Continuing on with my series of McFarlane Toys’ Halo Reach Series 2 figure reviews and following up my previous reviews of Kat and the Skirmisher Minor, we’ve got another all-new Covenant soldier–the Elite Officer! Not only is this the first release of an Elite Officer figure, but (for better or worse) it’s also the first time that we’ve gotten a single-carded Orange figure in the Halo line that’s non-exclusive.
I got sidetracked with other things and other reviews, so this review has been sitting in queue for about two weeks waiting for a chance to be uploaded. That’s probably appropriate, as I’m just not all that excited about this figure…
At first, I thought that the Elite Officer was just a repaint of the Elite Minor from Series 1 with a different rank. I was mentally preparing to complain about that until I actually put him next to the Elite Minor and realized that the armor on the Elite Armor is almost entirely all-new and different. The helmet, thigh armor, chest armor, shoulder armor, and lower arm armor are all brand-new sculpts that have either subtle or extensive differences from the armor on the Elite Minor. While the Elite Officer figure itself is the same base body as the Elite Minor, the radically different armor makes this seem like a whole new figure.
Since the body is the same as in Series 1, the Elite Officer retains the same fantastic 26 points of articulation, which allows for a pretty substantial range of motion. The hinge joint on his fingers works especially fantastic for allowing him to hold weapons–a vast improvement over the non-jointed fingers on early Elite figures in the Halo 3 line, where you had to risk breaking off their fingers to get a weapon into their hands.
This figure includes a plasma grenade along with the first release of the Covenant Concussion Rifle. The T50 DER/H Concussion Rifle is an all-new weapon that debuted in Halo Reach, which fires explosive bolts of superheated plasma. The Concussion Rifle resembles the Brute Shot and M319 Grenade Launchers. There’s not a whole lot to say about the Concussion Rifle, other than that it’s nicely-painted and detailed, and a welcome addition to the action figure line’s armory.
Let’s be honest here: this Elite Officer is wearing neon orange armor, and he looks ridiculous. I played through the entirety of Halo Reach’s campaign, as well as every other Halo game’s campaign, and I’ve never seen an Elite wearing neon orange armor. That’s because it looks goofy as hell on what’s supposed to be a scary, intimidating monster. In Halo Reach especially, the Elites are supposed to be fear-inducing, so this crazy color choice for the first Elite Officer totally surprises me. I love orange–it’s my favorite color–but I don’t love it here. I find it pretty shocking that the high-profile white Elite Ultras were only available as half of a two-pack in series 1 making army-building next to impossible, whereas they single-packed these Elites that nobody is going to want multiples of.
The only real limit to this figure’s poseability is that it can be difficult to get him to stand up without careful positioning, since his upper-body does tend to make the figure a little top-heavy. This problem isn’t crippling in the way it is with the Skirmisher Minor, though, so it’s really only a minor annoyance.
Overall: Another excellent entry into the Halo Reach line by McFarlane Toys. The armor is all-new and highly-detailed, the Concussion Rifle is a very cool new addition to the armory, and his mammoth size makes him an imposing figure for the Spartans to have to face down. He has some nagging stability issues, but that’s more of a nitpick than anything else. The color of this figure is the only real negative about him in my eyes. I have a very hard time taking this officer seriously in his almost-neon orange armor, but your mileage may vary. Personally, I’ll wait until we get some more appropriate colors before I do any army-building of Elite Officers for my Covenant forces.
“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–he’ll likely cost you a little more now, but I really like this one so I think he’s worth the price.