I must say that I was not immediately taken with McFarlane’s Halo: Reach line. I started buying the figures when they debuted their Halo 3 line-up, but the Reach Spartans were not an immediate hit with me.
For starters, there is the size issue. Back when McFarlane started making Halo 3 figures, they went for a roughly 5 inches scale, which made them incompatible with pretty much anything else. That took some adjusting to, but in retrospect, having Master Chief hanging out with either Darth Vader or Batman wasn’t a priority so it didn’t really matter to me.
But when the Halo: Reach Spartans were made in a slightly larger scale, I was less than thrilled. Still, I got a few of the alien figures, just because I thought they looked cool, but eventually my resistance wore down and I got my first Spartan from that line. The first of these is the Spartan Military Police Custom I’m reviewing today.
This figure belongs to Series 3 of the Halo: Reach line, and it represents one of the Spartan II super soldiers decked in variant Mjölnir Mk.V armor. This type of armor is supposed to be the type worn by Master Chief during the first Halo: Combat Evolved game, but the MP variant has a different helmet, bulkier shoulder armor and extra pieces of gear attached.
The sculpting is quite different from the Halo 3 version of the Mjölnir armor with a much bulkier outline, especially in the legs. All of the basic design elements are present, from the black under-suit to the outer armor plates and as such are easily recognizable, although I feel that the textures on the black body glove are much less detailed.
On the other hand, the torso armor has extra detail in the form of pieces of gear glued onto the armor. The Spartan MP has a non-removable sheathed knife and a couple of ammunition pouches.
These figures were designed thinking on customization, so there are several round peg holes on limbs and torso, which at times can be distracting, but one gets used to them pretty quickly. On the Spartan MP, both pauldrons and the torso armor are removable.
Articulation is extensive, and it incorporates a lot of barbell joints, as well as more traditional joint styles. The overall range is as good as it was on the Halo 3 figures, but it also feels much sturdier, since the materials used are of a much better quality.
• Barbell jointed neck.
• Pegged hinge shoulders
• Hinged elbows with swivels above and below the joint.
• Hinged wrists with swivels above and below the joint.
• Barbell mounted torso.
• Swivel hips.
• Barbell mounted upper thighs.
• Pegged hinge knees.
• Hinged ankles with swivels above and below the joint.
• Swivel hinge toes.
The style of decoration applied to the Halo Reach Spartans is noticeably different to those of the Halo 3 line. Where the Halo 3 Spartans sported fairly clean paint applications, for Reach they went for a more battle worn look that at first glance looked sloppy.
However, this MP Spartan has a fairly standard look. The figure is painted in blue, and has some scuffs and scratches painted on in dark silver paint, but these don’t look too distracting. There are also small marking painted on, like the yellow and black stripes on the feet and small white triangles indicating access panels on the armor, as well as UNSC insignia.
One thing of particular note is that the golden visor shows a nice gradient done in metallic paint, that goes from rich gold on the sides to la lighter hue in the center, which gives a much more interesting look to these figures, as well as providing some sense of scale by mimicking the way a life-sized golden faceplate would look.
The Spartan MP comes equipped with a single fragmentation grenade and a UNSC Designated Marksman Rifle (DMR). The grenade has a peg hole that fits the round peg sculpted at the back of the MP’s belt, and the DMR comes fitted with one of those removable black pegs that allow the MP to carry the weapon on his back. The Spartan MP can grab the rifle in either hand without problems, as this is the updated rifle without the handle-guard first seen in the Reach Series 1 sets.
Even with the scale variation, I think this figure doesn’t look too out of scale alongside my Halo 3 figures, since even in the novels it is stated that there would be some size variation among the Spartan II’s. Evaluated on its merits alone, the Spartan MP turned out to be much better than I expected and whetted my appetite for more.
Errex Score: 89/100