TOY REVIEW: HALO Reach Figures
Grunt Ultra and Gold Spartans
- Opening my Halo 3 figures, I felt like I was opening up precious porcelain china or something. I would undo the twist ties with the utmost care and respect, and lovingly remove figures from their bubbles–at which point they would often immediately shatter in my hands. I have broken Spartans and Grunts galore, and considering those figures cost $10+ each, it really pissed me off. But these are not those Spartans and Grunts. These figures are durable and seem to be made of a much higher-grade plastic. I’ve opened about a dozen Halo Reach figures now with zero breakage and zero sign of any upcoming problems of that sort. Considering the poor quality-control standards on the Halo 3 line, this is a huge relief.
- There are Grunts in Wave 1, and I’m stocking up this time. I was stupid and Jen had to buy me crazy-priced Grunts from the first Halo 3 set on the aftermarket, and I couldn’t build a true Grunt army for like a year and a half later. The formidable Grunt Ultras are evenly-packed at 1-per-case in every case. So if you start building now, collectors easily build the Grunt armies they’ve always dreamed of!
- These Grunts are badass. These are NOT the cutesy, snivelling little Grunts from the Halo 3 figure line. And this time, they’re actually large enough that I feel like I’m getting my $12+ worth out of them. Their hands have been perfectly-sculpted to hold the plasma pistol, and their equipment fits snuggly and without any problems. In addition, SOMEHOW they have been engineered such that they can stand up properly and not fall over, in spite of the huge backpacks that they have that would topple 99% of figures with such a back-heavy accessory. I’m really surprised and exceptionally pleased that this figure has been so well-done.
- I love that it’s only wave 1 and we already have Spartan Soldiers in Steel, Red, Blue, Green, Olive, Brick, and Gold. It took a couple series of the Halo 3 line to get to this level of diversity, so I’m very excited to see what’s in store for us soon. Ideally I’d like to see Spartans of every color, but only time will tell if we’ll get representatives in the less popular colors like Coral…
- It’s only Wave 1 and I already have over a half-dozen of the new-scaled Reach Spartans. And they rock. And I’m going to end up with many, many, many more since I have to start from scratch because of the new scale and because the old Spartans look like crap next to these ones. This is going to be expensive. I love that these figures are vastly superior to the old ones, but it still hurts that the increased quality kills the compatability and means starting over. I won’t–and don’t–blame McFarlane Toys for deciding to start over with superior product–it just hurts my wallet that they did.
- The Ultra Grunts are MONSTERS next to the old-scale Grunts. Seriously, they tower over them so much it’s crazy. Of course, unlike the old-style Grunts, these aren’t made of paper maché and their limbs aren’t ripping off just by looking at them, and these Grunts are totally superior to the old ones. I guess my main problem here isn’t that they’re out-of-scale with the Halo 3 figures, but that no standard Grunts have currently been announced as far as I know. So if you want a Grunt army, it’s going to be all Ultra Grunts and Heavy Grunts or you’re out of luck.
- I hate the holes in the crotches of the Spartans from this line. It’s only the first wave and I already have a half-dozen Spartans with holes in their crotches. I’m sure that there are going to be belt-attachments or something on these guys down the line for later series, but for this set it just looks ridiculous. And again, for the price of these figures, I shouldn’t have to deal with holes in my Spartans’ crotches.
Summary: The Grunt Ultras are outstanding. Durable, well-sculpted, great deco, lots of accessories. I have no complaints about those actual figures, just that I need McFarlane to release a ton more Grunts for them to command. The Gold Spartans I’m less thrilled with, since the Orange was my favorite Spartan color, and this seems to have replaced it as the Toys R Us exclusive color. In addition, for the money, I think the Spartans should come with more accessories, and I still hate the crotch-holes. Nitpicking aside, though, these Spartan Soldiers are still superior toys to every Spartan figure ever released before the Reach line began, so I can’t complain too much.