As the release for Halo 4 reaches ever closer, like the Covenant's control of space, the anticipation for another mission for John-117 is becoming almost too much to bare! Thankfully, a s**tload of merchandise has started amassing on store shelves, including a ton of action figures and vehicles, of varying scales, from Halo mainstay McFarlane Toys, and they recently airdropped a full regiment of Halo 4 Series 1 action figures for us to review!
We know you're probably screaming at your screen,"Can they really be that much different from everything else McFarlane has put out before?" Well, read on to find out!-- and quit all that yelling! You're gonna freak out your co-workers.
The packaging keeps the primary look you'll recognize, assuming you've ever seen McFarlane's Halo figures in the past. Naturally, the new logo for Halo 4 is added to the top and the individual character's likeness in the game, along with a bio to the side, can be found filling out the right hand side and lower portion of the blister. Each of the figures are displayed prominently, along with their weapons, and the the packaging isn't overly large so if you keep these M.O.C., their not gonna take up a ridiculous amount of space.
The back of the packaging shows off all of series 1, along with art for the figures in Series 2, AND a secret boxed figure that will be released later in the year. Oooohhhh, secrets!
At the age of 6, the future Master Chief Petty Officer John-117 was abducted by ONI (Office of Naval Intelligence) and conscripted into the top secret SPARTAN-II project.
The figure itself shows the more intricate armor as seen in the latest game, and the segmented sections help to keep the articulation points from being as noticeable while still remaining very useful. Speaking of articulation, M.C. features a ball-joint neck, swivel/hinge shoulders, dual-swivel/single-hinge elbows, dual-swivel/single-hinge wrists, ball-joint torso, ball-joint hips, swivel/hinge knees, dual-swivel/single-hinge ankles, and ball-joint feet. Yes,"Ball-joint feet" this mid-foot joint allows for the figure to stand pretty well on almost any uneven terrain and we really, really dig it. The only drawback we've found with the articulation is in the hips as you have to rotate them in order to get higher stances due to the sculpt. Not a huge deal, but definitely worth mentioning.
The paint on the figure is very well done with just the right amount of silver "scratches" being added. The big selling point for the paint is the visor which fades from a metallic gold to orange at the far edges. His weapon is the basic assault rifle we've all come to rely upon in a pinch and it has a peg on the right side which can be inserted into one of three different attachment points on the figure, allowing Master Chief to carry quite a bit of weaponry at once.
One of the most prominently deployed armor configurations for Spartan-IV field assets, WARRIOR-class armor has several distinct advantages that set it apart from other types of armor common on the UNSC Infinity.
We love the helmet on this figure! There's just something so inherently badass about it, right? That's not all though, as this figure looks to be a 100% new sculpt as well and doesn't share any parts with Master Chief! This armor seems like it's far easier to get around in and is built for more maneuverability thanks to additions like thinner chest armor and footwear that's more reminiscent of running cleats than combat boots. The articulation is the exact same as Master Chief's, so read above for all of that jazz. We will add that some of the joints, especially in the arms, are of the ratcheting variety, so the figure has no trouble holding up his weapons for an extended amount of time while waiting for his prey, or just looking cool on your shelf.
This figure is highlighted in red, and expect about a million other armor and color configurations before the line is done. He also has silver paint sporadically across his armor to simulate scratches and battle wear. He also comes equipped with the latest version of sniper rifle to be seen in the series and it's made of rigid plastic, so no worry about bent barrels. The rifle can also be attached to his back via a peg system.
Unparalleled in skill and unsurpassed in martial prowess, Zealots locate, analyze, and amass intel regarding reliquary sites, which are the physical aggregation of Forerunner artifacts and technology in one location.
Easily the largest figure in the wave, but the Zealot's sculpt doesn't suffer for it. Lots of intricate detailing has went into the armor plating, along with the texturing on the suit beneath it. The mask is removable and fits on the figure perfectly, allowing for his beady eyes to gleam from within the Magneto-like face slit. Articulation-wise, the Elite Zealot has a ball-joint head, ball-joint neck, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel/hinge elbows, swivel forearms, hinged wrists, hinged fingers, ball-joint torso, ball-joint hips, swivel/hinge knees, and swivel/hinge ankles. Like the Spartans, this figure has a lot of ratcheting joints to help it hold varying positions, but we wish it also had ball-joint foot articulation so to easier pose the huge feet on this guy!
He has been painted in a metallic copper for his armor with deep black and gray for the suit beneath. "Scratches" are present here as well, but not as many--probably due to his ass-kicking ability keeping him from not taking damage. Light pink highlights have been added to the area on his suit that are lighted in the game as well. His weapon is easily the best looking of the bunch with the sword being molded in translucent blue plastic with white detailing added o fade in and give the look of electricity. the handle is silver and black and there's a peg added in order to attach it to the figure elsewhere.
As the primary combat force of the Covenant, Unggoy have been demarcated into a variety of roles for practical convenience and organization. The Grunt Storm role is one of the most common for their species, utilizing a standard battle harness with low-weight material for ease of mobility.
The grunt hasn't exactly been re-invented in Halo 4, but with this figure you can definitely see an upgrade to the detailing of these waddling bastards. The scrawny body with Popeye-like arms has been outfitted with a top-heavy piece of armor and his head features a removable breathing mask. Articulation for the Grunt comes in the form of a ball-joint head, ball-joint neck, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, hinged elbows, ball-joint torso, ball-joint hips, and swivel/hinge knees. Amazingly, the figure can stand up under it's own power, even with the huge backpack. The only drawback we've found is the figure we reviewed has swivel biceps that have trouble staying in position due to the incredible weight of the forearms.
When it comes to paint, the Grunt Storm has the best of the bunch. His skin is painted with varying freckles and scaling, while his feet and forearms have a nice black wash over the brown to give them a rougher look. His armor has a couple metallic oranges along with blacks, silver in order to fully detail the technological monstrosity strapped to his tiny frame. His weapon is a lowly pistol, but it fits well in his hand and makes for something fun for Master Chief to raid from his corpse.
After taking these figures out for photos, and spending far more time playing around with them than actually getting any work done, we can safely say that these are some of the best Halo figures McFarlane Toys has ever done. Not only do they keep the same intricate detail, but don't suffer from the same fragility we found in previous waves. Also, the articulation, while still being somewhat frustrating in the Spartan's hips, is still very smooth in all other areas making these guys fun to pose. Series 1 is available now pretty much everywhere, and you can find out more by visiting McFarlane Toys' official website!
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