With licenses like Halo: Reach, one would think that it is not that hard to come up with ideas for new products, but luckily for McFarlane Toys, the game’s multiplayer mode allows them to issue products almost ad-infinitum just swapping parts and repainting the figures more or less adhering to the options provided in-game for player customization.
The name Gungnir comes from Norse myths, as this was the name of Odin’s spear, reputed to never miss a mark. In the Halo Universe, Project Gungnir was the project responsible of developing the Spartan Laser weapon as well as additional gear to be used in conjunction with the Spartan Mjölnir armor.
The Spartan Gungnir Custom figure released in Series 5 of the Halo: Reach line does not include all of the Gungnir-specific armor elements, instead it focuses on incorporating only the most expensive armor modifications available in the game.
These elements are: a modified Gungnir helmet, the assault/sapper chest piece with the grenade launcher ammo, Grenadier kneepads, robotic right arm prosthesis, cartridge holder for the left forearm and soft-pack attachment for the left thigh.
The Gungnir helmet’s main attribute is it’s lack of a reflective visor. Instead it has a single camera eye (again, referencing that Odin had just one eye). This custom helmet has additional attachments sculpted on, like re-breathers and a hardened communications module.
The most striking feature of the figure as a whole is the robotic right arm. Now, this isn’t the first time we see such a figure, as Kat from Series 1 had it and it also was used for one of the zombie Spartans in the Infection 3-pack set.
The basic body is pretty much the same standard used for all of the other male Spartans, which means we get the following articulation spread:
• Pegged hinge shoulders.
• Hinged elbows with swivels above and below the joint.
• Hinged left 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.
• Ball jointed toes.
The right arm is designed in such a way that the upper forearm swivel doubles as a wrist joint even though the right hand actually lacks the ability to bend and twist as the left hand does. However, the limb has a much better range at the elbow and shoulder than the left arm, so, overall I’d say it’s a good trade off.
Another aspect I liked about the Spartan Gungnir is that the paint scheme actually looks like a piece of military equipment. The dominant color on the armor is a medium olive green color, with smaller areas painted in a tan hue for variety and white for some finer details.
The paint application is uniformly good; there are some simulated wear marks and scratches accomplished by drybrushing dark silver paint on the edges of the armor plates and some slight dusting on the lower legs. There are also a lot of tiny markings stenciled all over the figure, from the Gungnir rune on his faceplate to the UNSC lettering all over the armor.
Another thing worht mentioning is that this is the first time a Halo: Reach figure comes with the SPNKR Rocket Launcher. This weapon is a completely new mold made to fit the scale of the Reach line and it incorporates a couple of improvements over the Halo 3 version, one being the size and level of detail and the other a new a sliding front grip that allows pretty much any of the UNSC figures to hold it realistically.
On the right side of the launcher, there is a peg hole to use with the included black peg, thus allowing the weapon to be carried in the back by any Spartan. The SPNKR launcher also has a nice amount of painted details like the UNSC logo, warning stripes and lettering.
The only other piece of ordnance included with the Gungnir Spartan is a regular UNSC frag grenade that can be attached to any of the two pegs at the back of the belt piece.
The Gungnir Spartan Custom turned out to be one of my favorite Spartans ever, due to it’s color scheme and also because it has enough new elements to make it look interesting, all with the overall solid construction that characterizes the Halo: Reach line.