Ever since McFarlane started working the Halo license, the one character they have kept getting out every year has been that of the hero of the saga, Master Chief also known as John-117.
The approach was to release a Master Chief with each series of figures, changing the weapons each time so that anybody wanting to collect all of the weaponry used in the game would end up with no less than half a dozen figures.
Each of these times, the Master Chief released was identical to the first version, with some natural variance due to the usual changes done in the production line, usually meaning slight changes in decoration and color.
However, for series 8 McFarlane decided to go for a Halo 2 version of Master Chief, and for this occasion, they went for a mostly new mold. You’ll see, the Master Chief figures we had been getting up until Series 7 were based on how the character looked in the Halo 3 game, meaning the armor showed some signs of battle damage to the chest and the paint operations also reflected this state of distress.
The Halo 2 version of Master Chief released in Series 8 looks pretty much pristine, with no damage marks anywhere and painted as if the armor had just been taken from the UNSC assembly line. Now, this same look could have been achieved by painting any of the other Spartan VI figures released in the Multiplayer assortment in the colors of Master Chief, but instead McFarlane went for a complete redesign of the basic standard body, altering and in some areas simplifying the articulation design, which consists of:
• Ball mounted shoulders.
• Hinged elbows with swivels above and below the hinge.
• Pegged hinge wrists.
• Floating torso.
• Swivel hips with lateral hinges.
• Hinged knees with swivels above and below the hinge.
• Hinged ankles with swivels above and below the hinge
• Mid-foot swivel hinge.
About the only joints I really miss are the upper biceps and upper thigh swivels, but for the most part, these changes represent a marked improvement over the original design, as is the case of the wrists.
As mentioned earlier, the paintjob on this figure is very clean and very thorough, but there are some application issues. For starters, since the figure is molded entirely in white plastic, all of the visible surfaces get a fairly resistant coat of paint, but given the new joint design at the hips, some of the white shows through whenever you move the hips outwards.
The color scheme is classic Master Chief, with matte black paint for the undersuit and a very particular hue of olive green for the outer armor plates, finishing with a few metallic accents and a slight shading wash
The visor is painted in bright gold, but on my figure it seems to have been applied too thick, which obscures somewhat the sculpted lines and decreases detail definition. Also, the application wasn’t as smooth as I’d have wanted.
For the most part the rest of the changes manage to retain the same level of functionality with a lower number of components, but overall I think I liked better the old hip design, even though this new Master Chief is slightly taller and has a slimmer outline.
This time Master Chief comes armed with a couple of Brute Plasma rifles; the main difference with regular Plasma rifles is that the Brute version has these thin fins protruding from the back of the piece, but other than that they look pretty much the same as the regular ones.
However, putting the weapons in Master Chief’s hands is extremely difficult without using hot water to soften the plastic so, in retrospect, it is not such a great weapon selection. McFarlane also included a couple of black plastic pivots to affix the weapons onto the chief’s armor, so at least he can be displayed with his gear on, even if he has trouble wielding it.
In the end, I don’t regret buying the Halo2 Master Chief, but on the other hand, I don’t think it warrants a “Must Buy” recommendation If you are a long time Halo collector. For newcomers to the line it would be a great jumping point though.
Errex Score: 85/100