be a lighter color, but other than that, it works. The application is mostly pretty good; the only thing I’m not too keen on is how the fingers have been painted on the hands. They go too far up, past the knuckles, which doesn’t match up with the design, or even the sculpt, and just generally looks rather sloppy. For the figure proper, the set includes the Rookie’s signature silenced SMG, his handgun, and his backpack. The biggest part of the set, though, is the Rookie’s Drop Pod. It’s a key piece, what with being the thing that gives the ODSTs their name and all. It looks to be decently scaled to the figure, and gets an impressive amount of detailing, including a fully detailed interior, complete with his seat and controls. It’s a little bit basic in exactly how it works; there’s a sort of a spring-loaded feature for the hatch, but no actual way to trigger it from the outside, meaning it…well, it doesn’t seem to actually do much of anything. There’s a locking system on the inside, which also doesn’t really do much, as whether it’s locked or not, you still have to manually pop the hatch off. It feels like there was meant to be more to this mechanism, but it was cut at some point to save costs. As it stands, it’s still a nice display piece, even if it doesn’t really do anything.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I’m unabashedly a huge ODST fan, so I’m always eager for more toy coverage from the game. I’ve enjoyed what I’ve gotten to mess with from Jazwares’ Halo offerings, but the lack of anything ODST has definitely been a bit of a bummer. This one actually caught me by surprise. I had no clue it was coming out, and only happened to find the set while doing a quick wander through the Target toy aisle during some quick errands. It was certainly a pleasant surprise. The Rookie is a pretty straight forward, but nevertheless quite fun figure. The Drop Pod is a rather basic piece, which doesn’t quite land the features it reaches for, but given the price point for the whole set, it’s still hits the marks it really needs to. Hopefully this set signifies some more cool ODST stuff for the line!