Master Chief (Halo 4)
After a fairly successful run producing toys for the Halo games, McFarlane Toys is set to keep the winning streak with action figures based in the upcoming Halo 4 game, And what better character to start off than Series 1 Master Chief?
After the events in Halo 3, the Chief and Cortana were left floating aboard a derelict UNSC vessel for about 4 years. The Master Chief spent most of the time in Cryo-stasis, while Cortana kept herself busy by repairing and modifying the Chief’s Mjölnir armor with the help of nanobots and the available materials aboard the vessel, thus explaining the armor changes seen in the new game.
The Master Chief is still recognizable as a Spartan soldier, as most of the visual cues from previous Mjölnir iterations were kept, like the dark olive green armor plates, the black protective under-suit and the rich gold visor, but the overall look seems more fluid, with rounder edges and overall better body proportions.
Since this Spartan armor is entirely new, McFarlane had to design new molds from the ground up, including a few changes done to the articulation model, which now consist in:
• Pegged hinge shoulders
• Hinged elbows with swivels above and below the joint.
• Hinged wrists with swivels above and below the joint.
• Barbell mounted torso.
• Barbell mounted hips.
• Pegged hinge knees.
• Hinged ankles with swivels above and below the joint.
• Ball jointed toes.
As it happens for most of the armored Halo figures, the range on some of the joints is sometimes limited by the bulk of the sculpted details surrounding the articulation point and that holds true for this version of the Master Chief as well.
The biggest change in the articulation is the design of the hips, which are now simplified to three moving pieces instead of the four it used to take for the Spartan figures in the Halo: Reach line. The new hip design is not as versatile as the old one, but looking back at the Halo: Reach Spartans, those couldn’t kneel too well either, because of the limited range of their knee joints so I don’t think the limited range on the new hip design for the Halo 4 Spartans is much of an issue.
The paintjob on the Series 1 Master Chief is as good as McFarlane gets, which is saying something. The under-suit is not really black, but painted in a very dark charcoal gray that offsets nicely the dark olive armor plates. These plates were given a shading wash that enhances the sculpted panel lines on each piece and a very light drybrushing with a lighter shade of green to enhance the edges. The visor is finished with a rich, highly reflective metallic gold paint.
As far as weaponry goes, the H4 Master Chief ships with only an assault rifle. This is a newly molded weapon done in the larger Halo: Reach weapon scale, not a re-purposed Halo 3 rifle like those included in the Anniversary Series figures.
And speaking of scales, the one thing that seems to baffle most toy manufacturers these days is figuring out a way to keep a consistent figure size from line to line. The new MC comes off at an odd scale point between the 5 ½” inch tall Halo 3 Spartans and the 6” Reach Spartans, but the difference is negligible enough to chalk it up to the changes made to the suit of armor.
Overall, I am pretty pleased with the way the new armor looks and I’ve grown used to the way the new hip articulation works, so I’m looking forward to add more of these Halo 4 figures to my collection.