TOY REVIEW: Halo Reach Series 2 Kat

Halo Reach Series 2 Kat Action Figure by McFarlane ToysWhile female Spartans have existed in the Halo universe since the first novel, “The Fall of Reach” was released in 2001, they didn’t make their video game debut until last year’s blockbuster release, “Halo Reach”. McFarlane Toys didn’t waste much time, as the first-ever female Spartan action figure has been deployed as part of Series 2 of the popular Halo Reach line of toys to start off 2010!

For those who didn’t play Halo Reach: Noble-Two, Kat (Lieutenant Commander Catherine-B320) served as Carter’s second-in-command of the Spartan Noble Squad. Kat served as the squad’s intelligence specialist before being KIA by a sniper’s Needle Rifle shot during the fall of Reach.

The Right:

Halo Noble-Two Kat and Captain Veronica Dare--Together at Last!

Apparently not all women are created equal. Kat towers over human UNSC captain Veronica Dare.

–One huge ‘Right’ is that Kat is a female Spartan, something a lot of McFarlane naysayers said wouldn’t be made. (While the first female Spartan, Kat is actually the third Halo woman made–Dare from ODST was released in both helmeted and unhelmeted versions.) While Kat isn’t nearly as muscular as the male Spartans, she looks much more agile than they do, and her appearance is very authentic to the way she appears in the source video game.

–Spartans are supposed to be genetically-augmented humans in massive suits of armor. Not just the men–but the women too. Kat is the first female Spartan we’ve seen, and she absolutely towers over the only other woman in the Halo line, non-Spartan Dare from Halo 3! While I think the size difference may be slightly exaggerated because of the difference in scales between the Halo 3 and Reach lines, the size differential makes Kat look like an absolute monster of a powerhouse, and shows off just how awe-inspiring Spartans are and should be.

Halo Reach Series 2 Kat Action Figure–Kat has 28 points of articulation, which is outstanding for a figure of this scale. Pretty much any way you would want to pose a soldier figure, you can do here. About the only joint I would’ve wanted that we don’t have is the cool fingers-hinge joint that the Elites have, but she holds her magnum just fine without it.

–The most unique feature of Kat’s character is the fact that she has a cyborg right arm. McFarlane Toys did a beautiful job with the cyborg arm, as it is highly-detailed and fully-articulated. I was afraid at first that the arm would be brittle and shatter being as thin as it is (and knowing the McFarlane Toys’ track-record for the previous Halo toys), but the arm is quality-made and quite sturdy.

The Wrong:

Don't tell her Kat has a nice butt or she'll blow your head off.

–The only major complaint I have with this figure is that even though it’s a first-time use of the female Spartan mold, the leg joints were already rather loose out of the package, which made it difficult to balance the figure when posing her. Since this mold is going to be used going forward for every female Spartan, at worst any mold degradation that occurs could push future figures into the zone of JLU-like not being able to stand up. As most collectors do like to pose their figures standing up, this is a substantial concern that I hope doesn’t become an issue in the future. In addition, one of the legs on my Kat seems to be a centimeter longer than the other, compounding the standing issues. I’m hoping this is a problem with my particular figure and not the mold in general.

–The only weapons Kat comes with are a small magnum and a frag grenade that can stick on her waist. I wrestled with whether or not to penalize her for this since those are the only weapons you ever see her with in-game, but in the end they’re small and puny accessories for an already petite figure that leaves tons of room in the bubble. A couple more grenades, a plasma pistol, a needler, a battle rifle, or pretty much anything would have been a welcome addition to fill in space in the package and make her seem like a better deal. It’s a petty complaint, but I really would’ve liked something else to pose her with besides a puny magnum.

Kat assembles with her Noble Squad Spartan teammates!

Kat assembles with her Noble Squad Spartan teammates! And yes, she's the superior officer in this lineup.

“Where Can I Buy It?!”
This figure was sold in early 2011 and is sold out at all regular brick-and-mortar stores at this time. As far as I can tell,the last store that’s keeping this figure in-stock regularly is Amazon.com, where the price is fluctuating constantly. This figure originally retailed for $11.99 plus tax, and she’s currently available for about that price on Amazon, so you might as well get her before she’s totally sold out.

Overall: Female Halo fans have felt left out for many years, as there have never been any female Spartans in the games until Reach, and no female Spartan figures until right now. Kat is a great start. She’s a color that’s not too feminine (unlike the next female Spartan McFarlane is coming, who is predictably pink), she has tons of articulation, and a great character-specific bionic arm. I would’ve liked an extra weapon with her and I have some concerns about the looseness of the leg joints (no dirty jokes, guys) on this brand-new mold, but otherwise I have nothing but praise for this figure. Kat is packed one-per-case with Halo Reach Series 2 showing up at retail right now, and she is not scheduled to be repacked or rereleased in any future assortments at this time. She’s one of the most popular figures in the Reach line so far, so I highly recommend adding her to your Halo collection as soon as you see her–your Spartan army won’t be complete without its first badass female soldier.

GRADE: A-

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